I'm going to start my Selling On Etsy series with a basic overview of Etsy and things to know if you're considering opening a shop.
First of all, let's clear up a common misconception. Etsy is not just for handmade items.
You can also sell vintage items and craft supplies.
Vintage: Let's define 'vintage' for Etsy purposes: "Vintage items must be at least 20 years old".
"What?? 20 years old? That's not vintage!! That means I'm vintage!! Or at least my vacuum cleaner is!!" Sorry. Now's not the time to get into that debate. We already discussed that here.
For now, just be glad that these are Etsy's rules...because that opens up to you anything made in 1995 or earlier!
Craft supplies are anything you would use to make other things. The only restriction on this is that you can't grab something newer than 20 years old and commercially made that's ready to go as a finished product and call it a craft supply. Yeah, okay. I'm sure people do that but that's just silly. They're just trying to get around Etsy's listing rules and that's not cool.
So personally, I have vintage shops and I have craft supply shops. I've decided to keep my craft supplies vintage as well. That's just my decision. You could definitely list some yarn that was made last year or a sewing pattern from 2010 and it would be a perfectly legitimate craft supply to list on Etsy.
Okay what else do you need to know about Etsy?
Oh yes...how much does it cost?
There are no monthly 'store' fees or subscription fees. You can open a shop at no cost and leave it empty and it wouldn't cost you anything.
List your first item and it will cost you 20 cents for that listing. (unless you sign up for your store through my link...then it won't cost you a thing for the first 40 listings...and I get 40 free listings too...a reader thought I should emphasize that again. :) )
That 20 cents covers FOUR months. Unless of course your item sells...but that's the goal, right? lol
When you renew the listing, it's another 20 cents. You can set up your listing to automatically renew if you'd like. (a new-ish feature on Etsy). It will charge you the 20 cents as it renews the listing.
Now, when that item sells...the fee you are charged is 3.5%. This is NOT applied to shipping charges or tax.
Of course, you will need a payment processor. You can use Paypal or use Etsy's own Direct Checkout processor. Direct Checkout (in the US...it varies by country) will cost you 3% + .25 . I can't remember Paypal's fees off the top of my head..but if you already sell online, you probably already know it.
Okay, let's keep it simple for today. We'll talk strategies and methods of getting things sold in future posts. I'll leave you with my Top 5 Reasons I Like Selling on Etsy: Top 5 Reasons I Like Selling on Etsy
Fees are cheaper than the other sites I sell on. I feel okay listing items that are maybe a little lower priced because I'm not losing such a big chunk to fees.
The community is quite lovely. I like the 'feel' of the site. Most people are friendly and it attracts a nice clientele. Hopefully it continues that way.
No seller ratings or defects or other such nonsense. I know the point of those is to make the marketplace better and only keep high quality sellers. So this may become an issue. I have heard complaints about slow shipping times on Etsy. I follow Best Practices...and I know you will to. It's just nice to not have ratings hanging over your head if life gets in the way sometimes.
My buyers are the bomb! I have rarely had a return on Etsy and when I did it was simple and no-nonsense. The whole experience is just less stressful.
And finally...I love vintage! I love having a place to curate my finds where they are appreciated by like-minded buyers and sellers. Lots of people call vintage the forgotten stepchild of Etsy but as long as I keep selling what I list...I'm good with that.
Of course, no selling platform is perfect. There are things I would change or improve. Some things you just have to accept and work with. I use Etsy as a backup to my sales on other venues. I don't foresee giving up those other venues anytime soon.
Coming up: Part 2 ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography
What about you? Are you an Etsy seller? What would you add to my list?
Are you thinking about branching out to Etsy? What else would you like to know about Selling on Etsy? Comment below!!