I joined Etsy recently as a seller. I was looking for a platform that would enable me to create digital art and supplies as a creative outlet, apart from my normal business enterprises. I spent a lot of time in the forums reading and getting to know how the system works so that I could set the business up properly.

Talk about depressing.

95% of the threads in the forum are people complaining and whining at how Etsy has changed the seller dashboard, made Etsy direct payments obligatory, etc. etc. etc.

And these are not customers complaining. It’s the sellers.

I am gob smacked. What is with the sense of entitlement? I saw the same thing happen to self-publishing authors who sell their books through Amazon. All they did is complain and whine about how Amazon chose to run it’s business.

Both Etsy and Amazon have opened their doors for ordinary folks like you and me to setup shop. We can make anything, write anything and sell just about anything on those platforms. All this without having to go the time and expense of setting up your own website and paying for traffic via Google Ads or Facebook advertising.

Let’s put things into perspective.

Amazon has over 244 million active customers. Etsy has 28 million active buyers on their site.

It would take a shed load of money for a work-from-home person to set up that kind of business. Not to mention the human resources to get it done, and the years it would take to generate that kind of brand awareness and traffic to the site.

And yet, we are offered a unique opportunity to show off our stuff, be it physical, digital or written creations, by these very same oh-my-god-they-are-screwing-the-sellers companies.

Getting your store setup is free. Let me say that again. FREE. Neither Amazon or Etsy charge you a fee for creating your own personal commercial space.

Etsy only charges you $0.20 per listing. Even if you sell your product for $1.00 you still make a profit of $0.80.They don’t take any of the money on the sale. Yes, you heard me. Nada.

Amazon allows you to list a product free of charge, then they take a percentage of your sale, depending on the product you are selling. They only make money when you make money. Yeah I know. How dare they!

Both companies have gone out of their way to help their sellers. They offer additional services like ware-housing, inventory fulfillment, promotion opportunities and shipping to customers. Sure, those services cost you some money, but consider the cost of having to warehouse the goods yourself, and then manage all the shipping worldwide.

But the bottom line is this; Amazon and Etsy have only one responsibility. And that is to offer their customers the best possible shopping experience and value for money. Nothing else matters. Because without customers, both companies would go out of business.

Where would the 1.7 million active sellers on Etsy go if they closed the doors? If Amazon decides to stop allowing authors to self-publish, millions of authors will be out of business in a heart beat.

So we have two choices; either start your own website or be grateful for the opportunity and use it wisely. Start working on quality products, follow the guidelines, market yourself and your products and then say THANK YOU to these mammoth companies that have given the small business person a unique opportunity.