How to start an Etsy shop in 8 steps
While the prospect of setting up an Etsy shop may feel daunting right now, the possibilities that it could open up for your small business will make your efforts worth it. To help you in this endeavour, we’ve compiled everything you need to know to help you start your Etsy shop today.
Step 1. Sign up for an Etsy account
Before you can open your shop, you have to create an Etsy account. Create an Etsy account by:
- Clicking the Sign In button on the top right-hand corner of their home page
- Clicking the Register button on top right of the pop-up form
Step 2: Set up your Etsy shop preferences
Once you have been able to log in to your new account, you will able to open your shop. To set up your shop preferences:
- Click Sell on Etsy.
- Click Open your Etsy shop.
- Select your shop language, country, and currency, then click Save and continue.
The language you select should be the one in which you intend to post your listings and should probably match the country you are selling from (if using Etsy.co.uk, we recommend posting in English). You won’t be able to change the language preference later, but you will have the option to add translations in other languages if you wish.
It is also important that you choose the correct country for your shop (where you are located and will be shipping from), and that you choose the currency that you will be making transactions in (conversion fees could apply is your bank’s currency is different to the one you select for your shop).
Step 3: Choose your Etsy shop name
Choosing your Etsy shop name is an important step. Perhaps you have already been trading under name or maybe this is the first time you’ve thought about it, but do spend some time thinking about this as you want your shop name to be memorable reflect your brand.
Etsy does have some rules about names. All shop names must be:
- Between 4 and 20 characters long
- Free from profanities
- Not trademarked by another business
- Free from spaces or special characters (if you want a name which is more than one word long you will have to write it like this example: CreativeNameIdeas)
- Not already in use by an existing Etsy member
If the name you had wanted is already being used, Etsy will make suggestions of similar names which are still available.
Step 4: Add items to your Etsy shop
When preparing to add items to your shop, make sure you take good quality photos and videos. Etsy have quite specific guidelines about photos so make sure that they are:
- At least 2000 pixels wide
- In a supported .jpg, .gif or .png format
- At least 72 PPI resolution
- Less than 1MB
It is also sensible to ensure that photos are:
- Clearly lit
- Taken from a range of angles
- Highlighting unique details
- Demonstrate the size of the item
Once you have your images, click on Add a listing and follow the steps as they appear on Etsy:
- Add the photos and videos
- Select the one you want to be your thumbnail image (the front image that will show up on Etsy searches).
- Add your listing details
- Describe your listing accurately by making the correct selection and using clear, descriptive language which highlights the best of your product without exaggeration, using ‘words and phrases that buyers might use when searching your item’ (Etsy’s Taylor Combs).
- Add how many of that product you have in stock and your price
- For digital items, you will need to add the files at this stage
- Set up your shipping preferences including your processing time, shipping method and cost for the buyer (know that lower shipping fees are usually more attractive to customers)
- Choose whether or not you want to use an Etsy Ads campaign to advertise this specific product
- Preview your listing to check that it looks as you want it to
- Publish your listing or save it for later.
Step 5: Choose your payment preferences
Once you have added a listing to your shop, you will need to organise your payment preferences.
Here is where you will need to decide whether you want customer payments to be made into your personal account, or use/open a business bank account to keep the your business finances separate.
- Click the Your Account icon, then click Shop Manager.
- Click Finances.
- Click Payment account.
If you decide to enrol in Etsy Payments, your seller fees will be automatically deducted from your sales. This means that you will either have money Available for deposit into your bank account or owe Etsy fees (shown as Amount due). In this case, you will need to set up a disbursement schedule to withdraw funds to your bank account, or click Request it now to receive your funds the next day.
If prefer not to enrol in Etsy Payments, your fees will appear as Amount due while your sales funds will be directly processed through the payment method you decide to use.
Step 6: Set up billing
If you have a business account, you may wish to have Etsy seller fees deducted from your business account as this will help you to keep track of all your business outgoings and expenses.
If you are in the UK, you can’t yet enrol for auto-billing, so you will have to manually pay your Etsy seller fees each month.
Step 7: Open your Etsy shop
A final thing to add before you open your shop is a logo (more on that below).
Step 8: Customize and market your Etsy shop
Since your shop homepage is essentially your Etsy storefront, you want to ensure that this makes a strong and positive first impression on your potential customers.
In order to have the best impact on potential customers you need to consider how you can create cohesive visuals which are coordinated to your brand.
Your shop icon and banner are your main visual tools to help you sell your brand’s story. Your colours, fonts and photos should also coordinate (though not necessarily match) with these central graphics.
Etsy Ads are a great way to advertise your listings, getting featured spots at the top of Etsy search results and other pages on Etsy.
How to Start an Etsy Shop FAQs
Does it cost money to sell on Etsy?
Creating an Etsy shop account is free. There are different types of fees to be aware of when selling through Etsy, including a 5% transaction fee and a 4% + 0.20 GBP charge if you agree to pay a payment processing on every transaction with Etsy Payments.
Do I have to report Etsy income?
If you are already employed or self-employed then you are required to report Etsy income as it will be added to your total income for the tax year. If you are unemployed but you sell on Etsy as a hobby, you generally won’t need to pay tax on income as you can earn up to £12,500 tax-free for Personal Allowance.
How much do Etsy shop owners make?
Some Etsy shop owners are able to make an additional income per month alongside their current job. Whereas other Etsy shop sellers have gone onto earn enough to quit their jobs and sell their products on Etsy full time. Although it’s free to create an Etsy shop there are fees for each item you list and sell so this will affect how much money you earn.
How profitable is an Etsy shop?
The profits Etsy shop owners can make entirely depends on the selling volume of the products. Etsy is an online marketplace which is profitable for independent creators who have unique products to sell. Popular items sold on Etsy include craft and supplies, handmade items, and jewellery.