Boost Your Sales with Etsy Off Site Ads

Boost Your Sales with Etsy Off Site Ads

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What are Off-Site Ads?
  3. Pros of Using Off-Site Ads
  4. Cons of Using Off-Site Ads
  5. How Off-Site Ads Work on Etsy
  6. Opting into Off-Site Ads
  7. Turning Off-Site Ads On and Off
  8. Off-Site Ads and Etsy's Advertising Strategy
  9. Off-Site Ads in Digital Shops
  10. Off-Site Ads in Vintage Shops
  11. Considering Profit Margins and Shipping Costs
  12. Off-Site Ads and Competition with Websites
  13. Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Off-Site Ads
  14. Conclusion


Off-Site Ads: A Comprehensive Guide for Etsy Sellers


If you're an Etsy seller, you may have come across the term "off-site ads" and wondered whether they are necessary for your business. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the world of off-site ads and discuss the pros and cons of using them. We will also explore how off-site ads work on Etsy, how to opt into or out of them, and their effectiveness in different types of Etsy shops. So let's get started and find out if off-site ads are the right choice for your Etsy business.

What are Off-Site Ads?

Off-site ads are a feature offered by Etsy that allows sellers to promote their listings outside of the Etsy platform. When you opt into off-site ads, Etsy takes care of advertising your products on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest. If a potential customer clicks on your off-site ad and makes a purchase, you will be charged a fee based on a percentage of the sale. This fee is either 12% or 15%, depending on whether you are required to use off-site ads or have the option to opt in.

Pros of Using Off-Site Ads

There are several advantages to using off-site ads as an Etsy seller. Firstly, off-site ads provide broader exposure for your products by reaching potential customers on popular external platforms. This increased visibility can lead to higher sales and brand recognition. Additionally, off-site ads can save you time and effort in marketing your products independently, as Etsy handles the advertising process on your behalf. Finally, off-site ads can be particularly beneficial for sellers of digital products, as they eliminate the need for physical production and shipping.

Cons of Using Off-Site Ads

While off-site ads offer benefits, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. One of the main concerns is the lack of control over the advertising content and platforms used by Etsy. As a seller, you have no say in which products are promoted or where the ads appear. This can result in competition with your own website if you have one, as customers may be directed to your Etsy shop instead of your independent online store. Another disadvantage is the additional cost associated with off-site ads. Depending on your profit margins and shipping costs, the 12% or 15% fee can eat into your profits significantly, making it essential to analyze whether the return on investment justifies the expense.

How Off-Site Ads Work on Etsy

Understanding how off-site ads work is crucial in deciding whether to utilize this feature. Etsy selects and pays for the ads, financing a portion of the costs themselves. If a customer clicks on your ad and makes a purchase, you will be billed for the off-site ad fee. However, if a customer clicks on another seller's ad and then proceeds to purchase from your shop, you won't be charged for that particular sale. This system ensures you only pay for the off-site ads that directly generate sales for your shop.

Opting into Off-Site Ads

The decision to opt into off-site ads largely depends on whether you are required to use them or have the option to choose. Etsy mandates the use of off-site ads once your shop reaches $10,000 in sales within a year. Once you pass this threshold, you cannot turn off the ads. However, if you haven't reached that milestone, you can decide whether to opt into off-site ads based on the specific advantages and disadvantages discussed earlier.

Turning Off-Site Ads On and Off

To manage your off-site ads settings, navigate to the "Settings" tab on your Etsy account. The off-site ads option can be found under "Offsite Ads." It's important to note that Etsy intentionally makes it somewhat challenging to find this setting. If you have reached the point where you are required to use off-site ads, you will not be able to turn them off. However, if you have the option to opt in, you can easily control the status of your off-site ads using the toggle switch provided.

Off-Site Ads and Etsy's Advertising Strategy

Etsy's decision to introduce off-site ads is driven by its overall advertising strategy. While Etsy may not profit directly from off-site ads due to the costs involved, they consider the investment worthwhile for the potential increase in overall site traffic. By attracting more customers to Etsy from external platforms, Etsy aims to convert those customers into repeat buyers, generating revenue in the long run. It's important to keep this broader strategy in mind when assessing the effectiveness of off-site ads for your specific shop.

Off-Site Ads in Digital Shops

For Etsy sellers running digital shops, off-site ads can be a valuable tool. Since digital products like printables and downloads have no physical production or shipping requirements, the associated costs are relatively low. As a result, the off-site ads fee typically does not impact profit margins significantly. By utilizing off-site ads in your digital shop, you can reach a wider audience and potentially increase sales without major financial implications.

Off-Site Ads in Vintage Shops

In contrast to digital shops, sellers operating vintage shops may have different considerations when it comes to off-site ads. Vintage items often attract buyers with specific and niche interests, and they may already be actively searching for these items on Etsy or through specific search engines. As a result, the need for extensive advertising may be less pronounced in vintage shops. Sellers can benefit from relying on organic searches and existing demand rather than incurring additional costs through off-site ads.

Considering Profit Margins and Shipping Costs

One essential factor to evaluate when deciding whether to use off-site ads is your profit margins and shipping costs. If the off-site ads fee significantly reduces your profit per sale, it may not be practical or sustainable for your business. Additionally, if you offer free shipping, the increased expenses associated with off-site ads can further impact your profitability. Carefully analyze your financial situation and determine whether the potential increase in sales justifies the additional costs.

Off-Site Ads and Competition with Websites

If you have an independent website, another aspect to consider is the potential competition between your Etsy shop and your website. When you use off-site ads, there is a chance that customers searching for your products may be directed to your Etsy shop rather than your website. This competition can negatively affect your website's visibility and sales. If maintaining the success and independence of your website is a priority, it may be wise to evaluate the impact of off-site ads on your overall online presence.

Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Off-Site Ads

To make the most of off-site ads, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Ensure your Etsy shop is optimized with high-quality product images and descriptions.
  • Regularly analyze the performance of your off-site ads and adjust accordingly.
  • Experiment with different keywords and ad placements to reach the most relevant audience.
  • Monitor your profit margins to ensure the off-site ads fee does not overshadow your earnings.
  • Consider diversifying your marketing efforts by combining off-site ads with other advertising strategies.
  • Stay informed about any changes or updates to Etsy's off-site ads policies to adapt your marketing approach accordingly.


Off-site ads can be a valuable tool for increasing sales and visibility on Etsy, but they come with pros and cons that each seller must consider. Understanding how off-site ads work, analyzing their impact on your profit margins, and considering your specific shop type are all essential steps in making an informed decision. Whether you opt into off-site ads or not, remember to regularly assess their effectiveness and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. By striking a balance between visibility, cost-effectiveness, and maintaining your brand's independence, you can ensure the success of your Etsy business.

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