Guest Post: Successfully selling on Etsy

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photo from BlingSlings

Guest Post by Marie Cluff, owner of BlingSlings

As a mom of a one-year-old boy, I had to make the tough
decision of whether to stay at home or work. My husband is currently in
school right now, and our budget is extremely tight. I felt the need to
help my family, but just couldn’t imagine being away from my son so I
knew the best solution was for me to find something I could do from home.

I started
making baby slings about a year ago, giving them as gifts for baby
showers. I decided that selling them would be the perfect way to make
some money and still be able to stay at home! I had come across Etsy
before and loved all the homemade products that are sold there, so I started my own shop there, BlingSlings.

Etsy is a site where you can buy and
sell homemade items. You can easily create your own store for free! It
costs 20 cents to list an item and then there’s 3.5% sales fee when you
sell an item. It is considerably cheaper than eBay and I also think it’s much
“prettier”.

I found it very easy to get started with Etsy. You just go to etsy.com and in
the top right hand corner you can register. It is very self-explanatory
and has a guided process you go through. They also have great help page which answers any questions you might have and gives excellent tips!

Etsy is the perfect way for an artsy-crafty person to make money. However,
it is by no means easy
  money; you have to work hard getting your name
out there and making quality products that people want to buy.

Just
because you think your product is great doesn’t mean others will. Some
of my very favorite slings which I assumed would sell out instantly, didn’t
sell at all. I found it helpful to look up other products similar to mine and see how
they have sold. This is a good way to decide whether you have a market for
your product or not.
You also have to remember that you may not sell your
stuff right away. I have already sold quite a few products, but it took
some time for people to “find me”. I am constantly advertising my
shop by:

  • Handing out business cards
  • Making fliers and posting them wherever I can
  • Networking on MySpace and other internet sites
  • Relisting my products on Etsy regularly
  • Giving my slings as gifts for family, with business cards
  • Posting often about my store on my blog

Etsy is a great starting place for selling your handmade products and it is a
wonderful way to make money from home doing something you enjoy.
I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have if you are interested in trying your hand at Etsy. Just email me: blingslings @ hotmail.com (remove spaces).

Marie is a mother to one cute little boy and wife of three years to an amazing husband. In addition to running BlingSlings, she writes a family blog.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hello Marie!

    Thank you for sharing you Etsy tips. I am all for women finding ways to earn a little from home. It is so exciting to see women fired up about not having to enter the workforce to contribute to the household income!!

    While I’m not all that creative, I really love looking at all the beautiful handmade offerings available on Etsy.

    Take Care,

    Trixie
    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/

  2. says

    Those are gorgeous slings! And thanks for the tips. I’ve been selling on Etsy for over a year now, and it’s been such a wonderful venue. I absolutely *love* both selling and buying on there!

    (You can check out my shop via the link on my blog)

  3. says

    Good for you! Like you, I am feeling the sting of a one income family. I have 2 boys and am currently on Maternity Leave with my second while my husband tries to make his own small business work. I would love the chance to stay home with them when my Maternity Leave is up and applaud you for going after what you want so wholeheartedly!

  4. says

    Those are awesome slings! Love them! And thanks for the tips. I’ve been selling on Etsy for over a year now, with over 130 sales. I agree, with lots of promoting both on and off the computer. Also, frequent listing and just having lots of things to chose from. I definitely notice an increase of sales when my shop is full vs. when I only have a few things available.

    (You can check out my Etsy shop via the link in my blog!)

  5. says

    Thanks so much for the tips! I’ve ventured into the etsy waters…if you need a unique hand-made paper/decor type gift check out my store via the link on my blog! Thanks. :) (didn’t know if it was appropriate to link directly to my store from here!)

  6. says

    Hi. I had a question about selling items…I had looked into selling handmade slings awhile back, but finally decided against it for the liability. Do you have liability insurance on the items you make? If someone were to sue you for injuring themselves or their baby while using one of your slings, how would you protect your family’s assets? Does Etsy address this issue at all? Thanks!

  7. says

    This is a particularly timely post for me! My mom and I launched her Etsy shop about a month ago. I am doing the computer end of things and have been adding items a few at a time. After reading this post, I added her shop’s link to my blog and ordered her some business cards to hand out at a craft show she participates in. Etsy really has some fabulous items. Thanks for the information and check out her shop for handmade fabric crafts!