7/30/05 | Selling Jewelry at Etsy
One of the most difficult things for the beginning jewelry designer is figuring out how to sell items online. Sure, you could just open up an Ebay account and sell items on there and many jewelry makers have been successful at that.
However, there is a huge amount of undercutting competition on Ebay… people want bargains and unless you’ve already made a name for yourself it can be tough to attract buyers unless your prices are perilously cheap.
So maybe you are interested in doing some sort of consignment. This can be tough for pricing too, because many consigners take 30-40% of the sale price. Plus, many want to see some sort of track record already and of course there are the dreaded “returns” if your items don’t sell.
Enter Etsy.com which was launched just month or so ago but already has a pretty large following. You can think of Etsy as a sort of “mini-Ebay” that lets you have your own “shop” site. Everyone gets their own shop that is customizable, along with a subdomain url (yourname.etsy.com). Here’s a screenshot of a sample shop:
They charge a $0.20 commission in order to list an item no matter the quantity or price. This is nice to be able to have the same item listed without getting hit with the listing fee again. For every sale they take a 3.5% commission fee which is pretty reasonable, in the range of a fee that is charged by credit card companies. Like Ebay they are merely a “connection” site between buyers and sellers. So it’s a buyer’s responsibility to pay and a seller’s responsibility to handle shipping, etc.