If you’re looking for a new way to make some extra money, selling your wares on Etsy could be your next side business. Etsy is an online marketplace with a focus on independent sellers and handmade, unique items. Customers usually head to Etsy to find things that no one else has, and popular purchases include personalised gifts, wedding favours and vintage clothing. I have personally found Etsy to be a fantastic place to sell my hand embroidered t-shirts, and it has given me a way of making money from a hobby that I love. If you have a creative talent whether it’s sewing, graphic design or calligraphy it’s worth setting up shop to sell on Etsy and see whether you could add a string to your bow and some cash to your pocket.
How do I get started?
You can open a shop really quickly to sell on Etsy with super low start-up costs- you can list your first item for as little as US$0.20 (about 15p). Once you have a name and logo for your store, you can start to list your products and create descriptions. For handmade items, you can even set up a ‘custom request’ button so that buyers can request something that is customised to their needs.
Fees to sell on Etsy are quite reasonable, and are lower than other marketplaces such as eBay. Once an item is sold, there is a 3.5% transaction fee on the selling price. If you receive payment through Etsy Payments (the alternative is PayPal) there is also a 4% plus 20p payment processing fee when an item is sold. This makes Etsy a low-cost option for setting up a store and selling your products online- imagine what you would pay for a bricks and mortar store!
Etsy are even kind enough to give you access to a Seller Handbook which features a ton of advice on everything you need to know about being an Etsy seller. From branding and marketing to growth strategies, they’ve got you covered. The Seller Handbook seems to hold all the answers whether you are starting out or wanting to take your Etsy side business to the heady heights of a full time income. The absolute best part of being a seller on Etsy is the community of sellers and the support that you get from the platform itself.
How will people find my shop?
Etsy is a global online marketplace, so it means you have access to millions of potential customers, all searching for that something special. You’ll find that, like most retailers, your sales will often peak around pay-day, and you may find yourself particularly busy over the Christmas period. To make your Etsy store stand out, it’s important to use clear and well-lit photos to make your items gleam amongst your competitors- remember, there will be hundreds of other things that will show up when a potential customer searches the site.
My best advice for getting traffic to your Etsy shop is to open social media accounts for your store. Most of my Etsy traffic comes from my Instagram account, and it’s a great way to connect with fellow crafts-people and build a relationship with your customers. If you use social media to tell your customers about new products and promotions, they are far more likely to return to your store to make that all important repeat purchase. Check out my post about how to promote your Etsy store using Instagram for more information.
You should also make use of the full title description to make sure that your products turn up in as many search results as possible. This, combined with using the tags to describe your item, should mean that your product shows up whenever a potential customer searches any key words or phrases that are in your title or tag words. Ultimately, you can have the best, most exquisite products in the world, but if people can’t find them using the search function, they will be difficult to sell.
Can I still sell on Etsy if I’m not an expert in a specific craft?
Yes! There is a huge part of Etsy that is dedicated to vintage sellers- whether that’s clothing, jewellery, homeware or toys. So whether you love sourcing furniture, or dresses from the 70s, you can be sure that it will have its place on Etsy. There is also a high demand for tools and craft materials, so even if you don’t do the crafting yourself, you can sell the materials to people who do. Popular materials include things like sewing supplies, embroidery hoops, jewellery making equipment and card making tools.
If you’re keen to set up a passive income stream, you can do that on Etsy too with a little technological know-how. Printable artwork, graphics and typography are super popular to buy and sell on Etsy and work well as gifts and distinctive home décor. You do the work once to create the printable, and sell passively for years to come. There’s no postage involved and customers should be able to download the files and instantly print everything themselves from the comfort of their own home. With a little bit of research you could be the next person making their Etsy business their full time job!
You might also be interested in reading how to make freelance writing your next profitable side hustle, how to have money in the bank at the end of every month, and everything you need to know about HMRC and side hustles.