Tired of Etsy fees? Here’s how to use your own website with your Etsy store to nurture customers to buy on your website (without getting in trouble with Etsy.) And, also, why you should consider remaining on Etsy!

Etsy is an online marketplace for hand crafted goods. It’s great in that it’s a marketplace – but it’s also huge. Being on Etsy has been an easy gateway for sellers to market their business because they own the hand-crafted marketplace space. (PayPal tried this a few years ago and failed to break into Etsy’s market.)

But you are paying a LOT to be on Etsy. What if there were alternatives, and what do they cost?

SquareSpace and WordPress website platforms for commerce are widely used, well-established and reasonably affordable. We wax poetic about using SquareSpace all the time.

WordPress hosting is inexpensive, and Woo Commerce itself is actually free (but all the other plugins you might want do cost some money – you might not need a lot of them, and you can start small.) We love WordPress, and we have far too many articles on it to count, but you can start here to feel the love (and learn some stuff.)

SquareSpace is super easy to use, robust, with email and commerce options that add on to their products. We detail a comparison between SquareSpace and WordPress, the two platforms here.

The benefits to Etsy (even despite the nearly 30% hike in fees

  • Marketplace of sellers of handcrafted goods attracts those who are looking for just that
  • The Etsy reviews system is powerful and allows others to evaluate shops based on review status.
  • Star seller (when you get five stars!) showcase by Etsy can boost sales and exposure
  • For clients that use it well, Etsy can be an additional place to sell goods.

We talk about marketing as a whole – your distribution channels might be direct (online, your own site) through a brick and mortar retailer, through an online marketplace like Etsy or others – these, together make for a powerful place to sell your goods. The 4Ps of marketing: product, price, PLACE and promotion – Etsy serves the latter two but of course, place.

Ways to move Etsy buyers deeper into your fold:

As them to subscribe to your email list – this is algorithm-free (and there are tricks to getting into their priority inbox)

Ask them to follow you on social – where you can continue (albeit with an algorithm) showing them your products and connecting with them

Continue to market to them on these off-Etsy channels once they connect, in addition to using Etsy’s marketplace selling tools.

Use SEO to boost search results– Etsy will also help your search engine rankings too, as your products on their site show up higher in search results, typically.

Ways to counteract the fees:

Raise your prices. Yep, it’s one a lot of entrepreneurs don’t like. But a couple of small hikes over time, your customers might not even notice. Compare your prices to your competitors – your REAL competitors (same quality, same style, not lower-cost basic product options) – and you’ll find that you can probably raise them and ease this in with use of discounts and coupons.

Use Etsy to the fullest – take advantage of your reviews, star seller status on Etsy

Launch new products first on Etsy but consider having website-only products so customers have to go to both. We talk about membership-based sites a lot, and that is another good way to increase off Etsy sales too.

Etsy is a powerful tool for sellers online – but it also connects YOU to small businesses and small makers directly. Recently a number of people have used Etsy to purchase hand crafted digital goods from Ukranian sellers by doing a country specific search. I know I picked up several sewing patterns and embroidery designs from Ukranian sellers, in an effort to support a few small sellers.

When we think of the power of being able to buy something from some small seller from anywhere – we’ve connected to them in a way that feels both personal and human, and also global at the same time.

Featured site: Online sewing pattern retailer Ann Normandy Design sells sewing patterns on Etsy, and on SquareSpace. Her business model helps her sell equally on both platforms, and use them both to the fullest. Her Etsy site benefits her business. She has priced her products to the premium side, as they are premium design and production.