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Old 07-22-2013, 01:30 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Default Etsy vs.Independent Website

So, I'm wanting to start selling harnesses and leashes that I make. I was going to make a fancy-ass website but it tuned out I have no patience for it. I CAN do it, and I do like web design, but I have so much other stuff to do I haven't found the time.

Today, as I was making tester leashes, I thought about Etsy. I was thinking I could put ready-to-ship items up, but also custom ordered things and add-ons and stuff. AND, this would allow me to limit the orders to a given number at any given time, where an independent website wouldn't...I really don't want to get a massive order for 20 harnesses all at once

So, for those of you who use or have used one or the other or both, what are the pros/cons? Anything to be aware of?

For those of you who buy stuffs, do you prefer Etsy or individual websites? Do you tend to check Etsy first when you want something, or only after you can't find it elsewhere?

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Old 07-22-2013, 02:15 AM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Etsy makes finding things very easy but I think they take fines?

I like etsy.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:31 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Etsy makes finding things very easy but I think they take fines?

They do have fees, but if I remember right they're not too bad. I did have some stuff listed on Etsy a few years back, but nothing ever sold (everything I did sell was sold locally). Harnesses would not be the $8-$20ish each that my first set has gone for, I would actually intend to make a little bit of profit off of them, so I'd be okay with a small fee for listing/selling if it makes it easier - so long as they still sell. Leashes are dirt cheap to make and take no time at all, so I'm hoping a LOT of people are in the market for euro leashes lol.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:10 AM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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I prefer etsy myself I hardly buy stuff from independent websites.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:49 AM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I like etsy, unless I know the independent buyer or they have a lot of good reviews from people I know. I feel like between etsy and PayPal there's a saftey net.... You know... Just in case

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Old 07-22-2013, 09:51 AM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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I like Etsy and it's a pre-packaged audience for you. A lot of people like to shop it so if I was just starting out I'd probably start there. They do take a cut and like anywhere else, I've heard good and bad things about them on the rumor mill.

You're probably also already aware that there are bajillions of other people selling stuff like dog harness and leashes (I just went there and did a search for dog harnesses and 128 pages came up) and so you'll have to find a way to stand out. Not that you wouldn't have the same issue with an independent website. I know that many people have both an Etsy shop AND an independent web site, or started on Etsy and then grew into their own website.

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Old 07-22-2013, 09:55 AM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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I def shop etsy first for things like you describe, so I'd prob start with an etsy shop over a regular website.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:20 AM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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I don't even know what etsy is
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:27 AM
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Airn Airn is offline
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I'd have a place on Etsy, since it's a very popular site. But I'd also have a page on Facebook. I've 'Liked' a lot of dog centered pages because my friends have. I never would have noticed these companies other-wise. I think using social media to your advantage is a huge plus for your business.

And like others have said, you have to set yourself apart. You can make a Facebook page a bit more personalized. Not to mention you can respond (easily) to people's questions and concerns. I always look for a Facebook page first. They usually have more (direct and up to date) information and honest reviews. Plus PICTURES
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:29 AM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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In both situations you have to deal with being found. If we start with the broad strokes of Google, Yahoo, Bing, et cetera - IMO it's probably going to be far easier to get yourself found within the confines of Etsy - and if you set your store up wisely, taking advantage of Etsy's SEO along with your own - as opposed to setting up a store by itself and hoping you get moved into the top ranks of Google on your own SEO practices.

Of course getting found on Etsy itself can be tough. You need really great photos to even get people to click on your item, and it needs to be evident from those photos why people should buy your harness versus another one, which can be tricky.

Etsy has both listing fees (20 cents per item) and takes a chunk of your final sale price, and of course most people pay through Paypal and that will take a chunk as well. On the other hand, if you get a cart for your website, that will almost definitely have fees associated as well... I'm still trying to get this hammered down for my tags... I'd like to have people able to buy from a website but the process of getting a cart sorted out isn't working out too well.

I do think there's a lot to be said too for the credibility of Etsy as a store versus "here's a random website I just found so let me fork over money!" I agree on the idea of selling on Etsy for now and then in the future possibly spreading to your own website. My idea was to sell ready made items on Etsy (hitting up casual buyers and people who came directly to/from my website), but have people come to my site for custom items - but I think it may all end up on Etsy. I haven't sold a "custom item" with Etsy's new custom item system so I'm not sure how it works but I believe they've made it pretty advanced?

I would say make a basic website you can have attached to your store where you can go into more detail of things, a gallery of stuff you've sold, et cetera... just a further informational site. And then link back to Etsy for people to buy things.

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