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Bookkeeping for Etsy Sellers

Lesson 16 of 19

Digital Products

Lauren Venell

Bookkeeping for Etsy Sellers

Lauren Venell

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Lesson Info

16. Digital Products


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 An Introduction to Etsy Duration:14:56
2 The Etsy Sales Process Duration:03:46
4 Setting Up Your Etsy Shop Duration:22:34
5 Shop Settings & Policies Duration:10:24
6 Payment Methods Duration:17:17
8 Other Expenses Duration:25:32
10 Bookkeeping Process Duration:22:26
11 Deposits and Payments Duration:33:13
12 Profit and Freelance Rates Duration:24:25
13 Business Profit Duration:19:36
15 Wholesale Duration:15:17
16 Digital Products Duration:08:55
17 Sustainable Wages Duration:02:59
18 Pricing Duration:15:21
19 Sales, Coupons, and Discounts Duration:16:32

Lesson Info

Digital Products

Let's move on to digital products because I know that a lot of people have asked about digital products this is the third etc shop of mine and I'm going to show you I promise I only have three um and I was asked earlier this is a really good question, actually stephanie s why do you have three different etc shops? Um and the reason is a swell. In the first instance, I had a shop for sweetmeats it's sold on ly meet related products. And so when I started designing other toys or making our prints, it seemed really weird toe lump those in with all of the meat stuff because it's a totally different market it's different people who are looking for meat products then who are looking for, you know, deep sea creatures or, you know, science e snowflake prince, there may be some overlap there. I mean, the venn diagram is and, you know, they're not like this there, you know, there's a little bit of intersection there, but typically there a different market, so my shops need to be separate entitie...

s with their own branding to that market, the pricing needs to match that market, the aesthetics need to match that market and so on and so forth, so if you sell multiple products and you typically sell to, um two or more very distinct audiences you may want to tailor individual shops to those audiences and you may want to track everything separately okay so uh then my husband and I opened up this one together um where we posted up uh a wedding wheel invitation template it's a juicy digital template um it's one of those instant downloads and it's the only thing we have up in that shop it's the only thing we've had up in that shop for whatever um I've been meaning to add other invitation templates to it I haven't really got into it instead I've been doing things like teaching bookkeeping um one of these days it'll have more digital files in it but anyway we have this invitation template we've priced it in one hundred dollars it has several different kinds of editable files um it's a fairly complex thing ah but it sounds quite well um over the few years that we've had it up here I don't know we've probably sold it sixty or seventy times um so nothing to sneeze at as some passive income and I love digital products oh my gosh I mean I love crafting and I love making things and too nice to sell that stuff to um but from a business perspective and from just a leg huh? Relaxing perspective there's nothing better than making something once and then having it pay you over and over and over again with no more production required obviously it's still a business you still need to market digital products he still need to conduct a customer service for your digital products. There is still you still need to come out with new products in order to keep people interested but you only need to make the thing once and then you can sell it over and over and over again. Um, and the way that you would calculate the profitability of these, of course, is similar to the way that we calculated the profitability of your greeting cards. You need to take all of thesaurus of illustration and design time up front, look at the price and then figure out, well, how many of these do I need to sell in order to make that profitable? Um, and in this case it was kind of a gamble. We put this up because, um we made this for our own wedding like you d'oh. I feel like this is how so many businesses get started. It's how the meat business got started to I made this ham and people came over and like, oh, my god that's so cute can I have one from my and my cousin and my sister and my boyfriend eso eventually my husband said you should just put up a web site and just start selling these two people so this was similar we made this invitation for our own wedding it was an idea that I had had that I had wanted to execute on um and then I don't know somebody put it up on their like wedding blogged we just started getting questions about it all the time from people can you make that same invitation for me and you know the short answer is no I don't have printing facilities in my house I don't have died cutting facilities in my house andi I also don't want to make my wedding invitation like fifty other times for other people that's just not that fun for me so I decided ok here's what I'll do as an experiment I'll create just the template that people can edit themselves and take to their own printers they can find their own people to print it they can find their own people to cut it um and they can I'll make it so that they can edit as much or as little as they want tio if they want to go crazy and make the rings on this tree like orange green and like neon pink fine they can do that if all they want to do is just type in new words around the side they can do that to um and in the beginning I had a lot of questions and a lot of customer service issues and so the listing page for this um and you can't see it because it's farther down has like a huge list of frequently has questions on it about um you know what I need to do if I want to die why these where did you get these printed what are these materials made out of how larger these when you print them where did you get the envelopes for these? How much did it cost in postage to mail these two people? Um and so I have all of those things answered on the page and so I do a lot less customer service now which is great um but the digital product is up and it's there and it has I'm happy to report it has hit the products profitability marcus faras the amount of time that we put into it it's a fully profitable product now so successful experiment unlike etc wholesale because you win some you lose some what can I say? Um but I was able to tell like ok this was successful this worked I'm going to do more of these right? Um the other thing I love about digital products of course is there's no inventory they don't take up any space in my house I never have to package and ship them which takes time um it's a wonderful thing um the one concern with digital products is that they are really easy to pirate so um I have no control over let's say there's some I don't know letter press printer in missouri or something who thinks this is a great idea I'd love to offer this to my customers he can buy this for one hundred bucks, download it, change a couple of things and then offer it as a product also for like maybe two hundred dollars to his customers. I have no way of knowing that unless someone calls me from missouri it is like, um I saw this guy and he's doing this thing he's totally ripping off your work. Uh so there is that concern on when it comes to digital products it may be worth investing in actually registering the copyright for some of this stuff um especially if it is a pretty valuable digital product or it's something that you notice gets ripped off a lot doors really easy to pirate so that's something that you sort of have to roll into the cost of doing business um it's not super expensive to copyright stuff um and that whole thing about like, well, you just mail it to yourself in an envelope and you don't open it and it has the date on like that's not that's a myth that does not copyright something don't do that I mean you could do it if you want but it has no legal binding um so the l v the other issue with the digital products, of course, is that hole that thing that we discussed earlier, if you're selling them to europe, so, um, I will be if you have joined the facebook group that discusses some of this stuff after the class is over, I will be looking up, um, what new developments have happened in the world of etc around that law and digital products. This is the new year. Obviously, I've only sold one of these so far and it was to someone in the u s but I do sell these two european customers on a fairly regular basis, so I do need tio get that under control and figure out how I'm gonna handle that. It's definitely going to become part of the listing description. It's going to become part of the frequently asked questions. Um, I am definitely going to be adding all of the tax rates for all of the countries in the eu to see if that puts the that on there. Um, we'll see what happens more to come on that front.

Class Description

Easily integrate your Etsy® transactions into your small business bookkeeping with tips and insights from Lauren Venell in Bookkeeping for Etsy Sellers.

Lauren is on a mission to simplify small business bookkeeping for crafters and artists.

In this class you’ll learn how to:

  • Manage Etsy transactions, inventory, and expenses
  • Compare Etsy earnings against other income streams
  • How to integrate Etsy into your overall bookkeeping
  • Spot sales patterns and identify opportunities for growth or restructuring based on the numbers
  • Set up and track your shop account
  • Deal with Etsy credits
  • Manage sales tax and coupons

Etsy's systems are overwhelming – this class will give you the clarity you need to successfully run your Etsy shop.

Whether you are exclusively an Etsy seller or its just one of many revenue streams, this class will make Etsy transactions easy to handle and every aspect of your business bookkeeping more manageable and fun.

Be sure to check out Lauren's other course Bookkeeping for Crafters.



This is a meaty course that has you at a run from the moment it opens. If you are like me and you have been wanting to start a handmade business using Etsy, this will be a great course for you! What I like best about this course is the information that is given is not from a sterile corporate perspective. She has been down in the handmade trenches from the very beginning of Etsy so she has seen all the changes. Lauren also shares the realities of business and shows you how to calculate the actual costs that go into your products. She gives you the knowledge and resources to know how to set up your book keeping as it relates to Etsy. The only negative about the course is that there is literally not enough time to cover EVERYTHING that you might run into for your personal situation concerning Etsy, but she does give you enough information and resources through her Extras that gets you in the right direction. I would sincerely recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

This was so helpful! I have been wondering about so many things the last few months since I opened my shop on Etsy and have found some information, but often it is encrypted in such technical terms that it feels so unclear. I felt like Lauren answered so many of my questions (as well as questions I didn't know that I had) with such clear, easy-to-understand ways! I can't recommend this course enough! Thank you Lauren for making complex processes of bookkeeping seem reasonable and doable. Thank you for sharing experiences to back-up the information that you shared. This was wonderful!

a Creativelive Student

This course has a lot of helpful information, but I do caution that there isn't really enough time to get it all down if you are watching the livestream. Also, quite a bit of time is spent talking about VAT rules which are out of date, and much easier to deal with now.