I discovered Etsy the same way most people do. A google search for a product led me to the Etsy website, and upon seeing all the beautiful things for sale there, I was hooked on the site. A few months later, I found myself setting up my own store with big hopes. Here is how it’s gone so far:
My First Two Weeks on Etsy
I opened my Etsy store with high hopes, but also with plenty of anxiety. After all, with artists on Etsy who have a lifetime of experience, I was afraid the homemade jewelry and vintage clothing I was selling wouldn’t be good enough and that I’d immediately be met with heavy criticism. We all worry about things like this when we decide to make something as personal as art public, but my worries have turned out to be totally unfounded. The community on Etsy is incredibly welcoming, friendly, and encouraging. The forums provide sellers and buyers alike to discuss items for sale, to get friendly critiques, and to get advice about selling. After learning a bit more about the community, I quickly learned the ropes and went from being nervous about my shop to excited about watching my shop succeed.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Each Etsy seller’s experience is different, and your success is largely dependent on how well you market yourself and how frequently you list things. However, personal experience can be illustrative, so here is mine: I started my shop with about five handmade pieces of jewelry priced from five to fifteen dollars, and continued to list one or two items daily. The highest number of items my shop has had over the past two weeks has been forty one. I haven’t yet begun to actively market my shop and this is still very much a part time gig for me. In that time, however, with little effort aside from listing items, I’ve made about two hundred dollars and made fifteen sales. I’ve seen sellers who have been on the site longer than me who have only made that many sales, and other sellers who have made thousands in only a few months, but I think my experience is probably about average.
Etsy vs. Ebay
Many vintage clothing lovers and artists who previously sold on Ebay were chased away by some of the site’s policies that were rather unfriendly to sellers. So, which site is better for sellers? Etsy has stricter listing policies about what can and cannot be sold. Vintage items must be older than twenty years old; you can’t resell items you bought wholesale or resell any other items except for crafting supplies. If, however, you’ve got truly vintage items, supplies, or crafts to sell, Etsy is definitely the way to go. The community of buyers and sellers on the site are friendlier and generally more laid back. There seem to be fewer conflicts between buyers and sellers, and I’ve heard of very few scammers on either the buyer or seller side of the equation.
Etsy is certainly not for everyone, and you have to be willing to put in the time and the effort to market your items. So far, though, I’ve been really impressed with Etsy and would recommend it to most people looking to make a little extra money.