I joined Goimagine about a month and a half ago, mostly because of all of the bizarre changes that Etsy is making at this point.
I wanted to diversify, and even though I already have a website, it doesn’t hurt to sell on more than one marketplace.
It took a couple of weeks to get around to setting my shop up completely, but during that time I did an interview with the founder of Goimagine for my YouTube channel and applied to their Handmade Integrity Team (and was accepted.)
So clearly, I’m a fan of Goimagine, but how does it compare to Etsy, and is it really a fair comparison at this point?
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay me a small commission if they’re used to purchase something. To see the entire affiliate policy click here.
Table of Contents
- Goimagine Vs. Etsy: The Basics.
- Setting up on Goimagine.
- Goimagine is seller-focused.
- Goimagine is private, Etsy is public.
- Fee structure differences between Etsy and Goimagine.
- Getting found in Google search results.
- Goimagine donates the company profits to charity.
- Customer service differences.
- My final thoughts.
Goimagine Vs. Etsy: The Basics.
|Age of the platform
|Handmade Products only
|Flat monthly fee to sell
|Listing and transaction fees
|3.5%-5% Sliding transaction fee, no listing fee
|6.5% transacation fee, .20 listing fee
|Payment processing fees
|Found in Google Search Results
|Good customer service
|The CEO/Founder will talk to you
These are the basics and the major differences between the two platforms, other than how old they are.
For more information about Goimagine’s fees, click here.
For more information about Etsy’s fees, click here.
For more information about the comparisons and my experience selling on both, read on.
Setting up on Goimagine.
First let me make clear that this is my own experience, your results may vary!
I sell on Etsy, Goimagine, and my own website, and by far the majority of my sales come from Etsy.
But that is the biggest of the three sites, and it brings the most organic traffic, so it SHOULD bring me the most traffic
For an article about how to sell successfully on Etsy, click here.
Setting up the Goimagine shop was not difficult. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but once I got my listings imported, all of the basic information that’s the most important was where it should be, and I didn’t need to go in and do any SEO or any changing of titles or anything else like that as far as search goes.
I did take the time to go in and remove all of the references to Etsy listings and links that go to other Etsy categories and things like that, but as far as SEO goes you don’t need to do that if you upload your Etsy listing CSV file to Goimagine.
They put everything where it needs to be, and even though I didn’t alter anything SEO-wise yet, I’m still being found on the first page of Google search, as you can see in this video that I’ll post right here:
In the space of about four weeks, I’ve had six sales on Goimagine, three of which came from my mailing list, and three from people who I think found me organically. They’re not on my mailing list, and I can’t find their names anywhere in any of the Facebook groups I’m in or anything like that.
I was very surprised that after only a couple of days I did find my listings in Google search for my Goimagine shop. So they’re definitely bringing me traffic, and that’s much better and faster than it was for my website to be picked up by Google.
So yes, Goimagine will bring you some traffic.
Having said that, it is a new platform relative to how old Etsy is, and the comparison between the two isn’t really fair in that way.
Because honestly, Etsy should be bringing you a lot more traffic then Goimagine will at this point.
I checked, and there was an Etsy blog article that said after three years they had 120,000 sellers in 127 different countries.
Goimagine is US-based only, and they’re three years old. In that same time frame they have 5000 sellers, which is smaller, but it’s also not in as many countries, so it’s difficult to compare those two stats.
The next thing that’s different about the two platforms is the fact that Goimagine is for handmade only and it’s a curated platform that you have to apply to be accepted into.
As we know, there is no bar to entry on Etsy. Anyone with $0.20 can start a business and start listing things on Etsy, and that’s always been one of their selling points.
However, with a low or no-bar to entry you also get a lot of problems that come with that, like resellers, scammers, and things being sold on the platform that don’t comply with the terms of the platform.
Goimagine does curate membership and it’s limited to handmade only at this point. That means that they don’t accept vintage, POD or supply sellers unless the supplies are handmade, and while that might change in the future, it’s going to be up to the Goimagine sellers themselves to make those decisions down the road.
The strength of Goimagine is that it is committed to being a handmade-only platform, and it’s committed to supporting handmade sellers because of that.
It’s also very seller-oriented in a way that Etsy is not, because Jon Lincoln, who is the founder of Goimagine, is committed to having the sellers be an active and vital part of the platform as far as decision making goes.
Goimagine is seller-focused.
Full disclosure: After I did my interview with Jon for my YouTube channel, I was so impressed with him personally, and with his vision for Goimagine and his ethics, that I applied to be on their Handmade Integrity Team, and I was accepted.
The Handmade Integrity Team is a newly-formed group of volunteers who are sellers on Goimagine, and who meet to discuss things like “what is handmade.”
I’m sure that we all know that there are a lot of gray areas in that kind of a discussion, so it’s good to get multiple perspectives and to make decisions based on experiences, and not just have one person making all of the decisions for the entire platform.
Goimagine is private, Etsy is public.
I will say that one of the major differences between Goimagine and Etsy that I see at this point is that Etsy is profit-driven, so a lot of the time they look at profit over what makes sense for sellers.
And while the argument can be made that when sellers are successful Etsy is successful, and yes, that’s true, it’s also true that not every seller on the platform complies with Etsy ‘s policies.
So while Etsy might be making more money because of the things that they decide to do to increase sales, those same actions can also be hard on genuine handmade sellers who have a different business model than people who might be on the platform reselling things, or selling things that don’t comply with the terms of service.
The commitment that Goimagine has to never go public, and to never be beholden to shareholders, is unique. And I think that that is the one feature that will prevent it from becoming too big to manage, and too big to keep handmade.
Fee structure differences between Etsy and Goimagine.
Another way that Etsy and Goimagine are different is the fee structure for sellers.
Etsy works on a fee system with 6.5% transaction fees and .20 listing fees, while Goimagine has a flat monthly fee to sell on the platform, and they have a sliding scale transaction fee based on which plan you’re on.
Their pricing plans are very affordable, and are based on the number of listings that you have in your shop.
The most expensive plan is only $10 a month, and comes with a website that you can use to set up a website in conjunction with your Goimagine shop.
In the time that I’ve been selling on the platform, which at this point is about a month and a half, I’ve made enough sales to cover the entire cost of the highest-priced plan they have for the entire year.
So even if I don’t sell anything else all year, I am not out any money at all.
On Etsy you pay a listing fee when you list anything, so you might list a bunch of stuff and never sell anything, and you still have to pay for those listing fees.
Both platforms charge payment processing fees because that’s a bank thing, and at this point Goimagine requires that you have a Stripe account to process credit card payments. You can also have a PayPal account that you attach, but Stripe is required.
(It’s not hard to set up a Stripe account, it’s the service that I use for my website so I already had an account with Stripe. But it’s not a big deal to set one up, and it doesn’t cost anything to set one up.)
You can buy shipping labels on Etsy or on other services if you prefer not to get them on Etsy. Goimagine integrates with GoShippo, which is the service that I use for my website, so I already had an account.
You can buy shipping labels there or anywhere else, and then put the tracking number into Goimagine to finish the order.
Getting found in Google search results.
As far as search goes, I mentioned that my listings on Goimagine are being found in Google search, and I think that I have a few sales from organic Google search, or search on Goimagine at this point.
One of the objections that I hear from people all the time about selling on Goimagine is that they don’t want to take a chance on a platform that won’t send them a lot of traffic.
In the same breath they’ll say “I’ll set up my own website before I do that.”
Well, good luck with that, because if you set up your own website you have to send traffic to that website, and it’s a lot harder to be found in Google if your website is new and you have no domain authority.
Personally, I like selling on multiple platforms because it gives me multiple footprints on Google.
If you watch the video that I posted above where I demonstrate this, it’s easy to see that for specific searches, I can be found in multiple places on the first page of Google search results because I have a website, an Etsy shop, and a Goimagine shop.
And this is one place where it’s really not fair to compare Goimagine to Etsy.
It’s not an apples to apples comparison…I would expect Etsy to drive a lot more traffic because it’s a lot bigger as far as a platform goes.
However, I also hear from a lot of people who are on Etsy that Etsy doesn’t send much traffic to them.
So just because you sell on Etsy, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get a lot of traffic even though Etsy gets a lot of traffic in general.
At this point Goimagine doesn’t get as much traffic as Etsy, but I was able to look at the stats of the traffic that Jon showed me during our interview, and they are increasing month over month.
They’re increasing as awareness of the platform grows, and it’s a steady increase, it’s not fits and starts.
I was saying to the members of my EShop program during our Q&A yesterday that I feel like Goimagine is very much like Etsy was right at the start.
It’s going to take time to build traffic up and it probably won’t get to the levels that Etsy has now because it’s US-based only and it’s only handmade.
We all know very well that Etsy is a lot more than handmade at this point, and that’s really the only way that they were able to get to the size that they are now.
If they had stayed with their handmade ethos it would not be as large a platform as it is now, but that’s what happens when you have to report to shareholders.
So as far as traffic goes, yes, Goimagine will bring you traffic because it is found in Google, and people are getting to know the platform more as more people talk about it.
Will it bring you as much traffic as Etsy will? Maybe or maybe not, but it will probably bring you more traffic than a website will, because a website doesn’t bring you any traffic.
You have to drive your own traffic to the website, and you have to work to get your website found in Google.
Goimagine donates the company profits to charity.
Another feature of Goimagine that can be very attractive as far as shopping goes is that they donate their corporate profits to charity.
This doesn’t mean that sellers donate their profits, it means that after the company takes out its expenses whatever is left over is given to charities, and at this point it’s children’s charities specifically.
That’s because, again, Goimagine is not beholden to shareholders, and they don’t have to give their profits to shareholders.
So you can use that as a selling feature if you’re trying to get people to come to your Goimagine shop. Let them know that there’s a charitable component and that they’re helping out while they’re shopping and going about their normal daily business.
Customer service differences.
Another way that Goimagine is different from Etsy is the fact that it’s small enough that you can actually get customer service through an email or through posting in their Facebook group, and you don’t have to wait for a week for an email to come back (if it ever does.)
I’ve personally found the Goimagine team to be very responsive. I had a few questions when I was setting my shop up and it was taken care of right away.
They have an active Facebook group where you can post questions and contact people who will actually help you, and the admins are very active in the group.
There is also a makers app called the Maker Circle that you can download, and it gives you access to bulletin boards, small business education, and live Q&A’s with Jon.
So the Goimagine team is very accessible, they’re very responsive, and they want to take suggestions and work with the community to make it a better platform.
Etsy ‘s customer service is nowhere near as accessible, and it’s because of the size of the company.
Clearly when you get to a certain point, the founder of the company is not going to have time to talk to individual sellers, and you might have to wait to be helped because there are a lot of people in line in front of you and not enough people to handle the problems.
I have to say that Goimagine’s responsiveness was a little shocking after dealing with a large corporate platform like Etsy.
And during our interview Jon said that he understands that people will be gun shy about joining a new platform because of the experiences that they’ve had on other platforms that were not helpful, or not a positive experience, or that started out great and then turned bad.
But the point with starting a shop on Goimagine is that it’s going to take people having faith in the platform to grow the platform, just the same way that it took people having faith in Etsy when it first started.
The difference is that Goimagine doesn’t have any ambition about going public and getting as big as Etsy, and I think that that’s a positive thing for handmade sellers.
My final thoughts.
So to sum this up, in the first month and a half, without doing much promotion at all, I have recouped the cost of a year’s worth of membership on Goimagine, my listings are being found in Google search results, and I’m actually enjoying being able to get customer service when I need it.
Is it fair to compare Goimagine to Etsy? No it’s not.
Are people going to continue to compare Goimagine to Etsy? Yes they are.
Is Goimagine growing every month? Yes it is.
Are you going to have to drive some of your own traffic to Goimagine? Yes you are. But these days you have to drive your own traffic to Etsy too. And you’ve always had to drive your own traffic to your own website. So I don’t really see the downside of that.
Should you 100% quit Etsy and only sell on Goimagine? Only if your Etsy sales are so low right now that it won’t hurt to give them up.
I’ll continue to sell on Etsy and on my website, but adding Goimagine is another piece of the puzzle, and it’s another way to get sales and to get traffic from Google, which is never a bad thing.
If you are a US-based handmade seller, I would 100% recommend applying for Goimagine. And you can use the discount code that Jon gave me to get two free months to start: KARA2FREE
I’ll leave the links to their Facebook group here. You can join it even if you are not currently a Goimagine seller if you just want to ask questions before trying it out.
And watch the video that I posted above where I interviewed Jon, because if you’re on the fence about this now I don’t think you will be after you hear him talk about the mission of the platform.
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