Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: For those who sell on Etsy

  1. #1
    Junior Member TheCookieCounter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    21

    For those who sell on Etsy

    I know a few of you cookiers sell on Etsy and I was wondering how that works legally. For example, is your Etsy shop name a legal business, or more like a screen name you came up with? Also, do you report the income you make from your sales?? I want to start selling on Etsy but I feel like I am confused how that works legally.

    Any information on the topic would be helpful! Thanks!!
    Michelle, The Cookie Counter

    www.thecookiecounter.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member SugarDotCookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,280
    Hi Michelle. I sell on etsy. Not cookies though.

    To sell your cookies on etsy, you're supposed to follow your local laws for selling baked goods. Etsy won't check up on you or close you down if you don't. It is a good idea to do it legally though and to say in your listings that you're licensed, bake in a commercial kitchen (if that's required in your state), etc. Some people won't purchase from food sellers that don't mention that they're doing things legally. Some buyers don't care.

    If I were to sell food online, I would definitely do it legally. I think that it's different than friends or family paying you cash to bake cookies now and again. You're putting it out there, advertising yourself, as a business. If anyone ever reported you, the evidence is there. You'd have to stop selling until you made it legal. You'll also be receiving payments through paypal so I would report the income.

    I do report my sales income.

    Then there's the matter of insurance. But I know nothing about that. I don't know if insurance is required of bakers or if it varies by state. I would look into that though if I were to sell.

    It kind of all goes together, you know? If you're going to be licensed, then I think you really have to do it all - reporting your income. If you don't get licensed, then I don't guess you really can report your income because you don't have a legal business. I don't know. That makes sense to me.

    Your etsy shop name doesn't have to match your legal business name. Mine doesn't but I wish it did.

    I hope that helps. Hopefully someone that sells cookies on etsy will respond.
    . . . Dotty . . .

    . . . My Cookie Diary . . .
    . . . My Website . . .
    . . . Find me on . . .
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Pinterest

  3. #3
    Senior Member frostedbylesley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,085
    Michelle, don't the tx cottage laws specifically prohibit Internet sales of home baked goods?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kimbo's Cookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    388
    I sell cookies on Etsy.

    You don't have to pay taxes on Internet sales. That's across the board. You DO have to collect and pay taxes on sales made in your state. There's an option when you set up your account to charge sales tax in your specific state. You set it for your rate and it does it automatically. I've never had anyone ask me if I work out of a licensed kitchen, except for people who are interested in getting into the business themselves. In Idaho, I found out - not the hard way, but the pain in the butt way - that cookies are considered a "low risk" food item, and therefore don't fall under the category of other foods for sale. I didn't find this out until I was in the middle of the required food safety course at the health dept., which the certified kitchen required proof of me taking, and my specific asking. The instructor said something that made me wonder, so I asked very specific question which led to, "So you're telling me that cookies are considered a low risk food item and I don't have to work out of a commercial kitchen in order to sell them?" To which she replied, "That's right. You only need to work out of a commercial kitchen if you'll be selling wholesale, or if a certain venue requires that you do so."

    Everything I'd read in my research led me to believe otherwise. That's why I asked so many questions. If I hadn't been in that class and picked up on something she barely mentioned, and then followed up on it, I'd be wasting money right now on insurance for and rental of a commercial kitchen. I'm not saying it's the same everywhere, I'm only suggesting you do some specific further investigation with your health dept. before laying out the dough.

    Back to Etsy: You can pick your store name. As long as no one else is using it, it's yours. You can't change it in the future, though, so choose wisely. They did allow a change recently - I'm not sure why - but their policy says that once you name your "store" you're stuck with it. It's up to you whether you want it to be the same as your screen name or otherwise.

    If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SugarDotCookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,280
    Kimbo, you don't have to pay income tax on internet sales? Could that vary by state? Or is that specific only to food items? I've been paying them for the past seven years.

    That's interesting about the "low risk" food item. I saw mention of that on my health dept's website. It's all so confusing. Good thing you found out!
    . . . Dotty . . .

    . . . My Cookie Diary . . .
    . . . My Website . . .
    . . . Find me on . . .
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Pinterest

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kimbo's Cookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    388
    Much to the frustration of the government, there's no way for them to track taxes on Internet sales. How often do you pay taxes for on line orders outside of your state?

  7. #7
    Senior Member SugarDotCookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,280
    Do you mean sales tax? I pay the sales tax that I've collected to my state (MD) just once a year. That's for my internet sales to MD residents and for the few craft/quilt shows that I do.

    I was talking before about income tax. I pay income tax on my internet and local sales.

    (sorry to derail the topic.)
    . . . Dotty . . .

    . . . My Cookie Diary . . .
    . . . My Website . . .
    . . . Find me on . . .
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Pinterest

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kimbo's Cookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    388
    Okay, yes. Always pay your income tax.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SugarDotCookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,280
    Ha! Dang. I thought the government owed me money! LOL!

    If I ever get good enough to sell cookies, what worries me about selling online is shipping the cookies safely. I've seen lots of blog posts about how to do it properly but it still seems so risky. I've seen people say that they won't be held responsible if the cookies break, but when selling through paypal, the seller is responsible. If the buyer opens a claim, paypal will refund their money for any item shipped that either doesn't arrive or arrives damaged.

    CookieCounter, have you thought about shipping? Kimbo, I guess you must be great at packing the cookies safely. Do they ever arrive damaged?
    . . . Dotty . . .

    . . . My Cookie Diary . . .
    . . . My Website . . .
    . . . Find me on . . .
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Twitter
    Pinterest

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kimbo's Cookies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    388
    The only cookies I've ever had arrive broken were some monkey cookies made from a cutter like the one on Karen's site. It's long and skinny, so I don't sell them anymore. I won't ship my cheerleader cookies for the same reason. Other than that, they've all arrived perfect - and I've shipped hundreds. Even overseas.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Karen's Cookies: Cookie Decorating Simplified