Etsy vs Your Own E-Commerce Site for Selling Jewelry

Etsy vs Your Own E-Commerce Site for Selling Jewelry
by Leslie Anger, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Have you considered the best way to sell your handmade jewelry? Etsy is a popular website, but what about your own website? There are pros and cons to both of these selling avenues, and we're here to lay it out for you so you can make the best decision for your bottom line.

Etsy

The Good:
Since Etsy is popular and well-established, this site gives your business instant trust in the eyes of prospective customers. Etsy draws shoppers who are specifically looking for handmade products, so there is already a high volume of traffic. Also, Etsy is in charge of the actual payment process system. This makes your life easier knowing the transactions are secure and you don't have to worry about adhering to a long, and constantly changing, list of protocols for transmitting and keeping records of electronic payment cards. You're given a page with the background web design already done so all you have to do is plug in your information, merchandise and away you go. When you do have questions, Etsy has a built-in resource called community boards full of fellow online sellers who can help answer questions.

The Not so Good:
So while it's convenient to not have to learn web design, or pay someone to do it, having an Etsy shop means you don't have a whole lot of control over the look of your store. You're also required to follow Etsy rules and regulations. If you end up violating policies, you may be subject to administrative repercussions. Make sure to fully read what you're agreeing to. And while Etsy does draw in a large amount of traffic, the competition is heated on a venue dedicated to personal stores. There are still costs to running an Etsy store, so you'll have to weigh the costs of this type of selling platform over how much investing in your own E-commerce site would be.
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Your Own Site

Etsy vs Your Own E-Commerce Site for Selling Jewelry The Good:
While Etsy does instill trust in potential customers, having your own website can seem more professional, as though you aren't a hobbyist, you're an entrepreneur. You have full creative license over layout and design, and over SEO. SEO means "search engine optimization" and it helps your page rank higher on Google and other search tools. Plus, on your own site, there is no unwanted competition lingering in the peripheral vision of potential customers.

The Not so Good:
While it isn't guaranteed, the chance of spending a large chunk of change is high when starting up your own website. Especially when it comes to making sure everything runs efficiently, including shopping carts--which are usually run by a third-party platform that keeps up on evolving regulations for you. And, while you have full creative license, your site needs to load quickly and effectively communicate the point of your website. You need to put in a lot of marketing effort too, so the world can find you. There's competition on Etsy, but in the worldwide web you're in competition with everyone for attention.

So What Should You Do?

You should pick which platform you feel most comfortable with. There are plenty of craftspeople who begin on Etsy and then move to a website of their own after establishing customers. And, there are a lot of people who do well on their own individual site from the get-go. There are also those who do both.

No matter which direction you choose, you need to make sure it fits in your budget and you have enough time to create those beautiful pieces you'll be selling in the first place. Another important thing to keep in mind is you need a brand. Your brand needs to be highly visible and consistent. It's a good idea to not change your picture on an Etsy shop as people may come to recognize the image as much as the store name, furthering your visual branding. Social media marketing is highly recommended for both too, such as a Facebook for customers to interact with you. Lastly, you need excellent photos. If your pictures are blurry, distracting or otherwise unprofessional looking, it will hurt your potential profits. Learn how to take high-quality photos with high-resolution cameras using these helpful resources:
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Other ways to step up your visual product representation are to use models and interesting--not distracting though--displays. Here are a few ideas and tips for attractively displaying jewelry for sale: And remember, the most important part of making jewelry is to have fun!

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