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Most likely you’ve heard of Etsy. If you haven’t, you should go check it out. You can buy handmade items, arts & crafts supplies, digital products and vintage items. This huge online marketplace provides plenty of opportunity for sellers to make money selling on Etsy. It’s where I sell my mugs and digital items which I’m slowly building up.
If you already have a hobby creating art or making crafts, then you already have a product you can sell on Etsy. Maybe you sew (clothes, dog beds, scarves, doll clothes, quilts), crochet, knit or embroider. Or maybe you make jewelry, pottery, or items made out of wood. Other handmade product ideas include soaps, lotions, bath bombs, artwork, custom portraits, even handmade toys. If you can make it, you can sell it. Let me show you the basic steps you need to start selling on Etsy and turn your hobby into income.
What if you don’t make anything you could sell? Do you create things with your computer? You could sell printables of all kinds, business cards, invitations, scrapbook layouts, even create custom photo collages for your customers.
If you’re not interested in creating handmade items or designing digital products, you can also buy and re-sell items. Vintage items are a big seller. You could shop at estate sales, flea markets, and the like, and list your items on Etsy. Another option is to purchase arts & crafts supplies at wholesale and list them in your store.
If you want to know what sells the most on Etsy, you can browse by best-selling items and get ideas. While you’re looking at what sells, also pay attention to how many options there are for something you might sell. If there’s a lot of competition, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you offer something unique, or use better pictures, or have better descriptions.
When you have an idea of what you want to sell, search Etsy for that item and study your competition. Read through the item descriptions to get ideas. Note the prices other sellers charge for the items you want to sell. Browse the reviews their customers have left for the items. You may get some ideas for improving on an item that currently sells.
When viewing items, if you click on the shop name in the top left, you can see how long the shop has been open and the total number of sales. If they’ve been selling a lot of products, pay special attention to their descriptions and photos as inspiration for your own shop.
Once you’ve decided what to sell, create your own shop and start listing. Be sure to use my special link to get your first 40 Etsy items listed for FREE! Etsy charges $0.20 for every listing you create plus 3.5% of the selling price. Add great photos and the right keywords and you’ll attract buyers. Try to think of what keywords a customer might use to search for your product. If you already searched through Etsy, then you have a list of keywords to use. Then once a potential customer finds your item, you’ll need a great photo to entice them to buy. You could be the next Vincent van Gogh but if your listing photo isn’t great, you won’t attract customers. If you have any doubts, take a free online photography class or two. There’s a great photography class as well as other classes and awesome information when you join the Handmade Seller. I’ve been going through all the magazines to help me revamp my store and start new listings.
You can choose to automatically relist items to make the listing process easier. Let’s say you’re selling clay that you purchased at wholesale. Once a customer makes a purchase, the listing will automatically repopulate so that another customer can purchase the same clay.
Once your item sells, you’ll need to ship it out yourself. Make sure you have packaging materials on hand (boxes, poly-mailers, whatever you need) along with any bubble wrap or tissue and plenty of labels. If you’re going to send your items priority mail you can order free boxes and envelopes directly from USPS.
When you start selling your items, make sure to focus on customer service. Great (or poor) customer service can make (or break) a home-based business. Also, consider including a hand-written thank you note to your customer. As long as your customer is happy with their product and your service, a thank you note can earn you a repeat customer.
While you’re running your store, you may want to market your products on social media. Sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn can help drive customers to your store. Experiment with different ways to tell potential customers about your products as there is no single cut & dry method that works.
You can use the built in Shop Stats tool in Etsy to see how many people viewed your items and where they came from, and even add your shop to Google Analytics to track performance. Once you get the hang of viewing your data, you can use it to adjust your social media marketing.
As you can see, anyone can sell on Etsy. Whether you make it, find it, or buy it, there’s a customer out there waiting to buy it. With the right keywords and great photos, you can use Etsy to earn extra money or even turn your store into a full-time income. Your only limit is your imagination.