Closing Etsy store, alternatives?

  • do you have an online store?
    do you still your physical products online?
    I need to pick your brain...

    I am a digital illustrator but I have an Etsy store to sell traditional art and digital prints to generate extra income. I open my store on Etsy almost 2 years ago but haven't sold anything there. Traffic from my social media accounts to my Etsy store is so low while traffic from the community on Etsy itself is almost non existent . I remember reading somewhere that Etsy listings are not googleable. simply put, people can't find my listings. I tried my best with keywords but still not working. Etsy is so saturated with sellers who started years before I did. and to get your listings in front of more people I would have to renew them daily or run ads. Not to mention that Etsy increased its fees on sold items.

    so to be wise about where I invest my time and effort, i decided to close Etsy by the end of this month. I only sell outside of Etsy to people I know online on a personal level, mostly from Facebook groups. So if i want to reach new people that don't know me, what is my best option?

    I created my website on wix. they offer a store feature which I already paid for and can use for a year, but I don't want to put time and effort into something that will be a waste of my time and money again. esp. that i'm not planning on paying for this feature the next year.

    What is the best option for me? (least fees / easy to set up / practical to run/ where new people can find me)
    I don't want the store to be a full-time job.

    do you have to use a business paypal account for it? any advice on how it works?

  • @heidi-ahmad Hi Heidi. I have an online store and sell prints both framed and mounted online. I run my shop through my Squarespace website, which is probably about the same as having it through your Wix site. I have seen people use Shopify and bigcartel but haven't used them myself so not sure on their terms. With Squarespace I pay a fee once a year for the whole site and then a transaction fee to stripe or PayPal.

    Reaching new people who don't know about you yet is what I've found to be the hardest part. Its all about marketing, I don't know of a sales platform that will do that for you. If you find one please tell me!
    I find most of my online sales come from a mix of followers from social media or people who have taken my business cards or leaflets at events like art fairs and markets. I've set up a little 'where did you find us' ticky box in the checkout process so I can keep tabs on it.

    I do have a PayPal business account but I've had it for so long I'm not sure of the difference between the personal and business accounts.

    Hope there's something useful in my ramble, do ask if there's anything..
    Good luck

  • @rachy thank you rachy! you're from the UK...are most of your clients from the same country? are international shipping fees an issue for some clients?

    the big cartel (25 products) and shopify lite would cost me around the same as my current online store feature on wix. what i have on wix now is actually an annual upgragde to a plan that offers a store but it requires a paypal business account as far as i know. I wonder if someone can just add a paypal button next to photos of the product. wonder how complex it can be to set like 30 items like that with paypal buttons and shipping fees.

    i hope someone can tell us more about the business account on paypal pros and cons.

  • SVS OG

    Hi, Heidi,
    I have shops on Zazzle (print on demand). Pros: They handle the orders, credit card processing, product fulfillment, returns and they do some marketing of the Zazzle website. They have a ton of products that can have your art printed on them, including posters and wall art. There is a general marketplace that customers can search, and if you tag your designs appropriately, new customers may find your work. You can promote your work (and others, if you choose) on a blog or website, and earn additional commissions on sales. Cons: There are a ton of designers and designs, and it can be a challenge to be found in the marketplace. Titles, descriptions and tags are important to help you get found. You set your own royalty, but if you set it too high, your products may be way more expensive than average, and may not sell. So quantity of sales is important. In addition, you need to learn to use Zazzle's website and tools - not a huge problem, there is a lot of help on the forums, but you still need to learn for yourself.

    Overall, I love having shops on Zazzle. I don't make a ton of money, but I also don't put a ton of work into it. I design when I get around to it, I don't do any promotion yet I still make sales. The quality of the products is good, from what I have seen. I don't have to deal with customers or credit cards, making products, shipping, etc. For me, the pros totally outweigh the cons, and I know if I put more time and work into it, I could make more money.

    So, there is an alternative to selling your physical products through Etsy 🙂


  • @kat will definitely check it out! it won't sell my traditional art but seems easier to sell prints there since they offer actual products not just posters, and I also won't have to handle shipping and other stuff. thank you Kat! 😃

  • @heidi-ahmad sounds like the issue is not a platform issue, but a marketing issue. You have to tell people you exist otherwise they won't know. I would stick with Etsy b/c they have a built-in platform and built-in audience and the listing fees are cheap. The ads have been worth it to me, but you also have to balance a couple of things...

    1. Who is your audience?
    2. Are you serving them work they want to buy?
    3. Are your prices sustainable?
    4. Is the time and money invested worth your while?

  • @heidi-ahmad Yes most of my clients are in the UK or Europe. I have sold some things to America and Australia, but the postage costs are insane. I've taken the option off my website for the moment as the price has gone up and I haven't got around to changing it yet. I have had a few international enquiries recently and used a PayPal invoice instead of my website.

    You could probably put a PayPal button next to items I suppose, however, it might just be simpler and quicker to use your websites integrated e-commerce or one of the platforms.

  • @Heidi-Ahmad I might be interested in using or similar in the future.

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