How To Sell On Etsy: 8 Steps To Open Your Etsy Shop In 2023 (Beginners)
You probably got lots of unique craft supplies, artistic goods, and vintage items, and you’re wondering how to dispose of them. You can start an Etsy shop and sell some of the things.
Etsy is among the world’s biggest online marketplaces, with over 81 million members. As of 2020, over 4.3 million sellers sold goods on the platform, making it a reliable marketplace.
With the increasing number of active buyers on Etsy, there’s no doubt that your items will sell faster. But before you post any item, you need to know how to sell on Etsy.
So how does an Etsy shop work? This comprehensive guide will show you how to sell on Etsy in 2023. You’ll also know some of the items that sell faster on the platform.
We’ll look at everything you need to open your Etsy shop and manage it, including:
- Costs involved in selling on Etsy
- Step-by-step guide on how to sell on Etsy
- Best selling items on Etsy
- Tips for selling on Etsy
That said, let’s get started.
What is Etsy?
Ever wondered what Etsy is?
It’s an online marketplace that connects sellers, such as artists and crafters, with potential buyers. People selling on Etsy have items that are hard to find in other stores.
Some of the things you’ll quickly sell on Etsy include artistic goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. That’s because most buyers usually visit the platform to buy handcrafted stuff.
If you have ever sold anything on eBay, you’ll find it easier to sell on Etsy. This global online marketplace combines the joy of an art fair with a marketplace that works just like eBay.
Potential buyers on Etsy can find a vast range of products, from hand-printed clothing to custom-made toys. There’s also a category for vintage goods that are at least 20 years old.
The buyers can also find several collector items on Etsy at lower prices than in traditional stores. That is when sellers list their items on the free storefront on the platform.
Notably, Etsy neither manufactures nor stores any of the items sold on the platform. Instead, it connects sellers and buyers, bringing them together to a single marketplace.
All the sellers are independent business owners who produce their goods and manage their orders and inventories themselves. Etsy only acts as an intermediary platform.
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?
Selling on Etsy is not as expensive as in other online shops. So, how much does it cost to sell or start an Etsy business?
Here are all the costs to sell on Etsy.
Etsy Store Costs
Setting up a shop on Etsy will cost you nothing. However, you’ll pay standard listing fees of $0.20 per item listed. It’s important to note that the listing fee is valid for only four months.
So, how does the listing fee work? Listing on Etsy is a bit different from other e-commerce sites like Amazon. For instance, a product and a listing are two different things on Etsy.
For example, if you’re selling a shirt with different color schemes, you can only create one listing for all the colors. So, if you have 100 shirts in stock, you pay $0.20 to cover them all.
If you add 100 listings to your Etsy shop, it means you’ll be paying $20 every four months. Unfortunately, that can be very costly if you fail to make sales and the fee Etsy piles up.
Like other e-commerce platforms, Etsy also charges a transaction fee to allow sellers to do their online businesses. However, these fees are different from the listing fees.
As an Etsy seller, you’ll pay a 5% transaction fee of the sale price for every item sold. Note that the sale price also includes the shipping price, unless you offer free shipping.
Payment Processing Fee
When Etsy sellers enroll in Etsy Payments, they agree to pay a specific payment processing fee incurred when placing an order and checking out directly through Etsy’s system.
In most cases, Etsy charges a fee of 3% + $0.25 per transaction. The payment processing fees usually appear in the seller’s payment account and are deducted before the deposit.
Etsy’s payment processing fees are only available in around 45 countries, including Canada and the United States. However, the fees usually vary by country due to different tax rates.
For example, the payment processing fee in Canada is 3% + 0.25 CAD per transaction, while in France, it’s 4% + 0.30 EUR. The cost of converting currencies also causes fee disparities.
Since the buyer pays for the shipping, the shipping cost varies, depending on their location. For this reason, sellers need to research the specific shipping costs to various locations.
If an Etsy seller miscalculates shipping fees, they might pay more than they intended, which could cause problems. That could increase the total cost of selling on Etsy.
The costs can even increase further when the insurance cost is part of the shipping fee. So, Etsy sellers need to be more careful when adding free shipping costs to their listings..
Like you do on other e-commerce platforms, you may also want to promote your products on your Etsy store. In that case, consider investing in Etsy ads rather than offsite ads.
Etsy ads use a cost-per-click model. So to get started, you need to pay a minimum of $1 per day. That way, your products will appear as paid listings on Etsy search engine.
The main difference between a paid and non-paid listing is that the promoted listings have a small, white “Ad” on the image’s top-left corner.
Upon investing in Etsy ads, your product’s visibility on the marketplace will improve. Etsy will also give you access to a dashboard to track your products’ performance.
How to Sell on Etsy (Step-by-Step Guide)
Here are the steps to follow to set up your account and sell on Etsy.
Step 1: Create Your Etsy Account
If you’ve never used Etsy before, visit the site and click the “Sell on Etsy” link to open an account. Next, enter your email address, name, and password, then click the “register” link.
You can also create an Etsy account through your established Facebook, Google, or Apple account. Notably, the registration process is simple and takes about two minutes to finish.
If you already have an existing consumer account at Etsy, you can sign in using your email address and password. Next, click the “Open Your Etsy Shop” link and create your store.
Step 2: Set Up Your Shop’s Settings
Once you’ve created an account, you need to customize the settings based on your needs. Set your preferences by selecting a language and specify how you want to sell your items.
Don’t forget to select your default currency, whether it’s the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, or euro. Next, specify your location to help Etsy show you custom content in your region.
Finally, Etsy will ask you to specify whether you are a part-time seller or a full-time seller. Note that this question won’t affect the operations in your shop. It’s for Etsy’s use.
Step 3: Create Your Shop Name, Logo, and Policies
When creating a name for your Etsy shop, ensure that it reflects your brand. It should be synonymous with the kind of products you sell to help customers remember you.
As you come up with a name, ensure that it adheres to Etsy’s naming guidelines, including:
- The name should be 4-20 characters long
- No spaces or special characters in the name
- No profanities
- No trademark infringements
If you enter a name that’s already on Etsy’s system, it will generate some similar names that are still available, as shown in the picture below.
The following tips will help you select a shop name that matches Etsy’s requirements.
- Try descriptive names that evoke your brand’s feeling, such as KJewelryMetal.
- Think of abstract names to make it easy for customers to discover your online store
- Combine your name with a modifier, which can be the name of the product you sell
Pro Tip: Don’t rush to name your store because after you’ve started selling on Etsy, you can only change the name once. Take time to select a word that describes your shop best.
Step 4: List Products on Your New Shop
The next step on how to sell on Etsy is to create a listing for your products. Whether you intend to sell physical or digital products, you need to take note of the following rules:
- Adding Photos
Etsy recommends uploading at least five photos for every item you post. Consider taking the pictures from different angles to help a buyer get an idea of how the product looks.
What if you have a product with variations, let’s say a dress with multiple colors? In that case, add photos for the variations so that potential customers can see all the options.
- Adjust the Thumbnails
A thumbnail is the first picture of an item that customers see when they visit your shop. Since the photos can dictate the shop’s feel, ensure they are consistent with your brand.
Think of the thumbnail as your product’s best shot, ensuring that it’s a high-quality one.
- Complete the Listing Information
Add a title and description to your product to provide more details about the product. Maximize the 13 ‘tags’ supplied for every item.
- Complete Your Pricing and Inventory
Enter the price of every product, factoring in all the costs involved in the sale price. Next, indicate the quantity in stock and the variations in size, color, or material.
- Set Your Shipping Fee or Set Free Shipping
Add the necessary information regarding your shipping process, including the shipping services, costs, processing time, weight, size, and country of origin. Also, if you offer free shipping, ensure that you indicate it.
- Preview and Publish the Listing
When previewing the listing, check if you would like to make changes to your Etsy listing. If there’s none, click the “Finish” button to get the product live on Etsy search engine.
Step 5: Set Up Your Payment Method
Now that you’ve successfully listed your first product on Etsy, how would you like to receive your money after a sale? In this case, you need to indicate your payment preferences.
Thankfully, there are many electronic payment methods on Etsy, and you need to choose wisely. However, most Etsy sellers use Etsy Payments and PayPal.
With the Etsy Payment System, you can make money and get it through various options, such as a credit card and debit cards, as well as Etsy gift cards.
Etsy requires any seller eligible for Etsy Payments to use the system. So, even if you use PayPal and are from an eligible country, you must integrate it with Etsy Payments.
Step 6: Set Up Your Billing Information
After setting up your payment method, you have to update your billing information. However, Etsy will handle the process, depending on your country of origin.
In some countries, Etsy requires sellers to issue a credit card to verify their identities. The seller may also add their card details to allow Etsy to charge them for selling fees.
Step 7: Optimize Your Shop for Conversions
The following tips will help you optimize your shop to win multiple conversions.
- Add Your Profile: Insert a brief bio and your photo to win your customers’ trust and loyalty. So, any potential buyer will be able to tell that you are a credible seller.
- Update Your Shop Policies: Consider adding the FAQs that potential buyers may ask about your product. These include the shipping timelines and shop policies.
- Update the Store Bio: Talk about your e-commerce business and who you are to create connections with buyers. Ensure that you passionately write the biography.
- Invest in Etsy’s Marketing Tools: With Etsy’s new marketing tools, you can share your listings on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Use SEO Tools: Utilize Etsy search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help you boost your shop’s visibility on Etsy’s search engine. For example, use the right keywords.
Step 8: Set Up Your Business Legally and Add Tax Info
Now that you’ve set up an online shop on Etsy, it’s essential to avoid potential legal pitfalls. For this reason, consider choosing the proper legal structure for your online business.
You can run your Etsy shop as an unincorporated entity, such as a sole proprietorship, or incorporate it to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.
Besides the legal requirements, ensure that you fulfill your tax obligations. Some of the taxes that can apply to your Etsy shop are sales tax, value-added tax (VAT), and income tax.
Best selling items on Etsy
You’ve created your Etsy business, and you might be wondering what to sell in your Etsy store. Here are the items to consider selling on Etsy.
Crafts and Supplies
This category has recorded the highest sales on Etsy. You can sell items like beads, tools for jewelry, miniatures, and craft essentials. But, stickers and beads are the most common.
Why do stickers sell faster on Etsy? It’s because they look beautiful, attracting many female buyers. Reports reveal that 80 percent of shoppers and sellers on Etsy are female.
Another most selling product category on Etsy is jewelry. Notably, most of the options on the platform are self-designed and customized, making them more attractive.
Besides, most shoppers on Etsy always search for jewelry or jewelry-making tools and kits. So if some of your products fall in this category, you can consider listing them on Etsy.
One thing that makes Etsy popular is because it showcases a vast range of hand-made and custom-made items. Notably, these kinds of products have an extensive customer base.
Most buyers feel attracted to hand-crafted and customized products, raising their demand at Etsy. The top handmade items are handmade stickers, pendants, and paper designs.
Most wedding planners will never prepare a wedding without visiting Etsy. They can buy items like wedding dresses, invitations, and decorations, which sell faster on Etsy.
As a seller, you can consider selling things such as bachelorette shirts, bridesmaid gowns, jewelry items, and hand-made invitation cards to wedding planners on Etsy.
Paper and Party Supplies
If you are a paper lover, you are a potential seller in this category. Etsy is home to many paper lovers who get attracted to cute and catchy papercrafts.
When you list paper-crafted supplies that define the potential buyers’ taste and style, they will likely purchase them. That’s the reason party decorations sell faster on Etsy.
Have you ever thought of selling things like plaid scarves and trendy caps or hats? These accessories are among the most trending listings on Etsy. Nobody can ignore them.
Other accessories sold include cufflinks, child bows, crowns, crochet, and bands. ThinkPinkBows is an excellent example of a leading seller of accessories on Etsy.
Well, this category has millions of sellers and active buyers on Etsy. You’ll find a wide range of clothing, including trendy shorts, custom-styled dresses, and typographic clothing items.
Etsy allows buyers to choose clothing that reflects their style from thousands of options. So, select the group of clothing to sell, whether women’s wear, kidswear, and menswear.
Do you have products that have lasted for more than 20 years? If so, consider listing them on Etsy, an online marketplace offering a slot for selling and shopping vintage goods.
The good news is that you can sell any product on Etsy’s vintage category so long as they’re 20 years and above. They can range from jewelry and collectibles to home and living items.
Art & Collectibles
Are you an art lover and want to sell some art in an online global marketplace? If yes, then Etsy is the perfect place to showcase your skills and products.
Discover the unique sets of art collections on Etsy, including paintings, drawings, digital prints, and illustrations. Thankfully, you can sell collectibles from any of these categories.
Home and Living
Etsy’s home and living category offers more than a few bunches of boxes and furniture. A vast range of beautiful products in this category can make many buyers look for you.
Some of the best-selling items in the home and living category are wall decors, dining and servings, décor items, and outdoor gardening tools. ILoveLotus is a top seller in this niche.
Tips To Succeed When You Start Selling On Etsy
You’ve already set up and optimized your Etsy shop, so how do you drive sales?
The following tips will help you win multiple conversions and sales on Etsy.
Take Great Product Photos and Have Great Packaging
The human brain processes pictures 60,000 times faster than texts. For this reason, it’s vital to use high-quality photos, both hero and lifestyle shots, to win more conversions.
Hero shots are product photos with a white background. They should be the main photos and have high resolution to allow shoppers to zoom in to see the products.
On the other hand, a lifestyle shot shows the product in use. A good example is an image of a woman putting on a dress listed, as shown below.
You can use both hero and lifestyle shots since Etsy allows a maximum of ten photos. High-quality photos will increase sales in your shop.
Optimize Your Store For Conversions
Another practical tip on how to sell on Etsy is to optimize your shop to meet all your clients’ needs. You can do that by optimizing your pricing, product descriptions, and thumbnails.
Pricing can directly affect your sales on Etsy. Setting too high prices can result in low sales, while meager prices can cause a price war. So, consider pricing your products favorably.
When selecting thumbnails for your listings, consider using high-quality pictures that reflect your brand. These are the first images that your buyers will see on your listings.
To optimize your product descriptions, you should ensure they have the correct titles and descriptions that match the products listed.
Understand The Etsy Algorithm (SEO, Titles, Keywords)
If you want to improve your products’ visibility on Etsy, you need to take full advantage of Etsy search engine optimization (SEO). By doing so, you’ll drive more sales into your shop.
So, how does Etsy SEO work? An excellent way to maximize Etsy SEO is by using the right keywords. Try to figure out the unique keywords that stand out in your product category.
The keywords need to be valuable and relevant to your product. In other words, they need to match your products and display your business in the search results.
As you optimize your keywords, don’t forget your product’s title. Ensure that the title has the keyword that most buyers use to search for products in that category.
Promote Your Business On Social
As a new seller on Etsy, you want to expand your business network and let all your friends and colleagues know about your Etsy shop. That’s where social media comes in to help.
Take advantage of the cheap and quick exposure offered by social media marketing. Share your business details on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to build an enthusiastic audience.
Know The Marketplace and Competition
The Etsy marketplace has millions of sellers, meaning the level of competition is very high. For this reason, you need to understand who your competitors are and their pricing.
As potential buyers shop for products on Etsy, they see a vast range of products from people selling on Etsy. That means you should make your listings stand out on the market.
How your products look will influence whether buyers will choose your products or your competitors’ items. So, remember to brand your shop correctly to make it more appealing.
Track Your Finances & Know Your Numbers
Tracking your financial records will help you know whether your Etsy shop is bringing profits or losses. It will also help you set sales targets for a specific period.
Without insights into the exact figures, you’ll not be able to make informed decisions. The good news is that there are many software tools to help you track your shop’s finances.
Also, as you track your finances, study your products’ movement in the shop. Find out the items that sell faster than others and increase their quantity.
Focus On Selling Things You Love
Do you love crafting papers, collecting art, or sewing clothes? Selling what you love is the secret of success on the Etsy marketplace. So, figure out what you love and monetize it.
Your energy is best focused on things you love. It makes you create unique, high-quality products that can sell faster on Etsy. Besides, it helps you get new and returning clients.
So, whatever objects you love to craft, customers are looking for them on Etsy regardless of their niche. That’s why you should never hesitate to sell things you love.
How to Sell on Etsy FAQ
Do you need a license to sell on Etsy?
No. Etsy doesn’t require sellers to obtain a business license to sell items on the platform.
However, the local municipality, county, or state where you opened the business may require you to hold permits and licenses to operate their businesses legally.
Is Etsy safe?
Yes. Etsy is a legit online store, making it safe for both buyers and sellers. Although millions of people buy and sell on Etsy, you shouldn’t worry about safety.
Despite Etsy being safe, it’s also your responsibility to uphold all the safety tips suggested by Etsy. For example, keeping your transactions on Etsy Payments can make you safer.
What percentage does Etsy take?
For every item sold, Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee on the total sales price, including the shipping price paid by the customer. That also applies even if you offer free shipping.
Also, if you process payments using Etsy Payments, and the customer checks out directly from your shop through the payment system, you pay an additional 3% plus $0.25 fees.
How can I offer free shipping on Etsy?
Yes. Listing a digital product on Etsy is similar to creating listings for physical products. However, you’ll upload the files your clients will download when they complete a purchase.
The good news is that you can use Etsy’s smart pricing tool to adjust a products’ price if you offer free shipping. However, how you determine or set prices is your decision.
Why You Need to Go for An Omnichannel Approach
Now that you’ve set up your shop and listed products to sell, consider exploring options that can help you drive more sales. An excellent strategy is an omnichannel approach.
The omnichannel approach provides insights into how your small business can create content and offers that will encourage shoppers to buy more of your products.
With this approach, you can empower your brand to reach customers at each point of their buying experience, both online and offline. As a result, it boosts the customer experience.
The omnichannel strategy goes beyond optimizing each sales channel individually. Instead, it ensures that customers have a unified experience in Etsy, your website, and social media.
So, why should you be visible in other channels?
It’s because customers expect to find your products and brand in multiple locations, including other online marketplaces like Amazon.
Many people consider Etsy to provide them with an additional revenue stream. Thankfully, Etsy has introduced tools that make selling on Etsy easy, including Etsy Payments.
So Is Etsy The Right Platform For You?
Etsy is one of the most reliable marketplaces for online sellers. But despite Etsy being convenient, marketing products on the platform can be tricky if you don’t know where to start.
There are many strategies you can use to see your items sell faster on Etsy. For example, you need to keep your Etsy shop open to avoid losing out on prospects.
Also, consider building a shop and creating your website. By doing so, you’ll be able to:
- Provide add-ons through plug-ins
- Brand yourself how you like
- Market the shop better than you could with Etsy
- List as many products as possible without worrying about listing fee
- Maintain an email list of all your customers
- Get press for your items to your website
By building a shop and website, you’ll enjoy more flexibility and freedom. As a result, most buyers will take your business seriously, helping you build a long-lasting rapport with them.
Thankfully, setting up a website is easy and can take roughly five minutes on WordPress. All you need to do is select a unique theme and upload your e-commerce plug-in.
Or you can sign up with Shopify to get running in a few hours.
The big idea here is to sell your products on multiple platforms and let Etsy be one of the revenue streams for growing your small business.