Shopping on Etsy can sometimes be your only option.
If you are looking for something unique or handmade and you don’t have a local shop nearby, Etsy is going to be the best choice.
Many people have learned how to make a complete living on Etsy with the services that they offer.
However, the problem that customers run into is that Etsy tends to be a bit expensive.
If you are tired of paying large amounts of money for what seems like a simple product, we have the answers you need.
Chances are there are some reasons behind the prices at Etsy being a bit higher than you think fair.
We will break all of these down for you and help you understand why Etsy is so expensive.
Why Is Etsy So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Handmade Quality
The products that are sold on Etsy are often handmade.
As soon as you see a product labeled as being handmade, you will know it almost surely going to be more expensive.
The reason behind this is that, as we move more towards machines making all of our products, we are losing something important in the quality of handmade products.
Things made on machines and in factories are going to be lower in price, but typically speaking, the quality is a bit lower as well.
Handmade quality means that someone carefully crafted your product with their own hands.
This took time, planning, designing, and lots of hard work to complete.
Knowing that a product is handmade often helps people to justify the expense that they pay for these handmade objects.
In addition to the better quality, the other issue is the access we now have to handmade goods.
With so many small stores closing up shop, it is hard to find access to handmade quality goods anymore.
The best access you can find on the internet is going to be from Etsy.
Part of what you are paying for is to have access to these goods on a single platform.
If you want the access to the best handmade goods in the country, unfortunately, you will have to pay for it.
2. Individual Sellers
Another reason that Etsy is so expensive is that there are individual sellers.
Each of these sellers has their own little shop on the market.
There is really nothing stopping any of these sellers from charging whatever they would like for their items.
Of course, there are some smart things that sellers should do to price their products fairly, but there is really no regulation on the part of Etsy.
Individual sellers also have to cover their shipping expenses to you.
Chances are if you are purchasing enough of a product, you won’t even have to pay for shipping.
This becomes more difficult with Etsy because you are shopping from a number of different sellers.
If you need a new T-Shirt and you need a custom coffee mug, you may not be able to get these from the same seller.
Instead, purchasing from the individual sellers makes the pricing that you pay from Etsy quite a bit more expensive.
Again, this is also what allows for more customized and personal transactions.
Some people find that it is worth the extra money to feel as though they are working with an individual instead of a large corporation.
You will have to decide which makes more sense for you and your budget and needs.
3. Proof That Product Is Better In Quality
Some sellers on Etsy want to prove that they have a better quality product.
Unfortunately, one of the ways that they do this is by charging more money for their products.
When more money is charged, the product instantly appears as though it is a higher quality option.
When Etsy first started, there was very little competition.
Individual shops could simply list their products, and they would start getting attention right away.
This is because there was a need for the product, and people didn’t have access to it locally.
However, as time has gone on, more and more larger manufacturers and distributors are starting to sell products on Etsy.
This has lowered the pricing of some products, but many of these are not of better quality.
In fact, some of the products are not even handmade.
When this happened, the individual smaller sellers started to need to increase the pricing on their products.
The higher pricing allowed them to show that their product was indeed an original handmade piece.
In addition, many of these sellers are now not able to close as many transactions with Etsy being flooded with cheaper quality products.
This has again increased the price that is paid for items sold on Etsy.
4. No Mass Production
When you are looking for products on Etsy, you will quickly learn that these products are not mass produced.
If you are looking for a custom art piece for your home or a unique piece of jewelry, chances are Etsy is the only place where you will be able to find the product.
Mass production of goods has helped to lower the pricing.
When a product first comes to market, the expenses are very high.
This is because all of the materials, labor, and time need to go into this project to make just a few products.
Once a company can start buying in bulk and setting up automation to make products faster and easier, the pricing tends to become more manageable.
The problem with the Etsy platform is that none of these sellers is really big enough to start mass producing their products.
Unless the store has a physical location or is one of Etsy’s top sellers, chances are they are still making handmade products in small quantities.
This, of course, increases the pricing that they charge for the products.
One of the things that people love about Etsy is that there are typically very few products sold on the website that are mass produced.
However, this will increase the pricing.
Still, if you want something that is unique and offers benefits other products may not have, Etsy is the first place you should be looking.
When this website starts switching to everything being mass produced, it will end up like any of the other online retailers like Amazon or Wayfair.
Etsy needs to keep its unique position in the market, and some higher prices for goods sold on the platform come along with that.
The shipping prices on Etsy tend to make the overall pricing on products much more expensive.
The problem with shipping prices is that the Etsy sellers are not moving enough goods to get the bulk rate shipping discounts that large companies get.
However, it takes quite a lot of packages being shipped for this to work out.
If you are simply mailing a package here and there or even a few a day, chances are you will not be getting any bulk rate shipping discounts.
Therefore, Etsy sellers often have to incorporate shipping into their pricing or charge additional money for shipping on top of the product’s price.
Let’s say you are purchasing a $20.00 item.
If shipping needs to be included, you may get charged $30.
The shipping is often incorporated into the price so that people think they are still getting free shipping.
All that has really happened is the price of the product that you are purchasing has increased.
Overall, the shipping costs on Etsy are high because, many times, they won’t combine if you are purchasing from a few different sellers.
This is where things get really expensive.
We are accustomed to filling our shopping cart to reach a level of free shipping.
On Etsy, this is not always the way it goes.
You could end up having to pay quite a bit in shipping because sellers are not getting a discount for the shipping rates that they pay.
6. Seller Fees
Sellers have to pay fees when they purchase something through Etsy.
The problem with the seller fees is that it cuts directly into their profit.
Of course, most sellers understand that the Etsy platform is the only way to properly sell their offerings without opening up their own website or a physical location.
It is much easier for people to expose their products to a large group of people by using Etsy.
Trying to do this on your own can be quite expensive.
Most Etsy sellers understand this, and they have no issues paying the seller fees associated with their accounts.
The seller fees are usually incorporated back into the pricing of the products.
For instance, if a seller knows that Etsy is going to take 5% of their profits, they will often charge a bit more when they put the item up for sale.
It’s important to remember that many Etsy sellers are using the money they make on Etsy to support their families.
If they are not able to make the level of profit they want, the overall costs are going to continue to increase for the buyers.
It’s hard to find the perfect balance between what is fair for seller fees and what is fair for the person purchasing the product.
Most of the time, there has to be a bit of give and take both from the creator of the original product and the person purchasing it.
When these two people can help each other compromise a little, things become fairer for all those involved.
7. Labor From Seller
Not only are you going to be paying for the materials that a seller used to create a product, but you are also paying for their labor.
If you are purchasing a handmade dress or a lamp shade made with some unique material, you must know that this took the seller quite some time to develop and create.
In order for the person to make money on this product, they will have had to invest quite a bit of time.
As they say in every business, time is money.
If you are looking at the amount of time it takes people to make some of these products, you will realize that, if they charged an hourly rate, Etsy would be even more expensive.
Most of the people who are selling goods on Etsy are highly qualified and would be paid very high rates if they were employees or designers in stores.
Since they are on their own, you are actually getting a discount, even though you may feel you are paying a significant amount.
Labor from the seller is a hard thing to account for, but it is going to come into play when you purchase from Etsy.
If a customized map of your local area took a seller two hours to make, and they are selling it for $45.00, you should consider a few things.
The first is that the cost of the supplies is built into that $45.
Let’s say, on the low end, the cost of the supplies was around $7.00.
Then they spent two hours of their time, and they are going to have to pay Etsy and pay taxes when you purchase.
This means that their hourly rate for something like this was probably close to $10 or $12 per hour.
Try to think about the pricing on Etsy in this manner.
If you look at things this way, you will quickly realize why the pricing seems expensive, but it may not always tell the full story.
Try to do a bit more research into the shop that you are buying from and the things that they are selling.
Many sellers will share their process, and it will open your eyes to the time and labor that was put into the product.
8. Marketing And Advertising For Seller
As we have mentioned, the more people who sell on Etsy, the harder it gets to compete with your individual items.
This is why Etsy has started to allow some paid advertising and promotion for sellers.
This can be a bit of a gamble for some because the fact that you pay for advertising does not necessarily mean that it will work.
Sellers will have a chance to pay for their product to go to the top of the list or appear as though it is a more valuable item.
The problem, of course, is that when these sellers need to pay for advertising to compete, they have to recuperate their costs somewhere.
Most of the time, they will increase the pricing of a product to ensure that it is still going to be profitable even after all of their marketing and advertising costs.
This, of course, means that it is more expensive for the end-user.
If you ended up finding a product because of a well-placed ad that was relevant to you, maybe these costs are worth it.
If you didn’t, then chances are you are just paying for a portion of the company’s marketing costs when you purchase your final product.
This happens with almost everything that we purchase on a daily basis.
The issue is that with Etsy getting more competitive, we continually see the prices go up, and there is really no end in sight.
Marketing and advertising costs continue to go up as new options for advertising and promotion come to the market almost every day.
Unless the cost for marketing starts to decrease, we are probably not going to see any lowering of Etsy’s costs anytime soon.
9. Unique Offerings
If you spend a bit of time searching on Etsy, you will find that there is an extensive range of product offerings.
Most of these pieces are unique.
This means that if you want to get a gift for someone that is truly one of a kind, Etsy will have options for you to choose from.
Although you may pay a bit more money, you must consider the time-saving aspects of Etsy.
Think about having to go around to five or ten different stores to find a unique gift for a family member or friend.
With access to Etsy, you will be able to avoid this issue and instead spend a few minutes searching online and have your product sent directly to you.
In addition, you have the option of sending the product to someone else without any additional charges.
Overall, the convenience and unique offerings are going to make Etsy more expensive, but most would admit that the service is well worth the price that you pay.
10. Custom Made Products
Etsy makes a wide range of custom-made products.
If you want something with your family’s last name or your children’s first names, you can get it on Etsy.
Of course, anytime that there are custom product offerings, you can expect the price to go up.
The custom designs are not just more expensive, but they also take more time from the shop owner.
When a custom order is placed, the shop owner has to start working on the project at that time.
In order to keep up with the demand for products and orders, the shop owners of Etsy are busy people.
If you need a custom product, you are going to have to prepare yourself for higher pricing.
However, buyers also need to be aware that, when expecting something that is custom-made, you have to assume you will pay a bit more.
The options for finding custom-made products locally is typically quite limited.
Unless you live in a major city with access to lots of stores and products, Etsy may be your only option for custom products.
Is Etsy Worth It?
Now that you have a better idea of why Etsy is as expensive as it is, you may wonder whether or not it is worth shopping on Etsy.
Most people find that, even with the higher pricing, Etsy offers a unique marketplace.
With so much of our world turning towards big box stores and mass production, people are often at a loss when looking for unique or custom gifts.
Etsy makes things much easier by allowing you millions of options to choose from on an easy-to-use platform.
Most people find that the more time they spend on Etsy, the more they learn how to save money and get the best unique products out there.
You can establish relationships with shop owners if you are a repeat buyer, and you may end up finding a way to save money if you plan on purchasing in bulk or being a repeat customer.
Don’t rule Etsy out just because of the pricing because you can still get great value.