How to Make Money on Etsy

For the avid crafter, Etsy is a household name in the handmade community that makes it easy to connect with buyers. The ability to create and sell handcrafted products in such an easy-to-use interface has many perks, but there is a substantial amount of work that goes into creating a successful online store. Fabricating, taking a picture, and posting it does not cut it with Etsy, as there is much more that goes into getting your product out there in an appealing manner to consumers. You need to do more than that to make money on Etsy.

Jen Mohr, an eager crafter with an eye for crochet, recently set up her own Etsy shop. Although her shop is fairly new, she has learned a thing or two about how to sell her creations and make her shop appealing to visitors.

“I love Etsy because it’s extremely easy to use,” she said in a recent interview.

“Since I first learned crochet, I was hooked! I would spend hours on Pinterest looking at patterns and projects and want to make them all.”Jen Mohr, Etsy Shop Owner

But what if you haven’t caught the crafting bug? There’s an Etsy option for that, too.

Not everything on Etsy needs to be handmade. The marketplace also allows vintage items, supplies to make other crafts, and tools to be sold.

If you’ve always wanted to get a lucrative online storefront on Etsy underway, this is how you do it.

Become the Most Productive You Can Be.

This could mean a variety of things, depending on what you’re looking to sell in your online store. If you are making and selling products, streamline the process in every way possible. Create a crafting space or studio, gather the needed supplies, and set aside time to create on a regular basis. If you are buying and selling products, find the best places to purchase the items, and buy in bulk if applicable to cut down on trips. Basically, you want to get the most out of your precious time.

Time is money, after all.

Find the Right Price.

Often, when creating an item to sell, the time and effort it took to actually make it is not entirely included in the selling price. For example, if you are crocheting a set of three hearts to sell for Valentine’s Day and it takes you around an hour to crochet one, that’s three hours of work plus supplies you have to account for. Depending on your goals as an Etsy seller, you may want to price the set of crocheted hearts at around $35. That would make you about $10 an hour plus some for the yarn used to make them. Add the amount you spent on supplies with how much you are willing to make per hour in order to get a reasonable price for your goods.

“Pricing can be tricky,” Jen says.

“I don’t want to price something too high because then no one would buy it, and I don’t want to go too low because a lot of time and care goes into crochet. I kind of work my pricing on cost of materials plus time invested. If it seems too high or low I’ll search the Internet for similar items to compare costs.”Jen Mohr, Etsy Shop Owner

Don’t sell yourself short; not reaping the benefits of your hard work is not worth the time and effort.

Listing Your Products on Etsy.

There are a few things that are crucial to being successful on Etsy, and the majority of them have to do with listing your items. Consider the following tips when adding items to your online shop.

Use clear photographs

This may be a no-brainer, but make sure you are taking pictures of your products in bright lights, with a clean background, and without any distractions. Highlight the best aspects of the product, but show any issues or damage, especially if the product is vintage. You want to be honest, but portray the item in the best light possible.

Jen explains her method for clear, pertinent photos that help tell a story about her crocheted creations: “For photography, I just try to use natural sunlight as best I can and make the background relevant to the piece. For example, I had an amigurumi (crochet doll) polar bear and shortly after it was finished it snowed. I thought that would be a perfect setting. I don’t use any fancy cameras or lighting, just a smartphone camera, and a picture editing app.”

Write easy-to-understand descriptions

Illustrate every aspect of the product for the shopper, from the texture and materials to the colors. Give an idea of what the item could be perfect for, to help the customer envision it in their home, in their collection, or as an accessory.  Any person, whether they are looking to buy from your shop or not, should be tantalized by your description. It should help the buyer visualize that they can touch the item, feel its textures, and even imagine the general weight of it.

Utilizing keywords

Keywords are what get your shop noticed. They can dig your name out of the sea of thousands of other Etsy shops, and have the ability to put your creations front and center. Take advantage of every single keyword space available to you and make them as descriptive as possible. If there are various ways to describe your item, or someone may search different terms, add those in, too. For example, a vintage purse may be searched under “vintage purse” or “vintage handbag”, and a collectible spoon might be listed as just plain “metal spoon” or under the type of metal it is made from.

Share on social media

Once your Etsy shop has been created, make social media accounts specifically for it. Whenever there is a new listing or new product, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can share these pages on your personal accounts, too, to get the word out there more efficiently.

How Much Money Can You Really Make on Etsy?

Well, that’s entirely up to you. If you really want to push yourself, list many different products, and put a significant amount of effort in sharing on social media. There are those that have left their full-time day jobs to focus on profiting from their online stores, but it takes sweat and endurance to get to that point. As Phil Forbes from Shoplo says, “Only a small fraction of sellers make regular sales, and even less are selling enough on Etsy to make a stable income.”

Always remember that making any amount of money off of something you enjoy doing, such as crafting, is a win-win in any book.  Have you always dreamed of creating your own successful online storefront on Etsy? What are you waiting for?