Can I make a living selling on Etsy?
Well, it probably depends on what you are selling!
BWC has been selling on the Etsy Platform since Autumn 2017. We have a presence on other selling platforms but after running for a while now, Etsy is probably our favourite.
One thing is certain, we currently survive on Etsy alone. When we first setup our store it took a few weeks for our first sale to come through. Our second/third etc took nearly as long. But we persevered and sales started to trickle through on a fairly regular basis. A year and a half later, we kerching pretty much every day with weekends normally offering multiple sales per day.
I’ll talk to you about how we got running on Etsy.
Basically, we followed Etsy’s guidelines to get the ball rolling. We listed a bunch of items on day one. I think we kicked off with twenty listings. As per the guidance, we added as many photos as we could to each listing. We used all of the tags available, tried to make item descriptions clear and useful and we tried to make each listing title as search friendly as we could.
We would also cross post our listings on a previous incarnation of our website to make sure we were offering Google juicy links to follow.
As we were linking website to Etsy, we used Google Webmaster tools to let google know our website existed and to help with indexing on the search engine.
So back to Etsy itself. How did we help ourselves more?
We looked at competitor Etsy stores. You will always have competition! Our pricing is/was pretty much in line with our competitors from the get go. Our plan was to undercut the competition but we thought things through, kept our prices in the same ballpark and decided to win sales based on quality. We made absolutely sure that when we found a competitor with similar products, we made ours BETTER! be it better designs, higher quality (heavier) materials…..whatever gave us an advantage. This has been a winning strategy for the long term slog so far!
So our prices were right, what else? Shipping! Initially, we only shipped to the UK and Europe as we thought shipping further than our back garden would be a bit of a pain. It turns out that by restricting our reach, we were strangling sales like crazy! We opened up our store to worldwide sales (barring a few locations) and the floodgates opened.
Shipping costs are tricky. It costs a lot of money to ship our goods. Some gear is bulky and absorbing those costs within free postage wasn’t possible to us so where we do add shipping costs we keep them as low as we possibly can. We offer free shipping whenever we can though. We also offer upgraded shipping options. It costs the customer more but offers peace of mind. As a UK based seller, we’ve discovered that US based customers basically expect order tracking to be inclusive of our standard shipping option. Royal Mail does not offer tracking as a standard so we always make sure international customers are aware of this and give them the option to upgrade their shipping.
Final thing for now. We run loads of promotions. Regular sale events & we also offer coupons & discounts to motivate sales. This has been huge. Everyone wants the best price they can get afterall.
So a year and a half in. Can we make a living on Etsy? Not a chance – yet! We have to use multiple platforms and whilst our Etsy sales continue to rise nicely, we don’t see Etsy being a full time option for us in the short to medium term.
But, it’s the best selling platform for seller fees and the user interface is pretty decent.
Biggest con for Etsy. As a buyer, if you aren’t already aware of Etsy, are you likely to find our listings via google, and then…..Will you buy there? Good questions!
You can find us on Etsy here