Our First Marketplace Experience: A Journey of Discovery, Delight & Hardship


Venturing into the world of online marketplaces can be an exhilarating experience. For us, it all began as a side hustle with modest expectations, but quickly turned into a rewarding journey filled with both joy and challenges. Our first foray into this domain was through Etsy, a well-known platform for handmade and vintage items. This blog will take you through our experience, sharing the highs and lows, and offering tips for those looking to embark on a similar path.

Choosing the Right Marketplace

The decision to start on Etsy was influenced by several factors:

  1. Target Audience: Etsy's user base aligned perfectly with our product category of handmade crafts.
  2. Ease of Use: The platform's user-friendly interface made it easier for us to list and manage our products.
  3. Community: Etsy's supportive community of sellers and buyers made it an attractive choice for beginners.

With these considerations in mind, we felt confident that Etsy was the right platform to launch our side hustle.

Setting Up Shop

Setting up our shop on Etsy was an exciting process. Here are the steps we took:

  1. Creating an Account: Registering on Etsy was straightforward, requiring basic business details and verification.
  2. Product Listings: We invested time in creating detailed product descriptions and capturing high-quality images to attract potential buyers.
  3. Pricing Strategy: We researched similar products to set competitive yet profitable prices.
  4. Shipping and Logistics: Selecting reliable shipping partners ensured our products reached customers in a timely manner.

The First Sale: A Milestone Moment

Our first sale came within the first 24 hours of listing our products, a moment of pure excitement and validation. This rapid success exceeded our expectations and opened the floodgates for more orders. Here’s what we learned from this milestone:

  1. Customer Interaction: Prompt and friendly communication with customers builds trust and encourages repeat business.
  2. Order Fulfillment: Efficient packaging and quick dispatches are crucial for positive customer experiences.
  3. Feedback Management: Constructive handling of feedback helps improve product quality and customer satisfaction.

Challenges Faced

Despite our early success, we encountered several challenges along the way:

  1. Perfecting the Product: Ensuring consistent quality and meeting customer expectations was an ongoing effort.
  2. Marketplace Rules: Navigating Etsy's policies and guidelines required careful attention to avoid penalties.
  3. Fund Holds: Etsy's policy of holding funds for 21 days posed a challenge for managing cash flow, especially in the early stages.

Tips for New Sellers

Based on our experience, here are some tips for new sellers venturing into the marketplace world:

  1. Research Thoroughly: Understand the marketplace dynamics and your target audience.
  2. Invest in Quality: High-quality product images and detailed descriptions can significantly impact sales.
  3. Be Responsive: Prompt and courteous communication with customers can lead to positive reviews and repeat business.
  4. Stay Compliant: Adhering to marketplace rules and policies is crucial to maintaining a good standing on the platform.
  5. Prepare for Challenges: Be ready to adapt and overcome obstacles such as fund holds and inventory management issues.


Our first experience on Etsy was a journey of discovery, delight, and hardship. Starting as a side hustle with low expectations, we were thrilled by the rapid success of our first sale and the subsequent flood of orders. Despite the challenges we faced, the experience taught us valuable lessons about online selling and customer satisfaction. We hope our story provides useful insights and inspiration for those looking to start their own marketplace journey. Happy selling!

Next: Dealing with Marketplace Reserves

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.