How to Start an Etsy Shop: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to start an etsy shop
Table of Contents

Etsy is an excellent platform for entrepreneurs who want to start their own small businesses.

Have you ever thought about being an Etsy seller but don’t know where to start?

You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve created a guide that will provide you with a step-by-step guide for how to start an Etsy shop.

I will cover everything from registering for an account to setting up your shop’s policies and procedures.

Let’s begin!

What Is Etsy?

how to start an etsy shop

Etsy is an e-commerce website where sellers can offer handmade products, vintage items, artwork, craft supplies, and other unique items.

Etsy claims to be “the world’s largest handmade marketplace,” with a current user base of more than 96 million.

Etsy is also a platform for artists, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. Etsy sellers can use the site to promote their unique items and sell directly to buyers.

Etsy was founded in 2005 by Chris Maguire, Rob Kalin, and Haim Schoppik. The company’s headquarters are in Brooklyn, New York.

Etsy is a publicly traded company with shares listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange with ETSY as its ticker symbol.

The platform has been incredibly successful since its launch more than 15 years ago, and it’s still growing.

Etsy’s success makes it a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs looking to become small business owners.

What Should You Sell on Etsy?

Here are a few things to remember when deciding what to sell on Etsy.

  1. Your product should be handmade or vintage. If you’re selling mass-produced items, Etsy is not the right platform for you.
  2. Your product should be unique and appealing to buyers. There are a lot of talented artists and makers on Etsy, so ensure your product stands out.
  3. Consider the cost of materials and shipping when setting your price. You want to profit, but you don’t want to price yourself out of the market.
  4. Consider the time it takes to create your product. If it’s time-consuming, you’ll need to price your product accordingly.
  5. Take high-quality photos of your items. Buyers on Etsy are visual people, so high-quality images are essential.

Keep all these things in mind, and you have a big chance of success on Etsy.

How To Start an Etsy Shop

Here’s how to start an Etsy Shop:

Create an Account

You can set up your shop using an Etsy account you’ve already created for purchases. Here’s how.

  1. Visit Etsy.com and click Sign In at the top-right corner of your screen. A form will appear.
  2. Log in to the platform if you already have an Etsy account. Select “Register” in the upper right-hand corner if you don’t.
  3. A different form will appear where you can either sign in with your Facebook, Google, or Apple account or type in your email address, first name, and password.

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  1. Go to Etsy.com/sell. Once on that page, scroll to the bottom until you find the Sell On Etsy button.
  2. Click the Open Your Etsy Shop button below the banner on the page.

Set Your Shop Preferences.

You’ll see a shop preferences screen where you can tweak the settings for your own Etsy shop.

Here’s how to set preferences for your shop.

1 – Set your default language, which will be the language you use to define your items. Note: You can translate product details into any language you want after opening your shop.

2 – Choose your shop currency (based on your business bank account currency), which will be the currency that Etsy displays on your listings.

Note: Whenever shoppers purchase your items, you’ll pay currency conversion fees if your bank and shop currencies differ.

3 – Indicate your desired selling frequency by choosing options like “Selling is my full-time job” or “I sell part-time and that’s how I like it”

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Choose Your New Etsy Shop Name.

Your Etsy store name should be intriguing, simple for customers to recognize, and indicative of your shop products. Anything goes as long as it complies with Etsy’s requirements for store names.

Esty has the following rules for store names.

  • From four to twenty characters
  • No special characters or spaces
  • Not a name that is already being used on Etsy by another vendor
  • No infringements of trademarks
  • No foul language or profanity

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If you type in a name that another shop has already taken, Etsy will suggest possible names similar to the one you entered.

Choose a name, then click save and continue.

Note: You can only alter your shop name after you open your shop.

Create Listings.

You’ll need to add etsy listings for your items after naming your shop.

You can add listings for each of your products. Alternatively, you can add only one listing and just add more once you’ve completed setting up your shop.

Click the Create A Listing button to see various options. Fill out as much information as possible to help potential buyers understand what you’re selling.

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Here are the elements you need to add to your listings.

Photos

Images are one of the most crucial components of your listings.

You can upload one video (100 MB) and up to ten photos.

Your images must be high-quality and have a minimum width of 2000 pixels.

Take pictures that display your product from as many angles as possible (including close-ups).

Video (Optional)

A great way to demonstrate your product is through video. You can take a quick video of the item in use.

Your videos should also provide additional product information, such as functionality, materials, and dimensions.

Adding videos to your listings is optional, but try it if you want the best possible listing.

Listing Details

Create listing titles using the right keywords to increase your listings’ visibility and conversions on Etsy. You can use keyword research software to find the best keywords to use for your particular products.

You should also write a detailed product description. Use bullet points to describe your products’ features. Entice shoppers by providing reasons to buy your items.

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Pay attention to the renewal options in your listing details.

Choosing Automatic renews listings automatically after they expire every four months.

Etsy will charge you 20 cents each time the platform renews your listings, so keep this in mind when adding listings to your new shop.

You can choose Manual if you prefer to renew listings manually or delete them after they expire.

Tags

Tags serve as search terms for your product. You can add tags to the listing to increase visibility. Utilize all 13 tags Etsy allows per listing for the best results.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and consider what they type into the Etsy search bar when looking for products. Customers enter specific keywords to find products, meaning your tags should include the keywords that shoppers use. A keyword research tool can help you find the right keywords and boost your search engine optimization efforts.

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Inventory and Pricing

Enter the price, sales tax, quantity, SKU, and variations for your products.

You can add variations that include different materials, sizes, and colors. You can also add photos for any variations.

Ensure you consider the cost of materials, shipping, supplies, and labor when setting prices.

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Shipping Details

Include all pertinent information about your shipping procedures, such as (but not limited to):

  • Your preferred carrier or shipping services
  • Shipping price
  • Country of origin
  • Estimated delivery date
  • Item dimensions (size, weight, etc.)

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You can also let Etsy calculate shipping costs for you. You just have to input the item’s size and weight (after packing). Etsy will calculate shipping costs based on the information you enter. You’ll also see a preview of Etsy’s estimated shipping cost.

Make sure to order shipping labels through etsy, as that will allow you to save up to 30% over USPS pricing.

Note: You can add as many listings as you want when you launch your Etsy shop. Etsy recommends adding at least ten listings to increase the likelihood that customers will find your shop. However, you don’t need to add multiple listings if you want your shop to go live quickly. Your listings won’t appear in search until you finish setting up your shop.

Add Your Payment Information.

You’ll need to set up Etsy payments next.

As an Etsy seller, the platform requires you to state whether your shop is under an individual or sole proprietorship or a registered legal entity.

This question is the first thing the platform will ask when you set up your Etsy payments, and it’s for you to know your tax filing status.

You also need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Shop country
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Last four digits of your social security number (for sellers who choose the Individual or sole proprietorship option).

Shops under corporations must enter the following information:

  • Company name
  • Business registration number
  • State
  • Legal business address
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You also need to enter the primary contact person’s (Etsy shop manager) details, including:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Last four digits of their social security number,
  • Date of birth.

Next is the location or country of your bank. You need to enter the bank account number and routing information of the account where you want Etsy to deposit the proceeds from your gross merchandise sales.

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Set Up Billing.

You’ll need to keep a credit card on file to pay your Etsy fees, which can include the following:

  • Listing costs
  • Transaction charges
  • Processing fees for Etsy payments.

Enter the following information:

  • Name that appears on the card
  • Credit Card Number
  • CVV
  • Expiry date

Etsy will automatically charge your credit card on the first of each month (or whenever you reach your fee threshold) if you enroll in auto-billing.

You can make a payment anytime between the first and fifteenth of each month if you don’t want to enroll in auto-billing.

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Open Your Etsy Shop.

The Open your shop button will be clickable after you enter your credit card information.

Congratulations! You have just opened your first Etsy shop. You can now promote your store to family members, friends, and social media followers.

You can also choose between two formats for your etsy website URL.

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/yourshopname.
  • https://yourshopname.etsy.com.

In both cases, the shop title will be in the URL. You can now start selling.

Customize Your Shop.

You can also complete the following sections to ensure your small business on Etsy launches and operates successfully:

Add a Photo and Bio.

You can say whatever you want in your biography. However, it’s best to describe your interests, background, and credentials (skills, professional background, etc.).

You should also describe:

  • Your values
  • Your mission as a seller
  • Your products’ origins,
  • Reasons you enjoy doing what you do.

Set Up Your Policies

Address any potential customer inquiries by providing details including (but not limited to):

  • Your items’ production processes
  • Payment procedures (including payment options)
  • Shipping policy
  • Returns and exchange policy

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Include an estimated delivery date to provide a clear picture of how long it will take for customers’ orders to arrive.

How To Optime Your Etsy Shop

Optimizing your shop allows you to maximize the Etsy platform and attract as many customers as possible.

Here are a few tips to optimize your Etsy small business.

Organize Your Shop and Make It Easy to Navigate.

Organization and navigation are essential when it comes to optimizing your Etsy shop.

You want customers to find what they’re looking for easily, so organize your shop in a way that makes sense.

Successful Etsy shop owners use clear and descriptive titles for their listings. Some sellers add filters or search keywords to help shoppers narrow their options. Consider emulating these Etsy shops.

Use High-Quality Images That Accurately Represent Your Products.

Images are one of the first things potential customers see when they visit your shop, so make a good impression.

Use high-quality photos that accurately represent your products, and try to use consistent lighting and branding across all of your images.

If you have multiple variations of a product, clearly label each one to differentiate them and make it easy for customers to find the items they want.

Write Detailed Product Descriptions.

Your product descriptions must include essential information about the items.

Writing detailed product descriptions gives customers everything they need to make an informed buying decision, speeding up their buying process and increasing your conversion

Apart from including product details in your descriptions, write them engagingly and enticingly.

Choose Strategic Keywords to Help Customers Find Your Shop More Easily.

Use keywords throughout your descriptions to help people find your products more quickly. However, avoid stuffing your listing titles and descriptions with keywords.

Use a keyword research tool to find the most popular keywords in your niche, then use them in your shop to increase visibility.

Promote Your Etsy Shop.

Don’t hesitate to promote your Etsy shop once it opens.

Share the link to your Etsy store on social media, write blog posts about your products, and reach out to other online influencers in your niche.

The more people see your shop, the higher the likelihood of making a sale.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Worth Selling Etsy?

Selling on Etsy can be worth as long as you are strategic. Choose your products carefully and ensure they are high-quality.

You also need to set prices that will cover your costs and allow you to profit at the same time.

Like any brick-and-mortar store, marketing your online shop is essential for increasing your visibility and allowing more potential buyers to find your products.

With an effective marketing strategy, you can have a successful Etsy store.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Etsy?

Selling on Etsy involves three primary costs:

  1. Listing fees
  2. Etsy transaction fees
  3. Payment processing fees.

Listing fees are 20 cents per item. You’ll need to pay another 20 cents if you want to renew a listing after it expires.

Transaction fees are a percentage of the total sale price and range from three to five percent.

Payment processing fees vary depending on which payment method you use, but are typically around two to three percent.

Selling on Etsy can be affordable as long as you know how to manage fees.

What Are the Benefits of Selling on Etsy?

Here are some benefits of selling on Etsy.

  1. Etsy is a hugely popular platform with a lot of traffic, meaning there’s potential to reach a large audience of Etsy customers.
  2. Etsy also provides many tools and resources to help you succeed.
  3. Etsy has a very supportive community that offers help and advice to other Etsy sellers.

What Are the Drawbacks of Selling on Etsy?

These are some of the drawbacks of selling on Etsy

  1. There’s a lot of competition because it’s such a popular platform.
  2. It can also be challenging to stand out from the crowd.
  3. Etsy takes a percentage of each sale, so you need to factor that into your pricing.
  4. There are selling restrictions, meaning your products need to meet Etsy’s guidelines.

How Do Beginners Sell on Etsy?

If you’re a beginner looking to sell on Etsy, start by doing your research.

Read Etsy’s guidelines and familiarize yourself with the platform.

Once you understand how Etsy works, consider the products you want to sell. Make sure they are high-quality and are priced adequately.

The Bottom Line

Setting up an Etsy business is relatively straightforward.

Hopefully, my guide has made opening an Etsy shop easier for you. Don’t be afraid to start your small business on Etsy today.

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