Often considered the marketplace for Pinterest loving stay-at-home mums, there is a serious market here. Yes, there are plenty of soccer mums and crazy cat ladies on here, but you know who else is? People looking for handmade or custom-made items. The kind of unique products that you cannot find anywhere else, online or offline. And they are willing to pay extra for it.
The emphasis with Etsy is on homemade, one of a kind, unique products. So, if you have a skill that can produce some kick ass products, or can figure out how to create one (i.e. with a builder kit or unique mix of objects) then you can make some big bank. I don’t know how many people are making million-dollar incomes on Etsy, but there are many who have made a full-time income or six figures, for sure!
Bonus Offer (Free)
Pro’s & Con’s
Can work from home
Hard to earn a million dollars
Allows you to show off or build a skill
Difficult to get found or build an audience
Easy to get started
Your traffic belongs to Etsy
You can sell almost anything
Most sales are one-offs
Very satisfying to sell handmade products
Competition is generally unsophisticated
In a nutshell, the process is going to be:
Identify a niche / market / trend / etc.
Create/find a unique product
List on Etsy
Of course, each of those steps can be as in-depth as you want to.
Identifying a Niche or Trend
Try and find out what is hot or what is going to be hot. For example, in the last few years, you might have noticed that “industrial” design has been increasingly popular. This would lead you to find out more about the niche, the products that are available and what is not available. Trendhunter is good for this as well as Google Trends.
If you know of a word that can identify this, type it into Google Trends. If the trend is up, you’ve got a winner. Be sure to use that and any other relevant keywords for your product tags.
And, of course, check seller rankings. Resources for this are included at the end.
Don’t worry about the idea that you might be getting in too late. If the trend is steadily growing then it is likely to continue. If it is a SHARP SPIKE then you should skip it – it will crash!
Create Your Product
Ideally, this is something you can build yourself out of mass-produced items. Like lego used to create something, you can sell. Any kind of kit like this would be highly valuable as it allows you to sell 1,000 items almost as easily as 1 item. Which means you can scale.
Or, you are handcrafting something. Which you can typically sell for a hefty premium. Either way, do not invest too much time or money into a product until you have some sales under your belt. Otherwise, it may not be worth it.
This is the hard part for most sellers. And it’s where your level of sophistication comes into the mix. Consider that most of your competitors are stay-at-home mums or mum and pop shops, amateurs when it comes to marketing online. With some basic knowledge, you can beat them.
First of all, take into account that there is a ranking engine behind the listings (aside from just top-sellers). Which means there are aspects of SEO you can apply here.
Etsy Ranking Factors:
Titles and descriptions (product tags)
Renewing old listings (newer is better) most top rankings are renewed every 5-7 days
And of course, sales and reviews
Other potential but unverified (conspiracy theory) ranking factors
Number of favourites
Time spent on page/bounce rate
Number of clicks on images (to view next image)
Social shares (using social share buttons)
Added to “xx” personal list
Then, of course, there is CRO to take into account. Which means you need to have well-written product descriptions, good branding and AMAZING images.
Nailed all that? You are probably now in the top 10% of Etsy stores.
Further methods of marketing are of course PPC and Social Media. However, since you only have so much control of your store on Etsy, I would avoid PPC. If you have a social media following, then, of course, that is a great start. But, I will put forward an idea here that is possibly untapped.
Consider your audience here. Who do they follow? Who do they trust? Is your wife or girlfriend more likely to buy a product they saw advertised in their news feed or a product that is recommended by their favourite blogger? I already know the answer and so do you.
Add to this that most influencers are relatively untapped, which means that their fees are pretty low – which means – a massive ROI potential!
How I Would Do It
Find a trend that is heating up or continuing.
For this exercise we will use the criteria:
an item that is small and
relatively easy to ship in the
home and living section
Good margin (50%+) and cheap to source
Able to build or put together quickly
Something like the image below
This sells for $35 on Etsy and likely costs less than $10 to the source. I imagine there are 4 pieces you ship together and the buyer puts it together themselves (slots together)
Set up your product page, use a great description and perfect images (eye-catching)
Be sure to hit some cognitive biases in your description and image (i.e. the colour red is eye-catching) (use fear of missing out – i.e. limited stock only 5 remaining!)
Time to market – I would hit up the influencers on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest first. There are probably some good groups on Facebook too that may be worth posting in. You can even offer promo codes here to the group or that is exclusive to that influencer.
On average, you should be looking at $10 – $50 per shoutout from an influencer. You can even send them a freebie to get them to “review” it
With your packaging, be sure you have a promo code for their next purchase, and possibly a lead generating flyer to build an email list or social media profile.
Be sure to ask for the review!
$100 A Day Math
Very tricky to say, it depends entirely on your product and margin. We will use some assumptions:
$10 cost to you to make/buy the parts
Assume 5% fees (Etsy is around this including checkout fees)
Thus, $18.50 per sale is profit
If you can get 5.4 sales, you are in the clear.
If you are going to use 1 influencer shout out per day this is possible.
Scalability – Can It Become a Million Dollar Business?
Very difficult to do. If you use this as a jumping point into building your own e-commerce store then it is possible. There you can control everything. But if you are limited to using Etsy, then you are unlikely to hit this. Perhaps the top 1% of sellers can, even that would be difficult.