Late last year, I made the decision to leave Etsy and open a Big Cartel store. I loved the idea of building my own website, so after much thought I decided to give it a try. After a month of using Big Cartel, I decided that Etsy was better suited for my needs. It was hard to “admit” that I made a mistake, but it is also worse to keep going down a path that does not seem right. Many shops have had much success with Big Cartel, so this is a very personal decision.
Why did I go back to Esty? For several reasons, but mainly the behind the scenes (back office) work was easier for me. This is very important, because I’m a one woman show. This means when an order is placed, I cut, sew, package and ship that order. So, anything that makes something a little more complicated just doesn’t work for me.
The reasons I love Etsy are plenty, but here are a few:
- Opening a shop has little risk.
- Great behind the scenes order detail.
- Easy to communicate with customers via their conversation system.
- Built in advertising.
- Built in SEO (search engine optimization).
- Easily close your shop with “vacation mode”. Customers can sign up to be notified when you are open again. Great for catching up on orders or even taking a vacation!
- Coupon codes can be used.
- Buyers can read feedback from other buyers. (I think this really helps to build trust).
- A clear understanding that the item being purchased is handmade.
- Many magazines are now looking at Etsy for features. I was contacted by Pregnancy & Newborn magazine while selling nursing covers.
- Newsletters and other great information provided by Etsy to their sellers. Sign up even if you don’t have a seller account.
There are several other on-line venues for selling handmade, so I encourage you to find what works for you.
Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences.