Etsy.com is an outlet for artists of all backgrounds and talents to sell their pieces directly to buyers. You don’t have to be an expert craftswoman or jewelry maker to sell your handiwork online. Etsy regularly features simple and unique creations. The artists, like you, want to earn extra cash from their handmade items. You can also sell artwork and photos.

How It Works

You have to pay a listing fee to sell on Etsy.  One benefit is that customers pay you directly. You risk paying to list items that don’t sell. Etsy charges 20 cents per item listing for four months. The site also charges a 3.5 percent transaction fee. Also factor in shipping costs.

Learn how it works so you can earn cash on Etsy. In order to make a profit, your asking price must be higher than all of your costs combined. But if you products are overpriced, you may not sell much. Under-priced sellers may not be taken seriously. It is a tough balance.

Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need to do is register. It’s important to note that you’ll have to enter your credit or debit card at some point during the registration process for verification purposes. You’ll also be asked to enter your username, which you cannot change later.  Keep that in mind for branding purposes. You’ll want to pick a name that customers can easily associate with your store, since your username will also be the name of your shop. Once your account is set up and confirmed, you can list items in your store.

What to Sell

There is a lot of competition on Etsy, and the key to success is setting yourself apart. It’s easier said than done, and you may have to go through a period of trial and error. Once you overcome that initial period, you’ll do better at selling your items online. Try to be as unique as possible and list in categories that are not heavily saturated. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to sell in a category that already has thousands of listings, though. It just means you have more competition; the more original you are, the better. Some items that are sold on Etsy include:

  • Earrings
  • Photos
  • Keychains
  • Bows
  • Personalized crafts
  • Bags
  • T-shirts
  • Wool hats
  • Quilts

If you don’t feel talented enough to sell your own handmade creations, you can sell what others make. Simply list items in your store, and earn a commission based on sales.

Photos and Packaging

One investment you’ll need to make is a good camera. Don’t use your phone to take pictures of your items for listing purposes. Good quality photos will translate into sales. If your photos look cheap, then your items will too.

The hot commodity that sells well on Etsy is “unique.”  You won’t get much traction if customers can go to Walmart and find the same item. Your packaging should be as creative or unique as the creations inside. You’ll create a lasting “wow” that will lead to repeat customers. Consider including a handwritten note. Your customers use Etsy because they enjoy handmade goods. They want the personalized feel that many Ebay sellers don’t offer. Think of ways to offer a personal touch and you’ll increase sales.

Etsy is all about having fun while earning cash. Customers are drawn to sellers who look like they’re passionate about their work. Keep that in mind as you upload your own photo on Etsy or in the ways you market on the site.

Has anyone tried selling on Etsy before?

Leave a Reply

66 thoughts on “How to Get Paid with Etsy”

  1. Becky Aguiar says:

    I love Etsy! I’ve had my shop up and running since 2007. There is a lot to learn along the way to be successful. My greatest piece of advice is an eye catching picture. A nice camera won’t do anything if you don’t know how to use it properly, or how to compose the picture to make it worth a potential buyers time to click on your item. I can honestly say that a phone picture can be just as great as a camera pic if you know how to draw that buyers attention.

    Look around at other shops that have similar items to what you are/will sell and see if you can grab ideas on making your product picture worth the buyers time. Don’t copy, but get your own style in photographing your work.

  2. SuperSavingMama says:

    regarding the tax issue with etsy or ebay or anywhere online. You don’t need to collect sales tax for out of state online sales. currently, paypal does NOT report your income to the IRS (you are supposed to do that yourself) however, beginning in December, you wil be required to provide a social or a business EIN to paypal in order to sell on Etsy or Ebay. Uncle Sam wants his piece of the pie.

    You have to keep records of all the supplies you buy along with other expenses (web hosting, email, phone, internet, advertising, etc.) and get a good accountant so that at the end of the year, he logs all the possible deductions for your “business”, especially if your incoming sales are more than $10000 per year, otherwise you might get audited… A good accountant can reduce your tax liability on a small business venture to next to nothing and even a credit. :)

  3. SuperSavingMama says:

    I sell on both etsy (pickleberry kids designs) and ebay, although I recently eliminated ebay from the mix since I now have a website with my items. I make childrens room accessories, and kids gear, mostly personalized, and I also have a line of personalized signs for bars, workshops, etc.

    I had to stop selling on ebay because everyone wants everything so cheap on ebay and no one factors in the time and skill that goes into making something yourself. Plus ebay fees and their ridiculous policies with their star ratings etc. etc. just made it such a hassle, and I’ve been an ebay seller for 15 years!

    I haven’t really “pushed” my etsy store (it’s hard with a 3 year old), but when he’s back in pre-school, i’m hoping that I can sell at least half as much as I did on ebay on etsy, without all the ebay hassle! :)

  4. SuperSavingMama says:

    I sell on both etsy (pickleberry kids designs) and ebay, although I recently eliminated ebay from the mix since I now have a website with my items. I make childrens room accessories, and kids gear, mostly personalized, and I also have a line of personalized signs for bars, workshops, etc.

    I had to stop selling on ebay because everyone wants everything so cheap on ebay and no one factors in the time and skill that goes into making something yourself. Plus ebay fees and their ridiculous policies with their star ratings etc. etc. just made it such a hassle, and I’ve been an ebay seller for 15 years!

    I haven’t really “pushed” my etsy store (it’s hard with a 3 year old), but when he’s back in pre-school, i’m hoping that I can sell at least half as much as I did on ebay on etsy, without all the ebay hassle! :)

  5. Hibiscuslover_11 says:

    My sister does she sell beautiful feather earings that she hand dyes and designs herself and make pretty good money on and really enjoys it check it out her shops name is inside the bird cage! ENJOY!

  6. Cherylcm78 says:

    I sell on Etsy as well, I love making jewelry so I decided to start selling some. I use mostly sterling silver findings and Swarovski crystals in all sorts of fun shapes. My shop is Starluxury. I agree with those that it’s difficult to start up a shop. You have to be very good at marketing it, and yourself! :)

  7. Cherylcm78 says:

    I sell on Etsy as well, I love making jewelry so I decided to start selling some. I use mostly sterling silver findings and Swarovski crystals in all sorts of fun shapes. My shop is Starluxury. I agree with those that it’s difficult to start up a shop. You have to be very good at marketing it, and yourself! :)

  8. Jujubilant says:

    Can someone comment as to how Etsy works with taxes? Is a small business license necessary? Are there potential legal hoops that have to be addressed before selling (ex, liability insurance)? Thanks!

    • Joannajorgensenstudio says:

      Juju –
      You have to follow the business laws and tax filings for your location – state, county, & even sometimes the city will have taxes.
      You can call your states Dept. of Revenue, county office, and use google to find out what you need to do for your location.
      A license may not be required by the state but you may need one for your county. Sales tax filing and collecting will be handled by your state. You would apply for a EIN number with the federal government.
      Maybe there is a small business org. near you or call SCORE in your area as they are very helpful.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/PennyOrder

  10. Please correct the above article. you can NOT sell items that aren’t made by YOU. At least get your information right before posting KCL, you get millions of views a day you should really be careful with what you post. This is super misleading

  11. phillandlesley says:

    i sell on ETSY! my shop name is lesleyandsara. i sell some fabric and handmade children’s clothing. i haven’t stocked my shop in months dure to couponing and sewing gifts…someday i’ll get back to it.

  12. phillandlesley says:

    i sell on ETSY! my shop name is lesleyandsara. i sell some fabric and handmade children’s clothing. i haven’t stocked my shop in months dure to couponing and sewing gifts…someday i’ll get back to it.

  13. Barbara W. says:

    I love selling on Etsy! I started my first shop (EcoChicHandKnits) about two years ago and its still going strong. I loved the first one so much that I recently just opened up another shop (BarbaraWoltmannPhoto) for my photography.

    It’s so fun to be able to make money doing the things you love. The creative atmosphere on there always leaves me inspired.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/PennyOrder

  15. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/PennyOrder

  16. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/PennyOrder

  17. Effleuragedjewelry says:

    I started my etsy store in March of this year and I have sold over 40 items! I must say that getting to package up my jewelry and send it to another part of the US is so so so so rewarding! I try and buy all my supplies on etsy as well and love to see all the talented artists! Lots of research on tagging and lots and lots of re-listing are my tips for sales. Fun topic Thanks KCL!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I just p a i d $21.87 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
    Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://bit.ly/PennyOrder

  19. Lialane says:

    I sell paintings at my shop and love it! And although a lot of times shopping on there is no where near frugal, it is nice supporting and wearing handmade items :) Gotta love one of kind buys!

  20. Sheilah B says:

    Not sure where the idea comes from that you can sell other people’s handmade items on Etsy as that is STRICTLY against their Terms of Service.

    Etsy is for handmade items YOU YOURSELF make, not for making money off what other people have made, keep that nonsense on Ebay.

  21. Sheilah B says:

    Not sure where the idea comes from that you can sell other people’s handmade items on Etsy as that is STRICTLY against their Terms of Service.

    Etsy is for handmade items YOU YOURSELF make, not for making money off what other people have made, keep that nonsense on Ebay.

  22. Whiz6158 says:

    I am looking for some wedding jewelry for myself. I’ve found some beautiful items but I’m wondering if any of you are making/selling these.
    Thanks,

    Jessica

    • Lori says:

      I have wedding jewelry in my shop DearlyBeloved.

    • Pepi says:

      Hi Jessica,
      Etsy is a handmade venue, so people actually do make the jewelry they sell (unless it’s vintage). Take a look at my shop and see if anything interests you – pepidesigns.

  23. Whiz6158 says:

    I am looking for some wedding jewelry for myself. I’ve found some beautiful items but I’m wondering if any of you are making/selling these.
    Thanks,

    Jessica

  24. Jenjcakes says:

    I tried Etsy and was very excited about it… but yes it takes lots of time and patience… time is something that I don’t have much and patience is something I really don’t have ( need to work on that)… happy to know there is people who actually can make some money out of it… I guess I’ll try harder!!

    • Sweethomeboutique says:

      I have a clothing shop on Etsy ( sweethomeboutique) and make womens and childrens clothing, I love it!
      You cannot sell items other people make. It is against policy and will get you shut down.
      You Can sell craft supplies, so you could go that route if your not too crafty.

  25. Pepi says:

    I have a jewelry shop on Etsy (pepidesigns) and I love it! It’s a great way to get some extra money. I do have to emphasize thought that it’s extremely time consuming and it needs constant work and effort! I find it that the people who can really make it work are the stay at home moms or students with some free time. If you have a regular day job, it can get tricky.

    • Jenjcakes says:

      Pepi I love your shop!!! good job!!! do you have any recomendations… could you critique mine? isabellalove

    • Jenjcakes says:

      Pepi I love your shop!!! good job!!! do you have any recomendations… could you critique mine? isabellalove

  26. Joannajorgensenstudio says:

    Etsy is a great venue, but like any business it takes time, dedication, and patience.
    I have been selling on Etsy since 2007.

    Please, please, correct the above article. It is against Etsy rules to create a shop there and sell items that are handmade by someone other than yourself. You can form a team or collective of people, but you must disclose who are the members and what their roles are in the collective in your shop profile. You maut have a hand in making the products to list them in handmade.
    I would hate to see people invest money to resell something and then have their shop closed for breaking the TOS. That type of business model would work on Ebay, but not Etsy.

    You can sell supplies specifically for crafting, or vintage items that are more than 20 years old.

    • Lois says:

      Resellers on Etsy have been a huge problem. Its a big reason why there is so much competition- there are a lot of people re-selling items on Etsy and trying to pawn them off as handmade. It really cheapens the idea of “handcrafted”.

      I hope that part of this article gets changed. I would hate for more people to jump on the reselling bandwagon.

    • Lois says:

      Resellers on Etsy have been a huge problem. Its a big reason why there is so much competition- there are a lot of people re-selling items on Etsy and trying to pawn them off as handmade. It really cheapens the idea of “handcrafted”.

      I hope that part of this article gets changed. I would hate for more people to jump on the reselling bandwagon.

  27. Heather @ REOlisticRenovation says:

    I just started selling on Etsy this past week and have been buying and browsing for years! These are great tips!

  28. Heather @ REOlisticRenovation says:

    I just started selling on Etsy this past week and have been buying and browsing for years! These are great tips!

  29. Heather @ REOlisticRenovation says:

    I just started selling on Etsy this past week and have been buying and browsing for years! These are great tips!

  30. Dalyc says:

    I have a shop on Etsy. I sell wire crochet jewelry. I enjoy making jewelry and my shop on Etsy allows me to share these creations with everyone.

  31. amandam says:

    I was selling on Etsy making quite a bit- but boy oh boy is it a hassle when it comes to bookeeping for taxes!! THAT’S why I am a couponer now! What I save in groceries is more per month than what I was making on Etsy, you dont have to report your couponing to the IRS and it takes a 10th of the effort! However, once my daughter starts school, I plan on picking it up “full time”.

  32. lynn says:

    I sell on Etsy as well…..clothing for babies and girls. The one tip I have is to make sure you purchase showcase spots. (These run $7.00 for one day) This way you get the maximum amount of exposure to your shop for the 24 hour period that you purchase. It is definately a fun place for those of you with creative talent and a wonderful outlet to display your one of a kind items:-)

  33. Tina C. says:

    I have a shop on Etsy. I make jewelry as a hobby. The one recommendation that I have is that you need to post often in order to get exposure. I don’t make many items since I don’t have the time so I usually don’t have many people looking. The trick is to post an item at minimum twice per day so that you show up in the rolling listings when people are searching. Also make sure that you have a good description and pictures. I would recommend investing in a photo box and some lights. It makes your pictures look much more professional and is a fairly cheap investment.

  34. Thehillfam says:

    I’ve been selling flowergirl dresses for years on Etsy. I love it….I work after the kids are in bed and still have time for family:)

  35. Kelli says:

    Etsy is wonderful! I sell on there a bit, and shop as well. You can find amazing items there, perfectly wonderful quirky things too which I love.

  36. Kelli says:

    Etsy is wonderful! I sell on there a bit, and shop as well. You can find amazing items there, perfectly wonderful quirky things too which I love.

  37. Lightgvr says:

    I have been selling homeopathic herbal teas on etsy for about a year now. The listing fees are extremely reasonable, and you can find help from other sellers as well as etsy videos, interviews etc. I recommend everyone check the site out as they have a vast array of homemade/vintage items so its a great place to buy as well as sell.

  38. Lightgvr says:

    I have been selling homeopathic herbal teas on etsy for about a year now. The listing fees are extremely reasonable, and you can find help from other sellers as well as etsy videos, interviews etc. I recommend everyone check the site out as they have a vast array of homemade/vintage items so its a great place to buy as well as sell.

  39. Sassy says:

    Its a great way to make and work on stuff on your own time and make some money for that SAHM/WAHM.

  40. I started selling hair clippies on Etsy earlier this year. All the suggestions in post are spot on! It does take some time, but I am having a lot of fun doing it!

  41. Jrkriner says:

    I sell on etsy as well! Its a great way to use your creativity and earn some funds to be at home more with your kids :)

  42. Lori says:

    I have been selling on Etsy since 2007. Etsy is a great place to sell, but it takes a lot of work and is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. There is a lot of competition from the thousands of other sellers and it takes a lot to get your items noticed.

    Also, I would like to point out that selling items that other make is NOT allowed on Etsy.

  43. I’ve been selling on Etsy for a few years. There is a lot more competition, but it’s such a wonderful community. So many amazing shops to buy unique, hand-made gifts. I love it!

  44. Lois says:

    I have been selling on Etsy for several years. It takes a lot to really make a profit, as there is a LOT of competition.

  45. Barsellm says:

    I just now TODAY opened my shop on etsy, before i read this. I guess we will see what happens?

  46. Cristin Costanza says:

    I just started selling custom party invitations/decor on Etsy – so far I’m having fun with it!

  47. KatherinePaigeDesign says:

    I started selling on etsy in 2008 and love it! The 20 cents for a 4 month listing is a steal and a great bargain for those wanting to test the waters. Plus opening your etsy shop and listing items is incredibly easy!

    Tips:
    -Use all of the tags available to describe your item (as long as they are relevant). You will get more looks and potentially sales that way.
    -Start your listing off with something catchy to entice your buyer and to give them ideas about how they can use your items. I sell invites and favors, so I suggest occasions they might need them for or how they will be a big hit with their guest.

    Happy Selling!

    • Jen says:

      Yes I agree with the other posts, it does take a bit to set up but it’s a lot of fun when one of your item sells! I started selling photography in my shop (poundpupsrock). With only a .20 cent fee it’s relatively inexpensive to test out the water to see if your items will sell.

    • Lia says:

      YOu are sooo right! So many people never make use of there tags!

  48. Sassy says:

    I been selling on there for the past 5 years now

  49. danielle says:

    I don’t sell there but I LOVE etsy! I have been a customer there the past 2 years. Their hand-made children’s items are the best. I love the high quality boutique outfits on there. There are some very talented people who list their things on etsy and I recommend it to everyone! I usually buy custom made birthday shirts and outfits on there and its so neat to get something unique and personalized! We order party decorations on there too!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch L E D T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
      Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://to.ly/aXoC

    • Anonymous says:

      I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc
      Lumíx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I
      will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I
      also sold a 40 inch L E D T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.
      Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://to.ly/aXoC

    • Anonymous says:

      cool