I sell my handmade beaded jewelry on Etsy.
Etsy, for those of you who are:
1 ~ not clicking on my links
2 ~ not inclined to hang out all hours of the day looking for great handmade things to buy
is an online resource in which crafters can sell their items.
It is full of helpful people, and people who are looking to get handmade items for a great price but cutting out the middle man (or as much of the middle man as possible).
Because it's open to pretty much anyone who wants to sell their handmade items, this also means that many people are not necessarily "business savvy". I'm not saying that I am, but I will tell you a few little things that I have learned.
I realized that I would need a business license to do what I wanted. It also allows me to purchase wholesale and be tax exempt (that is not pay sales tax). This also means that I have to do my business taxes... it's only the right thing to do.
The next thing I needed to to was find a way to keep track of all these things. This is where it gets interesting...
I find it enjoyable to be organized and know all the details of where the money is going. I feel it is only the responsible thing to do if I want to be successful at this.
I use MS Excel to keep track of all the sold items pennies. (Click the photo above). This is a list of the categories that I include at the top of each column:
1 Item : Actual item that sold ( I actually hyperlink to the sold listing in Etsy)
2 Sold date : self explanitory I hope...
3 Ship date : The date I actually get it into the hands of the post office
4 Purchaser: The name of the purchaser according to PayPal
5 Address: The address according to PayPal (I do check to make sure Etsy address complies)
6 E-mail: E-Mail according to PayPal
7 Notes: I have this just in case I need to remember anything
8 Price: Full item price as listed in Etsy (I don't have sales, so I have not needed to adjust anything)
9 Shipping: Actual cost of postage
10 Handling: Anything over the actual shipping price goes towards packaging and transportation to the post office, time it takes to package the items etc.
11 Shipping notes: Information such as tracking number, additional shipping services, special requests...
12 Tax: Sales tax applies to WA state residents
13 Sales total: (sum of 8, 9 and 12) is the actual grand total for the purchaser including everything
14 Etsy Fees: cost of fees to sell on Etsy
15 PayPal Fees: cost of fees to sell via paypal
16 Net Total: (sum of 8 - 14 - 15)
17 Cost: Actual cost of materials used (sometimes I have to guestimate this)
18 Listing Fee: the 20 cents that it costs to list on Etsy (or more if relisted)
19 Item Income: (sum of 16 - 17 - 18) actual income
So from what I have heard, #19 should reflect the cost of materials (meaning double materials) and time (whatever you choose your hourly wage to be) and overhead (cost of tools, replacing items, health insurance if needed, display supplies, camera, batteries (I know you have Venom brand rechargables!).... all those little things...
Clear as mud?
No seriously, this is what I have learned so far... it is different for different types of items. Let me know what you think, or if you see anything I have missed.