Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy? ~ My Top 5 Reasons I Love Selling on Etsy

Make Money Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons I LOVE Selling on Etsy

Welcome to the beginning of my Selling On Etsy series! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.

My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, but one of those is only open off and on…we just don’t have the time to dedicate to it. (more about that below)
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both. (See the later segments to this series for the hard numbers of our sales. So you can decide whether to listen to me or not, lol)

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.

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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 1996 (edited) 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. (yup, affiliate link)
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. ((UPDATE: I have heard that if you open a shop now, you can accept Paypal but it has to be integrated into Etsy’s own Direct Checkout system. So you basically use their DC system…but buyers can still use Paypal through that if they wish. Your money will get processed by Etsy, not Paypal, however.))

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 too. It’s just nice to not have ratings hanging over your head if life gets in the way sometimes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Part 3 ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ My #1 Top Tip

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!!

22 thoughts on “Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy? ~ My Top 5 Reasons I Love Selling on Etsy”

  1. I have an ebay store and in the last several months have also been selling on etsy. I really like it for all the reasons you stated and I'm getting more and more sales the larger my inventory grows. I'm looking forward to the rest of your series.

  2. I have sold on eBay for several years – more as a hobby seller than a serious business. I would like to sell on sewing supplies on Etsy but have had trouble coming up with a name. A number of years ago, I used to sew for interior designers, so I have quite a bit of left over supplies such as drapery lining, cording, buckram, etc. I don't know whether to go with a sewing related name or something more general. Once my supplies are sold, I may want to branch out into other areas. Any ideas?

  3. Ah!! The name choice dilemma!! I know it well.
    Maybe something with 'mercantile' in the title? Would totally work with the inventory you describe…but generic enough to cover other stuff too??
    The other option is to pick something sewing/notions/design related and then change your store name when you're done with that. You're allowed to do an instant store name change once, after that you have to request it.

  4. Thanks, Shannon. I LOVE the names of your shops – Metal and Tweed is fantastic. You helped me with some questions on selling sterling silver several years ago. I have followed your blog/postings of message boards ever since. Susan in CA

  5. I've been an ebay seller for 10 years and an Esty seller for about a year. I like Etsy more and more and for all the reasons you listed. I'd like to get away from Ebay completely, but some newer items that I know will sell get listed there, but not that many. It's just become too risky these days. Etsy is less stressful and I get to keep more of my profits.

  6. Shouldn't you, in the interest of transparency, let your readers know that when they "sign up through yoy" that YOU also get a benefit of free listings?

    Vintage. Everything under the sun is vintage. Meaning it comes from some point in time. I personally try not to sell items from after 1990, but in 5 years I might.
    You seemed to miss THE biggest seller and the reason ETSY exists at all and that is art or hand crafts sold BY the handcrafter.

  7. Thanks so much for your comments! Yes, I probably should have repeated the fact that I get free listings as well. I mentioned it in an earlier post, I believe…and also the big graphic at the top right also says it. But you're right, I should mention it every time.

    And personally I agree about not listing things from after 1990..that's just me personally. Although Etsy allows 20 years which puts it at 1995. And 90s fashions are really popular right now…though that's not my niche of selling…

    And the reason I didn't really center in on handmade is that the focus of this blog has always been vintage. I only have vintage and supplies shops on there right now…so I don't have a lot of input about the handmade aspect and honestly there are plenty o' blogs about the handmade side of Etsy.
    Many people know that Etsy's center is handmade…that's where they spend most of their promoting budget it seems. Over and over I hear…'really?? you can sell vintage on Etsy?? I thought it was just crafts!!"
    Thus the point of the post.

  8. Do the 40 free listings eventually expire? I still don't have an Etsy shop. I think about setting one up every once in awhile (and this post helped clarify some of my basic questions), but I really don't do a lot with vintage items. I'd be happy to sign up through your link so you get free listings too, but am wondering if it would be better to wait until I think I might be ready to list some items.

  9. Oops! Sorry I missed this. I looked it up and as far as I can tell…the free listings don't expire. However, I don't believe my free listings activate until you actually list something for sale…so feel free to wait until you're ready! 🙂
    Don't forget supplies as well!

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