Over the years, we have seen the introduction of some amazing websites that allow us to make money fast on the internet, whether to supplement our full-time income or even to create a change in career path. After starting on the side, many people have found the internet world to be more profitable than their brick and mortar jobs which has seen them leave their career behind and work on a new venture from home. Enter the world of selling on Etsy…
Using Etsy to Make Money-Is it Worth It?
Simple answer: Yes, selling on Etsy is definitely worth it!
In recent times, it has been the idea of selling something online that has attracted the most attention. For some, it is particular skills such as setting up a website or creating logos. See our Fiverr review for more.
However, now there is also a method of making money from your own creations and homemade gifts, which is fantastic news for the creative types among us. If you have been making your own Christmas gifts for years but didn’t know how to turn it into a real business, there is now an option to make good money on Etsy.
What is Etsy?
Essentially, Etsy is a marketplace for all things hand-crafted from clothing, gifts, jewellery, games, and art. If you have something to offer, you can open an account and create a listing for your chosen product/s. Within the last couple of years, there have been hundreds of stories about people who started to sell their own products on the side but soon left their day job to continue selling on Etsy full time.
For example, Three Bird Nest is the second largest handmade store on the whole website and is owned by Alicia Shaffer. As a mother of three from California, she opened her store and can now make anywhere between $50,000-$70,000 every single month with a focus on scarves, socks, headbands, and the like.
After launching in 2011, she now sells around 3,000 units every month and her product range has expanded dramatically. Without any experience and not even a background in fashion, Alicia started with just her, someone to help with all of the sewing, and then a third person to look after the shipping and managing orders. With the current amount of orders, she now has a team of people to rely upon but still has a heavy hand in what goes on.
With this in mind, it is easy to think ‘well, I could never do that’ but Alicia is living proof that it can happen.
For this reason, we have compiled a list of tips and strategies that will help you with your own store. When first opening an account and setting up the store, it can be a little daunting but we will have some steps to make the process easier and put you in the best possible position for success.
What Items Sell the Most on Etsy?
For many, deciding what to sell on Etsy is the very first stumbling block and it can be a vital decision. If you decide to sell a fantastic homemade candle holder, this may be unique and attract a lot of interest but how many can you make per day when you first open your store? In order to stay practical, you might want to think about an item that is unique, will sell well, and that you can make regularly in large batches.
When deciding what items sell the most on Etsy, we recommend you go straight to the source. By checking out the best selling items you can familiarize yourself with the most popular items on Etsy as well as give you ideas on just what you may want to offer.
Price v Production
With this being said, there is a decision to make between quality and quantity in a way. For example, if you were to make your own personalized ornament, you could charge a higher price but you wouldn’t be able to make as many per week. On the other hand, items like scarves may be easy to produce but you will have to sell significantly more in order to turn a profit.
Do What You Love!
Despite all of this, you still need to choose something that you enjoy making, something that you are good at making, and something that you can be proud of when somebody else uses it.
In addition to this, you will also need to add your own touch to make it unique in order to differentiate yourself from the pack. Etsy has attracted increasing interest over the years, with hundreds of thousands of daily visits. This sort of volume attacts a lot of people to the site, which means that there are many people like you trying to do the same thing-make money selling on Etsy.
Therefore, you might want to consider the following tips to garner attention and repeat customers on Etsy:
5 Tips for Selling on Etsy
- Focus on Customer Service: without a good reputation you will not do well on Etsy. Focus on making your customers as happy as can be. It will go a long way to building Etsy goodwill.
- Make Sure you are Keying in on the Right Keywords: No one will find you if you do not use terms that people will search for. Make sure you plan your keywords correctly for maximum exposure.
- Social Media: Other sites, such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook/Istagram, and Pinterest can really help your marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Add a Personal Touch: Including hand written thank you notes with your packages goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to say thank you.
- Take Great Photos: If your photo looks bad then your customer will assume the product is bad and move on. Instead, make sure your photos are excellent and convey the true beauty of your creation.
Shipping your Etsy Items
Another consideration that you need to make is how the item will be shipped, how much you will have to pay for shipping, and whether you need to invest in bubble wrap or any other materials to keep it from being damaged in transit.
Remember, any costs that you make will be taken from your profit and you will need to sell more units overall. When choosing your selling price, the cost of packaging and shipping is something you will need to consider.
When setting up a listing for your product, you will have complete control as to what shipping charges are set as well as the pricing.
Furthermore, you can limit shipping to your home country if it would be too expensive to go elsewhere. As many products tend to be made-to-order, you can also let everyone know how long it will take to be delivered.
Of course, you should always suggest a later date and then deliver before rather than promising a fast delivery and then not…well, delivering.
However, you should never be put off of an idea just because of the shipping. If you have an idea but find that the shipping costs would be too expensive to make it a viable option, there is always an opportunity to sell digital creations.
On Etsy, there is a section for certain patterns or tutorials to make something. In truth, there is still a good customer base for this because it means that the recipient can try it themselves with your help. This will provide major costs savings for you since there is no need for inventory and you don’t need to worry about shipping physical items.
Do I Have to Pay to Sell on Etsy?
Etsy is a listing website so you will need to pay $0.20 for every listing you make. If you want to offer a product endlessly, you can set it to automatically re-list which means that, once the first listing sells, a second will begin automatically and so on.
Additionally, Etsy will also take 3.5% of the selling price of an item which accumulates and ends in a monthly bill. When listing, you can decide how you want to be paid but many choose to go through PayPal. If you choose this route, you will also need to consider PayPal charges.
When looking into this option, people often ask ‘why should I sign up to Etsy instead of opening my own website?’.
This is a good question…
There are pros and cons to using Etsy vs your own website. One major benefit of Etsy is that it will allow you to take advantage of the traffic that already exists. When you list an item, you know that people who are looking to buy will come across it and Etsy is high on Google’s rankings.
On the flip side, there are some negatives to selling on Etsy. Primarily, you never actually own your store so there is a risk of your page being pulled for some reason. However, if you aren’t breaking any rules this is highly unlikely.
Tips on Selling
So how do you make money selling on Etsy?
What is the best way of making money on Etsy?
First, you have to realize that products no longer sell themselves because there is so much competition. After listing your products, you need to get out there and ensure that the whole world sees what you have to offer. To start, you can use social media to attract some attention by utilizing hashtags and Etsy groups. You can learn more about facebook hashtags here.
In addition to this, you should also make use of the one tool that is overlooked far too often – shop stats. In here, you will see exactly how many people view your items, how your shop is found, and then the sales you make. When attempting to advertise your business, this type of information can be invaluable because you can learn what part of your marketing is going well and what needs improvement.
Above all else, being unique in everything you do is perhaps the most important tip of all.
If you follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, you will struggle to get noticed. Instead, you need to get creative with your products, social media accounts, listings, marketing, packaging, shipping, and every other step in your business.
Often, people will say that it is now impossible to be unique but this is a ridiculous statement. It doesn’t even have to be huge differences, why not try taking photos of your items in a different way or offering something special within the packaging of the product? As soon as you find your feet and unique offering, the rewards will be seen.
And there we have it, our guide to making money on Etsy. If you have never heard of the site before, go ahead and take a look, perform some research, and see what others are doing. However, don’t spend too long researching because there is no better time to take action than today!
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