Dropshipping is a long-term business model that relies on volume to offset low margins. Merchants in various industries have found success with this hands-off way of doing business; often exploring ways to dropship on new channels.

That’s where Etsy, the popular ecommerce platform that focuses on handmade or one-of-a-kind goods, comes into play. Many sellers interested in starting a dropshipping businesses use Etsy as their primary sales channel. And while Etsy is a great place to launch a new business to a targeted user base, it may not be the best option for dropshipping. To find out why, take a deep dive below.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping allows you to buy directly from suppliers and manufacturers who then ship orders directly to customers. This frees merchants up to focus on things like marketing and customer service instead of warehousing and the logistical challenges traditionally associated with running a retail business. It’s a less risky way of getting into ecommerce, because you don’t need to invest in inventory.

steps associated with starting a dropshipping business in sequential order from left to right

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a third-party online marketplace that allows sellers to list products that are handmade or vintage, as well as craft supplies. While it originally launched as a platform for small-batch artisans and makers, Etsy has since expanded, and merchants of all types and sizes sell their wares here. Etsy has more than five million sellers and 90 million active buyers.

Further reading: How To Sell on Etsy: A Beginner’s Guide

How dropshipping with Etsy works

First: Etsy makes it extremely difficult to dropship on its platform. If you search its site, you won’t find any communication that explicitly prohibits dropshipping. However, there is language around similar business models and ways of operating, such as reselling and print on demand.

Technically speaking, there are two main ways of “dropshipping” on Etsy. We put dropshipping in quotations because…

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