You finally decided to take the plunge and started your own online business with Etsy. You are a creative soul and are so excited to share your art, crafts or other handmade products with the world. You’ve spent hours thinking of the best shop name, picking eye catching profile and cover photos, exhausted yourself creating and improving your products, and painstakingly optimized your product listings to look beautiful to both customers and search engines. Everything is perfect, or at least it should be. There’s just one problem: you aren’t making as many sales as you hoped you would. Now, you’ve begun looking for new ways to appeal to customers.
Does this sound like you? If so, you have probably already heard of Etsy Plus, an additional paid service for sellers on the platform — but maybe you’re not too sure about it just yet.
That’s where we come in. Today, we’re going to explore the ins-and-outs of Etsy Plus and give you our official review to finally answer the question: is Etsy Plus really worth it?
What Is Etsy Plus?
Etsy Plus is an additional subscription package available for sellers on the platform. The service is said to help you “stand out from the crowd” and “jump-start growth” but Etsy does not offer any statistics to back up their claims. That being said, some of the benefits and unlocked features do sound rather helpful, such as:
- 15 listing credits per month
- $5 Etsy Ads credit
- Create a custom web address (domain)
- Restock requests
- Advanced shop customization
- Custom shipping boxes
- Discounted printing materials
Etsy Plus costs $10 a month on top of the fees already associated with using the platform. However, some of the credits associated with Etsy Plus may relieve some of the preexisting fees.
How Do I Sign Up for Etsy Plus?
Signing up for Etsy Plus is an easy process, which the online marketplace details on their Help page. If you are interested, these are the steps you need to take to sign up for Etsy Plus:
- Log in to your Etsy account and click Shop Manager.
- Click Settings.
- Click Your subscription.
- Click Upgrade under Etsy Plus.
- Click Confirm.
The cost of Etsy Plus will be added to your monthly Etsy bill and your subscription can be canceled at any time.
Etsy Plus: the Pros
Though you may be balking at the idea of shelling out an additional $10 to Etsy every month considering the platform already bills you, dipping their hands into your profit. Depending on your needs, paying a little bit extra for Etsy Plus could be more than worth it. Here are some of our favorite things about Etsy Plus:
“Free” listing credits every month takes some of the guesswork out of listing.
The Etsy Plus subscription includes 15 free listing credits every month. Of course, it’s not really free — you are still paying the extra $10 for the subscription — but considering Etsy charges $0.20 for every individual listing, that’s still three dollars worth of extra listings every month. This is great for sellers who do not have a massive product selection because it takes some of the confusion out of calculating listing costs.
Advanced shop customization helps you further personalize your Etsy shop.
As far as customization goes, Etsy is nothing like MySpace. It lacks a lot of freedom despite being a website for artists and creators. Sellers usually only have the ability to change their profile picture and change their banner photos, making them either “big” or “mini” sized. Etsy Plus subscribers are given a few more options to make their shop pages look more brand cohesive and appealing Etsy plus subscribers are given a few more options to make their shop pages look more cohesive and appealing.
Etsy Plus subscribers are given two new types of banner styles. The first is the collage banner style, which is a customized banner made of a mash-up of up to four images of your choosing. However, this option seems unnecessary considering that you could create the same effect with simple editing software (like Adobe Creative Cloud Express) without the need to subscribe to Etsy Plus at all.
The second option, the carousel banner style, is far superior. It allows you to add four different photos, similar to product photos, that your customers can click through and peruse. As an added bonus, banner images in the carousel format can be hyperlinked to specific listings or sections in your shop making. This is a great option because it makes your banner actionable — you can highlight your bestselling (or favorite) products to interest your customers the moment they click your shop page.
Sellers using Etsy Plus can also choose to mix up the format of their shop page using featured items. This can be displayed in two manners: for listings or shop sections at the top of the page, all the same size; or, in the mixed grid option, which has five featured items (or sections) with one larger than the rest and the remaining four in a smaller group to the right. Like the new banner styles, featured items put your products front and center.
Let your customers know you have their favorite item for sale with restock requests.
This is the most useful feature bundled with Etsy Plus. With restock requests, customers that visit your page can click a button to request to receive an email that will let them know when one of your sold out items is back in stock. Once you’ve added the item back to your store, it sends them an email, and voila! They’re ready to buy.
If you have found some success with a specific product on Etsy, this is a fantastic feature. Not only do restock requests alert customers whenever your item is available to purchase again — one that they are legitimately interested in buying — it creates a sense of urgency. If you know anything about marketing, you know that urgency or the fear of missing out are some of the top reasons that people buy things. Nothing with inspiring buyers a little bit!
Etsy Plus: The Cons
Etsy Plus does have some great perks — our favorite being the restock requests — but it’s understandable if you’re still not completely convinced. In fact, there’s a few things about Etsy plus that we’re not completely sold on, either.
The discounts that come with Etsy Plus are largely useless.
Perhaps we’re just not the type of people who would buy the coupon books kids cell when they are fundraising for school (why would we pay more just to get a small discount somewhere!? Why won’t the business just give us the discount in the first place!?) but the quote “discounts” that come with Etsy Plus really just are not that useful.
Etsy Plus offers three different types of discounts through third-party services: custom shipping boxes, business cards/printables, anddomain names.
Custom shipping boxes are a great idea, and many shoppers and sellers on Etsy would love to have them — who doesn’t love it when an adorable pink package arrives in the mail for you? Companies like SoKawaii are proof that custom shipping boxes are not only exciting to get in the mail, but also a useful marketing tactic. Many of their customers take photos with their boxes and products, which you can check out on the SoKawaii Instagram account.
However, custom shipping boxes might be an unnecessary expense for you. Etsy Plus is not clear about how much this discount is worth. If you’re a new seller or have small profit margins, you do not need to focus your efforts on fancy boxes just yet. Additionally, the Etsy Plus discount is only available for sellers in the United States, Canada,
Additionally, this discount is only available to sellers in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. If you are a seller based in a country not on that list, you will not receive this discount even if you subscribe to Etsy Plus.
Many of the same arguments apply to the Etsy Plus discounts on printed materials like business cards, stickers, and other marketing materials. The service offers a 30% discount to the printing company Moo. This is a solid discount, but it might not make much of a difference because Moo is very expensive compared to other printing companies. Even though Moo receives rave reviews for the company’s high-quality printing services and large product selection, you will likely be able to find a better deal elsewhere, even without the Etsy Plus discount.
You could definitely find a discount on website domain names without the help from Etsy Plus. The platform partners with Hover, where you can purchase domains that direct to your Etsy shop for up to 50% — which is not bad — but it can only link to your Etsy store and the discount is only valid for one year. Besides, registering a domain through Etsy feels sketchy and you should be cautious about it, especially if you plan to open your own standalone website in the future. If you cancel your subscription, what’s stopping Etsy from purchasing your domain so you can’t use it or have to pay them to get it back? Maybe we’re paranoid, but it’s worth considering.
Only $5 worth of Etsy Ads Credits? Really?
That just simply isn’t fair! Since Etsy Ads are cost-per-click (or CPC) you have to be the highest “bidder” for your ads to gain any real traction on the site. With so many sellers gunning for the coveted ad spots at the top of every search page, Some report shelling out up to $1 per click — no sales guaranteed! As you can imagine, that $5 Etsy Ads credit will not go very far.
Our Review: Is Etsy Plus Worth It?
Short answer: no. Long answer: maybe, if you don’t mind shelling out an extra ten bucks just for a few features.
The best Etsy Plus feature is the restock request. We love it because it reminds buyers of the products they wanted to buy and may have forgotten about, had it not been for the restock notification. As an added bonus, the restock notification starts a fire under your customers, who already know that your product will sell out — so they had better hurry up and buy it before it’s gone!
We also like the extended customization options that come with Etsy Plus. Well they still don’t allow you to tailor every single aspect of your Etsy shop, it does offer a few actionable ways For customers to interact with your product.
These two features alone might make Etsy Plus worth it for you.
However, if you are still struggling to turn a healthy profit or are on a tight budget, we wouldn’t recommend it. It is unlikely that any of the Etsy Plus features will help you make more sales if you aren’t making very many in the first place. Until you have enough customers interested in your products to warrant adding the restock request button, Etsy Plus is just a glorified coupon book that you will pay an extra $10 for every month.