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Etsy vs Website - Part 1.


When considering the difference between our website and the Etsy marketplace, our journey was anything but straightforward. Lacking a background in website development, I faced weeks of research to find the right website provider. Even now, uncertainty lingers about whether I made the optimal choice.


Over three months, I immersed myself in learning how to build a website. Crafting the design and gathering information consumed additional months. Our website, while imperfect, reached a point where I knew it was ready for publication. The process involved countless days and nights of work.



Etsy vs Website: Visibility

The driving factor was product description visibility. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the fees that concerned us most. We offered a novel product—one that didn’t exist before—and I noticed that Etsy’s listing designs or shoppers’ habits often led to 50% of people ignoring our product descriptions. This posed a challenge, especially for items requiring special care, like our innovative micro cutter. To address this, I began sending manuals after each transaction, carefully monitoring new versus returning customers.

The decision to prioritize visibility has paid off, leading to better-informed customers and fewer broken cutters.


Nowadays, customers are familiar with micro cutters and know how to use them. However, during our early days on Etsy, we encountered challenges. Messages poured in, describing issues like clay getting stuck and seeking guidance on proper usage. Within the first month, we faced five broken cutters. But over time, we adapted, learning from our mistakes. We tweaked materials, constantly redesigned, and even issued a product recall. I'm not saying it was solely the customers’ fault; we needed to improve too.

But the real turning point came only when we prioritized information. We embedded detailed descriptions right from the start, and the flood of “broken cutters” and “I can’t use it” complaints decreased by more than 80%. This shift wasn’t coincidental.


Now, let’s talk about our website. Yes, it requires scrolling through substantial information before adding the pen to your cart. Some users find it less intuitive, but there’s a purpose. As you explore, you’ll discover valuable details that save you money and time in the long run.

Contrast this with Etsy: People swiftly add the PAC-PEN Solo to their carts based on the first photo—a pen accompanied by 250 cutters. They often overlook the description and the subsequent images showing the pen alone. Even my warning message about receiving only the pen (not the full set) goes unnoticed.


Is it misleading to showcase the 250 cutters alongside the pen in that initial photo? Not at all. In a world of countless items, I have one second and one photo to convey the tool’s potential. It’s a delicate balance while users scroll through a sea of options.


Etsy vs Website: A Cost Analysis

The second reason for moving to a website was the fee. Nowadays this is the main reason.

Website Costs:

  • Annual Cost: Owning a website typically costs around £200 per year.

  • Inclusions: This fee covers your website domain and a business plan.

  • Payment Flexibility: You can choose to pay annually or even monthly.

Etsy Costs:

  • Monthly Fee: Etsy charges approximately £8 per month, which amounts to £96 per year.

  • Benefits: With this fee, you receive 15 free listings and a promotional discount of around £4-5.

  • Consideration: If you run your business full-time, these benefits may not be significant.

Listing Fees:

  • Website: Listing products on your website is free. This allows you to sell individual items, like we do with individual cutters, without additional costs.

  • Etsy: Listing on Etsy incurs fees. For your approximately 400 products, listing them all would cost around £64.

Sales and Transaction Fees:

  • Etsy:

  • Transaction Fee: 6.5% of the sale price.

  • Payment Processing Fee: 4% + £0.2 per transaction.

  • For £5000 in sales: £325 (transaction fee) + £200 (payment processing fee) + £200 (annual fee) = £725.

  • Website:

  • Payment Options: Your website accepts various payment methods (e.g., card, PayPal, Klarna).

  • Klarna (third-party): Approximately 6.5% of total sales (few transactions).

  • PayPal (primary): 2.9% + £0.3 per transaction.

  • For £5000 in sales: £145 (Klarna) + £300 (PayPal) = £445.

Total Fees:

  • Etsy: £885

  • Website: £445

Conclusion:

  • The difference is approximately £440 per month, which accounts for almost 10% of your sales.

  • Keep in mind that this analysis doesn’t even touch on promotional efforts.

Remember, choosing between Etsy and your own website depends on your long-term goals and business strategy. Each platform has its advantages and trade-offs, so consider what aligns best with your vision!


Etsy Fees Break Down
Etsy Fees Break Down

As previously mentioned, I have additional insights to share. I’m eager to hear if you’d like to delve deeper. Feel free to express your thoughts in the comments. If you’d like further fee breakdowns or a comparison of pros and cons between Etsy and our website, just give me a heads-up. And if you spot any math discrepancies, I’m all ears!


If you find the information shared in my posts useful, a simple ‘like’ would be a wonderful way to acknowledge the time and effort put into creating it.


Take Care & Keep Creating!




8 comments

8 Comments


I really appreciate reading this and look forward to the second part. I have done the math for my shop on Etsy and am working on my standalone website right now which will pay for itself if I can make a couple of sales there per year. I found you on Etsy first, and followed the links to your shop. I have no complaints about your website - you've done a great job. May I ask, does most of your traffic come from your Etsy shop? I am hopeful that this could work for me too.

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Agnes Horvath
Agnes Horvath
May 23, 2023
Replying to

I'm glad if you can find useful information here. These days very few customers come from etsy. But I've been reducing my activity there on purpose since we have the website.

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This is exactly why I try to see if the etsy stores I love have website. From your article, now I’ve learned that I need to stop using PayPal and saving you some more money 😊

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Agnes Horvath
Agnes Horvath
Mar 24, 2023
Replying to

Haha...I was getting angry that "old" email notifications come days later by tech glitch (it happens sometimes). I was sure I got the email about your purchase from few days ago again.😁 Thank you for your addiction! Please, never ever go to anonym groups with it! ❤️

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I have an Etsy shop and a website but don't sell from my website yet. I know it's going to be worth it but I hesitate? I'm a tiny business but the fees fro Etsy are really getting to me. I'd be interested in hearing more from you on this subject. This was very informative even to me in the US. Thanks. Mary Pat

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Agnes Horvath
Agnes Horvath
Mar 22, 2023
Replying to

May I ask why you hesitate? If you are paying for that platform and you put effort already to build it up, the site is ready. Listing your miniatures is a small step compared to the whole. While you can keep your Etsy shop as well, I can't see the risk. Please, don't get me wrong, I don't want to convince you, I'm just curious. I'm not sure about price in the US, but if it's similar than here, you just change '£' to '$', because the value is almost the same anyway. :D

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