Etsy Selling Tips from a Successful Etsy Seller
Do you have a passion for unique and creative things?
Perhaps it’s handmade jewelry or clothing you’ve personalized with your child’s name or a meaningful phrase? Or you like collecting antiques or craft supplies and putting together creations.
Etsy is an opportunity to turn your hobby into a full-time income.
You might be wondering:
Is it worth it to sell on Etsy?
100,000 times yes.
Today, I’m excited to share an interview with a successful Etsy seller.
*If you haven’t gotten started on Etsy yet, you can get your first 40 listings for FREE here.
This interview is particularly special because it’s with a friend who lives in the same town as me.
I met her at a children’s event at the local library earlier this year. When I heard her story, I must have told it to 5 of my family members that same week.
She’s done what many moms have only dreamt of doing:
Make a full-time income within 4 months of opening up her Etsy shop!
At the time, she was on maternity leave. She was able to quit her job before her set return date!
I’m so grateful that my friend agreed to share her Etsy selling tips on the blog.
Before we get into her strategies…
For those that are unfamiliar with Etsy, we’re going to discuss:
- What is Etsy
- What does it cost to sell on Etsy?
- Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy?
- How do you sell things on Etsy?
- Interview with a Successful Etsy Seller (don’t miss this part!!!)
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What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace for unique goods – many of which are handmade or craft supplies. There are also vintage goods (20+ years old) available.
What does it cost to sell on Etsy?
There are 3 selling fees:
- Listing Fee: $0.20 to publish a listing, which lasts for 4 months or until the product sells
- Transaction Fee: 5% of the sales price (including shipping price) when the product sells
- Payment Processing Fee (only applicable if you use Etsy Payments to accept payment): 3% of the sales price + $0.25 processing fee when the product sells
All fees are in USD.
Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy?
While Etsy does not require you to have a business license, the company has stated that you might need one.
“Depending on what you sell and where you’re selling it from, you may also need to obtain certain business licenses — check your state or city requirements (it’s always important to look up and comply with your local laws to avoid violations and fines).” – Etsy
I’ve read some Etsy sellers pay $5/year for their license while others pay a few hundred dollars per year. Some Etsy sellers say it depends on your annual sales volume. It’s best to consult your local town or city directly so you know what you need.
How do you sell things on Etsy?
The process to sell things on Etsy is straightforward:
- Create your Etsy shop – choose a name, state your shop location and currency
- Create your first listing
- Set how you want to be paid and how you want to pay your Etsy fees
Etsy has a detailed Seller Handbook filled with articles on how to successfully run your Etsy shop. It covers topics like:
- How to photograph your products
- Cost effective shipping strategies
- How to get noticed on Etsy through SEO and social media
- Figuring out the pricing and other numbers to make a profitable business
- How to grow your product lines
If you’re curious about the best-selling products on Etsy:
Interview with a Successful Etsy Seller
I’m excited to finally share my friend’s Etsy success tips.
In this interview, she discusses how much money she makes, how she gets customers, her biggest challenge, and other tips for Etsy shop owners.
Note: There have been reports of people copying Etsy shops once they realize which ones are successful. As a precaution, I’ve omitted my friend’s name and her Etsy shop details.
Now onto the interview!
What’s your background? How did you get started as an Etsy shop owner?
I’m originally from Nigeria, and moved to Canada in 2007 for study. I completed my undergrad in International Development at the University of Guelph, and Masters in Public & International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. I never actually worked in the field/profession of either degree.
During my maternity leave for my first child, I decided to brainstorm an escape strategy from the corporate world and run my own business. My Etsy Shop quickly turned from idea to reality as the end of my maternity leave was approaching.
How much money do you make per week as an Etsy shop owner?
As with many businesses, there is really no set figure to be expected weekly. Some weeks are better than others, and some seasons are better than others depending on the kind of product you are selling, as well as how many products you have in your inventory.
On average, I could make anywhere between $1,500 – $3,000 per week, but this is by no means an average mark for Etsy sellers in general. Some make way more, and some less. It all depends on a number of factors – the demand for your products, the number of items you sell, the amount of time you put into growing your Etsy shop…
The number of hours I put in varies from day to day and also depends on how many orders I have to fulfill. I wouldn’t call myself a workaholic. I like to work efficiently so I have time to spend with my family, which is one of the reasons I wanted to run my own business in the first place. I could work anywhere from 15-30 hours per week.
How do you get customers? What are your tips on how to get noticed on Etsy?
Etsy provides a great platform for getting your products and services noticed. Etsy has grown so much over the years, which means more and more people are coming to that space to search for products. This also means there could be a lot of competition for sellers.
When listing your products, it’s important to take advantage of the hashtags and keywords that could help customers find your shop and product. It’s rare that you will be the only seller offering a specific product, so it’s key to stand out in some way. This could be through differentiating your product in one way or another, ensuring you offer quality products because customers typically rely on the reviews of other customers, and above all offer excellent customer service. It will bring customers back and lead to referrals.
Can you describe your typical work week?
A typical week involves processing and fulfilling orders, doing some graphic designing, research on new products to offer, responding to customer emails, communicating with suppliers, and updating my product listings.
What is your favorite thing about being an Etsy shop owner?
The flexibility to manage my schedule is everything!
What is your biggest challenge as an Etsy shop owner?
The biggest challenge is dealing with difficult customers, although it’s rare. But this challenge is obviously not unique to being an Etsy shop owner. It comes with any business on any platform.
What type of person is a good fit for this role?
Anyone can run an Etsy business, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort required.
Do you recommend any courses to help others learn how to sell successfully on Etsy?
I personally did not take any course. We have a plethora of information available on the internet so just research every and any question you have. There will be others that have wondered the same and useful resources to address these questions.
What are you focusing on next year to increase sales on Etsy?
Social media has become a really powerful tool for businesses so I’m looking to utilize the power of social media to help increase my sales.
What’s your #1 piece of advice on how to sell successfully on Etsy?
Success does not happen overnight. It could take a bit of time for your products to get noticed and get consistent sales. Don’t be discouraged, because once the sales start coming, they just keep coming.
And that’s a wrap!
A big thanks to my friend for sharing her Etsy selling tips!
If you’re interested in selling specifically stickers on Etsy, check out my interview with this successful stickers shop seller.
If you’re interested in selling printables on Etsy (which is basically passive income!), check out this interview with a successful Etsy printables shop owner. She sells bachelorette printables.
Related: I had the pleasure of taking a course called Gold City Ventures, which shows you how to create an Etsy store featuring printables and digital downloads. I share an insider’s perspective on Gold City Ventures here. In this post, there’s also an interview with another Gold City Ventures student who shares her tips and tricks on how to sell printables on Etsy.
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