Also some helpful tips on how to grow a new shop.
So you've taken on the task of designing cut files or maybe you're thinking about it OR maybe you already have cut files to sell but haven't taken that big step, launching a shop or website. Regardless, you may be wondering where I go to sell my digital cut files. I have done my fair share of digging within this realm and wanted to share with you what I have found in my search. One of which I currently sell on, I will go into why I have chosen this particular site and why. I'll also provide some info I have found in my research with a few other platforms that could be an option for you. I hope this article helps!
Not Print on Demand...
Now just to clarify, this article does not include print on demand sites such as Merch by Amazon, Printful and so forth. The sites listed below are only where digital cut files are sold. But don't worry, the print on demand article shall come later. ;-) And if you're wondering "what the heck is print on demand" check out the "What Are Cut Files" post I published a few weeks back for a little intro under "Passive Income Opportunity." These platforms are also a great way to earn passive income without ever having to touch vinyl, house inventory, or do any of the manual labor. I do this on my Pen + Posh Apparel shop. Something definitely worth looking into!
Okay..back to the topic at hand!
The perks to selling digital cut files on 'several' platforms...
What you were expecting from this article is a list of places to sell BUT did you think about selling on SEVERAL of these at once? The 'beaut' to all this is that since you're now going digital, allll your inventory can be duplicated and therefore sold on several sites at once. **Definitely check in their guidelines to make sure but as far as I know this is allowed.**
However take note, I suggest "mastering" one platform. By this I mean getting your systems down so that you are efficient in creating your designs, handling customer service questions and problems, and focus on growing your shop and following on this platform before launching a shop and selling on another platform.
But how do I grow my shop and shop following?
I have always viewed growing a shop, such as a shop on Etsy, in three ways:
- Increase your volume.
- Expand your reach.
- Make good, quality designs.
To the first point, increasing your volume. To do this you would produce as many designs as possible. In the beginning of opening my Etsy shop, I kind of went overboard with this and would stress out if I did not reach my "weekly new product" goal I had set. I created a goal to list a very high amount of new product listings (new designs) each week, so when I wouldn't make my goal I would beat myself up. I do not recommend doing this, but I do recommend setting an achievable goal in relation to the total number of products you want listed on your site. Doing this will keep you focused, will help you not get discouraged, and will help get products on your shop more quickly than not setting any goal. Make sure the goal, like I said, is doable, but also pushes you. I see some launch an Etsy shop they're proud of but only list a few products, and then do nothing. So they don't make any sales, don't put up any new listings, and just give up. Keep going. Keep learning. Keep creating. Make goals and don't give up!
To the second point, expand your reach. What I mean by this is exactly what this article is all about. Expanding your reach is getting your designs in front of as many people's eyes as possible. One way to do this - besides marketing - is to put your products in several different places or in this case several platforms where they can be sold. The more places you are selling, the more people will see them, and once again the more sales you will make. And since you can replicate your designs you can sell on several platforms like the ones listed below. The sky is the limit, go crazy ya'll!
Interested in selling on Etsy? Grab my free guide: 10 Proven Steps to Launch an Etsy Shop Successfully. These are the steps I used to get my shop from brand new to the top 1% of top selling shops on Etsy within the first year!
The third and final way to build income when launching a new shop that I feel is worth mentioning is creating good, quality designs. This is something I was not good at right off the bat. I didn't know how to make fix errors in my designs within the cutting programs. So I had a few customers contacting me after I first launched my Etsy shop and complain their design they purchased wasn't working. I was mortified. I didn't know why they weren't working so I frantically did troubleshooting upon troubleshooting, and spent hours researching solutions to their problems. I spent many hours perfecting my designs so they now work flawlessly in the cutting programs but the point is that this experience taught me that it is extremely important to provide the very best designs possible.
Building off of this, if you are doing as minimal work as possible in designing your products. If you, dare I say, copy other designs. *gasp* If you, even worse, resell someone else's work. *gasp, gasp* (People actually do this, sadly)...
Your customers will know.
It will be obvious to others that your designs are not up to par or a ripoff of someone else's. Creating your own designs and actually putting the TIME into your designs to make them the best possible will pay off in the end. I promise. The better your designs, the more original your designs are, the more people will take notice, and the more you will sell. Now, this does not apply to a design style that is popular in style. For instance, this Heart Vintage Truck. These are alll over these days. The vintage truck style is not copyrighted and is just a popular design right now that is everywhere and trending. I suggest try adding your own flare to it. Your own touch. Your own style. People will love yours versus others. I promise!
I hope those three tidbits helped on how to grow a new shop...
Now let's see where SVG and other cut files for machines can be sold!
First up, Etsy because as you already know, this is where I sell mine and where I see there to be the most potential. I am not affiliated with Etsy (even though I should be) so this is a pure, honest, no-strings-attached opinion.
Etsy is where all the DIYers live. It's where your customer is also selling their products such as t-shirts, decals, decor, whatever it may be. This is where you may currently be also! If you have an Etsy shop already, why not add digital cut files to it? Or if you prefer to not overlap the two shops you can make an entire new shop just for the cut files.
Etsy has over 35.8 million active buyers as I mentioned in my article The Quick Way to Passive Income. This cannot be overlooked, so it's number one on my list.
However Etsy does occasionally increase their fees sometimes as they did in 2018. For this purpose I had to raise my shop prices just to make it worth my time. It's really frustrating, but anyone who sells on Etsy is at their mercy as far as changes like these go.
A positive to selling on Etsy is that you do not have to pay until you make a sale - other than $0.20 for each listing every four months which is really nice. The other fees they charge include a 5% transaction fee on all sales. Also if you use their payment processing then they charge 3% + $0.25 for each sale SO if you want to see what all this comes out to be:
Let's say you sell your cut file for $2.99, you will pay $0.20 for the listing, $0.15 for the transaction, and another $0.25 and $0.09 for the processing fees. This leaves $2.30 in your pocket if you don't put any of it into advertising.
So selling a cut file priced around $2.99 means Etsy takes roughly 23% of your sale. More if your item costs less than this and less if your item costs more than this.
A little helpful tidbit here on how to possibly offset the impact of this fee...
I try to do whatever I can to up-sell or increase the dollar amount each customer purchases. Let me explain.. I will always run a coupon sale (buy 4 get 1 free for example) or bundle items together and sell these when possible. When I do this it makes the SVGs cheaper individually but increases the purchase amount altogether. This subsequently decreases the percentage Etsy takes in fees while also giving the customer more bang for their buck with a bundled purchase. Make sense? So always do this if you're able to!
The Hungry JPeg is another good option. These guys haven't been around as long as Creative Market (2011). They are pretty much the digital asset marketplace for crafters in selling embroidery designs, fonts, card files, and much more. They are also cheap, which I know caters to our crafty target group. They give away tons of free items and are growing very quick from the looks of it. They take a flat 30% of your sales as well. They also are a chain of several store ownerships so I would put money on them being around for a while. For these reasons I put them in the number two spot.
Another big dog but in the graphic design world (rather than the DIYer world) is Creative Market. They haven't always sold SVG files, but I am seeing more and more sellers pop up doing just this. They now have most frequently searched categories which include SVG cut files but besides their search function, their search feature is lacking in my opinion. It's definitely not as thorough as Etsy’s. Also, the cut files sold on Creative Market are more bundles than individual cut files. Creative Market has a set 30% they take from your sales, so a bit more than Etsy, and has less traffic but still has 5 million members they claim. Creative Market has also been around for a while so I don’t see them going anywhere and definitely is a dependable source. I think they will continue to grow and broaden their products and shop categories, but right now, its hard to believe that a ton of Cricut and Silhouette owners spend much time here. For this reason I put it as third on the list.
This website also caters to crafters and designers with crafting bundles, fonts and big deals on design assets. They take 25% of your sales and also pay you $20 to allow them to give your item away for free. They also will pay you for just listing your items on their platform since they provide a subscription service to customers. I am unsure what their traffic numbers are, but I found it pretty neat they will pay you extra for these things. Definitely an option worth looking into. I have provided a screenshot of their backend and all the options they have available. Seems like a pretty quick and easy setup as well.
Design bundles is self explanatory that they are geared toward 'bundles' more than individual items and these guys are newer to the market. For this reason they are 5th on the list. I can also see this being a problem if you're first starting out but after building up your inventory, this could be one to look into. In selling bundles, you're also able to raise your pricing and potentially make more per sale. (Remember the Etsy bundles in step 1?) I emailed them asking for a their user or buyer numbers and they responded that they didn't have any to send me, but I did find on their site that they have 1,000,000 monthly visitors (take note they say visitors and 'not' unique visitors), and 8 million monthly views. They don't have a flat rate, but offer 50-75% commission on all sales which is another reason it is last here.
I hope this article has helped you decide where to sell your cut files, and I hope it has also answered some questions you may have regarding these sites. I do think if you are solely selling cut files and want to make it your full time income, or even side income, I would advise you to spread your products to the world! ;-) By selling them in as many places as possible!
Do you have experience in selling on one of these platforms? What is your perspective? Comment below!
Interested in selling on Etsy! Grab my free guide: 10 Proven Steps to Launch an Etsy Shop Successfully. These are the steps I used to get my shop from brand new, to in the top 1% of top selling shops on Etsy within the first year!