Etsy too, Brute?

Etsy is a savior. A savior for the gift-giver who has no idea what to buy. A savior for the online shopper who is missing out on cool, local artists work. A savior for the artist who's never had the wherewithal or the knowledge to open their own shop or site.

Etsy is not, however, the savior of Mighty Distractible.

Let me 'splain.

As you all know, we did the trunk show a couple of weeks ago. And then I blogged about how we were going to put up the rest of the stock on Etsy. But, as I began the foray into the world of setting up an Etsy shop, I learned a very valuable lesson - Etsy is not for every situation.

The brilliance of Etsy is that, if you're going to have an online shop, they do it all for you - and for a very reasonable cost. Fees are like this:
  • Each listing generates a non-refundable "listing fee" of $0.20 per item so, if you list 100 items, your listing fee would be $20. Not bad, except that the listing is only good for 60 days. If you need to re-list the item (it hasn't sold or it's a standard item that you'll always carry) you pay that 20 cents again - every 60 days - for as long as you want the listing active. Also, it's per item so, just like the grocery store check out lane, 30 cans of cat food is 30 items, not one. If you list 10 of the same item under one listing you pay $2.
  • Then, for every sale you make you pay Etsy 3.5% of the total sale price (not including shipping). So, if you sell one item for $25, you give Etsy approximately $0.88.
  • Fees are paid at the end of the month - they don't come out of your individual sale - so you have to stay on top of it and not spend that entire $25 because at the end of the month, Etsy's coming knocking for their $1.08 (listing fee plus sales fee). This can add up pretty fast so it's important to have halfway decent book-keeping skills. 
For these fees, you get a cool, customizable online storefront where you can conveniently sell your wares. For the average bear, the idea of having to build their own website, with a shopping cart, is too much. It costs money to get set up and then you have all the hassle of marketing your store and dealing with issues like your server going  down or your shopping cart not working. Etsy is a savior.

But if, like us, you really just need a place to sell off some inventory, Etsy isn't really the solution. Can you imagine how sad the Mighty Distractible Etsy shop would be once we were down to five skeins of yarn and two or three embroidery kits??

No... a successful Etsy shop needs to be a living, breathing thing. A constantly restocked, lovely to look at, store. Not a fire sale.

So, we have a question for you all. What would you think if we just posted what we have left out here on the blog and did our transactions via email? We could take PayPal and/or credit cards (thanks to Square!) and just work with you individually. Let us know. Comment below and tell us if you think this is a good idea or complete rubbish (that's for you @pinkundine!).  If you all vote that it's a good idea, we'll put photos, quantities and prices up on the site this weekend and then we can get down to business.

Speak up friends! And thanks. :)



  1. Let me tell you...Etsy is a great place to sell stuff, but it is a learning experience. I've made my first sale, now trying to promote my shop and make another. You have to work at it...which is cool, if that's what you want to do. I'm enjoying it so far.
    I think a blog fire sale would be could also destash the yarn on Ravelry. There are a few destashing groups and what not. I've destashed lots of fiber (which would never get out of the fiber closet) that way.

  2. @knitmom-wi - that's a GREAT suggestion. Thanks!

  3. I know blog friends that have etsy shops. I always offer to make a purchase, not necessarily already listed on etsy, via email & paypal to save them the fees involved. I think its a good idea for you to post here. What do you have to lose except your time?

  4. *laughs* It took me a moment to work out what you meant then - I thought you were suggesting that I thought you guys were rubbish! Then I realised that it was a vocabulary thing and laughed a lot ;)

    I second knitmom's comment, destashing on rav and a blog fire sale sound fun!

  5. I think it is a great idea. I do not have paypal or an amazon account. I don't want one. However, sometimes I DO want to buy something from an individual. And I can't. So this would work great for me. This just happened to me this week and I missed out on a really pretty necklace.

  6. @Carol - that's a great point. Nothing to lose but our time, for sure. LOL! Plus, then you all will get to see our awesome finished products. :)

    @pinkundine - LOL! I'm all about the vocab differences. I watch tons of BBC and have picked up a lot. I'd totally turn into Madonna if I ever spent any time in the UK. Within days, I'd have a full-on accent from whatever region I was staying in.

    @Anon - I always wonder what folks without a PayPal account do! LOL! You can't imagine how often I use PayPal - for all sorts of things. Like a friend who owed me money just payed me on PayPal, then I left the money in the PayPal account and used it to buy stuff online until it was gone. Kind of fun having a little secret stash of cash. :)