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How to Sell on Etsy: 6 Simple Steps

June 18, 2019

Make money through your hobbies.

You heard that right. If you collect antiques, make something from scratch, or have some craft supplies laying around, you can make a living by selling on Etsy.

People all around the world are building their own e-commerce website, and Etsy’s creative marketplace allows you to create a shop to sell your items on their platform.

It’s no shock that, according to Etsy, their users spent more than $3 billion on their website in 2017. Their focus on niche products allows sellers to easily list their unique items.

Let’s get started so you can learn all you need to know about starting your very own Etsy shop. If you’re here for specific information, feel free to use the links below to jump ahead.

How to sell on Etsy

Selling on Etsy is pretty intuitive once you know the right steps.

1. Create an Etsy account

After signing in or creating a new account, complete your public profile and bio by adding a clear photo and a creative, yet informative, description about who you are and why you’re selling on Etsy.

Then, choose the shop location, language, and currency. From here, choose your shop name and now you’re ready to get going!

how to set up an Etsy account

2. Determine your policies

Depending on what you’re selling, and how much of a particular item you’re selling, you’re going to want to choose shop policies that align with your goals. Shop policies include shipping, payment options, returns and exchanges, and privacy settings. One major thing Etsy has done in the e-commerce world is becoming carbon neutral

There are several options within each of these policies, so be sure to read carefully in order to determine which policies are the best fit for your shop.

3. Personalize your shop

Now to the fun part. Upload your shop icon and cover photo so that people can get a feel for what your shop is all about. Then, write your shop’s About section. This is important because it tells the shopper a little more about the history of your shop and why your shop is the one from which they should buy.

It doesn’t stop here. Use the shop sections to upload and organize your items so that you can start making some money.

How to add a listing on Etsy

Etsy does a really good job of guiding you through this process. Adding a listing can be intimidating, but Etsy doesn’t let your shop look or feel unfinished. They provide all the information needed, and you just have to fill it in.

4. Market your shop

Etsy gives you the option to buy paid advertising, which will help people become aware of your shop.

Another method of marketing is through e-commerce SEO. Through using this method, you can help your shop to rank higher among Google searches. When your Etsy shop is on the first page of Google, you’re more likely to gain organic traffic, which leads to an increase in sales.

Other methods to help you market your shop include:

  • Social media posts
  • Sales and coupons
  • Local craft fairs or farmers markets
  • Earn media through sending out pitches

Together, these marketing tactics will help you get to step five faster.

5. Make your first sale

Ta-da! Someone loved your product enough to give you money for it. Pretty cool, right?

6. Manage reviews

Reviews are extremely important to your shop. Shoppers most trusted method of research is through customer reviews.

Etsy uses a five-star review system with one being the lowest and five being the highest. After a customer leaves a review it’s displayed for the public. If someone left a review lower than three stars, you have the option to reply to them.

Replying to your customers shows shoppers that you care, so be kind and try to accommodate their needs as best as possible.

Subscription packages

There are different subscription packages depending on your store’s needs.

Standard Package

This package is free and includes the basics of what you need to launch and grow your business.

Plus Package

This package is $10 a month and includes more tools. It allows you to customize your shop further, tell shoppers when popular items are back in stock through an automated email, and it gives you a .store web address for free.

If you’d like to invest in a .com address, this Plus Package gives you discounts on that service. Etsy will give you credits and $5 off advertising your items in Etsy search with Promoted Listings.

Lastly, you’ll receive exclusive discounts on custom shipping, business cards, and other marketing materials within the Plus Package.

Premium Package

The Premium Package hasn’t launched yet but will be available at the end of 2019. From my research and a little bit of common sense, this package will have the most perks and tools available for shoppers.

How does Etsy work?

Now that you’ve created your shop, what are some of the inner workings of the shop?

Etsy has multiple options for assistance when you have specific questions or need advice. They have a support landing page that asks for your email address and issue so that they can contact you with your solution. Additionally, Etsy provides a Seller Handbook, Seller Newsletter, and an advice community page for other sellers to communicate with each other.

Other offerings Etsy provides is their app, discounts on postage, customization options, plus tools for social media and advertising.

Aside from these functions of Etsy, simply put it’s a marketplace that works like any other e-commerce platform. Sellers follow the above steps, and shoppers browse the shops and purchase the products they want or need.

How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?

Etsy sounds great and all, but what’s the catch?

Both joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free, but there are three fees: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee.

The listing fee is $0.20, meaning when you list an item for sale, you are automatically charged $0.20 per item. All listing lasts for four months or until the item sells.

Once the item sells there is a 5% transaction fee, which is pretty standard for any platform that allows you to sell products. Transactions fees go to third-party payment processors.

There is an option to accept payments through Etsy Payments, which is the easiest way to get paid. When using Etsy Payments you’ll pay a 3% + $0.25 fee per item sold.

how much does it cost to sell on Etsy

What to sell on Etsy

Etsy is a unique marketplace that allows sellers to share their creativity with the world. There are three product categories where all items must fit into.

what to sell on etsy

If you have an item you’d like to sell that it doesn’t fit under these three categories, explore the wide variety of e-commerce platforms software.

See the Highest-Rated E-Commerce Platforms Software, Free →

What can’t be sold on Etsy?

Reselling on Etsy is not allowed, meaning if you bought a necklace from a brick-and-mortar store, you cannot post it on Etsy. eBay and Amazon are platforms that allow you to resell.

Etsy prohibits the sale of the following items:

  • Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, drug paraphernalia, and medical drugs
  • Animal products and human remains
  • Dangerous items: hazardous materials, recalled items, and weapons
  • Hate items: items that promote, support, or glorify hatred
  • Illegal items, items promoting illegal activity, and highly regulated items
  • Internationally regulated items
  • Pornography and mature content
  • Violent items: items that promote, support, or glorify violence

If you do try selling these items then your account could be suspended or terminated. Simply play by the rules, and you’ll be off to a great start.

Create something extraordinary

Etsy is the perfect place to make a profit from your hobbies and natural creativity. Now that you have the information and tools to start your Etsy business, get going on creating something that fills a consumer’s need or desire.

There are many ways that you can sell your items online, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Before launching your own online shop, check out e-commerce business ideas from experts in the industry.

How to Sell on Etsy: 6 Simple Steps Learning how to sell on Etsy can turn your side gig into a lucrative business. Just follow the simple steps and you’ll be on your way to opening a successful shop.
Deirdre O'Donoghue Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Content Manager at Nature's Fynd and a former Content Manager at G2. In her free time, you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene. (she/her/hers)

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