Etsy & Writing

Etsy? Why is a “writer” talking about Etsy?

Well, for one thing, writing doesn’t pay that much. I mean, sure, it pays a few pretty well. James Patterson isn’t hurting for cash. Chuck Wendig hustles aplenty and does well. I’m starting to wonder if Wendig ever leaves his desk, though. He seems to have no hobbies aside from Twitter, and that feels…unhealthy. Maybe he’s an avid skydiver and he just doesn’t think that works for his brand. I don’t know. At any rate, I’m pretty sure he’s not on Etsy.

Other writers are. Many make jewelry.

I am, but I’m not. And what prompted this was having to make a link landing page for Instagram since they stopped allowing links. I basically started writing this:

Why no Etsy links? Especially since I’ve been on Etsy as one shop or another since forever? I’m letting stuff expire without renewal in my Etsy shops and I plan to close them after. They’ve had issues for a while now with resellers and whatnot, an influx of things clearly not in the original spirit of the site, and too many low-ball prices that discourage actual crafters to sell below cost or bow out… 

And decided to make it it’s own post.

So, going back as far as 2015, Etsy was having issues with resellers and industrial manufacturers crowding out the sellers it advertised itself as being a marketplace for. The problems never really went away and continued to compound. Thing is, unless you’re constantly tweaking your Etsy SEO, have a huge and loyal following, or have a specialized product that is cheap to produce and super-popular, Etsy is probably losing you more money than you make.

Candles are expensive to ship and too many sellers offer them for at or less than cost, so it’s not a viable market for those. Jewelry is a very saturated market. Art is somewhat of a hard pitch in an economy where it’s an expensive luxury that can be replaced by posters from the dollar spot.

So, yeah, I’m done with Etsy. Nothing’s going to renew and when it expires, that’s it.

Maybe it’s still working for other people.

Personally, I need to focus on skillsets that are more valuable in the larger marketplace, so I’ve been studying geographic information systems, statistical analysis, data science, R, Python, SQL, and similar things. It feels like slow going, and I feel like the more I learn, the more I don’t know.

But, even entry level jobs pay better than writing. At least for me.

So, I’ll come back to writing when I get some things paid off, when I feel like I’ve gotten to a financially sane enough place to entertain artsy endeavors.