There are a lot of online stores to sell your wares these days and if you want to learn how to make money on Etsy, the process is a lot simpler than you might think.
Etsy is a store that accepts only homemade crafts and articles to sell and anyone can sell his or her knitting, crocheting, or other handmade items simply by setting up an account there. They accept blankets, jewelry, clothing, and housewares, among others, and as long as it’s homemade, you can sell it on their website.
Handmade Items Are the Best
When you enjoy making things and you’ve decided to make some extra cash by selling those things online, Etsy is a great place to start. If you’ve never before sold anything online, it might feel a little overwhelming to think about shipping costs, determining prices for your items, and production times but Etsy gives you complete control over all of those things so it is easy to get started. In fact, Etsy lets you set the price that you want to sell the items for and even how long it will be between the time the order takes place and the time it is sent to the customer.
If you have a large item that you’re having problems deciding how to ship, you could possibly offer just a pattern or how-to instructions to the customer instead. As long as it’s your own product, Etsy will let you sell it. In addition, getting started with Etsy is both simple and fast. They let you list your item for 20¢ per item and they allow up to five photographs. They keep the listing available on the site for four months or until the item sells.
When your item sells, Etsy charges you 3.5% of the total price, not including the shipping charge. This, in addition to the 20¢ that you paid to advertise the item, is the only price you’ll pay for the listing service.
If your item doesn’t sell, you can either renew the listing or decide to call it quits. Either way, the service is extremely inexpensive so it’s the perfect vehicle for people who are new to their businesses and don’t have a lot of money to spend on promotion and advertising.
How Will Customers Pay for Their Purchases?
Etsy has all of the details worked out regarding the buying and selling process. They have their own method of payment called Direct Checkout, which allows customers to use their debit and credit cards. You can also choose to accept money orders and personal checks if you so choose. Here are the two main methods that most people choose to use for their purchases on Etsy:
- Direct Checkout: charges a flat 25¢ per transaction plus 3% of the money that is collected, which includes the price of the item and the shipping fees. Etsy will then deposit this money into an account set aside just for you, which you can then transfer to your bank account whenever you’re ready.
- PayPal: charges a flat 30¢ per transaction and 2.7% of the money collected, which includes the shipping costs. Much the same as Direct Checkout, this money is deposited into your PayPal account, which can be transferred to your bank account at any time.
If you’ve been looking into other ways to sell your homemade crafts, such as eBay and others, it’s good to note that eBay charges 10% of the sales and shipping price and this is on top of the charges that you’ll incur with the different payment methods. Clearly, Etsy is not only a very effective way to sell your homemade goods but one of the cheapest as well.
Once you learn how to make money on Etsy and how easy it is to do so, you’ll likely consider this website to be the only one you need when trying to make a little extra money.
The Many Advantages of Using Etsy Over Other Online Stores
If you have homemade items to sell and you’re considering setting up your own website to do so, it is good to consider all of your alternatives first. Setting up a website can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Most people find that Etsy is simply a better method of selling for numerous reasons. In fact, when you consider the advantages of selling on Etsy, it is little wonder why it is such a popular site. These advantages include:
- Etsy is a trusted site that has been around for a very long time.
- Etsy is streamlined and very easy to use even for those who are not tech-savvy.
- Etsy gets a lot of traffic and currently ranks 136 worldwide, which is very high.
- Unless your website starts to get a large following, it simply won’t be as advantageous as selling on Etsy.
- Etsy listings always show up in Google ranks.
- Crafters know what Etsy is so they have a large following and a lot of fans.
Simply put, Etsy is where most people go when they wish to buy homemade arts and crafts items. All crafters are familiar with the site and it is the first site that many people think of when they want any type of homemade goods.
Get Familiar with Etsy
Since Etsy has roughly two million active sellers, it is hard to imagine going on the site and not finding exactly what you were looking for. The sellers have their individual stores and the website itself is very user-friendly so the items you’re searching for are always easy to find. As a seller, these things are good to know because they mean that when someone goes online and wants to buy what you have to sell, it should be easy for him or her to find you.
So, if you’re interested in learning how to make money on Etsy but you’re not sure how to get started, there are some tips and suggestions that make the process very simple. Etsy makes registering for a free your account and your store a breeze so you don’t have to worry about that part. Here are some things to remember when you want to sell your homemade goods on Etsy:
- Find a niche so that your product is a little different than the other products being sold.
- Make sure that your descriptions are very detailed so that customers don’t have to contact you with any questions they have.
- Include the maximum number of photographs allowed and make them clear, crisp photographs taken from different angles. Make it look artsy, not commercial.
- Write the perfect title so that it attracts attention and makes people want to stop and get more information on it. Don’t make it too long, though.
- Don’t forget to use the “tag” feature. Etsy allows you to list up to 14 tags. Make your tags descriptive and relative if you want your items to appear in a customer’s search results.
- When writing the title, don’t make fancy names for it but instead just list and describe the item you’re selling.
- Try to have 50 to 100 items in your store. If you have only a small number of items, customers usually don’t stay around for very long.
- Keep in mind that searches list the most recently posted items first so try to add a few items to your shop every few days or every week so that your items will show up in a search.
- Take advantage of the resources Etsy offers to increase your sales, such as blogs, forums, and threads.
If you want to make money by selling your items on Etsy, you have to become involved with the Etsy community. List a lot of items for sale, take advantage of their many resources, and work on your store at least every other day or so. The more you learn about everything that Etsy has to offer, the more you will be able to sell in the end. Don’t just list your items and come back to the site a few weeks later to see how you’re doing. That almost never works in your favor.
Making Money with Etsy
People often make money on Etsy one of two ways: either reselling old items that they’ve purchased at flea markets and estate sales, or creating their own works of art and selling those items. Most people choose the latter because they have a special talent and wish to share that talent with others. Regardless of what you choose, however, here are a few more tips that can help you sell your stuff:
- Go to Etsy, review your competition, and visit each of those stores to find out how many items they’ve sold, how long they’ve been open, etc.
- You also have to find out if there is a market for the things that you’re thinking of selling so ask around, visit similar shops on Etsy, and do a little market research if you can.
- Make sure that you spend a lot of time on your photography. No, you do not need to hire a professional photographer but you should have access to a high-quality camera that produces great photographs.
Digital products such as personalized signs do very well on Etsy as do items such as discount craft supplies, knitting patterns, notebooks, art prints, and stickers, among others. If you’re not sure how to get started, visiting Etsy and perusing the website can teach you what it has to offer. Remember that just because you see a lot of stores selling what you’d like to sell doesn’t mean that the market is saturated. More than likely, it means that it’s time to jump in and take advantage of the market yourself.
Make the Most of Your Time on the Etsy Website
With over 28 million active buyers, it is easy to understand why selling on Etsy is such a great idea. Once you do some research and you’re ready to get started, you’ll essentially need only a little knowledge and a product to sell. Next, choose the name and logo you wish to use for your website; then start taking photographs for your store. Although it does cost some money to sell on Etsy, the costs are definitely not prohibitive so go ahead and list as many items as you like.
One of the most challenging parts of selling on Etsy is choosing the carrier company that you wish to use to send your products to your customers. Choosing the post office is the best way for most sellers but if you have an item that is large or bulky, a professional courier company may work better. You should also package and weigh the product that you wish to sell so that you can determine a fair price to charge your customers for shipping.
Etsy also has a new feature called Etsy Plus that charges you a small fee — roughly $10 per month — to sell your items but you also get a lot more features and benefits. Is Etsy Plus worth it? It depends on who you ask. The smart thing is to try it for a few months and determine for yourself if it’s the right option for you. Different sellers have different opinions about Etsy Plus.
If you’re learning how to make money on Etsy and you’re comparing the site to other online stores, you should know that the advantages of choosing Etsy over those other sites include:
- Etsy buyers tend to focus more on quality and even quirkiness than they do the price of the item.
- There are numerous features that can help make the selling process extremely easy.
- You can sell your products to customers all over the world.
Some sellers, however, have had some concerns about Etsy, including the monthly fees (although they are miniscule), the fact that you don’t get paid instantly, and the fact that it is mostly a U.S. site, which can present challenges for some overseas sellers. However, these are very minor challenges for most sellers and they are very easy to work around and accommodate.
Learning From Other Sellers’ Mistakes
Just as with other online stores, many sellers hop onto Etsy and assume that their products will sell like crazy with very little effort on their part. That is simply not the case. Instead of concentrating on the list of “do’s” for working with Etsy, there is also a list of “don’ts” that you should learn. For instance, when selling on Etsy, don’t:
- Jump right in without doing your due diligence and research
- Post photos that are grainy, too small, or huge
- Ignore the importance of your title; after all, this is what is going to attract your buyers so it has to be good
- Make the description too vague or too short; remember that details are the key
- Forget to include tags with your description
- Forget to use the “shop announcement” feature
- Forget to include information on the “about” section of your profile
- Forego using social media pages to promote your site
- Ignore the choices when it comes to the banner for your site
Once again, Etsy offers a lot of resources to help promote and market your new online store so it behooves you to spend some time on these resources and learn all you can about what they have to offer you. Etsy even makes it easy to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your online store, making it easier than ever to share the store with everyone you’re connected to on other social media pages.
Remember the Importance of SEO Marketing
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an important term to learn when you wish to sell on Etsy. If someone performs an Internet search for a product that you’re selling on Etsy, you naturally want your online store to pop up in the search. This means that the keywords you use are crucial and must be the right ones in order to produce the best results. When determining the right keywords, there are several important factors to consider, including:
- Shopper intent: This is the most important factor and consists of words that shoppers will automatically use when searching for a particular item. The Google keyword list can give you suggestions as well.
- Volume: This is the second most important factor. Looking at how many people are searching for a keyword helps provide you with a starting point. If you consider words that describe the niche that your item is in, it will help you to develop the best keywords.
- Keyword Competition: Become familiar with which words have a high search volume on Google and how many competing pages are on Google. Once you consider these two factors, it can help you determine if you’d like to try a keyword phrase instead of a single word.
- Small Niches. If you focus on a small niche, you may find that it is searched somewhat fewer times; however, it may also have less competition. If there aren’t that many competing pages, your store is more likely to rank high on the list of search results.
Keywords are important but not that difficult to grasp. Incorporating the right keywords or phrases into your product descriptions can increase the likelihood that your store will appear on someone’s Google search when he or she is interested in buying that particular product.
Before you start keyword stuffing, however, make sure that you learn more about the SEO process and how to use not just a lot of keywords but the right keywords to produce the results you want.
Tips From the Experts
Every seller on Etsy can learn something from sellers who have been successful at it. Most Etsy sellers are not millionaires but it is still possible to make some extra money and even replace your full-time income if you sell your products on Etsy. It doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but it is still possible if you work hard at it. In addition, tips and suggestions from the experts can come in handy and they include the following:
- Make sure that your product is packaged nicely so the customer will feel special.
- Be competitive both in the price you’re asking and the product you’re selling.
- Include a business card and website address when sending the products to customers.
- Make sure that you obey all laws regarding trademarks and copyrights.
- Don’t forget to include the exact dimensions of your product in the descriptions.
- Give customers the chance to sign up for a mailing list.
- Always research your target audience.
- Keep impeccable records, including writing down your shipping dates.
- Include testimonials and reviews on your website to build up your credibility.
- Pay attention to Etsy’s guidelines so your store doesn’t get suspended.
- Keep track of when it’s time to renew your listing.
- Learn to market the store offline as well as online.
Learning how to make money on Etsy consists of a lot of common-sense suggestions but they are important suggestions nonetheless. Most of these tips can be summed up in one sentence: treat your Etsy store as if it is a real business, not a hobby. Things such as keeping your site updated, offering specials and sales, and providing great customer service every day will go a long way in helping you become successful when selling your items on Etsy.
Some Final Tips
If you want to make money on Etsy, you’ll have to work at it. Look at everything from a prospective buyer’s point of view and make sure that you have a very professional online store and a high-quality product. Spend time on your store every day and treat it as you would any other job with regular work hours and constant devotion. These are just a few of the tips that are necessary to make sure that your Etsy store is a success.