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How to Sell on Etsy: A Beginners Guide

Learn everything you need to know to create your own Etsy shop and start selling today.

Tania Blake October 25, 2022
A woman smiles holding a skateboard.

So you want to learn how to sell on Etsy but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

With over 96 million active buyers worldwide, Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. It’s the place to be if you’re a creative entrepreneur with a product to sell.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to create your own Etsy shop and start selling today.

Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.

10 simple steps to start selling on Etsy

1. Create a free account

First things first. Head on over to and click “Get Started”.

Enter your email address and follow the prompts.

2. Open your storefront and select preferences

You’ve registered your free account — awesome! Now select your shop language, country, and currency.

Etsy account shop preferences

Source: Etsy

Choose a shop name. This part can be tricky, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Here are a few tips to help get those wheels turning:

  • Combine a word that conveys the feeling you want your brand to evoke with the word for whatever it is that you sell. Example: Enchanting Pendants.
  • Use a unique word or phrase inspired by something abstract — like nature, a foreign language, or a musical instrument.
  • Try making up a new word by combining two together.
  • Use your own name.

Keep in mind: You can change your shop name as many times as you want before launch. But if you want to change it after, you can only do it once. Choose wisely!

3. Stock your shop with products

Once you’ve set up your shop, it’s time to add your product listings.

For each item, you can add up to 10 photos. And if you really want to level up, you can upload a 5-15 second video.

Etsy create a listing

Source: Etsy

Here you’ll include details for your listing, assign it a category, and add your inventory with product descriptions, pricing, and shipping information. You can also decide whether you want to use Etsy ads to market your shop.

Once you’ve added in all the details for your item, you can hit “Publish” or “Save as Draft” and come back to it later.

4. Decide how you want to get paid

One of the reasons you want to start selling on Etsy is to make some extra cash, right?

Once you’ve set up your product listings, you’ll need to let Etsy know how you want to get paid. Add in your personal information, and address, and connect your bank account. Easy peasy!

Etsy payment options seller description

Source: Etsy

5. Pick shipping options

You have two options when it comes to shipping:

  • Select your shipping preferences on a per-product basis, or
  • Apply your shipping settings to your entire store

So, say you have an item that doesn’t cost a lot to ship, and you can offer free shipping on that one item. But if your shop preferences are to have your customer pay for shipping on the more expensive items in your store, you can do that, too!

6. Set up billing for customers

Etsy Payments is the simplest way to handle billing for both you and your buyers.

When enrolled, customers can choose from various payment options (like credit card, debit, or Apple Pay) and pay in their local currency.

7. Connect your storefront to your ecommerce website

If you have an existing ecommerce website for your business, we have some great news!

Etsy works with many ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magendo, and WooCommerce, so you can connect your existing site to your Etsy storefront.

So, if you’re selling a product on Shopify but also want to become an Etsy seller, you can do that by using the handy Shopify integration!

And with the help of the Heyday Shopify integration, you can also easily manage customer support all within your Shopify store.

Heyday is a conversational AI chatbot that can make sure your customers feel supported 24/7 without adding extra work to your plate.

Heyday conversational AI chatbot browse FAQs

Source: Heyday

Try a free 14-day Heyday trial

This conversational AI chatbot integrates with all your apps – from Shopify to Instagram to Facebook messenger. It makes it easy to support customers and helps take the stress out of online sales.

Here are just some of the benefits of Heyday:

  • Provide product recommendations to your buyers
  • Track orders
  • Automate FAQs
  • Combine customer conversations across many channels into a single inbox

8. Customize your Etsy storefront

Now, the fun part: dressing up your Etsy storefront with colors, fonts, beautiful product photography, and more.

Remember: Your Etsy storefront is your customer’s first impression. Take some time to figure out what visual story you want to tell.

9. Go live!

You did it! You’ve set up your Etsy store and now you’re ready to go live. But first…

10. Share your new store on social media

Etsy may give you the tools to set up shop, but sharing your beautiful new storefront with the world is a whole other ballgame. It’s time to put your marketing hat on.

Sharing your shop on social is a great way to promote your products and attract potential customers.

Selling on Instagram, for example, can help you reach your target consumer and drive more sales. In 2021, there were 1.21 billion monthly active users on the platform.

Vintage Gallery Wall Set

Source: Etsy

Marketing and selling on Pinterest is another great way to add to your marketing strategy. Not only is it the 14th largest social network in the world with 459 million active users each month, but shopping engagement continues to grow each year.

Need a tool to manage it all? Hootsuite makes it easy to manage your social presence, saving you time so you can focus on other areas of your business. Use it to schedule and publish posts, engage with your audience, and measure results — all from one dashboard.

Hootsuite Planner overview

Get started with Hootsuite

How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?

While creating your Etsy shop is free, there are certain fees you should be aware of as a seller.

Hosting listing fees

Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 USD for each item that you list.

Listings expire after four months and will auto-renew at $0.20 USD per item unless you choose not to use automatic renewals.

Transaction fees

Etsy collects a transaction fee of 6.5% of the total order amount anytime a customer purchases an item from your store.

This Etsy fee applies to the total cost of the item (shipping and gift wrap included, if you charge for that). The transaction fee amount will show up automatically in your Payment account.

Additional advertising/marketing fees

If you choose to take advantage of Etsy’s advertising services to promote your store, extra fees will apply.

  • With Etsy Ads: Fees are based on the budget you set.
  • With Offsite Ads: Fees are only applied if your ad turns into a sale.

Payment processing fees

This fee is a set rate plus a percent of the total sale price of your product and varies by country.

Customs and VAT fees

If your Etsy store offers international shipping, you’ll want to be aware of import taxes, customs duties, and/or any other fees imposed by other countries.

In most cases, the buyer is responsible for customs duties. And if you’re a VAT-registered seller, you may need to charge VAT on the items you sell.

Top tips to be successful selling on Etsy

Use professional product shots

One of the easiest ways to sell your products on Etsy is with scroll-stopping photography. In fact, good product photography is critical to your success on the platform.

According to Etsy’s customer research, it’s product photos that make customers decide whether they’re going to buy. And in most cases, the quality of your images is more important than shipping costs, reviews, and even the price of the item itself!

quality of images is ranked highest on customer reviews

Caption: According to Etsy’s buyer surveys, 90% of customers said the quality of the photos was “extremely important” or “very important” to a purchase decision.

Source: Etsy

If going pro isn’t in the budget, don’t stress. There are plenty of resources out there to help take your product photography to the next level.

For tips on lighting, shooting, editing, and more check out Etsy’s Guide to Product Photography.

Create an eye-catching logo and banner

Another must-have for a successful Etsy shop is a strong visual brand. After all, your storefront is often your customer’s first impression.

If graphic design isn’t your strong suit, there are plenty of free online tools (like Canva) that can help.

If you’re a Hootsuite user, check out the Canva for Hootsuite integration. It allows you to create engaging visual content directly from your Hootsuite dashboard.

Make your Etsy shop SEO-optimized

Like Google, Etsy has its own search algorithm. Whenever a buyer searches for an item, its mission is to serve up what’s relevant.

Whether you sell handmade goods, vintage items or craft supplies, it’s best to be forward about it and embrace those keywords.

Here are a few ways to optimize your Etsy shop for search and increase your chances of ranking high:

  • Use tags and keywords in your item listings
  • Use attributes when listing an item
  • Keep your shop up-to-date by adding fresh content regularly
  • Provide a good customer experience
  • Encourage buyers to leave reviews
  • Make sure your “About Me” page is complete

Which brings me to my next point…

Have a unique About Me section

According to Etsy’s 2021 Global Seller Census, 84% of its sellers are solo entrepreneurs who run their businesses out of their homes.

The reality is that every shop owner has a story to tell. Sharing that story and highlighting what makes you unique is key to standing out in a crowded marketplace.

If writing about the person behind your business makes you cringe a little, we get it. It’s not always easy to talk about yourself! But this is your chance to build a connection with your customers and help them learn a bit more about you and your business.

If you’re struggling to figure out what to include on your “About Me” page, try checking a few of these boxes:

  • Share your origin story. How did you get started and why?
  • Highlight what makes you special. Do you have a unique process?
  • Take your audience behind the scenes. Show what a day in the life of a shop owner looks like with high-quality photos and video.
  • Show the face behind the brand. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. So don’t forget to show your buyers who you are!
  • Include links to your social media channels. Let your customers know where they can find and interact with you outside of your shop.

Create gift guide collections

Gift guide collections are a valuable addition to any shop. They help showcase certain products, inspire your buyers, and stay top of mind for holidays and milestones — like birthdays, weddings, or baby showers.

You can create a gift guide collection by using Sections on Etsy to organize item listings in your shop. Sections show up as links in the left sidebar of your shop and you can use them to group item listings in a whole bunch of ways.

Promote new product listings on social media

Share, share, share! It’s the best way to build with potential buyers and build a loyal following. You can even use tools built into the Etsy platform to help with that!

There are six types of posts you can create and share from Etsy:

  • New product listings
  • Recent milestones
  • Details on sales and coupons
  • Reviews
  • Favorited items
  • Shop updates

Keep inventory stocked

There’s no worse feeling than browsing your favorite online store only to find out they’re all out of your size in that cool new romper you wanted.

Make your customer experience a great one by keeping inventory stocked as best as you can. Of course, things happen, materials run out, and as a solopreneur, you can only do so much. So be sure to give yourself plenty of grace, too!

Send thank you messages to customers

Sending a thank you note after a customer purchases from your store is a great way to let them know you appreciate them. It’s added touches like this that can help build a tried and true following of buyers that keep coming back for more.

Stumped on what to include in your message? Here are a few ideas:

  • Thank your customer for their order and tell them how excited you are for them to receive their product.
  • Share your contact info in case they have any questions.
  • Give them a heads-up on when they should expect to receive their item(s).
  • Provide a code for a discount on their next purchase.
  • Ask for feedback.

Encourage customers to take photos of their purchases

There are many ways to encourage your buyers to snap a photo of their purchase and leave a review. Here are a few places to start:

  • Just ask! It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple thank you note with an ask to leave a review with a photo is sometimes all it takes.
  • Offer an incentive: Throw in a free gift or discount off your buyer’s next order.

Remember: It’s the little things!

Promote your store on social media

The key to the social media game is consistency. You need to show up in order to attract and keep followers, and better yet, convert them into buyers.

Here are a few ways to use social media content creation to promote your store:

Remember: Be consistent. Don’t go months without posting and expect your audience to stick around!

Selling on Etsy FAQ

What can you sell on Etsy?

Etsy allows products to be sold that are handmade, vintage, or craft supplies.

  • Handmade items: Items that are made and/or designed by the seller.
  • Vintage Items: Items that are at least 20 years old.
  • Craft supplies: Tools, ingredients, or materials that can be used in the creation of an item or special occasion.

Visit Etsy’s website for more details on what you can and cannot sell.

Is it worth it to sell on Etsy?

Yes! Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world with over 96 million active buyers worldwide.

It’s a great place to start if you’re a beginner wanting to dip your toes in the online selling world but is also great for seasoned business owners.

Etsy integrates with other ecommerce so you don’t have to choose one or the other. For example, you can get the best of both worlds by integrating your Shopify store with Etsy.

Etsy even provides marketing and advertising services to help you promote your product and increase sales.

How do beginners sell on Etsy?

Setting up an Etsy storefront is simple:

  • Create a free account
  • Set your shop location and currency
  • Choose a shop name
  • Add your products
  • Set a payment and billing method
  • Set up shipping options
  • Customize your storefront
  • Go live!

How much does selling on Etsy cost?

It costs zero dollars to open an Etsy shop, but, there are three important fees to note:

  • Listing Fees: A flat fee of $0.20 USD per product listing published.
  • Transaction Fees: For each sale made, Etsy takes 6.5% of the total transaction value.
  • Payment processing fees: A set rate plus a percentage that varies by country.

Who pays for shipping on Etsy?

It depends! You have the option to pay for shipping or have your customer pay in addition to the item cost.

You can also select your shipping preferences on an individual product basis or apply your shipping settings to your entire store.

Engage with shoppers on your website and social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.

Try a free 14-day Heyday trial

Turn your Shopify store visitors into customers with Heyday, our easy-to-use AI chatbot app for retailers.

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By Tania Blake

Tania Blake is a seasoned content marketer, writer, and brand photographer with over a decade of experience working in and writing for various industries. She is currently a Content Marketer and the Chief Editor at Sales Feed, a media brand by Vidyard.

Tania lives in Ottawa, ON. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family, on her yoga mat, and outside in nature.

Read more by Tania Blake

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