NightBlooming Storefront vs Etsy Fees & Marketplace

Etsy Fees vs NightBlooming

Spare me Etsy Fees by Shopping NightBlooming

Although NightBlooming got its start on Etsy, over time it became like a plant in a too-small pot, struggling to grow into everything it could be. As the years went by and my store grew, it felt like Etsy fees were chopping off tender shoots as fast as I could grow them. 

As many of you know, I’ve dreamt of having my own NightBlooming site for years and years; someplace where my blog posts and stand-alone storefront could live in harmony together, with everything flowing between educational content and my handmade offerings. Back in 2017 I was able to buy the domain and got the Articles section up and running, but a storefront was elusive for years. 

Finally, in 2022 that dream became a reality, and with that came some big changes to how I go to market with NightBlooming, what products are going to live where, and why.

The short version: The best way to support me is by sparing me Etsy fees and shopping directly at NightBlooming.

Etsy changed in ways that make it hard for NightBlooming to be what I want it to be in that marketplace

A lot of this, of course, comes down to the ever-ratcheting fee increases. Etsy makes this seem innocuous enough, and this latest fee hike was “only” from 5% to 6.5%, but realize that not too long ago the fees were only 3% on only the cost of the item. Now, it’s more than double that and applies to the “entire transaction cost” which includes shipping. To make the same I did on my products 5 years ago, I would have to increase all my prices 36%. I know that’s pricing my things out of the hands of customers who have supported me for years, and that’s not something I’m willing to do. But it means I’m working just as hard and making significantly less.

NightBlooming Etsy Storefront on a Tablet with Etsy Fees

Etsy not only raised its fees, the entire marketplace changed

 Etsy is essentially now Amazon, but draped in the husk of the ethical handmade market they started out as.
Etsy made bank over the pandemic. In 2020, they more than doubled their gross marketplace sales. In 2021, they kept those pandemic sales gains and broke their 2020 record by $3.2 billion dollars. In June of 2021, they acquired Elo7, the “Etsy of Brazil” to the tune of $217 million dollars cash. In July of 2021, they completed acquisition of Depop, a British fashion marketplace, to the tune of $1.625 billion dollars, primarily cash.
 

They followed up these record pandemic gains by turning around and sticking it to their sellers.

— full article here.

 
Etsy hiked fees by 30% because they can’t just make money, they have to have ✨infinite stockholder growth.✨ Without the pandemic to drive sales, they’re making that “growth” happen by taking it out of their sellers already meager profits.

Another reason I’ve wanted my own standalone store is that Etsy has also taken to really trying to create impulse buys. Don’t you know there is only 2 of this thing and it’s in EVERYONE ELSE’S CART???

I don’t want you to impulse buy. Where Etsy has all but hidden an item’s description in favor of packing reviews and pictures and add on items and all this other ✨shiny shit✨  at the top of the listing, I want to give you a purchase experience that feels good. That isn’t BUY BUY BUY. That lets you thoughtfully look at every ingredient and know what it is and why it’s there. That presents you with resources to help you achieve a greater understanding of me, and NightBlooming, and my products and processes.

Rewards, not Etsy Fees

I am unreasonably excited about the Moonseeds. You’ll collect Moonseeds as you order, refer new customers to NightBlooming.com, comment on posts and articles (like this one), and I’ll even give you some for your birthday. You’ll be able to redeem these for discounts, free samples, and other goodies.

Other perks exclusive to NightBlooming include:

  • Free domestic shipping and $5 international shipping discount for orders over $35
  • All NightBlooming products, including the 500g bulk packages of my herbal hair colors, are only on NightBlooming.com
  • Early access to new products. 
NightBlooming Shipping Truck

Tiny disclaimer: You MUST register for an account and be logged in to harvest your Moonseeds. Express checkout methods (i.e. checking out as a guest with PayPal) bypasses my ability to reward you with Moonseeds.

What I save on fees enables me to give back to you!

With the fees I’m not paying when people shop at NightBlooming instead of Etsy, I can give back to my customers. Moonseeds are wholly possible because of this, and we both come out ahead!

Every wonder what I sound like? Here you go! I made you a tutorial on how to redeem Moonseeds!

Why I'm staying on Etsy in spite of the Etsy fees

In spite of the Etsy fees and and appalling lack of Moonseeds, I’m not leaving Etsy entirely. It is a very valuable way for new customers to find me and there are some of my customers for whom Etsy is just a better way to purchase–and while not ideal for me, I respect that’s the best way for them. For example, if you’re an international customer who likes that Etsy collects and remits VAT–I can’t offer you that, so I get if that’s a dealbreaker for sticking with Etsy.

However, NightBlooming.com is going to have my full product offering, and NightBlooming on Etsy is going to have my flagship products, but not the bigger, heavier sizes of things. (i.e. you’ll be able to get the 10g samples and 100g packets of Fire Genasi on Etsy, but the 500g bulk pouch is going to be on NightBlooming.com only.) 

This will let me, for now, not raise prices. In the future, when Etsy hikes its fees again, I’ll only raise prices on Etsy.

…but the goal is to move as much of my business to NightBlooming.com as I can, and I’m asking for your help

A good friend of mine crunched some numbers for me and

  • 30% of people who purchase from my store on Etsy purchased from me again. In the industry this is called a loyalty rate, and mine is considered absurdly good.
  • Those repeat customers account for 63% of my orders 
  • and  71% of my total revenue

As you can see in that chart, over time the number of orders placed by my repeat customers has always lagged the orders placed by first time customers… but kept catching up. And in 2021, for the first time ever, repeat buyers placed more orders than first time ones.

First time NightBlooming Customers vs Repeat Customers on Etsy

Every single one of you that shops from me here rather than Etsy matters a lot

That means your support is going to me, and not to Etsy’s shareholders. Etsy’s shareholders are not the ones working on One Salve to Rule them All.

These things may seem small, but they help me immensely!

  • Introduce people to the NightBlooming storefront with the referral system. They’ll get $5 off their first order and you’ll get bonus Moonseeds. 
  • Post links to products on NightBlooming.com rather than to my Etsy store whenever possible. I.e. If you’re telling someone on The Long Hair Community about one of my products, link to it here, not on Etsy.
  • Leave reviews. This not only gets you bonus Moonseeds, but positive reviews are the number one reason why someone will decide to purchase one of my products.

Thoughts on NightBlooming vs. Etsy fees?

If you just didn’t know that the NightBlooming storefront was live, or if you didn’t think where you bought from mattered, or if you DID know and meant to buy from me directly, but Etsy’s got all your information already and making a new account is kind of a pain in the ass… start supporting me through NightBlooming. I’d be so very, very grateful.💚

As always, I value your thoughts immensely and wanted to make sure you understood the why for these changes, because they’re both big, and very very exciting. 

And if you leave a comment below (and make an account if you haven’t already–just go here and fill out the Register box) you’ll get a few extra Moonseeds. 

PS. At checkout enter the code 5Welcome to take $5 off your first order there!

PPS. Just remember I moderate comments for spam, so if you don’t see your comment appear right away, don’t fret! I’ll approve it as soon as I see it 🙂

67 thoughts on “Etsy Fees vs NightBlooming”

  1. Hi Melissa, I’ve been following along since you first mentioned your plans for opening your own storefront and I’m so excited it’s coming soon! One of the things I love about your products are the huge descriptions you have on etsy (I won’t buy anything without reading ingredients, in both food and cosmetics) and I’m sure the layout for all the text will be easier on your own site.

    Good luck and I appreciate your hard work in churning out all these handmade goodies yourself and while working full time.

    1. Awww well thank you! I’m impressed you can FIND the descriptions on Etsy after they’ve buried it to the side and made most of it hidden. You’re going to love the new layout on items, I think! Every ingredient is listed right near the top, and can be hovered over for a short description of what it is and why it’s in there.

    2. thepaintedlady08

      Oh there we go! I was finally able to make an account! I’m super excited! I can’t see what other great things you will bring to the hair market! Maybe shampoo and conditioners?

  2. I suppose now might be a good time to tell you I mentioned NightBlooming on TikTok last week – and this means next time, I’ll have a (non-Etsy) link to accompany it!

    p.s. I think I got all of 20 views, but eh, that’s better than nothing!

    1. Oh hey! That’s awesome! Thank you so much for mentioning NightBlooming on TikTok–I’ll admit that even thinking about doing anything on that platform hasn’t been anywhere on my mind, but I know it’s bustling and it’s an important one!

  3. Tiffany Zappulla

    Very excited for this, especially Moonseeds! So few businesses actually reward loyalty these days. I will be happy to support you (and make my repeat buys for Moonseeds) at the new site!

    1. For sure! It was not only important to me to have a loyalty program with the Moonseeds, but also to have ways to get them that didn’t require spending money! Comments, referrals, all that stuff are just as important and makes it feel less pay to play.

    1. Awww thank you! It’s really scary and also very exciting. I’m so used to how I do things on Etsy for simple things like making labels and filling orders that I’m super-nervous about getting it right on my own site!

  4. So happy you’re finally making this happen! I think the Moonseeds are a great idea and can’t wait to see the site once it’s up and running 🙂

    1. It’s been so much work. Like one of those things where I was like, “Oh, it’ll be a lot of work” and then it was wayy more than even what I expected! But I really want it to be a great experience for everyone!

  5. I really appreciate you taking international customers into consideration with the shipping! That alone is incentive enough for a Canadian like me to buy from your new site instead of Etsy 🙂

    1. That makes me so happy! My international customers go above and beyond dealing with shipping costs and delays so I wanted to make buying from me less of an ordeal!

  6. So excited to use your new store! And since I am already spamming the internet with NightBlooming links, I’ll be happy to continue to do so with links your own store! LOL.

    And I’ll be very happy to not having to look for the ingredients list to find it every time!

    And yay for us international customers to be included in your plans! 🙂

    Thank you for everything you do Melissa! <3 Now I'm off to see if I can figure out how to create an account 🙂

  7. I am excited for the new store! And moon seeds sound like such a lovely idea! What form of payments will you be taking on the store front? I know Etsy offers PayPal, Klarna, and Apple Pay, will that be similar here?

    1. That’s a great question! I’m currently set up with Stripe and Paypal. So PayPal, Apple Pay, GPay, and credit cards to start. I’m not sure about Klarna, but I can check!

  8. Thank you so much for your kindness and concern towards international customers like me! I try to buy local whereas I can, but there just isn’t anything that works as well as Selkie does on my hair.

    1. Awww! That makes me happy to hear! And yes, especially shipping Selkie abroad is so expensive because liquids are so heavy, so I’m happy to try to ease that pain however I can!

  9. Hi Melissa, I’m thrilled to see you starting your online shop for Nightblooming. It’s going to be a fabulous new beginning. Wishing you all the best,
    Marta

  10. Awesome! I’ll certainly support your store. While, in general, I don’t mind to pay someone to provide a shopping environment, the handling of companies like Etsy, Amazon and others is nothing I like to support. Sometimes it’s inevitable, but if I have means of paying the seller without middle man (AND get a few perks on top of that), I’ll always prefer that.
    (Also, I’m not sure I can / how to create an account, too, but I would have commented anyways 🙂 )

    1. Aye for sure. It’s to the point where when I find something I like on Etsy I go dig to see if they have a stand alone site and try to buy from there instead. You can create an account by going to My Account and you can register on the right. Once you do I can make sure your comment Moonseeds are added!

  11. This is awesome news! I am excited to be able to buy directly from you instead of relying on Etsy, whose current way of ranking things makes for a crummy user experience. Selkie is such a life saver for the long hairs in my house.

    1. Yeah their current way of ranking things is “Well this thing sells, don’t you want it, too?” It’s so annoying! I’m glad Selkie is working so well for all your resident longhairs, though!

  12. I’m so excited to see an update on the storefront! I’ve been finding myself shopping less and less on etsy (really just sticking with my established sellers who I go find directly through my favorites) because they’ve turned it into such a hot mess. Shopping on etsy just isn’t fun to me anymore. I can’t wait to be able to shop directly on your site and know you’re getting all the support from the sales!

    1. Thank you so much!! And yeah, the high pressure sales route Etsy has gone just feels so gross 🙁 And I honestly can’t think of too many other things that are a worse impulse buy than henna!

  13. The rebellion has begun, haha! You deserve your own place to shine, congratulations <3. I have a tiny following consisting of toddlers and one full grown man, but I will tell whoever I can about Nightblooming's magical mud and mist! ;P

  14. CamelotRavenheart

    I’ve been beyond excited for your store to debut on here!! SO excited and thrilled for you 😀
    I love all of your products and Fire Genasi was the first henna I’ve used and the first time I dyed my hair. No turning back for me now, I’m a devoted convert 😛
    Can’t wait to see what goodies you have in store for us!

    1. I’m so glad you’re excited! There’s going to be a learning curve to be sure, but having my own platform is going to be so much more flexible to do cool things with!

  15. Out of curiosity, have you given any thought to accepting Afterpay? If you’re not familiar with it, it’s another company like Klarna (the one etsy uses) that allows you to split your purchase into 4 payments. I’m not familiar with it from a seller’s perspective, but I know as a buyer, it’s great for making larger purchases more manageable. I could see that being a decent draw for people to keep shopping on etsy otherwise.

    1. I haven’t honestly looked into that (or Klarna), but I’ll look into them! I have help on all this from someone who knows a lot more than me, so if Afterpay and Klarna aren’t too expensive or complicated on my end to implement, I don’t see anything wrong with adding them as payment methods.

  16. Fabulous news Melissa!! Love your products and the way you do biz. First class in my book. Plus you inspire me. I’m looking forward to using your new web store.

  17. I feel happy for you to be able to open your own shop and I think I will be buying from the new one excitedly. I am already looking forward to your new hair salve (I liked the original Panacea’s Hair Salve best BTW) and also the Selkie Detangling Shampoo & Solid Conditioner Bars! I have tried other bars before but they were not so good and I love the quality of your other products, so I am highly optimistic I (or my hair actually) could like those! And if the shipping costs to Europe might get a little less expensive it would be nice. So, I am looking forward to next month and I am already saving money for the grand opening. ^_^

  18. I love your lengthy, comprehensive descriptions of each product – it’s testament to the care you put into everything you do. Thanks so much for taking the time to educate us about what’s going on. I’m so excited about your new website and can’t wait to shop there – I just registered! I’m proud of you for making this happen, I know it’s a tremendous amount of work for you but will certainly benefit everyone in the long run. And, you’ve inspired me to finally begin taking small steps toward creating my own site.

    1. That makes me so happy to read! That’s exactly what I’m trying to do for everyone 🙂 And it’s awesome that this is inspiring you to move towards your own site, too.

  19. I can’t wait to shop on the new store! I’ve been waiting to put in a order once there’s a salve product again. I saw a while ago that they were on your very long list of to do’s. Is there an update on the new salve’s timeline? I am so glad you’re putting up your own site and I can’t wait to support you on here!

    1. Aye sadly I don’t have a hard timeline for you, but I have gotten so many asks after them that I think salve will come before shampoo bars at this point. A lot of it is dependent on how well the new site launch goes and how much work that generates yet, but if all goes well I’ll try to shift my attention pretty quickly to them. THat said, it’s still a process of getting new glass jars, and making and getting labels printed for them and figuring out pricing and then taking pictures and getting the listings up and stuff. So… best case, maybe 2 months if all goes well with the site launch 🙂 Salve will also be exclusive to my new site for a few weeks before it’ll find its way to Etsy.

  20. Super super excited for the new storefront! I have been slowly working through all of my oils (the difference in product usage when everyone in our house goes from long hair to short hair is REAL haha) but I am excitedly waiting until the new store is live before sending some products to a friend who will undoubtedly love them.

    Something I initially loved about Etsy was the ease of ordering for someone else and being able to mark it as a gift so no financial details get included. I think that might be a worthwhile thing to note somewhere in the store if an invoice or purchase cost is included anywhere in the package as that might make a difference for some people when deciding to purchase since a lot of independent stores either do not have an option to not include an invoice in the package or dont say one way or the other if this information is included. I know it sounds weird, but its a nice peace of mind thing from a gift-giving stance and also for those who may not have the best living situation.

    1. Oh that’s a great point about marking something as a gift. I don’t, by default, include invoices (as that’s a lot of wasted paper), but I’ll for sure see what I can do for flagging an it as a gift!

  21. Wonder, for the different categories, will you/have considered having one with a vegan label where all products thar are suitable for us vegans will be under?
    Just, thought it would be easier on us not having to double check the ingredients all the time. (Yeah, I know, I’m lazy as heck…🤪)

    1. I will have a vegan tag, so clicking that should pull up all the products! That gets a little hazy, though because some vegans draw the line in different places: some are okay with honey (or at least my honey because we keep our own bees and are very centric to their welfare over production) and some not, but so far I drew the line at not because that’s really all I have for animal products in my products anyway 😂

      1. Moon AppleGrey

        Ah, okey. 😁

        Well, personally I don’t consider honey to be vegan regardless if the bees are privetly owned or not, but yeah some may.

        I’ll just keep an extra eye on that, but it’s good to know that that’s the only ingredient I’ll have to do that. 😊

  22. I’m super excited for you. I haven’t had a single product from you I haven’t liked and I can’t wait to order more. I love that you are able to create your own space and looking forward to seeing what you do next!

      1. Honestly. As long as your selling stuff (especially what I purchase), You’ll always have a customer with me. If you stop selling all the things I buy, I’ll continue to look at what you come out with and recommend stuff to others. 🙂

  23. I’m excited for the new shop! I’ve been dying my hair with your fabulous henna blends since 2014 and I have no plans of ever stopping. I’m so glad you’ll get to thrive in your own shop now, and I look forward to ordering when I need my next batch!

    1. I’m excited you’re excited! On the one hand I know it’s just an online shop, but it’s been such a big goal for so long that it feels like so much more!

  24. I’ve been trying to use Etsy, because it kind of is and would be the best way I know of so far to find interesting materials and products for/by makers, but man it has gotten *so much more stupid* to use in the last five to ten years! People mentioned back ten years ago or more that I could open a shop and it was just 3% that Etsy would take, but yeah, of course they want more, and of course they make their search as stupid as everything is getting now so you only see ads and featured sellers and all that rot. I am sure, and I often find out at some point, that there is more out there that has exactly the characteristics I searched for, but NOOO they can’t show me it! If I can, I often wish to try to order from someone’s site if I find out about them on Etsy because pooh Etsy. I found out, however, about your site before Etsy, so… whatever. 🙂

    Thank you so much that you care that people do their research and you don’t just want people to impulse buy. And thank you So Much for all your information! I have needed this for years, as my hair has gradually gotten thinner and thinner (very low maintenance with it; haven’t used shampoo for fifteen years or so), and shorter and shorter. Finally I get to hear why certain things I was(n’t) doing might not have been helping. 🙂

    1. And that’s exactly why I keep my Etsy store, so people like you can find me! It is still really great for that, but man, as you mentioned, it’s gone downhill so much in the last several years. It was bad before COVID, but after they had to try to out-do their pandemic profits YoY it just imploded into dropshipper / POD paradise.

      And you are so very welcome; I appreciate the kind words. I really do want people to understand what I’m doing and why and not pressure people into buying. All impulse purchases do is lead to regret and unhappiness, and that’s the last thing I want for my customers!

  25. jeanne du jardin

    Long term Etsy buyer -and have just ordered from nightblooming.com for the first time. Love the storefront here! Easy to navigate, tons of great educational information, and enjoyable to shop. So nice to be able to take my time and explore everything & checkout leisurely without the etsy “DONT MISS OUT! CHECK OUT NOW! ONLY 2 LEFT IN 45835284839525 SHOPPING CARTS! GO GO GO!” aggravating pop-up messages. The Moonseeds points are a fun idea and such a nice bonus too! Looking forward to future shopping trips & all the new products/ideas to come out here! (maybe like teeny sample sets (or scented papers?) of all the oil blends scents to test them out before ordering them in the full sized haircare products?)

    1. I’m so glad you feel that way! I actually do offer 1/32oz samples of all my blends here and no longer do on Etsy 😀 It’s so nice to hear that the shopping experience is so much better because that’s exactly what I wanted!

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