Basic guide for selling props and files on Etsy: The Do's and Don'ts


Rock Lobbster

Active Member
Stream Team
Member DIN
S098
Etsy, its a great platform to start selling prop kits on due to the high traffic and the quick results on google however there are some major drawbacks when it comes down to the gritty details.
Quick note: I've been selling props on Etsy for 2 years now and have nearly 400 sales overall. There have certainly been some ups and downs but having a prop shops significantly helps offset the costs of making your own cosplay as long as you're confident that you can provide a quality product.

3D Models
Do not sell files on Etsy, their 7.8% base fee will kind of kill your profit margin on the files so it just doesn't end up being worth it. Kit wise, compensate for that fee. It's ok to charge a few more bucks then you would when doing private sales due to the fact they are taking a percentage of your profit

IP Association
When selling things based off an IP add a disclaimer stating you're not affiliated with the company that creates the items in the first place.

Listing Description
MAKE SURE TO BE SPECIFIC WITHIN YOUR LISTING
Multiple photos help, having an "assembled" and "parts" photo along with a clearly labeled "finished prop" photo helps buyers to see what exactly they're buying.
State everything about the prop. I'm talking unassembled, requires glue, paint, sanding, in "kit" format. If you don't the buyer can pursue actions and say they were "mislead" by the listing.

Production
Stay within your limits, making a profit is good but you also have to be able to keep your production up with your sales. Only list as many kits as your can print. The last thing you want is to sell a whole bunch of kits but not have the machine time/materials/personal time to be able to actually get the kits out to people.

The Math
Here is the sheet I use to get the basic pricing down for printed kits. It's rather complex and I have some basic things filled out so you can get familiar. It compensates for everything you're using including the things you wouldn't normally think of like electricity or machine wear.

CC Licensing
THIS IS IMPORTANT double check ALL the CC licensing if you're selling any props you didn't make. Please, please, please don't sell non commercial props. Don't even try to be sneaky about it, we have a fair bit of people who are able to figure out what files you are using and make sure it is taken down.

That's about all from me (to cover the basics). Feel free to @me for any other questions regarding this
 
Last edited:

Purplehazey

Member
Awesome post!

Would be able to do the background side of things like things to consider for US taxes, such as depreciation, how you file, and any of pain points you learned the hard way?
 

Rock Lobbster

Active Member
Stream Team
Member DIN
S098
Awesome post!

Would be able to do the background side of things like things to consider for US taxes, such as depreciation, how you file, and any of pain points you learned the hard way?
To be honest just for privacy purposes I'll likely not be going into that rabbit hole. Plus I don't want to get anyone in trouble by providing information regarding that as I'm not a CPA or anything lol
 

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