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How to Make Money on Etsy: A Step-by-Step Guide (2023)

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Etsy stands in a unique spot among ecommerce platforms and with good reasons!

Over the years, the online marketplace gained loyal customers interested in niche products that aren’t available anywhere else. This could range from handmade items and clothes to digital products and vintage goodies.

Starting your online store on Etsy can be a bit overwhelming at first. Fear not, as you aren’t alone!

Our step-by-step guide will get you up to speed with the ins and outs of making money on Etsy.

How Profitable is Selling on Etsy?

Your profit margin on an Etsy product listing depends on how much it costs to make the item and how much you’re selling it for.

For example, if you stick with handmade products for a while, you have great potential for growth. Sell different types and build up our client base.

Then, as your business becomes more efficient, the production costs go down, giving you higher overall profit margins.

On average, a listing on Etsy has a profit margin of around 40%. However, many sellers make two, three, or impressively ten times what it costs to make the product.

This speaks for how much additional cash you can make if you take your Etsy side gig seriously.

Who is the Biggest Seller on Etsy?

Kate Kim managed to create a store on Etsy like no other. Since 2013, Caitlyn Minimalist has been the destination for those in the market for personalized jewelry.

Her selection ranges from pieces featuring the handwriting of a loved one to rings engraved with a baby’s fingerprint, perfect for new parents.

The metrics Kim gets from Etsy show how much customers connect with the work she does. It’s estimated that 40% of her handmade jewelry sales come from returning customers.

Caitlyn Minimalist doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Kate frequently comes up with more ideas that have her store seeing a growth rate of around 40 to 60% year after year.

The handmade products that Kate sells are simple to make, allowing Caitlyn Minimalist to enjoy a healthy profit margin with each sale.

In 2021, Kate managed to hit the milestone of a million sales on Etsy, making her one of the most successful business owners on the platform.

Check out more successful Etsy shops for inspiration!!

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Money on Etsy

Etsy is setting up its sellers for success, and the seller handbook is proof of that. It gives sellers updated articles on how to take their Etsy store to the next level.

We compiled the best steps and practical tips into one comprehensive guide to help you launch your online store. Follow along as we walk you through our step-by-step guide on how to make money on Etsy.

Step One: Sign Up for an Etsy Seller Account

Right on Etsy’s homepage, you’ll be greeted by the “sell on Etsy” button. Click it to go to a page where you can set up your online store.

Fill in the required details like your personal information, billing address, and payment channels to sign up for a seller account.

Step Two: Work on Your Branding

Choosing a catchy name is the first step in building a successful brand. Pick a simple name that reflects what you’re selling. Stick to easy-to-spell names that are memorable and unique.

Take your time. Make sure you’re satisfied with your final brand, as you won’t be able to change it down the line.

Your shop name will also be displayed in your storefront’s URL, so sticking with a one-syllable name might be the wisest way to go.

Step Three: Set Up Your Etsy Store

Build your store profile. Write a detailed description of your shop, what products you sell, and why customers should consider your Etsy goodies over the competition.

Understanding Etsy SEO and what keywords are favored in the promoted ads will help you reach your target audience easier. You can also link your social media channels, personal blog, or brand’s website to build a more comprehensive profile.

Step Four: Create Your First Listing

Each item you offer for sale on your Etsy store must have a unique listing.  It must include a clear title, a comprehensive description, and the price.

Including details like the item’s size, materials, and available colors can help your potential customers understand what is on display.
High-quality product images are crucial, so take photos that display your item from all angles in excellent lighting conditions.

Having a size reference can also be helpful to give your customers a better perspective on how big the item is.

Step Five: Hit the Publish Button

Your listing is almost complete! Before hitting the publish button, set your preferred payment methods. You can stick with Etsy’s default payment option, PayPal, credit or debit cards, or other digital wallets.

Next up is the shipping profile, as you must set up your preferred carriers and shipping rates. You’re also expected to provide customers with expected delivery dates and a means of tracking the shipment.

Once all those details are clear, you can confidently press the “publish” button and see your listing go live.

The great thing about Etsy is that you don’t have to sit through long processing times, as your customers can buy your listing right away once it’s published.

Step Six: Work on Your Marketing Strategy

Etsy offers powerful tools to provide sellers with insights about how their listing’s performance. You can offer discounts through Etsy’s advertising program to drive more traffic to your store.

Also, Etsy Ads allows you to display your items in the Promoted Listings section to give you a boost as a new store owner. To maximize such marketing tools, ensure your listing title and description are SEO-friendly.

Understand which terms your customers usually type in the search bar when looking for your item. Then, make sure to include such keywords in your product name and description to improve your listing’s visibility.

Step Seven: Manage Your Orders

It’s just a matter of time before you start receiving orders from customers interested in your unique items.

Always log into your Etsy account and keep track of your ongoing orders. Check your store’s dashboard to determine which items are popular.

Once you ship the package to your customers, you can mark the order as complete to clean up your dashboard. Double-check whether the customer has requested gift wrapping or asked for any special shipping instructions.

If the items are delicate and prone to breaking, include a protective bubble wrap to ensure they reach your client in the best condition.

Include a personalized message to make your clients forge a deeper connection to your brand. Doing so also raises the chance of having them as recurring customers.

Step Eight: Offer Excellent Customer Support

The key takeaway here is that you need to be approachable and friendly. Respond to all your customers’ inquiries to help set their expectations and ensure they order the best item that fits their needs.

Also, provide excellent post-purchase support and address any issues that might arise after the product finds its way into your customers’ hands.

Having happy clients is essential in ensuring your store gets positive reviews and recommendations.

How Long Does it Take to Be Successful on Etsy?

When starting your Etsy shop, you must be patient. Like other online storefronts, the volume of positive reviews makes your business more trustworthy and gives potential buyers more reasons to try out your products.

Customer reviews won’t appear overnight, and cementing your shop’s online presence takes a lot of work. It’s always a good idea to create social media accounts to start marketing your products to your friends and family.

On average, expect to wait between one week to one month before Making your first sale. However, some Etsy shop owners have reported that they had to wait around six months to receive their very first sale request.

Many factors go into play to dictate how long it takes your online store to be successful. For instance, using high-quality product photos and videos can help your potential customers have a better idea about your listing.

To speed up the process, take time to market your products on social media platforms. Then, determine the relevant keywords your customers type in search bars, optimize your listing, and choose the correct product categories.

Related: Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy?

How Much Money Can You Make on Etsy?

Not all Etsy sellers have the same goals for their online business.

Some consider their Etsy storefront as a side hustle and would be happy with making a few hundred bucks each month. Others aim to make thousands of dollars per month, making an effort to flesh out their online store and understand their customer base.

It’s worth noting that the type of products you settle on contributes to how much money you can make. For instance, custom products can be time-consuming to make, but the materials could be relatively cheap, giving you a higher profit margin.

Bear in mind that Etsy charges different fees for product listing and payment processing. Such transaction fees can impact your bottom line, so you need to be smart with your pricing strategy.

For a more comprehensive view of the logistics of selling on Etsy, check out our detailed fees and pricing deep dive.

Why Do People Stop Selling on Etsy?

At this point, you can probably appreciate the potential for making additional cash by selling on Etsy. The question now is why we’re not seeing more people setting up Etsy stores and trying to get a piece of this cake.

Some challenges can make shop owners stop selling on the platform. Here are some of the most common obstacles that sellers face:

1. Increased Competition

Etsy is no longer the niche website that it used to be. The ecommerce platform has become popular over the years, making it harder for new sellers to stand out.

Etsy reported 4.4 million active sellers on the platform as of December 2020. We expect this number to have increased since then as shopping trends shift towards online retailers.

2. Lack of Profits

Etsy sellers need to make enough sales to cover their listing fee, payment processing fee, and shipping costs. Those who don’t make enough sales don’t have enough incentive to keep their online store running and often end up leaving the platform.

3. Time Commitment

Running a storefront on Etsy requires a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re selling custom, handmade items.

Responding to your customer’s questions, managing your inventory, and keeping track of pending shipments are some of the day-to-day operations an Etsy shop owner must manage.

4. Switch to Other Platforms

Etsy, like other online ecommerce platforms, pushes revisioned policies every once in a while. But sometimes, the new terms don’t make sense for some businesses, so they decide to jump ship to another online platform.

Also, once a business has enough brand recognition, the next step for the business owner is to have their own website and start selling directly to their customers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make Money on Etsy Without Making Anything?

Though Etsy is primarily a storefront for handmade goodies, you can still make money on the platform without making anything from scratch.

Selling vintage items that are at least 20 years old, offering services like graphics design, and using affiliate marketing are all ways to make extra cash on Etsy.

How to Make Money on Etsy Digital?

Etsy customers are interested in digital products like printable planners, digital art, and other DIY kits. Plus, you can take advantage of Etsy’s instant download feature to ensure your customers receive products securely and instantaneously.

How to Make Money on Etsy With Canva?

You don’t need to be a professional artist to start making high-quality pieces to sell on Etsy. Canva’s user-friendly interface and powerful tools allow aspiring artists to deliver their unique visions.

To make money on Etsy, you need to focus on a niche that you’re passionate about. For instance, you can channel your creativity into making printable wall posters or custom logos for your clients.

How to Make 10k a Month on Etsy?

Making 10k on Etsy is a significant achievement; however, it’s still doable. You must continuously analyze your sales data, provide excellent customer support, and ensure your customers get the best value.

To increase your sales volume, consider offering competitive prices when possible and doing promotions on your best-selling items.

How to Make Money on Etsy With Printify?

Make unique and creative designs using Pritify’s user-friendly tools. Then, link your Printify account to your Etsy storefront and sell your creations on the ecommerce platform.

Printify will take care of the printing and shipping, so you can focus on creating the best designs.

Wrapping Up

Making money from something you’re passionate about is a unique experience. Etsy helps sellers do this, connecting them to a huge customer base interested in handmade, custom, and vintage items.

We hope our step-by-step guide has given you all the pointers you need to know the ins and outs of making money on Etsy. Feel free to share your Etsy store’s name and what items you’re selling in the comments below.

If you liked the article, press the share button, so your friends can follow in your footsteps and start making extra cash as well!

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