Why You’ll Never Get Rich Selling One of a Kind Items on Etsy

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Etsy is synonymous with one-of-a-kind. But do you really need to create tons of completely unique, never-before-seen items to make money on Etsy?

Today we’re going to chat about one of a kind. And why it’s actually killing your business.

Before we dive in, let’s get super clear about what kind of product is one of a kind (OOAK).

OOAK means a single, one-off item that you cannot reproduce ever again. Maybe you’re using precious materials. Maybe the supplies got sucked into another dimension. Whatever the case, there’s only one of this thing on the entire f*cking planet.

Now let’s talk about why that OOAK item is a bad idea.

OOAK items lead to Exceptionally Shitty SEO

Oh crap – you sold an item on Etsy. That’s normally GOOD news, but for a OOAK seller, that means there’s one less item in your shop.

And now you need to replace it with something else.

That means you’ve got to create a new item, take at least 3-5 pictures of it, post it on Etsy, write a description, then research and choose your tags and titles. (Oh yeah…and promote the crap out of it).

Well shit, that was a lot of f*cking work for one sale.

Guess what: when your shop is OOAK, this work never ends.

I’ve already talked about how important it is to constantly add new items to your shop. I’ve shown you why this one tactic often makes the difference between full-time sellers and angry, wanna-be full-time sellers.

If you’re selling OOAK, you never get the chance to BUILD UP your storefront. Every time you sell something, you’ve got to replace it.

This means you can’t bolster your SEO. Your items never stick around for long enough to actually RANK.

Who’s going to find you if the items in your shop (and therefore your SEO) is constantly changing? SEO isn’t instant. It takes 30+ days on Etsy and 4+ months on Google. So if your items are selling, search engines never get a chance to catch up.

Every time you sell something, you have to START OVER – with a brand new item, and bottom-of-the-food-chain SEO.

Basically, just take one step forward and two steps back the entire time you’re in business.

OOAK items = Long Workdays for Low Pay

Indulge me for a second. Let’s pretend it’s 6 months from now and your shop is KILLING IT.

You’re making tons of sales every day, and you’ve got a decent amount of money coming in.

Let’s be BRUTALLY HONEST about what your day looks like.

When you make lots of sales in a OOAK shop:

  • Every time you sell something, you need to replace it. You can’t make sales with an empty shop! (AKA make at least 1 new item per day).
  • Take 3-5 pictures of your new item, list it on Etsy, do your SEO research, and write a description.
  • Promote your item (either with Etsy updates, on social media, or paid advertising). New items on Etsy often get low views (initially). If you want to maintain sales, you’ve got to drive some interest by hand!
  • Don’t forget, you’ve also got to pack and ship today’s orders – I smell a trip to the post office.

Never mind the fact that you’ll also want to eat some meals, do household chores, and hang out with your family somewhere in there.

But there’s no time for any of that.

You started your Etsy shop so you could have MORE freedom, not so you could enslave yourself and forego everything you care about.

You are putting a cap on your income with OOAK

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with one of my Etsy coaching clients. Her sales were picking up, but I noticed a problem.

She was only halfway to her income goal, but she was already spending 40 hours a week on her shop.

I decided to work backwards with her. We did the math and figured out how many hours she’d need to work every day to meet her income goal.

And we were shocked.

She was staring down the barrel of an 80 hour workweek for $20k a year.

How is it possible that a successful Etsy shop can make so little money??

Her entire shop was OOAK. It took 5 hours to make each item.

There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to make money.

So we decided to fix it. She stopped customizing all her items and created a line of products that could be sold over and over again.

Now she’s on track to work 20 hours a week for TWICE her original salary.

How to sell OOAK the RIGHT way

Are you ready to stop torturing yourself? Don’t worry, there’s a simple fix if you’re a OOAK shop:

Take the supplies you have and create a line of slightly less expensive, easy-to-create items.

So if you sell jewelry, create a line of simple necklaces. Create 10-20 of each necklace. Create them in advance, so when someone orders one, it’s ready to go. Photograph it once, SEO it once, and then *go be free*!

You need to create these types of products until your shop is 80% ready to ship items, and 20% OOAK items (at most!)…if your shop contains more than 20% OOAK items, it’s time to change your strategy.

Translation: create a ready to ship product line. Like right freaking now.

What if I’m a Vintage Seller?

Well hello there, vintage seller. Don’t worry, you can make your life easier too.

When you buy your vintage items, try to find items you can buy more than one of. I know, I know…people like vintage because it’s OOAK.

But do you think your customers will really care if 2 other people on Earth have the same item they do?

They probably won’t even think about it.

People are busy. They don’t have time to wonder whether their coffee table is the only one on the planet. (And if they DO…would you REALLY want to deal with that person?? They sound like a helluva lot of work).

Meanwhile, having multiples of your items will make your day much easier.

The bottom line is YOU CAN CHOOSE what you do with your day. Do you want to torture yourself doing WAY MORE work than you need to? Every single day for the rest of your life???

Or do you want to spend your afternoon in front of Netflix with a taco?








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Hi there, my name is Jenni. You’re reading about the Etsy shop that freed me from the worst job I’ve ever had (and a lifetime of working for somebody else).
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