For quite a few years now, I’ve had an Etsy store where I sold my fiber arts products and patterns. I joined because it was a community where independent artists and crafters could post their creations for a nominal fee, and start getting noticed online. In the groups and forums, it was possible to connect with other like-minded individuals and exchange techniques. It was a true haven where it was possible to make a living doing what you loved.
Recently, the world of Etsy has begun to change. It was a very gradual process, but it is now almost impossible to recognize as the community I was once so fond of. Once, the focus was on empowering handcrafters, and enabling them to establish a thriving business from their passions. That’s no longer the focus.
Etsy changed their policies to allow mass-produced goods. This means a large percentage of stores are now not artisans, but manufacturers. This has resulted in a plummet of traffic and sales for smaller businesses, who work their fingers to the bone and pour love into their creations.
There is also a huge push to get sellers to pay extra to advertise their listings, so they will be granted a more prominent place in search results. For those struggling to get their foot in the door with little funding, this can be cost prohibitive, so they are far less likely to be found.
I understand why Etsy has made these changes. They are a business themselves, and they are attempting to increase their profits, especially because they are now publicly traded and have stockholders to please. I can’t fault them for that, but it does make me rethink my affiliation with them.
I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on. Etsy is no longer beneficial to me – at least not enough for me to keep paying them to host my listings. I now receive far more traffic on my personal site in a day than I see on Etsy in a week. It’s been a significant drop in views since the new policies went into play.
You may have noticed a new section in the navigation menu up top – the Shop. From now on, I will be selling my handcrafted items and patterns through this site. (My patterns are also available through Ravelry.) Once my listings on Etsy expire, that will be the end of my long relationship with them. I will not be renewing. It truly feels like the end of an era.
This doesn’t mean I’m boycotting them by any means. There are still many talented individuals on there with fantastic, high-quality work they produce themselves. I’ve had wonderful experiences shopping there, and will continue to do so. I can just no longer justify being an Etsy seller. For me, it’s time to go solo.