There are a lot of ideas that people have about how much Etsy sellers make, and most of them are wrong.
Selling on Etsy isn’t easy, and if you want to make a full-time income you’ll have to put in more than full-time hours because of the amount of marketing tasks that are required.
So how much do Etsy sellers actually make per year?
Table of Contents
- How much can you make on Etsy?
- Can you make a full-time income on Etsy?
- How many Etsy sellers are full-time?
- Do you need employees to earn a full-time income on Etsy?
- So…Is Etsy worth it?
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How much can you make on Etsy?
Based on a statement made by Josh Silverman, the CEO of Etsy, during a 2020 investor presentation, the average Etsy seller makes around $2900 a year. However, Etsy doesn’t release any specific information about seller revenue, so it’s unclear whether this includes only active sellers or every shop that’s “open” on Etsy even if the shop isn’t actively selling. In addition, it’s difficult to make generalizations about Etsy sellers’ incomes because there are so many people who sell part-time or as hobby income.
According to a number released by Etsy to another investment firm in 2022, the average income had dropped to $1800!
That could be the result of averaging in all of the shops that opened during the pandemic but that never made any sales.
Because of the way that Etsy defines “active shop,” those empty shops are probably dragging down the averages.
Your Etsy income will depend on whether you put full-time effort into your shop, as well as what you’re selling and where you’re located.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re deciding whether selling on Etsy would be worth the effort.
Can you make a full-time income on Etsy?
As a general rule, you can make a full-time income on Etsy as long as you put full-time effort into it and your product is something that is in demand. Effort by itself won’t make sales come in, though, because there are too many factors outside your control to predict success or failure in every case.
It will also depend on what you consider to be full-time income, since that amount can vary widely depending on location.
In the US, the average annual income is reported by different sources to be somewhere around $51,000 to $57,000. I’ll use $54,000 as a general number to see where Etsy sellers actually land.
I asked the members of my two Etsy seller groups how much revenue they had made on Etsy in the past 12 months. the range is shown in the chart below.
This includes sellers from all over the world, and also includes sellers who have been on Etsy for a short time as well as for years.
In general, the longer you’ve sold on Etsy, the more you can expect to make in your shop per year.
Based on how the Etsy algorithm works, your shop sales history and your customer service history factors into the placement of your listings in search results.
The longer you’ve been on the platform, the more likely your listings will be shown in search results.
Of the Etsy sellers who were surveyed, 436 made under $50,000 a year, and 118 made $50,000 and over, with some making over $100,000.
Of the people who made under $50,000, 65% made $20,000 or under.
These numbers include people who have just started on Etsy as well as people who sell part-time and people who have been on Etsy since it opened and who sell full-time.
Because of the variations in people’s situations, it’s difficult to say what the “average” Etsy seller makes. However, other surveys that I’ve seen show results that are lower than these numbers.
It’s possible the difference between those two surveys is that the people in my groups tend to be more full-time Etsy sellers, so they’re more interested in making their businesses into full-time incomes.
I assume that if a survey includes more people who are selling part-time, the revenue for the past year will be lower.
So, based on the numbers that I collected and the numbers from the other survey, it’s safe to say that the majority of Etsy sellers make less than what would be considered an average full-time income in the US. However, this isn’t the full picture.
How many Etsy sellers are full-time?
There are no firm statistics about how many Etsy sellers work full time in their Etsy shops, Etsy doesn’t collect that information at this point. In addition, many Etsy sellers have other places where they sell their products, or they have additional work to supplement their incomes from Etsy. Many Etsy sellers use their Etsy income to supplement their main source of income, so Etsy isn’t something that provides the majority of their income.
In a Statista survey, 30% of Etsy sellers said that they pursued their creative businesses as their only income.
This didn’t specify whether these people had a partner with a second household income, or even whether they were selling ONLY on Etsy.
I’m a full-time Etsy seller, but I also have a total of three Etsy shops, two of which I don’t pay much attention to.
I also have a separate website where I sell products, and I have an ecommerce marketing program and other classes that I run.
Multiple streams of income are pretty much the norm for Etsy sellers as far as I can tell, based on the members of my Etsy groups.
While Etsy might not bring in a full-time income, the multiple income streams can.
One of my shops usually makes right around $100,000 per year, and with the other two shops added in, I make over $100,000 a year on Etsy.
This is after being an active seller doing this full-time for 7 or 8 years, but my income wasn’t this high during the first few years.
It takes time to build your business, and the first few years will generally have a much lower annual income.
In my experience, most people who make their creative business their full-time income sell in other places as well as on Etsy.
And unless you want to expand your business and include production partners or employees, it will be difficult to make more than $100,000 on Etsy in a year. Not impossible, but unusual as a one-person operation.
Sometimes Etsy sellers will want to expand their businesses in order to increase their revenue.
This might not actually increase their net income, though, because hiring employees can increase your expenses substantially.
Do you need employees to earn a full-time income on Etsy?
It’s completely possible to earn a full-time income by having a one-person business with no employees on Etsy. Many Etsy sellers are sole proprietors and individuals who work from home and don’t have employees, and they earn a full-time income without help. It’s also not unusual for some sole proprietors to have multiple Etsy shops that provide a full-time income when the individual shops’ revenue is added up.
I choose not to have employees, and I have no desire to hire anyone to work for me in the future.
The idea that you need to expand your business and have employees in order to have a “real” business is old-fashioned and isn’t relevant in current times.
The internet has given people the ability to work alone and use online tools to market and manage their business, so unless you want to hire employees, there’s no reason that you have to.
A lot of Etsy sellers don’t want to grow their creative businesses, either.
The majority of the members in my program aren’t trying to build a business that they can sell, because they are their businesses.
Artists who do hands-on creative artwork can’t sell that skill to another person, so growing the business, having employees, then selling it later might not fit into their business models.
Some full-time Etsy sellers do have employees to do things like packing orders or customer service, and they use online tools to schedule their social media posts and do things that can be automated.
Depending on whether the seller wants to grow their business, though, they can go without employees for as long as they want to.
So…Is Etsy worth it?
Based on the possibility of earning at least a part-time income, Etsy is worth it if you have time to put into building a shop and learning how the Etsy system works. Like anything else, the more effort you put into learning how to sell on Etsy, the better your chances of making money will be. Etsy is not a set-it-and-forget-it selling venue, it takes constant attention to keep up with the changes that they make on the platform.
Under normal circumstances, it will take some time to build your Etsy shop, so starting a shop sooner rather than later is a good idea.
Because of the sales potential, and the time that it normally takes to build a full-time income on Etsy, I would say that Etsy is worth it, but that it’s definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme.
It takes time to build a business using Etsy, so it’s worth it if you have realistic expectations.
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