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I have to be honest. My wife recently started her own shop on Etsy.com and that is the motivation for this article. She’s very crafty and has created some really cool toys and things for our 6-year-old son.
So I thought I’d share some info from my research, as I’ve been trying to help her explode her business. She’s already made a couple of sales in her first week so she’s all fired up.
I hope you find this useful. Ok here we go…
Table of Contents
How Etsy Works
The first thing I had to look into was the inner workings of the platform. Because to tell you the truth, I’m not the crafty type so I never gave Etsy a thought.
First off, it’s free to join and start a shop on Etsy.com. However, there are three basic fees you incur in order to sell your handmade products. These fees include:
- Listing fees
- Transaction fees
- Payment fees
Publishing a listing on Etsy costs about $0.20. You only pay the transaction fees and payment processing fee after making a sale.
Every listing made on Etsy remains available for up to 4 months or until a customer buys it. You, the product or shop owner set the prices of your items.
They also have simple, but powerful tools that enable you to design your shop and make your stuff sell fast. Hopefully. More on this in a minute.
Etsy takes about 5% of the selling price of each item purchased from the site. Every month, Etsy sends you a bill showing all the fees charged on each item bought from the platform.
They usually give you up to the middle of the month to pay the fees. Customers can use debit cards, credit cards or even PayPal and more depending on their preferences.
They’ve also developed an app that allows you to conveniently manage your orders, respond to questions from customers, and even update your items from anywhere using the app.
The promotional tools that they provide enable you to improve traffic and reach more customers quickly. You can also share your items on other sites such as social media channels.
Tools and Packages
Serious entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses can use the advanced tools provided by the site. The tools are available for subscription and come in three packages:
Buyers on Etsy
Etsy’s homepage offers buyers a section where they can search the type of products they want. Also, they can browse the listed options which is available on the left side of the page.
For easy search, items are classified into different categories and each category has a subcategory.
A buyer can view your positive feedback to understand how reliable your shop is. When interested in a particular product, a buyer will click on the ADD TO CART button.
This adds the product into a virtual catalog. Buyers can add as many items as possible depending on their individual needs. Unlike sellers, buyers don’t have to open an account with Etsy and can register using their Google or Facebook account.
How Do You Get Paid on Etsy?
In order to get paid on Etsy, you have to register with Etsy payments. Sellers from authorized countries have to be enrolled and should have a PayPal account.
Registering with Etsy payments is pretty simple. Just click on the Payment Settings then select Finances. Choose your country’s bank account then enter the number and residential address.
This is to help you receive the deposits. Verification of your personal identity is required. If your shop is based in Austria, Netherlands or Germany, then you don’t have to include a debit or credit card.
All payments are made through Etsy Payments. This helps to reduce payment related headaches for both the buyers and sellers. If you are a seller using Etsy
Payments, then there is no need to have an account with any of the third party payment methods for you to receive money. Only the buyers can use them to make payments.
If you make any order through Etsy Payments, then you’ll incur a processing fee.
There are regulations on how funds are deposited. This helps to eliminate frauds. Funds are held for about 5 days in case you change or make updates on your bank details.
There is also another 90 day waiting before your money can become ready for deposits three days after making a sale.
After the 90 days, your money will be deposited the next business day after the sale of a product. You can choose when you want your funds to be deposited to you in the Payment Settings section.
Getting Your Funds
Etsy payment sales are deposited in your account if your balance is positive. The balance in your account excludes the shop fees. In case you’ve not paid some funds to Etsy, then the amount will be deducted from your sales proceeds.
But if you are a resident of a country that is not supported by Etsy Payments, then you won’t be deducted the fees instead you receive the amount every month.
Instances When You Might Not Get Your Funds
In some cases, you may not receive deposits even after making a sale.
Examples would be:
- You don’t use a valid debit or credit card
- Your bank account is invalid
- You owe Etsy a high amount of fees than the sales you make
- You’re not scheduled to receive the deposits
How to Make Money on Etsy – 3 Ways
1) You must have or come up with a viable idea.
Don’t just join Etsy for the sake of selling, instead have a profitable idea. Sell products that you are interested in.
You can conduct research to understand the type of products that sell well on Etsy by using the search bar on the site.
Some of the things to consider include the costs of each item you want to sell, level of competition, and Etsy fees.
Remember that Etsy charges a fee for every item sold and this may affect the selling price and income you can make. The cost also doesn’t include shipping charges.
It is, therefore, important to evaluate the cost by taking the price of any item you want to sell and deducting the associated costs. If you can make a profit while still maintaining an attractive price, then you can go ahead.
But that’s not all… You’ll also want to ask yourself questions like:
- Is there something that people think is really cool that I created?
- Have I created things for people on request that they seem to love?
- Do I really enjoy coming up with creative things?
My wife started noticing that one of the toys that she created for my son was a big hit at daycare. So she started making for the other mothers and boom. Next thing she knew she had a hit on Etsy.
2) You need to set up a high quality shop.
After identifying a great idea, make it happen by creating a good custom shop. Register by clicking on the Sell on Etsy link.
There is a seller’s handbook that can help you understand more about setting up a shop and selling on Etsy.
Here’s some of the things to keep in mind:
- Taking nice professional photographs of all the items you sell.
- Writing a catchy and compelling description for your shop, using templates, banners and featuring listed options.
- Focusing on marketing and advertising your shop (more on this in a second). Feel free to remind your shoppers that your items are available. It is easy to lose a sale just because an item has been sold out. If you can reach interested shoppers, then email them and tell them their favorite items are back.
3) You must understand how to market your shop.
There are simple and free methods that can help you market your shop. Marketing is the master skill in any business.
And when it comes to growing your Etsy or any online business, it’s the 800-pound gorilla in the proverbial marketing room. So you have to view yourself as a marketer.
This might not jive with the creative type. And that’s ok. You can learn the skill of marketing.
Here’s an example of tweet of a person who is tracking their results on the different marketing channels and Instagram is the clear winner for this person’s store.
Poking around Etsy stats for one of my shops today. Turns out Instagram (Linktree = Instagram) is crushing all other external sources. Neato. Facebook itself is basically useless, and Twitter doesn’t drive enough traffic to register. pic.twitter.com/GIgSlWxo64
— dria (@dria) April 17, 2019
For starters, you want to start with social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Pinterest (which is more of a search engine) is another good one too.
You’ll want to post regularly. On these channels you can source great ideas and reach tons of people on these platforms for marketing your products.
Here’s an example of a tweet with someone trying to get ideas on their products.
I can see from stats on Etsy, that my key rings get looked at a lot, but not purchased. I feel like $20 is a fair price. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/jmvPnSRwjb
— Persephone (@Nikkol78) April 11, 2017
Search Engine Optimization
Another powerful way to market your Etsy shop is through search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re an internet marketer then SEO isn’t new to you.
But if you’re just a budding work from home entrepreneur, then probably not so much. Well no worries. I’ve got you covered. This Esty SEO infographic below gives you a 7-step cheat sheet for using SEO to explode your Etsy Shop.
Top Products to Sell on Etsy
There are several items that you can sell on Etsy. The items fall in different categories, but the top ones include:
- Home décor
- Craft tools and supplies
Etsy has standards on the items you can sell. Since the site follows craft fairs and tradition, sellers are advised to offer personalized items.
This means you can customize your stuff to match the individual needs of your customers like clothing and more.
You can also decorate your items in a way that they can entice your customers. This is because some customers may be looking for great gift items from the shop. To succeed in selling on Etsy, make your items unique and be creative.
Pros of Esty
- It is a very simple website to use. You can post, ship and even tag items whenever you want.
- Etsy is a reputable website that is known all over the world. Customers and sellers respect and rely on the site for quality stuff.
- It is easy to get potential and loyal customers provided you can offer them personalized items.
- The site generates traffic for you. This is great especially when you’re starting out. It is also easy to see your traffic stats.
- The mobile app brings convenience in terms of listing updates, communicating with buyers and checking stats.
Cons of Etsy
- You have to invest your time and effort in promoting your shop. This includes writing descriptions and taking good photographs of your items.
- It’s a competitive market and can be saturated. You must be original in what you’re offering in order to be successful.
- The fees can add up quickly despite being small. It can hurt if you aren’t making many sales each month. You can feel like you don’t sell enough on the site.
Etsy is a great platform for those who want to make money online and have creativity. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make money by bringing your skills and imagination to the marketplace. Just like any business, if you can create value for people you can make money.
On Etsy.com, if you can fill a demand and promote it to the masses, you can make some money. There are people out there making a killing on Etsy.
While the level of competition can be fierce and some markets appear saturated, you can still compete if you have an idea that sells and you can market it. Remember, you need a viable product, a high quality shop, and market, market, market.
I’ll leave you with a great video on how to make $2,000 per month on Etsy. For most people this type of additional income is a game-changer! Enjoy!