Cosplayers are constantly on the hunt to fund this hobby. This is generally done by digital supply, whether you are offering cosplay commissions, prints, or eBooks. The two most popular eCommerce sites that cosplayers use are Storenvy and Etsy.
Each come with their own set of fees, and I wouldn’t really say that one is better than the other. I don’t have much personal experience with either, but because I needed a quick way to set up an online store, I decided to test them both out to see which one is more user-friendly and most cost-efficient for cosplayers.
So hopefully this insight will help in your battle for determining Storenvy vs. Etsy in this guide for cosplayers.
Storenvy is an online eCommerce store that is used to sell both physical and digital products. It comes with an onset store builder and even social media marketing tools for you to indulge in!
Setting It Up
Getting started on Storenvy is easy enough. You log in with an email and password and choose your plan. You’re automatically given the Hobbyist Plan because it’s 100% free. You can list up to 100 products, which seems plenty enough for cosplayers.
Basically, it’s the bare minimum, but as someone just selling digital eBooks, this worked great for me.
- Hobbyist Plan- Free – 100 products – Cart Abandonment
- Plus – $15 – 2,000 products – Social Media Blasts – Custom Domain
- Pro – $30- 5,000 Products – Discounts & Everything Else
You cannot have your own custom domain under the Hobbyist plan (i.e. cosplayandcoffee.com). However, you can choose a custom marketplace URL so it will look like this: http://cosplayandcoffee.storenvy.com/
The Store Front
It took me a minute to figure out the full layout of Storenvy’s dashboard because it seemed a bit all over the place. They do have the option for default settings as well as customized CSS and HTML if you are code-savvy.
I went for the default options and only added my logo, products, and social links. Storenvy automatically sets you up with FAQ options, a Contact page, an About Me section, and an easy-to-use system to add products, tags, and images to your store.
You need to set up PayPal and/or Stripe before you can officially launch your store. According to their website, this is how Storenvy fees work:
PayPal and Stripe take 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you receive.
Storenvy keeps a 15% commission on sales they drive for you through our marketplace. Sales that you drive to your custom store are free. I have yet to figure out how Storenvy dictates which sales they drive and which ones you do.
If you are doing physical products, you can determine shipping prices, taxes, and storefront fees. They say, “On your storefront orders, you can either allow your customers to pay the storefront handling fees (default) OR you can pay a 6% commission on your storefront orders, which will allow you to hide our fees in your price.”
You can learn more about that here.
Getting Paid on Storenvy
You can get your profits paid out to you by Stripe or PayPal, both of which are online payment processors.
For PayPal, you must be registered under a business PayPal account that has the same name as your business. You will need the last 4 numbers of your social security number, and whether or not you are a Sole Proprietor (this is the default for most cosplayers unless you have a registered LLC).
Other Things You Should Know About Storenvy
You will automatically be given the Cooper theme for Storenvy. It’s easy enough to navigate, but customization is pretty limited. I only spent a few hours looking through the site, but I couldn’t even find a way to set up my own Menu. That was a little frustrating.
Prices are automatically listed as USD so you’ll have to do some digging to figure out how to change your payment settings.
Helpful Store Envy Links:
Most cosplayers automatically flock towards Etsy because it is described as an “e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.”
However, there is a reason that many of cosplayers have been making the switch to Storenvy, and I’ve discovered the reason lies within the fees.
Setting It Up
The thing I liked initially on Etsy was that when opening your store, it asks you whether you sell your products full or part-time. I also appreciated the fact that Etsy helps you out with your images to produce the best quality. Not only do they give you photography advice, but they let you know that
“Listings look best with photos at least 2000 pixels wide.”
This kind of sucked for me because my eBook cover dimensions are different, which means I would have to readjust the images or just have an incomplete thumbnail image.
The Store Front
Setting up Etsy seems much more user-friendly. Everyone has the same default options and there is really no reason to add custom pages such as an “About” or a social links page because it’s all about the products and their images.
Unfortunately, that’s where my own Etsy journey had to end. You can only upload digital files that are under 20 MB and because Etsy charges a listing fee, you have to sell every item for a minimum of 0.20, which means I’m paying to list in order which may or may not sell.
Etsy charges $0.20 USD for every public product listed on your storefront. You are charged these whether or not you sell anything meaning, you might be out a couple of dollars if nothing sells on your website. Your listings expire every 4 months, which means you have to repay to list all your items three times a year.
According to their website, “you will be charged a transaction fee of 5% of the price you display for each listing plus the amount you charge for shipping and gift wrapping.”
You can also pay for shipping labels, which vary depending on carrier and location. The seller also pays currency conversion and payment processing fees.
What it all boils down to is that Etsy fees are extensive and complicated and should be researched in full before you decide to open your own store.
Getting Paid on Etsy
You can choose to use Etsy Payments for your shop in order to get your sales profits direct deposited into your bank account. You can also choose to get paid via mail, PayPal, or even in person.
Storenvy vs. Etsy
To summarize, selling products on the internet can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. I apparently decided to be difficult, so I’m still trying to figure it out.
But here’s some food for thought based off of my experience and research concerning Storenvy vs. Etsy.
When Cosplayers Should Use Etsy
- When you’re selling commissions or homemade items.
- When you have limited stock. Selling hundreds of prints would result in a .20 fee for every single photo you sell on top of Etsy’s other fees.
- When you are looking for an easy setup.
When Cosplayers Should Use Storenvy
- When you are selling digital options.
- When you are selling prints and other small items.
- When you aren’t looking to pay anything upfront.
- You want to gauge your analytics.
When Cosplayers Should Use Neither
When you want to earn more commission off of your sales.
The best way is to set up your own eCommerce store. You can do this through your WordPress/Wix/Squarespace domain (my original plan), but you have to have pretty heavy HTML and especially SSL knowledge.
This is also essentially your only option if you’re trying to list free items. You can set it up through eCommerce or send them out via email signup forms.
Your last option, and by far the easiest and most convenient, is Shopify. This site allows you to sell products, write blogs, and use a custom domain name (i.e. cosplayandcoffee.com) all for the monthly price of $30.
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