How to start an Etsy shop

Everything you need to finally launch that Etsy shop you've been contemplating

Someone paying for goods online via their laptop.
(Image: © 123RF)

I. Introduction

You’ve probably heard about Etsy if you work as a designer, craftsman, artist, or collector. Etsy is the ideal destination for you if you've always wanted to turn your passion into a company. But how do you open your store and generate revenue?

You've heard the phrase "you should sell them on Etsy" a few times if you've ever created handmade or artisanal goods. Learning how to sell on Etsy is one way to earn money online and start a lucrative business. Please continue reading if you want to build an Etsy business and earn money by selling goods to this enormous pool of potential customers.

Chapter 1 

What is Etsy?


Etsy is a website where artists and craftspeople may offer their unique real or digital goods for sale. The vast marketplace is where most vendors post their products to reach a broad audience and avoid having to manage their online store. It is an American e-commerce company founded on June 18, 2005, by iospace, a small company composed of Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik, and Jared Tarbell. It specializes in antique or handcrafted goods as well as craft materials. These products can be broken down into a wide range of categories, including jewelry, bags, clothing, home furnishings, toys, and craft supplies. The website continues the custom of open craft fairs by providing vendors with individual storefronts where they can list their products for a cost of US$0.20 per item.

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and distinctive goods. It is the place where a vast array of unique, amazing objects, including old treasures and handcrafted originals, are found. Its goal is to retain human interaction at the core of commerce in an era of rising automation. For this reason, it created a space where creativity may flourish because it is fueled by people. It helps assist the sellers in the community in transforming their concepts into profitable ventures. 

According to VentureBeat, the website had roughly 500,000 members and $26 million in sales just two years after it first went live. According to Yahoo, the ecommerce company had 50 million products and two million merchants as of 2018.

Everything on the website is manufactured, gathered, curated, and sold by its vendors, unlike Amazon and Walmart. These small-business operators manage their orders and inventory in addition to manufacturing their products. Etsy serves as a middleman, providing smaller, independent entrepreneurs with a platform to connect with and draw clients.

How does Etsy work?

Etsy serves two distinct client segments, namely buyers and sellers, as it is a marketplace that draws vendors of specialized goods to connect with potential customers. Sellers include artisans, small businesses that produce handcrafted goods, and people who own antiques and vintage items. Buyers are the ones looking to purchase handmade, one-of-a-kind, and distinctive goods from both physical stores and websites. These are also the ones who are drawn to vintage and antique items. More sellers attract more customers, which increases Etsy's revenue. 

Etsy is a platform for consumer-to-consumer transactions that benefits both consumers and sellers. Etsy focuses primarily on selling handmade and vintage goods. Buyers get to purchase distinctive, customized goods that stand out, while artisans can profit by selling their creations.

To list their goods for sale, sellers register on the platform.

In-platform transactions are possible with Etsy, allowing buyers to browse products and order any that catch their eye. The choice to rate and comment on the goods purchased is available to buyers. As a result, the platform can profit from social validation.

There are a few measures you may take to properly launch on Etsy.

Gathering of information: Before opening the shop, gather as much information as you can. It will undoubtedly assist you in building a successful shop.

Store name: The hardest task is coming up with a name for your shop. Be specific about the name of the shop and avoid plagiarism. Your business name must be legitimate.

Keywords: To determine which of the words are descriptive keywords that the customer must search in the search bar items, you must think like a customer.

Images: You need to take eye-catching pictures of your merchandise.

Selling on Etsy is a really easy process. If you don't already have one, first open an Etsy account.

Is opening an Etsy shop a good idea for beginners?

Yes, opening an Esty shop is a good idea for beginners. 

Etsy is a developing online market where you can discover fresh chances every day. With eCommerce experiencing a boom during the Pandemic, Etsy has emerged as the top choice for merchants worldwide looking to make money online. If you genuinely want to open an Etsy store, there are several things to consider. Starting a new business involves several different things, such as selecting a market niche, selecting the right products to market, and much more.

Due to Etsy's competitive pricing, many businesses opt to use it. In actuality, starting a store for less than $50 is not difficult. Making a new Etsy store is quite simple

Chapter 2 

What can you sell on Etsy?

A wide range of products, including jewelry, furniture, tools, art, apparel, home decor, and much more, are frequently available on Etsy. If you're looking for gifts or unusual things that aren't offered by big-box stores, Etsy can be a good place to look.

Etsy currently has over 60 million products in thousands of categories and sub-categories. So, where do you begin? Don't worry: determining what sells best on Etsy is simple through this guide.

This platform is one of the top 10 marketplaces in the world with the quickest growth. Etsy ranks in the top five most popular marketplaces, according to sellers. Buyers use Etsy to find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, or antique goods. For those who are willing to think beyond the box, this creates a market with many opportunities. But when you're considering starting on Etsy, it's not enough to be aware that the possibility is there; you also need to be aware of what you can sell there to develop a successful e-commerce business.

The finest items for Etsy sales strike a compromise between your needs as a seller and those of your customers. Those looking for distinctive products can find independent merchants from all over the world on the Etsy marketplace. On Etsy, anything you put for sale must be something you made yourself, vintage, or a craft supply. Also, all things sold on Etsy must abide by our policy on prohibited items.

You are in charge of ensuring that your store and its products adhere to Etsy's rules. Some of the products you can sell on Etsy Include;

  1. Handmade items
  2. Vintage items
  3. Craft Supplies
  4. Personalized clothing
  5. Graphic designs and printables
  6. Jewelry
  7. Wedding Items
  8. Stickers
  9. Custom Toys
  10. Candles

1. Handmade Items

Handmade goods have made it possible for creative people to sell their stunning works to anyone who wants to buy them.

Items that are considered handmade are those that you, the merchant, have created or designed. Handcrafted goods are more environmentally friendly because they are produced with fewer facilities and waste because they are made by people rather than machines. They are also produced using recyclable materials and environmentally friendly methods. This means that for individuals who want to shop more ethically and sustainably, handmade goods are a preferable option.

Every person is endowed with a certain talent, thus we must support and value those talents in those around us. Depending on the culture, beliefs, and materials accessible in each country or location, each one has its distinct method for producing art. Making a simple product is just one aspect of skills and craftsmanship; crafting a narrative for each thing manufactured is another.

2. Vintage items

Vintage translates as "of age." There are numerous interpretations because the meaning is so ambiguous.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, vintage refers to "something of high quality from the past," such as a piece of furniture, a work of art, or a piece of clothing, "especially something representing the best of its kind." Although the phrase is frequently used to refer to anything old, an item must be a specified age to be considered vintage.

Your home can become more charming and unique with vintage furnishings. An item must be older than 20 years but younger than 100 years to be considered vintage. Vintage can range in age from 20 to 99. Clothing is an example of a vintage item that can be new but have old design inspiration. Whether it's a piece of furniture, jewelry, or a car, vintage signifies collectible and iconic as well as higher worth. Vintage is regarded as the greatest of its era and is elegant and traditional.

3. Craft Supplies

On Etsy, craft supplies are equipment, ingredients, or materials that are primarily used to create something for a project or special event. Craft supplies might be manufactured by hand, bought, or even old. Craft supply stores may also sell party supplies.

Everything from egg stamps and nail decals to crochet patterns and wire strips for face masks may be found in the craft supply area. Nonetheless, craft supplies like beads, charms, ribbons, yarn, etc. are the most popular items in this category. When developing your internet business, take into account popular things like these if you are interested in making them.

Embroidery and other craft items are frequently sold by Etsy's best-selling merchants, indicating strong demand. Even better, you don't need to be artistic to succeed in this field. To draw in the correct customers, you do need to effectively brand your Etsy store. You may create a store that caters to a targeted audience and sells a successful product if you can figure out who your customers are and what their needs are.

4. Personalized Clothing

An important feature of Etsy products, particularly those in the clothes category, is personalization. The variety of personalized clothing available on Etsy, including birth announcement onesies, family reunion T-shirts, and socks with your face on them, is very impressive. 

A wide range of potential customers can be drawn to you as a new supplier if you can provide customization options. You'll have a better chance of converting individuals into clients if you can offer them a fun or practical idea together with a high-quality product to support it.

Research your products before you establish your store. Watch for a fresh take on a well-known genre. For instance, "bridesmaids gifts" is a common search term on Etsy for personalized goods. Think of a creative way to accomplish the task at hand rather than copying exactly what you find in the Etsy search engine results.

Also, with the correct print-on-demand partner, production can be streamlined. Sell your customized products, then have them printed and dropped-shipped by your supplier.

5. Graphic Designs And Printables

The digital goods business on Etsy is growing. Together with a wide variety of other printables and digital downloads, you may purchase everything from resume templates to downloadable art prints. 

The typical price of these digital goods is only a few dollars, while some sellers have success with more expensive downloads.

If you look at the sales figures for all-digital merchants like VectoriaDesigns or ArtCult, there is a lot of variation within this category as well as a lot of demand. Small firms looking for logos, labels, and other commercial assets are among the target markets, as are college students looking for a low-cost method to add wall art to their dorm rooms.

6. Jewelry

Jewelry is another area of Etsy that is very popular. The majority of jewelry selections on Etsy are both custom and self-designed. 

Many people seek and purchase jewelry-making kits and supplies on Etsy, which is a hive of creativity. They go as swiftly on Etsy as summertime lemonade.

Along with the designs, the conversational yet straightforward product descriptions also appeal to customers. Using several sorts of paragraphs in your product description is one efficient approach to accomplish this. 

For instance, you might include a paragraph outlining the components of the product, another outlining its size and dimensions, and a third outlining its features.

7. Wedding Items

Etsy is proud of its success in this area. The planning of a wedding is never finished without a trip to Etsy. You can buy wedding attire, decorations, and invitations on Etsy.

Among the best-selling items are bridesmaid gowns, bachelorette outfits, custom invites, jewelry, and many other things. On Etsy, wedding-related things are extremely popular. This is not surprising given that the US wedding market alone is thought to be worth $57.9 billion! Couples must take into account expenses such as wedding services as well as decor, party favors, and stationery.

Even though this category contains a lot of premium goods, there is still enough persistent demand for unique goods to make it a viable business opportunity for new vendors. Low-barrier options to enter the wedding market include inventive table place cards, inventive save-the-date cards, and distinctively designed wedding invitations. 

Depending on what you're attempting to offer, you'll need different tools and abilities to start selling these kinds of items on Etsy, but acquiring the design and manufacturing tools is not difficult.

Top sellers in the wedding category share not only intelligent, original designs, but also branding across their Etsy store, social media accounts, and websites. Your brand aesthetic should be represented in every aspect of your business, including your shop name, graphics, and language. Therefore, it's crucial to personalize both your product and your customer service. Given the sensitive nature of many purchasers, sellers who go above and above to add a personal touch will be more well-liked than those who make no effort at all.

8. Stickers

Etsy offers stickers for all possible uses, including water bottles, phone covers, scrapbooks, bumper stickers, greeting cards, and bumper stickers. Sellers have a wide choice of designs to choose from, from comical to expert custom labels.

Like with many things on Etsy, you can find a passionate audience if you can make it unique, entertaining, and tailored to the needs of the market. The difficulty with stickers is to identify their purpose before focusing even more on it in your design.

If you're selling stickers for water bottles or computers, for instance, make something that enables customers to show their individuality. If you're making wall decals for children's rooms, look for amusing patterns and sayings that go with the kids' personalities and hobbies.

9. Custom Toys

As more parents and grandparents hunt for unique presents, Etsy has emerged as a top destination for handmade toys. Retail plush toy sales in the United States alone reached over $1.25 billion in 2020.

Anyone may develop and start selling lovely bespoke toys with the aid of print-on-demand.

Choose your favorite animals, such as a bear, bunny, elephant, or sheep, and add a sentimental design to instantly win over clients.

10. Candles

A unique set of scented candles is a good way to create a nice, warm, and inviting atmosphere in a home. Sales of scented candles totaled $1.6 billion in just the United States in 2020. Overall, the candle's flame produces a tranquil and cozy space. Candles are the ideal present for loved ones, family, and friends.

Chapter 3 

How much does it cost to make an Etsy shop?

It's free to sign up and launch a shop on Etsy. The listing charge, transaction fee, and payment processing cost are the three fundamental selling fees. Sales from Offsite Advertising are also subject to an advertising cost. A listing can be published to the marketplace for $0.20.

An item may be listed for four months or until it sells. There is a 6.5% transaction charge added to the sale price whenever an item sells (including the shipping price you set). There is additionally a payment processing fee based on PayPal's cost structure if you accept payments through them.

Listing costs are billed at $0.20, therefore if your bank uses a different currency, the total may alter due to fluctuations in the exchange rate. All sales you generate through Off-Site Advertising are subject to an advertising fee. You can choose whether or not you want to use Etsy's advertising services when you launch your shop there.

How much does Etsy charge you to sell?

For each item you sell on Etsy, a listing fee and a transaction fee are assessed. You will pay $0.20 for each item you post on Etsy and a 6.5% transaction charge for each sale when you look at how much the online marketplace keeps from each sale. 

Are there any extra fees on Etsy?

Transaction fees, in contrast to listing fees, are only charged on listings that sell. 

Basics of transaction fees: 

6.5% of the total order amount in the chosen listing currency is what Etsy charges. Together with shipping and gift-wrapping costs, this fee is added to the final item price (if you charge your customers for those). Your Payment account will include a separate list of the expenses.

Costs for processing payments are made up of a predetermined rate and a portion of the item's final sale price. Each nation has a different rate and percentage. The fees are deducted from the final sale price of the item, which includes shipping costs and any relevant sales taxes. With each transaction that makes use of Etsy Payments, there are fees for payment processing. These processing costs are added to your payment account and taken out before deposits. These are extra to the transaction costs charged by Etsy.

India Payments fees are assessed to sellers in India for the handling of domestic sales.

Etsy charges you a processing fee for each transaction when one of your clients makes a purchase and you accept payments. These fees depend on where your bank account is located. Typically, it costs 25 cents plus 3% of the item's cost. When buyers choose to use Etsy's direct checkout feature and pay with a credit card, they have assessed this fee. If your customer chooses to pay with PayPal in this case, the fees are 30 cents + 2.9% of the item's cost.

This straightforward, open, and secure platform doesn't impose any additional monthly fees on you other than these kinds of fees. But, you can choose to pay an optional fee to let Etsy highlight your items with the most popular search terms to boost your visibility. Here, you must make sure that the total fee won't significantly reduce your profits. To maximize your income when selling goods on Etsy, mark the prices of your goods strategically.

How many items do I need to start an Etsy shop?

The majority of Etsy newbies begin with 10 to 20 products. By doing so, you may test things out and determine whether you're selling the proper stuff. Although this is a small amount, it is the safest method to start things off because it increases your chances of selling and prevents fee losses to the website.

Before publishing, make sure to preview every listing. When potential customers first examine your products, you don't want them to encounter a poor listing. Each entry can have up to 10 high-quality photographs or a single video added. Each must be distinctive enough to stand out from goods being offered by other marketplace sellers.

It's excellent that Etsy doesn't compete with sellers like you, unlike established eCommerce platforms like Amazon. Instead, it's a platform where you may market your goods to customers who are most likely to buy from you.

On, there are presently more than 2 million sellers, but you don't need to be concerned about competing with the major companies. On the site, there is plenty of opportunity for growth!

How to choose a product to sell?

These are steps to follow to choose the best product to sell.

- Research Trends

- Check Statistics

- Research Competitors

- Solve a customer pain point.

- Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists.

- Go with your passion.

- Consider your professional experience.

- Read customer reviews on existing products.

- Find product opportunities in keywords.

- Test before you launch.

We'll update this guide each month over the next six months to provide a fully comprehensive guide to starting your own Etsy Shop, so do check back regularly for more help and tips as we publish them.

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Kenneth C. Nzeogu

Kenneth is a freelance tech writer who's been in the sector for three years. He loves writing about new technology, focusing on web hosting, streaming, cybersecurity, and how it can benefit people's lives.