Are you creative, artsy, or simply love vintage goods? If so, then you might want to consider a side hustle of starting an Etsy shop.
Etsy is a place that brings together the charm of a craft show with the digital reach of a site like eBay. They’re currently one of the top e-commerce sites in the world with nearly 300 million visitors every month.
If you’d like to know more about how to sell stuff on Etsy, then here’s everything you’ll need to know.
First, Get To Really Know Etsy
Chances are if you’re reading this, then you already know about Etsy or have at least heard about it.
But how well do you really know Etsy? If you haven’t already, spend a little time browsing the site. Visit the different categories, click on a few Etsy shops, and make some observations:
- What are the kinds of items are they selling?
- How are the shops structured?
- What are the photos like?
- What’s the tone of the shop bio, product descriptions, imagery, etc?
All of these notes will be important in helping you with the majority of the next steps.
Setting Up Your Etsy Shop
Create An Account
If you haven’t already, create an account with Etsy. Choose a username, password, and validate your account.
Take some time to fill in your profile info so that other people in the Etsy community will know who you are.
Personalize Your Etsy Shop
With Etsy, the mindset isn’t that you have a seller account, it’s that you have an “Etsy Shop”. Think of this as a digital version of a booth at a craft show.
Etsy gives you a lot of flexibility with your shop to let your personality shine and establish your personal brand. To begin, pick a good name for your store. It should be something fun, creative, and reflective of the type of products you’re going to sell.
In addition to naming the store, give it some character by filling in the store bio. This is your opportunity to tell the world why you started an Etsy shop, what you hope to accomplish, who you hope will benefit, etc.
Finally, add a few banners and pictures that will reflect the image of your shop. You can either create these yourself using graphic design software such as Canva, or you can pay a small fee to have a freelancer create them for you using a service like Fiverr.
Set Your Policies
Don’t forget to put your business policies in place. Let your buyers know how they can get a refund, where you will ship to (or not ship to), etc.
Adding Listings To Your Etsy Shop
Etsy shops are free to start. However, they do charge $0.20 per listing and a 5% transaction fee once the product sells (including the cost of shipping). Once the listing is live, it will last for at least 4 months before another listing fee is charged.
Product descriptions can make or break your sale. A great description will briefly describe exactly what the buyer should expect to receive, why they’ll love it, and how it will benefit them.
Picking the right price will be a combination of market research and business savvy. Look around Etsy and see what products similar to yours are selling for. At the same time, add up how much time and materials it takes you to produce the items you’re selling. Obviously, the goal will be to sell your products for more than what it costs to make them.
List the number of items that are for sale. For each one, are they all the same type of product or different colors, sizes, etc.?
In e-commerce, photos truly do say a thousand words! The better and more attractive the photos you can take of your items, the higher your chances of making sales will be. Take photos from:
- Multiple angles
- Showing the item in use
- With adequate lighting
- No mess in the background
If you don’t always take the best photos, then perhaps consider outsourcing this task to a professional.
One of the great things about Etsy is that you can arrange your store items the way you want them. Just like a real store, you’ll want it to appear organized and concise so that the shopper can find exactly what they’re looking for. Spend a little time giving some thought to how you’ll want to layout the thumbnails of your Etsy items.
Etsy is a search engine just like any other one (Google, Amazon). It relies on keywords typed in from the shoppers to find and display the products that are shown. To be strategic, you should think about the SEO (search engine optimization) of your listings and make sure they are rich with keywords that your buyers are likely to use.
Here are a few helpful tips on how you gain better visibility with SEO for Etsy.
Etsy is pretty straightforward when it comes to payments.
Like most online retailers, buyers can pay you through a variety of methods using something called Etsy payments. Etsy payments is just a secure checkout service that allows buyers to make payments using their credit cards, bank cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. They allow you to accept payment from Etsy gift cards or credits.
If you accept payments through Etsy Payments, they will also collect a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee (on top of the other fees mentioned earlier).
Marketing And Promotion To Sell Stuff On Etsy
With millions of daily shoppers on Etsy, don’t be fooled into thinking that once you list something it will be purchased. Just like a brick and mortar store, it’s up to you to promote your brand and draw some attention to your Etsy shop. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to do that.
Etsy encourages sellers to regularly share their products on their favorite social media platforms. You could easily regularly share pictures of someone wearing or using the item and then leave a link to your Etsy shop. Encourage your friends and family to also share these posts.
If you’ve already got a blog, then definitely let your readers know every time that you’ve added something new to your shop. You could even use the space at the top or sides to show banners for your products.
Just like other e-commerce websites, Etsy will allow you to pay for your items to be among the first ones shown. You generally pay per click (PPC) with sponsored ads. Though it will cost you some money, many marketers swear the visibility you gain makes it well worth the investment.
Keeping Financial Records
Finally, remember that your Etsy shop is a business and you will owe taxes to the IRS on the revenue that it generates. Keep good, detailed records of not only your revenue but also on your expenses (materials, packaging, promotional costs, etc.). Develop good habits early on with keeping up on your bookkeeping regularly, and work with a tax professional to maximize your tax deductions.
Final Thoughts: How To Sell Stuff On Etsy
While there are plenty of buying and selling apps out there, from LetGo to Poshmark, Etsy sets itself apart by giving you a great way to form your very own shop and business. Selling stuff on Etsy takes some know-how, but is totally do-able. Use these steps and get your Etsy shop set up, running, and selling!