Keep in mind that there are already many handmade greetings cards available. To be really successful, you need to offer something a little different. In many areas, the market is swamped with handmade cards. An example of a niche is a "green" handmade card business where all products used are recycled, sustainably sourced, or some portion of proceeds benefit ecology projects around the world. When you are thinking about a niche, a great place to start is to think about the things that inspire you or make you smile.
On Oct 1, 2013, Etsy changed its policy to allow sellers to outsource production to third parties and factories and to use shipping or fulfillment services. The new rules allow products to be labeled "handmade" as long as the original idea for that item — or its "authorship" as C.E.O. Dickerson says — comes from its respective seller. Further, the policy changes allow Etsy businesses to hire as many employees as they deem necessary (including workers in different locations) and allow sellers to ship orders via third-party couriers rather than the post office.
In Etsy's first year, it attracted attention for frequently adding new tools and functionality to the site to help sellers gain exposure and traffic, including Adobe Flash-based visualizations and a taxonomy of categories with tags. Etsy passed $1.7 million in sales in May 2007. On July 29, Etsy had its one-millionth sale and anticipated its two-millionth sale would occur mid-December 2007. In November 2007, buyers spent $4.3 million purchasing 300,000 items for sale on Etsy, an increase of 43 percent from October 2007. In June 2007, it expected to be profitable by the fall, but in December 2007 it was not a profitable company. In January 2008, Etsy received an additional $27 million in funding from Union Square Ventures, Hubert Burda Media, and Jim Breyer.
Can you keep a secret? “Taking a cue from a certain celebrity wedding, this year couples are saying ‘I do’ with covert messages incorporated into their attire and accessories,” says Dayna. Whether you stamp a custom message on a tie bar, sew a sentimental patch into the lining of your gown, or opt for matching rings that come together to form the letters of your choice, these ultra-personalized touches prove that sometimes the most special details are the ones your guests can’t see.
The presentation of the cards—the packaging—helps make a successful handmade card business. A card that is neatly presented in a cellophane envelope looks more professional and can command a higher price than one that is unpackaged. Presenting cards in some form of packaging stops cards from becoming dirty or dog-eared and it also gives the ideal opportunity for further marketing. A label on the back with your phone number or website address could help you solicit further orders. Remember to consider shipping and packaging when factoring the costs per unit in your pricing formula.