We all know and may have shopped at Etsy some time in their life. I was very intrigued when I came across the platform. Shiny objects, creative work, colorful, everything I wanted to be a part of. It was as if it pushed me to start my own store.
After several months of contemplation, I finally opened a shop on 13th March 2017. I was excite to see what was in store for me and started thinking of ways to expand my horizon with another E-Commerce store on my belt. (For those who don’t know, I also run an eBay store) But my happiness and excitedness was only short lived when Etsy closed my store on 27th March, 2017. This came as a huge shock to me and I reached out to other members in Business communities on facebook to seek help. To my surprise so many people came forward with the same issue – Etsy shut down my store too.
It got me thinking, as to why this happened and why are so many stores being shut down? What did I do wrong?
So here are a few lessons I learnt in my short span as a seller on Etsy –
- Read the terms and conditions very carefully before getting started –
When I started with my store on eBay, I was learning as I was growing. I made mistakes, stumbled upon things but picked myself up and started again. NOT WITH ETSY. Etsy will not give you another chance if you made a mistake. Therefore, if you are a new seller or an old one, keep going back to the Etsy Handbook and brush up your knowledge. Read and re-read because you never know what more information you stumble upon.
- It’s a borrowed platform. Treat it like one –
When starting to sell online, it is essential to begin somewhere and platforms like Etsy, eBay, Amazon etc are a great place to get started. They teach you the basics to E-Commerce, how to interact with customers and handle problems, how to deal with suppliers (if you have one) in case of damaged goods and much more. These platforms also help in driving traffic to your store and help build the initial footfall so you can start selling. But at the end of the day, they are a borrowed platform and you need to treat them like one. Don’t get too comfortable. If these platforms gave you a right to sell, they can revoke it too anytime they want.
- Find alternative platforms –
There are multiple software in the market today, that can automate and handle multiple stores from one location. Instead of relying on one platform, sell on multiple platforms and leverage these software to make selling easy so if one platform gets shut, there are others generating revenue for you. You can also think of selling on your own website in future once you feel you have enough knowledge and want to have complete control.
- Have a back up plan –
We’ve all heard of the quote, “If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet”. Let’s get real for a moment. Sh*t happens. It might not have happened to you but it did with others. Not 1, not 2 but multiple sellers. Therefore, it’s only sensible to learn from their mistakes or mishaps and create a back up plan if the unthinkable happened to you.
- Back Up your Store –
Just like there are software that manage your store, there are software that can back up your existing store and listings as well. Turbo lister (for eBay), Backtsy (for etsy) are to name a few. You can google and research your back up software depending on the platforms you sell on.
In the end, I just want to say that it may or may not happen to you, but it’s always good to have options and back up plans for the “just in case” times.
So, as I promised, here’s an update on my back up plan. I’ve shifted my closed Etsy store to a brand new website. MysticalBerries now has a new address.
Always remember – “Take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off and Start all over again.”