Online Business Idea: Etsy on Steroids

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By Jacob Maslow

Etsy craft - unicornEtsy is an arts and crafts website that allows people to sell their creations. It’s like a mix of an online scrapbook and arts and crafts store with a robust e-commerce back end. Etsy is fairly successful because it has a huge volume of potential buyers, and Etsy is a great place to go to if you’re looking for custom products.


The problem with Etsy is that you’re looking for stuff that already exists. While a lot of the products featured are quite creative, they are already built. Wouldn’t it be nice if you see some artwork on Etsy or anything online, you can go to a website where you spell out specifications for your Etsy product and Chinese or foreign manufacturer produces products based on those specifications? You simply need to upload your specifications, and it gets manufactured.


The best part is it’s drop-shipped. Meaning, your Etsy account is a front end store which the Chinese manufacturer then drop-ships payments to. Of course, you have to prepay the products that you order. Another alternative would be all these custom products are shipped to a central location in the United States, and you essentially pay rent on the inventory or the inventories taken off a shared pool. This way, the risk is spread out.


Such a storefront is a win-win situation because storefront owners have all the incentive in the world to promote their stores. When they do that, they also promote the whole network. This leads to lots of buyers, and these buyers probably won’t just buy one product. You can use Amazon-like cross-selling and cross-promotion techniques to maximize each sale. Whenever somebody is buying something, they are reminded that there other related products they can buy. This way, the buyer can dig deeper and deeper into the site and potentially make money for a lot more merchants.

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