Recently, I wrote about my experience with Etsy suspending my shop. You can read about it here. It was in that moment that I realized the importance of diversifying income streams or methods. Since Etsy reinstated my account, my sales have been way down and views have been, too. It just so happens that Etsy has made some major changes over the past several months and my shop would probably have taken the hit whether I was shut down or not. But I’m pretty sure losing 2 weeks of up time didn’t help matters.
Etsy has been my sole source of income for quite some time, with the exception of a few sales here and there on Facebook and Jane. But, since my nightmare came true a few months ago, I’ve been looking for as many ways to diversify my income streams as possible.
For those of you who sell on Etsy, or have a handmade business like mine, there are several avenues that you can get involved in that will start bringing income from multiple platforms instead of depending on just one for all of it. It’s easy to put all your eggs in one basket but it’s not the smartest move. Perhaps you don’t sell on Etsy but have considered it. I’ve included them in my list for consideration, but with warning.
Not all of these platforms may work for your business, but they are certainly worth taking a look at.
Just so you know, this post contains some affiliate links. Click HERE to see the full disclosure.
Selling takes time. And, just like selling, building a business on any of these platforms takes time and hard work. The key is consistency, knowing your market and appealing to your market the best you can. Anyone can have success on any of these platforms, but none of them are guaranteed to bring success to you overnight. Be patient and stay the course. Your hard work will pay off!
ETSY – If you read my post about Etsy, you’ll understand my reservations so I won’t list them all here. Etsy IS a platform for selling your handmade, vintage, craft supply and wholesale goods. Just be careful not to solely depend on Etsy. Add a few other platforms to your income plan. If you decide to sell on Etsy, use my link HERE and you’ll get 40 free listings! It normally costs $.20 per listing, so this is a great deal to get you started. There are a lot of changes taking place in the Etsy company right now, so stay abreast of those changes so you can adjust accordingly.
FACEBOOK – If you aren’t on Facebook and you have a business, you need to stop right now and GET on Facebook! A business page is a must. If you’re a product-based business, you can list your items on your Facebook page and market them to your audience. There are numerous Facebook groups that exist for the sole purpose of promoting each other’s Facebook pages…and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media accounts. You can also join the TONS of buy-sell-trade groups on Facebook where you can sell your goods. Just be sure to read the rules of each group as some do not allow business promotion, or will allow it only on certain days. I’ve sold lots of items on Facebook through groups, my business page and even on my personal page. It’s worth it.
JANE.COM – Jane is a flash sale-type site where sellers “apply” to sell an item and, if approved, it is scheduled for a three-day flash sale. There are inventory requirements and other rules that apply, but it can be a great way to make some good income in just a few days’ time. Jane does take 25% of your sales, so be aware of that before pricing your items to ensure you make a profit. Not all my items get approved, but the ones that do tend to sell well.
BELLECHIC.COM – Bellechic is another flash sale-type site. It seems that Jane has a larger following, but Bellechic can be a great income source if you have the right product to sell.
BONANZA.COM – I recently discovered Bonanza as an additional platform for selling my products. What I like about it so far is that you don’t pay anything to list, Bonanza advertises for you and you select the amount of advertising based on the commission you’re willing to pay for that advertising. The base commission is 3% and goes up to 20% and there are several options/levels to choose from. You’re able to import products from several other selling platforms, like Shopify and Etsy, so listing is fairly quick other than tweaking shipping and other details. It’s FREE to get started, so why now?!
SHOPIFY – Shopify is the platform that I decided to use for my personal online retail site. It costs about $30/month to have the site and you only pay for apps that you purchase and for credit card fees from collecting payments for purchases. Shopify allows you to upload your listings from other platforms such as Etsy and a free app allows you to list as many variations as you need. This was a big seller for me. There is a blog function within Shopify, but I link to my WordPress blog. You can purchase custom themes or use one of their free themes. There’s even a drop shipping app that integrates seamlessly with the site. It’s not hard to use and it functions quite well. Customer service is awesome, too.
eBay – You might think of auctioning sports memorabilia or cars when you think of eBay. Well, think bigger! You can sell anything and just about everything on eBay – and you don’t have to list auction style. They have a Buy Now option (which is what I use for my products) so you can set your price. They often run free listing promos but listing fees are low anyway, depending on how many bells and whistles you want your listing to have. There is a selling fee, which varies by product/sale price/and other factors. I’ve sold quite a bit on eBay, much to my surprise.
AMAZON HANDMADE – When I launched my Shopify site, I was able to integrate with Amazon as well as several other platforms (eBay, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.), so I began selling on the Handmade portion of Amazon. I had sales almost right away, so I knew it was going to be a great platform. It costs nothing to list. You pay around 15% when you sell an item. Just be sure to pay attention to the rules and make sure your listings are well-detailed, especially your shipping and production times. I ran into an issue with Amazon because of this; I’m still working that out.
When it comes to diversifying your sales platforms, my attitude is that if I sell one item on eBay a week, it’s one more item that I’ve sold that otherwise would not have! Every sale counts, so what do you have to lose? Especially with the free listing options that are out there.
So tell me, where do you sell? I’m sure I’m missing some great options! Please share them in the comments below.