If you’re wanting to start a craft business, but you don’t have a ton of money to put into it, I can totally relate. I wanted to start my handmade shop, but I wasn’t working and I didn’t want to go into debt to start my business. My boyfriend gave me $100 to get my materials and set up my Etsy shop and I was able to start a successful Etsy shop on a budget. I want everyone to know that this is possible to start a craft business on a budget. So here’s how to start an Etsy shop with less than $100.
How much money do I need to start an Etsy shop?
To start an Etsy shop you’ll need to buy your materials to make your products, shipping and packing materials, and Etsy charges listing fees. You can start an Etsy shop for $100. A good estimation for how much money it will take to start an Etsy shop is $75 to make your example products and first products for sale, $20 for packing materials and shipping your first orders, $5 for your first transaction fees and you can get your first listings on Etsy for free with a referral link.
If you decide to make products that are expensive to make, you’ll need to budget more money for the expense of making your first products.
Is it expensive to sell on Etsy?
Etsy Listing Fees
Etsy usually charges 20 cents per listing, but if you use a referral link, you can get 40 free listings for your new Etsy shop which saves you $8 on starting your craft business. You can also get your own referral code and refer your friends to open a shop and earn 40 free listings for each person who actually opens an Etsy shop.
You will have to pay the fee each time your item sells to renew the item. So take that into account when you make a sale. When I started I would pay these fees right away after making a sale so I never had to worry about if I had the money to cover my fees later.
Also, these listings will expire after 4 months if they don’t sell. If you want to continue to have that item listed, you’ll have to renew it and pay the fee.
Other Etsy Fees
Etsy charges a transaction fee of 5% of the total purchase including shipping plus a 3% and 25 cents per transaction payment processing fee.
How start an Etsy shop on a budget
Save money by making your own logo and banners for your Etsy shop.
When you’re just starting out, you don’t need to be too fancy with all of your logos and banners for your Etsy shop. Start out by designing your own logo, shop banner, social media banners, etc. You can use a free tool like Canva to make these up quickly and easily. Just use the colors and types of fonts you want your brand to feel like. You can save a lot of money on opening your Etsy shop by making your own banners and logo in the beginning.
I include templates for your shop banners in The Etsy Shop Setup Toolkit.
Choose products you can make with the same supplies to start your Etsy shop on a budget.
If you can decide on products that are made with a lot of the same supplies and materials, it will help you keep your budget down and allow you to start your Etsy shop for under $100.
For instance, if you enjoy crocheting, you could choose to make a few different things that you could use the same colors of yarn to make. Or if you sew, choose a few different items you could make using the same fabric.
By doing this you avoid having to buy a bunch of different colors of yarn or patterns of fabric allowing you to keep your start up costs low.
If you feel lost about what products to make and sell in your handmade business or have trouble thinking up creative ideas that sell year round, this product planner will help you come up with hundreds of ideas that will sell year round (because we all want that steady income throughout the year from our craft business).
Use inexpensive materials for your products.
When I decided to open my Etsy shop, I wanted to find a material I could work with that wasn’t too expensive since I didn’t have a job or a lot of money to put into starting up my craft business. I tried to think of materials I could use that wouldn’t cost too much to buy a large quantity of so I could make several things from it. I decided on burlap, but some other good options would be yarn, felt, paper, cardstock, fabric, etc.
Choose products you can make from scratch rather than having to buy inventory to decorate, etc.
When you’re choosing a product for your Etsy business, take into consideration what you’ll need to buy in order to fulfill your orders. I have a Cricut and vinyl projects are a popular thing to make with those cutting machines. I looked at the different things I could make with vinyl, but I would have to buy things like wine glasses, tumblers, t-shirts, etc. and I just didn’t have the budget to do that. Most things I would have had to buy in bulk which would have cost too much and I would have had to store them somewhere.
What I chose to make allowed me to buy a few yards of fabric and a few other small supplies so I could make my example products to list in my shop and have a little left for my first couple of orders. This is one of the main reasons I could start my Etsy shop for under $100.
Find a few trendy or seasonal items to make that will sell fast.
If you can list a few items that are for the next upcoming holiday, season, or something that is trending at the moment, you could make some sales right away so you have money to put into making additional products with different materials to add more variety to your shop.
I have a full tutorial to help you find trending items to sell in your Etsy shop so you can get sales right away.
If you can offer different sizes or colors of the same product, do that and make separate listings for them as well as adding the options to all the listings.
By doing this you will have more listings to give you more exposure on Etsy search without having to have hundreds of products.
For example, in my shop I offer sets of placemats. In each listing I allow the buyer to choose how many placemats they want, but I can also have a separate listing for a set of 2 placemats, and another listing for a set of 4 placemats, etc. This way I can turn one product into 7 different listings instead of one listing. Using different keywords in each listing will also allow you to be found in different searches.
Take your own product photos for your Etsy shop using your smartphone
You don’t need a fancy camera or to be a photographer to take nice photos for your Etsy listings. If you have a smartphone, you can take awesome pictures of your products. It may take a little practice to get it just right, but don’t get hung up on the photography part.
My first photos were pretty horrible and I still made sales. I did just about everything wrong with my listing pictures in the beginning. Photos are important, but they aren’t everything.
Print your own business cards and inserts for your craft business.
When you’re first starting your Etsy shop, you don’t need spend extra money ordering business cards and package inserts. You can buy editable printable business cards templates and print them on cardstock and cut them out by hand. Use your logo that you created for your Etsy shop banner and add any other social links, your website, your email and whatever else you want on there.
You also want to make your product packaging super cute to wow your customers. These editable printable thank you card templates make it easy to add something special for your customers without spending a fortune. The great thing about printing your own business cards and thank you cards is that you can keep reusing the template and you don’t have to order a large quantity and sink a bunch of money in when you’re first getting started. You can still make your customers feel special without breaking the bank.
Keep a little money aside for shipping your first orders.
You’ll have to buy packing materials and pay for shipping. So you want to be sure you’ve left some of your budget available to pay for that. If you use Priority Mail, you can get free boxes from the post office. But if your items will ship by First Class Mail or by UPS or FedEx, you’ll need to buy your own boxes or envelopes.
You can use the postage calculator from the United States Postal Service to find out how much your package will cost to ship if you know the size and weight of your package.
Is it worth it to sell on Etsy?
It is so worth it to sell on Etsy! Etsy is a great place for beginner craft business owners to start. Once you’ve been selling on there for a while you may want to expand to other platforms or your own website, but getting started with an Etsy shop was the best thing I did. There are plenty of customers on Etsy to get traffic and sales in the beginning, but not so much that you’ll be overwhelmed when you’re still trying to figure out how to run your business.
Is it hard to sell on Etsy?
Etsy is really simple to use making it perfect if you’re a newbie to selling crafts online. Some people find it difficult to get traffic and sales on Etsy, but it really comes down to finding what sells the most on Etsy that people want to buy. Don’t be discouraged by that. If you do the work to find best selling and trending items to sell in your shop, it’s not hard at all to sell on Etsy. Plus I’ve got your back and I’m always here to help!
Can you actually make money on Etsy?
Making money on Etsy is simple, but you have to choose the right items to sell and price them in a way that allows you to make money. Don’t undervalue yourself and your time. Be sure to figure out how much you want to make per hour and the cost of your materials before you set the prices for your items. Etsy wants you to make money because when you make money so do they. If you have products that people are buying, they’ll continue to send you traffic so you make more sales and more money.
How much does the average person make on Etsy?
It’s hard to say how much the average person makes on Etsy because I think anyone who has the motivation to start their own business online and make it successful is far from average. I’m guessing you wouldn’t consider yourself average if you’re here reading this. With that being said, if you have the right products, you can make a full-time income on Etsy and replace your day job. You just have to have the mindset to keep going even when it’s tough.
Most people who succeed on Etsy didn’t have overnight success. You have to remember that building a business takes time, but you can speed up the amount of time by having the right products and pricing for your products (and this doesn’t mean cheap prices).
I hope these tips for how to start an Etsy shop for under $100 have been helpful and you’re feeling like you can go ahead and get your craft business started even if you’re on a tight budget. It’s completely possible and I can’t wait to see your new shop!
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