How to Earn Money on Etsy — No Craft Required

Etsy is a wonderful marketplace to sell crafts and other handmade goods. However, you do not have to be crafty to make a profit on Etsy. There are several individuals who make their living off of selling a wide range of art supplies (that do not need to be handmade or customized), as well as vintage items.

Selling Supplies on Etsy

For individuals selling art and craft supplies directly to consumers, there are not many online markets. Both eBay and Amazon can prove profitable, but the reach that Etsy has as a crafting platform and community is beyond compare.

Generally, people who buy or browse Etsy are individuals who love handmade goods and are interested in crafting at some level. The benefit of selling supplies is that all crafters need it, both beginning hobbyists, as well as experienced craft makers who sell their work for a living.

See also: 20 Places Besides Etsy to Sell Your Handmade Goods

How to Sell Supplies on Etsy

In order to be successful selling supplies on Etsy, you have to know the field. For example, if you want to sell yarn, you will need to know a thing or two about knitting. This doesn't mean that you have to be an expert knitter, but you do need to be willing to put in the research about yarns and yarn related crafts.

Is important that you also have the ability to find quality products for inexpensive costs. When considering what to list, think of Etsy's fees. Having an Etsy shop is free, but listing a product costs $0.20, and Etsy then takes 3.5% from the selling price. Therefore, if you list a skein of yarn for $9, then you will pay $0.52 in fees. Calculating fees beforehand can ensure that you make the most possible profit for your item.

Depending on the supplies you want to sell, you will be able to get inventory through local craft stores with coupons and a wholesale license, which allows you to buy the item tax-free. You might also need to purchase supplies in bulk, overseas, like through Alibaba.

Selling Vintage Items on Etsy

eBay is a popular selling platform for selling used items, but many times the kitschy and fashionable items do not get the respect or views they deserve. Etsy allows individuals to sell vintage items in the same way as a boutique owner would sell their wares.

Veronica Staudt, owner of Vintage Meet Modern, used to sell her vintage jewelry finds on eBay before Etsy was popular. However, she has seen more success using Etsy, because it is a more personable platform. "I did a lot of homework about where I could sell vintage goods and have them respected, understood, appreciated, and desired," she says. "At the time there were not very many selling platforms that allowed for that. Etsy is one of the few that appreciates what makes vintage special and unique." She is more than just a username and seller ID, unlike on eBay. She was able to create a brand through Etsy, which just would not have been possible to do through eBay or Amazon.

Heidi Ferguson, owner of Princessntheflea, is another successful vintage shop on Etsy. She originally started selling her vintage finds on eBay in the late 90s, but took a five year break when eBay changed its business model and made selling vintage items harder. "I started my Etsy shop in August of 2015 with about 10 items to get a feel for how the site worked and quickly sold out of items," she says. "I started making goals of 20, then 30, then 40 items in the shop until I finally reached 100."

Lauren Arkin, owner of LABoudoirMiami, says, "My vintage business LA Boudoir started off as a brick and mortar shop and after five years of my clientele being mainly locals and tourists, I wanted to reach out to more potential clientele nationally and internationally. Through some research, I thought Etsy had a great platform to reach that goal. Now I have clients all over the world including those in Europe and Asia. It took about six to eight months to get my Etsy shop to where I am happy with it."

See also: 5 Ways Etsy Can Help Start Your Small Business

How to Sell Vintage Items on Etsy

The three women above are proof that selling vintage items on Etsy can be a successful side business, but how do you get started? First things first, find a niche that works for you. If you don't know anything about jewelry or designers, then those should not be your first choice of items to buy and sell, unless you are willing to put in many hours of research.

Once you find your niche, research the best selling items in your area of interest. It is important to know how much certain items go for, so that you will know what buying price you need to stick to. You can find inventory at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales. It can be tempting to want to buy a lot of inventory when you first start, but it is better to start off slow and buy items of the highest quality.

If you are looking to explore a side business, don't overlook Etsy. Both crafters and non-crafters alike can benefit from Etsy's personable and tight-knit selling platform.

Do you sell on Etsy? Share your experience below.

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