On today’s episode I am talking all about why I left the Etsy platform. I started Details and Swirls on Etsy in December 2018, and left the Etsy platform just a year and a half later in August 2020. Many times when I am asked why I left Etsy, it is assumed that I left because of monetary reasons. Truthfully, the monetary aspects of Etsy did not play a factor in my decision to leave. In fact, the website I have today costs more for me to run than the fees Etsy took from my shop.
So why in the world would I leave a platform that I was making sales on and growing my business on?
Establishing a brand identity
The driving force behind why I left Etsy was to establish a stand alone brand identity for my business.
“For me and the development of my business and my brand, I really wanted something to stand on it’s own aside from just being “a shop on Etsy”” – Episode 4
Many times if I buy something on Etsy and I’m asked where I got it I will say “Oh I got it on Etsy!”. While I should really say the shop I got it from and identify the store, I am completely guilty of generalizing products I get on Etsy just to “Etsy”. I knew customers were also doing this with any products they bought from my Etsy shop. When a customer buys a product from me, I want them to say “I got it from Details and Swirls” not “I got it from a shop on Etsy”. I knew one day I wanted to make the switch to operating fully on my own website solely for the development of my brand identity. I knew down the line for my business, I wanted to start expanding my offerings to courses, mentorship programs, blogs, podcast, etc., and I wanted all of these offerings encompassed under one brand on one platform.
While the desire for a stand alone brand identity has always been the driving force behind wanting to leave Etsy, the negative customer interactions on Etsy pushed me to leave the platform sooner than I anticipated. While I’ve had hundreds of incredible, positive, and wonderful customers on Etsy, there were still many negative customer experiences that accelerated my decision to leave the platform.
Negative reviews and negative feedback happen in business. I will be the first to say that I would not have the business I have today without negative feedback from customers regarding areas of my business that needed improvement. There is a difference however between constructive criticism and negative feedback for the wrong reasons. I began to see a pattern on Etsy of customers doing everything in their power to receive a refund. Now again, I value customer service higher than any aspect of my business, so I am the first to offer a refund for any type of issue, but what I do not stand for is lying and threatening.
Reviews are very important as Etsy shop owners, and there have been far too many instances to count where I have received a negative review, or have been threatened with a negative review, over something that is either out of my control (shipping delays, etc.), or something that is clearly stated in my policies (processing times, etc.). I found myself anxious every day to check my Etsy messages, and found myself engaging with negative customers far more frequently than I could have ever imagined.
While I still deal with negative customer interactions today, mostly all of my customers who order through my website have followed my business and know the person behind the screen who they are talking too. Of course business is business, and it is not always rainbows and butterflies, but I have never dealt with the types of customers I dealt with on Etsy since taking my business fully onto my own website.
Would I have the same approach to my business without Etsy? Absolutely not!
While the rude customer experiences were less than pleasant, it is all something we need to go through when we grow as small business owners. I could not be happier on my current platform, and I am excited to continue growing my business and brand!
Thank you to ShipStation for sponsoring today’s episode of The Detailed Diary Podcast! Click here for you 30-day free trial, and click here to read more about why I LOVE ShipStation!!