How to Start an Etsy Shop

etsy logoEtsy is awesome.

What’s that, you say? You don’t know what Etsy is? Well, I’m more than happy to introduce you. It’s “your place to buy & sell all things handmade.”

I absolutely adore Etsy. In fact, I “window shop” on Etsy at least once a week.

For example, I just took a peek around Etsy and found these wonderful things (click on each picture to see larger image):

pumpkin-outfit-etsy world map etsy autumn moonrise

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Perhaps you have a great talent that you would like to share with the world (Do you make Soap? Cards? Cookies? Tutus? Paintings?).

Perhaps you would like to make some money doing what you love.

Consider Etsy.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Danielle Maveal – an Etsy associate – about how to start up an Etsy shop and I thought you might be interested in our discussion…

Q. I have a great product that I make (candles, clothes, jewelry, artwork, etc.) and would like to sell. What are the advantages of starting up a shop at Etsy as opposed to starting my own store/website?

A. Setting up your Etsy account and shop is free! The low overhead cost is probably one of the most enticing advantages to selling on Etsy. You can set up your account, put up a banner and avatar, and get the feel for Etsy and the community without having to put a single dollar in. Once you set up an account, you can hang out in Etsy’s Virtual Labs (our online classrooms) or converse with other community members on the forums. So, you really can get a good feel for Etsy and once you’re ready to start your shop, you can fill it up with products for under a few dollars, since it only cost $0.20 to list an item.

Another great thing about having an Etsy shop vs setting up your own web-based shop is not having to worry about being the sole traffic driver to your own website. Think of Etsy like a 24 hour, global craft fair, with tons of shoppers looking for the most unique handmade and vintage items.

Q. Okay, you convinced me. Where do I go to get started?

A. Etsy can walk you through the shop set up process. First thing you need to do is think of your Etsy shop name (your username and shop name are the same). Once you have that decided, check out our Sell section. It will walk you through each step of setting up your shop. If you happen to hit a bump in the road, we have FAQs and Help Guides to get you back on track!

Q. How easy is it start an Etsy store? Do I need web design experience?

A. The great thing about starting a shop on Etsy is that you do not need web design experience! This gives you more time to focus on your products. I’d say you could start and stock an Etsy shop in an afternoon. How easy is that?

Q. Does Etsy take a “cut” of my profits? Is there a monthly fee? What kind of expenses am I looking at?

A. There is no monthly fee. Here’s how it works: for each item you list $0.20 is added to your monthly Etsy bill.  When you sell an item your bill is charged 3.5%. So if you sell a $50 item on Etsy, your bill will be charged $1.75.

Q. Do I have to have a business license or pay taxes as an Etsy shop owner?

A. This is a question I get asked often. Think of Etsy as a space for rent – we give you the platform to sell your goods and you are responsible to follow your own state laws and regulations. It’s hard for me to give advice in this area since every state and country has different requirements when it comes to licenses and taxes. My advice is to give your local small business center a call and ask a few questions.

Q. How do I get my shop featured on Etsy’s home page?

A. My biggest tip here is to have great photos. You also want to make sure you are getting found – not only by the Etsy Admin who select the images featured on Etsy’s homepage…but by buyers as well. You can do this by listing new work often and keeping your shop fresh! I also want to give you a bit of information about the way search works on Etsy.  Search is directly related to the keywords you attach to your items in the listing process, these keywords are called “tags.” Using the right tags can help bring more traffic to your Etsy items. Make sure you are using every single one (we give you space for 14) and include specific colors, styles, and motifs found in your work. This article on tagging is the very best resource on that subject.

BEST WISHES…and happy Etsying!

YOUR TURN: Do you have an Etsy shop? If so, leave the link. If not, do you shop at Etsy? What are your favorite stores?

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, I don’t have a shop, but I shop there a lot. Some of my faves are:

    dodgeboysmom (for burp clothes new moms love)
    happydaystudio (irresistible watercolor greeting cards – each one is a masterpiece)
    littlealouette (fabulous wooden teething rattles for little ones)
    BeeDazzlesGifts and apak (for fun greeting cards)
    JoiedeVie Jewelry (for beautiful earrings I just got in the mail yesterday)
    drivebybags (these are awesome bags made of recycled billboards)

    I could go on forever because those are just a handful of my go to stores, but I don’t want to hijack your comments!!

  2. Casual Friday Every Day says

    I love etsy! My Mom is thinking of selling her stuff on etsy. That is, if she ever narrows down her niche and is ready to take it seriously. lol

    Nell

  3. says

    I have an Etsy shop. Go to my website at http://www.lmfcandles.com and clicking on the pictures directs you to Etsy. It was the easiest way I could think of to be able to sell things from my website. I created my site with blogger, I have my own url from Go Daddy, and I think it turned out pretty good. I’ve been on Etsy for a little over a month, and no sales yet. I need to put more items in my store.

  4. Ellisen says

    Thanks for this article. I have been thinking of starting an Etsy shop, but haven’t done anything about it yet. I appreciate your info.

  5. Summer says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Sorry I haven’t been around much. I got strep throat this last week and I’m finally feeling better. I’ve enjoyed catching up on your posts.

    I secured an etsy shop back in 2007 but never did anything with it till a month or two ago. I’ve had 5 sales already! Each sale is so exciting! If you want to visit I’m at
    summeresque.etsy.com

  6. says

    The minute I saw the title of this post, I copied the link and sent it straight to my mom. She’s been talking about starting an Etsy shop forever but has some reason or other to put it off. We’ve even discussed doing it together because she’s the artsy, creative one that is a disorganized mess and I’m the anal, attention-to-detail one who inherited some of her creativity but not nearly enough of the actual talent.

    Anyhow, I got an email back from her that she read your post very carefully and copied down all the highlights… so, thanks for the help!

  7. Andrea McMann says

    I’ve been thinking about starting an Etsy shop forever, too. Everyone tells me I should, but I’ve been dragging my feet. I really have a great (at least I think it’s great) product that I haven’t seen anywhere else, so I should really do it.

  8. says

    I DO have an Etsy shop and I love it (Etsy, that is!). My shop is for other Etsy shop owners…

    http://www.thepixelboutique.com

    I have premade Etsy design packages and other things items to help give it that unique look.

    I had a jewelry shop in the past but just not enough time to do it all. I love Etsy and would spend all day on it if I could get away with it! ;)

  9. Lil' Miss Polkadot says

    I have my own show for a couple of months and i just loooove Etsy.

    I make Nursery, Decor, gifts and jewelry..

    Paintings, Handpainted canvas banner/garlands, decoration, Keepsake Art, Jewelry and soft toys-dolls…. a lot of my items will be custom made.. or can be personalized !

    Visit http://www.lilmisspolkadot.etsy.com if you are looking for a gift for moms / moms – to – be or kids…

  10. says

    I have a shop- LizsWares.etsy.com

    and yes it is easy to start up. it takes patience and dedication and a lot of networking to get good business.

  11. says

    I joined Etsy a few months ago. For some reason I did not actually list items. At the time I thought it was more difficult than listing on EBay where I have been selling my ceramics for several years.

    Recently I gave Etsy another try. And it was not difficult at all. Have not had any sales so far but that will most likely change since I have sold many of my items on Ebay.

  12. says

    I adore Etsy I think its a great place to start out – BUT you have to be willing to put in the necessary work to get decent flow to your store – That to me is the hardest part .. Be dedicated to your store and you will have success ..
    I am in the process of getting My own website aside from Etsy ! Its all very exciting ….

    Thanks .. Stacy Murphy

    http://www.girliebowtique.etsy.com

    Where you can find everything GIRLIE !

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