How to sell on Etsy in 6 easy steps — complete guide

SkillsCategory
17 min read
Lindsey Fogle

Etsy is a popular ecommerce platform dedicated to handmade, vintage, and unique items. Selling on Etsy is a great idea for businesses with products in these niches — it’s a vast online marketplace. Setting up shop on Etsy can provide UK businesses and creatives with access to over 95 million customers around the world. Whether you’re an artist, craftsperson, or collector, Etsy provides an excellent opportunity to showcase and sell your products.  

In this guide, you’ll learn how to get started selling on Etsy in just 6 easy steps. We’ll also share tips for running a successful Etsy store and address some common questions.  

We have you covered with everything you need to know about how to sell on Etsy. 

1. Create your brand 

Before jumping into Etsy, take some time to create a compelling brand — the name of your shop, your logo, and your brand’s personality.  

Your brand identity will help you stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on potential customers.  

Related: How to tell your brand story  

Choose a unique and eye-catching name 

Choosing a store name can be tricky, but it’s an important part of this process.

Find a name that represents your business and its products and that evokes the feelings you want customers to associate with your brand.  

Home Business Woman Making Clay Bowl
There are many places to sell handmade goods — both online and off.

Select a name that is: 

  • Unique 
  • Memorable
  • Easy for customers to search for 

Keep in mind what makes your Etsy store special — if you’re selling something handcrafted, organic or vintage, try to include that in your name.  

Before finalising your name, be sure to search Etsy and Google for similar names to make sure it’s not already taken to avoid confusing customers.  

At the same time, you don’t want your name to be so generic that it won’t ever turn up during a search. 

Invest in logo design 

A visually appealing logo will help your store make a strong first impression and build brand recognition by reflecting your store’s unique personality.  

While some stores may hire a professional designer, you can save time and money by designing your own logo for free with GoDaddy’s Logo Maker.  

Related: How to make a logo for your small business 

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2. Open an Etsy account 

Once your brand is in order, it’s time to make your Etsy account and start setting up your Etsy storefront.  

Set up your account 

To begin selling on Etsy, you first need to set up an account.  

We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer to get started. 

But it’s easy to manage existing stores from Etsy’s mobile app later on.  

Go to Etsy.com and sign into your existing account (if you’ve purchased from Etsy before) or create a new account.  

If you’re creating a new account, you’ll provide basic details like your email address, choose an account password, and verify your email.  

Fill out your Etsy profile 

Once you’ve created an account, you can fill out your personal profile. This will help shoppers learn more about you and the materials you use in your products.  

To update your profile, select the user icon in the top right corner and click “View your profile, then click “Edit public profile” on the next page. 

From here, you can add a profile picture, location and share a little bit about yourself.  

If you are creating handmade materials, you may also want to update the “Favourite Materials” section to list the materials used in your creations.  

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3. Name and open your Etsy storefront 

You’re now ready to create your Etsy store. Click the user icon in the top right corner and select “Sell with Etsy” to begin the process of setting up your Etsy storefront. 

Set up your preferences 

To begin, set your shop preferences, including your shop language, the country where your shop is based, and the currency that you’ll use to price your products. Customers will always see your products in their local currency.  

Add your shop name 

Next, enter the shop name that you chose in the first steps of this process.  

If you’re still unsure about your store name, consider using GoDaddy’s Business Name Generator to come up with a great store name. You may change your name later from Etsy’s store manager. 

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4. Create your listings 

Now it’s time to create your first Etsy product listing 

There’s a lot of information to fill in on this step. Just keep in mind that you don’t need to fill out everything right now — the product you create at this stage won’t be available for purchase until you launch your shop. Add in what you can now and then come back later to fill in what you’ve missed. 

Take high-quality product photos 

Photos are how your products will make their first impression on your shoppers.  

Most visitors will look at product images before they read anything about your product.  

For best results, take pictures using natural light, against a clean background, and from multiple angles.  

It’s a great idea to take pictures of your product in use so that customers can envision how this product will fit into their lives. For example, show clothing or jewellery on a model and artwork framed on a wall.  

Be sure to highlight any unique features that make your product stand out from similar options on the market.  

Pictures from your camera phone may work fine, with decent lighting and a little patience, but you may want to: 

  • Invest in lens attachments to improve the quality of your photos OR 
  • Hire an expert to touch up your photos 

As your store grows and your budget increases, you may improve your product photos by hiring a photographer to take professional pictures of your products.

Etsy also lets you upload short videos, which may be helpful for some products whose value can be more clearly demonstrated through active use. Note that the videos will not feature sound. 

Name, categorise, and describe your product 

In the listing details, you can add your product’s name, category, description, and other high-level information.  

Choose a descriptive and engaging title that clearly represents your product. To select a category, start typing a category name and pick an option that will help shoppers find your product when browsing or searching on Etsy.  

The product description is a great way to showcase your brand personality and educate shoppers about your product. Shoppers will only see a few lines of the description at first, so start with a brief overview of the product.  

However, you can use additional space to share further details, such as how the product was made, what makes it special, care instructions, and so on.  

Price your product 

When setting a price for your product, choose a price that covers your expenses and supports your business while remaining within a reasonable range of the competition. Be sure to consider the time, effort, materials, and shipping costs required to create and distribute your product.  

You can research similar products on Etsy to get a sense of the market value range for your product.  

You may also want to consider offering special pricing or running an introductory sale to help increase your shop’s initial traffic.  

However, be cautious of offering steep discounts that may diminish the perceived value of your product. This might cause returning customers to balk at the product’s standard price if they decide to order again. This is less of a concern for products that aren’t typically repurchased, such as furniture.  

Set up shipping 

Next, it’s time to determine your shipping options and costs. Etsy provides various shipping settings to accommodate different preferences, such as offering free shipping or charging different prices based on product weight or shipping location.  

It’s important to set clear expectations so that your customers understand if and how you charge for shipping and how long it might take them to receive their order. Don’t forget to account for processing time, especially if your products include personalisation.  

If you have questions about the right shipping options for your shop, be sure to consult with fellow sellers on the Etsy forums.  

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5. Payment and billing information 

Before launching your Etsy shop, you need to set up your payment and billing information so that you can get paid for your products and cover Etsy’s UK fees.  

Select how you’ll get paid 

To receive payouts from Etsy, share whether you’re selling as an individual or as part of an incorporated business, provide your address, and enter your bank account details.  

To offer your customers the most flexible payment options, consider using Etsy Payments. With Etsy Payments, shoppers can purchase in their local currency using their credit/debit card, PayPal, digital wallets like Apple Pay, or other common payment methods.  

Set up billing 

Etsy charges a number of fees to list and sell products on their marketplace, so you’ll need to set up billing information to determine how you will pay these fees. If you’re utilizing Etsy Payments, your fees will be automatically deducted from your sales.  

Alternatively, you can use another payment method (like a credit card) to manage these fees.  

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6. Launch your shop 

You’re now ready to officially launch your Etsy shop! Before going public, finish updating your product listings to avoid any issues, confusion or missed sales.  

Customers can start purchasing as soon as you go live, so make sure you’re ready to start processing orders.  

If everything is ready, go to your account and click “Open Your Shop.”  

The journey doesn’t end here, though — don’t forget to generate some buzz for your new storefront on social media and your other marketing channels to help customers find you! 

Editor’s note: Increase your profits by selling your products on Etsy and on your own store with GoDaddy’s Online Store.

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Tips for selling on Etsy 

Here are some additional tips and considerations to help maximise your success on Etsy.  

Study the Etsy policies relevant to your store 

Close-up of two bars of handmade soap

Opening a store of any kind, online or otherwise, comes with certain rules and regulations. Familiarise yourself within Etsy’s seller policies, including those related to what types of products are allowed and the fees associated with listings and sales.  

It’s worth spending some time understanding Etsy’s listing fees, since these are a bit unique. Etsy charges a £0.16 listing fee for each item you list in your store. The listing lasts for four months or until the product is sold (whichever comes first). At this point, you may renew the listing for another £0.16. You can set up your listings to automatically renew after a sale or when they expire to save yourself a little time and effort.  

Additionally, Etsy charges a 6.5% transaction fee and, if you accept payments through Etsy Payments, a 4% + £0.20 payment processing fee per sale.  

Sellers in the UK are charged a Regulatory Operating fee in addition to the selling costs. The Etsy regulatory operating fee in the UK is 0.32% of the sale amount, calculated based on the item price and postage costs. 

Visit the Etsy forums 

Etsy is home to over 7.5 million sellers, so you’re decidedly not alone when running your store on this platform! Take advantage of the experienced seller community on the seller forums 

The seller community is diverse, knowledgeable, and helpful. Check back frequently to learn about the latest trends and how to get the most out of Etsy.  

Take a crash course in SEO to perfect your copy 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a crucial role in making your listings more discoverable on Google.  

Learning the basics of keyword research and incorporating relevant keywords into your titles, tags, and descriptions can significantly improve how many people see your products.  

You don’t need to become an SEO expert to benefit from some best practices. One of the most basic principles of SEO is to find a useful, descriptive keyword that customers are likely to search for when they are trying to find a product like yours. For example, if you sell necklaces, you might include keywords like “handmade jewellery” in your listing.  

There are a number of free tools available to help you do some keyword research while creating your listings. You can then adjust your product names and descriptions to include those keywords.  

Just remember — search engine crawlers aren’t the only ones reading your listings, so be sure to include the keywords in a natural, understandable way.  

Download the Etsy mobile app 

With Etsy’s mobile app, you can quickly respond to customer inquiries, process orders, manage listings, and generally stay connected to your business no matter where you are.  

Enable notifications so that you’re alerted quickly to questions from your customers, which can have a positive impact on your customer service response times and product reviews.  

Market your Etsy shop everywhere 

There’s more to running a successful Etsy shop than just launching the store (though this is an important first step)! You need to market your business to draw in new customers. Social media platforms are a great place to advertise your store and your products.  

When creating your ads or other posts, share: 

  • Compelling images of your most impressive products 
  • A brief description of what makes your store unique 
  • A clear call to action to visit your Etsy shop 
Close-up of knitting needles with blue yarn

Don’t forget to leverage the keywords identified during your SEO research in your post content or hashtags. 

You might also want to create videos for your website and to share on social media, which can help customers see the value and quality of your products in a dynamic, eye-catching way. 

Beyond advertising on social media, product reviews are also an important part of your store’s marketing. Customers will appreciate seeing positive reviews from previous buyers since they will help them feel more confident in their potential purchases.  

Keep in mind that Etsy only allows reviews from verified buyers for 100 days after their purchase, so be sure to contact customers soon after their purchase to ask for a review. (But not too soon — you want to give customers time to receive their product and try it out!) 

Other things to consider 

Here are a few more things to keep in mind related to how to grow your business in Etsy and beyond: 

  • Etsy Offsite Ads. Etsy Offsite Ads promote your listings on external sites, such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. These partner sites surface your Etsy products to their users based on their profile attributes or searches. This can help connect a broader audience of likely customers with your Etsy store. 
  • Etsy Plus. Etsy Plus is a monthly subscription service that includes listing fee credits, Etsy Ads credits, and advanced shop customisation features. Depending on how often you list products or use Etsy Ads (which, unlike Offsite Ads, promote your products on Etsy only), this can be a cost-effective investment for growing stores.  
  • Expanding your business beyond Etsy. Etsy may be a great fit for your business today, but with time, effort, and a little luck, you may eventually outgrow this platform. We recommend that you search for a domain name that will work for your new store, which can support your business if/when you expand beyond the Etsy marketplace. You may also want to look into online store builders to help you create a standalone online store with more features and greater flexibility.  

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Launching your store is just the beginning 

Display of handmade wooden cooking utensils

Selling on Etsy can be a rewarding and highly profitable venture for small business owners that are creating handmade or vintage products.  

In just six steps, you’ve learned how to sell on Etsy by creating a brand, setting up a store, and adding product listings, and have picked up some tips for how to maximize your success on this platform.  

However, this is just the start of your journey. With high-quality products, excellent customer service, and effective marketing, you’ll be well on your way to ecommerce excellence with Etsy. Good luck! 

How to sell on Etsy FAQ 

Is it free to sell on Etsy? 

While opening an Etsy shop is free, there are three types of fees associated with selling products — a listing fee (£0.16 / listing, which expires after four months or when the product is sold), a transaction fee (6.5% / transaction), and a payment processing fee (4% + £0.20 / transaction, when processed through Etsy Payments).  

There's also a Regulatory Operating fee for certain countries, which is currently 0.32% of the sale amount in the UK. You may also want to learn more about VAT on Etsy. 

There are also additional fees related to using Etsy Ads, Offsite Ads, and Etsy Plus subscription services.  

Is it profitable to sell on Etsy? 

Etsy can be a profitable platform if you invest effort in creating unique, high-quality products, market your shop effectively, and provide great customer service. For best results, do a little research on Etsy before jumping in to understand the product demand, pricing, and competition within your particular niche.  

How do I sell my first item on Etsy? 

To sell on Etsy, first follow the steps above to establish your brand, set up your store, and create your first listing. Then, invest some time and effort in marketing your new store through social media or other channels. This should draw in customers to your store and will hopefully lead to your very first sale! 

What do I need legally to sell on Etsy? 

Before getting started with Etsy, be sure to review their seller policy to understand Etsy’s expectations for its sellers.  

In particular, you’ll want to ensure that you are not attempting to sell any prohibited products. You may also want to do some research into the tax obligations associated with your Etsy sales, which can vary based on how much you earn and where you live.  

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