I’d meant to open an Etsy shop for a long time, and finally got around to it. I’ve used eBay before with some success, but I know people who use Etsy and seem to do pretty well. One friend of mine at least partially replaced his income from a job he previously had, so he didn’t have to go back to work as fast when he was laid off.
I do have my own website for commissions and art prints, but I’ve realized that what I really need is exposure, and I wanted to take advantage of Etsy’s customer base and visibility. Since Etsy specializes in handmade items and vintage items, it is perfect for me.
First, I love the price of a listing. 20 cents is good, and even if I have to pay that again every time I have to relist, which is every three months, I find it more than reasonable. It’s certainly better than the percentage taken in most places.
Second, I like the flexibility of things I can offer. I can put up a set of 5 cards, an original watercolor painting, and digital downloads of hand drawn maps, vintage jewelry, and a really neat crystal cluster. I see other folks selling all manner of things, everything from home furnishings to vegan deodorant. I found the listings easy to create and there’s plenty of support for sellers. Etsy will use some of the money they make to buy Google ads and such, I’ve actually seen traffic to my shop from those.
Third, the interface is nice and clean and it’s easy to find things. That’s important, both for buyers and sellers. Products look good, I don’t find the site too cluttered, and the individual shops have lots of room for personality. I can put up multiple pictures of a listing, be creative about my descriptions, and have a ball making a cool looking shop.
I’ve only made three sales but they amounted to about fifty dollars. Now that I’m branching out into adult coloring pages I think I will start selling more. Some people even sell their books on Etsy!
A few tips:
Try to list a couple of things every week, at least. That will keep people looking at your site.
Give lots of good description on your listings and take good pictures.
Make sure you fill out all the information on your shop – let people know who you are and why they should buy your products.
If you have any questions or need help or support, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to tell you what I know.
If you want to try Etsy out for free, follow this link to get forty free listings. No strings attached, you just have to be new to Etsy.