Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lets talk about setting up shop! How to actually make a profit! Do sales on Etsy work?

Ok, so you have a product and now you want to set up shop! where to go? We have talked about the cost of selling, and it is getting tougher and tougher. Over this past weekend, I held a 10% sale on some of my products. Well, if I sell a bar of soap for 1.50, then 10% off- then set the shipping at 1.45 (which it turned out the bar was 5 ounces and because it was being shipped to the other side of the country, shipping was 1.76) then etsy takes it's cut, pay pal takes it's cut, and don't forget the .20 listing fee at etsy... I ended up losing money! How many times has this happened to you? I literally paid someone to use my soap! That is crazy.

But, what are the choices? Everyone wants a cut, and you have to use pay pal unless you are going to hold products and wait for checks to clear (word of advice- Never send the product until you know the check has cleared! I have been down that road a time or two!).

I did not even factor in the time when I calculated all the above...and that is enourmous when you have a four year old, work full time, and go to school! For me, every second counts (and counts big!).

Well, I have to step back and look at this in a positivie way- It's not really a loss! The people I sold to this weekend will hopefully come back again and again. So, the first thing I did was add their email addresses and home addresses to my customer list for future flyers.

To adjust the shipping error, I went into my etsy shop and did a batch edit. I think to even it out the best way to handle the situation is to add .10 to all shipping orders. Then in the future if I have to pay a little for shipping it will even out with the shipping costs that I was over a little on estimating. Make sense?

Now, there is really nothing I can do about the cut that pay pal takes. I am stuck with that. But, I can utilize all the services they have to offer so as to make that cut not so bad. One of the greatest resources on pay pal is the shipping. You can print your shipping labels directly from pay pal. For me, this is great. I leave for work before the post office opens, and get off after they are closed. With the ability to pay and print from home, I can have my car loaded with my packages and ship at 5am if I need to. You can also schedule a pick up from your home. so, that is one benefit. A second benefit is you know your money is secure. Pay pal tracks all your transactions, and if there is anything funny on your account, they let you know. That is peace of mind for me.

As for the Etsy fees, I really don't see how you can get those back without passing them on to the customer- which I do not want to do. However, I have to be positive and look at it like this: for the items like my soap, .20 is a cut- but for my bigger ticket items such as my jewelry, hats, scarves and more- it really is not that much of a cut. Materials for my bath and body line are costly, but for my other items, the materials are relatively low (they are just enormously time consuming)- so view it as yin and yang. One balances out the other.

However, there are a lot of other options out there besides etsy that you may not know about. So, lets spend some time over the next few weeks exploring these. I would like to introduce you to the Fuzz B next week, and the great marketplaces I have found there. But, before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to make sure I know where all the "bugs" are!

So, come back next week and lets start exploring the selling venues and marketplaces!

For more tips, ideas, etc on selling visit

Do you have an etsy story to share? Ideas how to increase your profits? Share them here! Post a link back to your blog, site, etc and increase your traffic, too!

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