How do you know what to sell on Etsy to turn your passion into making money?
The answer to that question isn’t exactly a cut and dry one.
First, you have to truly know what your passion really is!
Then, you need to test it out on Etsy and see what kind of response you get from it.
In this post, I’m going to tell you about my Etsy story and how I started out with making bracelets for my family, to selling vintage, signed costume jewelry.
What To Sell on Etsy
Who wouldn’t love to make some extra spending money, or even quit your day job to run your own little business from the comfort of your own home?
Well, if you’re even a remotely creative person, then Etsy could be your answer!
What is Etsy?
First of all, what is Etsy?
Etsy, which was started in 2005, is an online global marketplace for sellers and buyers of unique handcrafted and vintage items.
Sellers on Etsy are connected with millions of buyers who are looking for something special, creative, and more one-of-a-kind than what you can find in retail stores.
For the very small business owner or even for the person who has a hobby and wants to dip their toes into the seller’s waters, Etsy is a great place to explore!
You can open your own little online shop for free and sell either handmade items, vintage items, or crafting supplies.
My Etsy Story
I have been an Etsy seller for almost 5 years now, where I started out making my own jewelry.
Actually, I kind of fell into making handmade jewelry.
Because I was a brand new stay-at-home mom with a baby, I wanted to find something that I could make for my female relatives for Christmas.
I really wanted to save money and also give gifts that were memorable and made by me.
I found an online tutorial, went out and bought all of the supplies and set out to make the bracelets.
It was so much harder than I ever imagined it would be.
It required the use of jewelry making tools, the wire wrapping technique, and a LOT of patience.
However, I was determined to stick to my commitment of making these bracelets and I did!
Below is the very first bracelet I ever made:
I was so excited, especially after the positive reaction that I received from my relatives, that I decided to start making more jewelry.
My Draw To Making Jewelry
I’ve always been so interested in rocks and gems.
Out of all of the science classes I took in high school and college, the one I enjoyed the most was Geology.
So I figured, this is for me and I’m going to go for it.
An acquaintance of mine told me about Etsy.
I had never heard of it before and was a little bit skeptical.
However, almost 5 years later, I am so glad I tried it.
I created my own little sole proprietorship and named my company Nico Alexander Designs – based on my son’s name Dominic Alexander.
Why Sell On Etsy? Because You Will Evolve As A Business
Once I started selling on Etsy, I decided to branch out and sell locally.
I participated in craft shows as well as getting my jewelry in local shops such as Snallygaster in Middletown, MD, Le Savon in Downtown Frederick, MD and a seasonal Christmas store in Downtown Frederick, MD.
All of this stemmed from setting up my shop on Etsy.
I created hundreds of jewelry designs and either sold them or gave them as gifts.
Here is a small sample of my many designs that I created over the years:
I absolutely loved making jewelry.
Why Sell On Etsy? Because You Can Change Your Direction Without Losing Money
However, I was finding out that making jewelry was extremely competitive and took a huge amount of time, money, and work to market myself and get my name out there.
My sales on Etsy were slowing down as well because there are so many handmade jewelry sellers on Etsy.
But this is where my story evolved into something new and exciting.
The beauty of Etsy is that you can open more than one shop.
After seeing that my few vintage costume jewelry pieces were selling a lot better on my Nico Alexander site than my own labor intensive handmade jewelry was, I decided to open up a 2nd shop called Lucy and Ethel Designs to sell strictly vintage costume jewelry.
I also have a 3rd shop Frances and Harold which I opened up for a friend who asked me to sell his mother’s estate jewelry.
Lucy and Ethel Designs has become my best selling shop to date.
I have made 99 sales and counting.
Turn What You Love Into A Money-Maker
The beauty of it is that I love going to yard sales, estate sales, and shopping on online auctions.
So I’m having fun finding the pieces for dirt cheap prices and then selling them for a profit on Etsy.
Who can’t use extra spending money these days?
Here are some examples of my vintage pieces:
REasons You should Open Your Own Etsy SHop
So if this doesn’t convince you to at least try it and see how you like it, let me give you more reasons to motivate you to try it out:
- Opening up an online shop is free.
- Each listing only costs .20 cents and stays on your shop for 4 months.
- Once your listing expires after 4 months, it only costs .20 cents to re-list that item.
- If you sell an item, Etsy only takes 3.5 % of the total cost of your sale before shipping costs.
- Etsy buyers can buy through PayPal and all major credit cards.
- Etsy is a worldwide marketplace. I have sold to customers in Hong Kong, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Canada, South Korea, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, and all over the United States.
- Etsy has a great online community which offers forums, teams, tutorials, and selling advice.
Tips For Having A Successful Etsy Shop
- Good quality and clear pictures are crucial to selling your product.
- Write up a great description.
- Use all 5 pictures per listing.
- Have as many items listed on your shop as possible. The more items to choose from, the better.
- Try to pick a tight niche market.
- Make your prices competitive, but also don’t short-change yourself.
- Get a thorough knowledge of domestic and international shipping rates.
- List often.
- Provide good service with great communication and quick shipping.
- Have fun!
What do you have to lose? .20 cents? Try it and see. I guarantee you’ll at least have fun!
Lastly, here’s a great video on YouTube walking you through how to start and Etsy Shop and make your first sale:
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