If you’re looking to turn your creative ideas into profit, Etsy might be a great place to start.
The website had an estimated number of 33.4 million active buyers and more than $3 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2017.
Learning how to make money on Etsy is easy, yet passion and creativity aren’t enough to grow a successful business and achieve success with any online marketplace.
If you’re interested in making money on Etsy, here are some great Etsy tips for beginners to help you reach your goal:
1. Assess Your Potential for Success
Before you start selling on Etsy, you’ll want to think about how profitable your idea is and how likely it will be to succeed. Take some time to think about the product or service you want to offer. Ask your friends for their opinion. You should also do some good market research using Etsy’s search bar to see if similar ideas are selling well.
When researching your idea on Etsy, be sure to use various specific keywords and check out many different shops. Look closely at how many sales they have made and how long they have been operating their shop. If you find that similar ideas aren’t popular, people probably aren’t interested. It may be better to skip this idea or come up with a unique way to make it profitable and interesting to people.
If you think your idea may be popular, figure out the cost of producing your items. For example, if you want to sell handmade crafts, figure out where you will source the materials and how much they will cost. You should also estimate how long it may take you to create each item. Calculating the cost of each item will help you determine an approximate price of your product and how much you may be able to earn weekly or monthly.
Once you find out the popularity and the cost of your product, pay attention to the competition. You can look for similar products on Etsy or any other marketplace like local stores or even Amazon.
If you don’t have a product idea yet but still want to start an Etsy business, check out what others are currently selling. Can you make a better product at a cheaper price? Looking at other people’s products may also inspire a unique idea of your own. There’s nothing wrong with looking for inspiration this way.
Here are some of the best-selling categories on Etsy that you can explore:
- Enamel pins
- Greetings cards
- Knitting patterns
- Art prints
- Personalized t-shirts
- Glasses and bottles
2. Make a Creative Name and Logo for Your Shop
Even though your name does not have a huge impact on your store’s success, it’s still important to come up with an eye-catching and memorable name for your Etsy store. Don’t worry, you can change your Etsy store name in the future if you don’t like it. Consider something short and simple; avoid complicated, lengthy, or hard-to-read names.
A logo is not required, but it will make your online store much more trustworthy! Be sure to have a unique logo so customers don’t think you are trying to copy another brand.
You can use an online tool such as Canva to create a logo or hire a freelancer on Fiverr.
3. Be Aware of Etsy’s Fees
This part is important to keep in mind to ensure your Etsy store is profitable. Keep in mind Etsy’s fees. While some online marketplaces have no fees, they are not as popular as Etsy.
Each Etsy listing will cost you $0.20 to start. If you’re short on money, 3 – 6 listings will be enough for you to start selling on Etsy.
There are other fees to consider as well. There’s also a 5% fee for everything sold on Etsy. Since it excludes the cost of shipping, you’ll need to think of those costs too – especially if you’re going to sell the physical products. Plus, the website’s payment processing system, Etsy Payments, will cost you an extra 3% of the total sale price and a base fee of $0.25. These costs will add up and affect your profitability!
I highly recommend you read my other article that goes into detail about all these Etsy fees. This is a MUST READ: craftsanddollars.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-sell-on-etsy/
Apart from Etsy’s fees, think about the price of your items or services. Consider any upfront costs, fees, deals, and shipping (if needed) and then set a realistic price. Make sure you don’t overcharge, though. Don’t forget about competition; there willl definitely be someone who might undercut you and allure your customers. If you’re going to sell special and hard-to-find items, then it’s okay to set a higher price.
4. Put Extra Effort Into Your Product Photos
Have you ever searched for something online and saw blurry or low-quality pictures of the items? Would you buy such an item?
A clear photo makes a huge difference in how successful your online business will be.
Before you start promoting your products, make sure you’ve taken great photos. Check out the styles which your competitors are using while marketing their items to get some ideas. Decide on what style might be best for your product.
The more professional your camera is and the more professional your product images are, the higher the chance of your products being sold. Even if you create the most unique and beautiful piece of vintage jewelry, you’ll have trouble selling it if the images of your items are horrible.
You don’t need to invest in a very expensive camera or hire a professional photographer, but try to take the best pictures you can with your phone camera if that’s all you have to work with. It’s all about composition and lighting, so do your research and experiment with various pictures before posting them.
Read my Etsy photography guide for more helpful advice.
5. Get Started Right Now!
As soon as you identify what you want to sell, its price, and other selling details, it’s time to finally create your Etsy store. You don’t need to have any special skills because the whole process is quite simple. Just sign up, choose the Sell on Etsy category, and fill in the details, including your store name, billing information, and listings.
Once you’ll handle the registration process, consider finding someone online who has operated a business on Etsy before. You can also read comments from people online talking about the basics of Etsy success. Then, focus on one of the hardest parts of growing a selling business online – marketing the products.
The way you market your products greatly depends on your budget, but you get started for free. For instance, create an Instagram account or Facebook page for your store. Oftentimes this is the best way to start. Find similar pages and accounts and check the relevant ideas and hashtags for your posts. It’s important to post interesting and useful information, and you can also offer your products. Be sure to interact with your followers and answer any comments, regardless if they are positive or negative.
If you can use WordPress or any other platforms with blogging capabilities, you can start a blog related to your products or services. For instance, if you’re going to sell vintage jewelry, you can write blog posts about how to choose or take care of vintage jewelry, etc.
You can also invest some cash in marketing if you can afford it. There are the paid methods like Google’s Shopping ads tool or Etsy’s Promoted Listings to help you promote your items and find new buyers. As your online store thrives make sure you set specific sales goals; also think of the way to improve your service/product and look for a business partner. Moreover, opt for Etsy’s web analytics tool to boost your sales. It will help you find out whether your marketing tactics work or you need to change your tactics.
6. Don’t Give Up!
That’s probably the most important tip to keep in mind when starting your business on Etsy as a beginner. You never know how people will perceive your product, especially if you have no money for marketing. If your idea fails, try another one! If you quit too early, you did not give yourself a chance for success.
Change up your ideas by testing all sorts of your ideas to see what sticks.
If you don’t feel like changing your product, consider upgrading it. You can jazz up your vintage jewelry with a modern twist or start making “themed” jewelry for weddings, parties, and the office. The sky is the only limit here. Just don’t give up; that’s important when you want to learn how to make money on Etsy.