The online artists' marketplace, Etsy, is devoted to connecting crafters with their customers around the world. If you're thinking of starting a craft business, you may have wondered about selling on Etsy. Etsy press representative Adam Brown offers an inside peek at selling your handmade items through this popular site.
What Is Etsy?
At Etsy, users from over 150 different countries list vintage finds, craft supplies, and handmade items for sale. Prices range from less than a dollar to thousands of dollars, and you can buy or sell everything from homemade cards to custom designed wedding gowns. Instead of placing their items in a high commission retail shop or hassling with setting up their own website, sellers can peddle their items directly to their target audience. The site first began in 2005, and it now boasts hundreds of thousands of individual sellers.
LoveToKnow (LTK): What makes the site so popular?
Adam Brown (AB): I think people come to Etsy because they find amazing, unique things that can't be found elsewhere that are being sold by real people who you can interact with. The human touch is what makes Etsy special.
LTK: What types of items do people sell on Etsy?
AB: There are three types of things that can be sold on Etsy: handmade, vintage (20+ years old), and supplies.
Setting Up a Shop
LTK: How hard is it to sell on Etsy? What is the process for setting up a shop?
AB: It's easy to get started selling on Etsy. Simply click the "Sell" link at the top of any page. If you already have items and photos ready, it should only take a few minutes to be up and running. Here are some of the basics of selling.
- It is free to become a member and to open a shop on Etsy.
- To list an item costs $0.20. This lasts for four months, and you get to upload five photos.
- When you sell an item, Etsy bills you 3.5% commission on the price of the item (not including shipping).
For more info and rules, please see our Sell Page.
LTK: What kinds of items seem to sell the best on the site?
AB: Some of our most popular categories tend to be art, jewelry, accessories, children, and weddings. That said, I think it's more important and rewarding to focus on selling something that you have a genuine interest in, rather than just making something that you think will be popular. Even if it is a niche, people who are interested in that niche are your best prospective customers.
LTK: Do you have any tips for successfully selling on Etsy?
I think it's important to have a passion for what you're selling. That will translate well through your shop and will make the whole experience more fulfilling. Take great photos that will generate interest in your work. Of course, provide excellent customer service. Much more detailed info can be found in our Seller Handbook.