Anyone Have Any Luck Selling on Etsy?

Profile picture of the author Shadowflux by Shadowflux Posted: 05/16/2012
Hi Warriors,

I'm interested to see if anyone has any luck selling items on Etsy. For those of you that don't know, Etsy is a website where people sell mostly handmade items.

The reason I ask is that my wife and I are really into DIY, art and crafts. We probably have something from every aisle in the craft store. It would be nice to be able to sell some of this stuff but I feel like Etsy has a lot of sellers but not so many buyers. I read a lot of stuff suggesting that people sell on that website but I rarely see anything suggesting that people buy on it.

I have a few items on there but have never had much luck making any sales.

Have you sold anything on Etsy?

If so, do you sell finished items or supplies? (I have a feeling that supplies sell better)

Thanks in advance!
#etsy #luck #selling

  • Profile picture of the author baileybliss
    baileybliss
    I haven't had much luck myself. My niche (sewn baby/toddler clothes and crochet items) is too saturated and my items get lost in the sea of listings. I know that I'm using good SEO with my descriptions and tags, which helps, but there are thousands of sellers posting everyday. Etsy is just too big now, and is overrun with resellers and mass producers, so little guys like us tend to fall to the wayside.

    I've actually had better luck selling items on Facebook and Facebook group pages - I'm part of a few that are called "Etsy sellers", "handmade items", etc..

    A few other sites that are similar to Etsy but on a smaller scale include Buy Handmade Gifts, Art, Supplies and Vintage on Luulla and a curated marketplace for independent artists and designers | Cargoh. I haven't sold on either site yet but they are the cleanest, most professional alternatives that I've seen so far that seem to have a reasonable seller to buyer ratio and a smaller community.

    Another site that is very different from Etsy but very popular is Tophatter - it's a live auction site similar to Ebay, but legitimiately live (and infinitely cooler). Your schedule your items into the correct lot (supplies, boutique, beauty, etc.), and when your item comes up for bid you talk about the item you're selling and answer questions that bidders may have via live chat. Traditionally these items sell for less than what you'd normally price, but it's almost guaranteed that you'll get rid of the item and make a bit of extra cash while doing so.

    I hope that some of these options work for you! If you have more questions feel free to PM me or add me on Skype.
  • Profile picture of the author PaulMcGregor
    PaulMcGregor
    I've never sold on Etsy before but i've worked with a lot of people from Etsy. My advice would be to treat your Etsy page like an e-commerce store. Get some high res images, brand it correctly and it will defiantly stand out. There's a lot of amazing products on Etsy which look awful due to the photos and the way they're branded.

    Also not sure what there is within your niche but have you thought about branching out? You've got the skills and the products to deliver but try looking for more platforms to sell on. What I mean is I run a men's accessories retailer and launched a handmade section. I contacted about 6 people from Etsy and now they sell their products on my site and I just take a small commision. They hold the stock, send the stock out etc. Maybe it's something to look into? Maybe there's a retailer within your niche which would be interested.
  • Profile picture of the author ronr
    ronr
    I have a family member who has worked hard trying to sell homemade jewelry for the last year or so. They've tried quite a few different styles and it's good quality and priced right but haven't had many sales and don't get much traffic When they look at some other shops with poor layouts, low res pictures, with items that don't seem that different from others who have tons of sales.

    They have a second shop where they sell vintage items that they find and resale. It's been a little better making a couple sales a month and more around Christmas time but stll very little to show for all the work.

    You see others who are making lots of sales but sometimes it's hard to figure out how they are doing it.

    Ron
  • Profile picture of the author fresh68
    fresh68
    etsy= no traffic

    Im an ebay powerseller.. tried them all, ebid, etsy etc....
  • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
    Shadowflux
    Thanks for great replies everyone. I think you've basically confirmed my suspicions. Etsy seems like a great place but I think it's hard to actually make consistent sales. It seems that every niche has a lot of sellers and there is very little to distinguish one from the other.

    Bailybliss

    Thanks for the website suggestions, I'll definitely check them out. The live auction site sounds especially interesting, it's similar to an idea I had myself a few months ago.

    I think what you've said about Etsy being too big now is true. I think the main angle they went with was "Sell on Etsy" and sort of ignored the "Buy on Etsy" angle. I've gotten traffic to my items, I've even had people comment and say things like "Wow, this is great!" but still not buy anything.

    PaulMcGregor

    Thanks for the suggestions. I used to take my own stock photos so I do use high quality pictures. I'm actually looking into branching out right now. I've been working on something similar to what you've suggested but in a different niche. It's going to incorporate a few different IM elements that all tie into the overall website. The niche just happens to be something that I personally enjoy so it should be fun to work on.

    Ronr

    What you've said seems to be a common problem. I can't really figure out why some people get a lot of traffic and others don't. I assume they put forth a good bit of effort in promoting their Etsy shop. The problem is that if I'm going to spend that much time promoting an Etsy shop I'll just start my own website (where I won't pay listing fees or compete with other sellers) and promote that instead.

    Fresh68

    I hear what you're saying but I'm done with ebay. Too many new restrictions, too many problems. I'm looking for something relatively passive and I've had much better luck on Craigslist.

    Thanks again guys!

    If you have any luck with other websites let me know.
  • Profile picture of the author fresh68
    fresh68
    oh i agree . ebay sucks,, it just sucks less than the other ones.be careful you dont run into a serial killer on craigslist
  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    Kim Standerline
    A friend of mine sells vintage clothing on Etsy and he tells me he does really well with it

    Kim
  • Profile picture of the author ronr
    ronr
    Kim ask him for us how he is getting traffic.

    Originally Posted by Kim Standerline View Post

    A friend of mine sells vintage clothing on Etsy and he tells me he does really well with it

    Kim
  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    PhilippaWrites
    I'm not crafty enough to sell on etsy, but I'm certainly a regular shopper there.

    Go for it, it can't hurt to try! Make sure you have superb photos - details, arty shots etc. Good descriptions and titles, using all relevant keywords.

    Good luck!
  • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
    cashp0wer
    I've never had any luck with Etsy either. Ebay works much better and I've even sold some stuff on Craigslist with no problems.
  • Profile picture of the author James Hessler
    James Hessler
    My sister has a store on etsy, and has quite a few restrictions to deal with...tried pointing her in the direction of her own website to no avail...to say she struggles is an understatement but it is another 'platform' that she could use I suppose.
  • Profile picture of the author ShayRockhold
    ShayRockhold
    If you're making crafts, etc., then Etsy should be only one part of your plan.
    • Etsy
    • Ebay
    • ads
    • social media
    • your own site
    • etc.

    Plus build your list! With every purchase, build a list. Have a way for people to join your list. Offer a newsletter, etc.

    (I've worked with people who make handcrafted jewelry - it's a competitive niche! - but there are so many ways to create multiple income streams from it and create a steadier income.)
  • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
    Shadowflux
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess it's worth a shot giving Etsy another go. When I think about it, however, it's probably better in the end to just start my own site.

    I'm not sure if my wife and I are really looking at starting a business with the stuff we make. It's just that we love doing it and we end up with all of this stuff laying around. It would be nice to turn a profit but it would also be nice to just make more money for supplies. I make enough money with the other stuff I do so we're not desperate.

    I always thought Etsy had a great concept but I hadn't really found anyone that made that much money on it. It seems a lot of people have better luck selling supplies. Maybe I'll look around Etsy and see if I can't come up with some ideas.
  • Profile picture of the author sammyanuj
    sammyanuj
    I started selling on etsy most recently though I was a member for long...I started from october 2012, I sell paintings. I also did not have much luck but then this is not my only venue......Ofcourse supplies sell better but I guess it is just marketting promotional methods that win in the end.
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Dennis Gaskill
    The downfall for people who use sites like Etsy and don't do well is that they count on the site making sales for them. You have to promote your own products or your Etsy store will be just another page on the Internet.

    If I were to sell crafts, I'd do so from my own site for sure, and I'd probably have some products on Etsy as well and experiment with different ways to drive traffic to my products there.
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    HeySal
    I know a few people who sell cabs (cut gemstones like agates) on Etsy. Dennis is right - those that understand that they need to advertise do okay - those that just stick the stuff on the page don't sell so many, but they do sell some.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Michael Ten
    I've been on Etsy for about 7 months and have not sold anything yet. I will keep trying.
  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    YasirYar
    I've heard of Etsy from a friend, but lately he claims that Etsy is no longer active compared way back when it initially started. If I were you, I'd use Ebay or Amazon instead.
  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    mr2monster
    You can still sell on Etsy, but as Dennis said, you really should be building your own site and using Etsy to both sell, and leverage to send traffic to your own site.

    Personally, I use Etsy for my resale business. I sell all kinds of little trinkets that most of the time I lose money on actually. But, aweber has an app that integrates with Etsy now, so all those items that I sell get me a lead that I then later email market to and send to my online store, or my ebay page, or even ebay affiliate links..
  • Profile picture of the author DJorge
    DJorge
    Hi,

    If you think long run you should start with
    your own site (blog).
    It is yours, you can target your local area
    quite easy, don't forget the mobile option,
    and it is as difficult as Etsy but it is yours.

    You can advertise your site starting with
    a free coupon from Google and from Bing
    and if you manage to target your audience
    Facebook offers a cheap option as well,
    together with other social media promotions.

    And not less important is the feeling when
    creating your own asset.

    Good luck,

    DJorge

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