Over the last several years, creators and designers have been utilizing Etsy to sell their one-of-a-kind items. With nearly 100 million active buyers on the site, it’s easy to see why. If you’re considering opening up your own Etsy shop, you may be wondering how to get started. These steps will point you in the right direction.

Understanding the Online Marketplace

Etsy is an online marketplace that allows artists, designers, collectors, and creators a space to sell their products. Customers can use the search function to find different categories, then view photos of items from different e-commerce shops. Clicking on a photo will lead to a seller’s shop, including additional product photos and details.

Creating a shop on Etsy is free, but there are various fees associated with uploading, marketing, and selling your items:

  • Listing Fees—$0.20 USD per item uploaded for sale
  • Transaction Fees—6.5% of the total cost of the item when it is sold
  • Payment Processing Fees—A set rate plus a percent of total price. This fee varies by country.
  • Customs Fees—For international shipping, variable customs fees apply.
  • Advertising Fees (optional)—For ads on Etsy, the fee is based on the budget you set. For offsite ads, a fee is applied when the ad leads to a sale.

Steps for Getting Your Etsy Shop Up and Running

Create an Account

To sell your items on Etsy, you’ll need to create an account. Fortunately, the site makes it very easy to get started. Simply visit Etsy.com/sell and click “Get Started.” You’ll be asked for some basic personal information, including your name and email address.

Setup Your Storefront Preferences

Each Etsy account is customizable, so your next step will be to set your preferences. In addition to selecting your country, currency, and preferred shop language, you’ll be asked to create a name for your shop. The name you create can be a combination of letters and numbers, but it’s best to choose something that reflects your unique brand but is also easy for customers to remember.

Upload Your Products

With your shop set up, you can begin to upload your product listings. Each listing can include up to 10 photos, as well as a 5-15 second video. This is your time to let your products shine. Be sure to take high-quality photos and video. If you plan to offer different customizable options, like color or font choices, use your 10 photos to show those options, as well.

In addition to uploading images of your product, you’ll also be prompted to provide a description. The details of your listing are a chance to clearly explain your products and materials. You’ll assign a category for each product, provide pricing information, and give shipping details, as well. At this point, you’ll also have the chance to opt in to Etsy ads to market your new shop for an additional fee.

This process can take time, especially if you have several different products to upload. If you need to pause the upload process, you can click “Save as Draft,” and return at a later time. Once everything is uploaded and ready for sale, simply hit “Publish” and you’re up and running!

Determine Payment Methods

While you likely love the art of creating, you probably want to get paid for your products, as well. Once your products are uploaded, you’ll need to let Etsy know how and where you wish to be paid. You’ll be prompted to enter information for your business. Then you can link your shop to your bank account for future sales.

Setup a Billing System

Next, you’ll determine how you’d like to bill customers. Etsy Payments is the most popular billing method on the site. Customers pay Etsy with debit or credit cards. Etsy then deducts the fees associated with the sale, leaving you the profit. PayPal is another option that allows customers an easy purchase option. Checks and snail mail are both still payment options, but most shop owners prefer online payments instead.

Customize Your Storefront

Customers love to know who they are buying from, so it’s important not to overlook this final step. Customizing your storefront helps to build brand recognition and allows you to share your story. Begin by uploading a profile picture. While you can choose to use a photo of yourself, many Etsy sellers use their logos as profile pictures.

Creating a user profile will also provide a human element to your shop. You can share a little about yourself and your background. You may also want to use this space to let potential customers know what types of products they can expect to find at your shop. Not only will this be helpful for current sales, it could drive customers back to your shop in the future.

Promote Your Shop

As previously mentioned, Etsy has millions of active users you can potentially reach, but to direct them to your shop, you’ll need to promote it. One way to do that is through Etsy itself. For a fee, the site will boost your shop, which allows it to stand out in a crowded market. However, for new Etsy shop owners, the costs may be prohibitive.

Fortunately, social media can provide a much more affordable way to get your shop’s name out into the world, but it will take some effort on your part. Creating unique content on Instagram and TikTok is an effective way to drive people to your Etsy shop. You can also use the Etsy “Store Manager” feature to connect your shop directly to your social media pages, including Pinterest. Don’t forget to use hashtags and keywords in your social media descriptions to make it even easier for potential customers to find your products.

Leveraging Print on Demand for your Etsy Business

Have designs but are not sure how to turn those into products? Print on demand might be the right solution for you. When you partner with a print on demand service provider, you are able to sell your content/images on thousands of their high-quality products, from hats and hoodies to tote bags and tumblers, all from your own Etsy shop.

Start by ordering some product samples. Then decide what items you’d like to sell and upload those product photos to your Etsy shop. Next, link your POD provider to your shop.  Once an order comes in, your print on demand partner will process, print, and ship the order to your customer. You won’t need to manage inventory or even deal with returns. Your print on demand partner handles it all so you can focus on creating new designs and promoting your Etsy shop.

Using Etsy to Sell Your Products

Selling on Etsy comes with many benefits, and it’s easy to get started. Setting up your account is simple, and you’ll have the opportunity to customize your storefront and setup preferences. Upload high-quality images and videos of your products, along with well-written descriptions. Then determine payment options. Consider partnering with a print on demand provider, as well, to print your designs on thousands of high-quality products. Once your shop is up and running, promote it through social media, and consider using Etsy Ads to grow your successful Etsy shop.