The dream for any aspiring Etsy entrepreneur is to be able to live off their income and quit the 9-5 day job. Etsy stores are quick to start up, and can provide income over many years, so it seems reasonable to assume its possible.
Sure, you can make a tidy second income on the side with Etsy, but is it possible to make a living from it?
In this guide we will look over the key questions you need to ask to work out if making a full-time living on Etsy is possible.
Can you make a living on Etsy?
In short – yes you can make a good full-time living from Etsy. However, not everyone does, and success isn’t a guarantee.
So what are the factors to consider if you ant to make a full-time living on Etsy?:
- how much is enough to live off?
- what is your business model?
- what other income streams do you have?
Lets look at these in a bit more detail.
How much is “enough”?
If you live like a rockstar in an expensive city, like New York or London, you’re going to have a hard time ditching the day job and transitioning over to your Etsy dream.
On the other hand, you will a much better chance of succeeding if you live a modest lifestyle in a region with cheaper rents, and lower monthly expenditure.
If you want to go to Etsy fulltime you will likely have to make cut backs to your outgoings, or live in a country with much lower costs of living.
Top earners on Etsy can earn low-to-mid 4 figures, so keep this in mind when you consider how you might approach earning a fulltime income on Etsy.
What is your Etsy business model?
Many creatives are held back from earning more because of how they plan their business.
The vast majority of Etsy stores are “One Man Bands” – as in to say, one person does everything. They write up the listings, they do the customer service, they post the items, and most importantly, they make each item.
The problem with this approach is there is a limit on how much you can make by yourself – both in the time it takes to make the item, but also how much you can make without getting burned out.
The key to scaling to a full time income is to either:
- sell very few high ticket items
- sell many small-to-medium ticket items, but with outsourced help
Selling high cost items is very hard on Etsy, as few people have either money, or the trust to spend large amounts on the site. Therefore the key to earning a larger income becomes your ability to delegate the production of items.
“Delegation” doesn’t have to mean “cheap bulk production”. This can simply be asking friends or family to get involved with your business.
You will have to pay them of course, and this will need to be accounted for in your pricing.
What other income streams do you have?
It can be very hard to make a fulltime income solely on Etsy, therefore it can be good to look at other streams of income.
Other streams can include:
- selling on social platforms
- selling at “in-person” events
- selling on your own online store
Out of the 3, selling on your own online store is the best approach to take your Etsy earnings to the next level.
Something like Shopify can be easy to set-up and can offer a sale platform that you own and control.
Is it realistic to make money on Etsy?
Yes, it is entirely realistic for anyone to make money on Etsy. If you plan your store and listings well, with scaling in mind early, you can earn $2000-$5000 a month.
It does take a lot of work, and plenty of testing to get to that point – the hard work doesn’t stop when you launch, it’s only just beginning at that point!
Making a living from Etsy is entirely possible, but it is more realistic for those with lower living costs and those who live outside of expensive cities.
Planning your store to scale from the beginning is key. Scaling is important in both the production of your items and from creating new listings.
Many sellers on Etsy earn low-to-mid 4 figure incomes per month, and more can be made if you expand into other revenue streams.