Going into Business On Etsy: What You Need to Know

If you’re the crafty type then you’ve probably considered selling some of your wares online. One of the most popular options for crafters to consider is Etsy.com, the marketplace for creative types.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Etsy, think of it as something of a virtual flea market or craft faire. Artisans from all walks of life and disciplines are starting to offer their own wares on Etsy. If this is an option you would like to consider, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Stay Handmade - Etsy
photo credit: Charles & Hudson / Flickr

What Are You Making?

Before you even sign up for an account, it’s important to consider what kinds of things you would like to make and sell. While you can always expand your catalogue later, you want to be sure that you can easily start selling something as soon as you make your account and set up your store.

Some people find it helpful if their stores have a theme or make a certain kind of product. This may make it easier for customers to remember your store and recommend you to friends who are looking for the kinds of things you make. For example, maybe you like to make knitted products or all of your crafts are in tribute to a favorite television show or a musician. The former might attract people looking for sweaters, hats and more while the latter may appeal to fellow fans.

Consider Your Cost of Upkeep

Even a hobby comes with its own expenses. If you plan on producing crafts to sell on Etsy, consider the cost of supplies that go into making your products. Say you’re selling knitted clothing on Etsy. How much yarn will you need? Are there any buttons or ribbons to consider? Consider shopping online to help schedule regular supply shipments and find your supplies for relatively low prices. Check out Frugaa.com for instant coupons, which can help you save even more on your upkeep costs.

How about the cost of shipping? While Etsy will usually include the price of shipping with most orders, you should account for the cost of shipping your goods. Knowing how much it would take for you to begin running your business can help you set prices later on.

Hand painted baseball item sold at Etsy

Setting Prices

When you’re pricing your goods on Etsy, you need to take a lot of things into account. Factor in the cost of making each product. Each product you offer should never, ever cost more to produce than you can sell it for.

Also compare your products to similar products that your competitors are selling. It may be tempting to price your products well below the average price that most of your competitors are selling their products for but this can eat into your potential profits, plus you may be perceived as being lower quality due to having such steep prices. The general idea is to have your prices be reasonable- consider the prices of similar products sold by different people but also have your prices honestly reflect on the quality of the product. Your prices will probably be fairly similar to what other people are setting for their products.

Selling products on Etsy can be a rewarding venture for many people. Keep the kinds of products you’d like to sell in mind and be responsible about your upkeep costs and what you’re selling a product for. With all that in mind, finding success on Etsy is a definite possibility.