Hannah Gardner sure thinks so. She’s an ecom entrepreneur who says she did just under a million in sales her first calendar year on Etsy. That’s revenue, obviously, but still. Hannah doesn’t reveal her net profit; just says it’ll vary based on what you’re selling and how you go about it. Point is, yeah, you can make money selling stuff on Etsy. But you gotta get a few things right. First, product research. Hannah uses a free Chrome extension called EverBee.
Go to Etsy, bring it up, and do a broad search for something, such as “dog bowl.” See which Etsy store’s selling the most, organically, without any ad spend. What’s their estimated monthly revenue? And then, based on that, might it be worth selling a similar dog bowl (in this case) yourself? If so, reverse engineer their success. What’s their title? Description? Bullet points? Tags? What types of product images did they upload? What did they price it at? How many reviews? What could you do better?
“When you’re doing this type of product research, you wanna think in your own mind, ‘How am I gonna beat my competition? Am I gonna beat them in price? Am I gonna beat them in quality? Shipping time? What am I going to beat them in?’ And you want to build a spreadsheet of all the things that you’re going to do to improve on the current top sellers. And be careful if there’s no results when you search. There’s probably not enough demand for that product.”
“Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, they’re all only gonna get more competitive,” Hannah continues. “Maybe ten years ago you could just throw up a product and make a bunch of money because there was only a couple people selling it, but that’s just not the case anymore. So you wanna be diligent, you wanna be conscientious with your marketing, your language, your keywords, with your photos.” Makes sense, right? So what else do you have to dial in to make good money with Etsy?
Hannah says she was very active in her Etsy store. She would literally spend her entire day logged in to her Etsy account. And when Etsy sees that you’re serious and you’re posting products and tweaking tags and adding new photos and videos, guess what? Etsy’s gonna reward you for your efforts. And most people aren’t willing to do this, hence the ninety-something-percent failure rate for Etsy shops. Don’t get lazy. Treat it like a business and you’ll get paid like it.
Her third tip for making money on Etsy is to launch lots of SKUs. If you don’t have enough products to do that, what you can do is duplicate listings and then alter each of ’em somewhat. So the first copy might use a different main photo. And the second copy might use yet another photo. And the third might use a different title and tags. Are you picking up what Hannah’s putting down? Good. The other thing you can do is, you can bundle products together to create new SKUs; something she’s had a ton of success with.
Fourth is reviews. Put something in your packaging that says, “Hey, if you had a good experience, I’d love to hear your feedback.” And then link ’em to your Etsy store where they can drop a review. If you happen to get a bad review, respond to it publicly (so other people see you care) and try to make it right. Fifth and final, consider running PPC ads. This will build sales momentum and give you key data that you can use to make better decisions going forward. Awesome stuff, Hannah.