Are you the type of person who makes her own birthday and Christmas gifts every year? Do you paint, knit, sew or crotchet? If so, you may want to consider creating your own Etsy shop to sell your wares around the world.
Etsy features an extensive array of handmade, vintage and craft goods from all over the world. With more than 16 million buyers and 1.9 million businesses (PDF) in one place, there are plenty of opportunities for sellers to turn a profit. Not only is Etsy a great venue for artists and craftspeople to make money doing what they love, but it also provides an environment in which creative-minded people can interact and collaborate.
If you’re interested in growing your business and brand with Etsy, the first step is to create a store.
Creating an Etsy Store
Here is the process for opening a shop on Etsy:
In order to open a shop online, you must first become a registered site member. Once you register, you can begin the process of opening a shop yourself.
2. Create Your Shop
Etsy will direct you through the process of creating your online shop. After clicking the “Open a Shop” button found at the bottom of the Etsy homepage, you will be asked to set your language and currency preferences. Doing this is important, as Etsy features buyers and sellers from all over the world.
3. Choose a Name
Next, you will need to choose a name for your Etsy store. Because the site requires each shop owner to use a unique name, it’s not uncommon for sellers to find that their first choice is unavailable. In some cases, you can circumvent this issue by adding a word like “store” or “boutique” to the end of your shop name. The goal is to choose a name that’s interesting and memorable to buyers while representing the unique style of goods you hope to sell.
4. Start Listing Items
After your shop name has been approved, you can get started listing items for sale online. After uploading photos of the product in question, you will be able to edit the thumbnails for display on your shop’s homepage.
You can then give your listing a title totaling no more than 140 characters, select the appropriate categories and subcategories, and determine in which section of your shop to place the product. Etsy allows each shop to have up to 10 custom sections for its wares, so be sure to choose wisely.
It’s also important to take the time to provide detailed and intriguing descriptions for your products. This is your opportunity to catch a shopper’s attention, and show him or her what’s unique and special about your offering. The description is also the place to detail the size of the item as well as the materials used, and any exciting features it includes.
If you offer variations, such as manufacturing a ring in both yellow and white gold, you can use the “Listing Variations” tab to detail this information as well. You should also tag your item at this time with keywords and phrases to make it searchable by the Etsy community.
5. Set the Right Price
After listing your item, you will need to set a price value. While Etsy doesn’t collect a membership fee from its buyers and sellers, the company does charge $0.20 to list an item and retains 3.5% of the sale price. These facts are important to keep in mind when setting prices and determining shipping policies. Some of the payment and shipping policies that sellers should express on their shops’ homepages include:
- Accepted payment forms
- Shipping times and costs
- Refund and exchange policies
- Custom and duty fees for international purchases
If you have additional questions or concerns about selling on Etsy, you may want to review the site’s Seller Handbook for answers and inspiration.
Selling on Etsy Successfully
Practice Your Photography
One of the keys to selling items on Etsy is utilizing attractive photographs. For best results, experiment with different lighting options and camera angles to come up with the ideal photography style for your brand.
Brand Your Business
Speaking of brands, Etsy is a great place to build your own brand among customers and clients. For best results, design your shop to reflect your unique visual style and product offerings. You may want to create a custom banner, avatar and background image to tie your brand together in the eyes of customers.
Focus on Customers
It’s no secret that today’s online shoppers have a plethora of options, and Etsy alone features hundreds of thousands of sellers. To encourage customers to choose you over the competition, strive to be available to buyers and answer their questions and inquiries quickly. You should also be as honest as possible about materials and shipping times, and take care to ensure the finished product looks just as it did in the photo.
Need a little added inspiration for your Etsy shop? You may want to consider joining one of the existing Etsy Teams. Serving as gathering places for sellers with shared interests, teams allow you to find answers to questions while collaborating with like-minded folks. The end result is a more successful Etsy shop and a better, more enjoyable selling experience.
For more insights into how to be successful as an online seller, read our article on how split testing can help you boost sales.