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Tips To Make Your Handmade Business Stand Out Against Resellers On Etsy


As Etsy has grown over the years, not only has the platform evolved and changed, so has the number of sellers opening online shops. At the end of 2013 there were just over 1 million sellers on the platform and today in 2021, there are almost 5 million active shops! 

With so many new online sellers using Etsy to sell their products, both customers and sellers have seen an increase of resellers popping up on the platform selling mass-produced products. 


It’s become frustrating for handmade sellers because not only is Etsy not doing enough to shut down these resellers (I mean it is $$ for them at the end of the day), it’s also becoming a problem for customers to tell whether a shop is selling handmade products or not.


That being said, sellers sometimes view resellers as competition or worry they’re taking away business from them. But I want to tell you that resellers are not your competition. And they’re not taking away customers for your business.

Why resellers are not your competition


First off, resellers are not selling handmade products. They’re selling mass-produced products that may not be the best quality. 


Whereas you on the other hand are making your items by hand. Resellers aren’t knitting their hats, glazing their pots and hand-pouring their candles. Nope, they’re just ordering large volumes of mass-produced products at a low price and reselling them on Etsy to make a profit.


They’re also probably not …

  • Filling out their about section
  • Putting much thought into their product descriptions
  • Talking about how they make their products

While a reseller MAY be selling a similar product to yours, their motivation and intention behind their business is completely different than yours. You’re selling quality, handmade products made with love. How can you even compare your business to theirs? It’s like apples to oranges! 

They're not stealing customers away from your business


As mentioned above, your business and a reseller’s business are not the same which means you don’t have the same customers.


Think about a small, local artisan coffee shop. Do you think they’re wondering, “How can we attract Starbucks customers?” Probably not. They’re likely not looking to compete with Starbucks or attract their customers. Instead they’re probably thinking about how they can set themselves apart from other small artisan coffee shops and stand out to customers who want to support local coffee shops.   


The quality and price of your work can’t be compared to resellers. So it’s time to shift your focus to something else that’s more important.


Show that you’re a handmade business


If you want to stand out and make it clear you’re a handmade, small business owner, here are ways to show that you’re the real deal.


Fill out your About Me/Bio


Make sure you fill out your About Me section in your Etsy shop and/or your website. Customers love learning more about the person behind handmade products so share a photo of yourself and why you started your business. Sharing this will not only help customers to get to know you and your business more, but they’ll know they’re supporting a small, handmade business.


Write great product descriptions


Don’t just share the measurements and technical specs of your products. Talk about the desire or need your product fulfills for your customers. Share the story about what inspired the product. Get into the feelings and emotions of your customers with your descriptions. The more in tune you are with who your customers are and what they like about your products, the better you’ll be at finding your raving customers for your business. Learn more about the differences between a logical buyer and an emotional buyer. 


Take great product photos & videos


On the flip side, upload photos and videos to your listings as though you don’t have any product descriptions. Use visuals to communicate the quality of your handmade products to your customers. You can even give them a little sneak peek into the process of creating your products so they know you’re a handmade business. 


Get more ideas for photos and videos to include in your listings and your website in this blog post!

Focus on your business and your customers


Rather than get upset and angry about what resellers are doing in the handmade community, focus on your business and taking care of your customers.


Focus on how you can best communicate what makes you different from other handmade businesses. The clearer you are about your branding and who you are, the easier it will be to connect with customers who want to support you and support your handmade business. 


Let me know in the comments below , what do you think about resellers in the handmade community?

About the author

Imelda Jimenez-LaMar is a product photography coach and former Etsy seller, who said goodbye to her corporate job to create a business teaching photography. She is on a mission to demystify product photography for makers who want to create product photos that sell their handmade products online and grow their handmade business.

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