handmade success

How much inventory should I start with on Etsy?

As a new Etsy seller, you may be wondering how much inventory you should start with. Our blog post will give you some guidance based on what you make.

When you’re just starting out on Etsy, it’s natural to wonder how much inventory you should have on hand. After all, you want to make sure you have enough products to sell, but you don’t want to be stuck with too much stock that you can’t sell.

See also: So You Want to Make Something and Sell It? Here’s What You Need to Know

So, how much inventory should new Etsy sellers aim for? This is a great question, and unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Generally speaking, you should start with at least 10-20 different products. This will give you a good selection to choose from, and it will also help you attract buyers who are looking for specific items. This amount of stock will allow you a good breadth of stock and allow you to start to hone your SEO on Etsy.

Depending on the products you sell, your target market, and your overall business goals, you will need to adjust your starting inventory from here.

For example, if you’re selling handmade jewelry, you might only have a few of each design, so you wouldn’t need as many products as someone who’s selling t-shirts as POD.

Expect multiple quantity orders

It’s also important to list enough stock to be able to provide customers with the ability to purchase more than one and take advantage of shipping discounts.

If you are testing what sells, you probably need at least 3 of something. 1 sale may be a fluke, 2 a coincidence, etc, but if it sells 3 times, it will probably continue selling. Also, many people want 2 of something, so it’s good to have at least 2. You want them to be able to buy a sufficient quantity to justify the shipping charges. Often 3 or 4 items will ship for the same price as 1 item, depending on what you are selling. - AAANativeArts, Etsy community forums

The ‘List what you can make’ strategy

Also think about how long it takes to make your items: if your products have a short production turnaround, an idea is to list the amount of product you can potentially make from your available material stock rather than finished stock on hand.

“I started my shop with zero “complete” inventory, but had raw material to make 20-30 products. It really depends on what you’re selling and if your stuff is made to order, customized or premade. I personally wanted to keep my initial inventory costs as low as possible in the case that my shop failed.” - CommonStep on r/etsy

This “list what you can make” strategy requires you to know exactly what you can make from your available supplies, so make sure you have your production process documented and your material usage fully calculated to avoid overselling. Bill of materials software like Craftybase can help you with this task.

As you can see, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much inventory you should have. Ultimately, it all depends on the type of products you’re selling, how fast they sell, and how much cash and material stock you have on hand. However, following these guidelines should help you get started on the right foot.

5 Quick tips for new sellers starting to sell on Etsy

  1. Choose a niche: When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to focus on one specific type of product. This will make it easier to attract buyers who are interested in what you’re selling.

  2. Create great listings: Take the time to create listings that are well-written and include high-quality photos. This will help you attract buyers and make more sales.

  3. Promote your shop: Spread the word about your Etsy shop through social media, forums, and other online channels like Pinterest. The more people who know about your shop, the more likely you are to make sales.

  4. Be patient: Don’t expect to make a lot of sales right away. It takes time to build up a following on Etsy, so be patient and keep promoting your shop.

  5. Offer discounts: One way to attract buyers is to offer discounts on your products. This can help you move inventory and make more sales in the long run.

  6. Ensure you are keeping tabs on your inventory right from the start. Use a spreadsheet or specialised inventory software for Etsy like Craftybase to set yourself up for success.

Selling on Etsy can be a great way to make some extra money, but it’s important to start out with a solid foundation. By having a good selection of products and promoting your shop effectively, you can increase your chances of success.

Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, an inventory and bookkeeping software product designed specifically for handmade sellers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, Etsy sellers for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help handmade sellers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.