The Frustration of Etsy: Why Sellers are Quitting

The Frustration of Etsy: Why Sellers are Quitting

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Frustration Surrounding Etsy
    • Reasons for Anger
    • Growing Number of Sellers
  3. The Unique Feature of Showing Shop Sales Numbers
    • Pros and Cons
  4. Increased Competition and Oversaturation
    • Statistics on Seller Growth
  5. Strategies to Rise Above the Competition
    • Creating Something New
    • Improving Existing Products
    • Building a Strong Brand
  6. Is Starting an Etsy Shop Worth It Today?
    • Comparing Fees with Other Marketplaces
    • Benefits of Etsy's Established Customer Base
  7. Updates on the Author's Own Shop
    • Coping with Increased Competition
    • Shifting Focus to Own Website
  8. The Importance of Adaptability and Focusing on What You Can Control
  9. Conclusion

Why is everyone quitting Etsy? Exploring the Frustrations and the Future

Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, has been a source of frustration for many sellers in recent times. It seems that the Etsy community is filled with anger and dissatisfaction, with complaints about the platform popping up on various online platforms like YouTube, Reddit, and community forums. The frustration escalated to the point where an organized Etsy strike was staged by dissatisfied sellers, resulting in collective shop closures. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this anger, whether it is still worth starting an Etsy shop today, and share insights from an Etsy shop owner.

The Frustration Surrounding Etsy

Etsy sellers are expressing their grievances because their shops are not meeting their expectations. If you take a closer look, the root cause of the anger seems to stem from the fact that a larger number of sellers are experiencing disappointment with their shop's performance. To understand this phenomenon, it is crucial to acknowledge that Etsy is a growing platform. The number of shoppers and sellers on Etsy is increasing each year. According to statistics, Etsy's revenue grew from $74 million in 2012 to $2.3 billion in the previous year. On the surface, these numbers indicate success, but the reality for individual sellers is more complex.

The Unique Feature of Showing Shop Sales Numbers

One distinctive feature of Etsy is its transparency in showing shop sales numbers to the public. While this provides social proof for customers, it also exposes this data to competitors. On one hand, customers browsing on Etsy gain confidence in purchasing from a store with a substantial number of sales. On the other hand, competitors can easily access this information and potentially copy successful products. For instance, a shop named "Personalized Beco" has amassed around 38,000 sales within just two years of opening. The visibility of such success can tempt others to replicate their items, creating a surge in new sellers.

Increased Competition and Oversaturation

The influx of new sellers has led to intensified competition and oversaturation within the Etsy marketplace. Over the years, the number of sellers on Etsy has skyrocketed, increasing from 800,000 in 2012 to a staggering 7.5 million today. More sellers mean a higher level of competition, which drives down prices and subsequently impacts profits for established and new businesses alike. This saturation of the market is the primary source of frustration among sellers.

Strategies to Rise Above the Competition

Amidst the growing competition, it becomes crucial for sellers to find effective ways to stand out. There are three main strategies that can help sellers rise above the competition: creating something new, improving upon existing products, and building a strong brand. Simply copying successful products or replicating existing listings rarely leads to long-term success. Sellers need to differentiate themselves by offering unique features, personalization options, or branding that resonates with customers.

Is Starting an Etsy Shop Worth it Today?

Despite the challenges presented by increased competition and oversaturation, starting an Etsy shop is still highly recommended, especially for beginners. Etsy provides access to a vast customer base that has been built over the past decade. Compared to other marketplaces, Etsy's fees are relatively reasonable. While there might be arguments against Etsy, such as fee increases or dissatisfaction with how sellers are treated, the alternatives do not always provide better options.

Updates on the Author's Own Shop

The author's personal experience reflects the impact of increased competition in their own Etsy shop. The initial success of selling over $9,000 in one month gradually declined due to the surge in competition and sellers copying their shop. As a response, the author has shifted their focus to marketing their own website and learning how to build their customer base. Despite the challenges, the author remains committed to their Etsy shop while exploring opportunities outside the platform.

The Importance of Adaptability and Focusing on What You Can Control

In the face of frustration and challenges, it is essential to avoid getting angry or becoming resentful towards external factors. Complaints about oversaturation or increased competition will not change the situation. The key is to focus on areas within your control, such as improving your shop, innovating products, and adapting to changing circumstances. Successful businesses are those that can adjust and evolve with the times.


The frustrations surrounding Etsy stem from increased competition and oversaturation within the marketplace. However, despite the challenges, starting an Etsy shop is still worthwhile, especially for beginners, given its established customer base and reasonable fees. It is crucial for sellers to focus on strategies that enable them to rise above the competition, such as creating unique products, improving existing offerings, and building a strong brand. By prioritizing adaptability and controlling what is within their reach, sellers can navigate the complexities of the Etsy landscape and find success.

I am a ETSY merchant, I am opening several ETSY stores. I use Etsyshop to find ETSY stores and track competitor stores. Etsyshop really helped me a lot, I also subscribe to Etsyshop's service, I hope more people can like Etsyshop! — Ecomvy

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