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Topic: Do you guys actually make money on etsy?  (Read 38235 times)
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educo
« on: July 13, 2006 10:49:57 PM »

I have looked on etsy, and I wonder why most of the items are quite cheap?  I look at some items, and I personally think that alot of these people deserve to charge more for the work they're producing.  With materials and labor, I wonder how much of a profit do you guys make from your creations? 
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atinynap
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006 05:15:18 AM »

I don't sell on Etsy yet either, but I had been wondering the same thing. After the fees, ect... is there really much of a profit to come from it?

Meredith

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tvtrayart
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006 09:37:55 AM »

It's so hard to say!  There is one man that consistently pays his rent with his Etsy art. 

As far as us who sell jewelry, etc. it's so hard to gauge because we're constantly buying supplies to make new things. 

I definitely think that I make money based on what I buy on a piece per piece basis and also manage to pay myself for my labor.  It's helped that practice has made me faster at making things, too.

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Hey!  Check out my friend's shop, too!  http://kanyofuse.etsy.com (fused glass goodness)
educo
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006 09:49:39 AM »

Wow, paying his rent from Etsy alone?  I want to sell on etsy ( i have set up an account but not posted anything) but I know my things will cost more than what most of the clothing is selling on etsy.  I'm not charging thousands or even several hundred dollars and I look at people's clothing and check their selling history and see what's being sold and what's not, it seems like their much lower priced items are the only ones selling.  Here's my concern, I want to make high quality garments (I'm not passing judgement on the quality of other sellers because I don't know) and the materials I use are going to be more expensive to begin with.  I like using silks, silk blends, wools, things of that nature and the fabric store is going to charge me more (I live in NYC so that should give you an idea) and based on a rough estimate of cost and labor, it doesn't seem I'll make a reasonable profit based on the work I put into it. 
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Clay Pants
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006 10:23:23 AM »

Wow, paying his rent from Etsy alone?  I want to sell on etsy ( i have set up an account but not posted anything) but I know my things will cost more than what most of the clothing is selling on etsy.  I'm not charging thousands or even several hundred dollars and I look at people's clothing and check their selling history and see what's being sold and what's not, it seems like their much lower priced items are the only ones selling.  Here's my concern, I want to make high quality garments (I'm not passing judgement on the quality of other sellers because I don't know) and the materials I use are going to be more expensive to begin with.  I like using silks, silk blends, wools, things of that nature and the fabric store is going to charge me more (I live in NYC so that should give you an idea) and based on a rough estimate of cost and labor, it doesn't seem I'll make a reasonable profit based on the work I put into it. 

have you ever thought of trying to sell your garments at boutiques? I think for what you are doing, you would probably find a much bigger market in boutiques. And in NYC, there are lots to choose from! Try putting a professional portfolio together and showing it to some store owners and see what happens!
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Ayn
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2006 06:07:41 AM »

Back when I was making jewelry (mainly necklaces, also some small dressier type bags) I definitely avoided online selling.  Just a personal choice, not something I wanted to bother with. Mostly sorta stuck with the consignment route in smaller/locally owned boutique-y kinds of shops. And belieeeeve me that wasn't the easiest route --- we don't live in NYC or any place even remotely-vaguely-anything like it. Nope this is definitely "The Rural Wilds."

It was merely what I preferred to do, and this is one reason why: I wanted to make fairly expensive 'and' guaranteed-'one of a kind' items. No assembly line type stuff -- that would bore me to tears -- & definitely no custom work either (having heard from others how nutso it can be to try to please individual customers with what they want... or 'think' they want... I knew for sure that would make me totally postal...lol).

In other words, I suppose like many artist-types I made only *what* I-personally wanted to make and *how* I-personally wanted to make it... and if stuff didn't sell, so be it. (tho it did, & pretty well, too -- one reason perhaps being what I termed the snob appeal of one-of-a-kind items -- not meaning to be weird about it, I just never really knew what else to call that).

Anyway, in that category (as well as possibly custom work, wouldn't know about that myself tho),  it may be a little easier to sneak ones own labor charges into a price. Nothing outrageous -- I mean, I don't think you'll necessarily get 50 bucks an hour... tho in NYC you juuust possibly might! -- but oh say 'at least' minimum wage, lol.

[[ooops edited to add this: that was really just a hobby for me, or maybe more like a 'therapy' I guess. Wasn't trying or needing to make a living or pay the mortgage or anything]]
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006 06:10:47 AM by Ayn » THIS ROCKS   Logged
educo
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2006 05:44:00 PM »

I'm currently working on my collection and I'm planning to approach Girlshop.com since they're pretty much based in NYC, but I was intrigued about etsy and the whole formula because I think it's pretty cool.  But I do believe many people sell themselves short for the great work I see on that site.
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sarawearsskirts
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006 01:58:06 PM »

yep.
i actually have a savings account for the first time since high school.
and it's helped me by giving me extra spending money so i can pay down credit card debt i had, which meant my credit rating went up (well, that and being vigilant and paying things on time, etc).
(i'm a professional, in my mid-twenties, who has worked an office job in my field full-time for over three years, by the way, but a savings account with a growing balance was a feat i had not conquered til etsy). 
if you wanted to extend this, it was my little bit of newfound savings, good credit rating + money i had forgotten about from when i was little (yippee to aunts+uncles who gave savings bonds as seemingly lame birthday presents when i was five!) that allowed me to buy my first house this month...

so, in short, yes, you CAN make money on etsy. if you're wise about it. and work hard at it. and do your homework.   Wink
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tofuttibreak
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006 02:06:30 PM »

I've read about a lot of people who do it just to sustain their craft habit. They make things and then sell them at a reasonably low price so that they can afford to buy more supplies.

yep.
i actually have a savings account for the first time since high school.
and it's helped me by giving me extra spending money so i can pay down credit card debt i had, which meant my credit rating went up (well, that and being vigilant and paying things on time, etc).
(i'm a professional, in my mid-twenties, who has worked an office job in my field full-time for over three years, by the way, but a savings account with a growing balance was a feat i had not conquered til etsy). 
if you wanted to extend this, it was my little bit of newfound savings, good credit rating + money i had forgotten about from when i was little (yippee to aunts+uncles who gave savings bonds as seemingly lame birthday presents when i was five!) that allowed me to buy my first house this month...

so, in short, yes, you CAN make money on etsy. if you're wise about it. and work hard at it. and do your homework.   Wink

Congratulations! Credit card debt blows and it can kill your credit rating (personal experience...).
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006 07:47:39 AM »

hi, i'm not selling just yet but there's a consignment shop near me that i was thinking of using instead of etsy/online...i make mostly purses/tote bags and i'm also surprised how a) low-priced they are on etsy and b) how many there are of them! i think physical stores would be a better bet for me since i'm in ohio and i don't see purses like mine around here. i was in this shop recently and they had some bags that, while cute, weren't made that well (really floppy, no closures, etc.) and they were $45! so even if i only get 60% of a $50 sale, that's still $30...much more than my supplies. and the owners were estatic when i said i make bags b/c not many people are around here. but i'm not really thinking to build a business, i just want to sell a few things on the side for extra money.
sometimes i also wonder if prices on etsy are artificially low b/c the customers are other crafters who would just make the item themselves instead of shell out $60 for a bag?? i mean, are non-crafting people on these sites regularly? seems like you could command a higher price in a store where customers are like, "sure i'll pay $60 b/c i have no idea how easy it would be to make that myself!" ha! but then again the fees are lower so they may wind up with almost as much as a $50 consignment...
but i don't know, like i said i haven't sold a thing yet......
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amaryllisroze
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2006 08:02:36 AM »

A trend I notice about Etsy is that the buyers seem more likely to buy lower priced items. I have some of my pocket shrines on there for $15 and that is a loss on time/materials for me. The magnets I sell for $2 barely cover the costs. It would take a heck of a lot of $2 to get me to where I'm making much of a profit.

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educo
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006 07:09:12 PM »

^^ This is what I'm talking about.  The only thing I can suggest is take out the $ 2 items and give them no choice but to pay $15.  Put all your effort into making the $15 items irresistable , hopefully they'll buy it at that price!
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amaryllisroze
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2006 07:23:58 PM »

That's how I had it for the first couple of months...when I wasn't selling anything, I went to the $2 items.
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2006 06:39:16 PM »

I'm currently working on my collection and I'm planning to approach Girlshop.com since they're pretty much based in NYC,

Wow! I admire you! I so totally want to do that to but when I'm older of course  Grin Good luck!
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jlyarnworks
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2006 11:19:51 PM »

Don't let the price of other items on Etsy keep you from posting items at the price you feel they're worth. The more people that undervalue their work, the more everyone suffers as a result.

I've seen many people raise their prices only to find INCREASED SALES! I've found that often people equate price with quality. So even if you and JoeCheap are selling similar items, a buyer may assume yours is better quality. They may (even subconsciously) assume that you have more experience, more expensive/higher quality supplies, better techniques, etc.

I tell people that setting up on Etsy is free. I tell them to list 10 items over the course of several days (at least 10-20 days) and to post a bit in the forums to introduce themselves and get a little extra exposure. It'll only cost you $1 to list 10 items if they don't sell. Then wait. See what happens.

I don't make a ton on Etsy, but I do make enough to purchase supplies and have money left over. I keep all business money separate and don't add to it from personal funds, so I know I'm at least in the black. I'm trying to expand, so I can't tell you for sure, but I'd say that I would be making $12 or so an hour if all my items sold. Since I've only sold about half, that's $6 an hour so far. Since I'm not paying for childcare for my 2 children, that's (to me) like making $10 or more an hour anywhere else.

Now, if only I got enough business to keep me working 8 hours a day! Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2006 11:13:34 AM »


I tell people that setting up on Etsy is free. I tell them to list 10 items over the course of several days (at least 10-20 days) and to post a bit in the forums to introduce themselves and get a little extra exposure. It'll only cost you $1 to list 10 items if they don't sell. Then wait. See what happens.
Now, if only I got enough business to keep me working 8 hours a day! Smiley

What GREAT advice...I'm going to take it soon!
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006 10:14:20 PM »

I buy food with etsy money...and craft supplies, of course...I think that if you are interested in etsy it is quite harmless to set up a shop...If nothing else you can get a little extra exposure, and that never hurts  Smiley
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iHook
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2006 02:39:32 PM »

i make a "profit" on individual items, meaning i sell them for more than the cost of materials. but i still haven't broken even because i buy more supplies when i shouldn't.

as for why prices are so low? i dunno, desperation maybe? my prices were much higher when i started on etsy. but i gradually kept lowering them to generate some sales because i'd rather be in the hole by a couple hundred dollars than, say, $800. it worked to some extent, but it's very sad that many sellers on etsy have to slash their prices just to sell something. it probably starts a vicious cycle where such low prices become the norm.

susan
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007 12:41:56 PM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
dirtythghts4
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2006 07:35:25 AM »

has anyone had success selling paper items, liek cards or stationary on etsy? there seems to be an over abundance of stuff in that category, so i was curious.
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2006 12:17:01 AM »

i kind of really dislike the sellers who price their items too low. or say that they have actually imported their items (hence the low low low rice) it just makes me mark down my stuff coz i HAVE to be somewhat competitive. like a 75$ purse i sell at a store here would be 30$ on etsy just coz it seems that the people pricing too low drive down the normal price range grrrr vicious cycle indeed.

but yes! i make lots of money from etsy and my only problem is not going directly supply shopping with it.
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Violet218
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2006 07:43:19 AM »

i kind of really dislike the sellers who price their items too low. or say that they have actually imported their items (hence the low low low rice) it just makes me mark down my stuff coz i HAVE to be somewhat competitive. like a 75$ purse i sell at a store here would be 30$ on etsy just coz it seems that the people pricing too low drive down the normal price range grrrr vicious cycle indeed.

hear hear! i totally agree with Nico - I do try and fight the urge to drop all my prices though - I have decided if it doesn't sell then it doesn't sell. [have to remind myself of that sometimes though!]
Elaine xx
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2006 09:07:14 AM »

i kind of really dislike the sellers who price their items too low. or say that they have actually imported their items (hence the low low low rice) it just makes me mark down my stuff coz i HAVE to be somewhat competitive. like a 75$ purse i sell at a store here would be 30$ on etsy just coz it seems that the people pricing too low drive down the normal price range grrrr vicious cycle indeed.

but yes! i make lots of money from etsy and my only problem is not going directly supply shopping with it.
I LOVE that you're making money with it!!!  If you charged a very little more, you would be half the price of the purse and then you would be making what most people make in galleries.  I think most people are treating it like a wholesale thing.  I see both sides.  It's harder for people to see stuff if it's priced too high too.  I'm going to research this a little more to see if there is anyone making higher prices and still doing well.  I'm sure there's a way to do this too and SOMEONE has figured it out.  Smiley   
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2006 03:25:34 AM »

hear hear! i totally agree with Nico - I do try and fight the urge to drop all my prices though - I have decided if it doesn't sell then it doesn't sell. [have to remind myself of that sometimes though!]
Elaine xx

 i have to remind meself that too eh! ive been recently cleaning up my shop of lame lists
'-' haha


I LOVE that you're making money with it!!!  If you charged a very little more, you would be half the price of the purse and then you would be making what most people make in galleries.  I think most people are treating it like a wholesale thing.  I see both sides.  It's harder for people to see stuff if it's priced too high too.  I'm going to research this a little more to see if there is anyone making higher prices and still doing well.  I'm sure there's a way to do this too and SOMEONE has figured it out.  Smiley  

i know ey... just a little bit more! hi-ya! it does seem like lots are close to a 'wholesale' price---- which reminds me of this one lady that wanted to buy my stuff wholesale but turned out to be a very troublesome hella confusing biatch and called me a 'mickey mouse trader' or something. she wanted to pick out 6 things in my shop, then me give her a wholesale price! hahaha i thought that was called shopping. the thing with people coming to ask for bulk orders when they see the etsy price they expect it much cheaper when its already very close to the wholesale price (its somewhere inbetween, my pricing is)

sorry kinda got of tangent there....
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KCEtsy
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2011 08:34:59 AM »

There are so many ways to make money on Etsy! I do make money on Etsy, but it did take me some time to get to where I am now. I have sold supplies, and I have sold handmade items. And I know of plenty of ways to bring traffic to your Etsy shop. I certainly don't recommend that you underprice all of your items just to make money on Etsy, but underpricing a few of your items when you just start out will help you build up feedback and credibility on Etsy. Also, displaying an Ad for your Etsy shop in the right places will help a lot! You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars - there are so many places you can display your ad for $1 or $2 a day, or better than that - free! Here are some great resources to get you started

http://www.squidoo.com/top-10-tips-for-selling-handmade-on-etsy
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6026678/five_ways_to_make_money_on_etsy_if.html?cat=3
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5935348/make_money_selling_handmade_and_art.html?cat=31
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Chris in VT
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2011 05:04:52 AM »

There are so many ways to make money on Etsy! I do make money on Etsy, but it did take me some time to get to where I am now. I have sold supplies, and I have sold handmade items. And I know of plenty of ways to bring traffic to your Etsy shop. I certainly don't recommend that you underprice all of your items just to make money on Etsy, but underpricing a few of your items when you just start out will help you build up feedback and credibility on Etsy. Also, displaying an Ad for your Etsy shop in the right places will help a lot! You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars - there are so many places you can display your ad for $1 or $2 a day, or better than that - free! Here are some great resources to get you started

http://www.squidoo.com/top-10-tips-for-selling-handmade-on-etsy
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6026678/five_ways_to_make_money_on_etsy_if.html?cat=3
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5935348/make_money_selling_handmade_and_art.html?cat=31
I'm curious. How much is a "lot of money"? Are you making $1,000 a month? $3,000 a month?  Or are you making a couple hundred a month?

Now I know everybody has their own level of success.

I do shows/fairs only. And there are exhibitors who are thrilled when they make $1,000 in a weekend. And there are others who are at the same show who are disappointed when they "only" make $2,500 in two days.

So I guess I'm curious as to what is considered "success" when selling on Etsy?
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There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
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Who
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011 12:03:14 PM »

nope:P
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babyphunk
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011 06:53:50 PM »

small profits, and also small steps to start off until you have regular customers and more people who are willing to pay more because its yours and they like the service.
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