Selling on Etsy
as an Online Income Earning Method
On this page, you can learn how to sell on Etsy.com - an Online Marketplace that specializes in unique, stylish, handmade, and rare products. The customers on Etsy have a high standard and paying capacity. According to Etsy, millions of customers have spent billions of dollars on this marketplace so far.
Here’s how to build your own Etsy shop from scratch. Step by step, we demonstrate the preparation, registration, and product uploading processes, and we provide tips for a successful business. We open our own Etsy account and upload real products. We pinpoint the difficulties you may run in. We find out how much time and energy it takes to set up an Etsy shop. Also, we analyze how much money we spend and how much profit we can realize.
Get to Know the Product Range of Etsy
We spent a few days browsing the Etsy website. We didn’t have a hard time as many unique and remarkable products caught our attention. We are no longer surprised why Etsy can be so successful. Many of the products are so lovely that we would like to buy them for ourselves. Also, many others are in our environment already or relatively easy to obtain.
We browsed the beautiful antique and vintage pieces and their surprisingly high prices with astonishment. It seemed almost unbelievable that people sell and buy on Etsy at such high prices. By scrolling down on the profiles of some of the sellers, we could see there is a lot of interest in the products, and documented sales also happen, not in a few cases. Many satisfied customers left a positive review under the profiles of sellers, often supplemented with a photo proudly showing off the newly purchased products.
For us, the choice fell on old, antique, vintage, retro utility, and decorative items. We found dealing with this product category feasible in the shortest possible time with promising success for us. Vintage, retro, and antique products hardly need advertising, as these are so rare and unique that many times there is no competitor in the market who sells similar. We also assessed that there are several sources of supply in our environment where we can buy products for flipping at a reasonable price.
While browsing Etsy, we got an idea of what is of greater interest and what is valuable. With this knowledge, we went around our environment, our attic, our garage, local fairs and markets, charity, and antique shops. The more we browse the internet for similar products or take them in our hands, we can recognize valuable objects faster and figure out their value. With minimal searching and investment, we were able to gather more than enough products to get started, which we try to sell on Etsy. If our experiment goes well, we can expand our product range and fine-tune it to suit the demand.
The products we collected include old toys, vases, mugs, carved utensils, vinyl records, books, and more. We put them on the corner of a table and prepared them one by one for uploading on Etsy. We performed minor repairs, cleanings, and valuations.
Sign Up for Etsy
We visited the website of Etsy.com for sign-up and scrolled to the bottom of the page. There, in the footer section, we have found what we were looking for: a Sell on Etsy button.
On the next page, we have found some useful information about the expected costs. For us, the point is that the listing fee is 0.20 Euro, so our listings will be active for four months. In case of a successful sale, another 5% Transaction Fee and 4% + 0.30 Euro Payment Processing Fee are payable. It is only about a 10% fee together. It is quite favorable for us, so in the upper right corner, we clicked the Open your Etsy Shop button.
In the popup window, we have entered our registration details. We could go forward almost without any complications, but unfortunately, nothing is as simple as we expected. At first, we tried to register with an email address and password. After filling in the details and clicking the Register button, nothing happened.
We tried the sign-up process again with a Gmail account, and it worked fine that way.
Setting Up Etsy Shop Profile
We added a lot of data for our Etsy account to get it ready for operation. During the process, at one point, we had to enter our credit card number. Etsy then transferred a small, random amount on it. We had to enter this amount in a field to get our account a verified status.
It is worth filling in as much data and information about yourself as possible. You can create an introduction, enter your interests, upload a profile picture, and a custom background for your Etsy shop. For our background picture, we have created a unique and catchy design that fits the theme of our Etsy shop. If you are not that good at designing your banner, you can pay someone on Fiverr to do it for you.
You can specify whether you undertake gift packaging of the products for extra money. It is easy to raise your income this way without too much extra effort.
All this setup process can take a day if you want to make it in good quality.
Uploading Products on Etsy
Before uploading, prepare your products in front of a stylish background for taking great photos. Write a catchy description of them. Customers on Etsy does not only like your products but the atmosphere you create with your pictures and description. Your customers may fall in love with your items. When this happens, the price will be of secondary importance for them. If you read reviews under seller profiles, you can see that a lot of customers write with delight about their purchased treasures.
You can also enter keywords when uploading products. Use all 13 possible keywords! It will increase your chances of being found between thousands of other sellers.
Shipping your Items to Customers
One of the biggest challenges on Etsy is the calculation of postage costs, which can be very high if you send your items internationally. You even have to fill out a customs declaration in some cases. Custom rules vary from country to country, so check how it works at your location. Find the cheapest or best courier service and set up shipping time and costs.
For our products, the shipping cost often came out to be more than the value of the product. According to Etsy, shoppers prefer products advertised with free or cheaper shipping. So, we set up our product-pages with shipping costs included in the price of the product. In some cases, we halved the shipping cost and added one half to the price of the item, the other half left as shipping cost. This way, our shipping prices look more favorable. Perhaps this latter solution is better since we have to pay Etsy a 10% commission on the sale price of the products. So, if we include all the postage costs in the price of the product, we pay Etsy a 10% commission on all the shipping costs.
Our Conclusion on Selling on Etsy
Theoretically, you can be successful with Etsy. If you check it, you will see that almost every seller has reviews and sales. Some of them have thousands, and not even very cheap products were sold. In our opinion, on Etsy, it is not worth competing with other sellers on price, but on quality. Have unique, noteworthy, antique, or handmade products, and then few can sell the same thing you do. Take outstanding photos, write impressive descriptions, and upload as many products as you can. This way, you have more chances to get in the search results of your customers. Be quick at shipment preparation, choose a fast courier service, and be fair and kind to your customers to get good reviews.
Setting up our Etsy account, obtaining and uploading our first few products took us a few days and cost a little fraction of the profit we expect.
When you did everything above, all you have left is to wait for your first customer. That is what we do, too. However, we don't just expect a miracle from one business. You can find pages on our website about registering to other online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, how to build your Webshop with WordPress, how to sell products from AliExpress with Dropshipping, how to trade Domain Names or Stocks, and many more. Choose the method that best suits your plans and start your business in a few days with low upfront costs.
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