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Crafty people and artisans will love Etsy! Etsy allows those skilled at creating homemade goods an easy option for selling products online. The global e-commerce website specializes in the sale and purchase of handmade as well as vintage products. The website has been compared to a craft fair where customers can purchase unique products from talented artisans. In exchange for a small fee, Etsy provides sellers with turnkey solutions including a virtual storefront, customer base, and marketing tools. Each seller can setup a dedicated shop on the site, where products can be listed and sold. If you have a talent at making handcrafted goods like jewelry, pottery, clothing, or art (just to name a few), Etsy may be a great option for you to make some extra cash or make a living! Some Etsy shop owners sell their products full time on Etsy and depend on their shop to support their families. By using Etsy as a virtual storefront, sellers can save on costs from setting up an e-commerce website and can take advantage of Etsy’s brand name to boost sales.

Getting Started

To open a shop on Etsy, create a profile. It’s free to open a shop but you’ll be charged a fee to list and sell items, which is how Etsy earns money.  In the setup, you must confirm the language and currency you want to use in your shop. The language chosen cannot be changed later; however, you can make changes to the currency once the shop is open. Additionally, you must designate the country of sale (your location), as some seller tools are only available in select countries.

Choose a shop name to create your shop. It needs to be unique, and less than 20 characters in length. Take some time to select a name as your name plays an important role in the success of your business. Read Etsy’s tips to learn the factors to consider when naming your shop. Once you are done, you can start listing items for sale.  Note that Etsy charges $0.20 (USD) to list and publish a product on the site.

To list an item, you need to add information about who made it and when it was made. Etsy does allow sellers to list non-handmade items, however, factory-made items need to be approved by Etsy before listings can be added. Add a category to list the item in, add images and choose colors and other variants. Add a description that is detailed and uses keywords to help buyers find your item. You can also add tags to help the listing get found.

When creating your listing, you will also add shipping information, taxes, price and quantity of items available. You are charged for each sale (so if you sell 10 identical scarves through one listing, you get charged the listing fee 10 times). Finalize your listing and submit it to Etsy. It might take up to 24 hours for it to be approved.

Sales on Etsy are paid to you via Etsy gift cards, credit/debit cards, Paypal, check or money order. Depending on where you are located, you might also need a credit card to open your shop. Etsy will charge a 3.5% transaction fee for each sale and will be billed (along with listing fees) to each seller on a monthly basis. 

Earning Money

Treating your Etsy virtual store as you would a physical store is the key to making a ton of money. However, you can be a hobbyist and still make a decent income by spending a little time marketing your listings on social media. Spend time setting up your profile and about section, which is a great way to show your buyers who you are. Take great photographs—online sales are always easier if the buyer can clearly see the item you are selling. Look through similar product listings and choose a price that is realistic. Providing great customer service is a great way of attracting customers back for future sales.

Three Bird Nest is a popular Etsy store that makes over $65,000 per month, so the potential for making a large income is definitely there!

Getting Paid

Setting up an Etsy shop is free, but Etsy does charge a $0.20 listing fee per listing. Your listings are valid for 4 months or until an item is sold. Etsy also charges 3.5% of the final sale value. All fees are invoiced at the end of the month.

You can get paid on Etsy via Paypal, credit/debit card, Direct Checkout (deposited straight to your bank), a check or a money order.

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