Abandoning Etsy

Etsy Screenshot April 2020

I’ve been on Etsy since 2008, but only really made a serious effort into advertising/marketing for a few years. In that time I’ve managed to make 127 sales, and pay Etsy several hundred dollars in the process.

My target audience just isn’t on the platform and me spending time (and money) pushing traffic there really only benefits Etsy. Had I spent the money advertising my own site, in theory, I’d have picked up a few new followers…

So as part of my website redesign this year, I’m moving all sales back in-house (as it was). I haven’t tried selling from my website before, so this should be an interesting adventure!

I’ll be keeping my Etsy store open in case any of my social media sales would prefer to use that channel, but I’m hoping I have a good enough reputation in the model horse hobby that they’ll trust me.

The Good

Setting up the store on my website should allow me to offer better deals on combined shipping. Something that’s always plagued me on Etsy. My items are so light that most of the time I can add a large handful to the box before it bumps up to the next USPS level.

It will also allow me better control over inventory tracking and category organization. I should be able to set up filtering so folks can be ‘I want a resin magnet, under $5, that’s mainly blue, and a horse’. Because reasons. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I won’t be competing with items offered by other sellers and any advertising I do will be directing people to my main website.

The Bad

Etsy automatically gathers and submits sales tax for all of the states that require it for online sales. I should be able to track which ones require it, but I’ll need to do the submission myself.

I’m also going to be competing against my Etsy listings for a bit in search (as I wait for the to expire). I have old Pins that I need to clean-up, but that should be an easy fix.

I will need to go back and reformat all of the listings and listing photos so it plays nice with the new layouts.

I will probably have to do some custom coding to make sure everything works the way I want. Which is annoying, but helps up my WordPress coding game… so it’s a win in the long run.

And I need to go back and figure out my true costs and weights for all items so I can make sure I’m pricing things appropriately.

Timelines

I have no idea how long this will take me to work out all the kinks, so I’m starting with just my Model Horse fencing and bases. I figure those are the best things to practice the combined shipping on!

I’m planning on doing the costs and weights (and photos) work this week. I’ll be making product pages for them and then doing test runs to make sure that the shipping and taxes seem to be calculating correctly.

Once they pass my own testing, I’ll post them to my mailing list and up to model horse places at reduced prices to see if I can’t get some beta testers.

There will (of course) be blog posts about the whole process, so keep your eyes on the Microbusiness category for updates! ๐Ÿ˜

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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