Just about anyone can create a Facebook, Etsy, Big Cartel or any other variety of pages. You can have your store or website up and running and your products on sale in a matter of hours (a barebones site, but up!) — and in that respect, it’s great for beginners.
But using social sites (like Etsy) to sell has its drawbacks. Here’s why:
You’re relying on a third party
And this means you can lose your page at any time. You don’t own it. If you violate the terms of service (and there are usually so many of these that you could quite easily do so by accident) or if the site shuts down, you’ll lose your page AND your client base. Your customers won’t know where else to find you, so they’ll find someone else instead.
You have more competition
So, you’re selling some really cute bracelets on Etsy — and so are several thousand other people. You’re less likely to stand out when you’re surrounded by competition. People are more likely to compare products, price-check, and search around for something better.
Social selling sites take a cut
A Big Cartel store charges you if you want to sell more than three items. Etsy charge a listing fee and takes a small percentage of the sale. It costs to list on eBay too.
If you’re not sure whether your products will sell, by all means, start selling on social. The Etsy community can be really helpful, and Facebook is totally free.
But ultimately, you don’t want to be using social media to sell. Use it to advertise. Use it to build a client base, run promotions, get people talking, and drive traffic to your own domain where you'll never have to give someone else a cut of your sales (except whatever service you use to process payments, but you were paying that on top of other costs on social selling sites regardless).
But wait, what IS a domain?
We know some of you are afraid to ask this very important question - and you shouldn't be! A domain is the URL of your website; the www.thisismysite.com. And when you own your own domain, you can create your OWN website and sell your products on YOUR site (using your terms).
Selling from your own site is always the best bet. And creating a website of your own really isn't that scary. Trust me.
Remember - social may seem simple, but it's NOT all fun and games - not if you want results. Whichever route you choose, plan to make a serious commitment to it.
Do you have experiences selling on social vs selling from your own domain?