Facebook and Etsy are the worst places to sell online

March 1, 2021

Show Notes

Most people think…. Facebook and Etsy are a great place to sell products online but that might be the worst advice on the internet. Especially for online store owners who want to grow their business.

But I get it. Everyone says that you can sell on Facebook and Etsy already gets a ton of traffic, So it’s easy to believe.

Not everyone who sells here makes money

But let me ask you. But if that were true then everyone who sold their products on Facebook and Etsy would have super successful businesses. And we all know that’s not the case. In fact, if you keep holding this belief you could actually stunt your growth and miss out on better opportunities.

You can’t track user data or deepen the customer experience

But you know how you can actually get consistent sales and grow your online store?  You build a store on Shopify, find out exactly who your target audience is, start creating content that your audience will enjoy, drive traffic to your website, then start online advertising and optimizing the traffic to your site with repeat customers. 

So let me ask you. Do you really want to keep thinking Facebook and Etsy are some kind of eCommerce unicorn and risk building a store that is sustainable for long-term growth  or do you want to build a store that gives your brand the ability to become the impactful store owner and achieve your sales success? 

If so then you need to check out our Ecomm Accelerator Process, a proven system to help frustrated store owners become the impactful store owner and generate consistent sales in their store. Schedule a free strategy session here: https://sales.bitbranding.co/

Connect with us

Our Company Website

BitBranding on Facebook

BitBranding on Instagram


Facebook and Etsy Are the Worst Places to Sell Online.mp4

Christian [00:00:00] Most people think that Facebook and Etsy are great places to sell online, but that might be the worst advice on the Internet.

Narrator [00:00:09] This is the Marketing Natives providing actionable ways to grow, improve and succeed in your business and now your hosts, Christian and Aaron.

Christian [00:00:25] Most people think that Facebook and Etsy are great places to sell online, but that might be the worst advice on the Internet, especially for business owners who actually want to grow their business online. On this episode, we're going to give you a few hints and a few things about growing a business on Facebook and Etsy and how that's really not the best way. We're going to talk about how everyone who's on that platform does not necessarily make any money and we're going to talk about that deeper customer experience that you could have by this other method that we're going to teach you.

Aaron [00:00:55] OK, so whenever you're buying something online, when you go to let's just separate the two right now. So think of Facebook as one and Etsy as another one. Obviously, they're two different entities. But like, if you're going to go buy something on Etsy, what's the first couple of things that comes to mind for you?

Christian [00:01:14] Like DIY: personalized items.

Aaron [00:01:17] Right, like super crafty or I also think of really long wait times or shipping times. At least that's my experience with a couple of products I purchased.

Christian [00:01:31] No, I mean, I bought digital stuff too.

Aaron [00:01:34] Digital?

Christian [00:01:36] Yeah. So it's like I bought a planner there before where they had their PSD, PDF and JPEG format of the pages.

Christian [00:01:45] So you just purchase a digital download and then you can just print off. So personalized in that way too where you're not going to find a planner that has those exact same pages that you wanted or I guess this was more of a full on. You get like two or three hundred different pages and you build your own planner.

Christian [00:02:07] So I think personalized in that way is also in the fact that either monogrammed stuff that has your name or handmade stuff, I guess that would be another thing, which I mean, I think Amazon also has like a handmade section now, too.

Christian [00:02:24] It's kind of interesting.

Aaron [00:02:26] Yeah, they definitely have. Well and Facebook, I'm sure, will have something like that, too, because Facebook has its own selling. But, so I'm just curious because the topic that we're talking about today is Facebook and Etsy, but more so why they're the worst places for you to sell your products online. I don't think that it's like, you know, you purchase something from there, I have too and we're talking to those online store owners. I don't think it's like a bad place to get a start, but it's not a good place to sustainably grow. So if you're maybe looking for a couple of sales per month, not that you can't grow a business, but I think there's key components that are missing from Facebook and from Etsy that really add towards like your brand and like building something that's bigger than, you know, just something that people perceive as like out of their house or whatever else.

Christian [00:03:15] Okay. So selling on those platforms is bad. What do you think makes it good or what are people to gravitate towards that?

Aaron [00:03:20] They gravitate towards Etsy? Because I mean, Facebook and Etsy are super easy. Facebook, you probably already have a Facebook profile and Etsy, it's just like they have probably done I think they're a billion dollar company at this point. So they've spent a lot of money on marketing and advertising to just say, hey, start your business and they already have everything. They already have all the traffic, which is awesome, which is the great thing that they have traffic. Facebook has the traffic and Etsy has the traffic, so it's just the lowest barrier of entry. And when it is the lowest barrier of entry, that just means that there's also probably a lot of competition, but something that hopefully we will continue to harp on if you listen to the podcast and watch any of our content as that it's not going to become more and more expensive to get those customers, but taking that relationship to a different level, to a deeper level is what's going to help you stick around for a long time, because the cost to acquire customers a long term is  going to cost more, but it's just going to get more competition. E-commerce, selling online, creating your own online store is only going to get harder. So you may be the only person on Etsy right now, like Christian said, who did like a digital download of a journal. But in the next two or three years, maybe there's 20, 30, 40, 50 of them and so your pie gets a little bit smaller.

Christian [00:04:43] So basically what we're saying is that not everyone, just because you join that platform doesn't mean that you're going to get that traffic either. I guess having those stores on Facebook and Etsy could potentially give you that traffic. But that's not necessarily the case for everyone.

Aaron [00:05:00] Yeah, not everybody who creates a store is actually making money. They may have a store and it's up and they've just built it. But the lower barrier entry I think also just says since it was so easy, I don't need to put in the work that I don't need to put in the time. And so, I just have a store up and they don't really put in the time to make it successful online.

Christian [00:05:19] Versus?

Aaron [00:05:20] Well put in like, so, imagine we've built websites before. Obviously we do that for online store owners. But I mean, the customers have come to us with an online store. I mean, it takes effort. It takes a little bit more capital. It takes real thinking because you have to go through the process to create your store. You aren't just creating product descriptions. You're actually going through a complete process. You have to go through figuring out more things that are a little bit more in depth, like the back end of your site, like inventory and taxes and whatever else. Whereas Facebook and Etsy, you know, you fill out this thing one time and it just pretty much takes care of itself. You don't really have to worry about it. It's just, you know, again, it's a barrier of entry, you just get into it.

Christian [00:06:05] So convince me that I shouldn't use them.

Christian [00:06:07] OK. I was going to say.

Aaron [00:06:08] Because the way they said it makes me think like no, I want to do a Facebook and Etsy. It's just super easy to create. I don't have to do a lot of work and they give me traffic if I do at least something.

Aaron [00:06:21] Yeah, but think about it this way, I guess, is that if everybody on Etsy and Facebook were not super successful, actually most of them out there, one percent is like ninety nine percent of them aren't getting the traffic. They don't know what it is to stand out. They've probably started something and given up pretty easily or if they have something sustainable, if Etsy went away or Facebook went away, so does their business. So they don't actually own anything. They're sitting on rented space. So it's, you know, the example of going to the store and just renting your TV. You know, eventually if you don't make the payment, they'll take your TV back and you just paid all that money. So you're on rented space with Facebook and Etsy and it's not that we dislike them, it's just that, I don't think it's a long term business play because as costs for acquiring customers go up, as your competition goes up, as new things come to market, maybe there's somebody who's an Etsy killer. Maybe there's something that's a Facebook killer and your business would go away if those things aren't in place. So how can you pull everything into one spot that you own the information, you own your data, and you can nurture the relationships with your customers?

Christian [00:07:34] But I guess, you know, if you go with the website, I mean, you sort to rely on Facebook and other social platforms for traffic, right?

Aaron [00:07:45] You don't have to. I mean, we could probably do a whole another episode about relying on, like, you do need traffic to your store. So, yes, absolutely. Whether it's blogging, whether it's Facebook, whether it's Instagram, yes socials is going to be the fastest way for you to grow. I mean, drive traffic. But the good thing about that is that you control the experience that they can have. So if you post an amazing piece of content or amazing video and you showcase your products and then you decide to use something like Facebook or Instagram ads and you send them to your site, then you can still cater that experience. So you know what kind of pages that they're looking at. You can track that information. And most importantly, you can now collect their email address and start to nurture them through emails and eventually move into more advanced things like messenger or text messaging and it just deepens that experience that person has with them. So I don't think that it's a bad thing, but what I do think is that it's not a solution that's long term. So, like I said, if you talk to anybody who's on Facebook or on Etsy starting their business, I would say that most of them, that's kind of like they're where they start. We have a client of ours who started on Etsy. I think she was doing like four or five thousand dollars per month and was like, wow, there's something here. So she built a shopify store, and then got it to like eight thousand because she was able to collect things like email addresses and traffic. But then it was no longer sustainable for her to do both of them and she ultimately scaled by creating her own Shopify store. But I think it was a good spot to just kind of get proof of concept. You know, if somebody buys your product, then you know there's somebody out there who needs it versus wasting time. So maybe it's a great spot to start with. I don't feel like it's a great spot to stay with long term. Maybe it's a proof of concept. You start there, but it's not going to be something that deepens the experience. It's not going to be something that everybody even makes money off of.

Christian [00:09:42] Yeah, I mean yeah, I completely agree.

Christian [00:09:47] And like you said, I think that Facebook and Etsy might give you some tools to mitigate some of the things that we're talking about as far as owning your own website and, you know, potentially building it on Shopify.

Christian [00:09:59] But what we're saying is that if you're thinking about long term solution to sell products online, then it has to be more than just opening a Facebook shop or opening an Etsy shop where you don't have full access, full control of A through Z of your product or the customer experience of the data that's being collected.

Christian [00:10:24] The percentages, right? I don't know exactly how the percentages from Etsy, Facebook and shop if I compare.

Christian [00:10:31] But that's also something to take into consideration Shopify might be more.

Christian [00:10:35] But again, you're paying for that, for your customers to have that premium unique experience, by going and doing something that, I guess, you need for you and for your business.

Aaron [00:10:48] I think I want to look it up real quick, but I was thinking like, what percentage does Etsy like charge? I want to say that it's actually quite a significant number. It's five percent of every transaction. So for Shopify or something like that, you may pay twenty nine dollars per month and then you got your processing fee or something. But eventually, once you hit a certain number of sales, the five percent is definitely going to outweigh the Shopify.

Christian [00:11:14] So does she have a monthly cost?

Aaron [00:11:16] I don't know. I'm sure that there were fees. You'll be charged a listing fee of 20 cents for each item that you list on sale and then five percent of all the sales. So it's like, if you have two products you're going to pay 40 cents. But then, you know, and that was based off the legals and whatever. So that's part of it.

Aaron [00:11:41] I didn't know they charge you for a listing fee, but I guess for those who are listening to the podcast, we're geared more towards the businesses and brands and store owners who want to take that business to the next level. I think that we want to differentiate those who are making a couple of thousand dollars a month as a side hustle and want to take it full time and treat it like a business and grow like a business versus those who are happy and there's nothing wrong with that, of just selling through Etsy and through Facebook and like to put in a little bit of time for it. And just, you know, they're happy creating a couple of things and making a couple thousand dollars per month. There's absolutely a market for those people. But I think that the strategies, tips and tactics that we're talking about are for people who want to get to those five, ten, fifteen plus thousand dollars a month and build something that's much bigger than themselves. So that's really, I think, want to differentiate. There's two camps here. One is not right or better than the other. It's just where we want to help cater those people, those brands who want to take their online store to that next level in it. It's much more feasible and scalable, free to move to something else like Shopify. I think if you look at the brands who are bigger or those you kind of look up to, they're not really on Facebook. I mean, they're on Facebook, obviously, but they're not selling solely on Facebook. They're not just on Etsy. They typically have a Shopify store or a big e-commerce or something similar because it's more credible. I think at that point you kind of look at it as, oh, wow, they're taking that next step. They're taking the next level and there's just a perception of credibility that goes with that.

Christian [00:13:20] Yeah and obviously, like, you know, if you fit that mold and that specific very niche audience that Aaron was talking about, then you definitely need to check that sales accelerator process, which might change to E-commerce.

Aaron [00:13:34] Yeah. A.K.A. eComm accelerator process.

Aaron [00:13:37] I just did a video. So let's say eComm accelerator Pro. Christian just created a great new logo and branding for that. So we will say eComm accelerator for the first time here.

Christian [00:13:45] Yeah. So just to clarify, initially sales was more geared towards, you know, you're making a sale online, but then it could be misconstrued as maybe we're training people to be salesperson or sales people.

Aaron [00:14:00] Yes, we're not business salespeople.

Christian [00:14:01] So we kind of move more into the eComm.

Christian [00:14:05] So it's more apparent that what we're doing is e-commerce type transactions and that's what the e-commerce accelerator process is all about, is basically a full on process from A to Z to help those frustrated store owners and those people who are in those growing pains of OK, maybe I've outgrown Facebook and Etsy, and I'm ready to move on to make this business something better and bigger, then that's what this will be exactly for you and for you to become a more impactful store owner that has an actual store, that has a unique branding, that has a unique message to to tell.

Christian [00:14:47] The eComm accelerator process just basically, again, like I said, A through Z, it's going to generate you consistent sales in your own unique store. I mean, yeah, Shopify is what we use.

Aaron [00:15:02] Right.

Christian [00:15:02] So definitely Shopify is where, you know, our target audience is going to be at.

Aaron [00:15:08] Yeah, I truly believe that Shopify still is kind of the number one place for people who are building apps and people who are constantly making updates for those brands. But we actually just recorded a video for our clients and for all those who are on board and there will be a training eventually as well. So, as Christian said, if you're interested in that, in our system, in that process and you want to find out more, you can go to sales.bitbranding.co and you can check it out in the show notes as well. We'll put a link there and then hopefully have some new links as well. But as we get into that training, you can also, if you're interested in the train, when it first releases, you can go to Instagram at that branding and shoot as a message. But it's going to be the five things, the five areas of your business that need to be in the right position and how they can be in the right position to grow online. So everything from live selling to your email or to your website conversion rate, Facebook and Instagram ads, et cetera. So we go through five main areas of your business to grow online.

Aaron [00:16:09] But I think this is where, obviously this is new for us as far as these types of transition to the e-comm accelerator and this type of training. Like I said, it's going to be a new training. So we're super curious on you guys, so feedback for that. So if you want to be one of the first ones, you can go to Instagram and shoot us a message @BitBranding and we will get that over to you, because by the time this releases in two to three weeks from right now, that training will be available for you guys. All right. So if you are listening for the first time, please make sure that you subscribe wherever you're listening to this at. I know that there's a lot of new places, but we'd love for you to subscribe to your favorite podcast app. We put out new episodes every single Monday for you guys. And if you have been listening for a while, we would love for you to  leave us an honest rating and review on Apple podcast. It's how we know how to create better content and it also tells Apple, hey, show this to more people. We can grow. The more we grow, the bigger impacts that we can have and we truly appreciate that. We also give you a shout out on the podcast if you leave us an honest rating and review, because we would love to celebrate you helping us reach more people. So make sure you do that and thank you guys again so much for listening. We'll catch you next week on another episode of The Marketing Natives.

Narrator [00:17:26] The Marketing Native's podcast is a production of BitBranding.

More Episodes