Whether you make elegant resin art, draw hyper-realistic portraits, or knit the comfiest blankets, you might’ve considered taking the next step in your handmade business.
Selling on Etsy is a great idea as it’s one of the most popular platforms to sell and shop for handmade items.
However, you might be hesitant about entering the Etsy world if you haven’t before.
If that’s the case, don’t worry because many beginners have been in your shoes.
With the help of this guide, you’ll learn how to sell on Etsy to minimize hiccups and start making a profit from your hobby!
- Why You Should Consider Selling on Etsy
- Problems With Selling on Etsy
- What You’ll Need to Sell on Etsy
- What to Sell on Etsy
- Understanding Etsy Fees
- How to Sell on Etsy: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Things to Consider When Selling on Etsy
- How to List and Find Potential Customers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Tutorials to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
Why You Should Consider Selling on Etsy
Selling your art on Etsy has countless benefits that make this platform the number one alternative to Amazon Handmade.
Here are the top reasons why hobbyists and artisans like to list their handcrafted products on Etsy:
- More affordable than selling at a craft show: The costs and fees taken by the platform (listing items, sales, promotion, shipping, etc.) are much lower than the expenses you’ll have to pay to a craft shop or show. This can be highly beneficial for startup businesses or individual sellers who don’t have much capital to start with.
- Simple to set up and manage: You don’t need to be tech-savvy to set up, customize, or manage your Etsy store. Anyone with basic computer skills can do it, which is both hassle-free and time-saving.
- Matches your pace: Etsy doesn’t require you to list products within a predetermined time frame. You can post a product listing one time, then again a week or month later, requiring no anxiety-inducing commitment on your part!
- Large customer pool: Etsy has an established base of built-in buyers—96.3 million active buyers in 2021! Imagine the exposure your art will get on such a popular website.
Problems With Selling on Etsy
Selling on Etsy has a set of downsides that you need to keep in mind before launching your Etsy store so that you have the complete picture. The following challenges may get in your way.
- A lot of competition: There’s a huge base of Etsy sellers as well as buyers, as the number of active sellers reached 7.5 million in 2021. This means increased competition in your specific niche.
- You need marketing outside of Etsy: Despite the existence of helpful marketing tools on Etsy, many Etsy sellers claim they’re not enough. You’ll still need to drive traffic through social media and other SEO strategies to grow your Etsy shop significantly.
- Issues with brand image and loyalty: Whenever an Etsy buyer likes an item they ordered from the platform, they’ll likely talk well of the site itself, not the shop they got the product from. Not remembering the name of your shop won’t help boost your brand’s image.
- You don’t make the rules: Unlike the case in which you create your website, you lack control in certain areas when selling on Etsy. Any rules regarding the fees, subscription settings, and other terms and conditions may change, which an Etsy seller may not always like.
What You’ll Need to Sell on Etsy
If you think that selling on Etsy is for you after considering its pros and cons, it’s time to understand everything you’ll need to prepare for your journey.
- Your handmade products and craft supplies: The items you’ll be selling on Etsy must be 100% handmade by the seller. If you don’t already have something in mind to sell on Etsy, the next section can give you some ideas.
- Product labels and related designs: You can hire a graphic designer to design your labels, buy templates from Etsy, or order some online.
- High-quality, attractive photos of your items: The pictures that accompany your Etsy listing can make or break your Etsy shop’s popularity. Make sure they’re all clear and eye-catching to draw in more customers.
- Packing materials: You must prepare packing materials to be ready for shipping as soon as your Etsy shop is up. Such materials include boxes, box labels, tape, bubble wrap, and the like.
- A separate bank account: Many established Etsy sellers recommend dedicating a bank account to your Etsy dealings. This ensures your Etsy expenses, taxes, and sales are all in the same place and don’t mix up with your personal transactions.
- A consumer Etsy account: Finally, you need to create a buyer account on Etsy to set up your shop and start selling on the platform.
What to Sell on Etsy
Some future Etsy sellers may not already have a business idea in mind, but there’s no need to worry.
You can take a look at a few successful Etsy shops for inspiration, then check out the following list of categories.
Selling clothes or accessories that you’ve designed yourself is a great idea for an Etsy shop. Anything from printed t-shirts, knit sweaters, or crocheted beanies can be a good way to start an Etsy business.
Why This Product Sells Well
Clothes sell particularly well on Etsy, especially vintage pieces, because they’re limited and specially made.
People will get unique articles of clothing that others won’t find in retail stores, giving your work an advantage over mass-produced clothes.
Handmade earrings, rings, necklaces, and other types of jewelry are also huge best-sellers on Etsy.
Why This Product Sells Well
Each piece of jewelry designed by you is special and won’t have a sibling anywhere else despite the competitive jewelry Etsy marketplace.
Custom Pet Gifts
You can consider selling custom pet gifts such as crates, food and water bowls, name tags, and hundreds of other ideas.
Why This Product Sells Well
Personalized pet gifts are items that sell well on Etsy because every pet owner likes to shower their little furball with cute, custom belongings.
It’s unlikely they’ll find such attractive designs in their nearby pet shop.
Custom-made gifts like printed mugs, His and Hers t-shirts, and specially-made journals are also good options for selling on Etsy.
Why This Product Sells Well
The demand for custom gifts is huge, as they’re most popular for different occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
Plus, any object can be personalized, which gives you countless ideas for your Etsy store.
Handmade Home Decor
Resin abstract art, decorative sets, portraits, and other handmade decor items are popular on Etsy, too.
Why This Product Sells Well
Everything regarding home and garden furniture and decorative items sells well everywhere with the ever-growing interest in renovating homes and boosting the positive vibes of any living space.
Understanding Etsy Fees
Etsy makes its money as a company by charging fees, and understanding those fees can help you make a profit as a craftsperson using the platform.
1. Listing Fee
Etsy charges sellers a 20-cent product listing fee for each individual item.
This fee is good for four months of listing — if the item doesn’t sell within that time, it auto-renews for another 20 cents and keeps the item on the platform.
2. Transaction Fee
For every sale, Etsy charges a transaction fee, which is 5% of the total price. This includes any shipping costs the buyer is paying for.
3. Etsy Payment Processing Fee
If the buyer pays with a credit card, as opposed to PayPal, Apple Pay, or another third party payment service, Etsy charges a 3% credit card processing fee, plus 25 cents.
It’s important to remember these fees when setting prices for your items. To make a profit, don’t just include the cost of materials and labor, but factor in these on-platform fees (as well as shipping costs) to ensure that your endeavor is worthwhile.
How to Sell on Etsy: Step-By-Step Instructions
After settling on an idea for your Etsy store and preparing all the necessary items you’ll need, here’s your complete guide on how to sell on Etsy.
Step 1: Create an Account on Etsy, Then Click on “Sell on Etsy”
Start by visiting etsy.com and selecting the “Sign in” option from the top-right corner of the page. Once you do, a form will show up on your screen asking for your email address and password, but since this is your first time, you’ll have to click on “Register.”
Enter your name, email address, and password. Soon, you’ll receive an email in your inbox to confirm your registration process.
To take the easy route, you can always choose to continue with Facebook, Google, or Apple accounts. If you decide to do this, we advise you not to log in with your personal account but with an account dedicated to your business.
When you’re done registering, sign in with your credentials and head over to the top-right corner of the website again. You’ll find a gray circle with a silhouette, so click on it to get a drop-down menu, then press on “Sell on Etsy.”
Step 2: Set Up Your Etsy Shop
To begin the process, head to Etsy.com. In the top right-hand corner you’ll see a link to “Sell on Etsy.” Click on that.
A new “Sell on Etsy” page will appear, and that’s where you should click “Open Your Etsy Shop.”
After that, you’ll have to enter the details of your shop, including the language, country, and currency.
You also have to determine whether you’ll be a full-time or part-time Etsy seller. Then, save your options and continue.
Next, you’ll be asked to name your shop and check the name’s availability. In this step, we advise you to pick a unique name that reflects your business’s identity while also being catchy and easy to remember.
Once you’ve created your account, it’s time to get going. First you’ll confirm your language and currency settings — Etsy is a global platform, after all — and letting them know your location. This helps them target customers closer to you.
Next, it’s time to name your store. With over two million sellers on the platform already, your preferred business name might already be taken.
If that’s the case, they suggest trying to add “Boutique” or “Store” to the name to find a unique name. (Every Etsy store must have a unique name.)
Once your store name is approved, you’ve done it. You have an Etsy store. Now it’s time to get selling.
Step 3: List Your Handmade Products
The next step is to create your listing, keeping in mind that Etsy recommends its users put up ten different listings for the same product to increase its exposure.
Here are all the details you’ll have to include:
- The product’s title, who made it and when, whether it’s physical or digital, its dimensions, materials, tags, and an in-depth description. If you need help with this stage, there are plenty of freelancers on Upwork willing to write product descriptions for a small fee.
- From 1–10 product pictures, preferably from different angles and next to a ruler for size reference
- A video of the product, although it’s not a requirement
- The price of your product, putting factors like materials, labor, and shipping materials into consideration
- Any variations of the product in color, size, etc.
- Whether or not personalization is available
- Shipping details
When all the details of the listing are up to your standards, click “Save and continue.”
Step 4: Choose Your Etsy Payment Method
In this step, you’ll have to specify whether you’re a sole proprietor or a registered legal entity. Etsy needs to know this data to understand your tax status.
If you pick the “individual or sole proprietorship” option, you’ll only need to enter your full name, date of birth, country, address, last four digits of your social security number, and phone number.
The other choice will require you to provide the name of the registered legal entity, the business registration number, and the legal business address. Other details include the state, EIN, and primary contact for the business.
Once you’re done providing this information, you’ll have to pick the country of your bank. Next, enter your routing number and the account number that you’ve created to handle your Etsy transactions. This step is all about your billing information for payment on Etsy.
Finally, provide the details of your credit card from which Etsy will take any fees.
Step 5: Finalize Your Shop’s Settings
After you’ve finished all these steps, an “Open Your Shop” button will appear to allow you to finalize your shop’s options. You can now copy and paste your shop’s URL to share it on other platforms.
Lastly, it’s important to create a solid shop policy to make your selling process as seamless as possible. Consider all angles—returns, shipping, processing time, payment options, etc.
Things to Consider When Selling on Etsy
Before you launch your Etsy shop, think about the following points for a more profitable experience.
- Define your audience: Having a target audience lets you focus your marketing campaigns and ensures your SEO efforts pay off.
- Focus on your product’s best aspects: It’s important to highlight the unique points of your handmade item in the name and description to grasp the attention of potential customers.
- Sell what you’re passionate about: It makes a substantial difference to your selling experience if you do what you love because your dedication will show to Etsy shoppers.
How to List and Find Potential Customers
After you’ve created your account, it’s time to start listing items available for sale. This is a vitally important step in the process.
The difference between a profitable Etsy shop and one that doesn’t make money often has nothing to do with the quality of the items — rather, it’s how easy the seller makes it for customers to find the items and fall in love with them.
Craft a Strong, Searchable Title
To begin listing items, you must come up with a name for them. Titles of items must be 140 characters or fewer, and you should really focus on making them friendly for search.
The term “search engine optimization” or “SEO” can be a scary phrase to those who aren’t tech-savvy, but its meaning isn’t very complicated. It just means that it’s easy for someone to find using an internet search.
To create a good SEO title, take a moment and ask yourself, “What would I type into the Etsy search bar if I were looking for this item?”
A good title will include as many relevant details as possible in the title and be very specific. If you’re selling a silver necklace with a heart pendant, a title like “A one-of-a-kind keepsake” will make it extremely difficult for someone to find.
On the other hand, a title like “Sterling silver necklace with heart pendant” will yield better results.
You should also include the length if applicable. If it’s customizable, be sure to include that detail as well.
Likewise, if you offer different varieties of the same item — say, one in silver and one in rose gold, click on the “Listing Variations” tab when creating your listing.
This will allow you to list multiple variations of an item and show up in more searches.
Post a Powerful Photo
When searching for products, Etsy displays most shops the same way. One of the few ways to stand out in search results is with a beautiful photo of your item.
When posting photos, remember: Shoppers are visual. Make sure you only publish well lit, high-quality photos. Product photography is a skill, and may be one worth investing in.
You’ve got your title. You’ve got a great photo. Now you have the chance to write product descriptions, which give you more words to convey all the great details about an item.
Once you like the title, photo, and description, you can list!
When it comes to Etsy search results, you have the chance to make sure your product listings are at the top of the pile.
These are called “Promoted Listings” and are available for purchase when you’re selling.
If your item is in a crowded field, and you’re looking for a way to stand out, Promoted Listings can be a great way to do that.
Other Ways to Showcase Your Items
You aren’t limited by where you market your Etsy shop. You can use your personal social media network to direct friends and family there, or create specialized business social media accounts that point potential customers to the platform.
Many Etsy users also make flyers and business cards to hand out to people — potential buyers are everywhere.
Once an item sells, you head to your local post office or UPS and ship it. Etsy will hold on to the funds until the order is completed, then take out their fees.
Once that is done, then you’ll be able to transfer the money to your bank account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to two questions that may be on your mind.
Is It Worth It to Sell on Etsy?
Yes. It’s worth your effort and time to sell on Etsy, especially if you give your products the pricing that they deserve.
The handmade market grows by the day, so it’s best to take advantage of people’s interest in specially-made items.
What Is Required to Sell on Etsy?
You don’t need any documents or paperwork to sell your products on Etsy. There’s also no license required to sell on Etsy.
You only require materials to make your handmade product, packing supplies, a bank account to receive your Etsy sales through, and an Etsy account.
Similar Tutorials to Check Out
For your online business to grow, you may consider selling your items on other platforms besides Etsy. You might want to check the following tutorials.
- How to Sell on Amazon: Amazon is the number one e-commerce platform in the U.S., so it’s time to work this to your advantage!
- How to Sell on Craigslist: Besides used and vintage items, handmade goods have a place on Craigslist, too.
- How to Sell on Facebook: Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms, and selling your products on it can be profitable.
After learning how to sell on Etsy, you’ll find out that the process is straightforward for beginners and master artisans alike. This way, you can let the world see and buy your art pieces from your bedroom or living room.
Let us know if this tutorial has been helpful and share it if you like it.