selling on etsy {what to sell}

etsy series - what to sell @

With several years of experience as an etsy shop owner and over 1600 sales, I hope to inspire and encourage you to take the plunge and open your own shop if you’ve ever thought about it.  I know that I played with the idea in my mind for several months before jumping in.  Sometimes you just need a little nudge.  Consider yourself nudged 🙂

With the first post in this series I shared a few insights that I’ve learned as an etsy shop owner.

Today let’s explore what you can sell on etsy.

selling on etsy

Basic Categories:  Vintage, Handmade, or Supplies

Everything you sell must fit into one of these three categories.  Vintage is anything 20 years old or older.  You can sell it as-is.  This is a great category to sell in if you love estate sales and thrift stores.  Approximately 25 percent of my shop listings right now are in the vintage category.

selling on etsy

Handmade items include anything you make from scratch or alter in any way.  About 75 percent of my listings are up cycled handmade items.

Many times I start with an item from a thrift store or yard sale and give it a new use…

selling on etsy


Or maybe just a new coat of paint.

selling on etsy

selling on etsy

One last option is to sell craft supplies.  These can be new and not handmade by you.

selling on etsy

Custom/Made-to-Order or In-Stock

In the last post I mentioned the “magic number” of 100 –> meaning, if you stock your shop with at least 100 items, you will most likely see an average of one sale a day.  So, imagine the traffic if you can get to 200 items.  Or 300.  I would love to reach 400-500, but I only have enough time in the week to keep it hovering at around 300.

However, if you can branch out to custom work instead of in-stock items only, you will greatly increase the amount of items you can list.

For example, when I made my first few sets of painted mason jars, I created a listing for my in-stock jars.

selling on etsy

When they sold out, I was able to re-list without having to make new jars.  This keeps inventory low, allows you to create only when the money is in the bank, and enhances your storefront.

custom shabby chic frame set


Listings are 20 cents each for four months.  If they don’t sell during that time, they expire, but you can re-list for another 20 cents.  Keep reading to find out how to get some free listings!

Consider the Cost

Setting up an etsy shop is free.  There is no monthly cost.

selling on etsy

To start stocking your shop, you will pay 20 cents per listing.

When the item sells, etsy will charge you 3.5% of the selling price.

If your buyer checks out with Paypal, they will get their cut too.

And don’t forget about filing with your state and paying taxes on your earnings.

It all adds up and can be a bit discouraging for me at times to see all the fees, but owning at etsy shop is still worth it.  I have a nice little income on the side that can be used to help our family with unexpected expenses or to support some of my favorite charities!  What could you do with a little extra money in the budget?


Now, don’t forget –> your etsy shop is not a yard sale!  Don’t undervalue and underprice your hard work.

selling on etsy


You can find lots of formulas online for this, so I won’t get technical, but you should price your wares at double the wholesale rate.  Meaning, if you sold your items to a brick and mortar shop that wanted to resell your pieces, you should be able to chop your listing price in half, sell to the brick & mortar people, and still come out with profit.  It that’s not working for you, then your price is too low.

What goes into pricing?  Your supplies, your time, and your fees.  Then a profit.  Then double it.

Whew!  That was a lot of information.  But I hope it was helpful.

The next post in this series will show you a behind-the-scenes view of my etsy workroom.  I will try to clean it up a bit before I give a tour!  

{Are you ready to sell on etsy?  If you open a shop using my link, we will both get 40 free listings. Send me an email at abbybanks99 at gmail dot com for that special link!}

8 Adoption Fundraiser Ideas

Our Anna Rakeb has been home from Ethiopia for just over 2 weeks now.  Lots of firsts, new experiences, and bonding going on at our house.  And I forgot how many messes toddlers can make in ten seconds flat!

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

Now that we’re at the end of the adoption journey, we can look back and see how God provided the finances.  Every. Single. Time.

If God has called your family to adopt, then don’t let the finances scare you.  Once we stepped out in faith, God totally blew us away with His provision.

My hope is that this list will help other families in the adoption journey.  Here is what worked for us in order from least to greatest.


1.  Giveaways on Social Media & Online Auctions

A friend of my sister volunteered her artistic abilities for a giveaway to benefit our adoption.  She offered a custom pencil portrait for the winner.  We had a raffle on social media.  Each contribution of $5 put your name in the giveaway once.  $10 would enter you twice.

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

Do you have a friend who could team up with you for a giveaway?  Maybe they own an etsy shop and could donate an item or two.  Maybe they would like to contribute a wonderful gift basket to your raffle.  Many people would like to help, perhaps they just need to be asked.

2.  Online business owners donate commission {Jamberry Nails}

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

A friend hosted an online Jamberry party and graciously donated her commission toward our adoption expenses.  This is a great advertisement for your friends’ business as well as helping your family.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

3.  Sippy Cups of Change

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

{See those tags?  Yes, we did initially start out to adopt from Russia.  God providentially moved us away from that option before Russia closed itself off from international adoptions.}

Our sippy cups of change provided an easy way for interested friends & family to help.  They took a sippy cup I had purchased at the dollar store and filled it up with their spare change for weeks or months.  A ladies Bible study at a neighboring church even took a dozen to fill up for us.  Our boys contributed extra change to ours.  It’s a tangible way people can help.

4.  Become an Amazon affiliate

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

Who doesn’t shop online these days?  Again, this fundraiser will be as successful as your ability to remind your family & friends to use it!  When you sign up to be the amazon associates program, you will earn referral fees every time someone shops from your link.  We have designated our adoption account with the program, and the money just gets dropped right in.  It’s easy to set up.   However, as with the others, it is something you need to continually remind people about on their social media.  People would like to help — it doesn’t cost them a dime more to shop through your link — but you need to make it accessible and remind them regularly, especially during peak shopping seasons.

5.  Yard Sale

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

Our yard sale weekend was amazing — it brought in $2550!  That was much more than we had hoped for.  We held it at our church on Memorial Day weekend (Friday – Saturday).  It might have even done better had the weather cooperated.  We had to move it inside because of cold blowing rain!  But even with that, it was quite a success.  We asked our church family and through Facebook for donations of items to sell.  People were generous, even donating high ticket items, like a ride-on lawnmower, bunk beds, guitars, and such.  Friends helped us sort the items into sections, like you would have at a thrift store — housewares, girl clothing, shoes, toys, etc.  We sold clothing by the bag ($5/plastic grocery bag) or 50 cents a piece.  This helped to clear some of it out quickly.

8 adoption fundraisers

People donated baked goods.  We made lemonade to sell, but would have done better with hot chocolate or coffee!  Who could have predicted such a cold Memorial Day weekend?  Still, it was a success and definitely worth the effort.

6.  Puzzle

Between our first and second trips to Ethiopia, we decided to try a puzzle fundraiser.  We have seen friends do amazingly well with it.  However, I think the timing of ours (at the very end of the journey) was what made it so successful.

8 adoption fundraisers

We purchased a 252 piece puzzle featuring a picture of our sweet girl.  For every $10 donated through our tax deductible Pure Charity site, we wrote the contributor’s name on the back of a puzzle piece.

8 adoption fundraisers

We plan on framing the completed puzzle using a double sided glass frame so we will be able to see all the names on the back of the puzzle as a remembrance of those who had a part in her adoption.

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

7.  Grants

Yes, it takes time to do the research, but will be worth it in the end.  Most grant applications will all require the same information — financial (tax returns), some of your story and what led you to adoption, and references.  It’s a good idea to have all of that paperwork handy, and then you can apply for half a dozen grants at a time, in assembly-line-fashion.  Nothing beats getting that acceptance letter in the mail and realizing God has this adoption covered!

Overall, we received about $12,000 in grants for this adoption!!

8. Etsy shop {use your hobbies and gifts}

What can you do to raise extra funds right now?  Even if you have a full-time job, is there something else you could do on the side?  Perhaps you could offer in-home childcare.  Do you play an instrument?  You could give lessons.  Maybe you could declutter and sell some of your things on ebay.

8 adoption fundraisers

For me, I have always loved to craft.  I also love thrifting.  So, it just made sense to open an etsy shop, where I could sell my up cycled, painted, and sewn handmade goodies.  It gives me a good excuse to regularly go thrifting.  My boys are even in on the hunt now, as they know what I’m looking for.

8 adoption fundraisers

God has really blessed my shop.  I never could have imagined the benefits that would come.  First, financially, this shop has covered many adoption expenses along the way.

Additionally, I have been able to network with other like-minded individuals and ministries because of my online presence.  I have been able to donate to missions trips, orphanages, and other adoptive families because of the income from my shop.  

8 adoption fundraiser ideas

My shop is called 4onemore, and I hope to keep it open long after our adoption is through, so that we can bless other families who are also Making Room 4 One More. 

Other ideas to look into:

{Just Love Coffee, fundraising letters, breakfast fundraiser, online auctions, selling T-shirts, finding extra money in your budget, Both Hands Foundation}

Check out my Adoption Pinterest board for more inspiration!

The bottom line is this:  don’t let the financial aspects of adoption deter you if God has called you to this journey!  He can provide, and He will.  Many times, He’s just waiting for us to step out in faith and be ready to watch Him move.

Build-a-Library Baby Shower Invitations on etsy

Build-a-Library Baby Showers continue to be a fun theme.  Food, games, and decor all take their cue from favorite children’s books.  And the best part is that vintage books can be found cheaply at almost any thrift store.

But setting the right feel for your shower begins when you send the invitation.  That’s why my custom library card invites are a smart purchase.

CUSTOM library card invitations by

I have crafted thousands of unique invitations for my etsy shop, 4onemore.  Each book page is hand cut with just the right amount of text and illustration.

CUSTOM library card invitations by 4onemore.etsy.comCUSTOM library card invitations by 4onemore.etsy.comCUSTOM library card invitations by

Have a shower color scheme?  I may be able to match the card stock color to your choice.  I use real library pockets, then attach the book pages to the front.

Will the shower be featuring Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry, or Little Golden Books?  My book stash is constantly growing and changing, so chances are I can match to your theme.
CUSTOM library card invitations by

Now the fun begins, and I print out your invitation onto authentic library cards.

CUSTOM library card invitations by CUSTOM library card invitations by

What is usually included on the invite?  You can definitely word it any way you’d like, but here are the main points.
CUSTOM library card invitations by

The reverse side is a great place to include extra details.  Some people carry the theme over to the gifts, and ask guests to bring books for baby’s library.  There are several creative ways to do this.

In lieu of a card, please bring a copy of your favorite childhood book to help build a library for baby.

One small request that won’t be too hard,  Please bring a book instead of a card, Whether Cat in the Hat or Winnie the Pooh, You can sign the book with a note from you.

If you’re looking for cute library card invitations for baby showers, birthdays, or book club parties, give me a shout on

CUSTOM library card invitations by

For a more grown up look, these library card notecards are just the thing!

CUSTOM library card notecards by

It’s always fun to coordinate your thank you notes with your party theme.

CUSTOM library card thank you notes by

Need some cute tags?  I’ve got them too.

CUSTOM book page tags by

These mini composition notebooks make cute favors.  Customized to your book theme.

CUSTOM mini notebook favors by

I haven’t seen invitations just like this anywhere.  I hope you’ll give 4onemore a chance to create great pieces to carry out your theme.

Check out my Pinterest board for more Build-a-Library Shower ideas.

Have you been to a book-themed shower?  What other items helped to set the mood?