Pricing your handmade items the correct way is essential to having a successful small business. No matter what type of business you have, your pricing will make or break you.
Many sellers make the common mistake of setting their prices way too low while others tend to price a little too high. I’m here today to help you find a happy medium with a simple formula.
Be warned, there is a bit of math involved 🙂 I’ve included a free worksheet with this blog post at the bottom that you can use to price your handmade items.
Gather the Cost of Materials
The first thing that you want to do when pricing your handmade items is to gather the costs of your materials. Determine the cost of materials used per product. Here is an example:
I sell invitations for baby showers, bridal showers, etc. The materials that I use for invitations are cardstock, toner, and envelopes.
I buy my cardstock in bulk. For 8 reams of paper I pay $125.00 with shipping included. Each ream of paper has 200 sheets and I can print 2 invitations per sheet. So, 8 reams of paper x 200 pieces = 1600 sheets. 1600 sheets x 2 invitations per page = 3200 invitations that I can print per 8 reams of paper.
Next, I’ll figure out how much 1 piece of cardstock costs me per invitation. To do this I’ll divide $125.00 by 3200 invitations which equals $.039. If I round the price up it’s about 4 cents that I pay for cardstock per invitation.
Next up is my toner for my printer. Luckily I already know that I will pay .08 per color sheet printed. This is my contract rate with my professional printer. If I can print 2 invitations per sheet than I figure that I am paying 4 cents for the toner per invitation.
Lastly I’ll figure the pricing for my envelopes. I pay $646.95 for 10,000 envelopes. 646.95/10,000= $0.064. If I round the price up it’s about $0.07 that I pay per envelope.
After I figure out all of my material costs I will add them all up, giving me a total of $0.15 per invitation.
Next let’s establish your labor costs. You have to pay yourself after all, right? Make sure that you’re paying yourself an hourly wage.
So, say that you want to pay yourself $15.00 an hour. Figure out how long it takes to create your product from start until you ship it. For example, let’s say that you figure that it takes about 2 1/2 hours per item. $15.00 x 2.5= $37.50 in labor costs.
My situation is a bit difference because my items are sold more in bulk so that’s why I didn’t use my example.
Now let’s figure out the costs of your overhead. Gather all of the expenses you pay each month such as bills, office supplies, etc. Here’s another example:
Store rent: $795
Tailwind App: $9.99
Hosting for Website: $8.99
Bookkeeping App: $9.99
Graphic Design Program: $31.70
Add the entire total up. Next, determine the amount of sales that you get each month. If you’re not sure or if you’re just starting out, create a ballpark figure and go from there.
Divide the total cost of your expenses by the number of sales that you get each month.
So, for every listing that I have I’m going to add $3.60 into the price for my expenses.
Finally, even though you are paying yourself a labor wage you’re still going to want to charge a profit for your items. Don’t forget to do this! Determine a profit margin for each item that you make and sell.
The Final Formula
Next, gather the cost of your materials, labor, overhead and profit and add them all together. The final price would be your wholesale price. Wholesale pricing is when you sell items in bulk.
To determine your retail price multiply your wholesale price by two! This is a wonderful calculation method for determining final prices.
If you’re interested in download my free Handmade Pricing Workbook then just click on the link below!
I’m not going to sugar coat it, balancing work life and mom life is rough. It’s especially rough when you’ve got 2 kids under 2, a bustling business, and a blog. But, you gotta do what you gotta do to support your family, right?
With the rise of recent technology, more and more stay at home moms are starting new businesses. Some of these supermoms are even building multimillion dollar companies right in the comfort of their own home!
So, how do you run an online business as a stay at home mom? There’s no one simple answer. Being a stay at home mom is a full time job itself. It’s downright exhausting. But, I have come up with the following 8 tips for work at home moms!
Work While They Sleep
While you may be sleep deprived enough, it might be a good idea to wake up earlier than your kids do. This way you can work in peace and quiet before your actual day begins. Take advantage of naptime if you can, or work later at night when the kids are asleep. Just be careful not to overwork yourself and rest when you need to.
Plan Your Days
It’s also a good idea to map out your day and week schedule. Managing doctor appointments, meetings and running your daily errands can become confusing and overwhelming. Perhaps you can invest in a planner or make use of cell phone apps. I use my iPhone calendar and reminder app religiously to track appointments and other things that I need to get done.
Establish a Routine
Kids are all about routines. Establish a set routine with your kids and yourself so it’s easier to map out your day and find time for work.
Prepare Things the Night Before
Another great tip for work at home moms is to prepare things the night before. Prepare things at anytime, really. My daughter goes to daycare so every night I make sure that her bottles are washed and pre-filled for the next day.
Enlist Help or Hire Help
When things start to become too much on you between your work and kids then perhaps you can find help. See if any relatives would be able to watch your kids for an hour or two once or twice a week. Or if you can afford it, hire a babysitter. I started my daughter in daycare when things became too rough and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. Well, maybe just a little because I miss my baby, but things are definitely a lot less hectic.
If you can afford to hire a housecleaner you may want to look into that because that may save you tons of time as well. Don’t be afraid to ask your husband to chip in a bit too.
Use Automation Services
Another way to save yourself time during the day is by using automation services. If you don’t have the time to market your business on social media then perhaps you can look into an automation service such as Tailwind.
Tailwind is an excellent app that automatically and strategically posts things to your pinterest account.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
I know that being a mom involves loads of work, and having a business on top of it just adds to the number of responsibilities. But, it’s super important not to overwhelm yourself. Remember that there’s going to be a day (most likely when your kids are grown) when all of the laundry will be done and the dishes will all be put away. Don’t stress yourself out like I do by adding too many chores to your “to-do” list. Take everyday one at a time and enjoy the time you have with your kids.
Set Some Time for Yourself
Finally, it’s very important that you set aside some time for yourself. This could be something as simple as taking a bath or going out to lunch with a friend. Or, my personal favorite which is treating myself to a spa day. Give yourself time to “reset”. Your body and mind will thank you later!
Do you have any other tips on how to run an online business as a stay at home mom? Let me know in the comments below!
I browse Etsy listings quite often just to see what the current trends are, and I notice that a lot of sellers are violating copyright and trademark laws.First, let me explain what a copyright is.A copyright is a legal protection for creators of original works.This means that if you are not the original creator of your artwork and you have not purchased rights to sell these items not created by you, you are essentially violating copyright laws. The same applies to trademarks – which are phrases.
What are some examples of copyright infringement on Etsy?
Examples of copyright infringement include selling a dress with a Hello Kitty image on it. You cannot sell an embroidery patch with the Elsa character from Frozen. You also can’t sell a digital invitation with an image of a John Deere tractor on it. In fact, you can’t even sell an image with a GREEN tractor because only John Deere owns the rights to sell products with green tractors! Crazy, right?! You cannot say “Elsa Inspired” “Frozen Theme”, etc in your title or descriptions. Let me repeat, the word “inspired” does not get you off the hook!
What will happen if I sell copyrighted items on Etsy?
Listings that violate copyright and trademark laws are not allowed on Etsy. Etsy can and will shut your shop down for good if you don’t remove these listings.More importantly, it is a crime. The outcome of copyright infringement can result in a legal battle and having to pay the rightful owner money for damages. Not to mention you will lose multiple selling opportunities if you can’t sell on the Etsy platform.
Even if you think it’s okay to do it because you witness other shops doing it and “getting away with it”, DON’T DO IT! Eventually karma will catch up with these shop owners and the listings will be removed.
When it comes to trademarks, I highly recommend referringdirectly to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, which offers tons of educational information. There is a 42 minute video that you can watch at the following web address that includes information on how trademarks, patents, copyrights, etc all differ from each other:
If you aren’t sure whether or not your items violate any type of law feel free to also ask in the Etsy forums or any groups on Facebook that are for Etsy sellers.There are a lot of knowledgable people online who are always happy to help you out. Or, even better advice would be to contact an attorney directly.
Can you believe that there’s a way to make thin mint cookies in the comfort of your own home? Well, I mean I’m sure that it was possible, but I had no idea that you could make them with only 2 ingredients! That’s right, only two ingredients!
Want to know something even better? You don’t have to bake these cookies at all! This recipe is perfect for a busy mom.
All credit for this recipe goes to my mother-in-law’s best friend, Ruth. Apparently she has been making these cookies every year around Christmas time, and this was my first year participating in the tradition.
Anyways, back to the cookies. They are serious so delicious. I really can’t taste the difference between this copy cat recipe and the actual thin mint cookies.
And, don’t take this post the wrong way, I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t support your local girl scouts. You absolutely should support them! I’m just saying that this is a quick alternative when girl scout cookies are not in “season”. I think these cookies are an awesome treat during the holiday season. They will definitely be a hit at your next cookie exchange!
Before we get started, let me just list a few things that you will need:
Candy melter (or your preferred way of melting the candy)
Small ziplock bags (optional for decorating)
Thin Mint Cookie Copy Cat Recipe
A delicious dark mint chocolate dipped cracker that only requires 2 ingredients and involves no baking at all!
If you’re new to selling on Etsy you may be wondering how to get 5 star reviews from customers. You might already know it but gaining great reviews is essential to becoming successful on Etsy. According to MarketingLand, 90% of buyers check reviews before purchasing. And chances are, if you don’t have great reviews or if you have no reviews, buyers may not purchase from your shop.
Sometimes it’s hard to get reviews on Etsy, especially when you’re first starting out. This is because buyers usually purchase items and don’t follow up with a review. At the time of writing this article I have almost 10,000 sales and only 1,741 reviews.
So, how can you get more reviews for your Etsy shop? And even more importantly, how do you get 5 star reviews on Etsy?
Sell Quality Products
This may sound obvious, but in order to get 5 star reviews on Etsy you must sell quality products in your shop. Your products should be durable and long lasting. Test your products out to make sure nothing falls apart, peels off, or breaks. Have your friends and family test them out too and get feedback from them.
When it comes down to it, make sure you have confidence in your product before listing it.
Have Excellent Photos
You have to remember that when potential buyers are searching through products on the Etsy search engine the photo is the first thing that they see. Photos can make or break a sale, which is why it’s important to have excellent product photography. Your photos shouldn’t be dark and your products shouldn’t be photographed on the floor.
One of the 10 mistakes that Etsy sellers make is that they’re not including enough details in the listing description (item details). You should include all information about the product and the entire process in the description. Here is a quick format example:
What the item is (using a short sentence)
Size, height, weight of item (if applicable)
What the item is made of
All things included in the purchase
How to care for the item (if applicable)
How the item is made (you don’t have to be detailed)
Your processing time
Offer Fast Processing and Shipping
Unfortunately websites like Amazon that now offer 2 day shipping have made a lot of people expect the same shipping rate elsewhere, like on Etsy. And although it’s not really possible to offer 2 day shipping with your Etsy shop, you should consider offering a fast processing time.
People are more likely to buy from you if you have a faster processing and shipping time and they are also more likely to leave a great review if they receive their items quickly.
I ship all of my orders via USPS Priority Mail, so orders are received 2-3 business days after they are shipped. I always get loads of reviews about my quick shipping so it’s definitely something to consider.
Have Great Packaging
Another thing to consider is improving your packaging. Etsy is a crafty handmade community so shipping your items in pretty packaging will definitely “wow” your customers.
Examples of pretty packaging include wrapping your item(s) in tissue paper and tying it together with a bow made of twine. You can also include a handwritten thank you note thanking the customer for supporting your small business.
Indirectly Ask for Reviews with a Thank You Note
You can also ask for a review in a non-direct way. Do this by including a thank you note in each order and ask them to leave a review in that note. You can even offer to give them a coupon code for a discount on their next order if they leave a review.
Just don’t be too pushy by messaging your customers directly and asking them to leave a review.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Providing excellent customer service in your shop should seem like a no-brainer tip. Make sure that you’re polite and patient with all of your customers. If they happen to contact you then address them by their first name and give detailed responses.
But, don’t be afraid to say no to a customer, but in a polite way of course. Sometimes customers will ask for deep discounts or ridiculous fast shipping that you can’t provide. In these cases just say no.
Provide Fast Communication
It’s also important that sellers provide fast communication with their customers. Sometimes customers will message you via Etsy with a question and you should do your best to respond as quickly as possible. If not, they may move on to another seller who offers similar items. To provide fast communication I would suggest downloading the Sell on Etsy app for iPhone or Android which you can set it up to receive alerts when you get a sale or a conversation. You will get an alert on your phone and you will be able to message them back quickly through the app.
Deal with Mistakes Properly
Last, but not least, if you’ve ever ran into a situation when you’ve made a mistake and the customer is upset you should fix it as soon as possible. You should work closely with the customer to fix the order whether it’s replacing the item or refunding the order entirely. When customers are upset they may seem angry towards you, but just remember to stay patient and calm. Avoid leaving the customer upset at all costs because they may leave you a very bad review.
Hopefully these tips will help you gain a lot more 5 star reviews on Etsy!
Yay! I’m so excited that I’ve had so much blogging motivation that I am now writing my second earnings report. Although it feels like I have no one reading this blog I hope that someone will read these posts eventually and become inspired.
And, don’t get me wrong – I’m not doing these types of posts to simply brag about my earnings, I’m writing these type of posts so that my readers can follow me on the path to success. I want to show others that earning a full time income online is absolutely possible. I loved reading these types of posts when I first started selling on Etsy, so I’d like to pay it forward.
Last month I included my total business income, which included Etsy and Zazzle. However, I think from now on I’m just going to include my earnings from Etsy until I become more familiar with Zazzle.
So, how much money did I earn from Etsy in November?
I earned $9,657.95 during the month of October, before any expenses.
November was an okay month. I was still busy enough during the first half of the month. I thought that the weekend of Black Friday would be extra busy, so I hosted a 25% off sale. Turns out the sale was a bust. I barely made enough during Thanksgiving weekend to pay myself, which is very odd and I haven’t had that happen in a while.
But, I guess sales during the holidays really depends on what you sell. I know a lot of sellers who were busy out of their minds during the Black Friday weekend. That’s so awesome for them!
How did I earn $9,657.95 on Etsy during the month of November?
In case you’re wondering what I actually sell on Etsy and Zazzle, I sell printed invitations for baby showers, bridal showers, holiday parties, etc. I did not go to school for graphic design, but I’ve been working with the Adobe products for years. I first started out on Etsy in 2014 by selling digital files of invitations that people could download and take to a print shop for printing. After a long time of busting my butt and saving some serious cash, I became the print shop! Now, I sell invitations that are designed, printed and mailed to the customers doorstep. My shop has grown from making $7.00 a day to making over $1,000 in one day (but, only some days 😉 ).
There are a lot of factors that contribute to being a full time seller on Etsy. The first and one of the most important factors is having great SEO. Learn how to improve the SEO in your Etsy shop and rank higher on Etsy.
Another important thing to know is that you gain these earnings over time by becoming an experienced seller. You will learn from your mistakes (hopefully).
Here are a few more articles that I’ve written that will help you become a better seller:
I will add more to this list as I keep on blogging 🙂
What’s new this month?
Okay, I’ve got some really big news for the month of November! I officially hit 6 figures in sales so far this year! I still cannot believe this. I remember rocking my daughter in my rocking chair earlier this year as she was sleeping and I whipped out my phone to figure out how much money I would have to make a day (average) to earn $100,000 in one year. That number is $273.97. I thought maybe (hopefully) I would get to that point in 4 or 5 years or so. Y’ALL! I made that by the end of November this year. I am absolutely stunned and I can’t wait to write about it in an upcoming blog.
What are my goals for the month of December?
During the month of December I’d really like to start focusing on creating more products for the upcoming engagement and bridal shower season. There are a lot of engagements during the month of December which will contribute to an influx of save-the-date carts and engagement party invitations.
Bridal and wedding season (spring/summer) will be here before I know it, so I’d like to add more products in those categories as well.
I also want to work on the photography in my shop. Right now my products are listed with a wooden type of background. I’d really like to have my products showing on a white background so that it looks clean and simple. We’ll see how that goes.
As for personal goals this month I’m still actively working on reorganizing my basement and moving my office to a larger part of my basement. So, for now that’s going to be my continuing goal.
So in closing, since it’s November I’d like to say how grateful I a truly am. I never thought in a million years that I would have a full time home business. Being able to provide for my family is such a wonderful feeling!
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions for me or if you would like me to touch on a certain topic in an upcoming blog post! Thank you all for reading, I hope you have an amazing holiday!
I’ve got to admit that owning a shop on Etsy is extremely challenging. There is so much to learn! I’ve gained a lot of knowledge over the past 3 years after making many, many mistakes. And I hope to pass this knowledge onto you with this blog! Here are the top 10 mistakes that Etsy sellers make and how to avoid them.
As a seller who focuses on printed invitations for events such as birthdays, I see a lot of similar sellers selling products with images or phrases that they don’t own. I will admit when I first started selling online I genuinely had no idea that you weren’t allowed to sell invitations with characters such as the Ninja Turtles. But, I totally get it now, and I preach this to many other sellers making this mistake.
You absolutely cannot sell items with Disney characters or other cartoon characters on them. Another example includes college logos. To put it simply, if you did not come up with the design or character that you are putting on your product, you cannot use it because it’s protected by copyright laws. The original creators of those images could throw a lawsuit your way if you’re making money off of their works without their permission.
The same also goes for phrases and certain words. Phrases can be trademarked by the original creator. For example, did you know that the word “onesie” is a trademarked word by Gerber? Although it is a common word, you still can’t use it to sell baby clothing. You can check if a phrase is trademarked by searching the TESS database.
And, always remember that if you recieve multiple warnings from the Etsy Team about copyright infringement, your shop will be shut down permanently.
How Can I Avoid Copyright Infringement on Etsy?
If you’re a designer you must create unique designs, period. Don’t even try to get away with using the phrase “inspired”, such as “Disney inspired” because that will not protect you at all. Also be sure to double check the TESS database before creating anything with a certain phrase.
If you take a look at some of the most successful shops on Etsy you will notice that their photography is on point. Having excellent photography should be a top priority when listing an item. The customer needs to see a detailed example of what they’re purchasing. Too often photos are dark, blurry, and just look plain awkward.
How can I improve the photography of my products on Etsy?
Research great photography tips. You can also invest in a lightbox or create one yourself. Pictures can be taken with cell phones, but if you really want a crisp high resolution photo then you may want to look into a DSLR camera. There are plenty of photography tips available online, including:
Another common mistake that other Etsy sellers make is having poor SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is a list of different strategies that help to improve your overall ranking in search. There are numerous ways to improve the SEO in your Etsy shop such as researching for the best keywords and using all 13 tags in your listings. SEO is a constant evolving thing that all Etsy sellers must stay on top of in order to appear higher in search.
How can I improve the SEO for my Etsy shop?
Don’t blow off learning about SEO. Really take the time to research ways to improve the SEO for your Etsy shop. There are tons of great articles and tutorials available online for free. Here are a few:
When selling items online it is extremely important to be extra detailed. You just can’t list a product with 3 sentences in your description and expect people not to have questions. And, if people have questions chances are that they won’t reach out to ask you. They will move onto someone who sells something similar that lists all important details. Here is the structure of all of my listings:
Intro – I include a quick sentence describing what the item is.
Details of what’s included – The size, quantity, and quality of the item.
Shipping – how long processing takes, how the item is shipped and how long shipping takes.
And, although a return policy doesn’t apply too much to my shop, I would suggest that include that information in your listing also.
Not Being Optimistic
I often witness a lot of sellers feeling pretty down about their shop because they aren’t getting views, favorites, or sales. You can’t just sit there and expect sales to come pouring in. The trick is to be optimistic and to really work hard on your shop.
Whatever you do, don’t close your shop!
How can I avoid feeling down about my Etsy shop?
When sales are slow and you start to get down on yourself it’s important to be optimistic. Take the time to research more Etsy shop tips or create new products to sell.
Not Having a lot of Products
Some sellers get worried about low sales when they only have 5 items in their shop. Unfortunately you’re not going to get a lot of sales unless you have a large variety of items in your shop. Some experienced sellers will say that sales will start to pick up when you have over 100 items in your shop. This is partially true. There is no magic number of items to keep in stock, but if you have more items available for sale then there’s a bigger chance that you’ll sell more items.
How can I add more items to my Etsy shop?
Just keep creating more products. Create, create, create. Don’t stop. If you have a true passion for what you do then ideas should be pouring out of you. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself though, take a break when needed.
There’s no limit on the amount of items that you can have in your shop. I’m almost up to 1000 products and I still have motivation to create.
Not Being Unique
A lot of Etsy shop owners are too focused on what’s selling. When selling on Etsy you have to remember that it’s important to create unique items to stand out from the crowd. Don’t just focus on what’s selling.
How can I create unique products on Etsy?
Instead of taking ideas from other sellers on Etsy, focus on what you would want to buy or ask other people for ideas of what they would like to buy.
It’s very surprising that many sellers often neglect pricing their items correctly. I’ve witnessed some sellers pricing their items far too low. When you sell your items you have to remember that you have to pay yourself for your time and not just the materials used to make the product.
How can I avoid pricing my items wrong on Etsy?
While there’s no perfect formula for pricing your items, the first thing that you should do is set an hourly wage for yourself and factor that wage into your pricing. Here are a few excellent articles and tools about pricing your handmade items on Etsy:
This is the mistake that I myself am most guilty of. Sometimes I’m so busy with orders or creating new products that I totally forget about marketing my products. There are many ways to promote your handmade products such as being active on social media, blogging, or simply by networking!
How can I market my Etsy shop?
If you want to bring in some serious sales then you should start marketing. Mark a specific time of day to focus on nothing but marketing. Read up on pinning on Pinterest or posting on Instagram. Learn everything that you can about marketing. I promise that it will pay off!
Not Doing Enough Research
Finally, one of the top mistakes that I notice is that a lot of Etsy sellers fail to do their research on owning a shop. There’s a lot more to selling on Etsy than just listing items for sale and waiting for sales to roll in. You have to learn about marketing, SEO, and many other things.
Where can I get information about owning a shop on Etsy?
There are so many websites that offer loads of information about owning a shop on Etsy. My blog is one of them. Here are the top websites that I personally refer to: