When asked about the difference between the website and the marketplace, I can say that for us, the best decision was making the website. However, it was not an easy journey. I didn’t have any useful background for website making and it shows when you look at our site. It took weeks to do the research finding the right website provider and I'm still not sure if I've chosen the right one.
After that, I spent three months learning and practicing how to build a website. Design and information, both took months to create and collect. The website is far from perfect and it never will be, but there was a point when I knew it was ready to publish. Until that point I spent literally days and nights with work.
The main reason for moving to a website was the visibility of the product description. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the fee that was the main concern.
We sold a product that didn’t exist before and I felt that the description was not visible enough on Etsy. I'm not sure if this is due to the listing designs or people’s shopping habits on Etsy, but I felt like 50% of people ignored the description. This can be problematic, especially when you sell a product that requires special care. For example, a micro cutter which is totally new on the market and if you’ve just bought it, there is no way that you can use it properly. To avoid this, I started sending the manual in messages after every single transaction and monitoring who is the new customer and who is the regular one.
People used to work and used to know the micro cutters now. But back in those days on Etsy, I got tons of messages saying the clay stuck in and how to use it. We had 5 broken cutters in the first month, but now we don’t have 5 in a year. We needed to learn as well and we changed the materials and redesigned constantly. We even did a product recall once, so I'm not saying it was all the customers’ fault. But the information was published in the description from the first second and the ‘broken cutters’ and ‘I can’t use it’ complaints dropped by more than 50% straight away after I started sending the detailed manuals in messages as well. This wasn’t a coincidence.
And now you know why you needed to scroll down on the long website page through a lot of info before you could put the pen in your cart. Sometimes I get feedback which says ‘it’s not easy’ to navigate on the website. Well, it’s because it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you spend more time scrolling and searching, but while you do, there is a big chance you will see info that saves you money and time in the long term. Meanwhile on Etsy, people put the PAC-PEN Solo in the cart because there is a pen and 250 cutters on the first photo. They ignore the description and the other nine photos which show the pen only. They also ignore my message which warns them that they will get a pen only, not a set with 250 cutters.
*If you think it’s misleading advertising to put the 250 cutters with the pen as the first photo, you are wrong. I get one second and one photo to show the potential of this tool while people are scrolling through millions of items.
The second reason for moving to a website was the fee. Nowadays it’s the main reason.
Having a website costs an annual approx. £200.
There is no sales yet, you get website domain, and a business plan. I pay this fee in every three years, but there are more plans and you can pay them every year or maybe even monthly.
Etsy monthly fee is approx. £8 / month = £96 / year.
You get 15 free listing and approx. £4-5 promo discount. If you do this business full time, you won't see these as benefits.
Then you start listing. On the website the listing is free. That is why I can sell the nozzles on the website one by one. On my website I have approx. 400 products. Only listing them would cost £64 on Etsy.
Just to show you the maths, I will use a round number.
Let's say I sell 1000 products / month.
On Etsy I need to relist them, which would cost today (£0.16/listing) = £160.
On my website it is £0. I sell 1000 products (£5/each, in 1000 transactions) / month. My revenue is £5000 / month.
Fees after sales:
Etsy: 6.5% Transaction fee + 4% + £0.2 payment processing fee.
In numbers after £5000 in sales: £325 + £200 + £200 = £725
Website: There are more types of payments, like card, Paypal or Klarna. All three operate with different percentages. Klarna is the highest one, because it's a third party player. I need to pay extra to give this option to my customers, but that's fine. Klarna sales cost approx. 6.5%,from total but there are very few transactions going through on Klarna, max. 6 / month. In my case it's more accurate to count with Paypal as second highest fees with 60% sales going through it. (card payment fees approx. half of Paypal.)
Paypal takes 2.9% + £0.3 per transaction.
In numbers: £145 + £300 = £445
So, if I list 1000 products then sell all for £5000, the fees would be in total:
Etsy - £885
Website - £445
There is a £440 difference per month (almost 10% of the sales), and I didn't even begin to discuss promotion, ads and other cuties. But that will be another story, if you want to hear..and don't forget...I still have an Etsy shop, so there are pros on their side, even if only little.
I found a month from 2021, when sales were almost £5000 on Etsy.
As I mentioned earlier, I have more information to share with you. I’m curious to know if you’re interested in hearing more. Please take a few minutes to let me know your thoughts in the comments. If you’d like me to do more fee breakdowns or provide pros and cons between Etsy and the website, please let me know. I’m also open to hearing your opinion if you think my math is incorrect.