If you are planning to sell candles on Etsy or wondering if it’s worth it, this article is for you.
In the past few years, Etsy has become the No. 1 online marketplace for unique and creative handmade goods, along with vintage items and lots of other artsy stuff. With more than 45 million active buyers, there’s no doubt why it is one of the most popular options among sellers of various kinds of products. Whether you are looking for ways to monetize your crafting hobbies, start a side hustle, or even kickstart your own online retail business, Etsy is a prime choice to consider.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of how to start selling candles on Etsy. We discuss the initial set-up process, legal considerations, marketing tips, and provide lots of other useful information about turning your creations into cash. But first, for those wondering whether or not to sell candles on Etsy, a little note on the profitability of this opportunity that will settle the debate for good.
Why Sell Candles on Etsy?
There are many reasons why selling candles on Etsy is a lucrative option for creative entrepreneurs.
To begin with, the platform has built-in visitors and allows you to get your product in front of a really large customer base real fast. You can get started for free with maximum convenience and little to virtually no investment. Plus, you can test the feasibility of production and ease of business operation before fully investing in the product and inventory.
Moreover, there are no overhead costs like rent and utility bills that come with selling your goods in a brick and mortar shop. Sellers can work at their own pace and get complete autonomy in managing their stores. Above all, Etsy encourages sales to new stores, and thus, tracks several metrics to help business owners grow their online shop. It has an integrated analytics tool to help you monitor and evaluate the main drivers of your sales so that you can scale your business accordingly.
If you wish to avoid the hassle of web management, advertising, managing payments, and other costs and complexities involved in setting up your own candle-making business from scratch, selling on Etsy is just for you.
Here’s how to do it right.
Understanding Your Customers
Understanding your potential customers is crucial to the success of any business. Before selling candles on Etsy, make sure that you know your target audience well.
Here are the main things to consider when determining your buyer’s persona:
Demographics – Consider the age, gender, income, and location of your customers to get a better idea of what types of candles people are willing to buy
Spending behavior – Some people look for the cheapest candles on the market when the need arises, whereas others don’t mind splurging hundreds of dollars so long as the candle is worth it. Knowing the buying behavior of your potential customers will enable you to set the right price for your products and offer deals that lure them in
Interests – The demand for candles can be divided into different categories. People want candles for weddings, birthday parties, and decorations for other similar events. If you are targeting such customers, you can produce and sell candles in bulk quantities. However, many people buy candles for aromatherapy or as a present for friends and family members. For that, you will have to put in some extra thought and effort into making your products stand out from the crowd.
No matter where or how many are lit, candles can uplift the beauty and atmosphere of any room and provide an unmatched sensory experience with their sophisticated fragrances. However, candles are one of those products that can pose potential health and safety hazards. Of course, you won’t be liable for how a customer uses your candles, but as the seller, you must ensure that your products comply with the safety standards and are labeled correctly.
ASTM International, an American organization that publishes technical standards for a wide range of products and services, defines the requirements for handmade candles as well. For instance, there are specifications for:
- Labeling candles and similar wax crafts for burning
- Glass containers used as candle containers
- Fire safety for wax accessories
- Analysis of visible emissions from candles as they burn
The detailed descriptions of these rules and regulations can be found at ASTM’s site here.
If you sell candles on Etsy under sole proprietorship, you won’t generally require any license. However, it’s recommended that you speak a business attorney to avoid breaking any laws inadvertently.
Creating a Store on Etsy
Once all the preliminary work is complete, you are ready to set up your candle shop at Etsy.
Registration – If you already sell a different product at Etsy, you can simply create another shop using the same account. If you are new to the platform, you must first become a registered seller at the site. Fill in the details required and then use the credentials to open your candle store.s
Set up – After creating your shop, Etsy will prompt you to choose your language and currency preference for seamless user experience. You may skip it if you want, but don’t forget to set your location properly; otherwise, your listings will not reach the potential customers.
Naming Your Shop – Etsy requires a unique name for every shop, so this might take a while if you for vague or general names like ‘homemade candles’ or ‘candles by Sarah’ and so on. Pick something catchy and interesting so that visitors have no trouble remembering your store whenever they need candles.
Listing and Advertising Your Candles
Etsy will charge you $0.20 for every item that you list for sale. The product will remain on the site for up to four months. If you don’t sell the product within the same time period, Etsy will auto renew your listing against a payment of another 20 cents.
When pricing your candles, make sure that you account for the listing and payment/ transaction fees so that they don’t eat away at your profits. The transaction and payment processing charges are as follows:
- Transaction fee: 5% commission on the total product price (paid to Etsy for the use of their services)
- Payment processing fees: 3% of the total product price plus $0.25 if the customer pay via their credit or debit card, and 2.9% of the total product price plus $0.30 if they use PayPal instead
As far as showcasing your candles is concerned, you will need high-quality photos that do justice to the actual beauty of your handcrafts. 1000px is the recommend resolution while the minimum is 570px wide. Also, all of your candles should have a brief product description that captures the essence of your handmade goods.
Additionally, here are some key marketing tips to make the most of selling candles on Etsy:
- Use social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram to develop a larger following
- Try to work with an influencer to drive more traffic to your shop (you can offer them a nice candle gift set in lieu of cash if you don’t have the budget for advertisements)
- Understand and use Etsy search engine optimization tags
As an exclusive marketplace for handmade and vintage items, Etsy is hands down the best place to sell candles and turn your creations into cash. With no initial charges and zero monthly fees, setting up and maintaining an online store has never been easier. Whether you want to start your own handcrafts business, add another distribution channel to your current candle-making business, or simply start a sidekick, opening a store on this e-commerce platform can be a great way to go about it.
We hope this guide on how to sell candles on Etsy has provided you with a comprehensive overview of the subject and made you more confident in getting started on this creative venture.
Good luck with your crafting!