How to Make Money on Etsy: Everything You Need to Know

how to make money on etsy

Let’s start with a fact that you may or may not know. Statistics from the first half of 2020 shows that we’re living in the worst economic times since the Great Depression.

Of course, you can panic, but that won’t pay your bills. What you need right now is some extra cash. You need a side hustle that can be managed from your home.

Something like Etsy.

how to make money on etsy

Etsy can help you create your very own online business or company. You can run this business from your home and fulfill your orders without a lot of movement. It’s a relatively easy and cheap way to earn some cash and a pretty good side hustle.

However, if you know Etsy, you know that most sellers there are pretty crafty. If you’re not, that can lead to the mistaken notion that making money on Etsy requires you to make things.

In this guide, we’re going to share with you how to make money on Etsy in 2020. There are ways to do it, even if your fingers are all thumbs. But first,

What’s Etsy?

Most of us probably already know what Etsy is, but we’ll give you a refresher in case you forgot.

Etsy is a platform for selling unique, homemade, crafty, or vintage goods. All vintage items must be at least twenty years old.

They have lots of categories, from jewelry to craft supplies and thousands of products in between. Platforms like this have been blowing up lately, mainly because of the restrictions on outdoor shopping.

Etsy recorded a net income of nearly $96 million in 2019, so you could say this company is raking in the dough. However, Etsy doesn’t charge sellers a lot for space on its platform.

To sell on Etsy, you’ll need to pay 20 cents for each product or service you list. You’ll also need to pay a 5% commission on each sale you make.

If you choose to sell on Etsy, you’ll need to factor in these costs. However, selling a homemade or crafty product on Etsy is just one way to make money off of this platform.

Etsy has a free plan and a paid plan. With the free plan, you can run your business on the platform, but you’re required to pay for extra services like Ads, shipping labels, etc. On the other hand, the paid plan comes with some benefits.

The paid plan is called Etsy Plus. In this package, you get access to some advanced customization options, 15 free listings, $5 credit on ads, a custom domain name, and allows your customers to receive alerts when you restock your goods.

You also get access to discounts and other perks. This plan is $10/month. Now that you know how this platform works let’s get into how to make money on Etsy.

Ways to Make Money on Etsy

You don’t have to be particularly crafty to learn how to make money on Etsy. Selling crafts are an excellent way to earn some cash on Etsy, but it’s not the only way.

There are several other ways of earning a good income off of this platform without touching a single pair of scissors. Next, we’ll be showing you how to make money on Etsy without making anything. Take a look.

1. Selling crafts and homemade items

make money on etsy

Yes, selling crafts and other handmade goods aren’t the only way to make money on Etsy. However, if you have the skills and labor for it, it can become a great source of income.

Selling crafts and whatnot is what Etsy is known for, so if you can hack it, why not try it?

However, this market is quite saturated, so if you want to stand out, you’ll have to come up with something amazing. Or you can sell a product that’s very much in demand. The most important part of selling crafts on Etsy is finding a niche that suits you.

2. Selling digital services

making money on etsy

If you can do your work remotely, why not offer your services? This way might be even better than selling crafts because you don’t have to go anywhere to ship your goods to your customer.

You can take on projects, work on them at home and send them off to the customer without even leaving your couch.

Etsy already has a lot of shops that do this. You can create pretty printable cards or messages, printable designs, logos, etc. And you can do it with free tools like Canva, Photoshop, and other graphic designing apps.

You’ll never run out of stock, and you’ll never have to go through the long and sometimes irritating process of shipping products to your customers.

The best part, you can outsource these services for a small amount of money on freelancing platforms like Fiverr.com and sell them at a higher price on Etsy.

3. Buy and sell

This one’s a little harder than the others, but it is still a bonafide way of making money with Etsy. If you can identify demand and meet it, you can certainly earn a sizeable income with this method.

Learning how to make money on Etsy can take a while, but if you’ve ever bought something and then sold it for a profit, this method will be familiar to you.

All you have to do is buy something at a physical store and resell it on your Etsy store. However, your goods can only be vintage items of at least 20 years old.

Provided there’s sufficient demand for it, it’ll sell well. For those business people with clumsy hands, you can even make a deal with an antique seller, you know. Buy their products and sell them off at a profit on Etsy.

Selling on Etsy isn’t particularly difficult. However, Etsy was made for independent sellers to have a place to market their handmade products. Learning how to make such products isn’t hard if you have the equipment.

And you might already have your eye on this learning how to make money on Etsy through this method.

But before you start selling anything on Etsy, you should know how this platform is run and the best way to make money on Etsy in 2020.

Tips to Make Money on Etsy

1. Find your niche

We’ve said this before, but it is one of the most important things to do before selling. You need to find a niche that’ll be profitable for you.

Competition within niches makes it hard for individual sellers to market their products properly. And even if they do, it might be swallowed by all the other listings clamoring for the buyer’s attention.

For newbies, it’s best to choose a niche that doesn’t have a lot of competition.

2. Do the math

Unless you’re not planning on making a profit, you cannot just start selling. You need to take a look at all the variables within your business plan. That is, you should make a list of all your revenue and expenditure.

You should figure out how much you want to price your product.  You should then calculate all your expenses, including the material needed to make the product or the amount you bought the product, and Etsy’s cut of $3.5 on each sale.

Taking all costs from the price of each product, you’ll be able to figure out your profit. Doing this will ensure that you know what you’re getting into with your business.

3. Naming your store

A name for your store is important, but it’s not something that you need to worry about. Just choose something simple that relates to your profile or brand.

4. Photos

You’re allowed to place only five pictures of your product on each listing. This means that you only get five photos to display your product in an enticing light.

Take your pictures in the best lighting possible, with the best background possible. You’ll need to make sure to angle them to show the complete product without hiding any sides.

Doing this will make your customers fully aware of what they’re buying.

You can also use photo editing apps like Photoshop or Canva to edit the lighting and background. If you’re not sure how all of this is done, draw inspiration from photos of similar products on Etsy.

5. Descriptions

Describing your product within your listing is another essential part of creating your store. To make your product stand out from the crowd and to draw more customers, you need to take great care when describing your products.

You must use keywords when describing your product. However, there’s a considerable chance that competitors have already used these keywords.

You’ll probably fade into the background if you use the same keywords as your competitors. To prevent this, you can look for more unique keywords. Or you can be even more descriptive.

By being more descriptive, customers can narrow their search when looking for specific products, and you can be part of the few listings that match such searches.

This advice goes for your tags and listing titles as well.

You must also try to connect with your customers. When describing your products, you must make it sound like something they need not want.

You should try your best to convince them through your description that this is a product that will help them and make their lives easier or better.

6. Promotion

There is an online world beyond Etsy and people who regularly shop on Etsy. You can use your social media presence such as Pinterest for marketing your products and services.

You can create logos for your product and raise awareness about your brand. You can also use email marketing and paid promotion services on various platforms.

You can even use social media influencers to help you spread the word and bring in new customers. There’s also the idea of content creation. You can blog about your product, how to use it, why customers should use it, and how it can help them.

Of course, along with all this promotion, you’ll also put a link to your Etsy shop in each advert. Make sure to embed your links in a strategic place to maximize your returns.

7. Research and conquer

Your competitors definitely won’t be sitting still while you’re making all of these money moves. Since you’re a newbie on Etsy, it’s best to learn from those who are in the same niche and are already successful.

Take the time to study your competition, learn what tactics they use to attract new customers, and keep them.

Learn how they’ve continuously kept their head above water while on Etsy. By learning how to make money on Etsy from them, you can integrate their solutions with yours and make the best decisions for your business.

8. Set goals

As your business starts to take off, you need to set objectives and milestones for your business. This will give you an idea of how much your business has progressed.

You can use Etsy’s analytics tools to make sure that your business reaches its objectives, or you need to try something new.

9. Older sellers

When you join Etsy, you will get the opportunity to converse with some older sellers. You can use this time to get them to teach you how things run in a more hands-on way.

They can give you personal tips on how best to take your photos, phrase words in your listing description, how best to market your particular product, etc.

10. Customer feedback

The relationship between customer and seller is that of demand and supply. However, you do need your customer’s feedback to provide more value for your product.

You need to create avenues where they can give you feedback and provide reviews. These reviews may help to bring in more customers as well because new buyers are more likely to trust the word of other buyers more than the sellers.

11. Change with the times

In the era of COVID-19, there are many online shops marketing goods to keep people safe from the virus or to help them while they practice social distancing.

These products will naturally sell better because they’ve become a necessity during these times. Making your products seem like a necessity around a certain period isn’t impossible.

You’ll have to create content showing your products in a good light during that period. You can also have events, discounts, or coupons to form incentives for customers.

Free shipping with or without conditions is also another great reward for shopping. And that’s it. With these tips, you can easily learn how to make money on Etsy.

Creating an account on Etsy is easy, but selling enough products or services to turn a profit can be really tough. However, it is doable.

Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy

Etsy, like any other sales platform, has its pros and cons. This platform has over 2.5 million sellers on it, which means there are some terrific pros. Let’s take a look at them.#

Pros

1. Easy to set up and run

Once you’ve figured out what you want to sell and how you want to sell it, creating an account on Etsy and setting up your store is a breeze.

You can do it in under fifteen minutes if you have your photos and description ready. You can simply follow the step-by-step guide available here.

Etsy also gives you a chance to look at everything it means to be a seller in their Seller Handbook.

This book is like a knowledge base and allows you to read articles on categories such as shipping, marketing, branding, pricing, taxes, finance, productivity, and even growth strategies.

2. Large audience

Etsy has over 45 million buyers as of 2019. Compared to many other craft platforms, this is a rather large amount. And relative to the number of buyers, each seller has a good chance of making a decent amount of money off Etsy. As a new seller, you’re almost guaranteed a sale.

3. Free Analytics

Every business owner should keep a close eye on their metrics. However, it isn’t that easy, especially for new sellers. Etsy has a partnership with Google Analytics, which allows them to have Analytical data about each seller’s store on their dashboard.

Viewing how well your store is doing at a glance will take a little bit of time if you’ve never done it before. To help with this, Etsy has provided a guide to help new sellers familiarize themselves with their metrics.

4. Advertising

With or without your consent, Etsy advertises your goods and services for you through off-site ads. These ads can help you generate traffic without you doing a single thing.

However, they’re not free. For each new customer brought to you by the off-site ads, you’ll need to pay a 15% commission.

5. Do you

Etsy is a place for the old, the homemade, and the handmade. Most of what is sold on Etsy are sold by independent buyers who make it themselves and sell it to you.

So you’re free to make what you want and sell it without any reservations. You can just do you and, hopefully, make some money out of your self-expression.

Cons

It’s not all sunshine and handmade mittens with Etsy. Learning how to make money on Etsy isn’t as easy as you think it’ll be because of these problems.

1. Saturated market

Many sellers on Etsy have complained that there’s almost no space for newcomers on Etsy anymore. The reason for this is because all the markets have become saturated.

When there are too many sellers with the same type of products, it leaves absolutely no room for any new sellers.

To make matters worse, Etsy only has eight categories. Because there are so few categories, all two million sellers are stuffed within these boundaries so that there’s no room for a seller with the same idea.

2. Copycat

This con falls within the first one. Etsy’s markets are so saturated that if you do come up with an original idea on how to make money on Etsy, it’ll probably be stolen and marketed as another seller’s product before long.

3. Reselling

Etsy has a very strict reselling policy. According to these regulations, you can only sell handmade items on Etsy or vintage goods. What this means is that the only items you can buy and resell are vintage goods.

And these goods have to be at least twenty years old, or they’re not vintage enough to be put up on Etsy.

You cannot buy any other item and put them up for sale on Etsy. This includes clothes, jewelry, crafts, etc. All items sold in your Etsy shop must be handmade by you.

4. Limited control

While you use Etsy to conduct your business, you do not have full control over all processes. Because your business is being handled on their platform and domain, you can be thrown out anytime.

Etsy won’t do this without reason, but when running a business on a platform, there’s a lot of fine print to read and hardly enough patience to go through all the rules and regulations.

5. Fees

Etsy charges a certain amount from sellers for the right to make money on their platform. They charge a fee on sales, payment transactions, listings, and (unwanted) advertisements.

All this doesn’t reduce even if you subscribe to their paid plan. The amount of money or commissions owed can look small at first, but you’ll find that they add up quickly.

6. Labor problems

Because of the numerous deductions that Etsy takes from your profits, it makes sense that you’ll feel a need to sell more to offset these costs. However, this just leads to a vicious cycle of selling and deductions.

And because Etsy products are handmade, you may have to deal with increased demand by yourself.

Etsy doesn’t allow reselling, so unless the seller is only selling simple designs or shapes on Etsy, they have to hire help, which will also eat into profits.

After a while, you may start to see a rise in costs without a corresponding rise in profits.

Final Words on How to Make Money on Etsy

Although there are several cons, it is still possible to be one of those that can make six figures on Etsy. It’ll take a lot of time and effort, but nothing good ever comes easy. If you use the tips mentioned above, then you can make your first $100k on Etsy without a hitch.

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