How to Sell on Etsy: A Simple Guide for Beginners (2023)
So, you’re wondering how to sell on Etsy and if it will be worth it.
You may have a closet full of handmade goods, and your friends won’t stop gushing about your artistic flair.
But diving into the Etsy marketplace might make your palms a tad sweaty.
You might wonder, “Can I really do this?” or think, “I can’t afford to gamble with my time and money.”
Let’s shatter the myth that learning how to sell on Etsy is challenging or confusing. It’s more straightforward and exhilarating than you think, especially when we reveal Etsy’s secret recipe.
7 Simple Steps to Start Selling on Etsy
Welcome to the world of Etsy, where your creativity can shine, and your crafts can find eager buyers. We’ll break down the process of getting your Etsy store up and running into seven simple steps.
Your journey begins with a free Etsy account, so let’s get you set up…
Step 1: Create a Free Account
Registration is simple and free. Go to Etsy.com and click the sign-in button in the top right of the screen. A box will open, allowing you to register.
(Pro tip: you may want to create a new Gmail account for your business to keep all business correspondence in one place.)
Etsy will have a few onboarding questions for you and has a series of training resources to help you get started. Go through as many or as few as you feel like you need.
Next comes the exciting part, starting your Etsy store!
Sep 2: Select Preferences & Open Your Storefront
First, you’ll be directed to set up your preferences (language, home country, currency, etc.).
You will need to live in a country where Etsy payments are available, but don’t worry; there are dozens of countries participating. (Etsy has a resource page with the complete list.)
Time to hang out your Etsy shop sign! Choose a catchy name that sticks like glue. Choose a descriptive name that makes it clear what you sell. Combine that with a word or phrase that expresses your style.
Being precise and descriptive with your shop name will help you appear in searches when a potential customer is looking for what you sell.
The Etsy Seller Handbook has a great article to help you consider all the angles to choosing a shop name.
What if you choose the perfect name but find it’s already taken?
No worries, Etsy will automatically suggest some similar options with a name generator.
Once you have a name for your online store, the next step is to create an Etsy listing.
Step 3: Create Product Listings
Alright, here comes the exciting part: showcasing your masterpieces. Here is where you create desire in the minds of the Etsy shopper!
Let’s cover some pointers on how to create outstanding listings…
The first thing you want is vivid, clear images. For each item, snap some drool-worthy photos. Think crisp and clear, and try to capture every intricate detail.
But don’t forget about the background.
Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or dominant, the same color as the product, and ensure the product is not too far from the camera. A good combination is a neutral or white background with natural lighting.
Also, consider a video, as according to a Wyzowl survey, 73% of people prefer to watch a short video when considering a purchase.
Next, show off your Etsy listing with a title, category, description, tags, and more.
Add keywords your potential buyers would use to search for your item, especially in the title and tags section.
Note, that the title should be between 70 and 120 characters and include the primary (or focus) keyword. And aim for 10-13 tags, using specific words and phrases that describe your item.
Finally, put time and thought into your product listings, as this is where the sale is made or lost.
Your product description should be honest, detailed, and concise.
Include details about the materials, size, style, and color, but also include the unique features or benefits your physical or digital product offers and the competition lacks.
The Etsy Seller Handbook has an excellent article on writing listing descriptions. It’s worth a quick read.
Also, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Etsy’s customer service.
Step 4: Decide How You’ll Get Paid
Cha-ching! The sweet sound of money. But how? An Etsy payment, of course.
You must give your address and tax information and choose whether you want to be listed as a business or an individual. Many people start as individuals and may change to a business later if sales warrant it.
Connect your bank account (Etsy uses the secure Plaid platform), PayPal, or both. This is your business, your call.
Step 5: Set up Billing
You will need to add a payment method to your Etsy account. There is no charge at this point; this is for future fees.
Head to the “Billing” section and add your credit card information. If you’re worried about forgetting, set up automatic payments. We’ve got modern technology for a reason!
We’ll cover the Etsy fee schedule in a moment.
Step 6: Customize Your Shop
Time to become a shop manager. You will need a banner for the top of the page. This is like your Etsy storefront sign. It should have an attractive display of your shop name and a fitting background or product photo.
You can edit the banner directly from the page by clicking the “Edit Shop” button.
If you don’t want to start from scratch, create a free Canva account and use one of their Etsy shop templates. Just type “Etsy shop cover” into the search bar. Then use the editing tools to add a background, photos, text, or whatever you like.
Once you’re done, download the banner and drop it into your shop back on Etsy.
Step 7: Open Your Shop
Drumroll, please. It’s time to open your Etsy shop! But hey, we’re not just pushing you out of the nest. Ensure you’ve covered the essentials — your shop policies, shipping details, and return policy. Your customers will love knowing exactly what to expect.
And once you’ve mastered these steps, you may want to consider upgrading to Etsy Plus. And take your Etsy store to the next level!
The Costs of Selling on Etsy
The costs of selling on Etsy are reasonable, especially when you compare them to the costs of running a brick-and-mortar store. So, let’s break them down.
Each time you list a new item in your store, you will incur a listing fee of $0.20, which expires in four months. You can set up automatic renewal if you like or manage your listings manually. Your first 40 listings are free, so you’ll have a bit of a head start.
Etsy takes a transaction fee of 6.5% of the total order when you make a sale. These fees cover maintenance and security of the Etsy platform, support for buyers and sellers, platform tools, Etsy’s Purchase Protection guarantee, and marketing to increase buyer traffic.
Payment Processing Fees
The Etsy Payment system is supported by a processing fee of 3% of the order total plus $0.25, paid by the seller. This rate and percentage vary by country. If you refund money for a purchase made through Etsy payments, the processing fee will be credited and added to the refund amount.
Top Tips for Successful Selling on Etsy
You’re on your way to Etsy stardom, but a few nuggets of wisdom never hurt.
Research Your Niche
Think of it as being a detective of your own art. Snoop around, see what others are doing, and uncover where your masterpiece fits in. And remember, different is good — it’s what makes you stand out in a sea of creativity.
Experiment with different styles, materials, and offerings. See what people like.
Remember, they give opinions in the comments (which are helpful), but they vote with their dollars. Nothing shows you’ve got a winner like sales.
Study Successful Etsy Shops Before Opening
Ever heard the phrase “learning from the masters”? Well, it applies here too. Scope out successful shops and see what they’re doing right. It’s like unlocking the secret sauce recipe for success as an Etsy seller.
There is nothing wrong with modeling some of your ideas after things you’ve learned from other shops. Put your creativity to work with a unique spin on things to make them yours.
Join the Etsy Community
Imagine a bustling town square where artists, crafters, and entrepreneurs gather. That’s the Etsy community!
You’ve probably browsed Etsy countless times and seen a treasure trove of unique crafts and vintage finds. You’ve marveled at those seller profiles, thinking, “Wow, they’ve got it all figured out.”
But here’s the scoop — they all started somewhere, just like you.
So don’t be shy! Attend online events, make friends, and build connections. You’re not alone on this artistic adventure. You can learn a lot from fellow Etsy sellers.
Write a Great “About” Page
Customers visit your about page because they want more information to help them decide whether to buy or not.
If your business has an unusual or interesting backstory, it’s okay to share. But, they are not really looking for your life story.
You want to make a connection with the potential customer in as few words as possible. And that’s because you only have 5,000 characters to use.
Although the page is about you and your business, it’s really about how you serve the need or create the product the customer wants. In order to do so, you must know your target market.
If you know your target audience appreciates authentic, all-natural, organic, or handmade goods, or whatever the case may be, highlight the fact that you do things that way. It’s something you have in common. It’s how you turn casual browsers into dedicated fans.
Leverage Social Media to Showcase Your Products
Social media sites are a great way to display your products, create interest in your brand, and get visitors to your store. Especially visually oriented sites like Pinterest or Instagram.
The Journey Starts Now: Unleash Your Etsy Dream
It’s easy to think, “Maybe someday…” But let me ask you — why not today?
Why not start this journey right now, armed with this ultimate guide and a heart full of ambition? The world is waiting to see what you’ve got, and Etsy is the stage where you can shine.
So, go on, take that first step, and use Etsy to open your Etsy storefront, list your creations, and embrace the hustle!