- Easy to use
- Large marketplace
- Strong user community
- Limited design tools
- Numerous fees
- Sudden account terminations
Etsy is an online marketplace home to millions of artists and makers. Since its beginning in 2005, Etsy has helped put a spotlight on handmade products, creating a space where customers can find and purchase unique items. Since then, Etsy expanded its curated offerings to include crafting supplies and vintage goods.
The site’s reach has expanded as well.
Etsy currently hosts 1.9 million active sellers on its platform, and there are 31.7 million buyers who regularly shop the marketplace. This wide reach comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately for sellers, there are millions of potential buyers who shop the marketplace, but that also means there is incredible competition for their attention.
In addition, Etsy offers users multiple options for online selling. You can sell on the marketplace with an Etsy shop or sell on your own website using their Pattern website builder tool.
For artists, curators, and creators who are looking for a simple way to sell online, Etsy is a great option. But is it the perfect solution for you?
Keep reading to learn more about Etsy pricing, features, and the pros and cons of the marketplace.
Table of Contents
Pricing for sellers on Etsy is mainly based on fees. Etsy takes a percentage of each transaction you make on their platform. At the same time, there are a few monthly plans that you can choose to subscribe to. Here’s a quick look at Etsy’s pricing model.
Etsy Monthly Plans
Etsy offers sellers two different types of seller plans. The Standard Plan includes all basic selling features, while the Plus Plan includes advanced features and a number of discounts on Etsy services. See what’s included in each plan:
Etsy’s Standard Plan costs $0/month and includes:
- Features for purchasing and printing postage
- Discounted postage rates
- Sales and coupon creation
- Sell on Etsy App
Etsy’s Plus Plan costs $10/month and includes everything in the Standard Plan, plus:
- Advanced customization options
- Banner options
- New layouts for featured listings
- Restock requests for sold out items
- 15 listing credits monthly (the equivalent of $3 in listings)
- $5 USD in Etsy Ads credits monthly
- Free .store domains
- 50% off select domain extensions: .com, .net, and .ca
- Discounts on custom web addresses
- Discounts on custom packaging and promotional materials
Pattern Website (Optional)
Pattern is a tool that you can use to build your own separate online store. With Pattern, you can sell the same products that you list on Etsy, but on your own branded site. All information syncs automatically between your Pattern site and your Etsy shop. You can try Pattern for free for 30 days.
Pattern costs $15/month and includes:
- A secure website
- Syncing between Etsy shop and Pattern site
- Easy to use design tools
Additional fees for Pattern include:
- WHOIS Domain Privacy: $3/year (optional, but recommended)
- Currency conversion fee: 2.5% (only applies if you list items in a different currency than your payment account)
Etsy’s primary method of pricing is through fees. These fees are charged on each transaction. Here are the fees you can anticipate:
- Listing Fee: $0.20 per item you list on Etsy
- Transaction Fee: 5.0% of product price
- Shipping Transaction Fee: 5.0% of shipping costs
- Payment Processing Fee: 3.0% + $0.25 of the total transaction (including shipping costs)
Etsy also charges a few additional fees, such as Etsy Offsite Ads fees, in-person selling fees, currency conversion fees, and listing renewal fees. For a more complete look at Etsy’s fees, read our in-depth article: The Real Cost Of Selling On Etsy: Etsy Fees, Pricing, & Offsite Ads Explained.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Etsy is entirely cloud-based. The marketplace and seller accounts are hosted in the cloud.
Hardware & Software Requirements
You do not need any specific hardware or software to use Etsy. However, Etsy does recommend that you use the most recent versions of Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
Etsy also has an app that sellers can use to manage their accounts. The Sell on Etsy App is compatible with iOS 12.4+ and Android.
Specific Size Of Business
Etsy is designed for independent artists and small teams. If you are looking to grow your business to handle a large volume of sales, it is often better to use a different marketplace or create your own online store.
For a few recommendations, try our article on The Best Etsy Alternatives for Online Sellers.
Ease Of Use
The purpose of Etsy is to streamline the selling process for artists and makers. Etsy is easy to use. It’s simple to add products, manage orders, and monitor your traffic. Etsy’s built-in shipping solution and payment processing remove a few of the complexities of online selling.
In the same way, Etsy’s Pattern websites are also simple to set up. Pattern automatically syncs with your Etsy shop, which means that your listed products import into your Pattern site seamlessly. You can manage both your Etsy shop and your Pattern site from your Etsy Shop Manager.
Ease of use is certainly one of Etsy’s main advantages.
Because Etsy aims to simplify the selling process, their features are fairly basic, especially when you compare them to a complete eCommerce software like Shopify. That said, because Etsy is a marketplace (rather than an eCommerce software), features look a bit different in general. Here are the features you get with an Etsy seller account:
- Dashboard: The dashboard gives you a general overview of your Etsy shop. Track your shop views, visits, orders, revenue, and listings at a glance.
- Products: Etsy lets you sell digital and physical products. Customers can download their digital products immediately after purchase. For physical products, Etsy lets you add multiple photos and product variants. You can also offer personalized products.
- Multi-Channel Selling: You can sell on the Etsy Marketplace and on your own Pattern site. An integration with Square also allows you to sell in person.
- Sell Internationally: Etsy offers a few features for selling globally. You can purchase and print Global Postal Shipping labels from your Shop Manager. Etsy automatically generates customs forms for international shipments. Etsy also automatically translates your shop to your customers’ preferred languages and customers view your prices in their preferred currency.
- Checkout: Customers can complete their purchases with an account or using guest checkout. Fulfill customer orders by purchasing shipping labels directly through Etsy. For sellers in the US and Canada, Etsy offers calculated shipping rates. Sellers outside of the US and Canada have to rely on shipping profiles, which you can create for items with similar shipping costs. Finally, Etsy offers tax calculation features for automatically collecting state sales tax from buyers.
- Inventory Management: Set inventory levels for all your products. You can even set different inventory levels for each of your product variants.
- Marketing: Every shop on Etsy benefits from inclusion in the marketplace. Just by having a store in the Etsy marketplace, Etsy shop owners are able to access a wide audience of potential customers. In addition, Etsy has two marketing options: Etsy Ads and Etsy Offsite Ads. You can choose to enroll in Etsy Ads; for a fee, your products appear in advertisements throughout the Etsy marketplace. Etsy Offsite Ads are ads that appear on Google and other search engines. Although Etsy Offsite Ads are optional for sellers with under $10,000 in annual sales, participating in the program is mandatory for sellers who make over that amount. Offsite Ads come with their own fees (12% – 15% depending on your annual sales). For more information, read our complete breakdown of Etsy fees.
- Blog: Etsy lets you add a blog to your Pattern website.
- Pattern Site: Pattern is a website building tool that Etsy offers to their sellers. When you use a Pattern site, all your Etsy listings import into your new site. In addition, you are allowed to list products on Pattern that do not fall within Etsy’s handmade and vintage guidelines. Pattern also includes marketing tools through Mailchimp and Facebook Pixel advertising. Pattern sites come with tools for SEO, analytics, and social media sharing. An SSL certificate is included with every site.
- SEO Tools: Appear in more searches within the marketplace by adding tags to all your product listings. Sellers who use Pattern also get an automatically generated XML sitemap.
- Reports & Analytics: Etsy’s stats page includes data on visits, orders, conversion rates, and revenue.
Etsy offers a handful of design tools that you can use to customize your Etsy shop and your Pattern site.
Sellers who run an Etsy shop within the marketplace only have a few design options at their disposal. You can add a shop icon, a profile photo, and a cover photo or banner to your shop. Through a partnership with Canva, Etsy makes it easy to create your own custom shop icon or cover photo. You can also rearrange the order in which items appear in your shop.
Sellers who use a Pattern site have a few more options. First, you can choose from 10 available design themes for your website. Then, you can customize your site by easily adding and removing content pages.
Take advantage of an easy-to-use design tool to edit fonts and change backgrounds and button colors. You can also select from three different cart format styles (drop down, slide out, and overlay), and choose to enable a product review option and a search bar option. In addition, you can add images to a photo gallery on your site. Sign up for a free trial of Pattern in order to test out the design tools for yourself.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Etsy offers 24 integrations that you can use to connect your Etsy shop to your email marketing tools, bookkeeping software, and more. A few notable integrations include QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Aweber. You can also connect directly with Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Etsy sellers are required to use one of two online payment processors.
If you live in one of the 36 countries where Etsy Payments is available, you are required to use Etsy’s in-house payment processor. Etsy Payments charges 3.0% + $0.25 per transaction. When you use Etsy Payments, you can accept payments through credit, debit, Etsy Gift card, Etsy Credit, and PayPal transactions. You can also accept some bank transfer services as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
However, if Etsy Payments is not available in your country, you must process online payments through PayPal. PayPal’s processing rates for card-not-present transactions are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
In addition, Etsy has partnered with Square to accept in-person payments. To do so, you need a Square card reader and a device with Square’s point of sale app. For these in-person transactions, you still have to pay Etsy’s listing fee ($0.20 per item), but you are exempt from the 5% Etsy transaction fee. Processing rates for in-person transactions with Square are 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Support for Etsy sellers is mostly available in the form of self-help resources and a community forum. However, sellers can also reach out to Etsy’s support via phone, email, or live chat. In order to access these personalized support options, you have to scroll to the bottom of an article in the Etsy Help Center and click “Contact Support.”
Here are a few available support resources:
- Phone: Phone support is available 7am-10pm EST. Etsy says they respond to phone calls within five minutes.
- Email: Etsy responds to email requests within a day.
- Live Chat: Etsy claims to respond to live chat requests within five minutes.
- In-Software Help: Contact Etsy directly from your store admin panel.
- Help Center: The Etsy Help Center includes articles for both buyers and sellers. These articles include clear instructions, and they are up to date. Unfortunately, there aren’t many screenshots or videos embedded in these articles.
- Community Forum: Etsy hosts a number of active community forums. Ask questions in the forum, and a seasoned Etsy seller can help you find an answer. In addition, there are Etsy Teams. Etsy Teams are groups of sellers who share an interest or goal. Each Etsy Team has its own closed forum.
- Guides: Access Etsy’s Seller handbook to find guides on photography, shipping, marketing, productivity, and more. You can also view the Shipping Help page, which contains guides on various shipping methods.
- Videos: Etsy has a YouTube page, however, it is intended for buyer entertainment. There are not many useful videos for Etsy sellers.
- Blog: Etsy’s blog is called Etsy Journal. This blog is mostly intended for buyers instead of sellers.
- Social Media: Etsy has active accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
When you look up Etsy reviews, you find hundred of reviews left by buyers who have had an unsatisfactory experience with an Etsy shop. These buyer reviews often drown out the reviews left by actual Etsy sellers who have experience with the platform.
Fortunately, after combing through hundreds of reviews, we were able to identify a few areas where Etsy could improve. It’s worth noting that there are far more negative seller reviews than positive. Here are the trends we’ve noticed:
- Suspended & Deactivated Accounts: This is the most common complaint I have seen from Etsy sellers. Etsy reportedly suspends and closes seller accounts often, with little to no warning. Be sure to read all of Etsy’s Terms of Service and the Seller Handbook to make sure your shop fits all of Etsy’s requirements. Hopefully, if you follow Etsy’s guidance, you’ll avoid sudden account termination.
- Lack Of Support From Etsy: Etsy sellers say that Etsy tends to side with buyer in chargebacks and other disputes.
- Lack Of Customer Service: Sellers say customer support is difficult to contact and often unhelpful.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
As I mentioned before, most seller reviews of Etsy are negative. I have only found a handful of positive reviews from sellers. Here’s a look at the advantages they mention:
- Simplicity: Sellers appreciate how Etsy simplifies accepting payments and purchasing shipping labels. For many sellers, Etsy is the simplest way to turn their hobby into a business.
- Large Customer Base: When you sell on Etsy, you gain access to a large customer base. You’ll be able to gain new customers without spending a lot on marketing (although it’s always a good idea to run your own marketing campaigns).
- Low Fees Compared To Alternatives: Some sellers say that Etsy is a more affordable solution than other marketplaces. Specifically, they say that selling on Etsy costs less than running their own online store or selling on eBay.
All sellers on Etsy are protected by Etsy’s security measures. Etsy uses Transport Layer Security technology (TLS) to encrypt credit card information. Credit card information can also be tokenized and stored with credit card processors.
Etsy also offers some optional security features. These include two-factor authentication, and sign in notifications when someone accesses your account from a new browser or device. You can also view your sign in notifications history to see when and where you (or someone else) has signed into your Etsy seller account.
Finally, users who operate a Pattern site get a free SSL certificate for their site.
For some sellers, Etsy is an excellent solution. The Shop Manager is easy to use and all of the technical elements of running an online store are out of your hands. These sellers are happy to produce great products, provide excellent customer service, and let Etsy handle the rest.
However, Etsy isn’t without its flaws. It can be hard for sellers to compete in such a vast marketplace. In addition, Etsy sellers do not have much control over their shops. Etsy can raise fees, implement new fees (like they did with Etsy Offsite Ads), or close your seller account, and there’s little you can do about it. Some sellers resent this lack of control, choosing to operate their own online store elsewhere.
So does Etsy sound like a good solution for your online store? If so, we recommend you head over to our article on The Real Cost Of Selling On Etsy: Etsy Fees, Pricing, & Offsite Ads Explained. Or, if you’re ready to look elsewhere, try our article on The Best Etsy Alternatives for Online Sellers.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.