Before we dive into answering the question can you make money on Etsy? we should take the time to give a quick overview of what it is Etsy actually is.
COST: Free to join – listing fees
OVERALL RANKING 3 / 5 stars
Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin and a couple of friends and hold craftsmanship at the centre of its philosophy. With close to 2 million active sellers they have over 44 million items for sale which services a buying public of over 31 million.
The chart below show how well their revenue has continued to climb especially in the 4th quarter:
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.
So now we’ve got that out of the way let’s look into what you can sell on Etsy.
There are 3 main groups
- Craft Supplies
Each of these groups have various sub-groups so the choice is enormous.
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.
An interesting point 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Threebirdnest’ which according to some sources made over $70,000 a month, now I said use to because that shop is no longer active because of an alleged breach of TOS mainly due to fact she had a team of workers and bought a lot of her inventory from places like Aliexpress and simply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.
Craft supplies is the area for selling all the things you would need to make an item for example:
how much does it cost?
Joining Etsy and opening a shop is free, what you do have to pay for is listing fees which are $0.20 and that lasts until the item is sold, then you have their commission fee which is 3% of the sale price 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.
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 because if you are looking to make money with this 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.
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 unfortunately it’s your responsibility to market your shop effectively, be that on social media or through your own website, which in turn brings with it a whole new set of problems to be able to get yourself seen in the search engines.
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.
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?
How long is a piece of string?
It’s really going to depend on a number of factors
- how good your product is
- length of time on Etsy
- customer service
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 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 there 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.
Why is that?
Again going back to the previous paragraph on getting seen, you can look at how well they each market there shops, it could be and probably is that LillieHenry has a better marketing strategy than their competitors, the length of time on Etsy is the same, their customer service could be exceptional or it could be that people just love stickers!
Well I think that with close to 2 million sellers, you’ve got to be able to earn 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 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.