How to Sell on Etsy

How to Sell on Etsy

My wife has been selling her wreaths on Etsy for several months now. As I peak at what she’s doing in our shared office, I thought, that maybe I could help the Smart Hustle community with their Etsy stores.

Etsy has some great information on how to use its platform and there are a “zillion” blogs and YouTube videos on it as well.

I worked with the Smart Hustle editorial team to give you a bit of extra guidance!

Etsy is a handmade and vintage marketplace that connects buyers and sellers from all around the world. If you’re thinking of starting an Etsy shop, there are some best practices you should follow to boost your profitability.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been selling for years, the following guide will help you present your shop in the best way possible and attract eager buyers.

How Etsy Works

Etsy is one of the biggest marketplaces on the web, which makes it a great place to expose your handmade products to a large audience of people who are looking for products like yours. Many people prefer to buy handcrafted items that they know someone made with their own two hands, making it an ideal platform for selling your wares.

Etsy provides simple, transparent pricing and features to make it easy to get up and running:

  • No additional monthly fees. Etsy processes payments for you and charges a $.20 listing fee per item, a small commission and payment processing fee when something sells, and a 15% off-site ads fee for any items that sell through ads outside of Etsy.
  • Simple tools allow you to create your shop in minutes, manage your listings on the go from the Etsy app, and save on shipping costs via discounted shipping through the platform.
  • Integrated marketing tools help you promote your listings through social media, ads, and coupons.
  • Secure transactions, automatic deposits, and seller protection give you peace of mind that you can sell confidently and profitably.

Steps to Selling on Etsy

It’s easy to get your shop up and running on Etsy. Just follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1: Create a Shop

The first step to selling on Etsy is creating your seller’s shop. Go to https://www.etsy.com/sell to create an account and click on Get Started, and then follow the steps to open your shop for business. You’ll need to fill out some basic information about your shop preferences, currency, and products.

Step 2: Choose a Shop Name

Think carefully about what you want your shop name to be; ideally, it should be less than 20 characters long and have no spaces or characters that aren’t letters or numbers. A good name can help you get discovered in SEO and also makes it easy for people to remember your shop name.

Step 3: Fill Out All Information

The more information you include in your bio and About sections, the easier it is for people to get to know you and what you’re selling. Include information such as your social media links, a shop announcement containing any information you want your buyers to know, and a message to buyers that they will see automatically when they make a purchase.

Step 4: Add Your Shop Policies

This is an important step you don’t want to skip. Here, you’ll add details such as your refund and shipping policies and any seller information you want to share, such as your location and contact information.

Step 5: List Items for Sale

Here’s the fun part! As you create listings, include relevant keywords, strong titles, clear photos, and detailed descriptions that help buyers find your listings. Specify the quantity, shipping costs, price, payment methods, and type of product, ie, a physical product or a digital download. Be sure to choose good thumbnail images that entity buyers to want to click on your items. You will also have the option to preview your listings before they go live so you can see them from a buyer’s point of view.

Best Practices for Increasing Sales

Once your shop is up and running, you’ll be able to make any necessary tweaks to increase your sales. Here are some tips to follow as you get things rolling:

  • Be sure your listings are well-written and include the best keywords. Look at how other similar sellers are presenting their items, and make sure your items are in line with those (just don’t plagiarize anyone’s work). If you need help writing product descriptions, consider hiring a part-time copywriter to help.
  • Take good photos of your products. The more natural and professional they look, the better. Take a look at other items in your category to see how other sellers present their items, so you can use that as a guide for your own photos.
  • List items at the right price point — not too high or too low. If you have an item priced $10 above all similar products, you’re going to lose sales because customers will opt for the cheaper items instead of yours. And if it’s priced lower than all similar products, customers won’t think it’s worth their money either (unless there’s something unique about it). Factor in your shipping costs, too; if it makes sense to offer free shipping, you can include this as a selling point.
  • Don’t forget about promotions! Promoting things through social media is one way to get more eyes on your shop and encourage your friends and followers to support you. Create a business page for your shop on Facebook and Instagram to boost your following even more.
  • Make use of Etsy’s built-in marketing and automation tools. Etsy has a suite of tools designed to help sellers manage, promote, and grow their businesses on the platform as well as view insights and analytics. A monthly seller’s subscription gives you access to more advanced tools as you grow.

Final Thoughts

If you’re not sure what to sell on Etsy, just make sure it’s something that resonates with you. Some people start with handcrafted items like jewelry, accessories, and clothing. Others use the site as a way to market their vintage items, gardening products like seeds and plants, or unique collections of antiques and collectibles. Some people even make money selling digital products like ebooks or online courses. Start by thinking about your passions and interests, and then see if there’s a way to turn them into profit. If you’re having fun and making money, it won’t feel like work — and you’ll be more inclined to keep taking the next steps to keep growing your business.