I apologize in advance for not talking about our beautiful miniatures this time, but miniature artists also need to make a living. So today I am going to talk to you about how to be selling dollhouse miniatures on Etsy or other pieces of art.
If you are not interested, then you can always take a look at my tutorials, miniature kits, or how to make miniatures from trash for example, and have fun! (I pinky-promise to update the last one next week!).
Now let’s start by explaining what Etsy is all about first.
What is Etsy?
Etsy was founded in 2005 by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik.
Etsy is a marketplace where anyone who crafts things themselves (or have collectible items) can put their stuff up for sale. These people pay Etsy 20 dollar cents for posting their articles, plus a percentage (3,5%) of the selling price when an item is sold. In return, their products will be visible for the whole world to see.
The sellers can be from any country worldwide.
In some cases though, things can be sold online. For example, building plans for a dollhouse kit can simply get sent through email and that doesn’t cost the buyer anything extra.
You can set the language settings to your own language and currencies, but the products will remain to be seen worldwide.
Sellers can also use paid advertising to attract more people to their Etsy store. Thé interesting thing here is, and I didn’t even know this either, is that you only pay for the add, when you have sold an item!
In November 2007 the total sales were worth 4,3 million dollars. The company changed its terms and conditions in October 2013. From now on, the site was also allowed to sell factory-made mass products, if older than 20 years (and thus vintage), and items whose production was outsourced by the seller.
Etsy joined the stock market in 2015. The stocks were set at $16 and then rose to $35 on the first day. Then dropped big time again later. After some good results, the stock price went over $70 for the first time in 2019. In 2014, Etsy had approximately 1.4 million sellers and 19.8 million buyers.
What’s the difference between Etsy, Amazon, and others.
One big difference is obviously that all items are handmade and they are made by persons, not general stores who buy stuff in large quantities and sell with a profit.
This could be anyone: from professional artists to housewives/housemen, knitting grandma’s, to carpenters making extra furniture for example.
You could say that Etsy is similar to eBay, and from the beginning of 2008 it began to look like Etsy could become a serious competitor for the market leader eBay at that time, partly because there was a strike by a large group of discontented sellers on the eBay platform.
Buying items on Etsy?
When you’re new to Etsy, you need to create an account, it’s very simple and free. Once you have created the account, you can buy stuff. If you have found something that you like, you can place it in your shopping cart.
If you don’t want to buy it immediately, you can mark it as ‘ favorite’ and easily find it later. This is handy if, for example, you are looking for a nice necklace, but come across several nice ones.
If you have selected an item where you have to indicate which color or size you want, you can enter this in a comment. Other things that you must indicate when placing an order are of course the destination, the payment method, and a possible discount code.
Once you have received your order at home, you can leave feedback in their shop. Other people who visit a particular shop can then see how it is rated by previous buyers.
What can you sell/buy on Etsy?
Basically anything vintage and/or handmade.
Here’s just a small list, because I think there’s so much more for sale on Etsy:
– miniatures and dollhouses ( who would have thought that ?;-) )
– homemade bath and beauty products
– face masks
– crafting supply’s and tools
– home and living, decorations
– jewelry and accessories
– clothing and shoes
– art and collectibles
– wedding and party
– toys and entertainment
– self-made herbal tinctures
– and so much more
The pro’s and contra’s of Etsy.
– You can decide if this is a good thing or not, but for me, it is a good thing that most sellers use PayPal as a way of payment. I don’t bother with other payment methods anyway, because PayPal offers the best security for both buyer and seller, despite the costs.
I had a bad experience once with buying something through a Facebook advertisement, which didn’t arrive for over 3 months. Luckily I paid with PayPal and disputed the payment through their platform. Things got solved very quickly after that and I got a prompt email that they were going to ‘resend the package’, because apparently ‘it got lost in the mail’. Yeah right 😉
But there are also sellers who accept wire transfers and all kinds of American checks, though.
– much more personal contact with the seller instead of a sales-bot or having to talk to a computer for help
– you are stimulating crafters and artists all over the world for selling their objects in a much easier way than having to for example organize an exhibition ( painters ) or making a website (it’s not easy for everyone to do this )
– everyone that purchased something from a shop, can leave feedback, and thus you can tell if it is an honest seller selling quality items or not.
– Etsy can be a perfect addition to your own, existing webshop.
– On the one hand, worldwide selling is a good thing to broaden the market, on the other hand, you would have to find people willing to pay big amounts of shipping costs and/or customs fees. You can negotiate with the buyer/seller in a private message.
– Etsy just provides the site and platform, getting a small percentage of the sales. You can’t ask them seller-specific questions or ask them to hire a lawyer when fraud is involved and if you would lose money as a buyer.
How to set up an Etsy store?
For this part, I have actually already written a blog post on how to set up an Etsy store from scratch, check out the tutorial!
So now: how to make money on the internet with Etsy/miniatures?
There are actually 2 ways:
1. Obviously: sell your own handcrafted miniatures or other items on Etsy.
A few things to take into consideration :
– Setting up an Etsy shop takes a lot of time. You have to accurately describe your products (in multiple languages), take (beautiful!) photos, and determine prices. You MUST think about this if you want to sell professionally and make yourself a BRAND.
– If you have another full-time job, you can’t give that up, unless you start producing items in numbers. So yes, if you don’t like making the same miniature over and over (custom orders are popular regarding miniatures), then maybe you shouldn’t consider giving up your day job. Sorry.
– Pricing your articles too low is a disaster waiting to happen. In addition to what you want to earn yourself, it is important to look at the ‘unique’ factor of your product and which rate appeals to your target group. Etsy has an excellent article on pricing.
– keep in mind that if you want to be successful with your Etsy store, that a minimum of 30 hours per week working for it will be necessary. And that you will have to invest time and energy in answering emails, marketing, preparing orders, product development, etc. Forget the ‘hobby’-part at this point, it’s work! Advertising your product on Etsy and just wait and “see what happens” is really NOT enough.
– A huge plus is having a feeling for photography and styling and knowledge of social media. (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram.)
– Do not expect instant success, Etsy is a big site full of competition. But if you want to know how to make money on internet, this is one way for sure.
– Final tip: how to pack your miniatures for shipping is in this video :
2. Become an affiliate marketeer for Etsy.
For those who have been following my website, it would be clear by now that this is exactly what I’m doing? If you happen to click on an affiliate link on my site and purchase a product through that link, then I get a small commission.
Etsy also uses affiliate links and thus affiliate marketeers. Every time someone buys something through your link, banner, or purchases something else on Etsy then what they clicked on, you get paid.
To learn more about affiliate marketing and the EXCELLENT course, including FREE LESSONS and support from the largest community on the internet, then join ‘Wealthyaffiliate’.
I have been doing this course for about 7 months now, and I love it! (and I’m not saying this just to sell you something haha, I mean the best proof is right here, my website !).
If you join as a member in the first 9 days of joining Wealthyaffiliate, I am always there to answer any of your questions and support you through the whole process!
Wealthyaffiliate takes you to the whole process, from creating a simple website, to SEO, how to write content, searching for affiliate businesses and how to make money on the internet by means of affiliate marketing and so much more. It is a complete package!
Some more FAQs on selling miniatures and their answers.
You still might have some questions on this topic, so here are a few questions and answers for you:
Can you sell 3D scale models on Etsy?
Oh yes you can! Myself, I will be looking for someone in time who can print me some miniature trolls for my mini treehouse, and I'm sure that I will find someone who does exactly that, 3D-printed figurines of all types are quite successful!
Can you sell collectibles on Etsy?
You can sell collectibles on Etsy, including miniatures, as long as they are vintage, but also craft supplies. Make sure to contact Etsy though if you have any doubts.
Selling your dollhouse miniatures isn’t always easy or a quick-get-rich method, but if your hobby is making miniatures or of course other pieces of art OR these days sell collector’s items, then Etsy is worth a try. Make a living out of your hobby or at the least earn something extra for difficult times.
Do you have any questions about selling dollhouse miniatures on Etsy or would you like me to cover a topic that I haven’t written about yet, then make sure to leave a comment below? Or you can now join me on my latest Facebook group!
I wish you happy crafting and all the best in all of your adventures!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!