Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Can You (Still) Make a Full-Time Living on Etsy?

I have a confession to make: etsy, I’ve been ignoring you.

While back in the day (2008-2012) etsy was most of my income, ever since they started offering instant digital downloads two years ago, I’ve put the shop on auto-pilot. I average $250-$300 per month in digital sales, which isn’t too bad considering I do almost nothing to keep the shop updated (most of my income these days comes from licensing and wholesale printed collage sheets).

I also seem to have lost faith that etsy is still a viable income source for small-time designers, even asking back in May “Is Etsy Dead?”

In talking with other full-time sellers, their experience seems to be a mixed bag. While most had their best etsy year in 2012, and all have opened their own shopify stores as back-ups, there are still plenty who have stemmed the tide, who have made all the crazy changes (titles, tags, photos) necessary to keep relevant in a sea of mass-produced goods.

So I’m curious: now that both my boys are in school and I have a bit more time, can I bring my etsy shop back from the grave? Is etsy still a viable option to make a full-time living?

Because I know I do well with 100-day challenges, I’ve decided to spend the next three months and totally re-vamp the etsy shop. I’m going back to the basics: new product images, better item descriptions, re-doing tags and titles, growing two specific social outlets (Facebook and Instagram) and most excitingly: lots of new collage sheets. I currently have 386 items in stock and would love to have 700-1000 by day 100. I also have a very ambitious financial goal: from $7-10/day to $70-100/day by the beginning of March. Gulp.

And because I’m the type of person who loves and is inspired by seeing hard numbers, I’ll post here every day to share my daily sales, stats, and goals with the hope that it can inspire (or perhaps warn) others. Here we go:

Day 1 (December 1st)
Etsy sales: $3.96
Etsy Views: 184
Total Etsy Items: 386
Updated Etsy Items: 0/386
Facebook Likes: 318
Instagram Followers: 496

I’d be curious to hear how etsy is doing for others. Do you think etsy is still a good option? Is there anything you’ve done or noticed that works (or doesn’t)? I feel like I’m starting all over, which is in many ways very exciting. Thanks for coming on this journey with me.


Joanna said...

2012 was my best year on Etsy. Etsy has definitely gotten harder and I would love it if my sales got back to where they were in 2012. I keep going back and forth over my feelings about etsy. Is etsy dead or is it me and my items? Sometimes I feel like I am hitting my head against a brick wall.

I think I may start a 100 day challenge with my etsy shop in the new year. I'll continue to follow you on your journey.

piddix said...

YES! Joanna. That's exactly how I feel sometimes. Is it me? Is it etsy? It's hard to know. I'm looking for some concrete numbers and trends on my end to see if it's even worth it. I hope in 100 days I'll have at least some answers.

Eleanor said...

I have to say 2015 has been my best ever year on Etsy, hands down. I still and have always had my own shop, but am kind of an Etsy loyalist. In any case, once I figured them out (and wasted a lot of money first) the pay per click ads have been amazing - and a big part of this years leap. I'm too intimated by Google ads to have had any real success, but like all things on Etsy, the ads are very easy to set up and figure out.

piddix said...

Thank you Eleanor! So good to know it's not everywhere on etsy, and that there's still ways to make it work. Will try to play around with my ads a bit more, too. Great to know!