Can you make money on Etsy? Absolutely, as long as you do your research and have something to sell that people are looking for then all you need to do is follow the rules and you’ll soon have yourself a nice side income and given the growth of Etsy a full time income isn’t out of the question.
COST: Free to join – listing fees
What Is Etsy?
Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin and a couple of friends and hold craftsmanship at the centre of its philosophy.
They enable people to sell a variety of unique items through their marketplace with close to 2 million active sellers they have over 44 million items for sale which services a buying public of over 31 million.
INTERESTING FACT: DID YOU KNOW THAT OVER 80% OF SELLERS ON ETSY ARE WOMEN
Etsy has a number of different categories including arts and crafts, clothes and shoes as well as jewellery.
One of the major points with Etsy is the fact you cannot resell handmade items that you were not involved in making or at least designing.
So you can’t just grab something off somewhere like Ebay and sell on Etsy, which isn’t a bad thing because you’d like to think what you’re buying is being made by the person you’re buying from.
The chart below shows just how well their revenue has continued to climb especially in 2020:
So now we’ve got that out of the way let’s look into what you can sell to make money on Etsy.
There are 3 main groups
- Craft Supplies
Each of these groups have various sub-groups so the choice you have is enormous. The full list can be found here.
Handmade as I’ve already pointed out has to be something you have made or been designed by you just buying something off Amazon or Ebay isn’t going to cut it.
You even have to make sure you use your own photos or videos, you cannot use photos found on other sellers.
Although there has been stories of sellers listing items they didn’t make, perhaps the most famous is the case of Alicia Shaffer who use to have a shop on Etsy called’ Threebirdnest’ which according to some sources made over $70,000 a month.
Now I said use to because that shop is no longer active because of an alleged breach of TOS mainly due to fact she allegedly had a team of workers and bought a lot of her inventory from places like Aliexpress and simply resold on Etsy which goes against their entire ethos.
Vintage is a category where items that are older than twenty years can be sold, obviously this section doesn’t require that you’ve made these yourself.
As well as the age of an item you will need to supply additional info about vintage items in an attempt to verify their authenticity.
Craft supplies is the area for selling all the things you would need to make an item, for example:
- Knitting patterns
- Art supplies
- Party supplies
These can be handmade or they can be vintage, they can also be commercial.
How Much Does It Cost?
Etsy has 2 plans from which to choose, Standard and Plus. Standard costs you nothing whereas Plus will cost you $10 a month
Joining Etsy and opening a shop is free but what you do have to pay for is listing fees which are $0.20 for each item you list and that lasts for 4 months when you will have to pay for renewal.
Then you have their transaction fee which is 6.5% of the sale price including the charge for delivery and any gift wrapping.
And then you have the payment processing fee which is 3% plus $0.25. So if you sold a $10 item you would have to pay Etsy $1.05.
Worth bearing in mind is there are other payment options including credit card and PayPal, but they also have their own processing fees so it’s up to you which one you’d be happier using.
You may want to make use of Etsy’s offsite ads and that will cost you 15% on all attributed orders.
Where To Keep Your Stuff
Another important area not to be overlooked is a place for the production and/or storage of your shops inventory.
If you are looking to make money on Etsy then you’re going to have to be thinking a bit bigger than turning out the occasional picture frame or knitted scarf.
If you’re going to be thinking along the lines of having a nice supplementary income or potentially replacing your current income then this is something that needs to be seriously considered.
You may have a spare room or garage which can make an excellent storage space, but if you need to rent out storage you need to factor in this extra cost in your pricing.
Getting Yourself Seen
Another less known area for cost is how to market your shop, most people think that all you have to do is open your shop and bang, you have boat loads of custom.
That would be nice, but unfortunately it’s your responsibility to market your shop effectively, be that on social media or through your own website.
Running your own website brings with it a whole new set of problems to be able to get yourself seen in the search engines. (I have free training that will teach you how and a free website to use)
What’s Your Niche?
This is all going to depend on what it is you’re either good at or have an interest in.
There’s not going to be much point in trying to open a shop full of stuff that you have very little in common with or have absolutely no interest in.
You’ll find the more passionate you are about a subject the better you will perform and this enthusiasm will show through to your potential customers resulting in more sales.
Also when considering what it is you’re going to be selling you need to keep in mind the previous paragraphs about storage, if you have limited storage you’re going to want to go for smaller items whereas if you have an abundance of space you have many more options.
How Much Money Can You Make On Etsy?
How long is a piece of string? How much do you want to make? When you take into account that over 60% of sellers make less than $100 a year you’ll understand that the amount of money you can make on Etsy will depend largely on your desire.
You might be happy with just some extra pocket money each month or you might be looking at this as a way to becoming independent.
It’s really going to depend on a number of factors:
- How good your product is
- Length of time on Etsy
- Customer service
- Your desire
There’s a really good resource called
http://craftcount.com * which was basically created to track who is and what category is the top out of all the sellers on Etsy with at least 1000 sales, this information is updated every 24 hours so you can be sure of getting the most recent figures.
You can dig into any category and sub-category to determine who’s top and then you can go and see what it is they’re selling and how much for.
let’s take digital art as an example, as you can see rank 1 is a shop called ‘LillieHenry’ with sales of 103,983. Now if we go to the shop we can see that they sell stickers for around the $5 mark.
So with a little math we can see that their sales are around $519,915, divide that by the number of years selling on Etsy which is 3, you get $173.305 per year.
Bear in mind that this is just a rough guesstimate and should not be taken as gospel.
Now you can see why they are number one in the rankings.
But, if we look at the other end of the scale at number 153 in the list, staying with Digital arts, ‘MyMidnightMoon’ have sales of 1057 and their shop sells different printed papers with an average sale price around $3, so 1057 x 3 = $3171, divide that by the number of years selling which is again 3 and we have $1,057 per year.
One thing to bear in mind is the amount of stuff each has for sale
- LillieHenry……………760 items
- MyMidnightMoon….253 items
So LillieHenry has near enough 3 times the amount of items for sale than MyMidnightMoon and makes almost 164 times the amount of MyMidnightMoon.
*Unfortunately Craftcount is no longer available but I thought I’d leave this information in to show you.
Why Is That?
Again going back to the previous paragraph on getting seen, you can look at how well they each market their shops.
It could be and probably is that LillieHenry has a better marketing strategy than their competitors.
Are they paying for ads? Do they have their own website that is showing up for search queries?
The length of time on Etsy is the same, their customer service could be exceptional or it could be that people just love stickers!
Or it could be the amount of items they have for sale.
Well I think that with close to 2 million sellers, you’ve got to be able to make money on Etsy otherwise it just wouldn’t exist and as I’ve shown some earn more than others, but the bottom line is ‘how much are you going to earn’? Well that’s up to you, how much do you want to earn? Only you know.
But I do know this, you have to get started, you have to do something, reading and researching is all well and good, but if that’s all you do you’re not going to earn anything.
If you think starting an Etsy shop sounds a bit too much for you at the moment and you would like a way to earn money that actually shows you step by step without the need for any inventory then let me help you, click the banner below and I’ll show you how.
Have you got an Etsy shop? Think you’d like to open one? Tell us what you think we always love to hear your thoughts.