Etsy can be a great way to start an online business and sell your products to make extra money. There’s a big market for products of all shapes and sizes!
According to Etsy, approximately 90 million active buyers visited the Etsy marketplace in 2021.
That’s a lot of opportunity and one of the reasons our good friend Julie has been able to make over $10,000 per year selling her printables on Etsy.
But it’s not as easy as just posting a few items online. There are a few things you need to do to set up your shop and start selling successfully.
In our post, we’ll walk you through how to start an Etsy shop. We’ll give tips on creating a profitable shop and marketing your products.
So, if you’re ready to start selling, sign up for the free workshop below and read on to learn how to start an Etsy shop!
What Exactly Is Etsy?
Etsy is a website where people can buy and sell handmade or vintage items that are one-of-a-kind instead of mass-produced merchandise like you’d find on Amazon or in retail stores.
Etsy sellers typically create their own original pieces or find rare and interesting items to them online. Many find Etsy to be perfect to start a small business.
There are all sorts of things for sale on Etsy, from clothing and jewelry to furniture and home decor. You can also find food, art, and pet supplies.
More than half of all Etsy gross merchandise sales come from repeat buyers, which shows that people appreciate the unique selection of items available on the site.
What Can I Sell On Etsy?
Etsy sellers can sell handmade items, vintage items, craft supplies, and more. It’s basically like creating a brick-and-mortar store, but it’s online.
There are a few restrictions to selling in an Etsy shop, like the items cannot be replicas or counterfeits, and animals or animal bi-products, but you have many open doors for what you can sell.
Here are a few ideas from the top selling categories:
We are in an intense digital age where even jobs are becoming remote and full online from home.
So what about products that are full digital?
Well, I have to tell you, printables are a win-win in our Etsy shop!
Our printables are organizing worksheets, primarily for budgeting and cleaning and getting every aspect of home life out of chaos.
We’ve been able to make thousands selling printables through Etsy, and we highly recommend you give it a shot.
Now we learned about printables from Gold City Venture, and right now, they have a free printables workshop that can get you started on the basics.
So many people have printables success stories and have bumped up their sales because of Gold City.
We have thousands of sales, but I saw one testimonial where someone is now making $450 a month in Etsy pritnables.
So printables is one category that may help you make $500+ per month, even in passive income on the side of your regular day job!
Handmade goods are items that are made entirely by you, the seller. Handmade stuff can include items that are sewn, painted, carved, sculpted, or assembled by you from materials you’ve sourced yourself.
Etsy shop owners must follow some rules for selling handmade items in their Etsy stores. They include:
- All the goods are made by you, meaning they have a unique story and weren’t mass-produced.
- Disclose any production partners that may be involved during listing creation.
- Make sure everything about an item has been covered thoroughly, so customers know exactly what they’ll receive when purchasing from you.
- Use high-quality photos/video content instead of stock images or artistic renderings.
Following these rules, you can sell bath bombs, jewelry, and more.
Some of the most popular handmade items right now are custom accessories, clothing, and wedding gifts- like bows, t-shirts, and more!
Vintage goods are at least 20 years old and must be in good condition. These items can come from anywhere as long as they fit the Etsy criteria.
To sell vintage items on Etsy, make sure to:
- Include the item’s history in the listing description (where it came from, any interesting stories attached to it, etc.)
- Take clear and accurate photos that show any wear and tear, so customers know what they’re getting.
Craft supplies are tools or materials people can use to make their handmade goods. Some examples of craft supplies that can be sold on Etsy are:
What Items Do Well in an Etsy Shop?
When you’re learning how to start an Etsy shop, the top of your list is discovering what items sell well on Etsy.
Some categories always do well in an Etsy shop, such as jewelry, clothes, and home decor, but there is a lot of room for creativity within those categories.
That said, some items tend to do better than others in an Etsy shop. Trends change over time, so what’s popular today might not be tomorrow.
Here are some of the items that typically do well in a successful Etsy store are:
- Vintage Clothing
- Handmade Soaps
- Home Decor
How Much Does Etsy Cost?
Starting an Etsy shop is free unless you have opted for a paid subscription plan. However, like any online marketplace, there are costs associated with listing and selling products.
Etsy collects three main fees from sellers: the listing fee, transaction fee, and payment processing fee.
You’re charged a $0.20 listing fee when you create listings for an item for sale on Etsy. This listing fee is charged per item, not per order.
If you relist an item or renew an expired listing, you’re charged a new $0.20 listing fee.
Etsy Transaction Fees
When your item sells, you’re charged a 6.5% transaction fee of the sale price (not including shipping costs).
Payment Processing Fees
For items sold on Etsy, they process your payments and handle all applicable taxes and transaction fees. For each order, you’re charged a payment processing fee of $0.30 + 2.9% of the total sale price, including shipping and gift wrapping charges.
Other Etsy Seller Fees
There are other seller fees that Etsy charges in addition to the listing fees, transaction fees, and payment fees:
Etsy Payments fee: If you use Etsy Payments to accept more credit cards and account payments from buyers, your monthly sales fees will be deducted from your total earnings. If you still owe additional fees at the end of the month, you must pay them like any other bill with your credit card.
Shipping label fees: Etsy charges shipping label fees if you purchase your shipping labels through the Etsy platform. The fees are determined by the location and shipping settings.
In-person selling fees: You can sell your items from your shop in person using the Square reader. The listings on your Etsy shop can be synced with Square, and you’ll be charged the same $0.20 renewal fee for multiple quantities.
Pattern fees: Etsy sellers can use the Etsy Pattern tool to create a personalized website. The tool is free for 30 days, but after 30 days, you’ll be charged a monthly subscription fee of $15 plus any local taxes. You can also buy a domain name through the Etsy partner, Tucows, Inc. There is a fee to register the domain name and any service you buy from Tucows.
Advertising fees: You can run ads for your Etsy shop and products. Before running the ads, you’ll need to set up a daily ad budget for the campaign.
Etsy Plus: The cost for Etsy Plus is $10 per month. With Etsy Plus, you can use Etsy’s tools to help you grow and manage your Etsy store. Etsy Plus includes Etsy credits, customized options, and discounts, but standard fees are still charged.
How To Start An Etsy Shop
Starting an Etsy shop is a great way to sell your crafts and products. But before starting to sell, you need to know how to start an Etsy shop to have a successful business.
1. Plan Your Products/Offerings
Before you start an Etsy shop, you need to decide what things you will sell.
Think about what you want to create, what price points you’ll offer, and what kind of customers you’re hoping to attract.
These are all important questions small business owners need to answer before they start an Etsy shop.
Doing an Etsy search can give you a good sense of the items selling well on the site and whether you can provide them for your potential customers.
If you’re selling vintage or secondhand items, now is the time to start looking for items to sell. You may want to source items from local thrift stores, garage sales, antique shops, etc.
If you’re making your products, you need to get your supplies and start creating them now.
2. Open Your Etsy Account
After you have planned your products and offerings and have some stock for your Etsy shop, you’re ready to open an Etsy account.
You’ve got to pick a shop name, sign up, and create your shop preferences.
It’s pretty straightforward and can be done by going to Etsy and clicking the “Sell on Etsy” link at the top of the page.
From there, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information in Shop Manager about yourself and your shop preferences. You’ll need to choose a unique shop name, select the shop country where you’re located, choose shop currency, and set up Etsy Payments methods.
Etsy offers a few different options for Etsy payments, including PayPal, Etsy gift cards, and direct checkout.
You’ll also need a valid credit card so Etsy can charge you the listing and transaction fees associated with selling on the site.
3. Create Your Brand & Logo
After you’ve created your account and opened your Etsy shop under a unique shop name, it’s time to create your brand and logo for your shop title.
Your brand and logo are the face of your business on Etsy, so it’s essential to take some time to create something that represents who you are, your shop name, and what you’re selling.
Your brand should be reflected in everything from the colors and fonts you use in your new business banner to the photos and descriptions of your products.
Using Canva Pro, you can easily create a professional logo and brand identity for your Etsy shop. With templates for everything from shop banners to product photos, it’s easy to start branding your Etsy business.
If you’re unsure where to start, do an Etsy search and check out other shops for inspiration. Consider what you like and don’t like about their branding and use that to help guide (not copy) your own branding.
4. Take Pictures of Products
Now that you have your branding, it’s time to take pictures of your products. Pictures are one of the most important aspects of running a successful Etsy shop because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Your product photos should be clear, well-lit, and professional looking. They should also be consistent with your shop’s overall look and feel.
Each listing needs at least one photo but can have up to ten photos added to the listing details.
If you’re unsure how to take great product photos, a few resources can help, including this guide on the Etsy blog.
5. List Your Products For Sale
After you’ve taken product photos, it’s time to start writing your product descriptions and listing details, so they are found in the Etsy search bar.
Your listing details and product descriptions should be clear, concise, and persuasive. A fitting description is your chance to sell your products and convince potential customers they need what you’re selling.
Descriptions should include all the essential details potential customers want to know, such as size, materials used, the shipping cost, the country from which the shipment is coming, the processing time and weight of the item, etc.
For example, if you are selling “party supplies,” list the details about the size of the plates, banners, etc.
One way to write clear and persuasive listing details and product descriptions is by using a writing tool like Jasper to help you. Jasper is one of our favorite writing tools, and we use it to help write product descriptions for our Etsy shop and our Shopify store on our website.
6. Make Sales & Get Paid
After you’ve listed your products for sale, it’s time to start making sales and getting paid. Let family and friends know about your Etsy shop.
Also, advertise on social media and anywhere else you can think of to reach more potential buyers.
Etsy makes this process pretty easy, and most payments are processed automatically. When someone purchases from your shop, Etsy will send you an email letting you know.
Etsy deposits your earnings into your business bank account regularly. You can choose to have Etsy deposit your earnings into your bank account or keep them in your Etsy balance for future purchases.
7. Fill Out Orders & Ship
Once you’ve received an order, it’s time to get your product ready to ship. This process will vary depending on the type of product you’re selling.
For example, if you’re selling a physical product, you’ll need to package it and send it to the customer. You can use the Etsy shipping labels feature to print a shipping label directly from Etsy.
You can then log in to your Etsy account and print a shipping label. Be sure to package the item securely and ship it out as soon as possible.
It may be smart to have tracking options available, that way, you and your customer can see where the package is and when the delivery should be expected.
Shop Ideas For You
Now that you know how to set up an Etsy store, let’s talk about a couple of ideas for small business owners.
Here are 6 ideas for an Etsy store:
A printables shop is perfect for anyone with a creative flair and design talent. To get started, you’ll need to create some great designs that people will want to buy.
Ensure clear pictures of your prints and information about the size and paper type. But have it watermarked so that people can’t steal your design!
We learned how to sell printables and found that budgeting printables and other sheets to help families stay organized do really well.
You can learn how to create printables from Gold City Ventures- right now, they have a free printables workshop to get you started!
Stickers are also a great way to make money on Etsy. You can design your own unique characters, draw characters from popular fandoms, and plenty more!
Stickers are like printables, where you can create a few designs, then print them and sell them again and again to make easy passive income.
I looked up stickers on Etsy to see what would come up, and right now, there are many fall and winter stickers. But there are many stickers for grading (great for teachers!), meme stickers, and word stickers to help organize planners and budgets.
You can make your jewelry, including rings, necklaces, and earrings. You can use wire, beads, clay, and more to create unique pieces to sell on Etsy.
It would help if you also had a variety of jewelry for sale so customers could choose from many options.
Vintage jewelry is another popular option for Etsy shops. To sell vintage jewelry, you’ll need to find high-quality pieces in good shape.
Clothing is an excellent category on Etsy because it’s popular, and there is always a demand for it. You can sell clothes for men, women, kids, babies, or even pets! If you have a good eye for fashion, starting an Etsy shop selling clothes could be a great way to make some extra money.
To stand out, you could also consider offering custom clothing, like screen-printed t-shirts. You can keep it simple by adding a person’s name to a shirt or creating clothing by hand to sell.
When it comes to selling photos, the sky is the limit as to what you can sell. Beautiful landscapes, mesmerizing portraits, and exciting action shots are all possibilities for your Etsy shop.
If you are somebody who likes to make things like pillows, candles, soaps, or anything else you can think of, selling homemade items on Etsy is for you!
I’ve seen cute stuffed animals, enamel pins, delicious baked goods, and more.
So if you can bake, draw, crochet, paint, and whatever else, you can find things to make and sell on Etsy.
Creating Successful Listings
When it comes to selling on Etsy, the most crucial factor in your success will be the quality of your listings.
To create a successful shop, you must ensure that your listings are well-written, keyword-rich, and stand out from the competition in a search.
Have SEO Titles
Having SEO-rich titles for your listings is essential. Using keywords in your titles can help your listings rank higher in search results, which means more people will see your products and be likely to buy them.
You can do a few things to create SEO-friendly titles for your Etsy listings:
- First, make sure you use relevant keywords in your titles. These should be words that shoppers are likely to use when searching for the type of product you’re selling.
- Second, make sure your titles are catchy and exciting. This will help them stand out from the competition and attract more attention.
- Finally, make sure your titles are concise and to the point. Shoppers don’t want to read long, wordy titles; they want to know what the product is and how it can benefit them.
You can learn about creating SEO content, including titles and descriptions, by taking the course Stupid Simple SEO.
We took the course to optimize our blog, but we were able to use what we learned to create better titles and descriptions for our printables on Etsy.
Categorize Your Listings
You’ll want to decide how to categorize your listings which can be a challenge because there are so many options. You may want to consider the following:
- What type of product do you have?
- What are the main themes of your Etsy business?
- What is the main selling point of your product?
- Who is your target audience?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start brainstorming categories for your Etsy shop. You may want to consider creating categories for different seasons, occasions, or themes.
Be as specific as possible when categorizing your listings. It’ll make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and help them understand what your shop is all about.
Add Tags & Keywords To Descriptions
By tagging and adding keywords to your items in your Etsy shop, you make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.
These terms are important for search engine optimization (SEO) and should be included whenever possible.
Tags are single words or short phrases that describe your item. They should be specific and not too general. For example, if you’re selling a shirt with a cat on it, some good tags might be “cat shirt,” “black cat shirt,” or “cute cat shirt.”
Keywords are longer phrases that give more information about your item. They should be relevant to what you’re selling and not too general. For the same cat shirt example, some good keywords might be “animal print blouse,” or “casual wear top.”
Price Your Products
When pricing your products, try to find a balance between charging too much and not charging enough. You also want to ensure that you’re covering the cost of the materials and time it took to make your product.
One way to price your products is to research what similar items are selling for on Etsy. You can then choose a price that’s in line with those other items or even slightly higher to make a profit.
Another option is to offer discounts on multiple items purchased at once or during special sales. It can help you move more inventory and make more money overall.
How To Optimize Your Etsy Shop
As an Etsy seller, you want to ensure that your small business listing is as optimized as possible to get more traffic and sales. Here are some tips on how an Etsy seller can optimize their Etsy shop.
Learn About SEO
Learn about SEO (search engine optimization) to make your Etsy shop as visible as possible. There are a lot of great resources out there that can teach you the basics of SEO, like this guide from Stupid Simple SEO.
SEO is all about optimizing your shop and listings for the search engines so that people looking for something similar to what you sell can easily find your shop.
You can do many things to optimize your shop, like using the correct keywords in your titles and descriptions and making sure your images are correctly tagged.
If you’re unsure where to start, try researching what SEO techniques work best for Etsy shops on Google.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but by learning about SEO and applying the techniques that work best for you, you’ll be able to get more traffic to your Etsy business and boost your sales!
Determine The Best Keywords
Finding the best keywords for your products in your Etsy shop can be tricky. You want to ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords so your customers can easily find your listings.
But you also don’t want to use too many common keywords that will make your items and Etsy business get lost in a sea of results.
Look at some of your competitors’ shops and see their keywords. You can also use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or eRank to get an idea of which keywords are most popular.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, try plugging them into Etsy’s search bar and see how many results come up.
If there are too many results, that keyword is too popular, and you’ll have a hard time ranking for it. If there aren’t enough results, no one is searching for that keyword, and it won’t do you any good.
Create Very Detailed Listings
Once you’ve determined the best keywords for your products, you’ll need to make sure that you use them in your Etsy listings.
You can include them in the title of your listing, in the description, and the tags. This will help ensure that your customers can find your products quickly.
But it’s not just about using the right keywords. It would help if you also ensured that your listings are well-written and descriptive.
By reading your listing, customers should clearly understand what your product is and what it does. The more detailed you can be, the better.
Writing very detailed listings can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it. Etsy is a competitive marketplace; you must do everything possible to ensure your products stand out.
You can use an AI tool like Jasper to help you write your Etsy listings. Jasper is an AI assistant that will help you with all aspects of writing, including writing compelling descriptions.
Have Featured Items
If you want your Etsy shop to be successful, it’s essential to feature items prominently. It will help customers quickly see what you have to offer and decide whether they’re interested in purchasing anything.
You can feature items in your Etsy shop in a few different ways. One option is to create a featured section on your homepage. This could be a rotating carousel of images or a static section with highlight boxes.
Another option is to use the search function on Etsy to promote your featured items. You can do this by tagging your items with keywords that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products on Etsy.
Finally, you can promote your featured items through social media and other online channels. By taking some time to promote your best products, you can help to increase sales and grow your small business.
Make More Etsy Sales
Making more Etsy sales is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, with a few simple tips and some practice, you can start making more sales with your new small business in no time at all.
Here are four ways to get you started:
Social Media Marketing
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool for marketing your business. Social media can help you reach a larger audience and drive more sales when used correctly.
Here are a few tips for using social media to market your Etsy shop opening:
- Use high-quality images: People are visual creatures, so make sure your photos are eye-catching and professional. Poor-quality photos will reflect poorly on your business and turn customers away.
- Use hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to get your photos seen by more people. Use relevant hashtags that describe your product, such as #handmadejewelry or #vintageclothing.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and questions promptly. Show customers that you’re responsive and attentive; they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
Use Etsy Ads
If you want to make more sales on Etsy, you should consider using Etsy Ads. With Etsy Ads, you can target buyers interested in purchasing items like yours.
You can target people based on their location, age, gender, and interests, among other things. This ensures that your ad reaches people likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
Offer Coupons For New Orders
One way to increase business for your new Etsy shop is to offer coupons for new orders. This will entice customers to try out your products and may lead to repeat business.
Be sure to specify the terms of the coupon, such as the percentage off of the total purchase price, how many items must be purchased, or what types of products are eligible.
You can create a particular landing page on your website just for this promotion and include a code that customers can enter at checkout to redeem the discount.
Have Sales Sometimes
If you’re looking for a way to motivate yourself to keep your Etsy shop stocked and looking great, consider having sales occasionally. It’s a great way to clear out inventory you don’t need anymore, and it can also bring in some extra cash.
Just be sure to announce the sale on social media and in your shop, so your customers know what’s happening. It’s also a good idea to have some sale items – like 10% off all orders over $50, for example – so that people will be more likely to take advantage of the deal.
How much can I earn on Etsy?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as earnings on Etsy vary greatly depending on the type and quantity of products you sell, your prices, how well you market your shop, and other factors.
We’ve heard from many successful sellers that they make a comfortable living by selling on Etsy. Some of the top earners make over six figures a year.
What are the best-selling Etsy products?
The best-selling Etsy products vary depending on the season and what is currently popular. For example, Halloween and fall items are trendy right now, but items like handmade soaps and candles have been among the top sellers in the past.
When it gets closer to Christmas, you will see a lot of handmade ornaments and other holiday decorations selling well on Etsy.
To get an idea of what is currently popular on Etsy, you can look at the site’s homepage, where they feature different items that are trending. You can also search for specific items you are interested in and see what comes up.
Should I offer free shipping?
Ultimately, it depends on what you’re comfortable with and what will work best for your business.
Free shipping can be a great way to draw in customers and convince them to buy from you, but it can also be costly and time-consuming. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and decide what’s best for you.
How do I handle refunds or disgruntled customers?
You probably won’t have to worry about returns and refunds if you sell digital products or services in your own Etsy shop. You generally do not offer refunds on digital items on Etsy.
However, if you’re selling physical products, then you’ll need to come up with a policy for how you’ll handle them.
Often, customers will be happy with a store’s return policy if they know what it is before they make a purchase. As for disgruntled customers, your best bet is usually to listen to their complaints and do your best to rectify the situation.
Do I need to register my business or get a business license?
Etsy does not require a business license as some small business owners need for brick-and-mortar stores.
You may need a business license if you sell under a DBA, which stands for Doing Business As. The best way to know is to check with your local and state government.
Making money online is possible with a little effort and know-how. Etsy is a great place to start and make your hobbies and talents work for you!
We hope you find these tips helpful and lead to success in your online endeavors. Now that you know how to start an Etsy shop, you can make great sales and create more wealth for yourself.
If you’re looking for more information on how to make money online, check out our other posts on the topic. We have tons of great content to help you increase your income and reach financial freedom sooner.
Thanks for reading!