making money with etsy

How to Make Extra Money on Etsy: A Guide to Start Your Business

You can make extra money from home in many different ways these days. If you’ve ever wanted to use your creativity and turn it into dollar signs, starting an Etsy shop could be a great idea. 

Making money with Etsy solely with your passion isn’t realistic, however. It would help if you had a well-thought-out plan on how to do this. So let’s discuss how to make money online for beginners and how to start an Etsy shop. 

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is an online marketplace platform that puts together buyers and sellers. Etsy sellers sell various items, though most items are handmade goods, arts, crafts, and vintage goods. Artists also sell their art prints, stationery designs, and other printable documents as digital downloads.

The type of products you can find on Etsy include:

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Toys
  • Art and collectibles
  • Craft supplies
  • Small-batch cosmetics
  • Home décor
  • Furniture
  • Artisan foods

As you can see, there are many different types of products you can sell on Etsy. So there’s certainly a good chance that you’ll find a few things that you would be interested in selling. The key is to make sure you’re choosing items that will sell well. 

What Does It Cost to Start an Etsy Shop?

If you want to start making money with Etsy, you should understand what costs are involved. Once you’ve determined what products you’ll be selling (we’ll go into how to do this later), you need to figure out the costs of making each item.

For example, if you’re going to make homemade leather wallets, you’ll need to calculate how much it will cost for the leather and stitching to make a wallet. You’ll also need tools like a razor blade, scissors, a straight rule, an awl, and ballpoint stitching needles to construct each wallet.

You don’t necessarily need to create the products yourself, either. However, if you want to learn how to make money on Etsy without picking up a paintbrush, carving wood, etc., you’ll have to source your items from suppliers.

You’ll need to research the suppliers who can provide your items and figure out how much each item will cost. This way is the best route to go if you’re not confident in your creative skills or don’t want to spend time creating each item yourself. 

Knowing how much it will cost to make each item gets you closer to determining what to charge. You’ll also need to factor in Etsy’s fees. Here are the fees that Etsy charges to use their selling platform:

  • $0.20 listing fee
  • 5% transaction fee for each item sold
  • 15% off site ads fee (this is only paid if you make a sale from one of these ads)

These are their standard charges for starting an Etsy shop. They also have a Plus plan that runs $10 a month and gives you additional features like a custom web address and listing credits. 

Other services that have fees you may add to your seller’s account include:

  • Etsy Payments 
  • Etsy ads
  • Shipping fees
  • Currency conversion

Should I Create an Etsy Shop?

If you are looking for how to make extra money from home, Etsy is the best option to start. Launching their full e-commerce platform allows you to sell your items without the need for a brick-and-mortar location.

Their e-commerce platform allows you to have access to full e-commerce capabilities on a platform that your customers are familiar with and, more importantly, they trust. 

Creating an Etsy shop can make sense if you want to have an easy way for customers to find your products worldwide. It can also limit the amount of time and effort you need to spend to sell your products through physical channels like craft fairs. 

If you’ve already been attending farmer’s markets and other local events to sell your items, an Etsy shop could be a great addition. For those who want to learn how to make money online for beginners, an Etsy shop is a great way to get your feet wet too. 

How to Start an Etsy Business

Ready to learn how to make money on Etsy? Follow these steps to put yourself on the path to success. 

Step One: Determine What You Will Sell

Before starting your Etsy account, you should know what type of products you want to sell. There is a wide variety of items that you can sell on Etsy. But not every item is going to be a bestseller. Be sure to target things that sell well on Etsy. You don’t want to put in all the work of creating your Etsy shop only for you and do not have any products people are interested in buying. 

To find the best things to sell on Etsy to make money, you can use the platform itself to see what is popular. For example, you can type “best selling items” on the search bar, and you’ll get ideas on what to sell on Etsy to make money. 

eRank is another free tool that you can use to find the best things to sell on Etsy to make money. The website allows you to see what the stores on Etsy that have been the most successful are and how many sales they generate. 

To use eRank, you need to have an Etsy store and connect it and receive the data. 

If you’re ok with spending a little money, you can try Sale Samurai to gain some insight. It is $9.95 per month and allows you to see search volume, what competitors are selling, the product’s price, what sells the most on Etsy, and much more. It’s a handy tool to have, but if all you think you need it for is research, cancel it after a month. 

Best Things to Sell on Etsy to Make Money

Want some ideas on what to sell on Etsy to make money? Here are a few Etsy business ideas to get the juices going to consider:

  • Handmade jewelry – Bracelets, earrings, accessories, necklaces, and other handmade jewelry are popular on Etsy. Giving someone a piece of personalized jewelry for a special occasion like a wedding or birthday carries personal significance. The best thing about selling jewelry on Etsy? You don’t need a ton of workspace to start crafting it at home.
  • Digital artwork and printables – Avoid the hassles of shipping items by creating digital products that customers can download after purchase. Planners, stickers, and other stationery items are among the printable items that you can sell. Make sure that you make them look as appealing as possible to get people interested in buying them. 
  • Toys – Handmade wooden toys, personalized baby items, and other baby toys are among the top sellers on Etsy. 
  • Art – Artwork at those fancy art exhibitions costs more than the average person will typically want to spend. But people appear to buy the more affordable paintings, drawings, and illustrations that they can find on Etsy quite often. 
  • Wedding supplies – People will spend a ton of money on their big day. Wedding invitations, jewelry items, Bridesmaid gowns, and Bachelorette shirts are a few Etsy business ideas to consider. 
  • Vintage things – Clothing, toys, buttons, jewelry, and other vintage items appeal to many buyers. Things that you’ve considered getting rid of around the house could be things that would sell well!
  • Personalized clothes – Gender reveal or bachelorette parties where everyone wears a t-shirt with something unique is what people are looking for. Etsy is a popular place for people to go to find these personal items. 
  • Pet supplies – People treat their pets as members of the family and love buying things for them. Collars, leashes, name tags, toys, and other pet items sell well on Etsy. Check out all the different items on Etsy that other sellers make money from for other ideas. 
  • Accessories – Accessorizing our wardrobe with scarfs, wallets, coin purses, hair accessories, and other goods is another popular product category on Etsy. 
  • Home and Living – Home knit blankets, vases, wall art, wallpaper, and other items that improve our living spaces are items that people are always looking for. 
  • Organic self-care items – Taking care of ourselves through self-care has grown in popularity over the last several years. Self-care is in huge demand, whether it’s creating an ambiance with scented candles or putting a moisturizing cream all over your body.
  • Party decorations – Special events need banners, cake toppers, party invitations, and much more to happen. Weddings are among the most popular party decorations that are sold on Etsy.
  • Kids clothing – Remember those knitted sweaters your grandmother used to make? Those are making a comeback and are big sellers on Etsy. 
  • Beads and Jewelry supplies – You can skip the time it takes to make an item by selling the supplies that people need to create it on their own. Jewelry-making is a popular hobby, and Etsy is a place that many customers go to find their supplies. 

Step Two: Create Your Etsy Shop

Deciding on what to sell on Etsy to make money is important. But that’s just the beginning. Next is creating your actual online Etsy shop. Starting an Etsy shop is pretty easy to do in less than 10 minutes, but you need to spend some time to make sure your page sticks out.

Making a connection with your customer will make you more likely to spend more time on your page. So take the time to show off your personality with a unique name and logo for your Etsy shop.

Listing your products effectively is also the key to driving those sales. Use high-quality images that are taken in well-lit locations. Think of Etsy’s search function like you would Google’s. Be sure to make well-written descriptions so that it helps potential buyers make a decision. 

Stay aware of using descriptions of your products. For example, don’t say you’re selling “red shoes” in your product descriptions. Instead, use this chance to tie in your brand story and get them hooked. 

Step Three: Start Marketing Your Etsy Shop

All these steps in how to start an Etsy business are critical. But, when you’ve made it to this last step, here is where the rubber hits the road. You need sales to make your Etsy shop worthwhile.

Many sellers on Etsy also sell their products at events and markets. Add your Etsy shop to your business card that you give out to people during these events. This way will help drive more traffic to your shop.

If you haven’t started joining indie flea markets and other activities in your area is something you should strongly consider. It’s a great complement to your business.

Social media is another great place to get attention for your shop. Use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to find potential buyers and connect with your customers. You can create social media accounts for your Etsy shop and post images of your products. This is especially useful on image-based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. 

An Etsy Plus membership is also a way to get your products noticed. You get access to business cards, more shop customizations, customizable shipping boxes, and more. In addition, use their Etsy Local feature that allows you to collaborate with other vendors and create markets. Etsy will then list these markets on its website. 

Conclusion on Starting Business with Etsy

The best Etsy sellers will make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The average Etsy shop isn’t going anywhere near this. But your earnings can still be significant enough to be a great side hustle or more. Put in the effort to establish a solid customer base, use social media and local markets, and do these things consistently. Before you know it, you’ll start to see results and have a solid stream of income coming in.

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