How to open an Etsy shop – A Definitive Beginner’s Guide

How to open an Etsy shop – A Definitive Beginner’s Guide

You may have heard that Etsy is a great place for business owners who specialize in handmade items, and that’s absolutely right! In fact, Etsy has more than 40 million active buyers and millions of people selling on Etsy are turning a part-time passion into a full time lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create your very own Etsy store and give you a few tips on how to make it successful once you’re up and running.

Setting up an Etsy shop

1. Create an Etsy account

Opening an Etsy seller account requires that you are a registered site member. Therefore, the first step is to sign up to Etsy and you can do that here. Once you have an Etsy account, you can click on the “Sell on Etsy” link in your header or follow this link.

2. Set your shop preferences

The next step is choosing your shop preferences. Select your language, country, and currency, as well as selecting a checkbox stating if you’re selling full-time or part-time. Easy right? Moving on!

3. Choose your Shop name

You will need to choose a name for your Etsy store. Shop names can be up to 20 characters long, and they can't have spaces or punctuation. A neat trick is to capitalize letters in your shop name to distinguish separate words, like “MyFancyBotique”. Type in a name that you want to use and then hit “Check Availability” to see if the name is available to use. 

Finding a suitable name that is available can be tricky and with the number of Etsy sellers rapidly approaching 2 million, it is getting harder and harder to stand out. Try to make it readable, memorable and easy to spell which goes a long way to making a connection with customers.

You can always change your name at a later point. You are only allowed to do this once though, so make your first try count! Once you choose an available name for your shop, click “Save and Continue” at the bottom to move on to the next step.

4. Creating a listing

Next, you’ll create a listing for an item you want to sell. This step is required, and you can’t move on without listing at least one item. Click “Add a Listing” to get started with this step.

  • Add photos: It’s recommended that you use at least five images to help shoppers get a better feel for your item. You can add up to 10 photos of your listing where the recommended size is 2000 pixels wide and the height can vary. 2000x2000 px is a great default size.

  • Adjust your thumbnail: Your thumbnail image is the first and most important photo. The thumbnail is the image that buyers see in your shop home, in search results, and in various other places on Etsy.

  • Complete your listing details: Give your item a descriptive title. It can be up to 140 characters and shoppers can find your item based on the words you use in your title, so try to use relevant keywords buyers are using when searching for your product.

    Under the about this listing you can categorize your listing as handmade, vintage or craft supply. Check out this article if you are unsure about your product. The next parts should be fairly self explanatory, choose a relevant category and add a great product description.

    Next, you’ll want to enter up to 13 tags, and this is important. These are the keywords that describe your item, and they play a big part in the ranking of your item in search results. So use keywords that shoppers would use to search and find your item.

  • Complete your inventory and pricing: Enter your product’s price, quantity and variations of you offer more sizes, materials or colors. A simple proven formula that can help you determine your selling price is: Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail price.

    There are actually quite a few seller fees associated with creating your own store. As such, it’s important to know just how big of a cut Etsy will take from the sale of your goods and to price your wares strategically in order to make a profit. Check out this post for more information about how Etsy fees work.

  • Set your shipping price and delivery: Here, you’ll include all the necessary details about your shipping processes, like the shipping services you use, costs, country of origin, processing time, and item weight and size.

  • Publish your listing: Make sure that you’ve entered all your listing information correctly and click the “Save and continue” button to publish your listing.  If you prefer, you can preview your listing to see how it will look by clicking the preview button.

5. Enter payment details

Once you’ve added your items, you’ll need to set up your Etsy payment preferences. Pick how you’d prefer to accept payments, your options include PayPal, check or money order, “other,” or Etsy Payments, which is the main way sellers get paid. Etsy Payments gives buyers many options to pay for their order, and consolidates all payments in your Etsy Payment account.

If you’re eligible for Etsy Payments, you’ll need to set this up as part of your payment settings—entering your bank account and residential address in order to receive your payment deposits from Etsy.

6. Set up billing

The final step before opening your shop is to enter your credit card details. Etsy needs your a card on file so that they can charge you for selling fees. You can learn more about Etsy selling fees here

7. Open your new Etsy shop

Click on the “Open your shop” button, pat yourself on the back and celebrate your first milestone. You now have an open Etsy shop! 

8. Customize your shop

Etsy provides you with ample opportunity to make your store yours. You'll see that there's a large banner, plus an About page where you can tell your story. This is essential if you want to make your store stand apart from the crowd. Here are a few steps you should follow to ensure that your Etsy shop opens successfully:

  • Shop appearance: Go to: Your Shop > Shop Settings > Click on your header image placeholder.
    Add a logo and banner to your store. An ideal size is 1000x1000 pixels for your logo and 3360x840 pixels for the big banner image. 
  • About section: Go to: Your Shop > Edit shop > About.
    The about section is where you share the story of your business. You have 5.000 characters to talk about your founding story, what impact it has had on your life and what you see for its future.

  • Set your policies: Go to: Your Shop > Edit shop > Policies.
    Make sure you add a welcome message and be sure to include an estimated processing and shipping time so that your buyers have a clear idea of how long it’ll take for their items to reach them. Return policies and exchanges also fall into this section.

  • Sections: Go to: Your Shop > Listings > Sections > Manage (on the left side).
    Put your items into categories so that buyers can more easily see what you offer. Having your items neatly categorized will also help create a good first impression!

  • After sale message: Your Shop > Shop Settings > Info & Appearance > Message to buyers.
    The after sale message is a note that is included on the receipt page in the email buyers receive when they purchase from your shop. This is a great opportunity to thank your customers for their order, let them know about your delivery time, and how they should contact you if they have any questions.

    A very neat trick here is to add a coupon for 10% off their next order. You can even encourage your buyer to share it with their family or friends.

You’re ready to sell!

Most successful sellers on Etsy started small and grew with time. The biggest obstacle to Etsy sales is usually the reluctance to start. You don’t need a huge team – 79% of businesses on Etsy are run by single individuals, with 97% run from home.

This basic tutorial should be enough to help you get started, but you will probably have more questions while setting it up yourself. Don’t worry then, because you will always discover things yourself while seriously working on it, and find support on the Alura blog with tutorials, tips and tricks to boost sales on Etsy.

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