I quit Etsy. It was friggin' great.
In fact, it was #1 the best decision I ever made for my online business.
And today, I want to talk to you about the seven reasons why I quit Etsy... Because I feel much better now. And you could too. ⬇️
Remember that the reasons I quit Etsy are specific to me. If these reasons don't reflect how YOU feel, *then Etsy is likely the RIGHT place for you*
If my reasons don't apply to you: THEN DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING! 🤦♀️
People have very strong feelings about my leaving Etsy. But I would rather TELL THE TRUTH and be completely transparent about my business...
Then lie 24/7 just to sell a product.
Business EVOLVE over time. If they don't, then they fizzle out and die.
This is REALITY. It's not pretty, it doesn't look the way you want...
And it doesn't exist just to make you (or me) live an easy life all the time.
This is MY business evolution, spilled out all over the floor (IN FULL) for anyone to see.
It was NOT easy for me to do this (and literally NO sentence on this planet can sum up what I actually went thru to get here and start changing things VERY PUBLICALLY).
So please respect the fact that I am a person, not just a blog. I have to do things to sleep at night. And teaching Etsy for the rest of my life (while I make literally HUNDREDS of thousands more doing other things online) just doesn't sit right with me.
You need to know the whole story.
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#1 Reason I Left Etsy: Expenses are shockingly high
When you're selling a physical product, expenses are always going to be high.
And quite frankly, it really sucks to buy inventory in the *hope* that you may or may not sell it...
🚫 Then also pay fees to sell online...
🚫 Pay for tools to market yourself ...
🚫 And for any other thing you may be paying for (AKA that printer that keeps breaking... and a whole slew of other crap that you bought and didn't need, but you had to learn because businesses be hard)...😪
So a lot of this is resolved by selling a digital product.
But some of us don't want to make a digital product (trust me – I fight with fine artists about this on THE DAILY. They outright REFUSE).
Other sellers don't know how to make a digital product. Or they can't turn their item into something digital.
Or MAYBE you're like me and you realize that no product (digital or otherwise) will make you happy selling on Etsy, but we'll get to that in a minute...
So physical product EXPENSES was my first reason.
By comparison, my other NON-Etsy side hustles were making me a lot more money...With MUCH lower expenses...Meaning I got to keep a lot more profit.
Anyone who's worked for minimum wage knows: it's hard to kill yourself working on something NON-STOP just to be handed almost no money. ⬇️
#2 Reason I Left Etsy: Creativity DOES NOT equal doing the same thing over and over (AND OVER) again...
The second reason I waved BUH-BYE to Etsy is because I got really sick of designing a product over and over and over.
One thing you'll discover if you're successful on Etsy (or any e-commerce platform)...
Is that these platforms are so busy (and SO full of products) that you MUST have a huge library of products.
And how do you get a huge library of products? You make a crapload of products.
Which means I was designing (at least) 5x new items every single week.
And while you may be like, "oh that sounds wonderful! WTF is she complaining about??!?"
That designing process actually looked SUPER boring. ⬇️
✅ I made 1 design. (This takes like 1 minute)
✅ I put that design on about a zillion mockups (20+ minutes)
✅ I uploaded it to Etsy and dealt with all their form fields (30 minutes)
✅ I SEO-d it (1 hour +)
✅ I made it a video (1 hour +)
✅ AND THEN I DID IT ALL OVER AGAIN 4 more times.
And quite frankly, while I loved being creative, after about two years, my brain ran out of juice. I just didn't have any more designs in me.
And I couldn't keep repeating that same list of tasks every day. I was DYING of boredom.
AND I was tired. I didn't care about trends anymore. I just wanted a BREAK but if I took one, my Etsy sales would PLUMMET.
What do you do when the thing that's making ALL your income is the exact thing you need MONTHS away from??!?
Reality isn't pretty: Creative people eventually get sick of doing the same exact thing over and over again. Their brains need variety.
#3 Reason I Left Etsy: It wasn't making anywhere near the amount of money my OTHER side hustles do...
I saw no reason to keep running a side business (Etsy) that was making literally a quarter of what my blog was making.
I started on Etsy and moved on to creating a blog. Within a year, that blog was bringing in serious money (about $11,000/mo).
BUT here's the kicker: I was keeping 10 times MORE money from blog sales.
After an Etsy sale ($20-30 item), I'd get $3-5 after Etsy and Print on Demand fees.
Meanwhile, a blog sale for $297 made me $250.
Etsy profit percentage = 16.6%
Blog profit percentage = 84%
You can't argue with those numbers.
With my blog, I was able to actually PAY MYSELF, something I had never figured out how to do on Etsy.
AND I could charge more for a product (so it was easier to make more $$).
Bottom line: Etsy items have to cost a certain price, otherwise you can't be competitive.
You may have noticed that it is nearly impossible to sell expensive items on Etsy. (Can be done, but it's hard. Most people aren't willing to do the work to make it happen).
But it was a lot easier to sell expensive things as a blogger.
So I decided that using my time to make LESS money on Etsy was stupid.
It's a simple equation. Do you want to work less to make more money?
I created a business so that I could have more time for myself and give customers something only I could do for them.
And Etsy had completely destroyed that for me. I was miserable and I was sick of doing the same thing over and over again. Nothing I did was unique or fun.
So I found a way to WORK less (for more money). This allowed me to do more FUN and CREATIVE things for my customers. I actually started to enjoy my workday.
Isn't that why we all started working for ourselves in the first place?
I decided to cut the fat. That was Etsy.
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#4 Reason I Left Etsy: It's the most work of all online businesses that I tried...But it brought in the LEAST money 😳
I explained this one up there in the last point ⬆️ but I want to pull out a really important bit:
No matter how miserable Etsy makes sellers, most of them REFUSE to quit if it's making then SOME money.
It's hard to close a shop that's making money.
When you work a job your whole life... And you're told that the only point of a job is to make money...
It's really hard to suddenly say NO to something that's bringing in money.
In fact, I held onto the Etsy shop for two years longer than I wanted to.
Yup, I've been agonizing over THIS EXACT MOMENT for over two years.
I was afraid to let go of that extra money, even though it was making me miserable.
I was paying myself tiny increments of money to continue being miserable... Which in retrospect, seems weird and stupid, but you know what... no judgment.
I forgive myself for needing time to learn.
We all do weird things for money. It's scary to give up money when it's a challenge to make in the first place.
BUT once I gave up that Etsy shop, and started to focus on where the majority of my money was coming from...
The blog and the rest of my business blew up, far surpassed Etsy basically overnight...
And it made me realize that holding onto something you hate just because it's making you money is actually making you less money.
Makes total sense, because you know what, when you WANT to do something: you put a lot more work into it.
Guess what? Customers can tell.
If you like what you're doing, you're willing to work harder for your customers. THEY NOTICE THAT SHIT.
So it doesn't surprise me at all that giving up the Etsy shop actually made me more money, but holding onto it was a waste of two years.
You live and you learn. 🤷♀️
#5 Reason I Left Etsy: I did the math. And I'd need 100,000 customers PER YEAR to hit my financial goals.
My financial goals are BIG. I want to stretch the limits of what I'm personally capable of.
I fully intend to be a millionaire at 40.
At 36, I'm more than 50% of the way there, and I did it in just two years.
When it came to Etsy, I figured out that I would need 100,000 people to buy my products every single year to hit my financial goals.
Remember that Etsy products only made me $3-5 in profit (18% profit margin).
So while those 100,000 sales would make me 3 MILLION $ per year, I'd only get to keep $540,000 of that.
And I'm not accounting for staff salaries, ads, tools, or promo strategies AT ALL (because at that level, I would need customer service staff, designers, and photographers, PR, an intense ad strategy, you get it...)
So at the end of the day, I'd be making (maybe) $200k per year profit off $3mil in sales!!
That shit is ABYSMAL.
But wait – we're not even talking about the BIGGEST problem here!!!
HOW the actual FUCK do you make 100,000 sales in a year on Etsy??
There are maybe 5 sellers out of MILLIONS who did it this year.
As someone who used to work in Silicon Valley doing SEO, I know exactly how hard it is to get 100,000 people to a website.
I SAW the daily traffic numbers for this silicon valley company. I knew how many people opened their emails and how many people clicked. I knew that it took gobs and GOBS of traffic to make 100,000 sales.
I was like, hey, as a small business, I'm probably not going to be able to beat a Fortune 500 company's numbers...
So maybe I should find something I can charge more for... Because then I won't need 100,000 people to buy.
I'll only need 500 people to buy every year...Which seems *ACTUALLY* doable in real life!!
Bottom line: if you have BIG financial goals, making an 18% profit isn't gonna get you there. You need a HIGH profit margin for serious income.
#6 Reason I Left Etsy: I DREADED every. single. task.
Number six is really specific to me, but a lot of people come to me with this exact same problem.
Basically, the time commitment on Etsy was too much for me, which is FULLY crazy...
Because the time commitment for my Etsy shop was basically an hour a day. (Thank you Print on Demand!)
So no, I'm not some spoiled, crazy human who works like a second a day.
What's true for me is true for anyone: When a one-hour time commitment (which is legit nothing), feels like too much for you, that is a dead giveaway that you don't want to do something.
So the fact that I dreaded just one hour of work per day on Etsy meant that Etsy was wrong for me.
And that was the final wake-up call... There's no clearer sign than this.
#7 Reason I Left Etsy: There's no point in working for yourself unless you enjoy what you're doing.
You don't need to torture yourself to make your business work.
Don't let money stop you from doing what you want to do, because if you do, then there's really no point in working for yourself, is there?
Because if you were just doing it for the money, you could be at ANY job ANYWHERE, and it wouldn't matter.
You can suffer your way through a MUCH easier job than Etsy.
If you're gonna be bored and underpaid, then you might as well work for someone else.
You could just go hate some SIMPLER job you don't have to worry so much about...And it will be easier than working for yourself.
(Hint: you don't need to do all those extra taxes if you work for someone else, so there's that! 🤣)
So if you're going to make this business and go out of your way to set it up, it might as well be something you actually like.
Don't pick a side hustle JUST to chase the money, because chasing the money is basically the same as having a full-time job.
Moral of the story: don't torture yourself.
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