Many of us have heard about selling on Etsy.
We hear people saying that they’ve sold their crafts, art, clothes, or other items with an Etsy shop.
If you have crafts and goods that you’d like to sell, you might wonder how you can make your way into the world of Etsy.
We will give you a deep look at how you can do that.
This is a guide for the extreme beginner, in which we’ll cover everything related to how to sell on Etsy.
We’ll explore what an Etsy shop is, how it works, and what you can expect.
Our hope is that you feel comfortable getting started after reading this guide.
You can also use the guide as a reference while you start out.
Let’s take a look.
- What Is Etsy?
- How Profitable Is Selling on Etsy?
- How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Etsy?
- How To Sell On Etsy
- Questions About How to Sell on Etsy
- Is Selling On Etsy Worth It?
- Top Tips To Help You Sell On Etsy
- Time To Get Started!
What Is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace that allows people to sell their creative goods.
The goods listed aren’t always creative but could be vintage or thrifted in some way.
The marketplace is thriving, and millions of sellers make a living or supplemental income on the site.
The site’s goal is to encourage human connection in commerce.
Many sites are automated in 2022, and Etsy’s fundamental goal is to offer a non-automated marketplace.
The result is creative, engaging, and meaningful merchandise.
It’s easy to become a seller if you follow the guide below.
However, it’s also worth looking at the site before you get started to try and get a feel for what it’s all about.
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Learn the basics of Etsy, including what it is, how it works, and what to expect before setting up a shop.
How Profitable Is Selling on Etsy?
Remaining profitable as an Etsy seller depends on several things.
First, your profits depend on your product line and effort.
Etsy’s listing fees, transaction fees, and payment fees add up to 8% in most cases.
We’ll discuss those specifics in a minute.
Beyond that, you should think about marketing expenses, delivery expenses, conversion rates, and the cost of creating your product.
Then, weigh those costs against how much you’ll price your product.
Alternatively, you might not be profitable with a good product if your operations aren’t well thought-out.
The sky is truly the limit, though, as Etsy’s audience is massive.
Those users are all available to you if you play your cards right.
How Much Does it Cost to Sell on Etsy?
There are fees you should be aware of before becoming an Etsy seller.
These fees sometimes catch sellers off guard, so planning your business around these fees is a critical component to success.
Is There a Listing Fee for Etsy Sellers?
There is a listing fee on Etsy, which is around 20 cents per listing.
This fee needs to be paid even if you don’t sell the item.
Listings expire after four months on the site, then you’ll need to renew the listing.
That costs 20 cents as well.
You can schedule an auto-renew but still pay 20 cents when renewal happens.
Also, note that multiple quantity items sold include a scaled fee.
Say you sell three units of an item, then you’d be charged 60 cents for the total sale.
What Is the Etsy Transaction Fee?
The transaction fee for Etsy sellers which is the most significant part of this platform’s fee, is currently 6.5% of your total sale.
It is worth noting that this fee applies to shipping and gift wrapping as well.
As the platform has grown in the past year, so has this fee, rising and increasing from 5% to 6.5%.
We know, it feels like a good chunk of your sale, but it is said to go toward innovation and marketing advancements.
However, Etsy provides you with the chance to get your product out there, and most people just pay the fee because there aren’t many other places that can do what Etsy does for sellers.
What Are the Etsy Payment Processing Fees?
Payment processing fees vary by country.
They are added to every transaction that uses Etsy’s payment system.
In the United States, that rate is 3% of the transaction plus 25 cents.
You can view other payment processing fees for other countries here.
These fees pay for the safety and security of Etsy Payments.
That feature is a big part of why buyers trust the site.
That’s also why buyers feel comfortable purchasing from small sellers.
When people don’t think they’ll be scammed, they’re more likely to buy from you.
This is another expense for sellers, but Etsy’s rate is still relatively low.
What Are the Etsy Currency Conversion Fees?
Currency conversion fees are 2.5% on Etsy.
This fee only applies if you and your buyer use different currencies.
The fee gets taken out before funds reach your account.
You can control the listing location if these fees aren’t ones you want to deal with.
Listing products overseas also requires different shipping logistics.
It’s profitable to sell to people worldwide; there’s just more to think about.
Not that Etsy doesn’t allow all currencies.
Here is a list of Etsy’s supported currencies.
What Are the Etsy Shipping Costs?
Etsy shipping costs fall upon the Etsy seller.
The cost per customer depends on the dimensions and weight of your product, but you must also factor in the distance of the shipment.
The best way to cover this cost is to get an accurate reading of these things, which allows you to charge the customer for the price of shipping.
You should account for different shipment destinations and list the respective prices on your site.
- Costs vary by carrier.
- Explore your options.
Primary shipment options are FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS.
The carrier you use for personal items might be more expensive when dealing with bulk.
It also helps streamline your shipping labels and handling processes before starting with real Etsy customers.
There are online tools that help you make the right decision.
What Does It Cost to Promote on Etsy?
Promoting your Etsy shop happens through the pay-per-click (PPC) method.
This method allows you to display your ads based on user keyword searches.
You select the keyword phrase you’d like to associate your Etsy ad with, and Etsy places it for you free of charge.
You’re only charged when someone clicks your ad, but that, each click costs a particular amount.
The more popular the keyword phrase, the more the cost-per-click (CPC).
There isn’t a fixed-rate cost to promote an Etsy shop, which means that you can adjust your advertising budget to your needs.
However, your ad is taken off when you reach your budget limit, so it’s wise to dedicate a small percentage of your profits to advertising.
That way, your marketing budget grows with your business.
The growing marketing budget helps to keep your business profitable as well.
PPC is a very popular entry-level digital marketing job, so if you don’t want to learn this yourself, rest assured that there are many digital nomads out there likely willing to help you out.
What Are Offsite Ad Fees?
Offsite ad fees come from Etsy marketing your product on other sites.
There’s nothing you have to do in this situation.
Etsy markets these products as they see fit.
You can opt out of offsite ads if you’ve made less than 10,000 USD in your Etsy shop over the last year.
Sellers are charged a 15% fee for sales made through offsite ads.
Those who made more than $10,000 don’t have the option to opt out.
Sales made for these sellers will come with a 12% marketing fee.
The total advertising fee for an offsite ad order will never exceed $100.
How To Sell On Etsy
Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts, let’s look at selling on your Etsy store.
Here’s the fun part.
We’ll look at tips and tricks to market, design, and sell your products with an Etsy shop.
What Do I Need To Do To Create a Shop?
The first thing you need to do is make an account.
Accounts are free to make and take little time to actually set up.
Once you create a password and log in, you’ll be prompted to create your profile.
You write a bio and add your profile photo.
These two factors are important.
As a seller, you’ll want to learn the elements of personal branding, as a well-curated profile is a great way to improve your brand image.
The next account creation steps are below.
How To Set Up Your Payment and Billing Details
Once your profile is set up, you need to establish your billing details.
The important page here is called “how you’ll get paid.”
First, you select where your bank is located, then enter your bank account information.
You can then add a debit or credit card to your account.
Make sure all of the information is correct to avoid problems later.
Once that’s done, you can move forward to “open your shop.”
With those simple steps, your shop is up and running.
It might not have much to sell, but it exists on Etsy.
Do I Need a Credit or Debit Card To Create an Etsy Shop?
You need to have a credit or debit card to open your shop.
This allows Etsy to charge you fees when necessary.
It’s more challenging to manage a financial relationship with bank account information.
Businesses can’t make smooth transactions with bank account information alone.
There are too many small transactions between store owners and Etsy to use bank account information, so credit cards or debit cards are needed.
If you don’t have one, it might be worth opening a debit card account.
Even if it’s just for Etsy, it’s a helpful tool for your store.
How To Customize My Shop Settings
Once your financials are in order, it’s time to set up shop.
Etsy offers many ways to manage your aesthetic.
You can upload banners, logos, announcements, and more.
It’s good to have a mission statement or brief statement for people who visit your page.
Welcome visitors and give them a clear idea of your brand philosophy.
You can also get creative with your about section.
Add videos, photos, and any other information that illuminates your brand.
This is the time to list your shop policies as well.
Write concise policies that users can follow.
Any confusing language in your policy could be an issue.
People aren’t likely to engage if they aren’t sure of your terms.
If you’re someone who sells one product, this is the time to give a pitch.
Talk about why you focus on that product.
Additionally, talk about why an Etsy listing stands out compared to others.
Note that Etsy gives you numerous options to improve your site image.
In addition, Etsy’s creative community might have a lot of ideas on how to improve your look.
Do some digging online to see what others have done.
It’s okay to get inspiration from other pages.
How To Create Listings
The basic process of creating a listing is simple.
Click “shop manager” if you’re using a desktop.
Click “more” if you’re on the mobile app.
Now click “listings.”
Once you’re there, click “add a listing.”
Etsy runs you through several steps at this time.
You’ll start by adding videos or photos.
It’s smart to add numerous photos or “variation photos” of different aspects of your product.
You’ll then add a thumbnail image.
After that, you can start to do descriptive copywriting for your product.
These tasks include titles, descriptions, categories, and specific attributes.
You’ll then add the pricing and inventory information and set up your shipping logistics.
Don’t forget to account for sales tax.
You can use Etsy’s in-house marketing platform once you’re done creating and organizing the details of the listing.
Questions About How to Sell on Etsy
What Can I Sell On Etsy?
According to Etsy policy, “everything listed for sale on Etsy must be handmade by you, vintage, or a craft supply.”
The majority of products are handmade goods.
That includes tailored clothing or other items that have been altered.
Note that you cannot resell handmade items.
Any vintage item you sell on the site must be 20 years old.
There are lots of vintage-looking clothes that are newer than that.
This can be deceptive.
Do your research and find out the actual age of vintage items so that you don’t violate this policy.
Craft supplies sold on Etsy are almost all acceptable.
You can make your own supplies or sell manufactured ones.
This applies to party supplies as well.
Reflect the details of the product in your product listings.
There are a number of prohibited items on the marketplace.
No alcohol or drug-related products are allowed.
Paraphernalia gets included in that list.
A hand-blown pipe, for example, is not an acceptable product.
Anything dangerous is also prohibited.
Nothing promoting hate or hatred is allowed on the site.
The same goes for pornographic materials or mature imagery.
How Do I Get Paid from Etsy?
The primary way that you’re paid on Etsy is Etsy Payments.
Etsy Payments allows buyers to use most methods to pay for your products and transfers that money into your account.
Money flows into the accounts you listed when you set up your store.
Money moves through direct deposit into your bank account rather than accruing in a store account.
You might also use PayPal to direct money if that’s what you need.
It’s important that you use Etsy Payments rather than going outside of the platform.
You risk losing your store page if you go outside Etsy to receive payment.
How to Market, Brand, and Promote My Shop Products on Etsy
Marketing and branding are key pieces of the puzzle.
Your success depends on your marketing.
A few tricks are free and easy to implement.
Focus on your photos, descriptions, and prices first.
Photos should be clear and free of any confusion.
Photos should be flattering while remaining honest.
Product titles should be concise.
Long and confusing titles don’t do well.
You can also work keywords into titles and descriptions.
Descriptions should be very accurate.
This isn’t the time for embellishments.
Clear, easy-to-read descriptions will serve you well.
Pricing is arguably the most important factor.
You can play around with different price points to see what works best for your products.
Promoting products happens through the pay-per-click methods described above or other marketing platforms that you invest in.
How To Set up Sales and Discounts for Your Shop
Open your Etsy account and enter the “Shop Manager” tab.
Then, click on Sales and Discounts.
Here, you’ll see some of your options.
Click the “Create a Promo Code” button and work through the specifics of your deal.
You can take percentages off, remove fixed amounts, or remove the shipping cost.
You can also use this tab to run a sale.
Select “Run a Sale” and specify the details of your sale.
Choose between percentages and fixed rates for your discounts.
You can also use the page to organize an Etsy gift card for your online store.
How To Send Targeted Offers To Interested Shoppers
Go to the “Shop Manager” page and go to sales and discounts.
Then, select the option to “automatically send offers to interested Etsy shoppers.”
You can use this to send emails to people who have shown interest in similar products.
For example, those who have abandoned similar items in carts, favorited similar products, or purchased from you.
These ads can target a potential customer for you.
You can also send post-purchase thank you offers.
How To Ship on Etsy
Shipping for your Etsy shop happens on your own terms.
However, you, the seller, are responsible for ensuring that customers receive their items.
Etsy doesn’t facilitate the shipping process.
That means you find a carrier, make estimates for shipping rates, and monitor the shipment of your items.
It sounds like a lot of work, but sellers quickly get the hang of things.
Plus, your effort is reflected in the price of shipping.
Is Selling On Etsy Worth It?
We think so!
If you have a good idea, it’s worth trying.
The beautiful thing about an Etsy shop is you can start slow.
You don’t need a business plan and you don’t need investors.
You just need a few products to get the ball rolling.
If those products sell, you can try to sell more, yet you don’t have to keep going if they don’t sell.
So there is minimal risk.
We suggest getting started this way to give you time to learn the ropes and figure out your niche in the marketplace.
If you understand how Etsy works, you can probably sell your product effectively – you just have to give it a shot!
Top Tips To Help You Sell On Etsy
Let’s look at some refined tips for improving your page.
The ideas above will get the ball rolling.
You might need a little extra effort to make things take off.
1. Hire a Professional Photographer
Photographs are extremely important.
According to Meero, “90% of online buyers say that photo quality is the most important factor in an online sale.”
Standard phone photos might not do the trick.
See if professional photography is within your budget.
It’s a good investment for most sellers.
2. Learn Etsy SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important in online platforms like the Etsy marketplace.
Optimization gets you higher in searches and provides more exposure.
Fortunately, the process is the same for most platforms.
There is a lot to learn about how it’s done.
Take a look at this guide for some beginner’s insights on improving your Etsy rank.
3. Optimize Your Pricing
Pricing is a big issue for some sellers.
If your price isn’t aligned with market value, you will lose sales to competitors.
A low price is a great way to attract new buyers.
This might allow you to generate interest in your profile and products.
You should find your optimal price point, though.
Many times, that price point already exists in similar products of other sellers.
Some market research should give you a rough estimate of your idea pricing.
It’s never a bad idea to change prices based on events or market changes.
Try to find different options for deals, discounts, price raises, and more.
4. Hire a Copywriter
Writing isn’t everyone’s thing.
If you’re struggling to write descriptions and titles, it might be worth hiring a copywriter.
These are people who can turn your descriptions into profitable marketing blurbs.
There are plenty of places to find working writers who can help you.
5. Take Payments in Different Ways in Your Etsy Shop
Etsy Payments allows you to take payments in different ways.
You can make these payments work for you by customizing your payment settings.
Go to the “Shop Manager” tab, then select “Finances,” followed by “Payment Settings.”
You can manage the timing and manner of your payments on that tab.
Giving customers options opens your buyer audience.
Some people only shop with their preferred payment method, so you can lose customers if you exclude options.
6. Start Collecting Email Addresses
Email marketing is an effective form of Etsy advertising.
The only way to do it is to gather email lists.
You can do this by creating a subscription tab for email updates.
Newsletters are also great ways to generate interested audiences.
You can scale your newsletter independently of your site and make an income that way, too.
The most important thing is gathering email addresses and sending regular updates on your store.
Sellers that foster a sense of community tend to do well.
Customers that engage with your brand’s journey will keep coming back.
They’ll promote your products to friends and family as well.
There are different methods to generating a large newsletter following.
It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it.
Note that you can’t send emails to people who don’t subscribe.
Harvesting emails is unethical, and it’s an easy way to get the “spam stamp” on future emails.
Time To Get Started!
The information above is all you need to start your small business Etsy Shop.
There’s more to learn, though.
So make sure to explore our site if you get stuck.
We have more resources on using Etsy, digital marketing, Etsy plus, and more.