DON'T Sell on Etsy. Do THIS Instead and Make $15,000 Per Month

Jason Lee
5 Jul 202309:45

TLDRThe video script warns against the risks of relying solely on platforms like Etsy for selling digital products. It shares personal stories of account suspensions and the loss of income, highlighting the need for diversification. The speaker emphasizes the importance of building a sustainable business through multiple channels, such as a personal website, social media, and YouTube, to mitigate platform risks, avoid price wars, and achieve scalability. The case study of 'Etsy Happy Downloads' is presented as an example of a successful strategy, leveraging YouTube for traffic and additional income. The video concludes with advice on creating a strong brand and content to drive traffic and suggests a free cheat sheet for further guidance on building a digital product business.


  • 🚨 The risk of relying solely on Etsy: Accounts can be suspended without warning, leading to loss of income and business momentum.
  • 📉 Platform risk: Competitors can file copyright strikes, causing listings to be deactivated and impacting sales and ranking.
  • 💰 Price wars on Etsy: Low barrier to entry results in flooded markets and the need to lower prices to compete, reducing profitability.
  • 📈 Scalability issues: It's challenging to scale a business that depends solely on a marketplace like Etsy without diversifying.
  • 💌 Importance of customer email lists: Without customer contact information, it's difficult to promote other products and build lasting relationships.
  • 🌐 Diversify traffic sources: Using social media and other platforms to drive traffic to your own website can mitigate the risk of relying on a single marketplace.
  • 💰 Control over pricing: On your own website, you can set your own prices without competition from similar listings on a marketplace.
  • 📊 Branding and trust: Building a strong brand and trust through free content on social media allows for higher pricing and better margins.
  • 📈 Scaling through content creation: Investing time in creating content for social media can significantly increase traffic compared to improving listings on Etsy.
  • 💰 Passive income opportunities: Earning from ad revenue on platforms like YouTube in addition to product sales can provide additional income streams.
  • 💼 Business valuation: A diversified online business with consistent traffic and profits can be sold for a significant multiple of its monthly profit.

Q & A

  • What is the main risk associated with selling on platforms like Etsy?

    -The main risk is platform control, where a seller's account can be suspended for various reasons, including copyright strikes or perceived competition, leading to loss of sales, ranking, and potentially the entire business.

  • What is the issue with relying solely on Etsy for your business?

    -Relying solely on Etsy can be problematic due to the risk of account suspension, price wars with competitors, and limited scalability. It also means you do not own your customer data, which is crucial for marketing and future sales.

  • How can a seller avoid the platform risk when selling digital products?

    -A seller can avoid platform risk by diversifying sales channels, such as having their own website, leveraging social media, and using other online marketplaces to reach customers.

  • What is a price war and how does it affect digital product sellers on Etsy?

    -A price war is a situation where multiple sellers offer similar products at lower prices to outcompete each other. This can lead to reduced profit margins and the devaluation of digital products, making it difficult to sell at a fair price.

  • How can sellers leverage social media to increase their sales and customer base?

    -Sellers can leverage social media by creating content that drives traffic to their own website, where they have more control over pricing and customer experience. They can also build a brand and establish trust, allowing them to charge higher prices for their products.

  • Why is it important for a business to have its own email list of customers?

    -Having a customer email list is important because it allows a business to maintain a direct line of communication with its customers, market new products effectively, and reduce reliance on third-party platforms for customer engagement.

  • What are some strategies to scale a digital product business beyond Etsy?

    -Strategies include creating a professional website, building a strong social media presence, using SEO to improve visibility, creating valuable content to attract and retain customers, and diversifying income streams, such as through affiliate marketing or YouTube AdSense.

  • How can a seller ensure they maintain momentum and rank even if their Etsy shop is temporarily suspended?

    -A seller can maintain momentum and rank by having a strong online presence elsewhere, such as a website and active social media channels, which continue to drive traffic and sales even when the Etsy shop is down.

  • What is the potential income from YouTube AdSense for a business with a large following?

    -A business with a large following, such as over 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, can earn between $4,000 and $74,000 per month from YouTube AdSense, providing a significant passive income stream.

  • What are some benefits of selling digital products on one's own website instead of Etsy?

    -Benefits include having complete control over the customer experience, no Etsy selling fees, the ability to set higher prices without competition, and the ability to build a brand and customer loyalty.

  • How much can a business expect to sell for if it has a net profit of $20,000 per month and is built on sustainable strategies?

    -A business with a net profit of $20,000 per month can expect to sell for between $600,000 to $800,000, depending on the niche and the sustainability of the strategies used to build the business.



🚨 Risks of Relying Solely on Etsy for Your Business 🚨

The first paragraph discusses the potential pitfalls of building a business solely on the Etsy platform. It highlights the risk of having an account suspended without warning, which could lead to the loss of both a job and a business. The speaker emphasizes the importance of understanding the reality of selling on marketplaces and not just the enticing prospects. They introduce three major problems associated with selling on Etsy: platform risk, price wars, and scalability issues. The paragraph also touches on the idea that while digital products can be profitable, the income is not guaranteed and can disappear if not managed correctly. The speaker promises to share hacks to overcome these issues and make more money.


🌐 Diversifying Your Online Presence for Business Sustainability 🌐

The second paragraph provides a strategy for mitigating the risks mentioned earlier by leveraging social media and other online platforms to diversify the business's online presence. It uses the example of a successful Etsy store, 'Etsy Happy Downloads,' which also has a strong presence on YouTube and other social media platforms. The speaker points out the benefits of driving traffic to one's own website, which allows for greater control over the customer experience and eliminates Etsy's selling fees. They also mention the potential for additional income from affiliate marketing and the importance of building a brand to command better prices. The paragraph concludes with the speaker offering a free cheat sheet with tools and strategies for building a sustainable digital product business.




Etsy is an online marketplace focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. In the video, Etsy is central to the discussion of the risks and limitations associated with relying solely on a third-party platform for business. The narrator mentions how sellers can face sudden account suspensions and lose control over their business operations, emphasizing the importance of diversifying sales channels beyond Etsy.

💡Platform risk

Platform risk refers to the potential dangers and instabilities associated with depending on a single platform for business activities. The video highlights this risk as one of the major challenges for Etsy sellers, including arbitrary account suspensions and changes in marketplace policies that can adversely affect sellers' businesses.

💡Digital products

Digital products are intangible goods that can be sold and distributed electronically. The video discusses how selling digital products on platforms like Etsy can be lucrative but also risky due to high competition and low barriers to entry, which can lead to severe price wars and copyright issues.

💡Price wars

Price wars occur when competitors continuously lower the prices of their products to outdo each other, often to the detriment of profit margins. The video explains how Etsy's saturated market forces sellers to reduce their prices, thereby making it difficult to maintain sustainable profits from digital products.


Scalability refers to the ability of a business to grow and handle increased demand without compromising performance or quality. The narrator argues that scalability is limited when relying solely on Etsy, proposing the development of independent sales channels and leveraging other forms of online presence to enhance business growth.


YouTube is used in the video as an example of an alternative platform that can be leveraged for traffic and revenue, independent of Etsy. It highlights a successful seller who uses YouTube to direct traffic to their own website, thereby reducing reliance on Etsy and enhancing business stability and profitability.

💡Customer's email list

Having a customer's email list is crucial for direct marketing and repeat sales, which Etsy does not provide to sellers. The video stresses the importance of building an independent customer base, which allows for more direct and personalized marketing strategies, enhancing customer retention and sales.


Branding is the process of creating a unique image and identity for a product or service in the consumer's mind. The video mentions how strong branding on independent platforms allows sellers to command higher prices and establish a loyal customer base, unlike on Etsy where products can become commoditized.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by enhancing visibility to users of a web search engine. The video critiques the limited impact of SEO on Etsy due to intense competition and suggests investing time in SEO for one's own website to achieve better results.

💡Content creation

Content creation is the process of generating topic ideas that appeal to one's persona, creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to the audience as a blog, video, infographic, or other formats. The video promotes content creation across multiple platforms as a strategy to attract more traffic, enhance engagement, and increase sales independent of marketplace constraints.


The risk of relying solely on Etsy for sales includes account suspensions without clear reasons, leading to loss of income.

Etsy's platform control poses a risk to sellers, as competitors can issue copyright strikes against listings.

Losing rank and momentum on Etsy after a suspension can be detrimental to a business's growth.

The low barrier to entry on Etsy can lead to price wars and difficulty in charging fair prices for digital products.

Digital products are easily replicable, which can lead to commoditization and difficulty in maintaining a brand.

Scalability on Etsy can be challenging, especially if the business depends solely on the marketplace.

Having a customer's email list is crucial for promoting other products, which is not possible when relying on Etsy.

Diversifying sales channels by using a website, social media, and other platforms can mitigate platform risk.

Etsy seller 'Etsy Happy Downloads' successfully directs traffic to their own website, leveraging their YouTube channel with over 300,000 subscribers.

Having a website provides complete control over the customer experience and eliminates Etsy selling fees.

Social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest can be used to drive free traffic to a business.

Earning potential on platforms like YouTube AdSense can provide a significant passive income stream.

Selling on one's own website eliminates competition and allows for higher pricing and better margins.

Investing time in social media content creation can yield more traffic and sales than optimizing Etsy listings alone.

Building a solid business with consistent traffic and profits can lead to a high selling value for the business.

Etsy can be a good starting point for beginners, but it should not be the endpoint for a sustainable business.

The speaker offers a free cheat sheet with tools and strategies to scale a digital product business beyond Etsy.

Digital product ideas can be found by researching successful Etsy stores and applying the strategies discussed in the transcript.