Call me materialistic (or perhaps practical), but whenever I start researching a new online venture, one of the first things I want to know is "How much money will I make?" It helps me determine whether the new site -- say istock photo -- is worth some of my interest and time. And if so, what are realistic goals to set for attention spent, income potential, and growth. And frankly, I can never find the answer.
So without further ado, here are some completely reliable and some completely guessed-at etsy stats.
If you are relatively new to etsy and have a nice, but somewhat common product (such as wire-wrapped earrings) with decent but not great photographs and spend 10-15 hours per week on your shop, you annual gross income from etsy will be:
Yep, that's all. And that's before expenses. It's less than $1 per hour, and you'd make more money weatherizing your house or cutting out an extra latte here and there.
But wait, if you instead have a somewhat unique item, with great photographs and spend more than 20 hours per week, you could make up to:
$3618.13 per year
Which really isn't too bad, but again, there are much easier ways to make money. Like having a couple of great garage sales or clipping a whole lot of coupons.
Okay, okay, but what if you get really, really lucky, have a completely amazing product, work 80-100 hours per week and become one of the top etsy sellers? Can you really Quit Your Day Job and support your whole family?
Last year, the top three handmade sellers on etsy each grossed around $100,000. Several supply shops probably did even better. But after that, it drops off pretty quickly, with most other sellers in the top 100 making closer to $10,000. With about 90,000 active etsy sellers (according to a recent etsy talk), your odds of making $10,000 per year are better than winning $10,000 through the PowerBall, though not by a ton.
So if you're not in it for the money, why in the world would anyone want to sell on etsy? Quite frankly, it's fun. It's a community of other creative women. It's flexible--and can be done from home, as a second "job," or while little ones nap. People will pay you for your arts and crafts, which is greatly rewarding. And even a smallish amount of additional income can sometimes make a big difference. Plus, in addition to direct income, your etsy shop can help bring recognition to your goods outside of etsy, such as wholesale accounts and blog mentions.
There's been quite a bit of talk lately about whether etsy is a "female ghetto," or promoting a false sense of hope of the ability to make a living from crafts. I find that most of these articles are filled with inaccuracies and generalizations. At the same time, I think it's important to have realistic goals of what etsy specifically can do for you. Piddix is currently #6 in sales in the handmade category, and while honestly I could make significantly more money in less time at a "day job," I wouldn't trade it in. In no way is etsy a way to get rich quick, but with way too much work and hopefully an equal amount of fun, it can definitely be a way to supplement an income by doing something you find rewarding.