Etsy is the biggest and most popular platform for creatives who love their craft and are looking to monetize their skills. The platform had about $2.3 billion in annual revenues for 2021, with the numbers expected to rise even more in the coming years.
Whether it is gum-based portraits, puffy stickers for your loved ones, or even cute vintage outfits, Etsy is the home of unique and chic designs. The platform is popular in multiple countries and has 0ver 96 million active buyers in 2021.
If you’re a creative looking to make money with the talents of your hands, you’ve probably heard someone tell you that you should start a shop on Etsy and start selling from there. However, considering the number of people who are already on the platform, it is important to watch out as you work out how to start an Etsy shop.
Selling on Etsy is quite similar to selling on any other eCommerce platform. Success will require significant amounts of planning and execution, and you want to ensure that you have all the steps ready as you create your craft supplies and start an Etsy shop.
In this piece, we’ll look into how to create your shop on Etsy and start selling. Take a deep breath and let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
It goes without saying, of course. The first step on how to create an Etsy shop is to march to the platform and create an Etsy account.
One of the many benefits Etsy sellers enjoy is that you don’t have to jump through hoops to kickstart your Etsy store. Interestingly, most people tend to get to this step and just freeze. You don’t have to – once you can get over this barrier, you’re on your way to making money on this platform just like many other small business owners do.
While registering your account, Etsy will require that you set up a few basic preferences – such as your Etsy store’s official language, your preferred shop currency for transactions, and more. This process is easy, so you don’t have to think about it so much.
However, you also need to keep in mind that this is where you have to set a name for your Etsy store. Many people tend to get scared of this, but you shouldn’t be. It’s true that you need to take some time to think about the ‘perfect’ name (and we’ll even give you some help on that later). Plus, the name you enter at this point can still be changed before you open the new Etsy shop for customers.
So, don’t be afraid of this giant just yet. Finish the rest of the process and see what Etsy has in store for you. Don’t worry; you’re doing amazing.
When you enter your Etsy shop name, you will be able to move on to things like listing details and setting up a billing channel. Etsy is actually quite helpful at this point in the process, so don’t rush. Just follow their recommendations, and you should be more than fine. However, keep in mind that you could also have your preferences. It’s all good.
Before you open the shop, remember to set up an attractive bio and a photo of yourself or your brand. This helps you to introduce yourself to prospective clients and is the first line towards creating a good relationship with them. You can talk about who you are, why you decided to create Etsy items and sell them, and some interesting facts about yourself.
Besides the fact that an awesome bio helps you to connect with potential buyers with like passions, it also helps you to make a killer brand. We’ll cover that later.
Finally, keep in mind that you might have to register your business in some states. This is especially true if you’re using a trade name that’s different from the legal business name. As always, the process is pretty easy and straightforward, so you’re basically good to go.
Now that you have your shop on Etsy, it’s time to talk about branding. This is really important for several reasons, but uniqueness can easily sum it up nicely. As we said, Etsy is a huge global platform with millions of sellers. If you’re unable to find that uniqueness about your business, then it will be pretty difficult to make sales as an Etsy business…
So, you, your brand, and your brand identity all need to be really unique, and align with your prospective customers’ perspectives.
You might be thinking that this isn’t necessary since it’s just an online store. However, your brand identity forms an important part of how current and potential customers will view your Etsy shop. So, whether you like it or not, you have a brand now. And it will be better for you to make conscious efforts about building and protecting a brand image.
In a world that is driven by authenticity like Etsy, having an authentic brand and brand identity is everything. Most Etsy shoppers look to build personal connections with shops before buying from them. So, if you’d like to make sales. you can’t escape the importance of creating a strong brand identity that helps you to communicate what you’re about and which builds that all-important relationship with your customers. From there, you can create Etsy listings and sell them to your Etsy customers.
Now, before you go about building your brand and brand identity, you also need to ask certain critical questions:
- What is the uniqueness of what you sell?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What does your shop offer that customers won’t be able to find or get anywhere else?
- What personality would you like to project with your shop?
- What stage of your brand experience do you think is most vital?
Answering these questions – as well as several others – will go a long way in helping you to build an identity for your brand. The brand ideas will be important as you work around how to start an Etsy shop.
When it comes to branding on Etsy, there are three core elements you should have in mind:
- The shop name
- Your cover photo or banner
- Your avatar
These tools help you to communicate your identity and what you’re about to your customers. So, be careful when choosing them.
- The Shop Name
All businesses have names – yours should, too. The name you select should be memorable, specific to your brand, and unique. It should set you apart from the multitude of etsy sellers, and you can be as free as you’d like.
But, note that there are some requirements here. Etsy doesn’t allow shop names to include punctuation marks, spaces, and a character count of over 20. All shops are also required to have different names.
Since you can’t punctuate, we recommend using a mix of capital and small letters to create a killer name.
- Your Avatar
The avatar is usually where the logo goes. Like the business name, your logo should also be related to your brand and its identity. If you create Etsy listings that are high-end, then let your logo showcase that as well. At the same time, your logo should represent your business if you’re in the process of making casual items.
Besides creating a good logo, keep in mind that the avatar has a square field. So, try to have balanced designs – not long, horizontal ones that might have trouble fitting inside the square.
- The Cover Photo Or Banner
You might not know it, but the part at the top of your Etsy shop can actually be put to good work for you. This is where you place your cover photo and banner, and it can go a long way in setting the right tone for your Etsy shop.
You can place a small banner to fill that piece of real estate. Small photos usually range around the (760px x 100px) size, while the larger ones usually measure (3360px x 840px).
A larger cover photo offers a lot of benefits. It can be visible on both smartphones and computers, so everyone will see it pretty well.
We also recommend investing in proper design for this cover photo. All in all, a cover photo makes your shop look better and provides a professional look that makes people feel more comfortable with you. In terms of how to start an Etsy shop, this is also quite vital.
It’s almost impossible for you to succeed at a business without understanding the financial side of it. You might not necessarily need to have a drawn-out business plan, but you need to understand the important numbers that come with running your online store. If you’re looking for how to make money on Etsy, you also need to understand how to effectively manage your funds.
As an entrepreneur, it’ll be pretty easy to track your sales and revenues. However, you also need to watch your costs. You’ll be investing money into your Etsy shop, and you need to factor in your costs before you can assess your profitability.
Fortunately for you, owning a shop on Etsy might not be as capital-intensive as a lot of other online businesses. Generally, your startup costs will include:
- Fees you pay for licenses or permits (charged by your state)
- The fees paid for your brand design – including the cover photo and the logo itself
- Crafting tools you’ll need to create Etsy items
- Materials for the products
- Infrastructure costs – internet, Etsy fees, shipping label fees payment processing fee, etc.
By running the right calculations, you will be able to know how much you need to get your business up and running. You’ll also know how best to plan and avoid any overly expensive surprises that might come along the way.
Now, keep in mind that there will be some surprises. So, we recommend having a bit of a war chest that helps you prepare for those.
Another critical step in how to start an Etsy shop is determining the prices you set for items. This is important because there will most likely be a lot of people who sell the same things you do. So, finding the right price is a mix between staying competitive in your pricing and also making as much profit as you can.
To build the right pricing strategy, start by understanding the costs of making your products. This will include the cost of your time, the value of your time, and the other costs that come with running the business such as materials. Then, add a little profit on top of that. This way, you will find it much easier to keep your business afloat.
Then, you can now bring the intangible costs into it – the perceived value of the products, what your competitors are charging, etc. Keep in mind that every prospective customer isn’t just shopping from you – they’re also shopping from your competitors. They know how much these items are, and they’re gathering comparison data about you and your competitors. So, understand what your competitors are charging and factor that into your final asking price.
Sure, you could feel that your products are more valuable than what your competitors are selling. And it’s fine to feel that way. But, you won’t be able to get an accurate markup if you don’t even know how much your competitors are charging in the first place. So, you lose potential profits if you charge too little. And if you charge too much, you drive your customers away.
Here, you should take note of the perceived value. This is the amount that a customer believes a product should be worth. Like it or not, the price that your competitors charge is another part of that value. But, it doesn’t tell the entire story. If your product looks more high-end than that of your competitors, then it will most likely be perceived as being more valuable. So, take time out to focus on your products’ appearance and quality. You should also focus on your branding as this affects the perceived value of the products. When you have a lovely logo with high-end brand positioning, the perceived value of your products increases even more.
Whatever it is, keep those two things in mind – perceived value and competitors’ pricing. Perfectly understanding them will help you to optimize your sales and profits.
It might not look like it, but product listings are among the most important things you will need to work on as you create your Etsy shop. Creating a compelling listing can boost your sales more than you can imagine. People want to feel drawn to you and what you sell, and a killer listing is what gets them over the finish line.
So, how do you know you have the right listing?
At the end of the day, all listings have the same listing details, whether they’re great or not – product titles, product descriptions, and product photos.
- Product Titles
When a customer sees your listing, the first thing that screams to them is the title. The perfect product title is descriptive and engaging. You could give a simple name like “birthday card,” but you can go further with a description like “100% handcrafted glitter birthday card” to make your title engaging.
When the listing title has more information about the product, you have a higher likelihood of getting proper visibility for the product. You should also keep in mind that a title that is more descriptive will attract more customers to click, and read more about the product. You get to showcase the components and factors that make your product ideal and why customers should jump on it as soon as possible.
Use terms that evoke emotions are descriptive of the product, and highlight the best parts of the product that customers would like to see.
- Product Descriptions
The next step toward creating the best product listing will be to have a killer product description. This offers the ideal chance for you to tell your story and sell the product to prospective customers. Include as many details and terms to describe the listing and help your potential customers understand the value – its features, the inspiration behind it, the process that went into making it, and much more.
Potential customers want to know what they will get when they buy something. So, highlight the benefits of your product. Remember that most people make purchase decisions with their emotions, so focus on evoking these emotions – not necessarily appealing to their rationality.
Paint an attractive picture to the customers and you’ll be able to boost sales. As far as how to make money on Etsy goes, this is very important.
You should also examine some of the product descriptions being used by your top competitors. Don’t copy them flat-out, but you can get inspiration from them to see what they’re doing right.
- Product Photos
One of the best tools you could have for your product is strong photography. It helps to create listings that sell.
It’s no secret that shopping online can be much more difficult and challenging than shopping in person. People want to be able to feel what they’re buying as much as possible, and this might not necessarily be the case with shopping online. With physical stores, they can’t examine the items, handle them, and get a general feeling of what the items are like. When they’re shopping online, there’s hardly such a thing. So, it’s on you to paint a picture of what your products are like – and photos are your strongest tool in this regard.
With awesome photos, you can easily help your prospective customers to overcome the uncertainty they feel when buying your products online. You get to showcase your product in a way that really connects with your target audience and helps them to envision actually having the product in their hands at that moment.
When taking photos, keep the following in mind:
- You want ONE photo with proper lighting which clearly shows the item
- You want ONE photo that shows alternate angles of the product. This way, shoppers know what they’re getting
- You want ONE photo that shows the item’s actual scale. You can use other props to display the item and its size to help customers get an idea of how it looks
- You want ONE photo that shows the product’s unique details. Think about questions that your customers might have and answer them with the photo.
- You want at least ONE to THREE photo that demonstrates how the product is being used.
To give your customers a proper understanding of your Etsy listing, you should take as many pictures as you need, maybe up to ten photos. Show it off as much as you’d like!
You might also want to take pictures with natural light – as opposed to the camera flash. If you do decide to use the camera flash, then be sure you’re taking professional-grade pictures.
You also want to keep the customers in mind when taking pictures. Ensure that the pictures are taken in a way that appeals to your target audience and takes them accordingly.
The Etsy website provides a pretty user-friendly way of starting a business for Etsy shop owners. However, as we said earlier, an Etsy business remains a business. So, you will need to abide by the same legal requirements that other businesses follow. These requirements are set by the state, so you need to keep them in mind.
As you work out how to start an Etsy shop, start with selecting a legal structure for the business. When you do, you’ll need to file all the right paperwork. We recommend looking at the Small Business Administration’s records to see the business license and permits necessary for your business type – if you’re in the United States, of course.
So you are now an Etsy shop owner, you’ve got a catchy store name, the required business license, and permits and you are ready to grow your Etsy shop to not just a successful Etsy store but a successful business. One essential thing you must get right to achieve your goal is having the right listings accompanied by great listing details. However, if you hope to make the business successful, you also need to be sure you’ve got the right items.
Having a strong inventory is one of the biggest recipes for success when you own an Etsy shop. While most hobbyists Etsy sellers can easily stock their Etsy shops as they find items or based on their mood, you’re an entrepreneur. This means you need to have a plan to ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed with orders down the line and keep your Etsy business growing.
Generally, you can open one of three types of businesses on Etsy – a store selling handmade goods, a store selling crafting supplies, and a store selling vintage items. Depending on the category, you need to abide by different requirements to maintain your stock.
- Stores That Craft Supplies
If you’re a passionate and effective crafter, then you most likely have a strong stockpile of supplies already. In that case, you’re pretty much set in the interim.
But, if you don’t already have a large stockpile of your supplies, you will need to build relationships with the wholesalers who work with you. This way, you can boost your profits and optimize sales.
To do this, you will need a few things – including a business name, an Employee Identification Number (EIN), and even a tax license. Remember when we said you need to structure your business well? This is one area where it comes in mighty handy.
- Etsy Stores That Sell Vintage Goods
If you’re a seller of vintage goods, then you might have several vintage items ready to be sold. But, while that is great, what happens if you run out of stock?
Well, you need to have a shipping structure! Shipping for the stock is very important, and you need to have enough cash upfront to get it done. We recommend having a regular shopping schedule that helps keep you grounded. You can get new items consistently, but make sure that you get high-quality items. You also need to put into consideration some factors such as the shipping cost, shipping labels, shipping duration, and many more.
- Etsy Stores That Sell Handmade Goods
If you would like to create Etsy items and sell them, then you might have a lot more work to do than the other guys. Some of the biggest questions you need to think about from a stockpile standpoint include:
- Will you be offering customized items?
- Will you be making the same items or will they be one of a kind?
- Will you offer products that can be created together?
- Are you hand-crafting your items or are the goods downloadable and digital?
You should keep in mind that items that are one of a kind can be challenging to work with and keep stock of. Even if they’re pretty awesome to make, they might not be so sustainable. We recommend making some staple products as well that are easy to manufacture and which are in high demand.
There are also custom listings that are made on request. These are great because you know you’re making a sale once you’re done making the product. Plus, you don’t need to invest so much time until an order actually comes in.
Finally, we recommend setting goals. You can decide to make a number of items per week to keep your store properly stocked. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re not leaving your success to chance. Proper planning helps you as you try to work out how to make money on Etsy.
It’s impossible to talk about how to start an Etsy shop without looking at shipping and parcels.
Generally, it is bad advice for you to just wait until you make your first sale before you begin looking for how to get the customer’s order to them. Thanks to advancements in logistics, people now expect brands to be more proactive with their shipping. They expect speed and effective communication, so be sure to have a logistics structure that ensures these two things.
Fortunately for you, Etsy itself understands the importance of shipping. And, they have a system in place that can optimize the shipping process for vendors. With Etsy, you can print shipping labels, work out the shipping costs, and even track packages from your Etsy shop. Click this link to find out more.
But, keep in mind that shipping is much more than just the logistics of it all. Most shoppers on Etsy want that personalized experience – a feeling that they can always come to you if something goes wrong with their order. Part of this personalized experience even deals with the way you package the item.
If you like, you can place personal notes in your packaging. Just say something sweet to your customers with your shop name printed on it and let them know you truly appreciate them. Whatever it is, remember to stick to your brand and messaging.
So you’ve got your store all set up and you’re ready to make sales. But, those sales won’t come unless you market yourself and spend actual time promoting what you’ve got.
To be fair it takes a while to build a customer base and establish your presence in the minds of people. However, you can take some steps to help make the process even quicker.
You can easily convince your family and friends to help you make a few first sales. When you do, ask them to give you reviews that you can share with people online. From there, you can get the word out about what you sell. Since friends and family will most likely be more willing to support what you do, it’ll be easy to get them to share reviews and promote you on your behalf.
The reviews you get from friends and family will be the first step. From there, you need to take some additional steps to ensure that your business gets the right level of visibility. These steps include:
As an Etsy business owner, you should understand that having a great Etsy store and listings alone won’t make you successful. You need to drive traffic to your Etsy account. You need to get potential customers to your listings.
With Search Engine Optimization, you essentially set your Etsy shop and its listings on the web, making them much easier to locate. Talking about SEO alone will be a full article. But, here are some key things to keep in mind:
Always use relevant tags and keywords for your listings. Essentially, they allow you to “tag” a listing with specific keywords that can improve your visibility
Always conduct keyword research and see how your potential customers are searching for similar listings on the web. Include these keywords in your listing details. The same goes for the product descriptions
When publishing products, always use categories to help make your products much easier to find.
The online marketplace is a very competitive space now, and as someone who owns Etsy shop and runs a small business, it’s important to understand that running paid ads to get eyeballs to your Etsy shop is one of the best ways to fast-track your success and growth as a business.
One of the most effective ads to run for an Etsy business is Etsy ads. This is an advertisement platform on the Etsy website itself. This allows for great targeting and a warm audience who are ready to buy and mostly need a push or some sort of conviction on getting the most value for their money.
Right now, social media is one of the most effective marketing tools we have at our disposal. As a new business owner, you want to take advantage of this landscape to get efficient exposure to your business and market it as you should.
As of January 2022, there were about 3.9 billion social media users. This is more than any other media channel in the world. So, by numbers alone, social media offers the broadest opportunities for businesses to grow.
As a starting business, you should at least own a minimum of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, TikTok, and Pinterest. Ensure that your pages are filled with pictures of your products and information about your band. Also, link to your Etsy shop so that people can easily visit the platform.
If you’ve followed these steps, then you’re done with how to start an Etsy shop. Good for you!
But, you would most likely have a few other questions. And that’s fine. Etsy offers a community of people looking to help you out, so feel free to check out Etsy Forums for some help.
Starting an Etsy shop is totally FREE! However, there are some fees you will incur as an Etsy seller and these include listing fees, payment fees, and transaction fees.
Yes, it’s very worthwhile to sell on Etsy in 2022. With over 96 million active buyers, and no entry barriers, starting an Etsy shop is a very worthwhile journey to embark on.
Etsy starter kits usually begin at about 20 items and you have options starting with 30-40 items. Obviously, there are risky aspects here, but they can improve sales.
It isn’t required that you hold any business license to market on Etsy.com. But the investigation continues. A buyer wishing to sell products on Etsy will require the permission of any municipal, county, or federal agency that regulates business. The Etsy store can be either an enterprise or a hobby.