Do you have any vintage items that you’d like to sell? Perhaps your business deals in niche products personally designed and crafted by you. You may be wondering where to find customers who love creative, unique, and handmade crafts. The answer is the Etsy marketplace. Etsy has a built-in customer base for your type of business, and to get started you need to open a shop on the platform.
Opening Your Shop on Etsy
Let’s discuss how to open an Etsy shop. We will then highlight factors to consider during the process and provide you insights for marketing your Etsy shop. We will also answer 18 questions that you may have about marketing and selling your products through Etsy.
How to Open an Etsy Shop
Opening an Etsy shop is free, and the process is straightforward. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Create an Etsy Account
When opening an Etsy shop, you need to have an active account. Head to the Etsy website and click “Sign In” at the top right on the menu bar. Click “Register” on the dialogue box that appears to open a new account or fill in your login details if you have an existing account.
The registration process will require submitting your email address and first name and creating a password. You can also create your Etsy account using your Google, Facebook, or Apple logins.
Once you register, Etsy will send you an email to confirm and activate the account. Afterward, you’ll need to log in and select “Sell on Etsy” at the drop-down menu below your profile icon. Then, click on the “Open your Etsy shop” button.
2. Enter Your Shop Preferences
Next up, set your shop preferences by entering your language of choice, country, and currency. Etsy will also require you to indicate whether you’ll be selling full-time or part-time. If your shop currency is different from your bank’s, Etsy will charge you 2.5% of the transaction amount every time you get paid. Once that’s done, click “Save and Continue” to move to the next section.
3. Name Your Shop
In the next section, you’ll need to name your Etsy shop. Ideally, your name should be unique, memorable, and reflective of what you do. You can select any name for your shop as long as it meets Etsy’s name requirements. The platform requires your chosen name to:
- Be 4 to 20 characters in length
- Not have profanities
- Not infringe on another business’ trademark
- Not have special characters or spaces
- Not be in use by another Etsy shop
Once you write your chosen name, click “Check availability” to see if the name is available or in use. If the name is already taken by another shop, Etsy will offer you similar suggestions. Decide on a name and click “Save and continue” to proceed to the next section.
4. List Items on Your Etsy Shop
Your next step will be to stock your shop. Etsy encourages you to add as many listings as you can. The more items you have for sale, the better your chances of getting discovered. Your listing should have the following features:
You need to add at least a single photo of your item, but Etsy allows you to have up to 10. Etsy encourages you to have roughly five images so that the customer can view your product from different angles. Also, if you have product variations, include photos that show them.
- Listing Details
List the product’s name, manufacturer, date of manufacture, materials or design, and a comprehensive description of the item. You should also indicate whether the product is digital or physical.
Etsy does not require you to add a video, but having one helps your items stand out. Videos enable you to show your product in use so potential customers can see how it will benefit them.
- Pricing and Inventory
Next up, list the price of your items and the quantities available. Indicate also the SKU in use and the number.
- Product Variations
If your product has multiple colors and sizes, list them in your product variation.
You should also include your shipping cost and scope, whether domestic or international. Indicate your processing time, item weight and size, and shipping sizes available.
5. Choose Your Preferred Payment Method
Once you’ve listed your shop items, proceed to select your preferred payment methods. The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the payment options you accept, for example, PayPal, money order, or Etsy Payments. The latter is the method used by most Etsy sellers.
Under this section, you’ll also need to indicate your business structure and tax filing status. You’ll enter your entity’s legal name, your SSN (for sole proprietorships), EIN (for registered entities), and legal business address. Etsy will also ask you to provide your savings or checking account and routing numbers so they know where to send your funds.
6. Add Credit Card Details
Etsy requires you to add your credit card details to pay for accrued Etsy fees. Enter your card’s number, full name, CCV, and expiration date. You can also sign up for auto-billing to allow Etsy to bill you automatically every month or once you pass your threshold.
7. Open and Customize Your Shop
You’re almost done with setting up your Etsy shop. The next thing you’ll need to do is click “Open your shop,” and your Etsy shop will be officially open. Your shop’s URL may have one of these two link formats:
Now, it’s time to customize your shop by adding a short bio, profile photo, policies, and item categories.
Considerations for Opening an Etsy Shop
Here are a few things you may want to consider before opening an Etsy shop.
Although Etsy exposes you to a large base of customers, it also has a multitude of sellers in every product category. Chances are you won’t be the only business selling that personalized jewelry or vintage kitchen knife.
Take some time to research your competition on Etsy. Browse through your competitors’ products and see how they present their items and shop. Look at their pricing, policies, and turnaround time. Your aim here is to find ways to differentiate your items and stand out from the pack.
Products to Sell
You can only sell three product types on Etsy: vintage goods, craft supplies, and handmade items. Ensure your product category falls into these three classes before opening your shop.
Return and Refund Policies
You, the seller, are responsible for managing refunds and returns on Etsy. Etsy does not require you to accept returns and provide refunds unless you state it in your shop policy. Most customers, however, will want to see your return and refund policy before purchasing. Therefore, think about how you’ll handle returns, exchanges, and refunds, then create a shop policy. For example, you can include details such as:
- Who pays the cost of shipping returns?
- What timeframe a customer can ask for a return or exchange, for example, within seven days after purchase.
- Conditions for accepting or rejecting returns and refunds, for instance, the item should still be in a good state.
Opening an Etsy shop and listing your items isn’t enough. Make your shop stand out to attract customers. How you present and organize your products matters. Take professional and quality photos of your items. Have a detailed product description and communicate all the information that the buyer needs to know, for example, safety and care instructions. Remember that the way you present your shop determines whether you make sales or not.
Packaging and Shipping
You as the seller are also responsible for packaging and shipping items to customers. Think about whether you’ll charge a shipping fee and your shipping destinations. Will you be shipping locally or internationally? Do you have a shipping partner? How long will it take for customers to receive their order? These are a few questions to ask yourself when evaluating your packaging and shipping.
Ideas for Marketing Your Etsy Shop
Once you create your Etsy shop, you want to make sure you get noticed by potential customers. Don’t just sit there and let Etsy do all the marketing for you. Actively promote your shop not only in the Etsy marketplace but also on other platforms outside Etsy. Check out these ideas for marketing your Etsy shop:
- Promote Your Shop Through Social Media
Advertise on your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. Share your shop’s link to friends on WhatsApp, email, etc.
- Take Advantage of Etsy Advertising
You can also market your shop through Etsy’s paid advertising opportunities. This will boost your shop’s visibility among competitors and allow you to rank first in searches.
- Repost Your Listing Regularly
The newer your listings are, the higher they rank in Etsy’s search results. Etsy pushes old listings lower in the search rank to provide space for new ones.
- Word of Mouth
Encourage your customers and loved ones to recommend your business to their friends and family. For example, you can create a referral program that rewards existing customers who bring new customers to your shop.
- Leverage Etsy SEO
Etsy has its own SEO guidelines. You want to make sure you learn and follow them to rank highly in search results. The first thing you need to do is have many listings on your shop. The more listings you have, the higher you rank. Also, use keywords for your product on your title, description, tags, and sections.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s look at a few frequently asked questions about Etsy.
1. What can I sell on Etsy?
You can sell only three product types on Etsy: craft supplies, handmade items, and vintage goods. In other words, your product needs to be creative, unique, niche, personalized or crafted or designed by you.
2. Does Etsy have a monthly fee?
Etsy charges a $10 monthly fee to sellers who subscribe to the Etsy Plus package. This subscription offers sellers more tools to grow and expand their brands. It is, however, not mandatory, and you can cancel anytime. The fee gets deducted monthly from the seller’s current balance and is reflected in their account.
3. How do Etsy sellers get paid?
Most sellers get paid through Etsy Payments, which allows your buyers to choose their preferred payment option, whether PayPal, Apple Pay or Etsy Gift Cards. The funds are then transferred to your bank account weekly, biweekly or monthly, depending on your preference.
4. Who pays for shipping on Etsy?
In most cases, it’s the buyer who pays for shipping. The shipping cost is added to the price of the product during checkout. You are, however, responsible for making sure the order gets packaged, dispatched, and delivered to the buyer.
5. How long does it take to get paid on Etsy?
Once you sell your products through Etsy Payments, the funds first go to your payment account. Etsy then sends the money to your bank account, depending on your deposit schedule. Once a deposit gets initiated, the funds may take three to five business days to show in your bank account.
6. How do fees work on Etsy?
Etsy charges several fees to sellers who use their marketplace. They include listing fees ($0.20 per listing), transaction fees (6.5% of product price per transaction), and advertising and promotion fees for sellers who want to promote their shop.
Etsy also charges fees for Etsy Payments processing, Etsy shipping labels, and subscription payments for sellers who opt to use Etsy Plus.
7. How much does it cost to set up an Etsy Shop?
Creating an Etsy account and setting up a shop is free of charge. Once you open your Etsy shop, you’ll start paying fees for listing your products, transactions, and payment processing.
8. Does Etsy report to the IRS?
Yes, Etsy reports your gross income to the IRS through Form 1099-K. The objective is to make sure the sellers report their sales income on tax returns. Etsy strives to ensure sellers pay taxes on their income.
9. Do I need a tax ID to sell on Etsy?
Whether or not you need a tax ID (also called a federal EIN) depends on your business structure. Remember that Etsy requires you to report your taxable income. Therefore, you need to have a Social Security number if you are a sole proprietor or unlimited partnership and a federal EIN for a corporation and company.
10. Do I need a license to sell on Etsy?
The need for a license depends on the intention behind running your Etsy shop. Do you treat your Etsy shop as a legitimate business, or is it just a hobby? If you run your shop like an actual business and profit from it, you’ll likely need a license. If the shop is a hobby, you won’t need a license to operate it.
11. How does Etsy protect sellers?
Etsy has a seller’s protection policy that protects eligible sellers when a dispute with a buyer arises. If you and a buyer have an issue, you can work to resolve it through Etsy’s case system platform. Etsy can also engage a mediator to help you achieve a just solution. However, being eligible for seller’s protection doesn’t mean that Etsy will always rule in your favor in the case of a dispute.
12. Can I buy shipping labels through Etsy?
Yes. You can buy shipping labels through Etsy and then print them from your home or office to save time going to the post office. Etsy offers shipping labels for specific carriers: Australia Post, FedEx, Global Postal Shipping, Canada Post, Royal Mail, and USPS.
13. What should I sell on Etsy?
Etsy is the perfect marketplace for creative, unique, personalized, handmade, and vintage items. Most customers who browse through Etsy are there to search for something niche. If your goods meet the mentioned criteria, Etsy would be a good place to find customers. Examples of items to sell on Etsy include personalized jewelry, handmade accessories, personalized cards and clothes, and vintage items.
14. What sells on Etsy the most?
The five top-selling products on Etsy, as of 2022, include crafts and supplies, wedding items, jewelry, accessories, and handmade goods. Other goods that sell well on Etsy are home and living goods, such as candles and furniture, art and collectibles, clothing, and vintage goods like cutlery.
15. What product makes the most money on Etsy?
Jewelry ranks as the most profitable item category on Etsy. Customers love purchasing unique and custom-made jewelry such as bracelets and earrings as gifts for loved ones. Most successful brands on Etsy deal in jewelry.
16. Why do people stop selling on Etsy?
The two main reasons sellers stop selling via Etsy are the high fees and competition. As a seller, you are subject to paying listing, transaction, payment processing, and shipping label fees. You also have to pay monthly subscription fees if you subscribe to Etsy Plus and advertising fees to promote your Etsy shop.
In the case of competition, many Etsy shops might offer similar goods to yours. Etsy makes it effortless for customers to find you online, but it is also easy for them to leave your shop and go to your competitor. You may have to offer lower prices to attract and retain buyers.
17. Is Etsy better than Amazon?
It’s hard to compare Etsy with Amazon since they deal in different types of products. Amazon, of course, has a larger market share for any product considered legal to sell. Etsy is exclusively for handmade, vintage, and unique items. Etsy’s market share may not be as large as Amazon’s, but it targets specific customers.
18. Is it worthwhile opening an Etsy shop?
Yes, having an Etsy shop is worth it if your business sells vintage and handmade goods. You’ll be sure to get customers for your items.
The process of opening an Etsy shop is free and straightforward. It will only take you a couple of minutes to fill in all the required sections. However, you may want to spend more time customizing, organizing, and curating your shop to ensure it has the best presentation.
Before opening your Etsy shop, research your competition and see how they display their products. Your goal should be to stand out through better presentation and ranking. Take advantage of other marketing avenues such as social media and email to promote your shop. Also, don’t forget to optimize your shop for Etsy SEO.
In this section of the post, you’ll find various resources to help you learn more about Etsy and help you manage your shop. The links lead to search results; therefore, you always have the most popular and recent information at your disposal.
Top Etsy Shop Examples
Studying popular Etsy sites allows you to become familiar with the site and become aware of possible opportunities. So why not invest time to browse and take notes of the things you like and the things you want to avoid.
Etsy Shop Names
A great business name goes a long way. You want a name that is catchy and memorable. Keep in mind the name you choose now is the name you will have as long as you have your Etsy shop open.
Names in business rarely change. The link below offers resources that can help get your creativity flowing.
To succeed on Etsy, you need to make sales, and to make sales, you need experience and know-how. Books are one way of becoming more familiar with a topic. Below you’ll find a link to books that focus on making sales on Etsy. Take a few minutes to browse to see if any books appeal to you.
Taking a course is another option to gain the knowledge you need to make sales on Etsy. I take many self-paced courses.
I would rather take a course that allows me to use it at my own speed and schedule. And I like the fact that I can review the information anytime by reviewing the video.
See the link below for the latest courses to see if any appeal to you.
Looking at the news can reveal tips and insights to expand your knowledge. I like using Google News because of the excellent search results. For example, I type my keyword, I, and get the most relevant and popular results.
The way I see it, if the media covers a story, there is some value there and something to look at. So take a few minutes to see what the media covers related to Etsy.
And last but not least, we have YouTube videos. I visit YouTube at least once a day. I like using it to expand my knowledge and get multiple perspectives.
One of the functions I like is the related topics that show up when watching a video. Many of these videos are ones I hadn’t considered, and I usually will watch one or two of them.
So why not grab your favorite beverage and watch a few YouTube videos about Etsy?