When I first started on Etsy at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I had no idea how much it would energize me. And yes, that is even as a side-hustle, when I was still far too busy in my corporate job.
Now, I spend too much time giving unsolicited advice to friends about why they need to start an Etsy side hustle, too!
If you have been thinking about a side hustle on Etsy but needed that one extra push to make the leap, I hope this list motivates you. Here are 15 reasons and counting that you should start an Etsy shop today.
- Speed to launch
Etsy just may be the fastest possible way to launch a store. It can literally be done in a single day. The tech is already set up, the customers are already waiting and searching, and you technically don't even need any inventory ready until your first sale and shipment is due.
- Low cost to launch
The only money you need to “save up” to invest in your Etsy shop launch is $0.20 per listing. So if you had a large 50 item inventory to sell on day one, that's only $10 to have your own shop up and running. Even better? You can find a link like mine from one seller to another that gives you your first 40 listings free!
- Trusted marketplace by both buyers and sellers
There is already security in place on Etsy. Yes, that includes the cyber security and protection of payment and bank account info. It also includes the checks and balances Etsy has in place to make sure buyers receive their items and sellers don't get scammed. If you started your own website to sell from, there would be several layers of security and encryption you would need, and even then some buyers might be skeptical as an unknown website. Opening an Etsy shop circumvents all of those concerns.
- Ready audience filled with your ideal customers
Customers shopping on Etsy are specially looking for unique, custom or vintage. They know the products are handmade and therefore come with one-of-a-kind imperfections. These buyers understand shipping time is not free two-day shipping as we may have become accustomed to from Amazon.
- More buyers than sellers
Worried that Etsy is already a crowded seller marketplace? It's true that there are millions of sellers on Etsy, and it has only continued to grow. In fact, according to Statista, Etsy had roughly 7.5 million sellers in 2021. That was a huge increase over the 4.4 million active sellers the prior year. But before you get intimidated by those numbers, compare them to number of buyers. The same report calculated almost 96 million global active buyers on Etsy in the same year. That's almost 13 customers for every one seller out there! You can certainly still cut yourself a piece of that pie.
- Easy product testing and market confirmation
The ability to test an idea by listing it on Etsy before it is made is a big advantage for sellers. Being able to photograph an item and list it in several other colors or designs lets your customers have plenty of options, without you as the seller having to pay or fight for more shelf space at a retail location. There are also several existing successful sellers that have already proven what works. So as a new seller, while you would never want to copy, you already have a roadmap to exactly what works and what sells.
- All in one tech with analytics and sales integrations
In the same way Etsy already has easy product testing and market research at your fingertips, it also has all of the data analytics you need as a new seller trying to understand what works for you. There is no need to set up Google analytics and Monster Insights and the other popular tech you hear about for WordPress and Shopify stores. Use the data as much or as little as you want while you get accustomed to it, but you are not missing out on months of data collecting from day one because you didn't know about adding code to your personal website.
- Pay for your hobby/make extra money
If you have an artistic or creative hobby, you know how quickly the supply costs add up. One way I liked to think about my first Etsy shop was as a simple way to pay for my inventory. For instance, I love my Cricut cutting machine. I can get a little overboard collecting every fun, flashy vinyl I come across. Quickly, I realized that by selling just one personalized tumbler on Etsy, the profit paid for the entire roll of vinyl I bought to make it!
- Diversify income streams
One of my tenets of life is to never rely on just one source of income. Corporations can reshuffle the deck and make massive layoffs at any time.
Any opportunity you can take to set yourself up with options, you should. Even if Etsy is the smallest part of your income and can barely pay for a meal today, you know it's there tomorrow, ready to be ramped up should you need it.
- No firm time commitment or schedule
Flexible hours? Yes please. Becoming an Etsy seller can be as much or as little as a time commitment as you want. Only want to work one hour on weekends? Done. Need to work in 15 minute increments at the oddest hours of the week? Done. Only want to have an Etsy shop for 6 months before your baby is due? Done.
- Add it to your resume
It might sound crazy, but have you thought about adding your Etsy shop to your resume? Whether it could be used to fill time gaps between jobs or a supplementary work reference, it counts! There are no rules saying you are only a business owner if it's a 7-figure company. Hesitant about advertising “Etsy shop” as work experience? Think about other ways to broadcast your skills. You're also an online boutique owner or e-commerce merchandiser. Legit, right? Give yourself credit where it is due!
- Build a business for future potential to achieve your dream lifestyle and leave your 9 to 5
Just as there are no formal set hours and no permanent long term commitment, there's the potential to make something bigger. If you dream about the FIRE lifestyle or flexible lifestyle design, Etsy is a perfect place to get started. Work in small pieces while you can, and build your own business so one day you can leave the 9-5 desk job and permanently work for yourself.
- Community of like minded sellers
Sometimes any new activity opens doors to new networks and communities of friends you haven't met yet.
This one needs no explanation, right?!
- Nothing to lose
And finally reason number 15… you have nothing to lose! Why NOT start an Etsy shop? Think you can't even spare $8 to list your first 40 items? Use my link to open your shop and even those will be free.
No excuses! Start that shop and then tell us about it in the comments below!