Are you creative or crafty? You can turn your hobby into an income by selling through Etsy – we tell you how to do it here.
1. What Is Etsy?
Etsy.com is probably the most well-known e-commerce website that sells handmade items. On Etsy, you can sell handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items come under a wide range of categories, including art, photography, printables, clothing, jewellery, food, bath and beauty, quilts, knick-knacks, toys.
Vintage items must be at least 20-years old to qualify and can range from anything from costumes, clothing, jewellery, photos, and housewares.
Etsy is a US based website (etsy.com) but operates internationally and currently has 31.7 million active buyers!
2. Who Can Sell On Etsy?
Etsy is a superb platform for people with a creative streak, but you don’t necessarily have to be creative to sell on Etsy either, as there is a big market out there for vintage and craft supplies too.
While eBay and other sites are good marketplaces, Etsy provides an online shop specifically for crafters. It is a great place to start selling your products online without the need to set up your own website.
So, if you are a creative person and enjoy making things, Etsy can help you sell your crafts worldwide!
Alternatively, you could source vintage items or source and manufacture your own unique products.
3. How To Open An Etsy Store
What Are You Going To Sell?
Before you open an Etsy store you need to have a product idea! Find inspiration from other Etsy sellers but try not to copy ideas. There’s a wide array of things you can sell and they don’t even have to be a physical product! If you have design skills you can sell your designs and sell them for people to download and print or use on their own websites.
Take Good Photographs
This is going to make all the difference! If you put good high quality images of your products on your store page, they are going to look a lot more professional and people will likely be drawn to your store, than if you were to post poorly taken pictures. A crisp, white background will help or take your pictures in the environment your product would actually be used.
Decide On A Name For Your Store
This doesn’t have to be complicated. A lot of designers like to use their own name for their store and thats completely fine, or you can come up with a name that relates to your products. It really wont have too much impact on how much you sell so try not to worry too much about this. Come up with a logo and this can be added to your shop home page. You can easily create a logo for your shop through websites like Canva or Fiverr.
Decide On A Price For Your Products
Make sure you take into account Etsy fees and postage and packaging costs when setting your product pricing! You want to make some profit at the end of the day, but don’t overcharge as there is always plenty of competition so people will usually opt for the cheaper alternative.
There are different packages you can sign up to with Etsy. If you are just starting out standard is probably the best option as it’s free! You can pay a monthly charge of around £7.70 per month to get an expanded set of tools to help jump-start growth and express your brand.
4. What Are the Fees For Selling?
When you sell on Etsy, you’ll be charged fees. When you make any sales through Etsy Payments, your fees will automatically be deducted.
It’s important to work out the cost of your product beforehand and make sure you’re charging enough to cover your costs and to still make a profit at the end!
So firstly you’ll be charged a listing fee, which is 15p for each item you list. The listing will last 4 months or until it’s sold. You can set up your items to auto-renew and you’ll be charged another 15p as soon as an item sells. Secondly, Etsy will charge you a transaction fee of 5% of the sale price (including postage fees) when you actually make a sale. Then there is a payment processing fee which is 4 % + £0.20 of the entire payment (including postage), if you use Etsy’s payment system. You can also use Paypal to receive payments if you prefer, and their fees are 3.4% + £0.20.
We came across this handy calculator which quickly estimates your profit margin including Etsy, Paypal and Direct Checkout Fees!
5. What Products Sell The Most?
We found this site called Craftcount.com which tracks Etsy top sellers in every category and country, and is updated every 24 hours. This really gives us a good insight into which products sell a lot of and you may be surprised!
These are the current top 10 selling stores;-
- BohemianFindings– 1582615 Sales, Unusual charms, buttons, beads and findings. Canada.
- clbeads– 526771 Sales, Worldwide Craft Supplies. Canada.
- nicoledebruin– 513280 Sales, Charms & charm collections. UK.
- Jewelersparadise– 493254 Sales, Jewellery. USA.
- yummytreasures– 442609 Sales, Beads. USA.
- yadanabeads– 455221 Sales, Beads. USA.
- GoldSwan– 424387 Sales, Craft supplies, wedding jewellery, charms, beads, chains. USA.
- Prettygrafikdesign– 419363 Sales, Digital clipart, digital stamps, digital papers. Canada.
- happysupplies– 405565 Sales, Jewellery Supplies, Handmade Custom Jewellery. Hong Kong.
- shareliving– 400971 Sales, Handmade Jewellery Findings Supplies. Hong Kong.
As you can see the top 10 stores mainly all specialise in charms and jewellery supplies. There are also other avenues that do very well such as stickers or digital clipart and digital printables, which customers can print off and use as they like, which is great as it means no post and packaging and once you’ve set up your shop you can pretty much let it do the work for you!
Products that sell well are usually;-
- Competitively priced
- Handmade or sold as supplies
- Excellent quality with plenty of positive reviews
6. Where Else Can You Sell?
Etsy has become a household name for crafters, but it’s not the only option out there. There are plenty of marketplaces out there to sell your handmade goods or supplies. If you’re currently an Etsy shop owner, it might be worth checking out these alternatives to see if there’s one for you!
Ebay is the world’s online marketplace; a place for buyers and sellers to come together and buy or sell almost anything! When your item sells you pay 10% of the final transaction value, including postage.
Gumtree is a British online classified advertisement and community website. It’s generally free to post on.
Preloved is a site where you can buy and sell second hand items, and more. Its £5 for yearly membership.
Amazon Handmade is a store within Amazon.co.uk where Artisans sell their handcrafted goods. Its a bit more costly to sell here but worth a look and also good for a second place of revenue. https://services.amazon.co.uk/handmade.html
Folksy is a marketplace for UK designers, makers and craftspeople to showcase their work. It has since grown to become one of the most popular websites in the UK for handmade gifts and craft supplies with around 250,000 buyers visiting every month. It costs £0.15 for each item in a listing (excluding VAT) and each listing lasts for 120 days (4 months approximately). Unless you sign up for the Folksy Plus account then you can enjoy unlimited free listings. Then, when you make a sale you will get a charge of 6% commission.
Shopify allows you to create an online store, with no listing fees or commission, but it is $29 a month. Depending on how much you sell this could be a cheaper option.
ArtFire is an online marketplace for handmade products, designed by artisans worldwide, with no listings or final value fees. ArtFire, Your Home for Handmade, an online marketplace where artists can sell handmade items, supplies, and vintage items with no listing or final value fees.
7. Pros & Cons Of Selling On Etsy
- Cheap startup costs – You need to pay 15p for each item you list. If it sells, you’ll pay Etsy a small fee (5% of the selling price).
- An established platform for selling all things creative!
- Free traffic and marketing – You can always sell your stuff on your own website, but listing them on Etsy means you won’t have to work on building traffic, marketing your site, and making sure people find your products online.
- Buyers can also private message sellers directly through Etsy with any questions they may have making it easy to respond to customers instantly.
- Community– Etsy has a tight-knit community of creators who support each other online. Not only do they advertise items from fellow Etsy sellers, they also help out with common buy-and-sell questions. The in-house Etsy support isn’t that bad either.
- Etsy events – Various local events created by various Etsy teams.
- SEO optimisable
- Etsy already has a list of ethical manufacturers and Pre-approved list of suppliers if you are thinking of making and selling your own products.
- Etsy allows Drop-shipping where you can get your manufacturers to send product directly to your customers. Oder fulfilment by manufacturer cuts out the middleman!
- Sites like Etsy take a cut of your profits, so, if you are web savvy, you may want to consider creating your own site when you have developed a customer base.
- You’re selling through the Etsy platform which means they could potentially ban you for one reason or another and that would be the end of your business on their site.
- Its a competitive market and there will probably be thousands of sellers selling the same as you! It can be quite overwhelming when you look at how many products are on there for sale. Apparently 90% of Etsy sellers do not sell anymore than 30 products a month.
- Limited themes and page customisations.
- You don’t get paid straight away.
8. How Much Can You Make On Etsy?
So, some people are able to give up their day job and make a comfortable living selling their products on Etsy, whilst others may only make pocket money, if that! There is no definitive answer to this question!
Etsy is definitely a great place to start, if you have an idea which you think could sell. Why not see how it goes first and then if it takes off, then think about setting up your own website.
Seller Review by shop owner Ava at yourheartdesires1
“I started designing on shoes many years ago as a hobby and sold on Facebook part time.
Once I opened my Etsy store my passion for new designs became stronger. I now sell worldwide and create new designs every month. Having an Etsy shop allows me to have a job that I love!
I have also started a bridal shoe collection. Customers who shop on Etsy are looking for something unique and different. This gives us crafter’s the opportunity to make our designs and sell all in one place”.
9. My Own Etsy Journey
Before we started building websites I did have my own Etsy shop for a while. I’ve always enjoyed art and would make personalised scrabble frames or painted bags for friends and family. A friend suggested I sold my creations on Etsy, so I thought it was worth a try.
Since I was just starting out, I wanted to use a platform that was already set up and had everything I needed. This is why I chose Etsy. Not only is it user-friendly, but it also gives you everything you need for running a small business from the comfort of your own home.
I came up with a simple logo and brand identity, set up an Esty shop quite simply and added my creations. In all honesty I could have made my photos more professional looking.
I also set up a Facebook Business page and started posting my items on Instagram, with a link in my bio to my Etsy shop. I think a lot of the business I received was through marketing my items on social media, so this really is a good idea if you are thinking about setting up your own Etsy store!
10. Our Successful Tips
- Make the most of using the Etsy platform by creating a good name, logo, images, and descriptive stories of your business and your products for sale.
- Post Quality Photos. Good photos are key! Will impact on conversions and sales. Use high quality photos ideally on a plain white background. People are drawn to professional pictures. Alternatively or even better additionally also photograph your item in environment it will be used.
- Know Your SEO. You need to choose the right titles and tags in order to direct search engine traffic to your page.
- Start a Blog and market your brand on social media. Facebook and Instagram are great for that.
- Provide the Best Customer Service. Always reply promptly to customers and make sure you send you meet your deadlines or at least apologise if you don’t!
- If you already have an audience on social media you can even make money through affiliate marketing as Etsy has its own Affiliate Network Program.
Like this post? Was it helpful? Let us know about your own experiences of selling on Etsy!
Next Step: Why not check out our article 50+ Ways To Make Money Online (Legitimately) In 2019
Credit: Rowan Tree Prints
Credit: The Lost Bubbles