Etsy Craft Sales Evolution: Making Entrepreneurs Out of Artists

sales at etsy

Image Source: Lipstickandpolitics.com

Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a business? For many people, they dream of owning their own business. However, the website called Etsy, a hand-crafted sales site, has revolutionized craft businesses.

The process used to go something like this: Jane made knitted sweaters in her free time. Everyone loved Jane’s sweaters so she sold a few to friends. Then a boutique owner spotted one and Jane started selling several to boutiques.

Overtime, Jane’s sweaters grew in popularity, got investors to fund projects, and she was able to take her business to the next level. Maybe she hired someone in China to knit the sweaters at wholesale costs. Perhaps Jane developed pattern books and sold them. She might even start teaching at an exclusive knitting institute. The point is, one minute she had a hobby, and five years later she had a corporation.

Well, Etsy, in essence, makes it possible for every Tom, Dick and Jane to simply sell their hand-crafted wares. Etsy takes a little piece (20 cents per posted item and 3.5% per item sold) and gives the rest to the artist. The artist, in turn, gets paid via sites like Paypal and ships the item to the buyer.

growth rate of etsy

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Now, when we say Etsy is making every artist an entrepreneur, we do mean every artist. You can find everything from soap to spoon rings listed on Etsy. Need perfume? Find a homemade version based with essential oils right here.

Artists have sold up to 550 pieces in a year. On the low end, an annual salary may be $25,000, but some jewelers gross $100,000 or more. Wow, right? Pretty impressive sales number?

Since we’re all about sales training, then, let’s look at a few things the artists who excel at Etsy sales do best:

Excellent photography.
If you plan to make a go of professionally selling on Etsy, you may want to invest in a good camera and take some classes on lighting. Photos really help sell items. As with all online purchases, buyers need to see the features they want clearly demonstrated.

Timely shipping.
Nothing gets you a poor rating as well as not shipping in a timely manner. Send your items as soon as you can to get a great review. Also, sales training 101, set buyers expectations low, then over-deliver (i.e. say, “Delivery in 10 days,” but ship in two.) Zappos is also infamous for free upgrades to two day shipping just to surprise customers a little sooner.

demographic of etsy

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Unique items.
To stand out on Etsy, you’ve got to get very creative. Don’t settle for crafting the same thing as everyone else. If you really can’t get unique, try to focus on specific colors or styles that no one else is doing. These are called selling points and the best stores all have them (i.e. one chick just does skulls. Seriously.)

Holiday awareness.
It’s no surprise that sales via mobile phone increase drastically over the Holidays. For Etsy, you need to be prepared for mobile retail sales. Likewise, post items related to Mother’s Day or the wedding season in a timely manner for best results.

Need more crafty sales training advice? Hire Noah today.

 

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