As you have all heard, I closed my Etsy shop back on October 18th. While I had made a few sales on Etsy, I wasn’t pleased with the numerous changes with the Etsy platform. Believe me, there were many changes!
I’m kind of a control freak; I need to be able to control my content, what ads I spend money on, who I market to, the works. With Etsy, I wasn’t able to do any of that. They auto-enrolled me into their Offsite Ads program (as they do with every shop), and once I changed my settings to not allow Offsite Ads to run, my shop views and sales tanked. I was bringing in 90% of the views for my store via Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, while Etsy was still making money from me with Offsite Ads enabled.
The Star Seller program was newly introduced shortly before I closed my shop. The whole premise behind Star Seller is that the top earners on the platform are rewarded for having great customer service and consistent sales. For shops like mine with very few sales and no customer messages to reply to, there’s not a chance for you to earn Star Seller status. This meant that my listings were pretty much hidden from view, which meant little to no sales. It’s not that my content is bad, it just meant that nobody could find me!
Etsy has a very strange fee structure. I’m going to provide a breakdown of just how many fees that Etsy charges below.
Listing fee: 20 cents
The listing fee is charged when you list the product the first time, and every time you renew the listing. The listing expires after four months. I was also charged a listing fee every time I made a sale.
Shipping Transaction fee:
5% of the total your customers pay for shipping
Payment Processing fee:
Paypal and Square: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
Etsy Payments: 3% + 25 cents per transaction
Currency Conversion Fee:
2.5% of the transaction
I was charged a currency conversion fee with every sale. This fee is normally charged if your store and currency are not set up properly. I don’t know what went wrong on their end, but my shop and currency were both set to the United Kingdom.
Offsite Ads Fee:
12-15% of the transaction price
Offsite Ads is optional for those of you making less than $10,000 per year. If you make over the $10,000 per year threshold, you cannot opt-out of this service.
With all of these charges, it works out to between 8% and 15% of your total sale price, not including the cost of producing your items.
Etsy is constantly renewing its fee schedule. It makes it difficult as a seller to accurately plan how much you’ll be paying for each listing, and give yourself an accurate profit margin to be able to pay for your supplies, time, advertising, and subsequent listings.
Selling Digital Downloads
When you sell digital downloads as I do, the general consensus for listing prices is around $3 per page. However, a lot of sellers are bundling their products (like I do), with four sizes of prints all together, and still listing it for between $3-5. As there are no shipping fees, you’ll make approximately $2.55 per item sold if you list at $3 (not including the Currency Conversion Fee. This is a separate charge).
Add in the cost of your artwork, the time it takes you to list the item itself on Etsy, and the time it takes you to make the item. You’ll realize that you’re not making money at all. If you list your products at a higher price to reflect the amount of work you’ve put into it and the actual production costs, you won’t have sales due to the insane amount of competition. With all of the associated fees, my very last sale on Etsy gave me a net “profit” of just $0.28. How abysmal is that!?
“Are you ready to abandon Etsy as your selling platform?”
I hope this gives you some insight into my reasons to close my Etsy store, and why I think you should too. It took me a few months to set up properly, but my Woocommerce store is all set up and looking beautiful. I still have to drive traffic to my store. But, it’s insanely fulfilling to be able to sell my products using Stripe as my payment processor! I only have to pay a fixed 1.9%+ 20p for European sales or 2.9%+20p for non-European sales, not both! I’ll always advocate keeping more money in your pocket rather than paying up to 30% just for listing your products on a platform that you don’t own!
Are you ready to abandon Etsy as your selling platform? Let me know in the comments below what you love or loathe about Etsy. If you want to support me, please check out my shop! Click on the picture below.
As always, I hope you have a great day!