Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy

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etsyEtsy has become a popular place for suppliers and crafters to sell their products, as well as shoppers to buy.

If you’re thinking about selling on Etsy, you may have a few questions, and I think it’s actually smart to do your research before you decide if you’re going to sell your crafts and/or extra supplies on Etsy.

The biggest problem to selling on Etsy is the fees, but Etsy has the consumer base and brand that people have grown to love and trust. You’ll just need to make the decision as to whether or not Etsy will benefit your hobby.

Cons of selling on Etsy

Large Niche
Bead crafts can be considered a large niche, you it can be hard for the little people to stand out in a crowd of other sellers that are either large or maintain longstanding stores.


  • dollar signIt’s $0.20 to list each item, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re offering low priced goods, such as extra beads or findings that you don’t think you’ll use, you’re automatically losing $0.20 profit.
  • There is a 3.5% selling fee for the product (before the shipping fees and any taxes that you may charge are applied to the total). Again, if you’re going to sell a low price item, you’re losing $0.20 plus the 3.5%.
  • If you use the direct checkout, you get charged 3% + $0.25 per transaction for US purchases that are paid via credit card. Basically, stick with offering PayPal checkout and eliminate direct checkout if you can.
  • If you opt to use PayPal checkout, you’re going to lose a 2.9% fee on the total sale amount plus a $0.30 per transaction. This is a PayPal fee, not an Etsy fee.

So, if you’re selling an item for $1.00 with $3.00 shipping. $4.00 is paid via PayPal or via Etsy’s direct checkout, but you only get a portion of that.

  • PayPal Fees: $4.00*2.9%=0.116; $4.00-0.116-0.30=$3.58
  • Etsy direct checkout fees: $4.00*3%=0.12; $4.00-0.12-.25=$3.63

Now, back to the actual Etsy fees that you will pay on a monthly bill; 3.5% is charged to the $1.00 product and the $0.20 listing fee.

  • Received payment via PayPal: $3.58-$3.00(shipping label) = $0.58-$0.258(Etsy fees) = $0.322 profit.
  • Received payment via Etsy direct checkout: $3.63-$3.00(shipping label) = $0.63-$0.258 = $0.372 profit.

This profit is actually before you take into account any money you spent when you bought the product.

Pros of Selling on Etsy

selling on etsyPeople come to Etsy looking to buy.

Consumers know that Etsy is a great place to buy handmade and vintage products, as well as low-priced supplies, so you already have the customer base.

It’s easy to use.

The overall template to posting new items for sale is simple and easy.

The community is great.

You can find discussion boards and teams of people with related interests and craft style as you have. This can help you gain ideas and publicity for your Etsy store. You can post links to your newly posted items and old items within the teams that you’re affiliated with.

Long listing times.

Unlike Ebay, Etsy has a 4 month listing time frame. This means your items are available for customers for 4 months, but if they do not sell, you can renew the item for another 4 months.

No membership fees.

Etsy doesn’t charge a monthly or annual membership fee.