Starting your own crafting business comes with many things to think about. Selling awesome products and having fun while doing it is certainly a plus. Still, there are several business decisions you’ll have to make to set yourself up for success. One of them: should you be using Shopify store or Etsy shop?
Both are great platforms and provide easy-to-use experiences and help you with your end goal – to make money! However, they aren’t the same and come with different objectives, with two different ways to reach potential customers.
Etsy Shops for Sellers
Etsy is an online market that is sort of like a search engine for shopping all things handmade. Both buyers and sellers search for Etsy on Google, and like Amazon and eBay, Etsy is a marketplace that has third-party sellers. So Etsy itself isn’t actually selling anything, but it’s a platform people can hop on to sell their products.
Most people selling on Etsy sell handmade goods, vintage items, crafting supplies and resources, really anything a crafter would be looking to buy. Recently, they’ve allowed for wholesaling. If you sell on Etsy, you will have to follow strict guidelines on what can and cannot be sold.
You won’t have any membership or subscription fees either. Sellers just have to pay a listing fee ($0.20 per item for a four-month period), a 5% transaction fee on every purchase, and a 3% and $0.25 payment processing fee on every purchase.
Etsy is also fantastic for getting a little exposure since people can search you on the platform, or you can show up in searches for things like “wooden door hangers” or “signmaker.” However, you will be limited on your pictures and text options, as well as other limitations on your listing that don’t allow so much flexibility.
Shopify Stores for Selling
Shopify is a webstore platform, ideal for online resellers of anything, not just crafty goods. It is not a search engine at all, so you will need a specific link to the Shopify store to purchase from someone. In essence, it hosts an online shop, much like how other websites are created.
With Shopify, you will have more fees than Etsy, depending on how much you are selling. Shopify’s fees are upfront. You can get a 14-day free trial, and after that, you must pay for a subscription starting at $29 a month. This certainly comes in handy if you’re you’re selling a lot – those Etsy fees seem small but can add up fast.
Again, Shopify is not a search engine, so you will have to do the leg work to get exposure. However, Shopify tends to bring in more of the right kind of traffic since it is more targeted to people interested in buying your products. Anyone can see your listing on Etsy, but they may see it as they are casually strolling by. They aren’t as invested in the purchasing process as someone who has your direct Shopify link.
If you’re looking for total control over your shop, consider Shopify. You can make your website, and product pages look exactly the way you want to, with easy-to-use templates, or you can choose to custom make your site’s design from scratch. Their platform is super user-friendly.
How do I know which to use?
To sum it all up, Etsy is great for makers and sellers of handmade products. This is the best option if you’re a bit new to business but want to try your hand at selling. It can easily be managed by one person who doesn’t have room for fluff.
Shopify is ideal for someone who is a tad bit advanced. This person has been selling their products for a while, and business is starting to pick up, especially in their local area. Expanding your product and customer baseline will be simple, and you’ll get complete control over your business’ look, feel, and experience.
Putting your DIY wooden door hangers out on the line doesn’t have to be scary. It starts small and simple with just putting your listing out there into the world. Making the right selection on whether to use Shopify or Etsy will get you to where you need to go eventually. Don’t forget to reach out for the help you need. There are a few resources for signmakers out there.