DROPSHIPPING ON ETSY: PROS AND CONS
Dropshipping is one of the most promising online-sales models today. With this type of business, all liability for the product and its delivery falls to the dropshipping provider, allowing you more time to focus on tasks that add value to your business – such as sales, marketing and promotions, etc.
Among the various platforms available today, Etsy is one of the best around for dropshipping, as its characteristics adapt well to this business model – although it must be noted that the restrictions on the types of products that may be sold is a downside.
What is Etsy and why opt for dropshipping?
Etsy is a marketplace where you can buy and sell craft products, the majority of which are handmade. Millions of items are made available for sale on this online shop by its 3.5 million sellers, offering products to an immense number of users from across the world (over 82 million).
Can you use dropshipping on Etsy?
The platform is an ideal site for this business model in which shops sell third-party products, but it’s important to bear in mind a series of restrictions.
On Etsy, the products offered must be handmade, and as such it is not possible to sell mass-produced items created via automated processes. This severely limits the possibilities of employing dropshipping on Etsy, as this type of mass-produced product makes up the majority of dropshipping providers’ catalogues.
Etsy’s product conditions permit resale, which means that it is legal to carry out dropshipping if the products are handmade or comply with one of the other two requirements: either antique items or craft supplies.
In summary, products can be sold through dropshipping on Etsy if they are:
- Crafted or handmade.
- Antique or vintage items (antiques at least 20 years old).
- Craft supplies.
What benefits does dropshipping on Etsy offer?
The main advantages of dropshipping on Etsy are:
- Access to a wide catalogue of products.
- There’s no need to worry about logistics – i.e., the preparation and shipment of any products sold.
- This is an ideal platform to explore market niches and obtain good profits.
- Access to users who are truly interested in acquiring original and vintage products.
What are the downsides to dropshipping on Etsy?
Dropshipping on Etsy does have a few downsides, in contrast to other, less exclusive, marketplaces. The main disadvantages of dropshipping on Etsy are:
- Restrictions to the types of products that may be offered on the platform, due to Etsy’s own policies to protect crafters and handmade products.
- It’s not particularly easy to find tools to automatically upload items from the main dropshipping providers to your Etsy shop.
How to implement dropshipping on Etsy
Looking for a dropshipper for Etsy is not easy, as a result of the platform’s policy regarding the items that may be sold on the site. Etsy was created as a digital market to offer crafts and vintage products their own, exclusive space for online sales. For this reason, the platform aims to ensure that its catalogue is not filled with mass-produced products that end up spoiling the experience of users on the platform, who seek original, unique and different items, and do not want to see mass-produced products that can be found anywhere.
Let’s take a look at how to implement dropshipping with the main market providers:
AliExpress for Etsy
AliExpress is not a platform recommended for use as a dropshipping provider on Etsy The made-in-China products offered on this platform are not handmade; instead, these are mass produced in order to offer very low sale prices (characteristic of this platform).
In the past, some sellers have used AliExpress as a dropshipping provider on Etsy: for example, to sell t-shirts with personalised prints. However, when the platform detected these types of sellers, they proceeded to delete their accounts for non-compliance with the product policy, as these t-shirts were not handmade.
However, it is possible to find crafts supplies that fit the Etsy product policy on AliExpress. In this regard, it is possible to offer this type of product on Etsy, using AliExpress sellers as dropshipping providers.
Amazon Dropshipper for Etsy
Amazon is the largest e-commerce business in the world, on which you can find all sorts of items. Using Amazon as a dropshipping provider for Etsy is possible if you select items that comply with the platform’s policy: in other words, products for crafts, handmade products, or vintage products that are at least 20 years old.
On Amazon, you can find various items that comply with Etsy’s requirements and add them to your shop on the platform in order to make these available to Etsy users.
eBay for Etsy
eBay is a platform that adapts well to the Etsy dropshipping model, as it offers a large quantity of sufficiently aged vintage products that may be legally sold on the platform.
Including these eBay products on an Etsy shop will allow you to offer a large quantity of items to buyers looking for vintage and antique objects, making this a very promising means of making sales.
Printfull for Etsy
One of the best providers for dropshipping on Etsy is Printfull. This on-demand printing company is perfect for this type of business as, as well as printing all types of items with designs chosen by the user, they take care of storage and shipping any sales made. With Printfull, you can create your own brand and enjoy access to its range of items without the need to invest in storage or production.
These products may be sold on Etsy and offered to the millions of users that browse this platform in search of unique and different objects.
Etsy and Printfull have signed a partnership agreement, and as such you won’t be faced with any problems when it comes to adding their items on the platform. With Printfull, you can connect your shop to the Etsy portal in order to offer products on both digital markets, in a synchronised way.
The upside of this system is that any updates made to the price of an item on Printfull will be automatically updated on Etsy.
Although Etsy is a very popular marketplace, with a huge number of users willing to buy original and unique artisanal products, limitations to the types of products that may be sold on the platform restricts dropshipping. Finding dropshipping providers that offer products that may be sold on Etsy is not as easy as it may be for other types of items.
Among the various providers that may be used to implement a dropshipping system on Etsy, Printfull stands out as the best choice, having come to an agreement with the platform itself to link both online shops.