If you are a quilter, you may have wondered about selling quilts on Etsy to make some extra money. And why not? If you want to make some money doing what you love, Etsy is the best place to sell all kinds of handmade items.
Etsy is a handmade paradise and a great place for all kinds of creative entrepreneurs to make money selling their well-made quilts.
That being said, to be successful on Etsy, you need to know how to promote your quilts and how to price them correctly.
Read on for everything you need to know about starting a successful Etsy store selling your handmade quilts.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure for more information.
MORE ETSY TIPS
Ultimate Guide To Selling Quilts On Etsy
If you are an avid quilter then you’ll be pleased to know that handmade quilts are one of the top 100 Things To Sew And Sell On Etsy.
If you love making homemade quilts and want to start selling them, the first place you probably think of are craft shows. They are a great place to sell all kinds of handmade items without having to worry about shipping or packaging up your quilt.
But if you have already tried your hand at craft fairs and are looking to start selling quilts online, Etsy is a great place to start.
Selling Quilts On Etsy is great because:
- You harness the power of Etsy’s huge customer base
- The sales process is all handled by Etsy
- The fees are low (and you can get started with 40 free listings with my special link)
- You can have your Etsy shop up and running in minutes.
Do Quilts Sell Well On Etsy?
Quality handmade quilts sell well on Etsy but you need to remember a few things:
Quality Is Key
Your quilts need to be handmade with only top quality materials. If you are not a really good quilter, then you likely won’t find success on Etsy as people are generally looking for really well-made, quality handmade quilts to gift or keep as family heirlooms.
Pick A Niche
This is a highly competitive niche. In order to stand out and build a customer base, you will want to pick a niche and stick to it.
What does this mean? Maybe you decide to focus only on Amish patterned wall hangings or maybe you only sell personalized baby quilts. You’ll need to decide on a target audience and then offer them the products they are looking for.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone as you will not be found as easily in the Etsy search (more on that later).
Price Your Quilts Right
Price your quilts too high and you will not get any sales. Too low and you won’t recoup your costs back. Unless you are just selling quilts for fun, choosing the right price is one of the most important parts of selling quilts on Etsy.
You’ll need to factor in the cost of fabric to make your quilt as well as transaction fees and your time in order to turn a profit.
If you can get all the factors above right and you know how to target the right buyer for your quilts, there is no reason you can’t join the hoards of Etsy sellers who are making great money selling quilts online.
The Bestselling Quilts On Etsy
Now you have decided to sell your quilts on Etsy, let’s look at the kinds of quilts that sell really well. After all, there is no point spending time creating an Etsy store if no one wants to buy your quilts.
The quilts that do sell on Etsy tend to be hand quilted and many are also hand pieced.
Smaller items like table runners, placemats, coasters & some tiny wall art also sell really well in the $5-$25 range.
Don’t think that only super complicated luxury items sell either. Simple quilts make great gifts that are very popular on Etsy.
Which Quilts Sell Best On Etsy?
The easiest and cheapest way to find out the best selling quilts is to reverse engineer Etsy using the search function.
This is a simple way to find new opportunities for your own products.
To do this kind of market research, just follow these simple steps:
- Head To Etsy and perform a search for “quilts”
- Scroll through to see the search results with the highest number of good reviews. The star seller badge will also give you a good idea or the top sellers.
- Take a peek at the storefront and see what else they are selling and read some reviews.
- What are they doing well? What could be improved?
Create a list of possible quilts for you to make. How can you improve on the existing listings? What unique spin can you put on them?
Remember that you cannot copy someone else’s work but you can use competitor research to see what buyers are searching for.
The Best Selling Quilts On Etsy
One of the issues of the market research technique above is that you have no idea how difficult it will be to compete with the quilts already for sale on Etsy.
To do this, you will need to use a keyword research tool like Sale Samurai. You can get a free 3 day trial to check it out.
If you want to see how to use this tool to find the best selling quilts on Etsy, read my Sale Samurai tutorial and watch my video here.
You can perform a search on Sale Samurai that will show you the most searched for quilts on Etsy. The great thing about this tool is that it will also give you information on how to create your listing so it shows up on search (Etsy SEO) plus guidance on how to price your journals competitively.
Here are results when I performed the search:
- Gees Bend Quilts
- Baby Quilts
- Rag Quilts
- Native American Quilts
- Queen sized quilt
- Modern Quilts
- Baltimore Quilts
- Kind Sized Quilts
You will need to dig deep to find the right quilts to make and sell yourself. For example, Gee’s bend quilters are quilters from Alabama who direct descendants of the enslaved people who worked a cotton plantation. You can read more about them at the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Obviously, even though this is a highly searched term on Etsy, it isn’t applicable to anyone other than people who quilt and live in Gee’s Bend.
Once you have decided on your target market, it is time to grab your pieces of fabric and get sewing!
How To Start Selling Quilts On Etsy
To get started on Etsy, follow the steps below:
Build a Stash of Products
It will be much easier to make money if you can list 10-20 items right from the get-go.
Remember that once a quilt sells, it will show as unavailable for the next potential customer so it will be good to build a small stock inventory.
This way your Etsy shop will not be empty while you work on quilting projects.
It might be helpful to build up a stash of smaller less time-consuming quilts in case your shop takes off quickly.
As time goes on, you will find out which quilts are your most popular and you can create a surplus of them so they are ready to go when you get sales.
Although you can sell custom quilts, having some ready-made quilts that are ready to ship will work well for people who are looking for last minute gifts.
Pick an Etsy Store Name
Your Etsy shop name should be unique and hopefully describe the kinds of quilts you sell in your shop. I have created a whole guide to choosing the best Etsy shop name here.
Don’t get too bogged down in picking the perfect Etsy shop name as you are able to change it later if you realize you made a mistake.
Once you have picked the perfect name, register your store with Etsy here (this link will give you 40 free listings to start you off).
You cannot register an Etsy store without adding at least one listing so make sure to have at least one quilt ready to sell.
Although most buyers will expect that handmade pieces are made to order, it will help your business if you start with at least 5-10 quilt listings.
Make your Etsy business plan
To keep track of orders, inventory and competitor research, I use a simple Printable Etsy Store Planner to keep track of everything. You can also use spreadsheets, Trello boards on your phone or whatever works for you.
You’ll want to keep track of the cost of materials, how much time each quilt takes you and how much profit you make per quilt you sell.
How To List Your Quilts On Etsy
Once your Etsy shop is set up, you need to make sure your items are found in the search. Your Etsy listings compose of a few different things:
Etsy Listing Title
The first step in making a good Etsy listing to is write a great product title.
The key to a good Etsy title is is to cram it with as many keywords as possible. What is a key word? It is any word that customers might use to search for an item.
For example, if you are selling a baby quilt, in addition to including the words “Baby Quilt” in your title, you want to include any other possible variations that someone might search for.
Here is an example from Etsy:
Etsy Listing Photos
The only way to ensure that your quilts stand out on Etsy is to take amazing photos of them.
Start perfecting your photos– good photography is key to making your items stand out on the home feed and getting sales.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your quilts are, if they don’t look amazing online then you simply won’t get the sales you deserve.
You don’t need to buy an expensive camera – your phone will work great and you can download a free editing app like Lightroom.
Make sure that the colors stand out and the photos are light and bright.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer but a few tricks will help your work to shine:
Tips For Taking Good Quilting Photos
Lighting Is Key
Natural light is the best way to ensure your photos are good (I even take my photos outside sometimes).
If you really have no good natural lighting to work with, your next best option is to purchase a Ring Light from Amazon. You can get a budget friendly one for under $50 that works great with your smartphone.
Choose A Good Backdrop
If you don’t have a cute chair to use, you can easily make your own backdrop using a piece of poster board.
White works best but you might want to get a darker one for to make light colored quilts stand out.
Edit Your Photos
I use the free Lightroom app to edit my pictures. You can purchase presets for Lightroom that will adjust your photos so that they all look the same, otherwise you can edit then yourself.
Personally I use these Bright and Airy presets for indoor photography. They allow me to edit my photos in seconds.
Take lots of photos
You can add up to 10 photos on Etsy and I recommend that you use all of them. The more different angles and photos you can show, the more likely you are to get sales.
Etsy Listing Description
Just like your Etsy product title, you want to fill your Etsy description with keywords that will help your product get found when people search on Etsy.
Your description should also include as much information as possible about your quilt. So for example, you will want to use key words such as “lap quilt” or “queen size quilt” for sizing.
You’ll also want to include measurements and details of the pattern, the cut of the fabric and the type of material used.
For tips on using as many keywords as you can in your listing and title, you can download my free Etsy SEO checklist below.
How To Price Your Handmade Quilts
Pricing your quilts to sell always seems like an impossible task. Many buyers have a garage sale mentality and expect that everything should be cheap but it is important not to undervalue your work.
Remember that you can command a higher price for quilts made using traditional means or using special patterns.
There are many different methods for pricing quilts to sell on Etsy, I like to use the method below:
Take a look at Etsy for similar quilts to the ones that you are planning on selling to get an idea of pricing.
Although some quilts are really expensive, the average cost seems to be in the $75-$100 range.
If you use Sale Samurai, they will show you the price range for the bestselling quilts on Etsy which can help to give you an idea of a good price.
There are 3 main steps to pricing your handmade quilts correctly:
1.Work out your costs
Before you decide on your pricing, take a look at your costs:
Fabric, batting, thread, needles, electricity to run sewing machine & washer/dryer plus other items that will need replacing like pins, rotary blades, markers and a good sewing machine all need to be considered.
Your Etsy listing fees of $0.20 per listing (once your free 40 listings are used up) plus the 5% Etsy transaction fee need to be factored in.
If you can’t even cover your costs, then it is not worth selling your quilts on Etsy. Bear in mind that I have not even included costs for your time and labor. You may want to include an hourly rate for yourself in your calculations.
2. Add your profit
You can’t price quilts to sell without including a profit. You want to make some money with your quilts so make sure to factor in a profit margin. This could be anywhere for 15-50% depending on what you think the market can handle.
Your profit margin is really where your competitive research will come in as you can work out what kinds of profits other quilters are making.
3. Add a Mark Up
A lot of creators skip this step but it is important to factor in a mark-up for your products. This will act as a buffer for refunds, complaints, pricing errors etc.
For example, maybe you quote a custom piece but then cannot get the materials for the price you thought you could. A mark up can help to buffer the difference.
Your mark up can also be used to offer discounts on Etsy (Etsy buyers love discount codes and Etsy often pushes items with promotions to the top of the search results. )
Once you have calculated the 3 steps above, you should be able to come up with a ballpark price that works for you and that is inline with your competition on Etsy.
There is still one more thing to consider – shipping and handling.
How To Offer Shipping On Etsy
Shipping quilts is not too difficult because they are not fragile like some other items you can sell online. The best thing to do is purchase in bulk some bubble mailers so you are ready to ship your quilts at a moment’s notice.
You can either offer free shipping to your buyers or you can give an additional cost on top of the quilt to pay for shipping.
Although charging for shipping is the easiest option, bear in mind that Etsy buyers LOVE free shipping and may avoid stores that do not offer it, even if the final cost is less.
I know it doesn’t make sense but it is human psychology and people simply hate paying for shipping.
Option A – One Baby Quilt for $75 + $15 Shipping
Option B – One Baby Quilt for $90 plus free shipping
It’s been proven again and again that out of these two options, option B always sells more.
Packing Your Quilts To Ship
Luckily for you, shipping quilts is a pretty easy task. After all, they can’t get broken or smashed like a different craft such as wreaths or ornaments.
Make sure to package your quilts in a waterproof bag so they don’t get wet and include your business car with every order.
Many people in the Etsy community recommend including a discount code with a hand written note in your parcel too.
Promoting Your Quilts On Etsy
Although keywords and great images will greatly help you boost sales, you will also want to promote your products yourself.
You can do this by starting social media pages for your Etsy store and promoting it to your friends and family.
You can also pay for Etsy ads if you are so inclined.
Another option that you should definitely try is to use Pinterest For Etsy. Pinterest is completely free to use and can really drive traffic to your Etsy shop.
Final Thoughts On Selling Quilts On Etsy
If you enjoy quilting and would like to make money with your hobby, Etsy is a great place to get started.
You can launch your Etsy shop in minutes and with the right promotion and SEO keyword research, you can turn a tidy profit quickly.
Bear in mind that selling craft items on Etsy is not necessarily a four season money maker. Depending on your niche, you may find that you get more business during the holiday months or during the summer if you are selling wedding gifts.
Make sure to keep seasonality in mind when you are planning your Etsy shop and income potential.
5 More Places To Sell Handmade Quilts
Once you have started selling quilts on Etsy, you might be interested in some other places where you can sell your handmade quilts.
Offline you can rent a stand at a quilt show or farmers market and sell your handmade quilts there.
Many people like buying local items for gifts so this can be a great way for small businesses to get started.
While Etsy gives you access to the entire world, it doesn’t hurt to try selling your quilts in a local store either.
Another option is to ask at local decor or baby stores if they will stock your quilts for a commission fee.
Online, you can list your quilts on sites like eBay, Amazon and also sell directly on social media. Instagram is especially good for creative products.
One of the best ways to make money selling quilts online is through your own website.
Starting your own website selling quilts is not as hard as you might think. You can get started for around $5-10 a month and then promote your site on social media.
The advantage with selling quilts on your own website is that there are no transaction costs and you can set your own prices.
Once your site is launches you can add links to your Etsy store to create even more opportunities for product sales.
You can read my tutorial on How To Create A Website For Your Small Business.
If you have your own quilting store in your website, you can start an affiliate marketing program and pay people a small commission to promote your product.
For example, you can pay 15% of the sales to your affiliates.