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- Easy to set up & maintain your store
- Market to a large audience – 45+ million active Etsy buyers
- Built-in analytics to analyze your performance & make data-driven decisions
- No shop fees
- Opportunity to sell only handmade, unique or vintage items.
- 3 types of fees: $0.20 listing fee, 5% sale fee, 3% + $0.25 processing fee per transaction
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How Does Etsy Work?
Starting your business on Etsy is an easy and straightforward process. Think of it this way: Etsy provides you a platform where you can register as a merchant. Plus, you can leverage 45.7 million active buyers Etsy currently has.
Etsy is an online marketplace that connects individual vendors to buyers, who are shopping for handmade, crafty and unique items.
When you register on Etsy as a seller, you’ll be able to publish your listing to the Etsy marketplace. On the other hand, Etsy will push your listing to its shoppers who are looking for certain items.
Is Etsy Legit?
The platform is accredited and has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.
What Are Etsy Fees?
When you sell your products on Etsy, there are 3 types of fees you’ll be charged.
Listing Fee: $0.20/listing
This fee is applied to each listing you publish on Etsy. Note that listings on Etsy expire in 4 months and you need to renew them to keep your listings live.
Transaction Fee: 5%
Etsy will keep 5% from your total sale amount.
Payment Processing Fee: 3% + $0.25 per transaction
You’ll be charged this fee for each order you receive.
What Can You Sell on Etsy?
You can sell 3 main types of products on Etsy: handmade items, vintage stuff and craft supplies. Basically, your imagination is the limit and anything that falls into these types can be sold on Etsy.
Main Etsy categories:
- Jewelry and accessories
- Clothing, shoes, bags and other fashion accessories
- Wedding and party essentials, decor, etc.
- Home and living – decor or everyday home essentials
- Toys and entertainment
- Art and collectibles
- Craft supplies and tools
- Gifts and gift cards
- Printables – planners, calendars, etc.
How to Start Selling with Etsy?
This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of opening your own successful shop on Etsy.
What’s best is that setting up your Etsy shop is easy and doesn’t require you to have a business license.
Step 1 – Open Your Shop
First of all, create your Etsy account. It’s a simple process where you just have to enter your email address and set up a password.
After you’ve logged in to your account, it’s time to open your shop.
Opening a shop on Etsy is easy:
- Click the ‘Sell on Etsy’ button at the top right corner of Etsy.com.
- Click ‘Open your Etsy shop’.
- Select your shop language, country and currency. Once you do that, click ‘Save and continue’ to move to the next step.
- Finally, choose your shop name and click ‘Save and continue’
Note that you need to open your shop on a desktop web browser. Once your shop is live, you can manage your shop via Etsy app on your smartphone.
Step 2 – Finish Your Shop Setup
After you’ve signed up and created your shop name, you should take a few more steps to complete your shop setup in order to start selling your items.
Complete the following sections to finalize your shop setup:
- Shop logo and banner: Create and upload clear, high quality photos representing the type and style of your products. Note that logo and banner make first impression on shoppers, so make sure it is appealing.
- Shop announcement: Share a short message welcoming shoppers.
- About section: In this section you should share the story behind your products – why you have created this brand and what’s your brand vision. You can upload photos and videos showcasing your brand story as well.
- Shop members: Introduce your team members or your partners with your shoppers. People like seeing what’s going on behind the scenes and who stands behind the business they’re shopping from.
- Shop policies: Set up your shop policies for payment, shipping, exchanges, returns, custom items or any other important guidelines.
If you are a US seller, I highly recommend you purchase USPS Shipping Labels on Etsy after you have completed your store setup. This way, you can save up to 30% than if you have purchased shipping labels with USPS regular retail rates.
Step 3 – Add Listings to Your Shop
After you’ve finished setting up shop sections, you can start adding products to your shop. Etsy calls each product you add to your shop a listing.
Here’s how to add a listing to your shop:
- Open Etsy.com, navigate to ‘Your Account’ and click Shop Manager.
- Click Your Shop (or Listings, if you are an existing seller)
- Finally, click ‘Add a listing’
Step-by-step process to adding products to your store:
1 – Add photos (and a video)
I recommend you upload at least 5 high quality photos of your products from different angles. You can also upload a video showcasing your item.
Just note that the video may be 5-15 seconds long and will not contain sound once it’s uploaded.
2 – Choose your thumbnail image
Thumbnail image is what catches potential buyers’ eyes and makes them open your listing over your competitors’ ones.
The first photo on your listing automatically becomes the thumbnail. However, you can drag and drop images to change their order and set the most attractive one as a thumbnail.
3 – Add listing details
Add listing title and select your product category so that shoppers can find your listing when they search for specific items.
4 – Describe your listing
Describe your item in detail so the shoppers can understand what they’ll be getting if they purchase from you.
5 – Add your inventory and pricing
Add price and quantity of your items. If you’re offering more than 1 variation of your product – e.g. different colors/sizes – you need to indicate it on this step as well.
6 – Set up shipping
Choose how you want to ship your item. You can either set up your shipping profiles that will be charged to buyers or offer a free shipping.
If you are located in the US or Canada, you can also use the calculated shipping. This way, the shipping cost will be calculated based on the item’s weight and size.
7 – Publish or save your listing
Finally, when you complete all sections of your listing, you should review it and either publish it right away or save as draft.
Step 4 – Do Marketing, Branding & Promotion
A marketing strategy is the key to success in your Etsy shop. You need your listing to show up at the top of Etsy search and you need your listing to stand out from the competition.
But how do you do it?
Important tips for getting started with Etsy marketing:
- Optimize your shop for Etsy search. Make sure you select the right category for your listing and add relevant keywords in your title and description. You can also add your location to be found in local searches.
- Link social media to your shop and create daily posts to promote your products.
- Offer discounts to encourage shoppers to buy your product over your competition.
- Consider investing in paid ads. Etsy lets you advertise your products with Etsy Ads starting from $1 daily. Advertising will push your listing to appear higher than unpaid listings.
- Join the Etsy community to network with Etsy sellers and shoppers.
What Are the Etsy Pros & Cons?
- Easy to set up and maintain your store.
- Market to a large audience – Etsy already has an engaged audience who visit the platform to purchase unique or handmade items.
- Built-in analytics help you analyze your performance and make data-driven decisions.
- Fees – Etsy charges 3 types of fees: $0.20 for listing your item, 5% of your sale and an additional fee for payment processing, which is 3% + $0.25 per transaction.
- You can sell only handmade, unique or vintage items.
Is it Worth Selling with Etsy?
While it’s easy to get your crafty business on Etsy and put your products in front of millions of active shoppers, I would say, it’s worth selling with Etsy.
If you have the right product – meaning something people would appreciate, selling on Etsy can be lucrative.
Be aware that just like any other business, it takes time to start and reach a profitable point on Etsy.
Etsy vs Amazon Handmade
Amazon Handmade is a great alternative to Etsy to consider. While Amazon Handmade is focused on handmade items, it still isn’t especially well-known as a place to find unique items. On the other hand, Etsy is known for being focused on selling handmade items and is visited by millions of shoppers when they need to buy artsy, handmade or unique stuff.
Etsy vs Shopify
While both Etsy and Shopify are easy-to-use online sales channels, these platforms represent 2 radically different ways to reach buyers. Etsy is an online marketplace that has millions of active shoppers. On the other hand, using Shopify you have to build your own shop and put a lot of marketing efforts to reach and attract potential buyers.
Etsy vs Big Cartel
Big Cartel is another good alternative to Etsy because it focuses on smaller, artistic stores. However, there’s not much room for scaling up your business. That’s why people who start with Big Cartel usually move to Etsy once they are ready to upscale.