Over the years, I have gotten a lot of people tell me something along the lines of “you should sell on Etsy” or “selling what you make on Etsy should be your career”, or “you could make a living on etsy”. I know they mean well, but I always hear it from non knitters, and at this point I tell them that for someone like me to sell on etsy, I would lose money on everything I sell, just to get it sold.
I will use a pair of socks for example, using KnitPicks Palette Yarn, that I had bought enough of to get free shipping and had paid full price. For an average woman’s foot, to get a pair of socks, I need one and a part of a second ball, so I buy two of every color I want to use, for a single pair of socks. Then I also have to factor in the electricity I use while knitting up the socks, as well as the cost of the wool wash, the water, and electricity to wash and dry the socks, then cost of shipping materials, the cost of shipping and the labor from the time I start the socks, to completing them, washing them, drying them, taking the pictures, posting it on Etsy, packing them up to ship, and then shipping the items, would take a good 50 – 60 hours.
So let me break it down for you in the numbers:
Cost to post an item to my etsy shop: $.20
Cut etsy takes from price items sell for: 3.5%
Cost for two balls of KnitPicks Palette Yarn (based on having an order over $50 to qualify for free shipping) – $6.98
Electric bill allocation for electricity used while working on each project: $20
Water & Sewer usage to wash a pair of socks – $5
Shipping materials: $5+
60 hours of labor at $15 an hour – $900
So in order to take a living off of selling socks on Etsy, I would have to charge, roughly $990.47 plus shipping for a pair of socks.
I don’t care who you are, and what your budget is, or the fact that they are a good quality sock, no one is going to pay roughly $1000 for a pair of socks, but that is why I would have to charge to make a living off of selling what I make on Etsy. That is why I don’t sell on Etsy, I know i can’t make a living that way off selling what I make.
Not to mention dealing with small business taxes, and that is a definite deal breaker for me. I am the creative one, not the numbers one.