Are you looking to start selling online? Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces for hosting an online shop. It's easy to use and has more than 90 million active buyers (in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone) looking for unique, handmade, or vintage items (at least 20 years old).
Want to know how to sell on Etsy, what to sell, how to market your products, and learn best practices? This post is for you. Additionally, don't miss the ten lessons I have learned as an Etsy seller, and you will be on your way to creating a successful online shop selling products people love.
Is Etsy Right for You?
With 7.5 million active sellers in 2021, Etsy is an excellent choice for small business owners, especially those just getting started. Before becoming an Etsy seller, first evaluate if it's the right e-commerce platform for your business. Consider the following:
If you make or design unique physical goods, then Etsy is a great choice. Digital items can do very well on Etsy too. Check out the 30+ best things to sell on Etsy .
If your target customers are women aged 18-35, then you'll likely find success on Etsy. The platform does have a diverse range of shoppers, but the majority are female and in this age group.
If you're looking to sell one-of-a-kind items or need the freedom to customize your product listings, then Etsy is an excellent platform for you. However, Etsy might not be the right platform if you need to sell in large quantities or need more control over your store (e.g., using an automated shipping solution). Their rules and regulations will limit you.
If you are new to selling and don't have access to your customer base, Etsy provides instant access to millions of customers and makes it easy for new sellers to start and run businesses online.
What Are You Going to Sell on Etsy?
If you decide Etsy is the right platform for your business, it's time to start thinking about what products you want to sell.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding what to sell on Etsy:
People shop on Etsy mainly because they're looking for unique items they can't find in regular stores. If you can offer something truly one-of-a-kind, you'll likely find success on Etsy.
Consider a niche and what kind of customers would be interested in buying those products. For example, if you make jewelry, are your wares targeted at women, men or both? Do they live a certain lifestyle or are part of a kind of subculture? How can you match their style?
Be sure to factor in the cost of materials and production when deciding your price. You'll need to price your products high enough to cover your expenses and make a profit, but not so high that no one will buy them.
Take a look at what other sellers are offering and see if there's a way you can stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you can offer lower prices, better quality, or more unique items.
How Much Does It Cost to Become an Etsy Seller?
Like most popular marketplaces, there is a cost of selling. While opening an Etsy store is free, there are fees such as listing, transaction, and currency conversion fees applied from Etsy when you make a sale.
Etsy has a simple fee structure:
- Listing fees – It costs $0.20 to list an item on Etsy for four months (or until it sells). If you relist, you will need to pay the fee again. (Get your first 40 listings for free)
- Transaction fees – When an item sells in your shop, you will need to pay a 6.5% transaction fee of the sale amount.
- Payment processing fees – Etsy uses Direct Checkout to process payments, and there is a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee for each order.
- Currency conversion fees – If you sell in a different currency to your payment account, there will be a 2.5% currency conversion fee on the sale amount.
- Shipping labels – You can buy shipping labels through Etsy. Saving you time and sometimes money through postage discounts.
There are no monthly fees or hidden costs, so you only pay when you make a sale. It is particularly advantageous for new sellers, allowing them time to test the market with different products.
How to Sell on Etsy
Now that you've decided that Etsy is the right platform for your business and the products you will sell, it's time to learn how to sell on Etsy.
Here's a quick overview of the process:
- Set up your Etsy shop
- Choose your payment options
- List your first product
- Promote your items
- Start making sales!
Before you set up your Etsy shop, you need to decide on your Etsy shop name. You can use a free business name generator to get some ideas.
For step-by-step instructions on setting up your Etsy shop and listing your first product, check out the Etsy beginner's guide.
How to Create a Great Etsy Listing That Converts
Great product listings are vital for selling on Etsy. Your listing must convince potential customers to buy from you, so make it as clear, concise, and appealing as possible.
The Etsy Listing Includes the Following Elements:
- Special Offer
Use high-quality images to make your listing stand out and attract attention. Bright, clear photos that accurately represent your products are best. Include several images taken from different angles to give potential buyers a better idea of what they're getting.
If you sell digital products, use graphic design tools to make your images look professional. My go-to choice is Canva, a freemium online graphic design tool that is super easy for those with no design experience. I pay for the pro-version, as it offers many additional cool features.
You are allowed ten images on Etsy (including 1 video). Try your best to use them all to showcase your products and feature.
Title and Description
Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions. Known as Etsy SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization), include relevant keywords in your title and description so potential customers can easily find your listing when they search for items on Etsy.
There are tools available to do Etsy SEO research. eRank or Marmalead are among the most popular.
You can use these tools to find high-value keywords and do competitor research. Most of those tools come with a monthly fee, but you can do all your research before canceling the membership.
It's essential to price your items correctly. You want to profit, but you must remain competitive with other sellers. Research what similar items are selling for and price your product accordingly.
Adjust your prices as needed if you're not making any sales. Lowering could be the best way to attract buyers if you have a lot of competition.
If you have any special offers or discounts available, include them in your listing. This is a surefire way to boost sales and attract attention from potential buyers.
People love the feeling of getting a deal. I run a 10% special offer regularly, helping my listing stand out on the search page.
Once you start making some sales, encourage your customers to leave you 5-star feedback. This helps build your profile and trust with potential buyers and convinces them to purchase from you.
While Etsy sends reminders to customers a few days after their purchases, I also include a message in my delivery email to them as a reminder to leave a 5-star review if they enjoyed the product and service.
How Do I Get Paid on Etsy?
Etsy payments are the primary way to get paid on Etsy. When you enroll in Etsy payments as a seller, it allows your buyers to choose a variety of payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Etsy Gift Cards, etc.
With Etsy Payments, you get direct deposit money to your bank account as a seller.
Check out the list of countries that are eligible for Etsy payments here.
Purchase Protection for Sellers Program
Starting August 1st, 2022, Etsy rolled out a Purchase Protection for Sellers program to protect against any delivery issues outside the sellers' control.
Scenarios include items lost in transit, goods damaged upon arrival, or item matching listing description and photo but buyer claims otherwise, etc.
For buyers who qualify, Etsy will refund orders below $250 (or the equivalent of your local currency), including postage and taxes. You will keep any earnings from the sale.
Etsy Shipping Costs
You don't need to worry about shipping if you sell digital products like myself. However, if you are dealing with physical products, it's essential to set your shipping rates correctly so that you don't lose money on shipping.
Etsy has a great shipping calculator tool to help you figure out how much it will cost to ship your items. You can also offer free shipping to attract buyers and boost sales but be sure to factor the shipping cost into your price.
To set up your shipping:
- Go to “Shop Manager” > “Listings” and click the “…” next to the listing you want to edit.
- Click “Edit,” then scroll down to “Shipping.”
- Click “Add” shipping profile and fill in the details.
What Is “Sell On Etsy” App?
“Sell on Etsy” is an Etsy seller app that allows you to manage your Etsy shop from your mobile device. You can do everything from creating and managing listings to processing orders and communicating with customers in a timely matter.
The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It works for both mobile applications and iPad.
Etsy Plus is a premium subscription that gives you access to powerful tools and features to grow your business. It's $10/month (or equivalent in your local currency). Some of the benefits of Etsy Plus include:
- Customizable shop sections
- Advanced analytics to help you plan your inventory
- Bulk editing
- 15 listing credits per month
- Monthly $5 Etsy Ads credit
- Email shopper when your item is back in stock
- Special offers and discounts
To sign up for Etsy Plus, go to “Your Shop” > “Shop Manager” > “Billing.” Under “What would you like to do?” select “Switch to Etsy Plus.” Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the sign-up process.
Top 10 Lessons I Have Learned as a 5-Star Etsy Seller
Selling digital products for passive income has always intrigued me. I love the aspect of having no shipping and storage involved, and you can make a digital product once and sell it as many times as possible with no additional effort.
I've been an Etsy seller for my digital products since 2021. While starting a side-hustle online business is never smooth sailing, I was able to make sales within ten days of opening my Etsy store. Today, I have 30+ product listings and built up a 100% 5-stars rating.
I want to share the top 10 lessons I have learned since opening my Etsy store.
1. Focus On Quality
When you're selling on Etsy, it's important to remember that you're up against some of the most talented and creative artisans in the world. Make sure your products are high-quality and represent your brand well.
2. Have Great Listing Images
These are essential to attract buyers and showcase your items in the best light possible. Invest in good quality photography for your physical products. If you are selling digital products, use a graphic design tool such as Canva to make your listing images look professional.
3. Sell What Makes You Unique
Don't try to be like everyone else on Etsy. Focus on what makes your business and products unique. It's best if you stand out from the competition. After all, people who shop on Etsy are looking for one-of-a-kind items.
4. Learn Etsy SEO to Make Your Listing Appear on the First Page on Etsy Search
One of the most important things you can do to increase your sales on Etsy is to make sure your listings are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly. Using the right keywords in your titles and tags is essential, so your items come up when people search for specific terms on Etsy.
Knowing the importance of Etsy SEO, I invested in a course to fast-track my success. Check out my Etsy E-Printables Course Review to see if it's right for you.
5. Take Advantage of Etsy's Ads Tool
Etsy offers several features which help users promote their products and businesses. Make use of them! In particular, I use the Etsy Ads tool to run targeted advertising campaigns to promote my products to potential buyers who may not be aware of your business.
6. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and drive traffic to your Etsy shop. Be active on relevant platforms and share your products regularly. I get my traffic from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Many Etsy sellers also find success in TikTok.
Etsy also makes it super easy to share social media links. Take advantage of that feature when you want to share 5-star reviews, upcoming sales, new listings, etc.
7. Provide Excellent Customer Service
One of the keys to success on Etsy is providing excellent customer service. Respond promptly to inquiries and queries, resolve issues quickly and be professional at all times. Happy customers are more likely to return!
8. Keep Your Shop Updated
Keep your Etsy shop updated with new products, images, and information. Bringing buyers back to see what's new also helps to attract new customers.
9. Offer Discounts and Promotions
Offering discounts and promotions are a great way to attract buyers and encourage sales, making your listing stand out during an Etsy search. Etsy also has a feature that allows you to provide a discount code for those who clicked on your listing but didn't make the purchase.
Just make sure that you don't devalue your products in the process.
10. Have Patience
Success on Etsy takes time, so be patient and don't expect to see results overnight. Keep working hard and promoting your business, and eventually, you will start to see a return.
These are the top 10 lessons I learned from my own experience as an Etsy seller on how to succeed on the platform. If you're looking to start selling on Etsy or are already a seller struggling to make sales, I hope you found this helpful.
How To Sell on Etsy – Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Sell Etsy From Anywhere in the World?
As of April 26th, 2021, sellers from a list of countries where Etsy Payments is available can sign up to sell on Etsy.
Sellers in India can open a shop by enrolling through India Payments, a third-party provider.
If you don't see your country listed in the drop-down menu while setting up your shop, Etsy isn't available in your country now.
As Etsy expands, they continue adding more locations to the eligible list worldwide. So stay tuned…
How Many Items Do I Need to Open an Etsy Shop?
You are not required to have a minimum number of items in your shop when you open it. You can add or remove items from your shop at any time.
You can start with 3-5 well-SEOed products and then build to 10-20 items so buyers will get an idea of the types of products you sell so your shop doesn't look too empty.
Do I Need a Business License to Sell on Etsy?
No, you need not obtain a business license to become an Etsy seller.
Do I Have To Use Etsy Payments?
Before April 26th, 2021, Etsy Payments was not mandatory for Etsy sellers. However, using Etsy Payments will give your customer a consistent experience, allowing them to use a wide range of payment methods.
If you are considering opening an Etsy shop now, you will need to be on the list of countries where Etsy Payments is available.
As an Etsy Seller, Do I Need to Pay Tax?
Yes, any profits made through your Etsy store are taxable.
It is your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that you comply with the tax laws in your country/state.
What is Etsy Offsite Ads Fee?
Etsy advertises listings on web search engines and social media platforms. Etsy selects listings at their discretion.
All sellers are enrolled in the Etsy offsite ads by default. However, you can opt-out if your Etsy shop has made less than $10,000 in revenue over the past 365 days. Otherwise, there is a charge of 15% of the sales value.
Making over $10,000 in revenue over 12 months allows you to participate with a discounted fee of 12% of the sales. But if you earn more than $10,000 in revenue a year, perhaps you should consider other platforms like Shopify as an alternative option.
Etsy is one of the largest platforms for unique, handmade products, vintage items.
If you want to start selling on Etsy, I hope this post gives you an overview of how to sell on Etsy, what products to sell, and how to be a successful Etsy seller, along with the top 10 lessons I have learned being a 5-star Etsy seller.
When starting or running your Etsy shop, you need to keep these vital things in mind. Selling on Etsy takes time and patience, so stay dedicated and keep working hard to promote your business. Eventually, you will start to see a return on your investment!
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The article was produced and syndicated by Finance Quick Fix.