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Sarah Waggoner

When to stop taking custom orders for your Etsy business

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Something all Etsy sellers need to be more proactive in planning is when to draw the line on custom orders for your shop. If you haven’t considered this before, there are a few reasons why you may want to stop taking custom orders. Either now or in the future.

It all comes down to time, money, your capacity, and how all three of those things mixed to create your business. We all have a set number of hours in the week to be working. And we need to make sure that the hours that we have available line up with our income goals on Etsy. And as you get busier and busier in your shop, the limiting factor to being able to reach those goals in a product or business often comes down to time.

Where things start to get more complicated is when we have a lot of custom orders, especially if your custom orders are complicated and take a lot of time for you because of communication with the customer or your making process. So as you get busier, if you want to keep growing on Etsy, it becomes less financially viable for you to continue to take custom orders that are delaying other things in your process.

And here’s how you know if you’re ready to begin filtering out custom orders from your revenue:

  • You’re out of time for making

  • You’re not necessarily out of time for creating orders, but you’re spending all of your time making and have no time for growth opportunities like creating new products, social media, advertising, or getting on other platforms.

Those are the two scenarios where accepting custom orders even if it’s only a few hours a week of your time or really holding you back because you are not working on things that you can sell repeatedly, which is the bread and butter of selling on Etsy.

Getting rid of custom or just completely is not something that’s appropriate for every single business. There are a lot of shops whose entire business is custom orders. Especially for industries like weddings and really highly personalized niches. But, if you’re not looking to charge higher prices in order to hit your revenue goals when every order you take his custom, you’re going to need a plan for phasing these out of your business eventually.

If you’re not ready to do this now, I highly recommend that you put it on your calendar three to six months and now to reassess.

If you are ready to remove custom orders I started phasing them out from your shop, and this is what I recommend.

I highly recommend that you get a convo snippet that you can copy and paste to say no to people. Because this is not easy especially for a business owner. I get out at the beginning I can feel like you’re turning down money, but I want you to go into this with the thought of how you’re creating more time for products that are going to continue to be more profitable.

So if you’re taking a lot of custom orders and don’t have time to focus on a new product line that could sell regularly or don’t have time to do some of the admin task like keeping up with messages and emails that you’re getting, it’s time to consider removing custom orders from your business.

Your other option is to charge for them. Order normally takes you an hour longer to complete because of communication with the buyer, maybe when I charge an extra 20 or $25 for those orders as a custom order fee.

This may not work for every business, but you need to be paid for your time especially if you’re getting busier in your time becomes more and more limited.



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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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