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How Selling On Etsy Became My Retirement Fund

Updated on December 13, 2015

Retirement Planning... It Just Didn't Happen

Is poor retirement planning a good excuse for not being able to maintain quality of life?

That's the question that has been plaguing me for quite some time. I knew years ago that I would be in hot water when I reached retirement age because I just couldn't seem to set aside anything for the "golden years." Well, those years are here, and I'm writing this article to let you know that there is still hope if you failed to plan. I'm actually doing okay.

Thinking about what to sell


Selling On Etsy - My Story

I am a few years beyond the dreaded 65, and quite fortunately, I have been blessed with good health and a fertile brain. I have taken a life long interest in making things from wood and transformed it into a retirement fund using the vehicle known as Etsy.

Etsy is an online business that allows just about anyone to promote and sell their crafts. It has turned out to be an exciting way to literally keep me off the street. You see, I had envisioned myself with one of those cardboard signs saying, "Baby Boomer needs Food".

The way it came about is not as straight forward as it could have been. I started by opening a small booth in a consignment shop where my wife and I sold items that we had purchased used from garage sales and thrift shops. I started adding some items I made in my garage from used lumber. Things like wall sconces, picture frames and plaques. These did alright in the little shop.

Then we happened upon the idea of making fish out of old used wooden boards. Almost immediately, these started selling as quick as we could get them on the wall. They weren't just fish, they had character because they were painted with random colors and put together in a whimsical way. Before long, they dominated our sales, and we stopped selling the other stuff.

That's when I decided to look into a way to sell these little cuties in an online market place.

Etsy rose to the top of the list. It is perfect for home crafters. I was able to get started with absolutely no up-front investment. All I needed was a product and a computer.

When I say "no investment", I am not kidding. They charge nothing to get started and $0.20 to list something. Since I started with 5 items, I had a whole dollar on the line. Failure would cost nothing!

I honestly did not have high expectations for making quick sales. There are so many folks selling on Etsy that I just didn't know if anyone would find my few little fish. But I sold something after only a few days. And after the first two months, I had about 5 sales. That's when I realized that Etsy could work for me.

My Etsy Shop Sign

What About Your Etsy Experience

Have you done any selling on Etsy?

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The Costs On Etsy

Just to be clear, there are some additional costs when you sell something. Etsy charges a small percentage of your gross sale (3.5% plus another 3% if you use "Direct Checkout"), but that does not get paid by you until they collect the money. (Yes, THEY collect the money and deposit it into your bank every week.)

How Much Can You Make?

I don't actually know how much I can make using Etsy. I have heard stories of people making $40-70K, but I don't know any of them personally. What I can tell you is that, having only started less than a year ago, I am averaging about $1200 per month. I never suspected this could happen, but it has.

How To Make A Fish Wall Clock


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    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 22 months ago

      Yes, aesta1, it is personal. I hope it proves to be profitable as well. Thanks for looking.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 22 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have read about Etsy and visited the place but this is a much more personal experience you've shared and I like the products. Will definitely check your page out.