Etsy is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. With more than five million sellers serving nearly 90 million active buyers, it has the potential to turn a side hustle into a full-time business.
Wondering how to start an Etsy shop? Here’s our easy guide to getting set up and selling.
Table of Contents
Learn more about how Shopify and Etsy compare.
How to sell on Etsy in 6 steps
- Create an account
- Open your Etsy storefront
- Upload products
- Choose how you'll get paid
- Set up billing
- Customize your Etsy storefront
1. Create an account
You can create a free account on Etsy to see how it all works. Visit Etsy.com and click Get Started.
Enter some basic personal information—like your first name and email address—to create an account.
2. Open your Etsy storefront
Once you create an account, use it to open your Etsy shop. Begin by entering your shop preferences, including the language you’ll use to describe your products, the country you’re selling from, and the currency you’ll charge customers in.
Next, enter your shop name. This can be a combination of letters and numbers, without spaces.
Unsure what to call your shop idea? Get some inspiration with a business name generator. Choose one that suits the products you’re selling and isn’t already in use by another Etsy store owner.
3. Upload products
As soon as your new Etsy shop has a store, you’ll be able to start selling items. Create a new listing for each product you’re selling through the marketplace—be it vintage items, handmade goods, or arts and crafts supplies.
The most important factor of each Etsy listing is the images. When shopping online, people buy with their eyes. They can’t touch, smell, or see the item in person, so their decision to buy your Etsy product rides on excellent product photography.
You can add up to 10 high-quality images or one video per listing. Each must be eye-catching enough to stand out against items being sold by other sellers on the marketplace.
Scroll down and you’ll see an option to add more information about the product you’re listing.
- A product title
- Information about the listing, including who made it and when
- The product category
- The listing type (more on this later)
- Whether it’s a physical or digital product
- A product description containing your unique selling point (USPs)
Think about search engine optimization (SEO) best practices when optimizing an Etsy listing. Remember: The marketplace is built on a search engine that connects buyers and sellers. Make sure you meet potential customers on the results page by including keywords in your Etsy listing.
Set the pricing for your product under the Inventory and Pricing section. Enter the amount someone will pay for the item, how many items you have available, and the SKU (if you use them). You can also add variations, such as different sizes or colors.
Finally, upload the shipping information customers will need to know when buying your product through your Etsy store. Specify where you’re shipping the product from and your average processing time—how long it takes for you to pick, pack, and ship the item once they place an order.
Choose whether you want to offer fixed postage prices or delivery upgrades. If you’re shipping items to international customers, add a tariff number for customs.
As a new seller, it’s advised to upload at least 10 listings when you’re opening your Etsy store. Make sure to preview all listings before publishing. You don’t want customers to see mistakes when they’re viewing your products for the first time.
4. Choose how you’ll get paid
Happy with your inventory? On the next page, you’ll be asked to choose how you want to get paid.
Select whether you’re an individual seller or an incorporated business. Then, enter your personal information, including your name and address. Finally, enter the details of the bank account you want your Etsy revenue paid into.
5. Set up billing
While it’s free to set up an account and buy, it costs money to sell on Etsy. After entering information about how you’d like to receive payments, you’ll be asked to choose a payment method. This is how you’ll pay to publish your listings and open your storefront.
6. Customize your Etsy storefront
The final step in opening an Etsy shop is to customize your new storefront—the information potential customers will see when visiting your store profile. To do this:
- Upload a profile and banner photo. Put yourself, your products, or your business’s logo at the front and center of your Etsy store.
- Create a user profile. Introduce yourself as the shop manager and put a face to the products you’re selling through the marketplace. Give potential customers confidence a human is on the other side of the screen.
- Tell people about your new store. What do you sell? Why? How did your store come to life? Give first-time visitors to your new Etsy storefront a bit of background about you and why they should buy your products.
- Upload your shop policies. Delivery, payment options, privacy, exchange and return policies are essential. Make the terms of buying from your store clear to avoid any confusion with customers.
JewelleryGBShop’s Etsy storefront has a custom profile photo, banner, and featured items banner.
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?
There are no upfront costs for selling on Etsy, making it easy to get set up and started. The costs come as soon as you start listing items to sell.
Let’s take a look at the key Etsy selling fees.
Listing fees are the most common Etsy seller fees. Sellers are charged 20¢ for every new listing they upload to their store—regardless of whether the listing results in a sale or not.
By default, listings are shown on Etsy’s marketplace for four months (or until the item has been sold). If auto-renew is selected, you’ll be billed the same 20¢ once the four months are up.
Sold an item through Etsy? You’ll pay a 6.5% transaction fee to the marketplace for facilitating the sale. That’s in conjunction with the postage, shipping, and gift wrap pricing of each listing.
Sellers in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey also need to pay a regulatory operating fee on each listing. It’s charged on total revenue—the product price and any shipping fees you’ve charged the customer.
The transaction fees for each country are:
- United Kingdom: 0.25%
- France: 0.4%
- Italy: 0.25%
- Spain: 0.4%
- Turkey: 1.1%
Payment processing fees
You’ll have entered your bank information when you set up your Etsy store, which can be used to receive payment.
Store owners can also use Etsy Payments, where buyers can choose from payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Klarna. Enabling Etsy Payments means being subject to payment processing fees.
Sellers in certain countries—including Mexico, the Philippines, and South Africa—will need to meet minimum payment thresholds before their Etsy revenue is transferred to their bank.
Currency conversion fees
Etsy does all business in US dollars. While you can sell items in other currencies, all of the charges related to selling on Etsy will be billed in USD. The marketplace will convert your funds to your bank account’s currency before the transfer, but note this currency conversion won’t always be the market value.
Etsy may also take a 2.5% currency conversion fee when you’re doing business using a currency other than USD.
Offsite Ads fees
While you can have an optimized product listing that reaches potential customers in the Etsy search engine, the marketplace also offers advertising.
Sellers can opt into Offsite Ads, where their products are shown across Etsy’s own marketing and advertising channels. Business owners can have their products appear in Etsy’s Facebook, Google, and display ads—without having an advertising account on those platforms.
Etsy sellers are billed when their product sells through an Offsite Ad. If your storefront made less than $10,000 through the marketplace within the last year, 15% of the order total will be taken as payment for the Offsite Ad program. Pass the $10,000 threshold and your Offsite Ads fee is reduced to 12%. Your Offsite Ad fees will never exceed $100 per item.
Etsy shipping costs
Sellers in locations that accept Etsy Payments or PayPal can purchase shipping labels through the marketplace, which is deducted from their account. Rates vary depending on the carrier, origin, destination, and size of each package. Additional fees apply for signature confirmation and insurance.
Etsy sellers have the choice to opt into Etsy Plus. The $10 per month subscription package has added features for sellers.
Etsy Plus sellers are granted 15 listing credits and a $5 credit in Etsy ads.
They also get:
- Customizable shop options
- Discounts on custom domain names
- The ability to email shoppers when an item is back in stock
Etsy selling tips to boost your shop’s success
Here are some Etsy selling strategies you can use to help grow your business.
Build a strong brand
Having a strong visual brand will help you stand out in Etsy search results and make it memorable. First impressions are important, but you don’t need to go all out with an expensive, professional design. A simple logo and brand colors are enough. You can use Shopify’s free logo maker and a template tool like Canva for any visual assets you need to go with your branding.
Optimize your shop
Etsy’s algorithm ties together popular search terms and the products it shows in the search results.
Using relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions will help Etsy understand what your products are and when it should show them in the search results. The higher you rank in search results, the more likely shoppers are to see your products and consider purchasing them.
Here are some ways you can make sure your Etsy SEO is up to scratch:
- Use relevant tags and keywords in your product listings.
- Choose the right attributes when listing a product.
- Collect and display reviews on your product pages.
- Keep your storefront updated by regularly adding fresh content.
- Add as much information as possible to your About Me page.
The more information you provide about your brand and the more relevant keywords you use, the easier it is for Etsy to understand what you’re selling and make sure the right customers see your products.
Sticker brand Love and Olive optimize its product descriptions for Etsy search to ensure its products can easily be found by their customers. For example, their Wistful Wildflower Sticker Pack incorporates key search terms shoppers might use, like “sticker pack” and “botanical sticker gift.”
Promote your shop
The math is simple: More eyeballs on your products equals more sales opportunities. There are plenty of ways you can spread the word about your store.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Share on social media: Use social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to showcase your products and engage with potential customers.
- Collaborate with influencers: Partner with bloggers and creators in your niche to reach a wider audience and promote your products.
- Use Etsy’s marketing tools: Sign up for Promoted Listings or Etsy Ads to get more views on your products.
Pet accessories brand Bruno Society works with pet-fluencers to reach new audiences and promote their brand.
Offer competitive pricing
Pricing your products on Etsy can be difficult. Most items are handmade, with a ton of time and effort invested into each piece. To generate sales your prices have to reflect the value of the product and the going market rate.
If a competitor is selling the same thing for half the price, shoppers will wonder why they should pay more for yours.
Competitive pricing isn’t about making sure you always have the lowest price. That can hurt your bottom line, especially if the cost of creating your products is high. You want to make a healthy profit, after all.
Follow these tips to competitively price your products:
- Research competitors: Look at what other brands are charging for similar products. Look beyond the price to see what other value they’re offering. Is there free shipping? Are they running a discount?
- Round down a cent: If most brands are selling the same product for $30, you can stand out by selling for $29.99. This is a popular pricing model that gives the illusion of a cheaper purchase, even if it’s only by one cent.
- Add value elsewhere: If you can’t justify going as low as your competitors, consider adding value in other ways. This might be through free shipping, custom packaging, a freebie with every purchase, or a discount code for return shoppers.
Encourage reviews and feedback
Etsy reviews help your listings stand out by providing social proof and extra keywords. The more reviews you have the more confident new customers will be when purchasing your products.
Encourage customers to share reviews, feedback, and even photos of their products (which Etsy shows on the product page). You can ask via email after a customer has made a purchase and incentivise them by offering a discount code for their next purchase.
Los Angeles Wallpaper has seen the value of strong reviews. The home décor brand has almost 500 reviews from happy customers. The majority of feedback includes a product photo, which increases social proof and trust from shoppers.
Provide excellent customer service
Customers are more likely to come back if they have an excellent experience. They might also recommend you to their friends, family, and followers. Etsy’s personal vibe allows for unique selling experiences.
Here are some ways to provide great customer service:
- Respond to questions and feedback quickly
- Use custom packaging
- Add a handwritten thank you note to all orders
- Extend your return period to give shoppers peace of mind
- Give existing customers a discount code for their next purchase
- Reply to Etsy reviews and thank customers for sharing their experiences
- Be proactive when communicating delivery delays
Start selling on Etsy
Like Shopify, Etsy is an option for selling your handmade goods. Whether you make intricate necklaces, crocheted animals, or upcycled furniture, you’ll find an audience. It’s free to get set up. Create an account and open your store. Then, list your products for sale.
Most importantly, create an enjoyable experience for customers so they’ll buy from you again.
How to sell on Etsy FAQ
How much does it cost to use Etsy to sell?
It costs nothing to open an Etsy storefront, 20¢ to list a product until it sells or for four months, and 6.5% as a transaction fee. International sales are subject to additional fees and currency conversion fees. Payment processing fees vary.
What can you sell on Etsy?
You can sell a wide range of products on Etsy including:
- Handmade products
- Vintage items
- Crafts and craft supplies
- Digital products
What is the Etsy transaction fee?
The Etsy transaction fee is 6.5% of the total transaction value. This applies to every sale made on the marketplace.
Is selling on Etsy worth it?
Can you make money selling on Etsy?
Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy?
No, you do not need a business license to sell on Etsy.