ETSY How-To: Money in and Money Out

 

When running a business on ETSY (or any online venue, personal website, or home parties) it’s very important to keep track of money in and money out.  It’s nearly impossible to gauge how well your business is doing without keeping track of the necessary profits and expenditures.  Once you are tracking the in and out of money it can be easier to find budget limits, and determine where to cut costs from and where to put more money in.  If you aren’t already I would get an accounting software (Quickbooks is one of the best) and put it all your information; inventory, receipts, bills, advertising costs, and sales.  It’s also a great program to use to keep track of inventory pricing such as cost, wholesale price, and retail price of items you have for sale.

Here are some quick tips on how to save money once you gauge where your business stands with money in and money out:

* Have a Set ETSY Bill.  Every month determine the exact amount you want to spend on ETSY for listing new items and renewing. Remember if you want to only spend 60.00 a month don’t set your budget at 60.00 because you still have to account for items being sold and your commission costs to ETSY for those items being sold. If you sold $350.00 in merchandise on ETSY that’s $12.25 that will also be on your bill Try to stay as close to your budget as possible.

* Research Supply Prices.  Always remember this: You are not married to your supplier.  It’s okay to look for better pricing on items.  You may get lucky and your current supplier may price match the other supplier, but they won’t if you don’t ask.

* Dedicate to FREE Promotion.  There is no cheaper advertising than free advertising, and there are many ways you can do that.  I am currently working on a Facebook fan page, and it’s free.

* Cut Unreasonable Practices that Bleeding Money.  I was offering free shipping for a long time but with the cost of shipping going up and the cost of my mailers going up it was no longer practical for me. I still have very good shipping costs ($1.99 US, $2.99 international) but it was unreasonable on my already lower priced items to offer free shipping.

Hope this helps you out a little with your pursuit of making more profit in 2011.

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ETSY Renewing: Confessions of a Renewaholic

White Daisy Flower Black Agate Ring

So last month I was determined to kick the renewing beast and really focus on turning around more profit on my listings. Believe me the bill was killing me, and after my fiance losing his job how would I support the habit? I felt like I was in Vegas, playing the .20 slots and crossing my fingers for jingles and jackpots. I truly was gambling more than winning.

I really wanted to learn if renewing all this time, because it was ETSY myth you had to stay seen in a saturated market, was really hurting me, helping me, or doing nothing. I found out it was hurting me. I have kept my renewing to under $5.00 a month in March, and so far under $2.00 this month and guess what? My sales were 33 last month, and so far 16 this month. February I had over 40 but I was also featured. Every month before that I renewed like crazy but never made more than 15 sales a month. I am finally getting consistent sales, but because of hard work, not because of renewing.

Some helpful tips I learned that I think helped:

* Adding new items often. Why waste another 20 cents renewing when you can list something new?

* Creating outside of the box. I have been working on new designs and they have been helping

* More custom work.

* More times in the forum.

* Realizing that some social tools weren’t working. I have better ways to spend my time.

So those are my confessions, my wallet feels better, I feel better, and I think I am rehabilitating pretty good. How about you?