Dropshipping on Etsy in 2020: Pros and Cons

etsy-dropshipping-2020

The popularity of dropshipping over the years has led almost every new and aspiring entrepreneur to consider this business model at least once in their lifetime – especially with Etsy.

The main question is, however, not if other people are dropshipping on Etsy – its whether it is legal.

Let’s get right into it.

Is dropshipping on Etsy allowed?

Etsy’s policies do not directly mention anything related to banning ‘dropshipping’ on their entire website.

What they do admit is that they allow reselling in some cases.

“‘Reselling’ is selling an item that you, the seller, did not make or design.”

Technically, this is all dropshippers need as a loop-hole to the anti-dropship policies.

Another crucial point to remember is that Etsy only allows reselling in vintage and craft supplies categories.

If you’re thinking about reselling from a third-party supplier to Etsy, then it is outright illegal and you’ll end up behind bars.

Why is dropshipping on Etsy so popular?

As of 2019, close to 45.7 million buyers had purchased goods through the Etsy ecosystem.

Biggest targeted audience: This audience is specifically shopping for hand-crafted, artisanal or vintage items.

Reputation: Etsy has a special place in every artist-turned-entrepreneurs’ hearts. They are strict with not letting any corporations take over their marketplace and promote originality.

Supportive community: Etsy has a huge community of active sellers who help each other out that makes it feel like a family rather than an E-commerce website.

However, its not all sunshine and rainbows. Let’s look at some downsides of dropshipping on Etsy.

Cons of dropshipping on Etsy

Hefty fees: Etsy charges a $0.2 listing fee along with a 5% transaction fee. Combine that with the shipping charge and wrapping costs and you have the actual number.

If you’re thinking about redirecting your Etsy visitors to your dropship store, don’t even think about it because it is strictly prohibited.

Termination of Wholesale program: On July 31st, 2018 Etsy terminated the closest thing to dropshipping program that existed making it almost impossible to safely dropship on the platform.

Listings expiry: Your listings expire after four months. This means doing the whole listing process all over again if you do not have too many customers dying to buy from you.

Sanctions policy: This policy allows third-party payment services like PayPal to have the authority to independently monitor purchases and block them if necessary.

Limits for scaling: Etsy, by nature, is not designed for people who want to mass-sell their products, which is the exact plan of most dropshippers. If you ever reach a state where you have so many orders, it’ll be time to leave the marketplace.

Uncertain future for dropshippers: Almost every dropshipper on Etsy is anxious about when they’ll implement a strong policy that strictly forbids any loophole that is allowing them to dropship. Most think it’s only a matter of time before a strict policy is in place.

What is the best option for dropshipping on Etsy?

We’d strongly suggest that you not stay entirely dependent on Etsy’s marketplace and operate your own dropshipping store at the same time.

Your standalone E-commerce store will also allow you to sell to other merchants such as Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay and more.

However, doing it manually will take loads of time and effort on your part.

This is where ExportFeed can help you shorten and automate the whole process.
Get started for free and jumpstart your dropshipping business today!

Face Masks & Coverings category added to Etsy plugin!

face mask category update

In 2020, the face mask industry size hit an all-time-record of USD 4581.9 million. 

It is logical to assume that the coronavirus outbreak plummeted the sales of face masks overnight.

If you’re planning to delve into this business but are still on the fence about its sustainability, here’s something even more shocking (positively) –  the worldwide face mask market size is expected to record a remuneration of USD 21,210 million by the end of 2026. 

Taking this massive opportunity for Etsy sellers into consideration, ExportFeed team is excited to announce the official launch of Face Masks & Coverings category to our plugin. 

This will help you generate feeds that fall under this category a breeze! 

Simply select Face Masks & Coverings category while creating a feed and we’ll do the rest on auto-pilot.

Don’t have the ExportFeed Etsy plugin yet? Get it here!

5 Most Profitable Amazon Product Categories in 2020

profitable amazon categories

Amazon has 310 million active users worldwide. That’s quite a number.

If there’s one promising virtual-land that offers such exposure for your products, it’s Amazon.

However, a lot of factors come into play when your biggest priority is profitability.

Higher profit is always backed by a huge demand for a specific product.

Keep in mind that there’s already hundreds of thousands of competitors that may have already established themselves as the go-to for a lot of loyal customers.

That being said, here are the top 5 profitable Amazon categories in 2020.

Electronics

Around 60% of Google searches were made using a smart device last year.

The rapid advancement in technology has resulted in companies releasing new tech products almost every month.

What makes the Electronics category even more profitable is Amazon only charges an 8% commission, compared to the standard 15%.

This category includes everything from accessories and cables to audio/video devices and even vehicle electronics.

Books

It’s almost ironic to follow the Electronics category with something as primitive as books.

Books were the reason Amazon was founded in the first place and they’re not going away any time soon..

A great way of making profit on Books is waiting for Books sales especially at libraries. Invest in a number of popular books and list them on Amazon for almost double the amount.

Toys and Games

Whether it’s educational toys or Disney/Marvel-franchised games, this category is busy all year.

You can time your listing perfectly with the release of a new or upcoming kids movie for some seasonal boosts on your revenue.

Spend some time researching what kids find cool because they’re your target audience.

Listen to advertisements on the radio, TV and even YouTube to know what’s trending.

Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry

According to a survey done by QZ, here are the most popular products that were sold last year under this category

  • Casual tops (68% of respondents purchased)
  • Shoes (48%)
  • Casual bottoms (38%)
  • Athletic wear (34%)
  • Accessories (26%)
  • Dresses (23%)
  • Underwear (24%)

Do not be demotivated by the pricey tags of huge brands. They’re not necessarily what your customers are looking for.

Amazon shoppers usually go for unique and low-costing products.

You can browse Amazon’s best selling section and see a clear view of what’s hot and what’s not.

Jewelry

This category can offer almost 50% profitability on your investment.

However, it is not as convenient as selling apparel.

While classic jewelry never really goes out of style, a lot of the top-selling jewelry are based on trends.

Make sure you’re up-to-date on the newest jewelry trends. Follow influencers on Instagram and filter out the products worth investing in.

If you want to sell fine-jewelry, however, you will need to switch to a Professional Selling Plan, and have an annual revenue of $50,000 within the Amazon platform.

Plus, you will have to pay a non-refundable deposit of $5,000.

Instead of targeting a huge audience, focus on a niche audience.

Ready to start selling on Amazon?

Give ExportFeed a free try and automate the whole process!

7 Optimization Tips for Your Amazon Listings in 2020

amazon-listing-optimization

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone searched for your product on Amazon and it ranked on the top of the search results?

Just like Google, Amazon is a whole different world in itself.

There are a number of factors that are responsible for your Amazon listing ranking.

You could be selling a bang-for-the-buck product but still not rank as high as you want to because of some small aspects of your listing.

Here are 7 optimization tips that you can easily implement to your Amazon listings and start ranking higher in 2020.

Use Product Title Limit to the Fullest

Amazon gives you a 250 character-limit on your product listing’s title. Make sure you grab your customer’s attention by letting them know you’re selling exactly what they’re looking for.

For instance, if you’re selling airpods, include related keywords such as bluetooth, wireless, earphones, earbuds, etc. along with some popular brand names.

Some best practices for the product title include:

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word
  • Use numerals (2 instead of two)
  • If a bundled product, state value in parenthesis as (pack of X)
  • Keep it short, but include critical information

Key Product Features – include details that can convert

Let’s assume that someone was interested enough in your listing title that they clicked on your listing.

At this point, your customer will look for the unique benefits that your product offers compared to your alternatives.

  • Highlight the five key features you want customers to consider, such as dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents, country of origin, and so on.
  • Maintain a consistent order. If your first bullet point is country of origin, keep that same order for all your products
  • Reiterate important information from the title and description
  • Begin each bullet point with a capital letter
  • Write with sentence fragments and do not include ending punctuation
  • Do not include promotional and pricing information
  • Do not include shipping or company information. Amazon policy prohibits including seller, company, or shipping information in product detail pages.
  • Feature bullets help customers evaluate a product, so any non-product-specific information can distract from a customer‘s purchase decision

Use images that need no explanation

If I can figure out what your product does the moment I see your Amazon listing images, you’ve done it right.

A professional image with a white background can help your products be more discoverable in the search results.

bad image amazon

good image amazon

Here are some good components of a good image:

  • Product images must have a white background with a clear image of just the product
  • Product images should be at least 300-dpi 1,000-dpi images are preferred
  • Product images should be in color, not black & white
  • Show the entire product. The product should occupy at least 80 percent of the image area.
  • Include only what the customer will receive; accessories that are not part of the product should not be shown

Use variation relationships to avoid any confusion

amazon variation

Here’s a great example of a great use of variation relationships by Team Sports for size and colour variation.

The color combination buttons ‘Black/White’, ‘Green/White’ and ‘Red/White’ change the variation of the ball in real-time so the customers know exactly what they’re placing an order for.

Here are some rules to stick by:

  • Fully describe each child product, so all will be included in browse and search results
  • Add the size and color to the child product title
  • Use SKUs to build relationships using fields for SKU and ParentSKU
  • List the Child offers under the Parent SKU in the flat-file or XML

Well-written product description

As stated in point number 2, you might think that going straight-to-the-point with bullets can be a great way to convince your customers to buy your product.

However, you can go well beyond that and tap into your customer’s emotional side.

For instance, let’s say I’m selling hearing aids.

I could start the product description with a quote such as ‘Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people’.

Then, I can add how effective the hearing aids that I’m selling is for you or your loved one.

  • Describe the major product features and list product information including size, used-for and style
  • Keep it short, but include critical information.
  • Include accurate dimensions, care instructions and warranty information
  • Use correct grammar and complete sentences

Build credibility with reviews & answering product questions

Let your customers know that you’re an actual human being that genuinely cares about anyone who has a query regarding your product.

amazon review

Reviews can play a huge role in your customer’s buying decision. Regardless of whether your product has been featured on huge publications like New York Times, Verge or Washington Post, people will still scroll down to see what the everyday-Joe thinks about your product.

Encourage your customers to leave a positive review by awarding them with an incentive – maybe a slight discount on their next purchase or whatever that is feasible.

This brings me to my next category – the product questions.

Regardless of the complexity of the question, answer everything, even if it has been covered in the description!

Listen to these wise words by Bear Gryll

bear grylls optimization

That’s right. Improve. Adapt. Overcome.

Maybe none of the points that I’ve shared here works out for your product and you sell better by actually breaking them.

Monitor your progress and stick to the changes that make a positive impact on your listings.

If you want to create product feeds that are free of error, consider giving ExportFeed a try.

Selling on Google Shopping is now FREE! | Google announces positive news amidst coronavirus pandemic

google-shopping-free-listing

Business has been slow and even halted for millions of retail businesses all around the world since the coronavirus outbreak.

As a result, we got to witness a drastic switch to digital shopping within a matter of days since going out meant exposing yourself to a deadly virus.

While we could talk for days about all the terrible things that have happened since the  pandemic, Google was generous enough to announce some positive news to help businesses and consumers with their new offer.

The news came from Google’s official blog on April 21st, 2020 from Bill Ready – it’s now free to sell on Google.

When will Google Shopping’s free listing offer start?

This offer will take effect before the end of April, 2020 .

Are all countries eligible for this program?

As of now, Google’s free listing offer is limited to the United States and will expand globally before the end of 2020.

Are all E-commerce platforms eligible for Google Shopping’s free product listing?

Google is continuing to work closely with many of their existing partners that help merchants manage their products and inventory, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes.

How do I apply for Google’s free product listing offer?

The steps are clearly outlined in Google’s help center.

Google is hoping to see their Shopping tab primarily consisting of free listings by next week.

Since hundreds of millions of consumers shop on Google everyday, they will be able to see a lot more merchants to buy from.

We hope you make the most out of this offer and start listing on Google right away.

If you’re looking for a solution that automates the whole process, give ExportFeed a free try!

Variation image support for Etsy released! | Shopify platform

shopify etsy variation image

2020 has not particularly been a good year for any of us but in spite of all the struggles that we’re facing together, ExportFeed’s development team has been vigorously working remotely to make sure we still do our best to serve our loyal customers. 

During this process, we’re delighted to announce that ExportFeed is officially launching variation image support for Etsy for Shopify. 

You will now be able to link your listing photos to a specific variation so shoppers can see all the details for themselves. 

This helps avoid any confusion regarding exactly which option your customers are choosing. 

How variation image support helps your Etsy customers

When any of your customers make a selection from the variations drop-down and choose an option that has a linked photo, they will be able to see the image of their choice on the listing page and all the way through checkout. 

For instance, let’s say a shopper is looking at a black jacket of size 30. This specific option will be displayed automatically in her cart at checkout so she knows exactly what she’s ordering.

Why variation image support is great for your business

You will instantly notice that your support team will start getting fewer questions relating to different variations. 

If your store is giving more details in a transparent manner, you can spend less time trying to explain each option in your listing description.

This means no more adding text to your images that clutter its thumbnails. 

How can I use ExportFeed’s variation image support for Etsy? 

Here’s the fun part – you do not have to follow any extra step other than continue creating your Etsy feeds as usual.

ExportFeed’s system can automatically detect when you’re uploading different variations image to your product and feed it accordingly to Etsy. 

You can give our Shopify app a try and see for yourself how convenient it is for your business.

 

Trending digital products on Etsy during the Coronavirus phase

trending-digital-products-etsy

Coronavirus has affected individuals and businesses worldwide on a massive scale.

When all of the consumers are limited to the periphery of their residence, there’s not much to sell besides digital products.

One of the rather unsurprising results from this pandemic has been a peak in internet usage – people depend on the virtual world to keep them entertained while trying to hold on to their sanity.

Despite all of this, there have been some digital products that have been trending on Etsy starting from December when the Coronavirus was just being discovered.

If you’ve been on the fence about investing in a different business model, here are some products that might be of interest to you.

You can find the search volume, SEO & paid difficulty along with keyword ideas to help you get started on selling these digital products on Etsy.

Printable Stickers

Stickers are one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing for businesses.

You probably have seen custom stickers on cars, signs, bathroom stalls, doors and so forth.

While people staying at home might not be going around showing off stickers, they are still printing them out of boredom or just to give their room an upgrade.

 

Greeting cards

There is nothing quite like a greeting card that can send a special message to someone you care about.

They combine the power of beautiful images along with poetic words to make the receiver of the card grateful for the gift.

While any of the other digital products might go out of fashion, these are definitely here to stay.

Printable coloring pages

The search volume alone for printable coloring pages should give you an idea about how popular they are from kids to adults alike.

There has been a significant increase in printable coloring pages’ search volume ever since December which clearly shows a lot of isolated individuals have turned to them to ignite their creative side.

Printable business cards

You might be wondering who could be interested in printing business cards at this time but the numbers clearly show no sign of decrease in its popularity.

Printable business cards let entrepreneurs showcase their business while facilitating the networking process.

Snapchat filter

From house parties and weddings to coffee shops and campus-wide events, Snapchat offers a filter for everything.

You can target a niche audience and create a filter that has a special place in their hearts.

While the average order value might not be too high for these filters, you should definitely consider creating and selling a wide variety of Snapchat filters to make a decent profit out of them.

 

Printable wedding invite

While it is obvious that no one’s really planning on getting married any time soon, printable wedding invites still have a significant search volume with the hardest paid difficulty in this list.

Printable wedding invites are a great way of cutting costs since you do not have to hire a designer and make the design from scratch.

 

Printable planners

Sometimes life can seem too overwhelming just because you have no way of tracking all the things that you’re supposed to do at the same time.

Printable planners are a great way of keeping your daily tasks organized.

This is a great solution for people who are working from home to keep track of their pending tasks.

 

Printable calendar

Calendars have been used since the beginning of time.

The only difference between the primitive ones and the ones we use today would be the design, really.

Just like any other digital product, you could make a good earning by targeting a niche market and offer printable calendars based on that product/brand/TV-series or whatnot.

Fonts

Fonts come in all shapes and sizes. The choices are endless for businesses to choose one that aligns with their brand.

Every product you’ve ever purchased or the artist you’ve listened to has a unique font that helps them stand out from everyone else.

Since most businesses prefer using a unique font, you can offer numerous templates and let your customers choose for themselves.

 

Business logo

Logos are another crucial component of your business’ brand.

It is often referred to as the face of a company.

While the paid difficulty is slightly higher than the others in this list, you can definitely earn from selling logo templates of a small size for free and high-resolution options as a paid package.

We hope this list of trending digital products on Etsy was helpful for you to prioritize exactly which business you might want to invest in.

However, you will still need help with sending your products to Etsy than spending countless hours creating a manual product feed.

The best solution to list your products on Etsy

ExportFeed is one of the best solutions that not only lets you list your products on Etsy but also to 40+ other merchants and marketplaces.

It’s pretty logical to make your products’ presence known in multiple platforms if you really want to make big numbers in revenue.

You can give it a free try and see for yourself how it shortens the entire process.

A guide to listing your products on Amazon – with or without barcodes

amazon-listing-gtin

Amazon is the world’s biggest marketplace with over 101 million Prime users in the United States alone. 

Regardless of where you are in the world, if you are a seller of any business size, it is the best place to get exposure. 

However, a lot of new sellers have trouble getting started with listing their products on Amazon.

You might Google about it and see complex terms like barcodes, GTIN, EAN and more.

Sit back and let’s take me explain in simple terms how you can listing your products on Amazon and give your business a boost in revenue.

Two methods of listing your products on Amazon

    Using Barcodes

Amazon systems are barcode-driven. Each unit you send to a fulfillment center requires a barcode so that it can be tracked throughout the fulfillment process.

The Universal Product Code (UPC) (redundantly: UPC code) is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries for tracking trade items in stores.

GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. It is a numbering system developed by GS1 System (https://www.gs1.org) for identifying trade items such as products and services.

The International Article Number (also known as European Article Number or EAN) is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer.

JAN: An EAN-13 number includes a 3-digit GS1 prefix (indicating country of registration or special type of product). A prefix with a first digit of “0” indicates a 12-digit UPC-A code follows. A prefix with first two digits of “45” or “49” indicates a Japanese Article Number (JAN) follows.

If your products have barcodes that are recognized by Amazon, it is much easier to get your products listed using a product feed solution like ExportFeed.

Where can you apply for barcodes?

Since Amazon validates the barcodes from GS1, ISBN and GEPIR, the barcodes should be purchased solely from those prodviders. 

What type of the sellers require barcodes?

The first step for knowing whether or not you need barcodes is to check whether the product’s brand requires GTIN.

Verify if the exemption is eligible for your category. If it is eligible then you do not require Barcodes. 

Check if that product is already listed on Amazon.

  • Request approval from the other seller and get the barcodes from the provider.
  • Listed products on Amazon also provides the barcodes. 

    Listing your products on Amazon without barcodes

If your product does not have a product ID (barcode), also called a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), you might be eligible to request a GTIN exemption depending upon the category that Amazon offers. 

There is a list of brands that require a GTIN to list on Amazon. GTIN exemptions are not available for these brands. Any product that belongs to any of these brands and does not have a GTIN will be suppressed.

The fastest way to list your products on Amazon

Now that you’re aware of all of the methods that you can use to list you products on Amazon, you might still be wondering how you’ll be able to spend hours, if not days on creating XML files for your products.

Luckily, you can use a feed automation solution that does all of this for you and can help not only Amazon but other merchants and marketplaces such as Facebook, Google Merchant, Etsy, ShareASale and a lot more.

ExportFeed is one of the best solutions that gives you complete control over your feed files along with the flexibility to customize any aspect of your listing. 

You can give it a free try and see for yourself if its the right fit for your business.

I hope these points helped clear up your confusions related to listing your products on Amazon. 

If you have any questions relating to any of these topics, please feel free to leave a comment and our support team will be happy to assist you in any way possible.

Real-time and metafield sync for Etsy Released!

realtime-metafield-sync

We’re starting 2020 strong with a much-needed feature that has been requested by ExportFeed’s customers for some time.

Our development team has been quite busy working on new features while making sure they’re quality-tested very meticulously before releasing them. 

Let’s dive right into it!

Real-time sync

ExportFeed customers will now be able to sync all of their orders and inventory in real-time instantly. Pretty self-explanatory. 

This will be a huge benefit for Shopify stores that have hundreds of thousands of products. You can be assured that you do not oversell or undersell because of slow sync time.

Pricing packages eligible for real-time sync

Since this is an exclusive feature that is suitable for bigger stores, we’re offering real-time sync to two packages:

  • Super Seller ($89.99/month with 100k SKUs) and
  • Platinum Seller ($129.99/month with over 100k SKUs)

Metafield sync

ExportFeed is one of the first companies to roll out this exclusive meta-field sync feature.

It will not only help you stay visible across multiple search engines but also help you reach a significantly bigger audience and ultimately result in higher sales.

Here’s what meta-field sync can fetch from your products and feed them to search engines like Google and Bing:

  • SEO title
  • Amazon bullets
  • Custom price
  • Google Schema support
  • Search engine friendly data

Pricing packages eligible for metafield sync

You will be able to enjoy the full benefits of ExportFeed’s metafield sync feature with three packages:

  • Advance Seller ($59.99/month with upto 50k SKUs)
  • Super Seller ($89.99/month with 100k SKUs) and
  • Platinum Seller ($129.99/month with over 100k SKUs)

What if I am already subscribed to these plans?

You have nothing to worry about.

If you have purchased any of these eligible subscription packages, you will still be able to integrate the metafield and real-time sync feature through your existing dashboard.

Interested to learn more about these features? Get in touch with our support team and we’ll set everything up in no time!

 

Amazon’s limit on Personally Identifiable Information(PII) – How it affects ExportFeed users

Amazon PII

The world’s largest online marketplace and cloud computing platform recently broke the news on the importance they put on the data privacy of their users.

You might even have been notified about the changes Amazon made to their Marketplace Web Service (MWS) API Data protection policies which will now put a lot more restrictions on your Amazon data.

Service providers like ExportFeed still do not have the specifics on the range of changes that are bound to happen in the coming months.

However, we’re already taking all possible implications on the new security update into consideration to make sure our customers are still able to seamlessly create and manage their listings on Amazon with ease.

Before diving into the limitations on PII, let’s briefly take a look into what PII is.

What is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

PII, in simple terms, refers to any information that could potentially be used alone or with other relevant data to identify a particular person.

This includes your full name, date of birth, bank account number, email address, Social Security Number (SSN) and even medical records.

People are getting more and more concerned with the amount of information they share with any product/service, which is why Amazon had to make recent changes to their data protection policies.
What falls under Amazon’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?
The new security requirements set by Amazon limits access to the buyers’ personally identifiable information (PII) which include

  • Buyer name
  • Recipient name
  • Shipping address

These fields might only be accessible in case of tax and merchant fulfilled shipping.

How does Amazon’s PII limit affect ExportFeed users?

Here’s the good news: the new data protection policies will only affect Europe-based businesses.

If you’re using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you have nothing to worry about either.

If your online store has a .eu domain, you will need to make some changes moving forward.

From this point onward, third-party services like ExportFeed will no longer have access to this information which creates complications on how we process orders.

ExportFeed features that might be compromised

Order sync

Since we will no longer be able to extract even the basic contact details like the buyer’s full name, email address and shipping address, you will only be notified when someone buys your products without knowing anything about them.

You will still be notified when a new order is placed on your store and get their respective product/order IDs.

However, if you do not have access to their contact details, you will have no idea where to ship the purchases.

Inventory sync

ExportFeed’s inventory sync will not be affected by the new PII limit to a certain extent.

In simple terms, your inventory will still be synced but if you try to view the buyer’s name, it will be inaccessible.

What can European stores do now?

Bluntly put, there really is no way around these new data protection policies.
If you run a small-sized to medium-sized store, you might be able to manually sort through and verify orders.

However, if you get even tens or hundreds of orders each day, manually verifying all orders might be impossible considering the cost of your employees.

Please feel free to contact our support if you want to have a one-on-one session with our expert team.