In the U.S. alone, the craft industry is worth over $43 billion! So, if you’re talented, you might be considering turning your hobby into a job.
Can you make money selling crafts online? The average online craft maker earns $44,000 per year, but that number might be lower in reality when you take into account the cost of supplies and listing fees. Plus, higher earners skew that number upwards – over 65% of Etsy sellers made under $100 per year.
Read on to find out more about how much you can make selling crafts, where to sell them, and what type of crafts are the most profitable!
How Much Can You Make Selling Crafts Online?
The average income of someone who sells crafts online (namely on Etsy) is $44,380 per year.
That sounds pretty good for making money off of your hobby, but does that tell the whole story or just whitewash everything?
Actually, that figure is skewed, because Etsy considers someone a “high earner” when they make more than $10,000 a year from their Etsy sales.
However, over 65% of people say they made less than $100 per year.
And for those who do make money, we’re left to wonder: how much of it is really profit? What are the other costs involved?
What Are the Startup Costs?
As with most businesses, there are startup costs involved with selling crafts online.
Those might include:
- Supplies for your crafts
- Website domain
Let’s take a closer look at the potential costs involved in each.
Supplies for Your Crafts
This one might be obvious, but you’ll need to actually buy the supplies necessary for making your crafts.
Before you start, make a thorough list of everything that is required to make your product.
Then you can use this list to search out the best deals on the things you need, write down the approximate costs, and then you’ll have an accurate idea of how much getting your craft sales started will cost.
When you go to purchase your items, make sure you consider purchasing in bulk what would otherwise be a recurring purchase.
For example, if you make dresses, consider buying certain fabrics and threads in bulk – which is usually cheaper.
That way you’ll not only save money but also be ready in case there’s an uptick in sales and you need to make a bunch of inventory quickly.
Another cost you may have to consider is a website domain. Of course, if you aren’t going the route of selling on your own website, then you can just skip this portion.
If you are, however, then you’ll want to factor in the cost of a domain.
Generally, you can expect to spend about $10-$12 for a domain name per year. However, that doesn’t cover the cost of hosting or anything like that.
Honestly, the simplest way to go might be by purchasing a package on your website builder (like Wix or WordPress) that comes with a domain. It’ll save a lot of time and confusion.
That’s an especially good idea if you’re building your own website (and not having someone else do it), but you don’t have any experience with coding or development.
This is for the people who aren’t selling solely on their own website.
If you plan on selling your crafts on things like Etsy or Amazon Handmade, you’re going to have to pay a listing fee, a transaction fee, or both.
Some sites don’t have listing fees, but others charge a little bit (like $0.20) per listing.
There’s also transaction fees and processing fees, which happens only when you make a sale. It’s the portion of the sale that the website gets to keep.
Etsy, for example, charges a 3.5% transaction fee and a 3% processing fee, plus a random $0.25 on top of all that.
Other sites have something called a referral fee, which is basically the same thing just with a different name,
Amazon Handmade, for example, charges a staggering 15% referral fee per sale.
Plus, certain sites require you to pay a fee to sell on them – some nearly $40 a month!
What are the Most Profitable Crafts to Sell?
If you’re one of those people whose talented at multiple things (or who just loves all the types of crafts), then you’re probably wanting to focus your energy onto the ones that will make you the most money.
While all types of crafting can be profitable if done correctly, these are some of the current best:
- Farmhouse signs
- Bath bombs
- Metal Stamped Necklaces
- Picture Frames
Farmhouse chic has been the current home décor trend for a few years now, so it’s easy to grasp why these plain and rustic signs continue to soar in popularity.
All you need is some wood (reclaimed is better), some paint, and a quaint saying.
Depending on the size, shape, and color, you could be charging between $10-$100 per sign! And, if you add a customizable option, you could charge even more.
Plus, if you can find wood for cheap, most of that money you’ll make would be profit.
In fact, your biggest cost would be shipping. Just factor that into the cost when deciding whether to offer free shipping or charge.
Bath bombs are another craft that has been trending for some time now. But who doesn’t like watching a color explosion fizz away into a relaxing, aromatic bath?
Bath bombs can be made as cheap as $0.25. They’re quick, fun, and easy to make. Plus, you get to play around with various colors, scents, and shapes!
You can sell your bath bomb for around $4-$10, with a safe average price of $6 for a 4 oz one.
If you want to learn more about this highly profitable craft, check out this article here.
I’ve also written about making and selling handmade soap online, which could be the ideal compliment to selling bath bombs if you’re looking to sell multiple related products.
Metal Stamped Necklaces
Handmade jewelry has been around for a long time and is the original project.
Now having emerged onto the scene are metal stamped necklaces, which fits in with the rustic chic look that’s been so popularized in modern days. Especially on sites like Etsy.
This particular craft requires a lot more tools and supplies up front – like a metal stamper and sander, for example.
But, once you bite the bullet and get all of those under your belt, you can sell your stamped necklaces (or bracelets, or earrings…) for $15-$50!
If high profit margins and exquisite redolence are what you’re after, then look no further than candle making.
With profit margins ranging from 25%-50% for new businesses, this is a great place to start selling your crafts if you’re low on startup cash or can’t afford to take a big risk.
On average, a candle will cost you about $.45-$1.00 to make – possibly a little more if you run a smaller batch or use higher end ingredients.
However, you can turn around and sell each one for anything between $5-$20!
You can read more details about candle making and selling here.
Creating picture frames are for the truly creative at heart.
You can use any type of material you want – although wood is the most popular. And you can make it as simple or intricate as you see fit!
While the price can vary depending on what material you use and what size it is, generally you can expect to sell a wooden frame for $5-$35 apiece.
Of course, the actual cost to make will vary just as widely. But they still offer a lot of profit with a lot of creative control.
How To Sell Your Crafts Online
Once you’ve made your crafts, you’ll need to find a place to sell them online.
While one site in particular comes to mind, there are actually multiple marketplaces you can set up a digital storefront on. Some popular ones include:
- Handmade at Amazon
Let’s take a look at each.
Whenever someone thinks of buying handmade goods online, it’s probable that Etsy is the first site that comes to mind.
With over 2 million sellers and 60 million items, they’re the biggest player in this market. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the only one you should go with – or the best.
Recently, Etsy has been under fire for squeezing out more revenue at the expense of their sellers.
Not to mention, they have a growing list of fees, including:
- $0.20 listing fee for each item listed
- 5% transaction fee
- 3% processing fee
- $0.25 processing fee
- 15% offsite ads fee
The offsite ads fee is the newest and most controversial, because they automatically advertise your products for you and charge you a 15% fee if you make a sale that came through one of those ads.
Most sellers can opt out of this, however if you make over a certain amount per year, you are automatically enrolled in it and don’t have the choice to opt out.
Handmade at Amazon
Similar to Etsy’s reputation, most people think of Amazon as one of the most trustworthy means to purchase your online goods.
And now they offer a way for you to sell your handmade goods on there as well!
Of course, there’s a strict application process and not everybody gets approved. And there’s that pesky $39.99 per month seller’s account fee.
They also charge a 15% “referral” fee on each sale you make – and that’s including the shipping cost. And just in case that doesn’t amount to much, there’s a minimum of $1.00 for the referral fee.
One of the oldest marketplaces around, eBay still stands apart thanks to its auction option as well as the buy-it-now option.
What’s so great about eBay is the nostalgic feel to it – it’s not overrun with the latest trends and high-tech marketing tactics. It has an old-timey charm, which makes it great for selling quality, handmade goods.
Not only that, but their fees range from 1.5%-12% per sale, which means their highest percentage is lower than the highest percentage of the major competitors.
Granted, eBay’s listing fees are a bit more complicated than the others, but overall it’s comparable.
In the end, you definitely can make money selling crafts online. It’s all about choosing the right craft, the right price point to sell at, and the right place to sell online.
And if none of these excite you, there are lot of other great craft ideas out there, it’s just a matter of getting creative!
For example, you could make and sell hemp jewelry, turn wood into hand crafted home decor, or do something totally out of the box like crafting items out of old toilet rolls (yes, some people actually do make some extra money this way!)
Just remember that, even if you enjoy making crafts, you might not enjoy the business aspect that you add on to it. It takes a lot of time and effort to run a successful business, even if its online.
So make sure you’re prepared to put in the effort required!