Does Etsy work?

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Does Etsy work if you want to make money selling your handmade crafts

In this new age of the Internet, it seems as though everyone is trying to make a buck any way they can. For those who want to combine their favorite hobbies with making money, there is a relatively new site called Etsy. This particular site is billed as a sort of universal storefront for people who want to sell their handmade crafts but don't want to try and get their name out there on their own. 

But does Etsy work?  The answer to that seems to be a very loud ... maybe.  Like any other business it appears that if you have the right technique then you can indeed see some legitimate sales numbers from the site. 

If you just want to try and sell popsicle stick figures that your five year old son hastily put together for a Kindergarten class project, you probably aren't going to see a ton of profit.

Etsy Gives You the Means

A quick browsing of the site shows you what kind of products are going to really net someone a sale. The key to the site is that they only allow you to sell handmade products.  This isn't eBay without the bidding, you can't put your old DVD collection on the site and hope to make a tidy profit. 

In fact, this particular site does not guarantee that you will make a tidy profit no matter what you are trying to sell.  What the site does do is give you a virtual storefront where you can display your wares.  Etsy has gotten enough mention over the last few years that it is a virtual storefront that people have heard of and will seek out when they are looking for specific items.

The site is open to anyone who would like to sell their wares (and is over 18), you get to set the price of whatever you want to sell, and you get to deal with the repercussions. 

The Drawbacks

The question of "does Etsy work" really is a questions as to how you define "works."  The site is certainly not set up to be free for use, the company charges $0.20 per listing, no matter whether it sells or not.  The listing is also not allowed to be up there without re-upping more than four months.  The fact that there is a four month limit on the listing seems to illustrate that some people have had to have a product listed on the site for quite a while.  Each time someone has to list an item again, they will again have to pay the $0.20 fee just to put it on the site.

That isn't the end of the fees that Etsy will charge you as part of their generous hosting. When a product does sell, Etsy charges 3.5 percent as a transaction fee.  In addition to the mandatory fees that come with using and selling on the site, there are also advertising fees that can be paid to get your products front and center on the site. 

All of these fees should be taken into account when looking at using Etsy and the price you are going to charge for your products should have a bearing with these in mind as well. 

Most people would see those drawbacks as a way for Etsy to take people's money, but there have been stories of people actually being able to quit their day jobs in order to sell things on the site.  Of course, that is not going to be the story or even most of the stories on the site. 

People who sign up and try and sell need to look at the organization as one that can potentially supplement existing income.  If they go into it in that frame of mind, then the site does indeed "work."

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