1. Etsy has very little startup costs. You have to pay to list your items as you list them, and other than that your only startup “cost” is your time. It does take time to photograph items and list them, and time is a factor when you’re one person running a by-hand business… but if you are willing to spend the time and don’t have the money to start your own website, Etsy wins, hands down. I feel like I should point out though that there is a small additional percentage taken when you sell something – but you’re going to get that anywhere, and if you only have a few items, Etsy’s 20¢ is a lot better than a few hundred dollar layout for your own site!
2. Etsy treasuries are a great way to get featured, get your items seen, and get people to visit your shop. It’s like advertising, only you haven’t paid for it (except with your time, taking eye-catching photos and writing copy for your items that hooks people).
3. Etsy has a uniform look for all the shops. While you can make your banner and your “about” page your own, everything else (photo placement, page layout, category management) is all the same. If you’re new to that sort of thing and the thought of CSS or HTML makes your eyes glaze over, you’ve got nothing to worry about with Etsy. It’s very What You See Is What You Get. There are blanks you can fill in, but they tell you where the blanks go.
4. The forums are ripe with info. Need to know about printing shipping labels using Etsy’s new client vs. PayPal? Need to know if anyone else is having convo issues? Need some feedback on your shop in general? The forums are the place to go.
5. Etsy has article after article that will help you. Whether it’s articles on photography for your products, inspiring interviews with sellers, fun DIY how-to articles, or tips on taxes and balancing your checkbook, Etsy has probably written an article on it. Most of them are even useful!
6. More and more, people are turning to Handmade for thoughtful, individual, personal gift-giving. Etsy has a much better reputation for that than eBay, and purchases around the holidays can be turned into repeat buyers when you treat your customers well.
7. If you use their payment gateway, you can accept credit cards directly through your Etsy shop, and are no longer limited to PayPal (there are also Etsy gift cards, cash options if you want to sell locally, and of course PayPal).
I know this sounds pretty pro-Etsy, which might sound strange if coming from me if you know my frustrations with Etsy; so let me say that Etsy didn’t ask me to write this, and probably doesn’t even know I’m doing it. And I kind of hope they don’t, because wait until you read my “A few reasons to ditch Etsy” post when I get that written!