First, I just want to make clear that this question isn't meant to be coy or condescending toward Etsy; however, I have a very serious concern about the subject. I continually monitor my shop's sales ranking -- as of today, my shop is ranked 3859 globally and 2482 domestically; it is in the top 1% of shops on Etsy. This is definitely NOT bragging on my part, because my SALES ARE 50% LOWER than this time last year ~ but my ranking is higher. THAT is what has me so concerned, because it tells me that it isn't me or my shop, but all of Etsy. Our fees have skyrocketed and sales have plummeted. This should be just as alarming to the people who work at Etsy headquarters, as it is to those of us who use this venue for our items. I thought the higher fees they were collecting were supposed to go toward advertising, etc that would increase everybody's sales. instead it seems like they've somehow commited suicide and are taking us all down with them. Any thoughts on this? Does anybody know of anything they are doing to combat the decline? Taking our fees to "offset carbon emissions" is not going to bring us sales ~ the majority of buyers couldn't care less.
Agree. It IS what you sell.
I've seen so many beautiful products/vintage items here on Etsy which I never will buy regardless of the price.
Some sellers refuse to keep up with trends, & keep listing, rather than abandoning, items which are no longer in demand.
Who wants X number of the same old, same old items ... stuff that will just collect dust?
Markets do get saturated. I have to remind my husband all the time "we have sold one of those to everyone we are going to have the opportunity to sell to".
I would agree that it is what you sell. Trends come and go. For example: a few years ago we were selling personalized mustache and lip glasses like crazy; now we rarely sell them. My sister only wants to make what she likes to make and then moans when her items don't sell. She doesn't listen to the customers. IMO a big mistake ignoring customer requests or not keeping your shop updated.
No, Etsy is not dying. They are making profit and able to compete in the marketplace. This does not mean they won't have lesser months as most corporations do. It is getting more difficult for small businesses to make profits on and off of Etsy. I feel much of this has to do with changes in web search engines, increased competition and the ever changing consumer. As we all know, economies always effect retail too. There seems to be some growing unrest in this area recently with small business. Change can often be difficult and Etsy seems to be making a lot of them right now. I've experienced a slow and steady growth on Etsy. This year profits are up. But I seem to be putting a lot more time into figuring things out with all the changes. I'm sad to say, I have not come close to accomplishing this yet which has been frustrating.
Etsy sales are up over 20% from last year. Etsy attracted 4 million new and active buyers last year. My 10 year old shop is doing better numbers than ever.
People have been lamenting in the forum that "Etsy is dying" for well over a decade and the site keeps showing better and better numbers.
@ FenderMinerals - Thanks for the explanation. The new forums take more time to navagate and I only look at a couple of sections. We don't get many orders from the UK, but they have been great customers. It's too bad one purchase experience taints the entire website. I've had a few, but it doesn't prevent me from buying on Etsy!
"...Is Etsy dying?..."
Nah, quite the opposite. Ety's revenue from services and sales, are both up substantially - every quarter. This year has started off as my best yet.
The problem you may have is that there so many more sellers, and many more selling items similiar to yours. Look to differentiate.
Also, something I rarely see mentioned hereabouts. Along with the growth in the number of competitors, comes *TOUGHER* competition. Better product, better photos, better prices, better branding, better promotion. It's the nature of the free market. One has to continually "up their game", evolve.
So true! Competition is considerably tougher these days than it was even 2 years ago.
Product photography is rising to new heights all the time because of new technology & photo editing services. Sellers are becoming more social media savvy, sites create opportunities for sellers to sell across multiple platforms from one dashboard, you can employ resellers to carry your products into markets where you wourself don't have penetration, there are more sellers willing to work just as hard for less profit in return, the ability to quickly & cheaply outsource parts of prodction processes makes a better & more cost effective product quite often, buyers comparing products is huge before making purchase decisions & someone somewhere is always offering discounts ......
It is a very different online retail environment today than it was - there have been big changes even since 2018 that affect a shop's competitiveness (and therefore their sales). The growth in selling directly from social media sites & blogs over the past 2 years has dramatically affected sales on market sites. If someone buys a thing on Facebook or other SM site or a blog, then they don't need to visit a shop to make the purchase.
I have 2 resellers who sell my products on social media (which is something I don't do myself). As a result, my sales in my shops here have fallen - but my overall sales for my business are up. Those 2 resellers make more sales on 1 social media account & 1 blog than I do in my own shop - they are in touch with buyers in the places that many buyers use to make online purchases these days.
In my own business, we earn half our annual income from our email lists - there is no shopfront involved at all, just our email inbox. I am not the only seller doing this by any means - which also diminishes the volume of sales made in online shops & marketplaces.
Everything changes. Nothing is lost .... if you can be nimble about your business operations and adapt quickly to world-wide consumer trends.
There are a lot more changes & intense competition on the way over the next year or so too.
@PraiseBead - Kati, you and Deborah are so good about sharing information. I’m trying to learn more about social media marketing, but it is overwhelming at times. Photography is another thing I struggle with and have contacted a photographer to photograph the listings that need updating. One of our suppliers stopped selling a popular item and we either need to find another supplier or discontinue selling the item. Online selling has changed, but if one can adapt to the changes one can still be successful.
I thought the higher fees they were collecting were supposed to go toward advertising, etc that would increase everybody's sales.
The higher fees did go to more ads, and the Google ads in particular were very successful, according to Etsy. (I can see the increase in sales from GPLAs in my jewellery shop, all paid for by Etsy.) See my thread (that others linked to) on the 4th quarter report for more detail & links to the reports.
But Etsy sales increasing over 20% last quarter does not mean that everyone will get 20+% more sales/income. Some will get 50% more and some get 50% less. More traffic does not affect all shops equally. Generally, the ones that are already visible & selling will get the biggest bump.
Also, note that Etsy had reduced the advertising for the beginning of 2019 so they can analyze the holiday stats & decide where they can best spend the money; they do plan on increasing ads later in the year again. They are also reporting "a soft start" to 2019, due to ecomonic factors that other businesses are also reporting. So, Etsy growth will slow a bit this quarter, but they are still projecting 16-20% growth per year for the next 5 years.
I continually monitor my shop's sales ranking -- as of today, my shop is ranked 3859 globally and 2482 domestically; it is in the top 1% of shops on Etsy.
You can stop wasting time on that, because as others have said, those stats are not accurate at all. Not only do they apparently include everyone who ever opened an Etsy shop ever (including ones Etsy closed in the first week for policy violations) but no outside service can get the true sales numbers of any shop from the API, as it doesn't include all of the sales info. Only Etsy & each individual shop can know exactly how many items they sold & how much money they made. E.g. I have many listings in my jewellery shop that have multiple price variations, that people sometimes buy in multiples. So I might sell 10 items at $29 each, but all the API reports is one sale at my lowest priced variation, which might be $14. In that example, I made 10 sales for a total of $290, but the API reports 1 sale of $14. That's a bit of a difference 😉
Etsy's profit is based on what they charge us, not necessarily how the sellers are doing. You can lose sales and sellers, and still appear to be doing well if you are charging high enough fees. Besides, last month they zapped a bunch of money out of people's bank accounts that they should not have ~ that sure would make it easy to look like they were taking in a bunch more, even if they later had to pay it back out.
As others mentioned, marketplace sales were way up in the 4th quarter, which led to the bulk of the increase in Etsy profit. Seller service revenue is only a small part of the total, & it increased less than marketplace revenue in the 4th Q. Etsy did not have the overbilling money very long, and it will honestly be a drop in the bucket compared to the usual corporate income for the quarter, even if they didn't already pay it back.
Taking our fees to "offset carbon emissions" is not going to bring us sales ~ the majority of buyers couldn't care less.
nearly 90% of global consumers say they'll be more loyal to companies that focus on social & environmental issues:
"90% of Etsy buyers of Etsy buyers said that environmental sustainability is important or very important to them."
You have obviously been a very successful shop - congrats! I suggest finding better sources for your info & data, as the stuff you are citing is not reliable, and cannot help you make quality business decisions.
Ecommerce in general is heading into an era of rapid change, and all of us will be affected. Keeping up with those facts will make or break a lot of businesses.
The statistical claims, in Etsy's reports, would be less questionable if they cited sampling sizes, margin of errors, additional demographics, etc in their footnotes.
@hbhill they often do, but not necessarily in the places you are seeing cited. You have to go looking for the full report. For example, the outside study does list most of that at the end, but you can also find more info on it elsewhere.
You want our thoughts, here are mines.
About if Etsy is dying, I think that there is more sellers dying than Etsy. But every seller that disapear is replaced by many new ones. Having a business seams to become a must now. Dying sellers stop business because because their profits are too low or they even have losses. When sales go down, the "financial weight" of shipping and the Promoted Listing fees and any other fees make it look that Etsy fees have sky-rocketed.
Now, about Etsy's financials number, what I see is that there is 41.3M profit on 1.25 billion$ sales. I am right to say that this is 3.3 % profit ?
If so, not sure Warren Buffet would buy those shares now. Because 3.3% is close to zero. A slight problem anywhere could harm a lot those numbers. Even just 10 years ago great american banks disapeared in one day. They all had very nice looking financial numbers. My advice is never rely on a companies number but from great analysts (third party).
My major concern about Etsy's financial numbers is about disclosure. In my familly, we say in french something that look like : the past is guaranteed for the future. About Etsy's "last year" past, I see a lack of transparency, long time before correction of problems, no news about the directions taken, no news about the next improvement lol, so, this means that if one day Etsy goes bankrupcy, we will have no news at all before that day. Same thing if one day they are bought by another company. Just the surprise.
BINGO. Because no matter if they release good reports or not. None of us know the true information. This is way bigger then us small frys. I've seen so many comanies go belly up with good reports. We had the cute" ol grampa" come into our small town. Buy up the factory, which by the way was all women. I sewed Pockets there, Everyone was excited... Yea yea. positive thing? Grandpa was going to save us? In one years time, the factory was savaged, pillaged, the locals laid off, Factory shut down, and the entire town upset. Two factories. It was a famous brand name too Hathaway shirts. I dont know if anyone here has ever heard of it. My doc says grampa is like the little creep in Lord of the rings.
@GemmaxMontreal You are confusing the gross marketplace sales (i.e., sellers' sales) with Etsy's gross profit - 2 different things. Warren Buffet would not make that mistake 😉
Etsy's own profit is quite healthy (over 20% last Q, despite the huge increase in advertising spend done largely as research), which is why the stock continues to rise.
No, Etsy is not dying and it is gaining momentum as we speak. I get dismayed whe people think that their downturn in sales is wholly etsy's fault. Or the change in forums...huh??? To put it as simplistically as i can, "The Slice Of The Pie Gets Smaller For each Seller By The Minute" ...and the expertise of many of these companies grows by leaps and bounds continually. Better photos, pricing, products and outreach and change continually! We need to up our game and keep an eye on the competition instead of saying they are the 'awful others' with crappy products!
Not making light of real problems and morgages, however the other place to look is inward! Innovate and Change individually. Consider how many other ways there are to sell. Wholesale, social media, other places similiar to etsy, supplies that you use to make whatever you do make..
I say when we can buy perishable groceries on line now.... when your potential buyer comes to our sites they may already be road weary...so we better well have their shopping experience with us a knockout, pleasant easy and quick!
Sandi in Central Oregon
I happen to agree with what you said. Saying that however, my sales have completely died. Views also. Do I blame Etsy? Not necessarily, I have to keep up with the times, etc. It is not easy, by any means. I do try, but it is difficult when things change all the time. Again, no blame, just hard to keep up. Someone earlier said you have to listen to your customers and make what they want. The old saying, if I knew what the customers wanted, it is all I would ever make!! The competition is very fierce now, that does not make it Etsy's fault, although it would nice if they threw the sellers a bit of a bone. FP features would be nice or treasury of some sort, maybe make it a bit easier to be found. Someone also mentioned your presence on social media. Yup I am there very day on most of the platforms. Not once have I EVER had anything not even a view come from social media. Everything I get, and it is minimal at best, comes from PL on etsy. So my takeaway from all of this is I MUST keep up, constantly mess with SEO (which I admittedly loathe!) fix pictures and post on social media often. It is a full-time job to do all of that, along with my actual full-time job and trying to create and post new items all the time. A daunting task to be sure. I am always grateful when I read posts like this, that people give advice so freely, and I do appreciate it and take advice that I have read.
Some of our best sellers have come from customers asking if we can make them a custom item. We try to accommodate if we can. I understand if some sellers do not want to make custom orders, yet they can still make a few items with trending colors, etc and list instead of accepting custom orders. I sell at a huge local Christmas event and listen to what customers have to say. I also will update some of our older designs with different fonts or graphics, if the design has gotten stale. I’m also trying to do a better job of figuring who our target market is and catering to this market. This helps in what new items we will create to entice buyers to return to our shop. It is getting harder to sell online, but it can still be rewarding if one can adapt to the changes.
The stock price could be a temporary fix with Wall Street to keep the price high while they attempt to Sell the Company and then they’ll drop it down once the buyer is on board.
Anyone understand what this is referring to Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $41.3 million, with diluted earnings per share of $0.32, THIS PART = ”which benefited from the release of a valuation allowance in our foreign jurisdictions”.
I would usually say that Etsy is doing quite well, but that mysterious credit card "glitch" was massive and published, so I think that is affecting us in some ways. If I hadn't been selling here for 10 years already or was just a buyer, I'd be very leery of doing business on Etsy and giving them my credit card number. Yes, it didn't have anything to do with buyers' credit cards, but a lot of buyers are sellers here and it just doesn't look good.