Why You Shouldn’t Use Etsy for Your Online Business

If I told you that there’s a platform out there that will let you make good money with your small business, but once you’ve started on it, they could shut down your account at any time, without a reason or an explanation, would you run your business there?

You’d be a fool to say “yes”.

That platform is in a nutshell, Etsy.

Etsy sucks. There. I said it.

If you’re at all crafty and interested in making money using your crafting skills, you’ve probably heard about how some other crafters and small business owners have used Etsy to make money.

I used to think that Etsy was a viable way to make money selling your valuable products, but after more than one miserable incident, have seen that it’s not a great idea to put all your eggs in the Etsy basket.

Let me rephrase; Don’t even put MOST of your eggs there.

I had heard on the grapevine that some sellers were having issues with Etsy shutting down or suspending their accounts without an explanation.

I used to think that an organization as big as Etsy couldn’t possibly be as ‘lazy’ as some of the accounts that I was reading had claimed.

And then it happened to me.

I set up an Etsy store to sell some products that I currently make. At first, all seemed pretty good. I set up my products, loaded pictures, and descriptions, and I waited.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Etsy for Your Online Business

About a week after setting up the first product on my new Etsy store, I got my first sale (woohoo!). I prepared my product and it was shipped out.

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The following day I got another sale. I was ecstatic.

The next day I signed into my Etsy account, only to find a red ‘box’ letting me know that my “account has been suspended”.

I thought, “this has to be a fucking joke”.

It was no fucking joke.

That was about a week ago. My new Etsy store is STILL suspended. Still without any explanation.

In the meantime, I’ve scoured other Etsy stores for some clue as to why mine might have been suspended. Did I have ‘illegal’ products? Copyright infringement? All of my designs were original, so my research left me more confused than before I started.

NOTHING made any sense.

The suspension notice also says that I should have received an email explaining why the account was suspended, but no such email ever came.

Since the suspension, I’ve emailed Etsy 5 or 6 times, and none of those emails have been responded to.

Not. One.

When I went to reach out to Etsy on Twitter, I saw this;

 

“This inbox is unmonitored”? WHY THE FUCK do you have a Twitter account with an inbox that’s UNMONITORED?? Especially when you don’t have an actual functioning customer service of ANY kind??

But they follow it up with “…but we want to help!”

Like FUCK you do!

So…in a nutshell, Etsy has decided that they’re going to suspend our stores and keep us from making money until they deem it ‘necessary’ to respond.

In addition, Etsy made damn sure that they took their fees before suspending my account.

That said, I don’t recommend putting your small business eggs in any kind of Etsy basket. There are WAY too many other Etsy sellers who have the same issue. I read one case of Etsy suspending an account of a woman who makes bath products, only to reinstate the account 2 weeks later.

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WTF?

On the bright side, I’m thankful that Etsy didn’t fucking wait until I was making a lot more money with a lot more sales before pulling this shit. Can you imagine making hundreds or thousands of dollars a week with an Etsy store, only to have Etsy suspend your account?

I fucking think NOT.

Because Etsy provides no explanation for account suspensions, their practice of suspending accounts can only be seen as completely random.

In a nutshell, DO NOT (I repeat) DO FUCKING NOT rely solely on Etsy for your small business. Period.

On the flip, here are some alternatives to using Etsy for your small business:

Bonanza

Bonanza sells a similar range of products to Amazon and eBay. It charges fees based on the sale price of your item, plus any amount of the shipping cost over $10. So if you sold an item for $20 and shipped it for $13, your fee would be based on a price of $23. Bonanza charges you 3.5% of this price; in our example, you’d pay about 80 cents. There’s a minimum fee of 50 cents per item.

Spreadshirt (t-shirts)

If you’re into creating graphics, selling t-shirts with your designs on them is a great way to make some extra dough. Spreadshirt is a really cool way of distributing those designs.

Amazon

You can sell pretty much anything on Amazon, although selling in some specialized categories requires Amazon approval and an upgraded selling plan. Amazon charges several kinds of fees on items sold, depending on what kind of selling plan you have.

eBay

eBay lets you auction and sell a wide range of goods and has a slightly simpler fee structure than Amazon. For most items, you pay eBay 10% of the final sale price of the item, which includes shipping costs but not taxes. If you post more than 50 items in a month, eBay starts charging you 30 cents per listing over 50, though it may refund the 30 cents if your item sells.

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Peace.

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