How to Start an Etsy Shop

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Close to 40 million people actively shop on Etsy (source) and you can create your own shop for free to reach this massive audience.

When it comes to making money online and selling at marketplaces, selling on Amazon and selling on eBay typically get the most attention. Although Etsy is not as big as Amazon or eBay, Etsy does present an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to make extra money on the side.

What Can You Sell on Etsy?

Unlike Amazon or eBay, Etsy does not attempt to sell just about everything under the sun. Etsy takes a much more specialized approach, and that means that if you want to sell on this platform, you’ll need products that will be a good fit.

Products sold on Etsy generally fall into these categories:

  • Handmade items
  • Vintage items
  • Custom products
  • Digital downloads
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Why Sell on Etsy?

Popular platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy allow people like you and me to get products in front of a huge audience. As a seller, you can start making money relatively quickly since you can tap into this existing audience, rather than needing to build your own traffic and audience from scratch.

Not only does Etsy provide a big audience, but it’s also a very specialized audience. People who regularly buy products on Etsy are very likely to go there directly when they want to buy something specific. Although there are many other sites like Etsy, Etsy has built a reputation as being the go-to source for vintage and handmade items. As a seller, you can benefit from that.

Aside from the massive platform, Etsy also makes it quick and inexpensive to set up a shop and start selling (the specific steps are covered in the next section). And you don’t need experience with e-commerce, making it a great entry-level work from home job.

How to Start an Etsy Shop

If you’re ready to take action, here are the exact steps you’ll need to take.

1. Sign Up as a Seller

Go to this page to create your seller account. There is no cost or commitment required in order to create the account. From that page, you’ll enter your email address (or connect with your Google or Facebook account), and then you’ll be asked for your first name and set your password.

2. Customize the Preferences

Next, you’ll be prompted to choose the preferences and settings for your account, most importantly, your language, country, and currency.

Etsy Preferences

3. Choose Your Shop Name

After you save and continue from the preferences, you’ll be led to the page where you’ll name your shop. Your shop’s name is limited to 20 characters, so you may need to use some creativity here.

Etsy, Name Your Shop

Your shop name will, of course, show up prominently on your shop pages, as well as each of your listings. It will also be a part of your shop’s URL.

After you set up your shop, you can change your name one time. You’ll want to give it some thought and come up with a name that you love. Etsy will show you if your preferred name is available, and if not, it will offer a few suggested names that are similar.

4. Add Your First Product

Once you have decided on a name for your shop, the next step is to enter your first product.

Add a product to your Etsy shop

Click on the plus icon where it says “add a listing” and you’ll be led to the next page. From here you can upload your photos and enter all of the product details.

Add a Product to Etsy - 2

Some of the fields are required and some are optional, but enter as much information and detail as possible.

It’s important to note that there is a fee of $0.20 per listing.

A few important fields to pay attention to:

  • Renewal options – You can set the listing to automatic or manual renewal. Your listing will last for four months or until the product sells out. If it is set for manual renewal, the listing will come down when it sells out or when it reaches four months. With automatic renewal, it will stay online. You will be charged the listing fee ($0.20) each time it renews, regardless of whether it is renewed automatically or manually.
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