How to Start an Etsy Shop

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. Etsy sells a plethora of treasures ranging from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures.

Etsy connects creative people with millions of buyers looking for something unique. While selling on Etsy is simple and straightforward, it requires attention from the seller to create searchable and appealing listings and provide good customer service.

This article will detail the process of setting up an Etsy shop from beginning to end so you can begin to find the perfect buyer for your creations.

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is a creative marketplace where millions of shoppers spend billions each year purchasing directly from innovative entrepreneurs. Etsy exposes your products to a large audience, which is why many sellers start their business there.

Etsy is the perfect place to start a shop if you are a maker or seller of homemade, vintage, and craft supplies. If you are new to running a business, Etsy is an excellent place to try selling your items for the first time. 

Before Starting an Etsy Shop

Before you rush to set up your Etsy store, make sure to perform some basic market research:

  • Study similar businesses on Etsy and note how your business stands out. Imagine that you are your target customer. Enter the keywords you think they’d search to find your product and see if similar products come up.
  • Search through Etsy’s menus, especially the different categories and subcategories. Determine which category or categories your products will fall into.

How To Set up an Etsy Shop

Now that you know how much Etsy benefits your creative business, it’s time to set up your shop. If you follow this step-by-step guide, your shop will be up and running before you know it.

Step 1: Create an Etsy account

If you don’t have an existing account, you will need to set up a new one. You may want to consider using a separate email address for your Etsy account, so you don’t mix personal and business emails. 

Click the “Register” button at the top of the site. It will prompt you to enter your email, your first name, create a password and review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Once you click “Register,” Etsy will email you to confirm your account. Once you click the link, you are ready to set up your Etsy shop. 

Step 2: Configure Your Shop Preferences

When setting up your new Etsy store, you will need to enter your personal preferences and time commitment to operating the shop. Esty asks you if your shop will be a full-time or part-time job. This is for informational purposes only. Your answer will not affect the setup of your shop.

Step 3: Choose a Name for Your Etsy Shop

If you are an established business, see if your business name is available. If that username is already in use or doesn’t meet the Etsy shop name requirements, try using the same username as your other social media handles. 

This makes it easier for your customers to find and follow you from platform to platform. It also is in the best interests of your brand. 

If you are a new business starting a store on Etsy, try to think of a name that is easy to remember, unique, and tells your customers what you sell.

Etsy shop name requirements:

  • 4–20 characters long
  • No spaces or special characters
  • No profanity
  • Not already in use by an existing Etsy member
  • Does not infringe on another’s trademark

How To Sell on Etsy

After setting up an Etsy shop you are ready to start making money online. Here are some easy steps to follow.

Step 1: Adding Items to Your Etsy Shop

There are a few easy steps listed below, but remember to use the grammar checker to polish your listings. A polished listing will make you look more professional.

Photos and Thumbnails

Click “Add a photo” to upload photos from your computer then hit “Choose” to upload the photos. Etsy recommends that you upload at least five photos per listing with a variety of angles.

Now that you have listed your photos, choose which one you want customers to see first. This is the thumbnail photo which is set up by clicking and dragging it into the number 1 slot.

Listing Details

Listing details are how Etsy users find products. Since there are millions of sellers on Etsy, your listing details are essential. For each listing, you will want to include the following:

  • Title
  • About the listing
  • Listing categories
  • Attributes (optional)
  • Renewal option

The next step is to describe your listing. This description is what shoppers will read when they find your product. Indicate if it’s a digital or physical item, then describe the item, its dimensions (if applicable), the production process, etc. 

Include information about materials, size, how it was made, and unique features to give buyers as much information as possible. The more details you provide, the less time you will spend answering repeat questions.

When writing your product description on Etsy, it’s also valuable to include the following information:

  • Your production partner (if applicable)
  • Whether or not you can customize the item
  • Which section of your shop falls into if your shop has sections
  • Tags (Etsy recommends using all 13 tags available to you)
  • Materials

Complete Inventory and Pricing

List the cost of your items, and let Etsy know how many you have to sell. In this section, you can also include the following: 

  • Shop tax rates
  • SKUs
  • Variations (if you offer different sizes and colors, you can include up to 2 variations per listing)
  • Personalization

Shipping Prices

Choose how you want to ship your physical items. Etsy offers several options for sellers.

Publish Your Listing on Etsy

Your listing won’t be saved until you click “Save as Draft” or “Publish.” Be sure to save your listing, so you don’t lose the progress you’ve made and have to enter it all over again.

Step 2: Configure Payments

You will receive payment through Etsy Payments. Etsy Payments allows customers several payment options while simplifying and consolidating payments in your seller account.

Step 3: Set up Billing

Depending on your country, you will need a credit card to open your shop. Sellers in certain countries will need to keep a card on file as a means of identity verification. The card should be Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover. 

Step 4: Open Your Shop

Now that these steps are complete click “Open Your Shop.” Don’t worry. You can add listings and make updates or changes to your shop after it’s open.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Etsy?

Joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free, but running it is not. When you sell on Etsy, there are three basic costs: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. 

Etsy Listing Fees

It costs $0.20 to publish a listing to the marketplace. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. 

Transaction Fees

Once an item sells, there is a 5% transaction fee on the sale price (including your set shipping price).

Etsy Payment Processing Fees

If you accept payments through Etsy Payments, they also collect a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee when an item is sold.

Additional Etsy Seller Fees

Etsy now allows sellers to market their products within the marketplace via Etsy Ads. These ads are available on pay-per-click pricing, and the cost of each click will vary depending on demand. 

You can set a budget that limits the amount you’re willing to pay for on-site ads daily, and Etsy will list your ads until you reach that daily maximum.

There is also a currency conversion fee for Etsy sellers.  If you list your products in a different currency than your payment account, you will pay a 2.5% currency conversion fee.

Selling on Etsy is Worth It

With millions of potential buyers, and the ability to share your one-of-a-kind products with the world, it’s worth setting up a store on Etsy. Be patient and keep in mind that most successful shop owners on Etsy started small and grew with time.