A quick search on Etsy for the keywords “craft supplies & tools” yields 13,113,139 listings, while “handmade” gives us 6,953,254. It’s therefore safe to assume that the craft supplies and tools category on the platform is practically double that of handmade items.
With so many supplies, it’s natural to ask the question, “can I use my craft supplies and tools to enter the handmade category?” And of course, the same question applies in reverse to the handmade sellers who wish to enter the craft supplies and tools category on Etsy.
We explored these questions in more detail so that you can make a more informed decision about your sales efforts on this popular marketplace.
Let’s dig in a bit deeper.
From the outset, it’s important to differentiate between the craft supplies and tools category and the handmade one.
The primary differentiator is the fact that the craft supplies and tools category offers the equipment and materials to create a finished product. The freedom lies with the person purchasing these materials to create something unique. For example, if a prospective customer wishes to make their own jewelry, they will purchase the right beads and string to create their own unique masterpiece.
With the handmade category, we have a finished product that was created using the imagination of the seller. This finished product can in some cases be personalized. But that is as far as the category allows for in terms of creating a unique product.
Therefore, the primary differentiator is the fact that with craft supplies and tools, you’re able to create a unique product. Whereas with the handmade product category, a buyer would be purchasing something that’s finished and complete.
Conducting research in the craft supplies and tools category will require some outside help. This comes in the form of Sale Samurai – one of the industry’s leading software platforms. It enables you to study the market in more detail, check out what your competition is doing, explore average prices for certain categories of supplies and tools, check out what keywords are being used to optimize listing titles and descriptions, and so much more.
There are no differences between the craft supplies and tools and handmade category in terms of research that needs to be carried out. The same principles apply irrespective of the category you choose to sell in. Therefore, Sale Samurai can truly help you gain the upper hand when it comes to optimizing listings, whether for craft supplies and tools or handmade items.
In order to get ahead of the competition and optimize your listings in the craft supplies and tools category, you need to consider following a streamlined process.
Start by typing in the keywords for your particular supplies on Etsy to check out the total number of listings on the platform for your search query.
Next, go to Sale Samurai and type in the same seed keywords to determine the Etsy search volume for these. The number of listings when compared to the search volume will immediately give you an idea as to whether the market is saturated or not.
From there, you’ll want to explore the related keywords used by other sellers and their corresponding search volume. You can do this by going to Sale Samurai’s “Search” module and looking at the block with related keywords.
The “SV” or search volume feature is adjustable and you can rank the most searched for keywords to the lowest searched for keywords at the click of a button. We recommend that you sort the list so that you look at the highest search volume keywords first.
Then, you will also want to study the tags used by sellers to optimize their listings. Once again, you can view the tags and their associated search volume from highest to lowest. Consider using the highest searched for tags in your listing.
Remember that Etsy allows you to use up to 13 tags for your products. So, it would be worthwhile to look at the top 13 most searched for tags as well.
Scrolling down the results page on Sale Samurai, you’ll also get the lowest, average, and highest prices charged for your category of items. This is an important part of your listings optimization, so pay special attention to it. In general, our advice is to price around the average for your chosen niche.
You will also get the minimum, maximum, and average shipping days it takes to get a product to your customer. This is an indication of how fast your competition is. Naturally, you’ll want to be quicker, or at the very least keep up with your peers.
With the “Single Listing” search within the Sale Samurai “Search” module, you’ll further be able to find out more details about your competing listings. For example, you will see whether your competitor has used up most of the 140 characters for their titles. You should be able to see how many photos they’ve used, when the shop was opened, how many views and likes they’ve received to date, and more.
Overall, studying your competition carefully is an essential part of the research and listing optimization process and it applies to both the craft supplies and tools, as well as the handmade items categories.
In order to be a high-quality crafts supplies and tools seller, you need to be sure that you source your products responsibly, ethically, competitively, and importantly – that you provide high quality items. Since tools and supplies come in many shapes and forms, you also need to provide useful packaging. Beads, for example, should be separated by color, size, and type. Art materials should be sorted by color. Gardening implements should be packaged safely and responsibly.
Overall, when it comes to your particular items, you need to run a streamlined operation to ensure you make the most out of your Etsy side gig. This will mean not only optimizing your own efforts, but also ensuring that your customers get a high-quality product from you.
This could possibly mean providing instructions for usage, safety tips, and more.
Craft supplies and tools sellers can also enter the handmade category of items on Etsy if they wish. However, this will depend on your particular items. Jewelry items, for instance, easily lend themselves to final product creation. As do items made of paper, wood, metal, and fabrics.
For example, if you sell yarns of various sizes, colors, and materials, you can start crocheting scarves, hats, beanies, and other clothing items for children and for adults.
If you’re in the paper niche, you may wish to create cards for the holiday season. These tend to have quite high levels of profitability, too. Alternatively, if you offer items made of wood, you can always take your efforts one step further and create figurines, picture frames, small pieces of furniture, and others.
Switching between the craft supplies and tools and the handmade categories of items on Etsy can really help to broaden your portfolio. It’s an excellent way of helping you boost your sales efforts. Yes, moving from craft supplies and tools to handmade items can seem like a daunting process, but you just have to give it a try.
Whichever category (or both) you feel is right for you, it’s essential to do two things: research your chosen niche and optimize your listings.
Use Sale Samurai to help you with your efforts so that you can streamline your operations and ensure that you are competing more effectively against other sellers.