A Note on Etsy
Etsy is a marketplace started in New York, which primary focus was and is on Handmade items. Many do not realize that Etsy allows its users to sell handmade items, vintage items and supplies for crafting.
The idea of Etsy is to provide viable alternatives to shop locally and sustainably. Buying handmade over mass-produced items is another achievement that Etsy has brought to the marketplace. Vintage items must be at least twenty years old. Commercially manufactured items will generally only be tolerated if they are in the supply category, for use in making your handmade or craft items.
Pros of Etsy
Perhaps the number one pro of this marketplace is that it has been an outlet for crafters and artists to debut their wares to the world. This has paved the way for many people to work at home or develop a home based business.
The second pro would be that it can provide exposure for your handcrafted item. Many sellers are featured in a series by Etsy which are called "Quit Your Day Job" which proves that they have turned a small time craft into a business. Some artists have been picked up by local galleries or had their items debuted in museums. Others have had their items offered in boutiques. Some sellers reported that they were selling more online than in their brick and mortar shops, and closed their real stores to have the luxury of working from home with low overhead costs.
The third pro, would be that it's cheap to use allowing for the start up of a small business to be painless on the budget. Etsy's fees are in comparison, lower than most online storefronts. Currently and since inception, you obtain a store for free. A listing with five photos has since absorption costs twenty cents for four months. Selling fees are inexpensive also, and Etsy has remained on top of the marketplace since inception. Recently they have implemented their own checkout system, so that sellers can avoid using PayPal.
Fourth would be ease of use. It is a very uncomplicated system where the screens for lists prompt you though each step.
Fifth would be finding local items. Selling locally to those who want to shop local is very easy and can connect you with local buyers.
Last, but most importantly would be the Etsy community. Many refer to Etsy as "Pleasantville." Their rules of Etiquette make it a "nice" place to be part of. Like minded sellers can network with others in online forums, obtaining support from the Etsy staff as well as peers. Many sellers report that they have made friends with local crafters in their neighborhoods or worldwide connections that they would have otherwise forfeited.
Cons of Etsy
The cons of using Etsy are more prevalent now than in the past. Due to all the pros, so many sellers have opened up shop on Etsy meaning the marketplace is flooded with items.
Sellers report that it's hard to make their items stand out. A new jewelry seller may be going up against almost four million handmade jewelry listings at any time. Vintage sellers may find that their shop consist of fifty to one hundred items is just a small spurt in the millions of Vintage items that may be listed on Etsy at any time.
Others may open up a shop on Etsy for "fun" and not for business, clearly not realizing the work that goes into running an online store. Selling on Etsy is hard work and should be treated as such.
Solutions and Advice
To be successful on Etsy, you should do your research first. Read all their articles from top sellers and their rules and regulations first to know what to expect. Expect to promote your items outside of Etsy to market your wares. Visit website that give free Etsy advice. Going in with a realistic approach will yield you better results.