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How to Make Money on Etsy: What to Sell & How to Start

By December 18, 2020September 16th, 2021No Comments

By: Kristen Frisa | December 18, 2020

Looking to make some money from home? There are plenty of side hustle options out there! One very popular option is to make some extra money selling a large variety of wares via the popular e-commerce site Etsy.

Etsy is a well-known online marketplace among the crafty crowd. It’s a gathering ground for those talented with a sewing machine or crochet needles for instance. Or hobbyists of any kind really. All with the same goal in mind: use this side hustle to earn some extra cash. But how much money can you make using the site? And how do you get started? Let’s have a look!

What is an Etsy Shop?

Your Etsy shop is your home on the Etsy website. It’s the site on which you can list items for sale, and through which buyers will find you and your story, and enter into transactions with you.

There are cases of folks who’ve made successful full-time businesses from their Etsy shops, while others use it as a way to get rid of their hobby output and make a little cash on the side. How much you can make all depends on how successful your shop becomes, and that can come down to how well you design and execute your business plan, how you interact with customers, and how you’ve priced your items.

How Can I Make Money on Etsy?

Etsy shop owners make money by listing handmade items or designs, vintage items, or things like sewing and cross-stitch patterns for sale in their shops. The most successful sellers create a brand for their shops, tell an intriguing back story, and work hard to keep buyers engaged in the process. In short, they treat it as they would any other business.

Etsy offers shop owners a Seller Handbook, detailing best practices for success. Etsy suggests shop owners upload quality photos that present the brand to buyers, add a welcome message for visitors to your shop, and tell a little history of the brand.

What Can I Sell on Etsy?

You may have some great ideas of what your would-be Etsy shop will sell, or maybe you’re stuck. Start with which things are allowed on the site and what aren’t.

Etsy prohibits the sale of alcohol and drugs of any kind, hazardous or dangerous materials, any animal remains, and items that “promote, support, or glorify violence” for example, explaining that some of these represent legal risks, while others just don’t align with the site’s values.

Beyond that, items sold on the site need to be made or designed by the seller, and the seller needs to be upfront about which, if any, parts of the process are being contracted out to others. Reselling items is not allowed, except for in the case of vintage items that are at least 20 years old and craft supplies, setting the site apart from other direct-sales platforms like eBay and Kijiji.

Some shop owners sell digital artwork printables and designs. Others sell t-shirts and other clothing that they have screen printed. You’ll also find sewing, embroidery, knitting, or cross stitch patterns. Or, you can buy the finished product, like a dress or hand made jewelry.

What are the Best Things to Sell on Etsy to Make Money?

Two key factors in having a successful shop are making your page aesthetically pleasing and offering great customer service. Visibility of your items through search engine optimization (SEO), sharing items to social media feeds, and tweaking tags and descriptions to draw in potential customers, could be the type of business practices that will bring in good money.

How Does Etsy Make Money?

You may be wondering what Etsy gets in exchange for providing such a popular sales venue. There’s no user fee to starting up a basic Etsy store, though the company does offer a premium option, called Etsy Plus, that offers additional tools like custom web address discounts and advanced shop customization to help set your shop apart. Etsy Plus also includes 15 listing credits and $5 worth of Etsy ads credit per month. It also allows you to plug in your own website through your shop.

Etsy also makes money through listing fees and transaction fees. Listing an item costs $0.20, and this amount is due whether or not the item sells. If the item does sell, Etsy charges 5% of the total item cost as a transaction fee. Finally, Etsy sellers are required to pay 5% of the shipping costs to the platform per shipping transaction, which is separate from shipping label fees.

All in all, if you are into arts and crafts, and are ready to put some effort into creating an Etsy shop to market and sell your wares, then Etsy is the perfect platform for you!

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