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does anyone here sell craft supplies on Etsy


Jeannie in NJ
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both of my sils make tons of money on Etsy, they both make wedding garters.  One has sold them for 3 years and last year made $90,000 but her and her dh work 12 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week and lately their adult ds has been helping them out.  My other sil has also started making and selling wedding garters and she has made $25,000 her first 6 months.  Now I am the absolute worst crafty person ever so they both suggested that I sell supplies.  I am thinking ribbon and lace but thought I would ask here for any advice if anyone here sells supplies there.  Thanks.

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Yipes!  Who knew?  

 

The question I have is how will you get the supplies at a deep enough discount to compete with the megastores?  The added value of creating something is where the money is for most of this stuff.  

 

The way you MIGHT be able to do this is if you form a particular "brand" of supplies--like "All Things Victorian" or something (or maybe multiples "brands") so that those who want to QUICK-shop could buy from a trusted supplier.  

 

Raw materials is a pretty tough business.  Think of a way to add value to them, whether it is by collecting like things or pre-cutting for specific projects.  Some people like to sew quilts but distrust their "color-eye"--they might pay for "fabric collections" to quilt with.  That kind of thing.  

 

 

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I used to have an online monogramming business (a stand alone business, not part of Etsy).  I made things and bought premade things and monogrammed them.  I used 1000s of yards of grosgrain ribbon as part of my business (think preppy - bibs, burp cloths, towels, towel wraps, tote bags, etc. all trimmed with ribbon, ribbon belts, ribbon watch bands, ribbon headbands, ad infinitum). 

 

When I closed my business I sold excess fabric and grosgrain ribbon on Etsy along with some assorted "blanks" that could be monogrammed.

 

The markup on ribbon is pretty big.  But there are lots of people selling it on Etsy.  I could sell 5 yards of ribbon for $5.00, and it actually cost me all of $1.  But I had to stock the ribbon (it comes in 100 yard rolls), photograph it, list it, store it, cut it, roll it, package it (tissue paper, little bags, envelopes all cost money), weigh it, take it to the post office to mail it, etc.  Not that any of that is hard work :lol: but it just wasn't worth it. All for a few dollars? And then Etsy gets their portion, and paypal get their portion, and people order stuff and claim you never sent it (paypal automatically sides with the buyer no matter how much proof you have that your package was delivered).

 

I don't mean to be such a downer.  I just think you have to have a huge amount of volume to make it worthwhile, and with the number of people selling on Etsy I am not sure that is all that easy to achieve.  I also think your SILs are an exception, rather than the rule.

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I don't sell craft supplies on etsy, but I buy them.  I don't know where else I could buy silk ribbon.  It's beautiful,  and $1 per yard seems like a bargain for something so nice, so I am grateful for those who sell it!

 

 

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both of my sils make tons of money on Etsy, they both make wedding garters.  One has sold them for 3 years and last year made $90,000 but her and her dh work 12 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week and lately their adult ds has been helping them out.  My other sil has also started making and selling wedding garters and she has made $25,000 her first 6 months.  Now I am the absolute worst crafty person ever so they both suggested that I sell supplies.  I am thinking ribbon and lace but thought I would ask here for any advice if anyone here sells supplies there.  Thanks.

So, leaving out the adult ds, if your SIL and her DH are working 12 hour days, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, and they end up with 90K profit between them, they're making about $15 per hour before taxes, with no benefits.  That's not a bad wage, but it's not amazing either.  I wouldn't exactly call it "tons of money".  If crafting is not your thing, you might want to compare the etsy option with other job opportunities in your area.

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actually my one sil was a stay at home mom and then when her dc were grown, she would work in craft stores.  Making crafty things is what she loves.  She is now 61 and has her shop set up in her sunroom that overlooks her beautiful back yard.  Her dh is retired so making wedding garters, flower girl baskets, ring pillows, etc is what they do.  They never thought they would be working so many hours but it is their only income now.  Sil says she is grateful that she can earn money from home. She does take weekends off so she can spend that time with her grandchildren.

 

I can not get a job outside of the home as I have to stay home with our special needs son.  He is excited to start the business with me (if we decide to do it).  We do need extra money but I need to make it from home.

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I think it's amazing (and very cool!) that your family members have been so successful on Etsy, but I agree with Terrie that they are probably the exception rather than the rule.

 

I remember a while back, I was looking through a back issue of a magazine that showed crafters and artists in their studios and in the interviews, most of them were talking about how they made most of their money through Etsy sales (and of course, they made it sound like they were quite successful.). Out of curiosity, I decided to look them up on Etsy to see what they were selling, and out of a magazine full of people, only two of them were still on Etsy. But they had seemed so successful that I started searching for them online, figuring they'd upgraded to their own websites or something, and while I did manage to find a few of them, the rest had disappeared.

 

Anyway, I don't mean to be discouraging, but I think you may want to do some similar research on craft supplies dealers who sell on Etsy to see if there's any longevity there. I also have a feeling the ones who sell at the super-low prices aren't making enough profit to make it worth all of the work involved. It's hard to make money on craft supplies unless you're the one traveling to China (or wherever you can buy the stuff for cheap prices) and importing it yourself. Otherwise, you're competing with a bazillion other sellers who are buying from the same wholesaler you're buying from, and there will always be someone who is willing to undercut your prices.

 

Also, if you're selling stuff like ribbon, you've got to sell a TON of it to make any real money, because each individual sale is for a relatively low dollar amount -- and packing and shipping is a lot of work, and can get expensive.

 

Sorry to sound discouraging.

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I do have an Etsy shop, but so far, sales total $0. Admittedly, I haven't done a thing on there since last summer, so it would probably be hard to find me, even if you knew for certain where to look. I was making beaded bracelets with words or names on them. I had a notion of doing child/infant loss bracelets gratis to a certain amount per month. But, beyond making a child loss bracelet for a friend IRL, it didn't get off the ground.

 

I still have notions of selling on Etsy, but one thing I believe hampers me is that I am not tech-savvy. I don't know how to make pretty banners and customize my shop, enhance SEO or fancy-up my blog to link my shop.

 

I do like the book "Etsy-preneurship." You might check it out.

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Some of the classes here might be interesting:  https://www.creativelive.com/craft  They also have a /business forum to help people get started running their own businesses.  I have taken a few of the photography classes and they were very good.  My photography improved a LOT.  

 

The classes are free if you can watch while they are broadcasting live.  They are 1/3 off if you buy while they are broadcasting.  

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DH and I have an Etsy shop; it supports our family and is our sole source of income.  We sell custom (handmade by us) supplies.

 

Commercial supplies would I think be more difficult; the market is crowded and there's not a lot to separate you from Hobby Lobby to start with.

 

If you do decide to give it a shot, my absolute best advice is: find a way that you are different from every other seller, and advertise that difference.  Fast turnaround?  Unique product?  Low prices?  Whatever it is, it's your selling point, and it's important.

 

You can look me up there if you like; I'm ananemone on Etsy as well.

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Oh, and (I have a to say about Etsy!  don't get me started, hehe): there are a few ways to make $ on Etsy that are easier than other ways.  Consumables is one way (soap, etc.), another is supplies, another is personalized/custom, and the last is wedding stuff.  Weddings are huge on Etsy; there's an inherent markup, Etsy (the corporation itself) pushes it pretty heavy with advertising, and there are a lot of customization options (which helps differentiate your shop from mass manufacturers).

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WHATEVER YOU DO, don't say that you will ship within 7-10 business days, define "business day" as Monday through Thursday and then get pissy when buyers object that their items are late. "Business day" has a well-defined meaning in business and in law (I am a lawyer--I know what "business day" means!), and that universally-accepted definition is not "Monday through Thursday." Also, having something boxed and ready to ship is not the same as, you know, ​actually shipping it. And also don't get all whiny because you sell a Tervis-like tumbler that is a super-cheap knockoff and then object when a buyer points out that the tumbler is nowhere near Tervis in quality. (ETA: cause my thoughts on this subject are so important, I want to clarify that I objected in my three-star review, accurately noting that the tumblers are not advertised as Tervis, but they are cheaply made, have brittle lids and do not approach Tervis in quality.)

 

I, obviously, have just had a really negative (and expensive) experience on Etsy and am done with it.

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