Since the complete loss of this year’s art show and convention season, with the exception of a few squeezed in before March, all of my sales this year have been online. And nearly all of those sales have been through Etsy.
I’ve been an Etsy user since the early days in 2009, when the platform was still fairly new. Back then I had a little shop where I sold vintage bits and baubles; mostly jewelry and accessories that I’d find in thrift stores or garage sales for dirt cheap, clean up, and then sell for a small profit. I wasn’t even making enough money to consider it a side hustle. I just enjoyed it.
These days, Etsy is my main connection to the folks who normally would have visited my booth at a convention, street festival, or art show. I direct much of the traffic to my Etsy store through social media, though some people come across my shop while browsing the seemingly endless sea of wares that Etsy has to offer. And that is one of the strengths of the platform. There are items for every taste out there, and someone could stumble across your shop fairly easily, if they are browsing for things that share a commonality.
Now, I also sell my prints on various print on demand platforms, such as Redbubble, but I don’t tend to advertise those shops. In fact, if someone wanted to purchase a print from me, I would honestly tell them not to buy from those other sites, and redirect them to my Etsy shop instead. This is because a customer could buy an 8×10 inch print from a print on demand store, and they would pay a fair price for it, but I would only receive a dollar or two in profit from that sale. Meanwhile, in my Etsy shop, I can sell them the same print for a similar price, and the majority of that money will go back into my pockets.
However, there are still costs involved in selling this way, and that’s what I’m going to break down in this post. For my example, I’m going to be focusing on a simple 8×10 inch paper print, since that is what I currently offer in my shop. So, lets start from the beginning.