If you want to sell online products you create with your own hands, Etsy may be the best platform for you. It’s an excellent place to showcase your talents and creativity while making money. Consider this: Etsy has 40 Million buyers worldwide and 2 Million active sellers in 2018. Living outside the U.S. is not a problem. As of December of this year, 38 percent of sellers are based overseas. Mind you, all these numbers will continue to grow!
The above statistics point to one thing – a great opportunity awaits you. If you want to earn income by making birthday cards, clothing or jewelry, among others, isn’t it time you learn how to start an Etsy shop?
Why Choose Etsy?
We know you’re wondering what sets Etsy apart from Amazon, eBay, and other eCommerce sites. Here are some of Etsy’s features you will not find in the other portals.
It’s easy to set up a shop with Etsy. Many first-time sellers describe the process of opening their shop as “easy as pie.” As you will later learn, the steps involved in how to start an Etsy shop are simple and straightforward.
2. Your Hobby=Money
Etsy is the perfect platform for handmade or specialty products. Your hobby can be transformed into a money-making venture. Aside from the three mentioned above, other products you can offer on Etsy include the following:
You can even sell digital products, like crochet and sewing designs, embroidery fonts, recipes, and printables (planners, templates for invitations, stickers and coloring pages). There is so much more to add and you can even introduce a handmade product that’s new to the market!
Lastly, if you have antiques or vintage items you wish to sell, Etsy is the first site collectors check out.
- Handmade dolls and other toys
- Pet accessories like collars
- Personalized items like key-chains
- Crafting tools and supplies
3. Amazing Community
Etsy has a supportive community. You can count on tutoring or mentoring from other sellers. There are forums that cover all relevant topics including help on how to start an Etsy shop. You can also start your own discussion.
There may be Etsy sellers in your area that you can team up with. It’s not uncommon for them to meet and work with each other to create something greater. Many of the sellers share their experiences and success stories on the internet. Search for their blogs or articles and you’ll discover how teaming up with others can lead to more success.
4. Good Traffic
You will get help from Etsy to generate traffic. There are algorithms on the platform that drive traffic to new shops. With this feature of Etsy, your products have a better chance to be at the top of search listings quickly.
5. It's a Business from Home
Etsy is an excellent portal for home-based businesses. Are you aware that 86% of Etsy’s sellers are women? This is an excellent opportunity for mompreneurs. With Etsy, they can earn money and pursue their other interests.
For other Etsy sellers, working in an office has lost its charm. But, skills learned can be used to generate income. For instance, with mastery of regularly used software, many sellers market design templates for stationery, business cards, graphics, etc.
Also, several sellers have left their jobs when they found their true passion and realize through Etsy, they can make a living at it too.
Discover other business ideas perfect for mompreneurs.
Opening Your Etsy Shop
Like we said earlier, setting up on Etsy is easy. Follow the steps below on how to start an Etsy shop and you’ll be done in minutes.
Register with Etsy if you don’t have an account with them. You should see something similar to the photo below.
2. Open Your Shop
After registering, log in and click the button “Open your Etsy shop.” You’ll be prompted to enter your country, language, and currency preferences. If you select English, it is assumed that your items will be described in this language. But if your audience includes non-English speaking people, you can later update your preferences to add another language.
3. Enter Your Shop’s Name
By now you have an idea what your shop’s name would be. Ask yourself if your chosen name is unique enough, yet gives your audience an idea of what you’re selling. We have good news for you if you’re feeling the pressure on coming up with a name: you can change it anytime you want. You just need to inform Etsy Support.
Keep in mind that your shop’s name is limited to 4 - 20 characters in length with no spaces or special characters. Profanity is not allowed. Also, your chosen name should not violate any copyright laws. Finally, your chosen name should not be in use by another Etsy seller.
4. List Items You’re Selling
Begin adding items to your shop by uploading thumbnails. But first, take several pictures of your items from different angles. They have to be the best quality possible and include close-ups. Borrow lighting kits from photographers if you can (you can even get professional lighting as your Etsy shop grows). No matter how good your camera is, if your lighting is inadequate, your pictures wouldn’t be good enough. Remember, your audience will look at photos first before reading your description. Our guide on how to start an Etsy shop wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t emphasize this.
Each item’s descriptive title is limited to 140 characters. Make sure your description highlights the features of your product in a few words. This is significant when these features are not evident from your photos.
When you get to add items, you’ll see the following on your screen:
Add listing details:
You will be prompted to categorize each of your items. Before you do so, look at Etsy’s category list. Think about how your audience will view your items especially if they can fall into a few categories.
- Who made it?: yourself, someone from your shop, a third party.
- What is it?: a finished product, or a supply tool to make things.
- When was it made?: made to order, recently, vintage
- Category (automatic or manual)
- Renewal options: each renewal lasts for four months or until the listing sells out. Get more details on auto-renewing here.
- Type: physical or digital
- Section: group related listings into sections to help shoppers browse (e.g., bracelets, Father’s Day gifts, yarn).
5. Set Up How You’ll Get Paid
If you are located in the U.S. or other qualified countries, you’ll get paid via Etsy Payments. Take note though, sellers must use Etsy Payments with integrated Paypal. With Etsy’s system, you can accept credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and store credit. Also, you will need to supply your bank account details to receive payments from Etsy.
Now, if you’re located in a country not eligible for Etsy Payments, you may get paid by money order and other means. Check with Etsy Support on other payment methods.
6. Select Your Billing Option
Whether you are in the U.S. or in another country, Etsy will require you to give your credit card information. First, if you authorize auto-billing, Etsy will charge selling and other fees as you incur them. Secondly, if you’re in another country, your credit card info will be used for identity verification purposes. Acceptable cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
7. And Finally, Open Your Etsy Shop
Click Open Your Shop. That’s all it takes and you’re in business! You may want to make changes later on. Don’t worry; you can do so anytime you want.
Now that you know how to start an Etsy shop write or type a draft of the information you’re going to post. For instance, determine what item descriptions will work best. Act now to open your shop but don’t be hasty.
Esty During COVID
Maybe you want to start your own Etsy business, but you're not sure if you should do it during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The answer is not as easy as "yes" or "no." There are several things you need to take into consideration. For example:
How much of an investment would your store be? If you need to make a really big investment, you need to make sure that spending on your store won't affect your personal finances.
How expensive will your products be? Unfortunately, most of the products on Etsy are not considered as essentials, and right now people don't have the cash fluidity to spend on expensive non-essentials. Of course, you can still open your Etsy Shop, but it might take a while before your business starts to pick up.
If you do decide to start your Etsy shop, the platform has some great resources on how to run your shop during these challenging times:
Tips for First-Time Business Owners
Learning how to start an Etsy shop makes you a soon- to- be- entrepreneur. If you’re a first-time business owner, we have some valuable pointers for you.
- Remain true to yourself and follow your passion. Don’t create products just because people will buy them. Make and sell the items you love. But first, ask yourself if people will like them too. If you believe they will, then go ahead and open your Etsy shop.
- Figuring out the right business name can be hard. If you want help with your shop name.
- It will take time for you to get the hang of a business. If you’re not getting enough views or sales of your items, try out new titles or descriptions. Tweaking your prices might jumpstart sales.
- Be patient. If you work hard every day, success will happen soon.
- You’re going to engage in an online business but you still have to pay taxes on your net income. If this is the first time you’re going to file taxes, determine the best business structure for you. Many Etsy sellers file as sole proprietorships.
- Take responsibility and learn from your mistakes. Lastly, build on your success.
Wrapping It Up
Etsy has provided more opportunities for artisans, craftspersons and many others. There’s a big market for handmade products now. Your creation might very well be the next bestseller!
Review this guide on how to start an Etsy shop. You might have missed an important thing or two. You may be inexperienced but selling online is not that complicated. Current Etsy sellers will confirm this. Just ask them.
So, if you desire to craft products and establish your home-based business, you won’t go wrong if you choose Etsy as your partner!