Beginners guide to selling on Etsy

Beginners guide to selling on Etsy

No matter how quirky , eccentric, unique or downright bizarre ! The etsy marketplace accommodates every art and craft composition you could possibly ever think of.

In recent years the opportunities for the creative community has blown up, be it either ease of acquiring or even sharing creative skills , sourcing materials as well as selling your very own creative products to more than enthusiastic buyers!

This means that the dawn of fulfilling the dream of showcasing your art and craft skills is finally upon us, and with the advent of ETSY there are no more reasons or excuses to shy away from it. 

So today this blog focuses on my number one site where I, as well as numerous artists run their own small businesses and with a consistently growing network , Etsy makes sure to bring you increasing avenues and options to explore this creatively skilled universe

To give you a basic gist of what exactly Etsy consists of - think of a place  where a global community of people with a love for all things creative tune in , and so create a worldwide market where you and fellow peers gather to sell their unique, one off ,  products with ease of transactions and reach. 

Well that's etsy  - but online ! which makes it all the more easier to access and navigate. 

From jewellery , handmade art collectibles , customizable knitted patterns and fabrics to enamel pins ….. well the list is endless , really !

No matter how niche your market , the amount of potential buyers and art enthusiasts tuning in to etsy is at an all time high. 

Which brings us to the purpose of this blog  - If you are looking for assistance to start navigating your way around Etsy , then look no 

further -  because this blog is especially for you.

A compact and hopefully simple beginners guide - to make that possibly daunting process of going through all the formalities easier as well as some tips to help along the way.

I have broken down the process into five steps , so this list should cover up what exactly opening up a shop and running it on Etsy entails.

  • Now that you are aware and have enough information about Etsy as a site and its characteristics , it's time to jump right into it and set up your account. 

    This account will  basically act as your Etsy shop which you can sell and buy goods from . Setting up the account requires you to register with basic information such as a name,  password etc , if you feel like you still need some time to think this through , I would suggest reading Etsy’s FAQ and sellers handbook to help you wrap your head around it better.

  • If you've got here till this blog , I am going to go ahead and assume that you have a tiny inkling or a possible plan of what exactly you wish to sell and you are in fact reading this blog as additional help ……..but even if you don't , that's fine. 

    You can spend some time browsing through Etsy or maybe just the web to get a hit of inspiration (example- pinterest) .Not everyone is sure of what kind of service and product they want to initially offer and confusion and doubts are complementary in the initial stage of starting a business. Honestly, browsing  the variety of things that Etsy offers will definitely help you conjure up new ideas. 

    This is the part where you will be required to give  

    •  the currency you wish to trade in 
    •  the location you wish it to be listed in 
    •  the language you will operate in. 
    • and an interesting and memorable shop name.

    Understand the amount of time you can spend and the amount of resources you're willing to dedicate to achieve success , as Etsy will require you to put info regarding part time or full time commitment . 

    All done ? go ahead and save, to finish this first hurdle.. 


    Like every business , you will need to showcase your products - so this is where we have a listing . 

    All the items and products that you will offer to potential customers will be listed in the shop . So go ahead and list the items and products that you will be offering - be it physical or digital. 

    (little known is the fact that Etsy also enables you to sell digital products in format of image files, audiobooks , graphic design services etc) .

    Be sure you don't miss out the tiny aspects and details while you list, such as the option of categorizing your products and mentioning a few details about your products here and there.

    A little information about the materials used , a bit of bio on individual products , process of creation etc . This is an important tool in marketing and branding as well. Applying categories and tags, so that there is ease of searching through filters will fulfill your SEO aspirations.



    Which brings us to the elephant in the room, the act of actually running and maintaining a successful business is way more challenging than starting the business itself. So after you've settled back into a couch hoping to relax because you think you're all done opening up an account and registering on Etsy ….  wait...think again.

    Making sure that you are attractive and interesting enough to gather as well as hold a customer's attention, not to mention keep them wanting more and make sure they find their way back to your store is tough.

    And few things help grow and retain customers as much as successful Branding 

    It's so much more than a few aesthetic pictures, logos and social media posts - which of course is important, but branding encompases your entire business sense.

    From the customer interaction and quick query replies , to product packaging and even how you build and promote your USP - are all aspects of successful branding!

    So while you're actually creating your account , take into account branding and how you want your business to be perceived - like I said,  quality and integral details are important but make sure they reflect your business and individual personality as well.

    (A thoughtful and interesting  bio that gives a brief history about you as a maker as well as your products is a great way to pique the customer's interest ... you can also add information regarding people you're currently collaborating or members of your team to make it more interactive.)


    Time to make sure the products actually sell!

    Etsy provides a wide variety of basic  tools and stats to make sure that you have a good chance to venture into advertising if you're not familiar with SEO and the like. 

    If marketing your shop is not your cup of tea , you can outsource this as well.

    Market your page and website through,

    • SEO and keywords 
    • regular blogs 
    • Social media posts through youtube , twitter , facebook, instagram, pinterest etc 
    • updating some fun videos on youtube periodically 
    • collaborating with artists to create something new and engaging regularly also helps to grow your network.

    All this will help to build awareness about you as a seller and the products that you offer. Etsy also has paid promotions on a pay per click version which works well if you're looking for some added help when you're starting out so you can check this out as an option, read the charges and fees before you make a choice though.


    Making payment and receiving them through Etsy is fairly easy. The buyer has the option of paying through either an Etsy account or Paypal and there is a small difference in the amount Etsy eventually charges to use these payment methods . 

    Etsy bills in real time now compared to its older policy so you don't need to keep track and instead payments will be deducted during real time. 

    A bit more info for all of you who are looking to cater to a global audience - 

    1. If you are in fact catering to the global audience then you have the option of covering shipping cost in the product selling price itself or passing it to the buyer.
    2. Either way , making sure the product reaches the customer is still your responsibility . 
    3. You can also share details regarding custom duties, international shipping obligations and processing and dispatch terms and conditions to create a more authentic and transparent relationship with your buyers  .
    4. Shipping policies about returns and dispatch time are also very important.
    5. Etsy postage labels are available if you're shipping to specific countries and  you have an option of different postage labels to choose depending on the location of the receiver.
    6.  Make sure that you check out their insurance and compensation in case things go awry.

    Okay now that the set up is completed and you hopefully know how to navigate through Etsy with your wits about you it's time to delve into the topics that we have previously just skimmed over.

    Etsy’s charges fees depending on the services it offers as a middleman to sell your products. 

    So to simplify it for you ,your finances tab in your Etsy account will reflect all your recent activities as well as the fees and taxes you are required to stay up to date with , the fees are based in US dollars and different currency conversions are valued at existing market rate during payments and transactions.

    Listing fees - These are the fees which you are expected to pay in order to successfully list your individual products on your seller profile, in order for you to list a product the current fees is 0.20 USD ($) , there are charged regardless of the sales you actually incur and the listing period lasts for four months after which you have the option of auto renewal or cancellation after the initial period is over.

    Transaction fee - Transaction fees are a grand total of 6.5% of the payment you receive on the item sold  - the total includes postage as well as the package.

    Advertisement fee -  If you do in fact opt for Etsy advertising service, then the advertisement fees are calculated on a pay per click method, where offsite ads for your products are showcased  so that you receive a relatively higher traffic coming in. 

    So the way this is going to work -  Etsy believes that one in 10 sales is a result of their offsite ads ,  so that makes a 10% cut out on sales realized. Make sure to check out their advertising policies to get  a clear overview . 

    However if you do opt for advertising through etsy or through a third party make sure to inculcate this in your product price to cover extra costs.

    Shipping price -  A good feature of Etsy is that it calculates your shipping price to the destination mentioned , provided you fill in a few details. 

    This lets you hand over the complexities to a reliable source .

    You very well have the option of choosing different postage labels depending on the location.The fees of postage labels also differ depending on the postage label you opt for .

    Payment processing and conversion fees - If a buyer uses the Etsy payment system then the Etsy charges you are liable to pay are 3% of the total sales as well as an additional 25 cents  (this is the current rate for sales conducted in USD( $ ), so  payment processing fees will differ from country to country . You also have the option of accepting payment through Paypal (integrated / standalone )

    • An important fee is the Etsy conversion fees - Whenever a seller sells an item different from the currency of  their own payment account (shipping to a customer from another country), Etsy applies a 2.5% currency conversion rate 
    • VAT- If you are operating in a country where this tax is applicable , Etsy automatically charges VAT on sales and thus fulfills tax obligations. 

    And….. that's the end of this Beginner's guide to selling on Etsy ! Hope to see you all out there.

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