Etsy Pattern: Pass or Fail?

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Copywriting | 16 comments

Etsy Pattern:  Pass or Fail?

Should you, “Turn your Etsy shop into your own website with Pattern”?

No. No, you should not.

It is my humble opinion, after taking a few days to research and let the panic settle, that this is not a good move for Etsy sellers. On Tuesday April 5th, 2016, the same day the new layout was supposed to launch Etsy announced this website builder. As we already discussed, the layout changes may take up to a week for some sellers, and they are being rolled out on a somewhat random basis.

So what is Pattern?

Pattern is a website builder created and run by Etsy. This program boasts the ability to choose a theme and color palette to highlight your brand while seamlessly syncing up your information with your established Etsy shop. It is completely customizable. It’s (apparently) all about you! It’s two shops in one, even! Or so the taglines go on the subsections of the Pattern pitch page.

But is it really all about you? I don’t think it is.

Let’s break down the costs first and then I’d like to point out my major concerns.

Etsy is offering a free 30-day trial to see if you like the format and flow. Free trials are great, but once the clock runs out you will be responsible for the following fees:

Pattern hosting fee: $15.00 per month
Etsy listing fee: $0.20 per transaction
Processing fee: 3.5% per transaction

Let’s not even get started on promotions and ads. That is a topic for another day, and you must use Direct Checkout with this platform. Since Pattern is owned and operated by Etsy, they do not want transaction and processing fees going to another third party program. This makes sense for them, but it is limiting for you as a business owner.

My top three concerns with this development are rather simple:

1. This is not your website. This is a branch off of an Etsy website.

2. You must follow the Etsy Terms of Service.

3. If anything happens to Etsy, or if they decide to shut you down, you are done.

Consider how many options there are for website builders, both free and for purchase. Why would you limit yourself to an Etsy based platform when you can’t truly decide how to manage your customers or handle your finances? I personally find the exclusion of PayPal payments extremely limiting as approximately half of my clients utilize this option. Take a look at your statistics. What percentage of your customers are using PayPal or alternative forms of payment?

Perhaps the biggest reason I am wary of Pattern is the same reason I am wary of remaining dependent on Etsy as your sole business site. They can shut you down at any time. Etsy is also not invulnerable; they can be shut down themselves. Remember how scared everyone was when the stock went public (and then tanked) or when Handmade at Amazon came on the scene with guns blazing?

For now, my official recommendation is to take a pass on Pattern and instead invest your time in building a truly independent website.


  1. 11-22-2017

    Well so far I am really enjoying the separate website channeling buyers straight our products, however….there is no place for a buyer to leave any positive feedback or reviews at all…so that is a negative ding right off.

  2. 9-21-2016

    Thank you for the excellent review. I currently use weebly for my website to display my products in a photo gallery free of charge. I point weebly to my domain which is hosted elsewhere. To keep from paying weebly’s monthly fees, I provide a sales page that just links to my etsy shop. I have some e control over my weebly page & can display as many items as I want in my photo gallery. I’m think I will stay away from pattern for now.

    • 7-2-2017

      Hi! You sound like a website wizard! I would love to chat with you if you have the time! I don’t know which route to take or to put it straight to the point I’m a ditz when it comes to websites! Lol. Thanks!!

  3. 8-25-2016

    Hi! I appreciate the review! It’s very helpful. Can you help clarify for me your paypal vs direct checkout comment? My niece is considering pattern, and I’d like to be able to help her make a decision. I thought paypal was integrated into direct checkout in late 2015? Have I misunderstood?

    • 8-25-2016

      That is a great question! Yes, Etsy did integrate PayPal with Direct Checkout but it was an opt in process. Sellers had to manually update their financial preferences to integrate the two back in 2015 and if they did not integrate the two they do not have the option to offer PayPal checkout through Pattern presently.

  4. 5-10-2016

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me about this website, this web site is in fact remarkable.

    • 5-16-2016

      Thank you very much for your kind words and your fathers direction!

  5. 4-13-2016

    Totally agree with Pattern being a bad idea.

    As for GoDaddy, I used that company myself at one time, mainly because they were sponsoring Danica Patrick (the race car driver), but when I found about the owner’s politics, I left in a hurry.

    GoDaddy was started by Bob Parsons, who has a VERY conservative political persuasion. A few years ago he sold a big chunk of his company to an equally conservative business group with strong GOP ties. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but when I learned about Parson’s political leanings (about 15 years ago), I severed my ties with GoDaddy and I will never go back there.

    • 6-9-2017

      Thank You for the info Tana.
      I never considered GoDaddy but now that I know they are owned by a conservative business group I will consider using them.

  6. 4-12-2016

    Unfortunately I signed up for the free trial and transferred my domain name. After reading several reviews, I would like to end my trial. My question is, will I be able to transfer my domain back to the original site builder (Godaddy).

    • 4-12-2016

      Yes Michele, you can transfer your domain back to Go Daddy. I’ve done it several times.

    • 4-12-2016

      You can always transfer the domain to where you want. That’s something you own and etsy can’t take it from you. I keep all my domains with godaddy and if I end up hosting elsewhere, I just point the DNS servers to that. While this may sound complicated, godaddy (or your host) can always guide you through this (very simple). That way you’re not transferring domains all the time and paying fees.

    • 4-12-2016

      It looks like Valere and Irene beat me to answering your question!

  7. 4-10-2016

    My thoughts exactly. Thank you Kateland!

  8. 4-8-2016

    A great review of Pattern. Thank you for such helpful information.

  9. 4-8-2016

    Love your short & sweet valid points. Thank you.

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