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How to get started on Etsy: 5 steps to launching your new business
eCommerce

How to get started on Etsy: 5 steps to launching your new business

Amy Beardsley
By Amy Beardsley
Feb 14, 2022
8 min read

Etsy is a great place to sell handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies. But with so many options and features, you might struggle with how to get started on Etsy.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to start a small business on Etsy — from setting up your shop and choosing a name to taking good photos and making your Etsy store stand out from the rest.

5 steps to setting up a shop on Etsy

Opening an Etsy shop is easier than ever. Here’s how to set up a shop on Etsy — these four steps will get you up and running.

1. Set up your Etsy account

Your first step is to visit Etsy.com/sell and click “Get Started.” You’ll log in or create an Etsy seller account by entering your email, name and password. If you prefer, you can create your account by logging in with your Google, Facebook or Apple credentials.

Then it’s time to set your shop preferences like your default language, home country and currency. Etsy will also ask if you plan to be a full-time seller, part-time seller or other.This is for internal research for Etsy and won’t impact your ability to start your shop or sell items.

2. Name your Etsy shop

When getting started on Etsy, naming your shop is one of the most exciting items on your to-do list. Get creative, but make sure it’s easy for customers to remember. It also helps if the name reflects the products you sell.

Etsy has guidelines that your shop name must meet:

  • At least four characters, but not over 20 characters in length 
  • No spaces or special characters 
  • No profanity or trademark violations
  • Unique and not already being used by an existing Etsy member 

If you’re stuck on what name to choose, consider descriptive names (PinkTulipCandles, RusticAndNatural) or your own name (DIYbySteph, ChloeCrafts).

3. Create your first product listing

Now that your Etsy shop is set up, it’s time to add your first items. Etsy lets you list physical and digital items, and the process is slightly different for each option. Follow these steps to add physical items, but visit Etsy’s guide to list a digital item.

Click Shop Manager after logging into your Etsy account. Choose Add a Listing (or tap the + icon if you’re on the app):

  • Add photos and video
  • Add a title, description and listing categories
  • Include the quantity you have available and the selling price
  • Set up shipping options
  • Decide if you want to run an Etsy Ads campaign
  • Publish (or save) your listing

Etsy’s step-by-step guide gives you a more detailed look at creating a listing.

To save your listing and come back to it later, save it as a draft. Then, you can go back to optimize your e-commerce listing by adding photos and other details when you’re ready.

4. Pick how you’ll get paid

Etsy Payments — Etsy’s own payment processing system — is how most sellers get paid, but you also can set up PayPal. Both options let you accept credit cards and debit cards, while Etsy Payments adds Etsy gift cards and store credit. Then, you’ll add your bank information so you can get direct deposits after making a sale.

Besides choosing how you’ll get paid, you must also set up billing to pay Etsy seller fees. You can enroll in auto-billing, so there’s no disruption to your item listings if you forget to pay your monthly statement.

5. Open your shop

Once you have at least one product listing, you can officially open your shop. Click “Open Your Shop” to make it happen. Your shop’s URL is either of these two formats:

  • https://shopname.etsy.com
  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/shopname

You can add additional listings or customize your shop with a banner photo. Before you do, consider what might draw customers to your store and curate items that inspire shoppers to purchase your goods.

Tips to make your Etsy listing stand out

Every day, thousands of products are sold on Etsy. How do you get started on Etsy and set your products apart from that ocean of goods? Here are four tips for making your products stand out.

Take professional-looking photos

When considering how to sell items on Etsy, first make sure your stuff is clean and in good condition. You want people to buy it, after all! 

Next, take high-quality pictures in a well-lit room. To create a more professional image, you might prop it up against something white, like a wall or (preferably) a sheet.

Customize your shop

To set your shop apart, customize it to show more about you, your values and your products. Add a bio to let visitors learn more about your background, interests and the story behind your products. 

Make your store easy to find with SEO

Using search engine optimized keywords on Etsy can help your listings appear in search results. Think about what a customer might type into the search bar and use those terms in your item descriptions, titles and tags.

Price your items competitively

Your price should cover your material, labor, production costs and extra, so you profit from everything you sell.

Things you should do before you sell on Etsy

Selling on Etsy is a great way to get your handmade goods to the right audience. But now that you know how to get started on Etsy, there are a few things you need to do before you actually start selling.

  • Narrow your niche: Focus on a specific type of product, a specific style or a specific theme.
  • Test your product: Use it yourself or test your product on friends to get feedback.
  • Understand Etsy fees: You’ll pay a few fees to list and sell items, such as listing fees, transaction fees and payment processing fees.
  • Organize your finances: Open a bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate and save receipts.
  • Find out if you need a business license: Etsy doesn’t require a business license to sell on Etsy, but your local laws may require it.
  • Purchase e-commerce seller’s insurance: Even though Etsy doesn’t require you to carry e-commerce insurance, it can protect you financially. Your policy can cover product liability accidents, injuries and legal fees you might face while selling on Etsy.

You can also visit the Etsy Help Center for more guidance on making your store a success.

Is selling on Etsy worth it?

Whether you're a hobbyist or a business owner, selling on Etsy is a great way to make money. If you’re passionate about the items you’re selling, an Etsy shop is worth it. 

You might also consider Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy. Both platforms offer plenty of options to make money in e-commerce. 

Success comes down to knowing how to market and brand yourself, providing excellent customer service and selling quality products that people love.

How NEXT supports e-commerce sellers

E-commerce is an exciting avenue for small business owners. Remember that you’re running a business, even if you’re selling on Etsy as a hobby.

NEXT helps protect your business by offering customized e-commerce insurance packages at affordable prices, so you can get the exact coverage you need. Our streamlined online application allows you to see coverage options, pricing and purchase policies easily so you can focus on your store

Apply online and get your certificate of insurance in less than 10 minutes. 

Get your instant quote today.

Amy Beardsley
By Amy Beardsley
Amy Beardsley is a contributing writer at Next Insurance and a Content Marketing Writer specializing in small business insurance and technology. Her work has contributed to helping independent business owners drive profitable customer action through brand awareness and customer education.

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