How to Make Money on Etsy
Etsy is a great platform for selling handmade or vintage items, art, and craft supplies. If you're interested in making money by selling on Etsy, there are a few things you should know.
While it is easy to join the throng of Etsy sellers as a side hustle, it’s a little harder to learn how to make money on Etsy. To run an Etsy store full-time is even more difficult. Still, the sky is the limit for entrepreneurs, thanks in large part to the power of the internet.
In this step-by-step guide, we'll cover how to set up an Etsy shop and list items for sale, price your items competitively, and market your Etsy shop to potential customers.
Beginner's guide to selling on Etsy
To get started, you'll need to create an Etsy account and set up your shop. Choosing a shop name is an important aspect of creating your Etsy business.
Do you already have your own website or small business? If so, using the same name for your Etsy store is a good idea for brand continuity. If not, choosing a creative name that speaks to you. If you can use a name that includes some of the searchable terms related to your products, even better.
For instance, if you’ll be selling digital downloads, Deanna’s Digital Emporium could be a good name. If you’re going to make pottery for sale, Rainbow Forest Pottery is a great name. Etsy uses its own search algorithm (much like Google’s SEO algorithm or Amazon’s A10 algorithm), so it’s essential that you shop and listings be easily found. If your products can’t be found in Etsy search, you won’t get many sales.
Once your shop is open, you can start listing items for sale. When creating Etsy listings, be sure to use keywords that buyers might search for, and make your descriptions clear and concise. You'll also want to take good photos of your items, as these will be the main point of contact between you and potential buyers.
When you're ready to start selling, log in to your Etsy account and click on the "Sell on Etsy" link at the top of the page. This will take you to the listing page, where you can begin creating listings for your items. You'll need to provide a title and description for each item, as well as at least one photo. Etsy allows you to upload several photos or videos per listing, so make sure to take advantage of this and show your items from different angles or in different settings.
In addition to attractive photos, your Etsy listings should also have well-written, detailed descriptions. These descriptions should give buyers all the information they need to know about your products. They should also be written in a way that is SEO-friendly, using keywords and phrases that potential buyers will be able to find when they type in the search bar.
Once you've created your listings, buyers will be able to browse them and make purchases. Etsy handles all of the transactions and credit card payments, so you don't need to worry about that aspect of selling. You will, however, need to ship the items to your buyers once they've made a purchase. Etsy offers a lot of information to sellers on shipping, so be sure to check it out before you get started.
How to decide what to sell on Etsy
If you’re short on business ideas, it can be hard to decide what you should sell in your Etsy shop. If you're crafty and make your own items, great! Those could do well on the world’s top handmade goods marketplace.
That said, you don't need to make your own items to sell on Etsy. You can also sell vintage items and antique items like collectibles or clothing. Digital downloads are also a very popular item to sell on Etsy for extra money.
One way to get ideas for what to sell on Etsy is to type your ideas into the site’s search bar. See what other sellers currently offer in your category to get a sense for how steep the competition will be. If you dream of selling t-shirts, for instance, knowing how many people sell similar products can be valuable. If at all possible, you’ll want to differentiate your listings so that you can capture an unfulfilled section of the marketplace.
This should go without saying, but you should also never, ever copy someone else’s idea on Etsy. Not only is this horrible, if the person were to find out and report you to Etsy, your store could be shut down. You might even be subject to copyright violation complaints or even lawsuits.
Pricing your items on Etsy
When pricing your items, you'll want to strike a balance between making a profit and being competitive. Take a look at what similar items are selling for on Etsy, and price your own items accordingly. If possible, set competitive prices for your items. You will want to make sure that your prices are low enough to attract buyers, but high enough that you're making a profit on each sale.
Consider the cost of running Etsy ads, if you think that’s something you’d like to try, plus Etsy’s fees and any relevant payment processing fees, too. It costs $0.20 to list an item on Etsy, and then you pay a 3.5% transaction fee when your item sells. So, if you sell an item for $100, you'll end up paying $3.50 in fees.
It's also important to consider the cost of materials and shipping when setting your prices and determining your target profit margin. You don't want to make too little profit on each sale, or else you won't be able to make a living selling on Etsy full-time. Especially with lower-priced products, it’s all too easy for fees and costs to eat up the entire price paid for your handmade items.
If you will be selling digital products like printables, planners, printable stickers, invitations, or cards, you will still have to worry about Etsy charges. However, you can save money on supplies and shipping. Many Etsy shop owners design in Canva or other low-cost programs and them add their digital products to online marketplaces like Etsy (or other ecommerce sites like eBay). This is just one strategy to build a successful Etsy shop, however.
At times, you may wish to offer coupons or other discounts off the sale price for your Etsy shop. Volume discounts are a good way to encourage larger purchases. Again, take the time to verify that the listing fee, materials, shipping costs, and coupons won’t detract so much from the price of the item or items that you don’t get rewarded for your hard work.
Marketing your Etsy shop
Once you've got your shop up and running, it's time to start marketing it to potential buyers. There are a few different ways to do this. First, make sure that your shop is set up in a way that is SEO-friendly. Search engine optimization refers to the practice using keywords throughout your shop and in your listing titles and descriptions so that your listings can be more easily found. You can also take advantage of Etsy's advertising features, which allow you to promote your listings on Etsy and elsewhere on the web.
Another great way to market your Etsy shop is through social media. If you have a large following on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you can share your listings with your fans and followers and get them interested in what you're selling. You can also join relevant online communities and forums, and share your shop with members of those communities. Many successful Etsy sellers have found their tribe in online communities and are able to make money selling their handcrafted products on the platform.
How much money can you make on Etsy?
How much money you make selling on Etsy depends on a number of factors, including the price of your items, the demand for your items, and how well you market your shop. Generally speaking, if you make high-quality items and market your shop effectively, you can make a decent living selling on Etsy. Active sellers that do find success typically do market research, consistently create new products to update their shop, and follow all the rules in the Etsy seller handbook.
Believe it or not, the top-rated shop on Etsy makes $2.8 million per year!This just goes to show that if you're serious about making money on Etsy, you can make quite a lot of money. Of course, not everyone will make millions of dollars per year. Many sellers make just a few sales a month. There are also a lot of Etsy shop owners who create a store and then eventually abandon it because they are not selling enough to make it worth their while.
Do I need Etsy Plus?
If you are invested in improving your personal finances through an Etsy shop and things are going well for your online store, you could consider an Etsy Plus account.
Etsy Plus provides you with tools to help you stand out from the crowd and jump-start growth. Etsy Plus includes credits for shop listings and Etsy Ads, access to custom web address discounts, restock requests, advanced shop customization, and more. You can learn more about it on Etsy’s website.