If you’ve been making your own crafts for a while — either as a hobby, a side-earner or as your main job — you’ve probably already heard of Etsy by now. If not, you should have. While local craft fairs and other small-scale markets are a great way to sell your products in the short term, they don’t have the reach and potential that Etsy does. In this article, we’re going to look at Etsy and how it could be right for your cottage business.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade arts and crafts. It can be anything from jewelry to paintings and lots in-between. So if you’ve got a particular talent for making great products in the art and craft niche, it could be for you. Think of it as like Ebay but for arts and crafts.
You can set up your own little “shop” on the site, with a range of products. You’ll obviously want to get good reviews so that your shop becomes even more popular. The good thing about Etsy is that it gets a ton of traffic, and all those people are the sort of people who might be interested in what you’re selling.
How can you make the most of Etsy?
If you want to either start making a side income or a full-time one on Etsy, there are a few tips to get the most out of the platform. Let’s have a look at them.
Check out your competition and be original
You’ll want to be original. Make sure someone isn’t doing exactly what you’re selling, or you’ll have to compete aggressively on price — which isn’t that easy for a small-scale business like yours. You’ll also want to make sure there’s a market for your products, so finding similar items to yours that are popular could be good… as long as you can do better.
Make sure that the quality of your crafts is up there with the best. If you have to buy a few items from the competition just to make sure, then do so. It could help you learn how to improve your items and also what mistakes to avoid.
Try to be original by using equipment other crafters might not have their hands on, like a vinyl craft cutting machine.
Make sure you’ve done your financial calculations
Many small craft businesses like yours make the big mistake of not doing their costings clearly and precisely, and it’s a big reason why many of them fail. Make sure you know how much it costs to make an item and how much you can sell it for to make what you need to carry on. Don’t forget to include how long it’s going to take you to make each item!
Not only do you not want to waste your time making something that doesn’t sell for much, it’s best if you can make items to order rather than having tons of stock sitting around that might not sell. If you can make your craft quickly enough, you can wait until someone buys it before you actually make it.