Sites Like Etsy: 20 Handmade Marketplaces that Sell Crafts

sites like etsy


When many people think of handmade marketplaces, one name comes to mind, ETSY!  Although Etsy is definitely the leader in terms of the size of handmade marketplaces, there are other options where you can buy or sell handmade goods or crafts.  I have had several shop owners  and handmade customers contact me and ask me about alternatives to Etsy.  Not all of the owners were beginners, several of them already had fairly successful businesses.  Some handmade shop owners like to operate and sell their products on multiple marketplaces in order to maximize exposure.  Others might have had some sort of difficulty with Etsy and simply want another option.  Handmade customers were primarily asking because they wanted other places to shop for unique items.  No matter what the reason is, I completed some research and made this list of sites like Etsy.  Although this list is not exhaustive, it does list all of the current major handmade marketplaces where you can sell crafts. Continue reading “Sites Like Etsy: 20 Handmade Marketplaces that Sell Crafts”

Etsy Listing Renewal for SEO

etsy listing renewal seo


Etsy shop owners are constantly looking for ways to improve SEO and increase sales.  I will be including many methods that I have personally used to improve SEO.  This post is dedicated to Etsy Listing Renewal for SEO.  This is one of the cheapest and easiest methods to improve SEO.

Etsy is similar to any other search engine.  It uses an algorithm to determine what order products appear in search results.  This algorithm can change at any time, and Etsy is constantly improving their website to improve the user experience.  Even if the algorithm does change, I m confident that this technique will continue to impact your shop’s SEO in a positive way. Continue reading “Etsy Listing Renewal for SEO”

Make Your Handmade Business Thrive: The Top 5 Tips to Ensure Success

make handmade business thrive

Make Your Handmade Business Thrive: Intro

Congratulations, it looks like you have decided to open a handmade business!  I’m so happy I made the decision to open my first handmade business ~ 4 years ago, but it didn’t actually open for business until March 2014.  The primary reason I created this website was to make a community to help spread knowledge related to handmade businesses.  This post is very important and can be very useful to make your handmade business thrive.  For years, I have watched many handmade companies come and go, and very few of them are able to thrive.  There are several reasons that handmade shops fail, but this post focuses on the reasons that they thrive.

I conducted interviews with several leading handmade shops, and I combined their information with my own experiences to make this list of the Top 5 ways to help your handmade shop thrive.  I chose to include 5 tips because I wanted to discuss each on in extreme detail.

Unbiased & Independent Information

All of the advice contained in the MHH community and this post is independent and unbiased.  I do not own stock in any handmade marketplaces, and I specifically sold my Etsy stock prior to creating this website.  I wanted to make sure that I had no reason to appear to offer information for my own personal gain.  My personal reputation is on the line, and I promise to always remain trustworthy.

Make Your Handmade Business Thrive: Top 10 Tip

make handmade company succeeed

Choose the Correct Marketplace

One of the first steps you can take to ensure your company’s success is to choose the correct marketplace to sell you handmade products.  You can sell your products locally, but I suggest selling your products online to gain the most exposure.  When you are starting out, it is best to use an existing marketplace, rather than spending a majority of your time learning how to create your own website.  Trust me, it took me months of research before I was able to create this website, and I am still learning.

Several online marketplaces sell handmade products, but I suggest choosing one.  Right now, there are two main marketplaces that sell handmade goods, Handmade at Amazon and Etsy.  The My Handmade Hub community contains information for both of these marketplaces, but I currently suggest choosing Etsy for several reasons.  The main reasons include Etsy’s ease of use, relatively cheap fees, and great track record selling handmade goods.  Etsy has been around much longer than Handmade at Amazon, and Etsy focuses online on selling handmade goods.  If you need more details, you can read my detailed list of Reasons to Sell on Etsy.

Learn How to Open an Etsy Shop

Create a Great Brand Identity & Company Name

Many people make the mistake of rushing through the early steps of creating a business.  They do this because they want to start making money as soon as possible.  Starting a business is like building a house, and you need to ensure your house has a firm foundation.  Creating an appropriate brand identity is very important, and it will help make future decisions even easier.  Once you create a brand identity, make sure that you stick to it.  Consider the general characteristics of the customers you want to serve, and construct your brand identity accordingly.  This starts with your shop name.  As I stated earlier, the other aspects of your handmade business should follow your brand identity.  These categories include products, pictures, marketing, packaging & shipping, etc.

I have written the Ultimate Guide for Creating an Etsy Shop Name, if you need help brainstorming your shop name.

Differentiate by Using Amazing Packaging

Packaging seems like it should be pretty easy, until you start having orders pouring in and have to ship products all around the country (or the world!).  It becomes  huge headache, and many business owners start cutting corners to get through the process quickly.  This is another area where you can differentiate yourself if you spend a little extra time and money.  If you are worried about cutting into your profit, don’t be!  The demand for your products will increase so much, you will end up increasing profits.  One of my favorite practices is letting the customers know how much I appreciate them.  A hand-written Thank You note goes a long way (trust me, do it).  Another way to differentiate yourself is to throw in a small free token of appreciation.  This small gift should be related to the product you are shipping.  I suggest purchasing these small items in bulk from other handmade business owners.  You can also make the items yourself.  Always include at least one business card to help customers spread the word.  Don’t forget the obvious packaging advice.  Use high-quality bubble wrap or foam so items don’t get damaged during shipping.  Choose strong boxes, and don’t smash your products trying to make them fit in a small package.

I totally underestimated the importance of packaging and shipping when I first started out.  I was so focused on sales, that I didn’t even make sure that I had the correct package sizes to ship my large products.  My first customer ordered a large wine rack, and I had a terrible time trying to find a box to put it in.  I ended up barely breaking even because of the shipping costs.  Everyone makes mistakes, and I will never let anything like that happen again.

Network with Other Business Owners

Most new handmade business owners are surprise to find the amount of support experienced owners offer.  This community is a perfect example.  Take the time to engage other owners through this community, Etsy Teams, or contact them directly through their shop.  We can help lift everyone up and help everyone grow instead of focusing on competing.

Learn About Search Engine Optimization 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t get the love or attention it deserves.  SEO focuses on making your business and product pages rank high in search results.  Each search engine uses its own algorithms to decide what order the results appear in.  This means that Google, Etsy, Amazon, and other search engines all have different rules to learn.  This can be a complex subject, but it can make a big impact on your handmade business.  At least make sure that you provide good product names, detailed product descriptions, and tag products appropriately.  Taking the time to master SEO can definitely make your handmade business thrive.

Master Social Media for Marketing

Social media is booming and becoming one of the most important factors in determining any company’s success.  Very few people know how to use social media correctly.  This is one area where your natural instincts are most likely going to lead you astray.  You can dominate your product niche by learning the best practices of social networking.  There are four main social media platforms that deserve your attention.  These important platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Make sure that you are at least taking advantage of these four, and keep paying attention to social networking trends.  I decided to read a book on the subject since I was lacking in my social media knowledge.  I loved the book and learned a lot.  I actually rented it from the library at first, but I ended up purchasing it.  I wanted to be able to reference the specific guidelines and examples in the future.  I provided the Amazon link below, in case you are interested:

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

I don’t personally know the author, but I feel very comfortable recommending this book due to the quality information included.

Go Above & Beyond with Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is the most important factor in any business succeeding.  Almost everyone knows how important customer service is, but many people thrive in this area.  Customer service is a broad category that contains many different parts of your business.  Providing great customer service starts before the first sale.  You want your customers to feel your passion to serve them when they first interact with your shop, which usually takes place online.  Providing great customer service doesn’t end when you make the sale.  You need to follow up with your customers after the sale to make sure that they are extremely happy.  Happy customers will spread the word to their friends.  This allows your sales to grow very quickly.

I provided great customer service from the beginning of my handmade business.  I noticed that my sales were increasingly rapidly in certain cities, and I discovered this was due to word-of-mouth advertising.  Make sure to put your customer’s satisfaction above everything else, and your shop will grow very rapidly.

Make Your Handmade Business Thrive: Conclusion

There are hundreds of ways to make your handmade businesses thrive.  I have analyzed the responses from successful business owners to create this list of the Top 5 tips.  Hopefully you can use some of the tips used in this post to get your handmade business started correctly or to take your business to the next level.

Let’s keep growing together!


Make Your Handmade Business Thrive: Comments

Are you an experienced handmade business owner that knows other important success tips?  Please share your information and personal experiences below.  Your tips on how you make your handmade business thrive can help us all!

Increase Etsy Shop Success: The Ultimate Guide (Top 10 List)

etsy shop success

Etsy Shop Success: Intro

I researched Etsy for two years before I opened my first handmade shop in March 2014.  In the past six years, I have seen a majority of the handmade shops fail to live up to their potential.  I decided to split my observations into two detailed post.  The first post I made details the Top Reasons Etsy Shops Fail & How to Avoid Mistakes.  This is the second post, which will analyze the factors that can help ensure Etsy shop success.  The two posts do overlap in some areas, but they provide different perspectives and details.  My shop grew rapidly with a mixture of luck and hard work.  I’ll share some personal experiences in this post as well.

In addition to my individual research, I asked several of the top Etsy sellers what factors helped lead to their Etsy shop success.  Almost all of the shops had the same or similar responses.

Why I suggest Etsy

I suggest new handmade business owners open their shops on Etsy for several reasons.  Etsy is known for selling handmade goods and their fees are low for the great service that they provide.  You can read my entire explanation Why Etsy is a Great Place for Handmade Shop Owners for further details.  As you company grows, it may become a good idea to branch out and create your own website to sell products.  I do not own any Etsy stock, and my reviews and analysis are unbiased.

 Ways to Ensure Etsy Shop Success: The Top 10 List

etsy succeed success

These factors and tips for Etsy shop success are in no particular order.  I tried to put them in chronological order, and this resulted in some of the most important factors to be listed towards the bottom.  Make sure you read each factor and tip, so you can put them in your own order.

Organization, Schedules, & Due Dates

This is one of the first tips that you can follow to get your shop started off correctly.  I like to describe owning your own business as organized chaos.  You need to make sure that it is organized or else you end up with just chaos!  It is much easier to start good organizational habits at the beginning rather than waiting until you are busy dealing with customers and taking orders.  When you are first building your company and presence online, you need to set due dates and follow through.  This helps ensure you actually get jobs finished, and you don’t put them on a shelf and never finish them.  Most people that have business ideas never set a due date, and they never get the business started.  Getting a project done is better than making it perfect, and this is especially true when you are starting out.  You still want to make sure that everything is finished well, but you don’t need to take a ton of time to make it perfect.

You will need a way to take notes, and I suggest using your smart phone.  I get ideas all the time, and having a way to write them down immediately is a huge advantage.  You can also use your phone to record your voice.  Play to your strengths and organize your thoughts in a way that works for you.

Smartphones make organization and schedule maintenance much easier.  You can enter your schedule into your phone’s calendar and include due dates.  Use technology to your advantage.  Here is a good post on an outside website that explain How to Use Organization Apps to help your business thrive.

Establish a Brand Identity

Another tip that you can follow early on is to create a brand identity and stick to it. Think about what type of customers you would like to attract, and create a brand that speaks to them.  This starts with your shop name.  Read my Detailed Guide to Creating a Great Shop Name for further information.  Make sure every aspect of your shop follows this brand identity including: products, pictures, marketing, packaging & shipping, etc.

Find a Great Product & Category Niche

Some shops fail even though their owners work hard and follow a majority of the tips on this website, and this is usually because they don’t follow this very important tip.  You need to pick a product and category niche that you can succeed in.  If you pick some obscure product that shoppers will never want to buy, it doesn’t matter how many of the other tips you follow.

Establish Trust

It is very important to establish trust in your company and products.  Early on, you can offer 100% refunds if people aren’t satisfied with their purchase.  Many shop owners shy away from this practice because  they fear that people will abuse this policy.  I implemented this policy in my shop, and it took several months before someone asked for a refund.  I suggest offering a full refund to help give people peace of mind.  As long as you are selling quality products, refund requests will be few and far between.

Another way to establish trust is to make sure that you make accurate and detailed item descriptions.  It is also very important to follow through with your stated shipping times and delivery dates.  The shipping companies are known to mess up when it really matters, so make sure to have 1-2 buffer days.  Remember, it is better to under-promise and over-deliver than to do the opposite.  Shipping a product late is an easy way to make people angry and motivate them to leave a bad review.  Avoid this at all costs.


This is a huge topic and can be very complicated, but it definitely helps ensure Etsy shop success.  If you are operating online, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with search engine optimization.  Etsy has its own rules, and I am in the process of completing a full post detailing SEO best practices for Etsy.  For now, just make sure that you provide good product names, detailed product descriptions, and tag products appropriately.

Advertising & Marketing

A good way to increase sales rapidly is to take advantage of advertising and marketing.  You don’t necessarily have to pay for advertising to accomplish this growth.  I have mastered a free technique that I will be sharing in the future.  For now, make sure to utilize social media, especially “The Big 4.”  These important social media sites include: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I just finished reading an excellent book detailing how to use social media to expand your business.  I provided the Amazon link below:

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World



You want your shop to appear professional, and an easy way to accomplish this is to use great pictures.  You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take great pictures.  Make sure the product pictures are focused and that there is enough light.  If you follow those two main rules, you’ll be better than 75% of the shops out there.  You can even use your smart phone to take great pictures, which is a lot easier than it used to be.  If you have a professional photographer in your family or group of friends, take advantage of their knowledge!


Even if you read and followed every bit of advice for setting up and operating a successful Etsy shop, you are still going to have problems that arise.  The key is to solve each problem or issue to the best of your ability, and to keep moving forward.  Don’t let little issues become bigger problems, knock them out as soon as possible.  If a large problem presents itself that you feel you can’t solve yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Follow the tips listed in the next section to reach out to other shop owners.  You can even ask friends and family for help, even if they don’t own a business.  It is valuable to get advice from someone with a different perspective.  Often times, problems aren’t as large as they first appear.  Keep fighting and keep growing!

Interact & Network

This factor is mentioned over and over again, but it is for a good reason.  Interacting and networking with other business owners is very important, especially for new shops.  Engage with other handmade business owners and ask them questions.  Their knowledge and insight can help you avoid making costly mistakes and keep your shop on the right track.  That is one of the main reasons I created this website.  I want this to be community for me to provide information to handmade business owners, and I also want community members to interact with each other.  A good place to interact is via the Comments section at the bottom of each post, or you can post on our Facebook Page.  This is a great way to differentiate yourself from other handmade shops.  Most owners do not take the time to network properly.  Take advantage of their inaction and help your shop thrive.

A good place to interact with other sellers on Etsy is by using Etsy Teams.  You can join different teams that are relevant to you and your shop.

Customer Service

The most important factor in creating and maintaining a successful Etsy Shop is to provide excellent customer service.  This is a large umbrella that encompasses different categories.  The entire customer experience must be analyzed, from their first interactions with you and your company to product support and follow-up after the sale.  Although current analysis shows that most buyers on Etsy are purchasing only 1-2 times a year, all customers can spread the word about your product and help you make additional sales.  I have experienced this firsthand.  Early on, my sales exploded in certain regions of the country.  I couldn’t find out why I was selling so many beer carriers in Raleigh.  I discovered it was from one of my first customers giving my carriers as groomsmen gifts.  Take care of your customers, and they will take care of you.


Etsy Shop Success: Conclusion

There are several ways to help your Etsy shop become successful.  Hopefully you are reading this page before creating your first Etsy shop.  Even if you already have and established Etsy shop, you can use this tips to improve, expand, and become even more successful.  Let’s toast to Etsy shop success!

Let’s keep growing together!



Etsy Shop Success: Comments

Do you own and operate a successful Etsy Shop?  Do you know other important ways to help ensure a successful Etsy shop?  Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.


Top 10 Reasons Etsy Shops Fail

reasons etsy shops fail

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail: Intro

I have spent several years researching and operating my shop on Etsy.  During this period, I have seen many shops fail, and very few thrive.  I decided to split these observations into two separate posts.  This post analyzes the Top 10 Reasons Etsy Shops Fail, and it includes detailed tips on ways to avoid these mistakes.  The other post analyzes The Factors that  Make Etsy Shops Succeed.  This is one of the most important posts you can find on the My Handmade Hub Community website.  Please take advantage of this free resource.

These are the top reasons Etsy shops fail and detailed ways to avoid them.  I spent weeks researching and discussing this topic with 20 of the top Etsy sellers.  I was surprised to find that when I asked these owners about the biggest mistakes sellers make, most of them replied with the same or similar answers.  I broke the responses down into categories, and then listed them in order of importance.  The top 10 reasons Etsy shops fail are listed below in reverse order; the most important reason is at the bottom.

 Reasons Etsy Shops Fail: Top 10 List

There are several reasons Etsy shops can fail, but I have decided to detail the Top 10 reasons.  If you avoid these mistakes, you have a much higher chance of success.  There has never been a better chance to succeed in selling handmade items; now is the perfect time to open a shop on Etsy (discover why).

Incomplete Descriptions

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail

One of the common reasons Etsy shops fail is because they include incomplete or inaccurate product listing descriptions.  Shoppers come to Etsy to purchase unique handmade items that they can’t purchase anywhere else.  The descriptions are especially important for items being purchased on Etsy because your customers cannot examine the items in person.  They will focus on the descriptions since they aren’t able to physically hold your items.   If your item is extremely unique, customers might not even be familiar with your product’s purpose.  If you have brief descriptions, customers won’t be comfortable purchasing your products, and you won’t get sales.

The main way to avoid this mistake is to make sure that your listing is accurate, detailed, and and has sufficient length. Instead of assuming that customers understand exactly what your product is, help them by providing basic information and details about each item, as well as guidance about what kind of situations or occasions it may be appropriate for.  You should include some of your personality and make sure you are including language tailored to your target customers.

Insufficient Inventory

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #9

Another one of the reasons Etsy shops fail is because they don’t maintain sufficient inventory is another mistake Etsy sellers make. Your inventory levels are important because they affect turnaround time, or the time it takes for your products to ship.  It can take a significant amount of time to construct or build your items since they are handmade. Unless otherwise notified, most customers will expect that non custom items are complete and will be ready to ship in a short amount of time. Timing is important because many customers have deadlines and are purchasing your items as gifts for birthdays, weddings, or holidays.  Many times customers procrastinate and make their purchase without taking delays into consideration.  Another mistake associated with inventory is failure to take proper quality control measures. This may result in customers receiving incorrect orders or damaged goods.  This will leave them frustrated, and will also cost you money due to increased returns.

The way to avoid inventory issues is to make sure you build up your inventory as much as possible. It is especially important to build your product levels up before the holidays or other times of peak demand.  It may be necessary to enlist the help of family members or friends to help you if you get extremely busy.  Also, make sure that the turnaround time listed on your site is kept up to date and accurate.  Create quality control procedures to make sure that each order is accurate, in great condition, and ready to ship.

Ugly Pictures

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #8

Many sellers make the mistake of including blurry, fuzzy, or outright ugly pictures on their shop pages. This may scare potential customers away because they are not able too see what they are buying.

Admittedly, this is one area that I struggled in. You don’t have to be an experienced photographer in order to make your shop look professional. Try to take the product pictures with the best possible lighting.  Some shop owners end up hiring a professional photographer.  This is one area where the sellers I interviewed disagreed.  Some were adamant that pictures should be higher on this list.  I ended up keeping it in this position because I’ve actually been surprised to find that some of my items that sold well early on didn’t have perfect pictures.  Don’t make the same mistake I did; I’m sure my sales could’ve been even higher!

High/Low Pricing

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #7

Another one of the reasons Etsy shops fail deals with pricing.  Pricing mistakes can go either way.  You can list an item too high, and have nobody buy your product, or you can list your product too low and leave profits on the table.

Look at competitors prices and make sure yours are consistent with others in the marketplace.  You may want to make your prices a little lower when you are first starting out in order to attract attention and undercut the other sellers.  This may end up making the other sellers mad, but this tactic has worked for me, and I use it consistently. It is important to note that I kept my prices lower temporarily, and I was still making a good profit on my products. This is a sign that the product area or category I was selling in wasn’t saturated.  Once you study the market and are experienced, you can use pricing to control demand.

Poor Packaging & Shipping

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #6

Packaging errors can result in broken products and orders that never reach their destination.  Shipping errors can easily eat into your profits and put you at a competitive disadvantage.  Shipping can be complicated and there are huge differences in price.

One of the main things I underestimated when opening my shop was how complicated shipping and packaging can be.  I really didn’t even think of it until I received my first order, and I didn’t even have a box that would fit the product.  After that first sale, I promised myself that I would never let that happen again.  Have all of your packaging materials selected prior to selling each product.  Make sure to include materials to protect your fragile products.  Take the time to research the different shipping companies to see which one offers the best deal for your item’s specifications.  Save time and money by printing your shipping labels at home.  Most shipping companies offer free packaging supplies to customers depending on the options you pick.  Write thank you letters for each sale by hand!

Inadequate Marketing & SEO

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #%

Most shop owners don’t give marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) the attention and focus it deserves. If you ignore marketing and SEO, your products will be hidden or buried several pages deep on the search results.  You may be able to make a few sales, but you will have an extremely difficult time growing.

I could write a whole book on Etsy marketing/SEO! There are plenty of free ways to market on Etsy and have your products show up at the top of Etsy (and Google) search results. This includes using the correct tags, headlines, and keywords.

Wrong Product Choice

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #4

Some sellers make the mistake of focusing on products that will never sell. This is a waste of time and can lead to frustration and eventually giving up.

You can avoid this mistake by completing research PRIOR to deciding what items to sell. Study shops that are selling items similar to yours.  You want to look for items that are popular, trending upwards, and items that . In short, you want items with high demand and low supply.

Wrong Category Choice

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #3

Similar to choosing the wrong products to sell, choosing an unpopular or saturated category can make it difficult or nearly impossible for you shop to thrive.

You can avoid this mistake by completing research PRIOR to deciding what items to sell. Look for categories that are in high demand and low supply. The best profits in any market are often found in specific niches.

Lack of Networking

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #2

One of the most important reasons Etsy shops fail is due to lack of networking.  Lack of networking can leave you isolated and will result in you making more mistakes and learning lessons the hard way.  Shops that network usually see positive results in several areas, and not taking advantage of this resource will put you behind other shops.

This is the main method that I used to increase traffic to my site and make sales explode. This is also one of the main reasons I created this site. Interact with other sellers on our Facebook Page or in our comments section. Contact other shop owners for support. Make sure to join relevant Etsy teams and stay involved.

Bad Customer Service

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail #1

The top reason most Etsy shops fail is because of poor customer service.  When I first started my shop, nothing was optimized.  I hadn’t learned how to correctly avoid most of the mistakes I listed above.  Somehow, to this day I still wonder why, a young lady from North Carolina ordered one of my wine racks.  I made sure to offer the best customer service possible to my first customer, and it paid off.  She left me a five star review and it helped more orders start rolling in.  I didn’t even end up making money on the first transaction, but it was definitely worth it.  If I hadn’t provided great customer service for my first customer, she might’ve skipped her review or even worse written a negative review.  My shop never would’ve had a chance.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to focus on your customer’s experience above all else.  Go above and beyond by providing incredible service, which will make you stand out compared to other shops.  Be polite & courteous at all times.  Make sure to respond quickly & accurately to all messages.  Follow up with your customers after their purchase and thank them again.

Etsy is known as a company with terrific customer service.  Learn more about this on my Etsy Overview detailing culture.

Reasons Etsy Shops Fail: Summary

I didn’t do enough research before starting my shop, and I ended up making several of the mistakes listed above in the reasons Etsy shops fail.  Somehow, to this day I still wonder why, a young lady from North Carolina ordered one of my wine racks.  I had only started selling products on my shop a couple of days earlier.  By the time I had paid to ship it, I had a profit of only $5 for several hours of work.  One thing I made sure of was to offer the best customer service possible, and it paid off.  She left me a five star review and it helped more orders start rolling in.  Even though I barely made money on the first transaction, it was definitely worth it.  If I hadn’t provided excellent service to my first customer, she might’ve skipped her review or even worse written a negative review.  My shop never would’ve had a chance.  The moral of the story is:  You can make mistakes in several areas, but as long as you focus on providing excellent service, your shop will have a chance to survive.  Keep learning and improving, and your shop will eventually thrive.

Are you new to Etsy?  Find out How to Open An Etsy Shop.

Let’s keep growing together!


Reasons Etsy Shops Fail: Comments

Do you know of other reasons Etsy shops fail that I forgot to mention?  Do you disagree with anything on this list?  Please leave a comment and provide knowledge to other members of our community.


Etsy Shop Name Ideas: A Free Guide to Creating A Great Name

etsy shop name

Etsy Shop Name Ideas: Intro

One of my favorite quotes related to this post is, “First impressions matter.”  This guide deals with establishing a great first impression through your Etsy shop name.  Developing a shop name is also very important because it is the first step in creating your future brand.  It’s one of the first things that customers see when visiting your shop, and it is how they will identify you going forward.  There are multiple ways to create your shops name, but sellers often have a hard time getting started.  I had a difficult time coming up with my shop’s name; it is the same overwhelming feeling I had when I was trying to come up with baby names!  I constructed this guide to help Etsy sellers get their creative juices flowing and invent the perfect shop name.  Relax, we’ll get this figured out together!

Learn why now is the perfect time to open a shop on Etsy!

Etsy Shop Name Ideas: Ultimate Guide

Etsy Name Ideas

Establish A Timeline

The first step is to establish a timeline for developing your shop’s name.  A couple days is enough for most people, but some people need more time.  I would suggest that you keep your timeline within a week.  The amount of time you set aside for this task can vary, but you need to make sure you set a due date and stick to it.

Learn more about Etsy’s Company History

Open Your Mind

The first thing that you need to realize is that there is no specific method for coming up with the perfect Etsy shop name.  You can use several methods to help inspire you.  The important thing to remember is to keep an open mind.  Clear your mind of everything else and make sure you aren’t distracted and get in the creative mood!

Review other Shop Names

Next, I would take some time to look around at other Etsy shop names.  I have included some below.

Top Etsy Sellers

Many of these shops sell inexpensive materials to other shops, which is how they made this top list.  The products that each shop sells doesn’t have to be the deciding factor, though.  As you can see, many of the shop names above do not reference the product that they are selling.  Most of these shops are very successful, and they didn’t all follow the same path in creating their shop name.  The best shop names are creative, and many don’t even relate to the products they are selling.

Product Related Names

One of the easiest methods for coming up with a shop name is to start with the product or niche that you are operating in.  You could also use the materials you plan on using in your products.  Examples include the shops in the list above that have “paper” or “fabric” in their name.  As you

Your Location

Remember that you are selling worldwide, and not everyone is located in America, Canada, Mexico, or Europe.

Using Your Name or Personality

One of the best ways to show that you believe in your product is to include your name somewhere in the shop name.  This can also make your shop name unique, especially if you have a unique name.  You can also include a part of your personality, like “closetplanneraddict.”  This can help your customers feel close to you because they are learning something about you, even if it is something as public as the shop name.

Random Objects in Nature

You can also use seemingly random objects from nature in your shop name.  I suggest coming up with objects that have some relation to your shop, even if it is extremely loose.  An example would be to use the name Bamboo Manufacturing for a shop name.  Even if you aren’t selling anything related to bamboo, you could use the name because you want your company to spread like bamboo, or be strong like bamboo.  Sometimes utilizing this method and then providing an explanation helps create a lasting memory in customer’s minds.  It also can create a bond between you in the customer, because they feel like they are in on a secret meaning.

Create a Feeling

Make sure to remember your target audience and the type of customers you want to attract.  Keep this in mind, and use a shop name that helps attract people to your products.  You can use a shop name that is a phrase that helps evoke desired emotions.  An example from the list above would be “setthestars.”  Some other examples include “ShootForTheStars,” “PuddleJumper,” or “SparklingLake.”  It can literally be anything that evokes a certain feeling or idea to your potential customers.


Perhaps the best advice is to use some combination of the methods mentioned above.  This is what I used to come up with my shop name, OKVintageWood.  I used my location, Oklahoma, and my primary material, vintage wood.  I combined all three to come up with a unique name, and it has definitely worked for me.  As I stated above, you can choose your own creative methodology.  This post should help you find inspiration and get the creative juices flowing.

My Experience

Some shop owners are lucky and have an “Aha” moment the first time they think of their name.  Other people may never experience this epiphany.  When I came up with my shop name, I knew that it was a good name, so I kept it. I could’ve spent another week trying to come up with a better name, but I knew that it was more important to get started.  Once you hit your due date that we mentioned earlier, open your shop and move forward.  If you’re feeling stuck or not totally happy with your name, remember that it is possible to change it later. After you’ve opened your shop, you can instantly change your name one time.

Extra Etsy Shop Name Tips

Here are some important tips that can be used to help you come up with the optimal shop name!

etsy shop name tips

Use Google to Your Advantage

Once you think you’ve found a good shop name, complete a quick Google search to ensure that there aren’t other companies out there with similar names.  This may just be your Etsy shop name now, but you may expand to become a large company.  Take this into consideration when choosing your first shop name.

Multiple Words

Use multiple words in your shop name to keep yours unique.  If you end up choosing a name that is already taken, you can use a small variation to make it your own.  I would make sure that it isn’t too close to other popular shop names because you don’t want customers to confuse the two companies.

Use Capital Letters

If you end up using multiple words, help them stand out by capitalizing the first letter.   I used this tip when I created OKVintageWood.  Some shops, like SHOPEVREN (mentioned on the list above), capitalize the whole shop name.  This is another way to stand out from the crowd; however, it may irritate some people.

Take A Break

This is the most important tip for people like me.  If you are spending hours trying to come up with the perfect name, take a break and come back to it.  When I am having a problem with creativity, I like to sleep on it and approach the issue fresh in the morning.  If you are a night owl, you may want to wait until night to brainstorm.  Use your personality to your advantage.

Ask for Help

When I hit a mental block trying to come up with my shop name, I had my husband help provide assistance.  Just having his new and fresh ideas helped get my creative juices again.  This is ultimately how I ended coming up with my shop name.  If you aren’t married, you can ask a relative or close friend.  make sure to engage someone that you trust that knows you well.  Those that truly know you are the best at coming up with good ideas.

Get Feedback

This is closely related to asking for help.  This feedback tip refers to the time period after you have chosen a potential name.  I suggest asking close friends and relatives for feedback first.  You can utilize social media to extend your reach.  Reaching out to the public can help attract future customers as well.  Many people will feel honored to play a part in naming your shop.


Etsy Shop Name Ideas: Conclusion

Hopefully this guide has helped you come up with some name ideas.  If you are still struggling, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help.  I would love help you come up with your shop name, and I have done this several times before.  Now you’re ready to learn How to Open An Etsy Shop.

Let’s keep growing together!


Etsy Shop Name Ideas: Comments

Do you have any other tips for creating a great shop name?  Are you  still struggling with your shop name?  Please share your thoughts and tips in the Comments section below!

You can also visit the Etsy website to read about name tips.

Why Sell On Etsy – Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start!

why sell on etsy

Why Sell on Etsy – Introduction

As you have probably already noticed, demand for handmade goods and crafts has exploded over the past few years.  Demand has increased so quickly that the supply of handmade items has lagged behind.  If you are looking for a way to make some extra money, opening a handmade shop on Etsy is a perfect place to get started.  If you are unfamiliar with Etsy, or you want to know more about it, check out my Etsy Overview.  I opened my handmade shop on Etsy, and I am definitely glad that I did.  Many members of this community have asked me, “Why Sell on Etsy?”  This post details why Etsy is a great place to sell handmade products online and why now is the perfect time to open your shop!  I include concrete examples and include detailed graphs.  I’m a little bit of a research nerd, and I actually enjoy looking at financial statements.  At least that means you don’t have to! 🙂

Discover the Best Selling Handmade Items

This Post is Unbiased

I  previously owned stock in Etsy, but I decided to sell all of my shares prior to creating this community and making it public.  I wanted to make sure that all of the stances and reviews I have on this community are seen as they actually are, unbiased and independent.  I want to make sure that you value this free information and you can trust it, and I will always remain open and honest.  If you ever have any questions regarding my intentions, feel free to send me a message.  I respond to all emails and messages.

Why Sell on Etsy: The Ultimate Guide

There are several very important reasons that Etsy makes a great place to open your new handmade shop, and now is definitely the perfect time to start.  I have detailed the supporting factors below, but they are in no particular order.  Each factor impacts people in different ways, so it would be impossible for me to order them by importance.

Etsy History Company Overview Logo

1. Worldwide Reach of Online Marketplaces

Etsy is the perfect place to open your handmade shop, and this is due to several factors.  The first reason for opening your shop on Etsy is the worldwide reach of this expansive marketplace.  Selling items online allows your product to reach all over the world.  Etsy was the first online marketplace that mastered selling handmade goods worldwide.  Recently, other large online retailers (cough Amazon) have attempted to follow in Etsy’s footsteps and ultimately hope to surpass Etsy.  The brand recognition of Amazon is probably greater, but most people don’t associate Amazon with handmade.  Etsy is an online marketplace that is definitely known for selling quality handmade goods.

2. Ease of Use

The second reason to open your shop on Etsy is ease of use.  I can tell you from experience, opening a shop on Etsy is much easier & startup costs are much cheaper than opening up your own website.  I’ve spent hours researching how to create and optimize a website from scratch, and I would still consider myself a beginner.  Time is an extremely valuable resource for courageous people trying to open a new business.  I would argue time is the MOST valuable resource.  Most people can open their Etsy shop in a couple hours or less, but it takes more time to get your shop optimized.  I would estimate that Etsy completes 90% of the work that it takes to open an online website for your handmade shop.  They also make the last 10% very easy, and the tips on this My Handmade Hub community makes it even easier!

3. Cost

The third factor that I would like to detail is cost.  The fees Etsy charges are minimal in comparison to the value the company provides. For example, if your shop is located in the United States, and you sold a $50 item + $20 Shipping, your total fees would be $4.30.  This works out to roughly 6% of the total sales price in this example.  Even if you owned your own website, there would still be processing costs for accepting payment, and you also have monthly hosting fees.  The fees for running your own website add up fast.  It might be worth starting your own website if you already have a successful handmade shop and you’re selling thousands of dollars worth of goods every month.  If you’re just starting out, the Etsy fees are minimal and well worth the service that they provide.  If you would like to learn more about Etsy fees, I suggest reading my detailed summary of Etsy fees.

4. Demand

The fourth reason you should open your shop on Etsy is demand, or more specifically, the growing number of buyers relative to sellers.  I wanted to do more than just state that demand is high, so I decided to do some research.  I spent a couple of hours digging through Etsy’s latest quarterly financial statements, and I created the following graph:

sell on etsy

The number of active buyers has grown steadily over the past couple of years, while the number of active sellers has stayed relatively flat.  This has resulted in a shortage of sellers on Etsy, and the gap doesn’t seem to be closing anytime soon.  This means that if you select a good category and product niche, you are very likely to have success!  In fact, this is one of the biggest gaps in supply in demand I have seen.  In case the first graph wasn’t enough, I created a second one:

sell on etsy now

This graph shows that as of 3/31/17, there were roughly 16 active buyers for every seller!  You can tell that unless something drastically changes, there will be an even bigger shortage of sellers going forward.  The trend is going in one direction, and it will be difficult to stop.  This is a huge benefit for people with existing Etsy shops and those looking to get started.

Discover why handmade goods are important to our economy (outside website).

Why Sell on Etsy: Summary

If you are selling handmade items, Etsy is the perfect place to open your shop.  It has an expansive reach, is known as a handmade marketplace, is easy to use, requires low start up costs,  and has a large number of buyers especially compared to sellers.  If your shop grows substantially, you can always create a website in the future.  There is no better place to start a handmade shop, and there is no time better than now!

If you would like to learn how to open your Etsy shop, click here.

Keep Growing!


Why Sell on Etsy: Comments

Do you have other questions regarding the topic, Why Sell on Etsy?  Can you think of other benefits of selling on Etsy?  Are you glad that you have recently started your business on Etsy?  Please help this community grow by leaving a comment or question below!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and keep growing!


Etsy Fees: An Ultimate Guide and Cost Breakdown

Etsy Fees: Intro

Most people consider Etsy fees to be extremely reasonable, especially for the great service that they provide.  I also think that the fees are reasonable, but the fee breakdown can be confusing. This is especially true for beginners or people starting to open their first handmade shop.  I created this post to help explain all of the fees that Etsy charges.  If you don’t have time to read this expansive guide, you should at least look at some of my examples below. This will help you get a ballpark idea for how much Etsy charges in fees, and what kind of fees they charge.

Discover this great article detailing one of my favorite outdoor security cameras. Continue reading “Etsy Fees: An Ultimate Guide and Cost Breakdown”

How to Open An Etsy Shop – The Ultimate Guide

how to open an etsy shop

How to Open An Etsy Shop: Intro

Congratulations on being ready to open your first shop on Etsy!  This marketplace is perfect for new handmade shop owners.  Starting a business is an overwhelming process, and having help from Etsy and this community can help ensure you get started down the right path.  This is one of the most important steps to becoming a successful shop owner.  Now is the perfect time to open your Etsy shop.  Follow the guide below to learn how to open an Etsy shop!

Discover other Popular Handmade Marketplaces on my related website. Continue reading “How to Open An Etsy Shop – The Ultimate Guide”