Whatever your age or gender Men, Ladies, you can succeed in this patient and earn lots of money.
Do you knit fluffy hats in your spare time, create wedding invitations for your friends, or dig up mid-century treasures at the local flea market? Etsy is the perfect place to start your creative business. When you open a store on Etsy, you become part of a growing community of designers, crafters, and curators. Opening your own store may seem scary, but it takes just a few simple steps to get started.
So don’t hesitate, do it now
To get you started, read on for practical advice and a list of the basics for opening a store.
1. Choose a name for your store.
Deciding on a name for your store is the first step toward creating your business identity on Etsy. This name will be displayed at the top of your store – on the page that displays all the items you have for sale – and will be part of your Etsy store’s unique URL or web address. A store name cannot contain punctuation characters or spaces, and cannot exceed 20 characters.
Each Etsy store has a unique name. No two shops have the same name. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name that isn’t already in use for your business, try these ideas:
- Add “workshop“, “studio“, “et co” or something similar to the name you wanted to use.
- Use your name as the store name. You can combine these two tips “your name” as Bonnie Kaye Whitfield did for her store, Bonnie Kaye Studio. “The reason it’s good to use your name is that it’s unique to the brand you’re creating. “It’s largely flexible so it can be applied to whatever you decide to create and sell.”
- Choose something striking, something that strikes the chord you hope to strike for your store. For example, the name Flirting With Yellow fits well with the multi-colored aesthetic of Liz Payne’s artwork, which she sells out of Sydney, Australia.
- Don’t worry if your store name isn’t perfect. You can come back to this step and change it as many times as you like before you finish the store opening process. Once your store is open, you can change the name directly once. If you need to change it again later, send a request to the Etsy support team.
2.1.1 Add product listings
- If you’re opening a store, you probably already have an idea of what you plan to sell on Etsy. After choosing a name for your store, the next step is to create a product sheet for each unique item you want to sell. A product listing can contain a lot of details, but here’s the information that’s crucial to provide in your first few product listings. Once your Etsy store is open, you’ll be able to dive deep into the available options.
To create a product listing, you’ll need photos of the handmade or vintage items or creative supplies you want to sell. You can experiment with your product photos and get better as your store grows. A basic product listing should include five photos. When taking photos of your item, be sure to include:
- A clear, well-lit photo of the item you want to sell.
- A photo showing the item from different angles to help customers make an informed purchase.
- A photo that highlights any details unique to the product. Try to answer any questions a buyer might have about the texture, color, or techniques used.
- A photo that gives an idea of the size of the item. Including other recognizable accessories in a photo or asking someone to hold the item can be helpful. For example, Bonnie shows photos of her fabric table runner with a cup and saucer.
- Make the most of the five photos you have and try to shoot your products in natural light rather than using a flash.
Next, you will give your product sheet a title. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and use the words and phrases they would choose to search for your item. Use different words and phrases to describe your product, especially it’s color (white, blue, multi-colored), uses (living room decor, bridal bouquet) and materials (fabric, slate, leather), and techniques (hand-painted, embroidered, stamped, knitted) used in its manufacture.
When Bonnie launched her Etsy store, she began by naming each of her items after her friends – for example, the “Hannah tote bag” – and using those names in the title of each product listing. Over time, she realized that it was better to use descriptive keywords to help her product sheets appear in search results. Now she uses titles like “Gift wrap – Black floral gift wrap, 3 sheets or a roll, hand screened gift wrap, floral handmade gift wrap, paper table runner,” which are full of keywords.
2.2 About this product sheet
Next, you need to answer a few questions about your product and the person who made it. Etsy uses this information to categorize the item as handmade, vintage, or creative supplies.
Choosing the right category for your item helps shoppers find it when they search or browse category pages. Select the category that best fits your item. For example, Bonnie uses the Stationery & Party Accessories category for her gift wrap and the Home & Furnishings category for her pillow covers.
Depending on the category you choose, you will be able to add more attributes, such as size. You’ll also be able to specify the color of the item, and whether it’s related to a particular occasion (like Christmas decorations) or would make a great gift for a particular event (a wedding gift, for example). Etsy uses this information to help shoppers find relevant items when they search the site.
Putting a price on the item you made or found can be scary. First and foremost, your price should cover the cost of the materials used in the making and the time you spent on it. If you’re unsure, search for similar items on Etsy to see what their average price is. For vintage items, look for current prices for the brand in question or the time period they belong to. Important: The currency you select when you open your store is the currency in which your prices will appear. Once you have completed the four steps to open a store, you can change the currency in which your product listings are displayed if necessary.
Your product description helps buyers understand what you’re selling and what makes your item unique. Choose short, descriptive sentences to introduce your product and explain how it might fit into a buyer’s life.
- Start with a few sentences talking about the product, showing how buyers might use it and what makes it unique.
- Add some information about the techniques used to make it.
- Provide buyers with the specific details they need before making a purchase, such as dimensions and shipping time.
If your product is available in different colors, sizes, or styles, you can add variations to your product listing. You can also associate photos with your variations so that buyers can see all the options you offer.
Estimating your shipping costs before you even go through the mail may seem difficult. If you’re based in the US, you can use the Set Your Shipping Costs tool to get an estimate based on the dimensions of your item. You can also purchase your postage directly from your Shop Manager with Etsy shipping labels.
Using descriptive tags will help buyers find your item on Etsy. Look at the keywords you used in your title and replicate them in your tags to give those search terms more impact. Think about all the ways a buyer might search for your item.
- Use phrases rather than single words. For example, tag “fine leather wallet” rather than “fine”, “leather” and “wallet”.
- Be creative about the uses of your item. Try tags for specific occasions or recipients, such as “colleague gift” or “wedding jewelry” (Pro tip: If you’ve already specified an occasion, color, or another attribute in the Category section of your product listing, you don’t need to repeat that information in your tags).
- Be sure to use all 13 tags available to you. The more tags you specify, the more likely you are to appear in buyers’ searches.
2.9 Adding Product Sheets
Once you’ve created your first product listing, keep going! The more product sheets you add, the more likely your store will show up in buyer searches. If you only have a few products to sell right now, consider creating separate product sheets for each color or variation you can offer. A full page of product sheets gives buyers more opportunities to browse your store and gives your store a more professional appearance.
3. Get paid.
The last section to fill out before you can open your store is your banking information. Etsy uses this information to set up Etsy Payments, Etsy’s payment processing system that allows you to accept PayPal, Etsy gift cards, major credit cards, etc. Etsy also asks for your banking information so that you can receive regular payments of the money you’ve earned in your Etsy store.
Depending on the country you are based in, you may be required to provide your credit card number in order to open your store. Etsy stores this card number for identity verification purposes. You can use it to pay your Etsy invoice – including the $0.20 listing fee and the 5% of the price that Etsy retains from the sale of your product – or you can choose to pay your invoice through PayPal.
4. Open your store.
Congratulations! You are now ready to open your store. Once your store is open, buyers will find your product listings when they search on Etsy. You can see your store on your new web address: etsy.com/shop/[shopname] (type the name of your new store after the last slash). You can apply further customizations to your store once it’s open, but you’ve just taken your first steps in running a business on Etsy. Your store will continue to improve as you add items and discover what works for your products.
“No matter how you envision success, it’s not going to happen overnight,” Bonnie says. You may feel like you still have a lot to learn and do, but remember that all successful small business owners have gone through this too. After more than a year of running an Etsy store and more than 100 sales, Bonnie still has to tell herself that running a successful store is a lot of work and that perseverance is the key to that success. You’ll also get a fantastic sense of pride and accomplishment for free.
Ready to open your Etsy store? Get started today.