In this article, we’ll cover ‘Is Etsy legit and safe?’ plus, is selling on Etsy worth it in 2022? At times, Etsy has had a rough time online. We’ll cover the good, the bad and the ugly of Etsy in 2022.
David Michael, Co-Founder, CEO Tutorial
David is a former freelancer and co-founder of CEO Tutorial. For 10+ years he ran his freelance contracting business, and now he helps others navigate the industry.
Today, one of the most popular marketplaces is Etsy.
So, let’s get right to it.
Is Etsy legit and safe?
The answer is yes.
In some cases, people have grown and sold their online Etsy stores for millions of dollars.
The best way to think of Etsy is as an online shortcut. With minimal work, you can have your Etsy shop set up within a few hours. You won’t get be getting much traffic or sales, but you will have the technicalities sorted.
Essentially, you will have a way for people to find you, plus all the functionality you need to sell your home made products. If you think of the alternatives, like setting up a Shopify store, or fiddling about with Woocommerce, then you can see why a simple Etsy store holds massive appeal.
Some of the main benefits include:
- How professional your store looks
- Managing an online inventory
- Setting up payment options for your users
Is Etsy Legit: A brief history of Etsy
Etsy was founded in 2005.
It has grown almost exponentially since then. It currently has nearly 2.5 million sellers, and nearly 50 million active buyers. So, is Etsy legit? Yes, that sounds fairly legit to us! Here’s what its profile looks like on Google.
Founded by Rob Kalin, Jared Tarbell and Haim Schoppik, Etsy, Inc. made its stock market debut on April 16, 2015. It’s initial pric was set at $16 a share, but this quickly doubled by the end of the first day.
Despite a period of decline, its stock has continued rising and currently sits at $250.00 on 25th October 2021. With the sheer size and scale of the company, ‘is Etsy legit?’ is something of a moot question.
But if that’s the case…
Why do people still ask: is Etsy legit?
The company, payment system and history is all beyond question.
What people need to remember is that Etsy is an online marketplace of sellers, where the quality of products and services on offer varies wildly!
Check out this image from Google search when I typed ‘Is Etsy Legit?’
It’s the second result.
1.9 on Trustpilot is woefully low.
But does that mean that Etsy is not legit?
That means that SOME people will always have bad (terrible) experiences on Etsy purely due to the quality of the seller they buy from.
Think about it, you could have an experience where:
- The payment was flawless
- The invoicing was perfect
- But the product was horrible!
People still ask ‘Is Etsy legit?’ because of these terrible personal experiences. And remember, people will more likely review a bad experience than a good one.
That’s generally why I would recommend that as an Etsy seller, you work extremely hard to build positive reviews.
People need to understand that as a publicly traded company, Etsy is legit. However, some of the sellers may also sell products that are shoddy, poor quality, or overpriced.
Why bad reviews make people ask ‘Is Etsy Legit?’
The worst reviews on Etsy are really, really bad.
However, it should be said, they are often aimed at sellers, not the platform itself.
Here’s one particularly angry example on Trustpilot.
Most of the review is talking about the seller, it’s only the last line that expresses disappointment with Etsy (as an aside, at 3 days late, I’m not sure that’s fair at this point).
In this example (below), the seller is once again in the firing line (I’ve covered their name in case it’s unfair).
And here’s a review that’s the total opposite.
As you can see, these experiences that varied massively.
The only difference?
Which brings us nicely to…
Is selling on Etsy worth it in 2022?
The answer for most people is yes.
If you sell a high-quality product it’s worth it.
If you build up a lot of good reviews, it’s worth it.
Look at the sheer number of sales you can rack up if you do everything well.
If you are looking to make a quick buck, or sell poor products, then it’s not worth it.
Like anything, from blogging to dropshipping, if you do it properly then it’s a legitimate way to earn a great income.
If you’re looking to make money fast, without focusing on the user experience then you’d be better off not bothering.
What does it take to become an Etsy seller?
Technically, very little.
You’ll obviously need a great Etsy store idea. The more unique and creative you can be, the easier you’ll stand out amongst the competition.
You’ll also need a creative name for your Etsy shop. Ideally, the more memorable this is, the better.
The platform does most of the rest for you.
Is selling on Etsy worth it in 2022: The main pros
1. It’s so quick and easy to set up.
This alone almost makes it worth it, plus you’ll avoid website fees, design costs and all the plugins you’d need to pay for to set up a payment system (like stripe).
It’s also incredibly easy to update your listing and manage your store.
2. It has a trusted audience
It seems strange to say, given that we spent part of this article asking: Is Etsy Legit?
However, its trusted audience is not to be underestimated.
There are nearly 50 million Etsy buyers. This means that people generally trust the Etsy brand and are happy to enter their credit card, or paypal details into the platform.
If you were a standalone store called joebloggs.com and nobody had ever heard of you, this would be very, very different.
For example, you’re reading a page of this website and I am a trusted seller. But would you enter your credit card details? It would be a struggle.
3. You can test the market
Etsy is a brilliant way of testing your product before you design and build your own website and start worrying about developers, or domain costs.
However, I would absolutely recommend that if you do achieve Etsy success, you should invest in your own website.
That’s because it’s a massive risk to build an empire on someone else’s platform. One algorithm change and your traffic can disappear overnight.
If you manage to build an organic base on Google it’s a little different. You own a place on the web and nobody can take that away from you.
Is selling on Etsy worth it in 2022: the main cons
There are thousands of people asking: is selling on Etsy worth it in 2022?
For some the answer is no.
In my opinion it comes down to ‘building an empire on someone else’s platform’.
1. You have limited branding
Your Etsy store is still… Etsy.
That’s not to say that the platform doesn’t help you out wherever possible. Check out the buying signals on this Etsy Store:
As you can see from the image, Etsy does its very best to increase trust (after all, sales are in the platform’s interests).
In this example, they highlight several trust signals, including:
- Stars (5 star rating)
- Headline (‘Buyers are raving, this shop got multiple 5-star reviews in the past 7 days)
No matter how much the platform helps, you haven’t got the freedom to do whatever you like. Ultimately, Etsy chooses where your logo is, where your banner is, and what other options you have for customization.
Unlike a website, you can’t put fonts, colours, tables, pictures, headlines and products wherever you want.
You have a fairly flexible template, but it’s still a template. And it’s not always a template that you’d choose.
2. You have limited email growth
Renowned marketer Neil Patel puts it best when he says:
Put simply, if you don’t capture people when they come to have a look at your Etsy shop, they disapear… forever.
That’s right, there’s a good chance you’ll never see them again. No chance to tell them:
- There is a special discount on the item they were looking at
- You’ve improved the product with new materials
- You’ve got a similar product they can buy now
They are gone.
That’s why building a subscriber list is crucial.
If you’ve interacted with this website for any amount of time, there’s a chance that I’ve tried to turn you into a subscriber!
You might have seen a subscriber box that you cannot miss.
Or a pop up when you’ve read 10% of the page.
Or another pop up when you’ve tried to exit.
That’s the flexibility of a website over a templated online store. Yes, you can grab subscribers on Etsy, but on the terms of the platform, not yours.
3. Your audience come for Etsy, not you
I hate to break it to you, but there’s a good chance that your audience is looking at your products because they love Etsy.
They might just want a handmade photo frame and will buy one from whoever they find first.
It’s hard to gain that feeling of real loyalty when users are just one click away from that next:
- Handmade table
- Birdcage lamp
- Personalized story book
- Gemstone earrings
The problem with Etsy having EVERYTHING is that your audience will likely feel a bit of an ‘easy come, easy go’ mentality.
This is why reviews, product creativity and customer service are vital, because they can help you jump off the page.
4. The competition is crazy
We’ve covered this above, so I won’t labour it.
The point is that within a few clicks, users can find something almost identical to your product.
That’s a tough situation to build a stand-out brand in.
To sell on Etsy in 2022, what do you need to know?
Here are the technical things you need to know as an Etsy seller in 2022.
1. How can users buy from you?
Etsy users can use Etsy Payments, which is extremely safe and secure.
Etsy keeps all the records for every transaction. It does not pass on any of this information to sellers. As a seller this is ideal, as it avoids liabilities, since you will never see credit or debit card numbers.
As a seller, you’ll only receive shipping details (which you’ll need) as well as buyer messages which are essential for the transaction.
2. How flexible are the payment options on Etsy?
As an Etsy seller, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options available for every buyer. there are basically no obstacles to sale.
The Etsy website says:
Etsy Payments users can pay with and accept payment by credit card, debit card, Etsy Gift Card, Etsy Credit, Etsy Coupon, some bank transfer services, PayPal (where available), Apple Pay, Google Pay, and some country-specific instalment payment methods – all in their domestic Etsy Payments currencies.
In terms of flexibility, Etsy goes even further by allowing buyers to purchase different items from sellers, as part of the same transaction!
Is Etsy Legit? And is selling on Etsy worth it? A conclusion
I would say yes to both questions.
Etsy is legit.
Selling on Etsy can be worth it.
However, you should be aware of a few things:
- Come up with a brilliant set of products
- Brainstorm a great brand name
- Personalize your store wherever possible
- Build a website as soon as you know it works
- Excel in customer service
There are thousands of Etsy success stories – and you can become one of them.
By all means, build a solid customer base. My recommendation would be to transfer them to your own platform slowly and surely, so one day you don’t have to rely on Etsy at all.
What do you think as buyers and sellers? Is Etsy legit in your eyes? Is selling on Etsy still worth it in 2022?