This mommy tries to sell online…What it’s really like to sell on Etsy


So what’s it really like owning an online store? I always wondered how did people find things to sell? Well my online selling story starts with a bet. As long as my husband and I have been married we have shopped at thrift stores. Three years ago was not different. We walked down the isles and my husband spotted this velvet painting. It was a child sitting on a chamber pot. Usually we would laugh and walk away. However this time I made the comment I bet I could sell this on ebay. My husband laughed and said there was no way. I looked at the price and thought hmmm. Only a dollar? I bought it took it home and put it for sale on Ebay. To both of our surprise I sold it later that week for $40.00 dollars!

The excitement of the sale gave me a thrill. I looked around my house and at thrift stores and started selling online and haven’t looked back.

About six months into my online adventure, I started an Etsy store. After selling online for over two and half years. I will tell you owning an online store is not for the faint of heart. If you plan on selling vintage on Etsy than this means your items has to be over 20 years. You also have to be prepared to go on treasure hunts pretty often.

Looking for something isn’t as easy as it seems. I have made some flop purchases and I am always surprised when something I consider not in my taste sells for high dollars. Once I find something I think will sell, the research begins.

Knowing what you are selling is helps a lot. I have found things that look interesting and have sat on a shelf for months, waiting until I know what it is. When you are researching your item, you are looking: for 1.brand

Who made it?

2.time period

When was it made?

  1. Price

How much has it sold for in the past

After the research I start to clean up the object I am going to sale. Most of the time this involves just a soft rag and water. Knowing how to clean antiques can be hard to. My rule of thumb is if it I don’t know how to clean it, than I don’t clean it and leave to the buyer to determine if it needs cleaning.


When the cleaning is finished, the object is ready for pictures. I choose a place where I can use natural sunlight. I than make sure, to take pictures of each angle, and any scratches and dings. My goal is to take pictures pretending that there will not be a description.

Than I upload my pictures and write a description like there are no pictures. This is to ensure the buyer knows exactly what they are getting with no surprises. Once the item has been purchased, I wrap it carefully, and send it to it’s new home. Each object in my store takes 2-6 hours of my time depending on how common it is.

If you plan to sell online it is also useful to have storage available to house your items until they sale. I am super luck my husband built me shelves in a storage room in our garage. This keeps the kids out and gives me a space to work.

I love selling vintage items. It takes time and patience but in the end for me it is worth it. I love learning about new things and the history behind the items I sell. I love my customers, some have emailed me and told me the true value of their new treasured objects. Such as a forgotten memory, or the symbolism it plays for a hard time in their life.


Have you ever thought about selling online? What has stopped you?


If you have a chance stop by my Etsy store :VintageintheBeehive. If you see something you like for the Holiday season put in the Coupon code: Thismommytries for an additional 10% off.

29 thoughts on “This mommy tries to sell online…What it’s really like to sell on Etsy

  1. Great post Tiffany!

    I also figured Etsy would be a great way to make a side income. I sell handmade items, but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be and I wish I had read this before I had opened my shop!

    That being said, I’m happy I went for it! I love when I see pictures or hear stories from people using the products I make (mostly baby items) and it makes me happy that I made that.

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. Tiffany,
    The information you have provided is extremely rewarding as I have interest in opening a online store through Etsy as well. My husband and I have the same passion of thrifting and finding amazing deals at the Habitat, Goodwill and the like.

    1. Thank you Jessica , good luck in starting an Etsy. It can be addicting. Shoot me an email and I can refer you to Etsy for you to get 10 free listings.

  3. I currently have an Etsy shop and it is definitely not easy. However, I sell handmade gifts. A huge struggle for me is taking myself out of the equation and realize that just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I haven’t really dived too deeply into Etsy, but we do have a couple of other online portals we having been using for a while to sell knick knacks here and there. But I’ll definitely check it out more I reckon, seems like a worthwhile pursuit! How does the commission compare to other sites?

    1. There is a 20 cent listing fee (for 4 months) and than 5% of the sale including shipping. I’m not sure about other sites I know eBay is higher %.

  5. I love that this great journey of yours started with a bet! You provide great tips for those who want to start an online store. I think it’s so important that the seller and buyer know every detail about a product before purchasing. Great read!

  6. I never sold on Etsy. It is something I would like to try one day maybe selling my hand sewn t-shirt and dresses. But I have been buying handmade things from Etsy for holiday gift they are so unique!

  7. I have been wanting to start an Etsy store for a while to try and sell my knitted and crochet items but have been reluctant to do so as I work full time and care for my husband, this leaves little time for my hobby. I also feel that it might turn something I love into something of a chore. But reading your article has given me hope that I might be able to open a store and just sell when I’ve got finished items. This article is great and has brilliant information for me to take away and really think about it.

    1. Thank you so much Dee. If you are selling handmade items you can also create one and post it as Made to order. This will also give your customers the option of customization!

  8. This is cool! The items are cute no wonder it sells well on Etsy. But you have an interesting sorry. I was trying to sell on Etsy, I was only a click away to submitting my card details for the billing, but I had to back out. I thought I needed more designs to sell. I just lacked guts. I hope I can push through in 2019

  9. I sell handmade dolls on Etsy and it can be so frustrating! People think it’s a simple thing but planning key words, tags, taking photos take almost as much time as making product does!

  10. Most of these days selling online is the biggest job that can help to us or can help to earn money. This article giving an information to expand our knowledge.

  11. Great story shared. Inspiring! You reminded me of my first selling online which is food package. In the beginning I just created a facebook page for fun, I didn’t expect that I could make any money on it. Until a sudden call to my phone, one lady said that she found my store from facebook and interested in my packages. She ended up become my first customer, even though she didn’t buy a lot, she motivated me to spend more effort to run my online store. Without her, I might have given up the online business long long time ago.

  12. I have always wanted to start an Etsy store, but I have no idea what to sell. Lol. I have thought about making some digital printables and then it could be passive income. Once it is created, it is done and there is no need to continue creating per order and there’s no shipping. I am still considering this, but I have just never jumped the gun and done it.

  13. I always wanted to sell online, but I can’t seem to have the courage to actually start and do it on my own. It’s quite challenging, and intimidating actually… but of course I’ll never know until I try. 🙂 Thanks for this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *