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is it profitable to sell on etsy

Is it profitable to sell on Etsy? 10 Steps to make profitable [2022]

Can I really make money on Etsy? I propose you to know a more real vision of how to sell on Etsy through an example with which you will know if it is profitable.

Author of the article: Olalla Mellado Digital editor of trends.

Knowing if it is profitable to sell on Etsy and if it is worth selling on Etsy is not something random and can be ignored. If you're reading this article it's because you've run into the problem of making yourself profitable on Etsy.

Today I want to tell you about my personal experience and how I realized that my craft was not profitable and how I transformed myself to become profitable.

I give you a checklist that you should know so that every idea that crosses your mind about a new craft you know how to convert it to profitable because unfortunately few businesses are profitable, here lies the difficulty of entrepreneurship while the beauty of entrepreneurship lies in doing what we love, in this chaos our crafts, shall we start?

¿Is it profitable to sell on Etsy? My experience

When you are not profitable on Etsy and you have already embarked on a project and you have even set up your Etsy store, you may even have made some sales, and you realize that your idea is not profitable, you have a big problem and you need to make a change to help you become profitable.

This was my case in which I proposed to sell rag dolls but the time it took me to create each one for the professional aspect that I wanted to give it did not allow me to elaborate the number of dolls that would give me a tax-free salary allowing me to do the daily things of the day and to be able to sleep. Maybe in my case the little experience in handcrafting or my own perfectionism that led me to invest more hours than I should, even so, it was not enough for me and I had to do something.

Normally your business can give you a minimum of 1000 € clean working maximum 8 or 9 hours a day, so you will need to bill about 3000 € to eliminate taxes and other expenses, in your case depends on the country from where you are selling.

So I transformed this work into handmade tutorials for these dolls, which allowed me to make more sales and be able to take care of my blog.

But certainly you are left with that thorn of having wanted to sell that product, and since if you had been in my case maybe you would have that speed to create these products and be able to sell them I want to give you a checklist or guide that you should take into account to realize if for you it is profitable to sell on Etsy with your own characteristics:

  1. Sell less at a higher price

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    When you are an artisan without many helping hands around you, managing the creation of your craft, shipping, customer service, social media, and returns can be a hassle.

    Focus on choosing a product that you know how to make and that sells more expensively on the market (because it makes more profit, not because the materials are more expensive or take longer to make) so that you have to manage fewer shipments of your orders per month.

    You can see which products are selling the most by going to the search listings for your product on Etsy and computer by the most popular ones or to the different Etsy stores to see how many sales they have.

  2. Focus on your type of product

    Remember that we want the customer to get hooked on us and make us profitable because they buy from us on a recurring basis, i.e. more than once, therefore they have to remember us by "The brand that sells crochet bikinis" (for example) and visit our store and see crochet bikinis and not rattles, because this way we would have lost a repeat sale from a customer who fell in love with our brand.

    You can vary your crochet bikinis by colors and shapes, but never switch to another type of product so as not to lose your first customers.

  3. Define your product price

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    When we are faced with the task of knowing if it is profitable to sell on Etsy we must first know our product price. The price of our product is composed of the sum of:

    - Materials of which our product is made.
    - Hours it takes us to do it for our hourly rate.
    - Shipping costs.
    - Packaging costs.
    - Etsy commissions plus the price of the ad.

    You can calculate your hourly rate by knowing how much money you want to earn per month. For example if you want to invoice 2000 € (to which taxes are deducted, in the case of Spain the IRPF) the price of your hour is calculated like this:

    (8 hours worked per week * 5 days per week worked * 4 weeks in a month) = 160 hours

    we divide the 2000 € by the 160 hours and we obtain that our hour is priced at 12.5 € gross.

    So if your product takes you at least one hour to make it, it should cost (12.5 € + material costs + packaging costs + shipping costs) * (1 + % Etsy commissions) * (1 + % VAT in your country).

    You would already have the price of your product and your global profit would be (products sold * 12,5 €) - self-employed fee if it exists in your country. Finally you multiply this result by (1 - % tax of your country for example IRPF and that's it!

    What a hassle isn't it? Well yes, it is a hassle but the sooner you calculate it the less headaches you will have later.

  4. Optimize your starting price

    Is your selling price to consumers adding material costs, shipping costs and your profit much higher than the average market price at which that product is being sold? If your product has a very high price even if it has better features than the rest of the products you should:

    - try to lower the cost of materials.
    - reduce the manufacturing time (to make them faster), never decrease your profit if it is not exaggerated.
    - reduce shipping costs by looking for cheaper shipping companies.
    - lower the price of your packaging and presentation.

    Finally, if this does not work out well, you should change your mind and make another idea more beneficial for you and make it profitable for you to sell on Etsy.

  5. Optimize your product

    Optimizing your products will make them cheaper so you can reduce the price or increase your profit by selling less product.

    Keep an eye on your competition. You will see if your competition is selling your same product with cheaper or smaller materials which will take you less time to make.

    Remember that to optimize the price of your product you will almost have to go to the millimeter, that is, if you put half a centimeter less of this ribbon you can use it to make more dresses? well this way you save. Also, if I use this satin ribbon instead of the velvet ribbon, will I have a similar effect and save more money, or perhaps on the contrary, will it detract from your work?

    Choose very well which materials you are going to use, there can be really good equivalents.

  6. Optimize your shipments

    We reach a very stressful point to know if it is profitable to sell on Etsy. Because beyond choosing the cheapest and most reliable shipping company that can make your shipments to the final countries you choose comes the big question: to which countries do I ship?

    The country you are sending from resides in the main language of your store on Etsy. But to understand us, what Etsy wants is that we sell internationally and with free shipping costs because in this way it will favor us to get us in their search engine, but is it profitable for you?

    Honestly, you have two options:

    - If you sell internationally with free shipping you already know that you will have to couple the shipping costs within the price of your product and it will be very expensive so you will have to decrease your profit to be competent with the rest of products sold in those countries, or decrease your profit or maybe give more value in your product without increasing so much the material costs, but this is usually difficult and in the end we end up lowering the profit. While in your country you will sell obtaining more profit and therefore you can compensate what you lose for example selling to the United States with the profit selling in your country.

    Remember that when you sell and you have less profit you need to produce more products to earn a salary per month and we may not have enough time, so read the second option below.

    - You can sell in your country and use social networks to increase your sales and compete with the number of sales you would receive if you sold internationally. This is my favorite option since the shipping costs are not so expensive and we will get more profit, plus we will speak in one language and not in several. We will have more time to give love to our Etsy website and to our products by making more and better items.

  7. Optimize your ads / listings

    If you really want selling on Etsy to be profitable you must have customers within this online store because if it doesn't bring you customers why pay to place ads on this platform?

    To sell on this platform you have to make your products appear in the search results of their search engine and in Google results and for this you have to do SEO in your product ads optimizing the title and text for user searches as I show you in this quick and easy beginner's guide that will make you the expert.

  8. Optimize the packaging

    Packaging! What a topic. A few years ago, when selling online, it almost didn't matter how the delivery person delivered the products, but nowadays the customer has become more demanding and in the case of handmade products, the customer is not satisfied with just anything.

    When I started on Etsy I thought that if you put the typical shipping bag and bubble wrap it would be enough for the customer. After doing some research I found out that on Etsy the customers who buy handmade products are ecologists and therefore the more craft paper you use the more handmade style you give them and the more the customer will feel identified with your brand. However we will always have to have a little plastic because for example a shipping envelope if it does not come padded with bubble wrap we run the risk of breaking in shipping.

    The great thing about craft paper is that it is much cheaper so we will reduce packaging costs.

    Another detail is that you don't only have to put a packaging. There are two packaging that all handmade sellers do:

    - The pretty one: the pretty packaging is the one that amazes the customer and that is directly in contact with your product, it can be a tissue paper knotted with a colored string with a bow for example and your brand cards attached. You can search for more packaging ideas on Etsy.
    - The one that protects: the protective packaging is the box or the typical craft paper envelope with bubble wrap that has the shipping label affixed on the outside and is mandatory. This can have your brand name stamped on the outside.

    Focus on making the packaging beautiful and reducing the cost of materials as long as they are strong enough not to break.

Checklist to know if your product is profitable

Finally, after all the above, take a look at this checklist to see if your product meets these requirements:

1. You take the shortest possible time to produce your products. 2. You have looked for alternatives and your materials are the cheapest.
3. You follow a line of product types and do not spread out.
4. Your packaging is cheap and beautiful and sustainable for the most part.
5. Know how to write your product ads to be found by customers.
6. You know all the costs of your product.
7. You have decided in which country or countries you are going to sell.
8. You know the shipping cost for each country.
9. You know your hourly rate.
10. Your product delivers a good profit.
11. Your product is small (or can be folded) and weighs little and will not make shipping more expensive.


I hope the article has cleared your doubts about whether it is profitable to sell on Etsy and that you have a clearer idea of what this platform really is. You can continue reading the rest of the articles to find useful information to help you sell your handmade crafts.