Etsy Creates Thousands of Homebased Careers

Posted by | September 27, 2010 | Blog, Home Based Business

There are millions of talented crafters, painters, photographers, jewelry makers, hobbyists, sewers, quilters, musicians, writers, and other creative specialists out there. You will often find these starving artists selling their creations at local craft shows or antique malls, or maybe from flyers hung at the library or grocery store. While the efforts earn them some extra money, few enjoy widespread success that allows them to enjoy a full time income from home.

That has changed with the online service called Etsy. This crafters showcase offers a platform for artists to sell their items to millions of people on the Web. Etsy allows shoppers, crafters and suppliers to connect, network, buy and sell locally or globally. Its overriding mission is to “enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers and buyers”.

Etsy requires only a .20 cent fee to list your item for four months. Then you will pay only a small commission when your item sells. You set the price and payment terms. The system works and Etsy is growing substantially taking business away from Ebay and other auction sites that have become watered down with cheap merchandise and overpriced sellers. As a result, Etsy announced recently that it has raised $20 million in venture capital financing and has now tripled its valuation at $300 million (not including the funding). With sales up a whopping 72% from last year, business is booming — not to mention ex-Google exec Adam Freed being roped in as Etsy’s new chief operating officer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the arts and crafts site now boasts over than 5.2 million members, 400,000 sellers, six million listed items and about 700 million monthly page views. This year marks Etsy’s first profitable year, but by the end of 2011, it anticipates $1 billion in gross sales. Etsy has 125 employees now and is hiring more – a big jump from the just four employees who worked out of an apartment in Brooklyn NY when the company started.

Etsy’s phenomenal success highlights a growing trend toward alternatives to mass produced “Walmart” goods. This new mindset, called “craftivism” by many, is changing the way people shop because it allows the small time operator to have a big time presence and compete with larger manufacturers. Consumers are not only willing, but often times seem to prefer a handmade, unique item designed and crafted by a talented individual. “These items are usually better made with TLC by someone who truly loves what they do. For this reason, you will get a unique product that will last instead of a cheaply produced Walmart item that will break” says Kathy Travers, an Etsy seller and buyer. Travers makes handmade and personalized pet beds, dog bowls and other pet items. She once sold her crafts at the local flea market but now sells almost exclusevly on Etsy. “I made $200 per month last year selling at flea markets. Last month I made almost $2,000 selling on Etsy, so its a no brainer,” says Kathy.

Selling on Etsy – A Beginners Guide

If you haven’t yet, you will need to Register for an Etsy account. Choose your username carefully, as this will become your shop name and part of your unique web address (URL) for your Etsy shop.

Once you’ve registered for an account, you’ll need to upgrade your account to seller status. You will need to enter personal information and billing information. Billing requires that you keep a valid credit card on file.

Now all you need to do is list your items. This will require some basic information such as a title, description and information about the materials used to create the item. You will enter your price and upload a picture. Full tutorials are available to get you started.

Once your Etsy storefront is set up you should begin promoting it online. You can get Free Promotion for your Business on Yelp and signing up for an account is easy.

Etsy Ideas – What to sell on Etsy

Coffee cups
Drink coozies and wrappers
Handmade greeting cards
Homemade candles
Jewelry and watches
Hair ribbons and accessories
Aprons, pot holders and other kitchen accessories
Belts, gloves and hats
Cuff Links or Bracelet charms
Keychains or Lanyards
Leg Warmers
Home Decor items such as Mirrors, vases, planters, shelves, painted lamps, etc
Children’s accessories such as lunch boxes, backpacks, blankets, etc
Scarf, Shawl, pins, money clips, wallets
Art: paintings, photos, collages, sculptures, drawings, etc
Bags and purses
Bath and beauty items: soaps, perfumes, skin care, shampoo
Ceramics and pottery
Scrapbooking accessories
Baby items: nursery decor, baby bags, cloth diapers, toys, blankets, etc
Seasonal items: Halloween decor, Christmas wreaths, Easter baskets, etc
Outdoor accessories
Personalized items: tshirts, bags, signs, wall letters, car emblems, etc
Knitting, needlecraft, quilts, hand sewn curtains items
Music, stories/writing
Pet accessories such as dog beds and bowls
Edibles: candy, baked goods, spices, vegan items
Occasions: items for birthdays, weddings, new baby, graduation
Go Green! (products from recycled materials)

For more ideas see:
Big Book of Crafts

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew (1000 Series)

Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures

For Additional Information

Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line

My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire

Free Ways to Market, Promote, Advertise, and Increase Traffic to Your Online or Etsy Jewelry Shop and Sell Your Jewelry Now

The Savvy Crafters Guide To Success: Turn Your Crafts Into A Career

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business

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