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How to start selling on Etsy: A 6-step guide

Etsy is a goldmine for online sales, with 46+ million active users spending billions of dollars each year.

The crafty online marketplace also comes with the benefits of a unique and loyal customer base, zero monthly fees, and tonnes of seller tools – perfect for any creative entrepreneur.

How do you know whether you are selling the right products on Etsy??

In this article, we’ll go over a quick primer on how to start selling on Etsy and some basics for success.

Is Etsy right for you?

Choosing the correct marketplace based on the products that you sell can make or break your business. Other factors to consider are pricing and audience. Let’s take a step back and look at what Etsy is all about.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a global online marketplace for unique and creative goods. They’re a “shop for handmade, vintage, custom, and unique gifts for everyone.”

Etsy allows people to buy and sell special items, including handmade gifts, artistic goods, vintage treasures, and craft supplies.

Who uses Etsy?

Etsy’s audience demographics are primarily 18-35 years old and female. There are some older audiences who like to use Etsy for their crafts and supplies. For example, someone shopping for a bridal party or decorating a unique wedding might use Etsy for one-of-a-kind jewelry and table decor.

What’s popular to sell on Etsy?

There are a few main product types on Etsy, which include handmade items, vintage items over 20 years old, and craft supplies.

The most popular categories on the platform are:

  • Home & living
  • Art & collectibles
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing

How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?

A snapshot of the most common fees include:

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Listing fee: $0.20
  • Transaction fee: 5%
  • Payment processing fee: Varies depending on location
  • Offsite ad fee: 15% on attributed orders

A 6-step guide to selling on Etsy

Here’s the A to Z on how to set up your Etsy shop:

1. Create an Etsy account

Sign up as an Etsy seller at etsy.com/sell, where you’ll be prompted to add your email address, your name, and a secure password.

Validate your email address and then head straight to your public profile (top right corner) to edit it. Your public profile is your opportunity to sell yourself and connect with your audience personally.

Etsy is home to a lot of small businesses, so their users often resonate with stories from the heart, expect personalized branding, and excellent customer service. Take the opportunity to share your story.

2. Create an Etsy shop

Now you’re a registered user, it’s time to create your Esty shop.

Create your Etsy shop by clicking on your profile picture (top right corner) > Sell on Etsy > Open your Etsy shop.

Complete the following information before clicking Save and continue:

  • Shop language (be careful, because you can’t change this later)
  • Shop country
  • Shop currency

3. Set up your Etsy shop

Continue setting up your Etsy shop by following the on-screen prompts:

Name your shop

Pick a unique name for your Etsy shop. This will be the foundation of your brand, so if you don’t already have a name, take time choosing one that’s catchy, relevant, and inspired.

If your chosen name is already taken, Etsy will suggest some alternatives.

Add your listings

Start adding listings for your product. You can add as little or as many as you want, but each will require:

1) Photographs

Add at least five photographs of your product at different angles and in different settings, so buyers can see and fall in love with the product’s details. Photographs should be high quality with a clear background that highlights your item.

Don’t forget to adjust the thumbnail image too — this is what shoppers first see in the search results, so you want it to be clear, attractive, and compelling.

You also have the option of adding a 5-15-second product video, which is great for giving shoppers a more in-depth overview of your product.

2) Listing information

Complete the product title, description, and 13 available tags to accurately describe your products, optimize them for Etsy’s search engine, and sell them to your target audience. You can also add information about variations, materials, and personalization options.

When writing your product descriptions, think large-to-small – lead with the main benefits and then delve into the details.

For example, if you were selling handmade shampoo for curly hair, you’d begin with the key features (moisturizing, frizz-calming, organic properties), and then go into additional details (suggested use, user reviews, ingredient lists.)

3) Quantity and price

Add the price for each item, the inventory count, and product SKU (if applicable). While low prices aren’t a primary driver for Etsy shoppers, you should still offer value (Amazon Handmade is only a click away, after all!)

Once finished, preview your listings and hit save.

Select your payment method

Decide how you want to receive money from Etsy by entering your bank details.

Select your billing method

Decide how you want to pay Etsy by entering your credit card details.

4. Customize your shop

You can customize your Etsy shop to better suit your brand and serve your customers.

Navigate to Shop Manager to edit:

  • Shop title
  • Listing arrangement
  • Shop icon, cover photo, profile photo, and banner
  • Shop announcement
  • Shop story, video, photos, and member bios
  • Shop policies

Keep your audience in mind when customizing your Etsy shop, and ask yourself what will make finding your store, discovering your products, and becoming a customer easier.

5. Set up your Etsy fulfillment

When adding listings to Etsy, you’re prompted to set clear and realistic delivery expectations for dispatch origin, processing time, and postage pricing.

Tip: Learn how to calculate your shipping costs

Fast shipping is as important on Etsy as it is on any other channel. But what’s more important, is meeting the order processing and delivery times advertised. You have a few different ways to fulfill on Etsy.

In-house Etsy fulfillment

In-house Etsy fulfillment involves picking, packing, and shipping orders yourself. In-house fulfillment is best for small Etsy sellers with low order volumes.

Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment

If you’re using FBA to fulfill Amazon or Amazon Handmade orders, you can use its multi-channel functionality to ship your Etsy orders, too. Multi-channel FBA is a great way to continue your existing fulfillment set-up. However, be mindful of the additional fulfillment costs for non-Amazon orders.

Outsourced fulfillment

If you don’t have the capacity to fulfill orders in-house, you’re a medium-large Etsy seller, or you don’t want to pay multi-channel FBA fees, you can use an outsourced Etsy fulfillment partner. They handle the distribution, stocking, picking, packing, and shipping of your Etsy orders for you.

If you’re a Deliverr customer, you can use a listing tool like Sellbrite to directly connect your Etsy store with Deliverr and offer 2-day delivery.

6. Market your Etsy shop

Finally, it’s time to promote your new Etsy shop and start attracting shoppers and making sales.

There are plenty of ways to market your Etsy store, including:

  • Optimizing your Etsy product listings for search and Google
  • Running an Etsy Ad campaign
  • Promoting items and linking to your Etsy store on Facebook and Instagram
  • Joining Etsy communities on Facebook, Reddit, and elsewhere
  • Adding fast shipping tags to your Google Shopping and Facebook ads

Read more: How to advertise an online store

Wrapping up

Etsy is a magical marketplace for buyers and sellers, connecting unique and creative products with the perfect audience.

We hope this guide to start selling on Etsy provides you with everything to get set up and start selling on the platform.

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