10 Tips for Saving Money and Time as an Etsy Shop Owner - dummies

10 Tips for Saving Money and Time as an Etsy Shop Owner

By Kate Gatski, Kate Shoup

Time is money. It’s a cliché because it’s true — especially when you run your own business. Here you find ten great tips for saving money and time as you run your own Etsy shop.

Plan before you shop

You can save a lot of money by doing some planning before you purchase. Don’t wait until you’re totally out of supplies before you go shopping; making a special trip to the store because you ran out of shipping envelopes will cost you! Buy when stuff is on sale, and be sure to use coupons.

Buy in bulk

The local office-supply store is close and convenient, but it’s gouging into your profits. Buy in bulk online, and you can save a boatload. If you have the storage space, buy more than you think you’ll need; you’ll use it eventually.

Providers of bulk supplies include BulkOfficeSupply.com, DiscountOfficeItems.com, Cheap Office Supplies, and OfficeDiscountClub.com.

Know that bartering can be better

Bartering is all about trading goods and services directly with other businesses, for the benefit of all. If you need a beautiful banner for your Etsy shop, and you make gorgeous hand-knitted scarves, why not browse Etsy to find a graphic designer who lives somewhere cold and propose a trade? Talk about a win-win situation!

Create master forms

With your Etsy business, you’re probably going to repeat yourself in e-mails a lot, either answering questions or thanking customers for sales. Designing a master e-mail template for frequent responses not only eliminates spelling errors, but also helps you appear more professional.

Create a shipping station

Don’t waste time turning the house upside down to find tape and scissors every time you have a sale. Instead, set up a shipping station, even in a little corner of the house, where all your supplies are waiting for you when you need them.

Ship from home

Every once in a while, there’s a really long line at the post office. Save time and money by shipping from home. Just stick your outgoing mail in your mailbox, and your postal carrier will pick it up when she drops off your mail.

If you’re shipping at least one Priority Mail or Express Mail package, you can even schedule a pickup online at the U.S. Postal Service.

Recycle your shipping supplies

Purchasing premade shipping boxes and bubble wrap can be expensive. You can save cash and the environment by reusing some shipping supplies — provided, of course, that they aren’t tattered and filthy. (The idea is to be green, not gross!) If you opt to go the recycling route, be sure to mention this point in your shop’s policies.

Make friends with local businesses that may have unwanted supplies. That candle store downtown may be the source of enough Styrofoam peanuts to keep you in business for a long time.

Deduct from your tax bill

If you work at home, you may be able to take advantage of significant tax deductions. For example, if you use a room in your house specifically for your business, if you use your car to purchase supplies (and who doesn’t?), or if you have a separate business phone line, you may be able to save money with tax deductions.

Contact a trustworthy tax advisor or accountant for details, and be sure to keep great records.

Set a daily objective

Short-term goals can help you accomplish a little something every day toward making your business work for you. You’re way more likely to get something done if you set even a small everyday goal. Consider setting goals like spending a certain amount of time on marketing, or creating your craft, or prettying up your Etsy shop to help your business grow.

Get off the computer!

There’s only one problem with Etsy: It’s addicting! You may find yourself spending way more time browsing than crafting. That’s fine and dandy — unless your time is valuable! Set a timer if you have to, but limit your computer time to make sure that you focus on your business, too.