Last year, Etsy sold $180.6 million-worth of goods. The Brooklyn-based team behind this online marketplace for handmade crafts is helping many sellers profit handsomely by offering them a platform to sell their merchandise. Some aspiring entrepreneurs have even quit their day jobs to pursue their Etsy "store" as a career.
Mu-Yin Mollie Chen began selling her hand-crafted jewelry pieces on eBay in 2006 as a hobby. She worked full time as a piano instructor in Indianapolis, traveling to clients' homes for private lessons. Running her eBay store in her free time, Chen would sell pieces here and there, without much consistency from week to week. Though she was satisfied with how things were going, a fellow artist she met on eBay suggested she start an Etsy shop.
"I went on the site, checked it out, and two months later I opened Muyinmolly [my Etsy store]," Chen said. "I made my first sale within 24 hours, was profitable after a month, and selling triple what I had been selling on eBay." Shortly after, Chen decided to close her eBay store.
Once business took off, Chen decided to leave her job as a piano instructor, and pursue her jewelry store on Etsy full time. So far, she's sold almost 4,500 of her pieces, which range in price from $2 to $250, to people in over 30 countries.
In April 2010, the number of items sold on Etsy totaled 1.3 million, and the statistics have been increasing exponentially since its inception in 2005. Though Chen and other profitable Etsy sellers believe the site isn't for everyone, they offered these tips to help you boost both visibility and number of sales on the popular website.
How to Make Money on Etsy: Be Different
Etsy currently boasts 400,000 active sellers, which they define as individuals who have sold goods on the site within the past year. With such a high volume of goods for buyers to choose from, it's crucial that the product is high quality and most importantly, unique.
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