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

Jason Lee
5 Jul 202309:45

TLDRThe video discusses the risks of relying solely on Etsy for selling digital products, highlighting the potential for account suspension without warning, which can lead to a loss of both job and business. It emphasizes the importance of diversifying sales channels to mitigate platform risk, price wars, and scalability issues. The speaker suggests leveraging social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram to drive traffic to one's own website, where control over the customer experience and pricing is maintained. They also mention the benefits of building a brand and a customer email list to promote products directly. The video showcases an example of a successful online store that uses multiple platforms and has a strong social media presence, resulting in substantial revenue from both product sales and passive income streams like YouTube AdSense. The speaker concludes by offering a free cheat sheet with tools and strategies for building a sustainable digital product business.


  • 🚨 The risk of relying solely on Etsy includes the possibility of account suspension without clear reason, which can lead to loss of income and business momentum.
  • 📈 Diversifying sales channels is crucial to mitigate platform risk; having a website provides complete control over the customer experience and eliminates Etsy selling fees.
  • 💰 The potential for making substantial income from digital products exists, but it requires careful management to avoid overnight losses.
  • 🤝 Building a brand and trust through free content on social media can allow for higher pricing and healthier margins, unlike the competitive pricing on platforms like Etsy.
  • 💥 Price wars on Etsy can force sellers to lower their prices to compete, but having your own website allows you to set your own prices without direct competition.
  • 📊 Scalability is limited on marketplaces like Etsy, but owning a website can accelerate business growth and provide a platform for higher revenue targets.
  • 📧 Not having access to customer emails on Etsy means losing the ability to promote other products; an owned website allows you to build and utilize a customer email list.
  • 🌐 Utilizing social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok can drive significant traffic to your website, providing a sustainable source of customers.
  • 📈 By creating content for social media, you can significantly increase traffic to your website, which is more effective than improving SEO or images on Etsy alone.
  • 💼 An online business with consistent traffic and profits can be sold for a multiple of its monthly profit, providing an exit strategy that is not available when solely依靠 (relying on) a platform like Etsy.
  • 🎓 For beginners, Etsy can be a good starting point, but it should not be the endpoint for building a sustainable business.

Q & A

  • What is the main concern raised by the speaker about selling on Etsy?

    -The main concern is the risk associated with relying solely on Etsy as a sales platform. The speaker mentions the possibility of account suspensions with no clear reason, which can lead to a loss of both job and business.

  • What are the three major problems identified with selling on Etsy?

    -The three major problems are platform risk, price wars, and scalability issues. Platform risk involves the potential for account suspensions and loss of sales. Price wars refer to the low barrier to entry and the necessity to lower prices to compete. Scalability issues highlight the difficulty of growing a business that is solely dependent on a marketplace like Etsy.

  • How does the speaker suggest leveraging the scale of a marketplace like Etsy?

    -The speaker suggests leveraging Etsy's massive scale and audience when first starting out, but also emphasizes the importance of not relying on Etsy alone to mitigate the risks associated with platform dependency.

  • What is the impact of a copyright strike on an Etsy listing?

    -A copyright strike can lead to the deactivation of a listing for up to 10 business days. This results in lost sales and potentially the loss of ranking and momentum, which can be difficult to recover.

  • Why is it difficult to charge a fair price for digital products on Etsy?

    -It is difficult because the platform is flooded with sellers offering similar products. To compete, sellers often have to match or lower their prices, which can lead to a commoditization of their products and reduced profit margins.

  • What is the importance of having a customer's email list for a business?

    -Having a customer's email list is crucial for promoting other products directly to them. Without it, a business lacks direct control over customer relationships and the ability to market to them independently of the platform.

  • How does the speaker propose to solve the problems associated with selling on Etsy?

    -The speaker proposes building a strong online presence through a website and social media channels. This approach allows for greater control over the customer experience, the ability to charge desired prices, and the scalability of the business without relying solely on Etsy.

  • What are the benefits of driving traffic to one's own website instead of relying on Etsy?

    -Driving traffic to one's own website allows for complete control over the customer experience, no selling fees, the ability to charge higher prices without competition, and the potential for passive income through advertising and affiliate marketing.

  • How does having a strong social media presence help in scaling a business?

    -A strong social media presence helps in scaling a business by providing a consistent flow of traffic that is not limited by the rules and fees of a marketplace like Etsy. It also allows for the leveraging of current trends and the creation of a personal brand.

  • What is the potential exit strategy for a business that is not solely reliant on Etsy?

    -The potential exit strategy is to sell the online business for a multiple of the monthly profit, typically around 30 to 40 times the monthly net profit, providing a substantial return on investment.

  • What additional resources does the speaker offer to help individuals start building their business?

    -The speaker offers a free cheat sheet that includes tools, website platforms, apps, social media strategies, and learning resources to help individuals scale their digital product 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 illustrates the story of a seller who achieved significant daily earnings but faced an account suspension from Etsy, leading to job and business loss. The speaker emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks associated with marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon, where account bans can happen without clear reasons, leaving sellers with no control or recourse. They introduce three major problems sellers encounter on Etsy: platform risk, price wars, and scalability issues. The paragraph also highlights the importance of not just creating digital products to sell on Etsy but doing so correctly to avoid losing income overnight. The speaker promises to share hacks to overcome these issues and make more money.


💡 Diversifying Your Online Presence to Secure Your Business

The second paragraph provides strategies to mitigate the risks of relying on a single platform like Etsy. It uses the example of 'Etsy Happy Downloads,' which has successfully diversified its online presence with a strong YouTube channel and social media accounts, directing traffic to their website. This approach allows for control over customer experience, avoidance of Etsy's selling fees, and the ability to build a brand. The paragraph also discusses the benefits of having an email list for customers, which Etsy does not provide, and the potential for earning passive income through platforms like YouTube AdSense. It concludes with the suggestion to build a sustainable business that is not solely dependent on one marketplace and offers a free cheat sheet for further guidance on building a digital product business.




Etsy is an online marketplace that focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. In the video, it is presented as a starting point for selling digital products but also as a platform that carries risks due to its control over seller accounts and the potential for suspension without clear reasons.

💡Account Suspension

Account suspension refers to the temporary or permanent banning of a user's account on a platform like Etsy. In the context of the video, it is a significant risk for sellers as it can lead to a loss of income and business momentum, as illustrated by the story of a seller who lost their job and business due to an unexpected suspension.

💡Digital Products

Digital products are intangible goods that are distributed electronically. The video discusses the potential for making substantial income from digital products sold on platforms like Etsy, but also emphasizes the challenges such as the risk of account suspension and the difficulty in maintaining high prices due to competition.

💡Platform Risk

Platform risk is the vulnerability that comes with relying on a third-party platform for business operations. The video highlights that relying solely on Etsy can be risky because sellers have no control over their shop's status on the platform and are subject to its policies and potential changes.

💡Price Wars

Price wars occur when multiple sellers on a platform like Etsy compete by lowering their prices to attract customers. The video mentions that the low barrier to entry for digital products on Etsy leads to price wars, making it difficult for sellers to charge a fair price for their products and maintain profitability.


Scalability refers to the ability of a business to grow, especially in terms of revenue or output. The video discusses the limitations of relying on Etsy for business growth, emphasizing the need for strategies that allow for quick scaling and the potential to replace full-time income.

💡Customer Email List

A customer email list is a database of customers' contact information used for marketing and communication purposes. The video points out that on Etsy, sellers do not have access to their customers' email addresses, which limits their ability to promote other products or maintain a relationship with their customer base outside the platform.

💡Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves using social media platforms to promote products or services. The video suggests that building a presence on social media can provide a source of free traffic and help mitigate platform risk, as well as allow for greater control over the customer experience.

💡YouTube AdSense

YouTube AdSense is a program that allows content creators on YouTube to earn money from their videos by displaying ads. The video uses AdSense as an example of a passive income stream that can supplement income from product sales, highlighting the potential earnings from a large subscriber base and views.

💡Exit Plan

An exit plan is a strategy for how a business owner will leave or sell their business. The video suggests that having an exit plan is important when building a business, especially one that is not solely reliant on a marketplace like Etsy, as it allows for the possibility of selling the business for a significant multiple of its monthly profit.


Branding is the process of creating a unique name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product or service. The video emphasizes the importance of branding in allowing a seller to charge higher prices for their products, as it helps to build trust and distinguish the product from competitors.


The risk of relying solely on Etsy for business includes the possibility of account suspension without a clear reason, leaving sellers without a job or business.

The video aims to transform thinking and potentially make viewers more money than they can imagine through alternative strategies to selling on Etsy.

Three major problems with selling on Etsy are identified: platform risk, price wars, and scalability issues.

The transcript discusses leveraging the massive traffic of marketplaces like Etsy but also the importance of not relying on them exclusively.

The risk of a competitor issuing a copyright strike against your listings on Etsy, leading to deactivation and loss of sales and ranking.

The issue of price wars on Etsy, where low barriers to entry result in an oversaturated market driving prices down.

Digital products being easy to copy results in difficulty building a brand and charging higher prices, turning sellers into commodities.

The challenge of scaling a business that relies on a marketplace like Etsy, where growth can be capped and unpredictable.

The importance of owning the customer's email list for promoting other products and maintaining control over customer information.

The example of 'Etsy Happy Downloads' using a multi-platform approach, including a YouTube channel, to drive traffic to their own website.

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

The potential earnings from YouTube AdSense in addition to product sales, as demonstrated by the success of 'Etsy Happy Downloads'.

The strategy of driving traffic to one's own website to avoid competition and charge higher prices for products.

The case study of an individual who made $70,000 in a month selling motion templates on their own website without an Etsy shop.

Investing time in creating social media content can yield more traffic and better scaling potential than improving Etsy listings alone.

The potential to sell a solid online business for 30 to 40 times the monthly profit, providing an exit strategy and financial security.

The offer of a free cheat sheet with tools and strategies for scaling a digital product business, currently making $15,000 a month.

Etsy is recommended as a starting point for beginners but not as the endpoint for building a sustainable business.

The necessity of starting with an idea when building any business and the availability of digital product ideas in a recent video post.