Ok so anyone who has even thought about selling on the internet has thought about where and how to sell on the internet. It's a very powerful tool that if chosen correctly can really launch your business in the right direction. It used to just be ebay, but now the options range from ebay to etsy, craigslist to art fire, big cartel to shopify. All of which are great resources for us sellers, but how in the world do we choose? and just because one fits us at one point in time, when do we know it's time to move on or grow bigger?
Don't get me wrong. Etsy has been an amazing platform for me to sell in, and will continue to be as I really don't ever see myself leaving them fully. However in the past 6 mo the business has grown so rapidly that I know it's time that I can and should be offering a way to purchase directly from my site rather than having to direct people to another source.
Here is what I see as the benefits of each of the sites I will have. Both offering me different, but beneficial things.
- Easy to set up
- Great for new businesses that don't drive their own traffic
- Good way to build a customer base
- Site is well known and marketing is minimal
- Now has the option to pay with credit card and not require paypal
- Shopping page can be integrated within your own site
- Layouts can be completely customized to match your current site
- More professional appearance
- Low fees
- Minimal ways to customize your site
- High per transaction fees
- Relisting items is a must to stay on a current page and not get lost (there are currently over 1M jewelry items on Etsy) means incurring more fees
- Lots of restrictions and rules about how to list items, run your shop, etc.
- Site will have to be marketed more
- Professional site design has a high upfront cost
As I said before, Etsy is a great platform for those that are selling as a hobby or list just a few items. It's a great source for new customers (hey most of you came to me via Etsy!) Overtime though, when your business is strong enough to support and drive it's own traffic, the fees become a little ridiculous.