DIY vs. Outsourcing: What's Right for Your Etsy Business?

Whether you plan on creating your items by hand or via digital means, it's always the end product that many are left debating. Should you print your items? What if what you're planning to create comes at a large cost that right now you just cannot afford to risk? Here, we're going to go through 10 of the most popular reasons why you should DIY when it comes to ETSY and why you SHOULD outsource when needed! Let's jump in.

Firstly, we need to cover bases - when selling on Etsy it is important to note it is a handmade marketplace. which means that your Etsy requires that the "The term "handmade" in the context of Etsy and similar platforms typically implies that items are made or designed by the seller, or with a significant amount of input and customisation from the seller." So whilst we don't suggest ever outsourcing complete products, there are ways that you can outsource your designs, for example, dropshipping your designs onto mugs or t-shirts.

Reason to DIY Your Own Etsy Items

Unique and Personalised Products:

When you make your items, you have the creative freedom to design unique and personalised products. This exclusivity can set your offerings apart from mass-produced items sourced externally. Customers often appreciate the authenticity and individuality of handmade or crafted goods, giving your brand a distinct identity.

Quality Control:

Crafting your own products allows you to maintain strict quality control. You have direct oversight of the materials used and the production process, ensuring that each item meets your standards. Consistent quality can lead to customer satisfaction and positive reviews, building trust in your brand.

Brand Authenticity and Storytelling:

Handmade or self-designed products often come with a compelling backstory. This can be a powerful marketing tool, allowing you to share the passion and dedication that goes into each creation. Customers may feel a stronger connection to your brand when they understand the effort and creativity behind the products, enhancing brand authenticity.

Woman Checking Deliveries

Flexibility and Customisation:

Making your own items provides flexibility in adjusting designs, responding to customer feedback, and staying ahead of trends. You can easily customize products based on customer preferences, offering a level of flexibility that may be challenging with externally sourced goods. This adaptability can contribute to customer loyalty and increased sales.

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Reduced Dependence on Suppliers:

Relying solely on external suppliers can pose risks, such as fluctuations in pricing, availability issues, or changes in quality. By making your own items, you reduce dependence on external sources, giving you more control over your business. This independence can be especially valuable during times of economic uncertainty or industry changes.

So, if you’re thinking of delving into DIY for your own ETSY store then there are plenty of reasons to do it. However, there are just as many reasons that you should outsource too.

Reasons to Outsource Your Stock

Cost Efficiency:

Outsourcing often allows businesses to take advantage of economies of scale. Large-scale manufacturers can produce items at a lower cost per unit due to bulk production. This cost efficiency can result in a higher profit margin for your business, especially if you don't have the resources to produce items in large quantities on your own.

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Focus on Core Competencies:

Outsourcing allows you to focus on what your business does best. If your expertise lies in design, marketing, or customer service, outsourcing the production process lets you concentrate on these core competencies. This specialization can enhance overall business efficiency and effectiveness.


When outsourcing, you can easily scale production up or down based on demand without the challenges of managing production facilities, equipment, and labour. This scalability is particularly advantageous in a dynamic market where demand can fluctuate, allowing you to adapt quickly without incurring high fixed costs.

Access to Specialised Skills and Technology:

Outsourcing provides access to specialized skills and advanced technologies that you may not have in-house. This is particularly beneficial if your products require intricate manufacturing processes, specialized machinery, or specific technical expertise. Outsourcing to experts in those fields can result in higher product quality and innovation.

Reduced Time-to-Market:

Outsourcing can expedite the product development and manufacturing process. Specialized manufacturers often have established processes and workflows, allowing for quicker turnaround times. This can be crucial in getting your products to market faster, especially in industries with rapidly changing trends and consumer preferences.

Person Using Macbook Pro on White Table

Do you have other thoughts you'd like to share? Let us know!

Our Favourite Etsy-themed Books to get you started:

The cover of James Dillehay's book called ''Sell Your Crafts Online'.
The cover of Anthony Reily's book called 'Online Selling Bootcamp'.
'the Everything Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts Online' by Kim Solga

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