Can I make money selling on Etsy?

money selling on Etsy

In September of 2016 I started an experiment called “The Etsy Project.” The goal of the experiment was to find out if it was possible to create an income from selling my photography prints. Etsy has been around since June of 2005, and I feel like I’m a bit late to the game. Is it too late?

***Update for October 19th – Making Money selling on Etsy ***

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my shop and my photographs for sale, and see that Etsy offers digital downloads as an alternative to prints. Now, I don’t like the idea of giving away a digital file. Why? I have no idea what the person who purchases the file is going to do with it. Lot’s of time and effort goes into capturing and editing my images so unless your willing to pay much more than what I see other files are being sold for, I’m not interested.


After some googling and other research, It appears, to no surprise of mine, that downloadable art is very popular on Etsy, and those shops who sell these digital downloads appear to be doing very well. So what the heck can I do to get in on the downloadable art market? FiveHighPrintables is my answer. I created this second shop to sell downloadable artwork for your home at the amazing low price of only $5!


You may be saying to yourself, Wait! What? You just finished saying your didn’t want to supply your art as a digital download, so what’s up? You won’t find any of my fine art prints listed in this new shop, but you will find artwork that I specifically created for it. If your thinking, well, that’s stupid, what’s the difference? There is a difference. TIME. I’m not going to get into the specifics, but the only thing that matters is that I’m comfortable with the listing you see, and the price I have set for them.

This blog will now be a better representation of if one can still make money selling on Etsy. The first monthly income report will be November 2016, and I’ll do my best to show all the numbers for both shops. It should be interesting to compare the two!

Read More…

Income Report October

Now that October has come to close, I’m happy to report my first traffic and income report.

The numbers you see below is the data collected from two shops that I’m running on Etsy. I’ve named the experiment “The Etsy Project”.  The goal is to create an income from selling items on Etsy. The first shop martellostudio, sells prints of my photography, while the second shop HighFivePrintables, sells artwork via instant digital download. Let’s jump into the numbers for October…




8×10 Print – $23.14 (30% Discounted Sale)
No Sales – $0.00



Etsy Listing Fees 8.43
Etsy Promoted Listing Fees 0.45
Supplies – Healing Matt 32.56
Supplies – Xacto 15.51
Supplies – Ruler 15.85
Clear Bags 124.8
Paper 8.5×11 37.99
Paper 13 x 19 73.81
Printer Canon Pro-100 344.6
TOTAL $654.00



Etsy Listing Fees 5.8
Etsy Promoted Listing Fees 2.32
TOTAL $8.12


TRAFFIC (Impressions & Clicks):

Promoted Listings set to a budget of  $2.00 US per day. And a Bid of US$0.05.


Impressions 1623
Clicks 11


Impressions 657
Clicks 7


My thoughts:

  • As it’s only my first month selling on Etsy, I can’t really make any sound judgements.
  • I got my first print sale early on but no other sales followed.
  • The expenses of starting & selling printed products is obviously much higher than selling a digital download product.
  • I have yet to see a digital download sale, bummer, but as I add products to both shops, I hope to increase my visibility and bring some sales.
  • I also need to look at advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to drive more traffic to my shops.


That’s it for this months income report. I have no idea how these numbers stack up. It’s hard to analyze one month of data when you have nothing to compare it to. As I continue to create these reports, I’m hoping to get a better idea of what is working, and what needs help.

Bye for now,



New Prints Released on Etsy

Venice Prints

I have updated my Etsy store to included a couple more photography prints featuring beautiful scenery from Venice. If you don’t see a size that fits your needs, I will happily work with you to produce something that you will love.

When ordering from my Etsy shop, prints up to 12″x18″ will be securely packaged and mailed between two pieces of heavy cardboard to prevent bending. Prints larger than 12×18″ are shipped in a heavy duty tube.


Etsy Promoted Listings

I know my Etsy shop is only a couple of weeks old, but now that I have about 40 prints available for purchase, I need to start seeing some traffic! Looking at my advertising dashboard, the numbers are not good. How am I supposed to sell anything If I only get a couple of visitors to my shop? I hope Etsy’s Promoted Listings and Google Shopping is the answer.

After some googling of what others are doing, here is what I have setup:

  • I have set the Promoted Listings to a budget of  $2.00 US per day. And a Bid of US$0.05.
  • I have also set the Google Shopping listing to an average budget of $2.00 US dollars per day.

I’m hoping that this will start to drive some traffic to my shop.

I’ll let this run for the month and my first report will show the totals.