February 23

How to Start an Etsy Shop – The Ultimate Guide

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Etsy, with its 95 million active buyers, is a great place to sell handmade goods, vintage items, craft supplies, and print-on-demand products.

This guide will explain how to start an Etsy store in seven steps, plus four preparatory steps before launch. We’ll cover the importance of market research, product selection, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Benefit from expert tips to make your shop stand out and confidently set up an Etsy shop.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. This comes at no additional cost to you.

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Prep Step 1: Research the Market

Expert Tip

“Anyone learning how to start an Etsy shop should do lots of research before creating products and launching their store.

They should understand their ideal customer and validate that there is demand for their products by doing trend and keyword research.

Also, there is so much content available online through YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, and webinars that provide detailed information on how to start an Etsy shop — they should be sure to take advantage of those resources

Taking time to learn from experts each step of the way will help new sellers avoid common mistakes as they begin their business.”

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Megan Doleweerd

Etsy Expert

How to Start an Etsy Shop - Reasearch the Market

Before you learn how to open an Etsy shop, analyze which products are most profitable and identify clear gaps in the market that you can fill.

Strategically position your store to attract and retain customers by doing the following:

  • Focus on a specific market niche. Research the demographics, interests, and product preferences of your potential customers.
  • Use keyword research tools like eRank or Alura to identify popular search terms and explore products with high reviews through organic searches via the Etsy search bar.
  • Look at favorited items and read user reviews to understand customer preferences and areas for improvement.
  • Don’t mimic competition but provide additional value based on customer needs and your unique selling proposition.

Prep Step 2: Decide What to Sell on Etsy

The Etsy platform is an excellent source for product ideas. Make use of its unique market and audience-tuned search engine.

  1. Look at what’s trending. Enter terms like trending or popular in the search bar to discover popular products that you could sell on the platform.

  1. Go specific. Search up specific terms related to your niche to see what’s currently available and whether there’s a market gap to fill.

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  1. Go personal. Search for products you’d want to buy yourself and use your findings for inspiration on what to sell.
  2. Check competitors. Look at what products your competition is selling and offer something new and different.

There are three main ways to create your products:

  • Make them yourself. Showcase your talent and creativity with unique handmade items from your chosen product categories. You’ll be in charge of producing and shipping the items to customers.
  • Use wholesale. Buy products in bulk from third parties and resell them on Etsy. You’ll be responsible for adding any additional customization and shipping products.

Try dropshipping or Print on Demand. Connect your store to a service that fulfills your orders and ships products straight to your customers.

Connect your Etsy store to Printify for automated order fulfillment and choose your next bestsellers from more than 900 customizable products in our Product Catalog.

Make It Happen Today!

Expert Tip

“Some people believe that building a successful Etsy POD business is low-effort and extremely passive.

This is not true —  if you want to be successful on Etsy, it’s going to take a lot of time and energy

You’ll need to do tons of research, publish lots of products, provide a great customer experience, and be consistently active in your shop.

Don’t start an Etsy business if you aren’t ready to hustle!”

Megan Doleweerd

Megan Doleweerd

Etsy Expert

Prep Step 3: Create High-Quality Images

Since your customers won’t be able to closely examine products as they would in a brick-and-mortar shop, provide them with quality photos.

It’s also a great way to ensure that your product sells, as 90% of Etsy shoppers find photos crucial for making a purchase.

If it has a decent camera, use your smartphone to take photos. Or use our Product Creator, previously known as the Mockup Generator, to create realistic product mockups for your Etsy listings.



Quick tip

Explore our guide on how to take product photos for Etsy for expert advice on creating photos that sell.

Prep Step 4: Build an Effective SEO Marketing Strategy

Expert Tip

“Merchants should use tools such as eRank or Marmalead to complete keyword research. It’s important that they select for their listings keywords that have a high search volume and low competition

Sellers should be sure to include keywords in their titles, descriptions, and tags. Variety is also important when it comes to Etsy SEO — merchants should avoid using the same keyword too many times.”

Megan Doleweerd

Megan Doleweerd

Etsy Expert

SEO is a set of processes that improves the ranking of your shop and product listings on both the search bar on Etsy and search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Optimize your store and product listings with all these channels in mind to maximize your online presence and grow your business successfully.

Etsy SEO

To enhance your product’s visibility on Etsy, it’s important to understand the factors that Etsy algorithms consider when determining the placement of your listings.

These include:

  • Relevancy. How well your tags, titles, descriptions, categories, and attributes match the search. 
  • Listing quality score. The higher your score, the higher your listings will appear in search results. It’s based on factors like clicks, views, favorites, and purchases.
  • Recency. New Etsy listings receive a temporary boost. If they perform well, they receive a higher quality score. Don’t renew listings, but optimize them.
  • Customer and market experience score. This score increases with good reviews, a shop policy, and an About section.
    Issues like intellectual property infringement lowers your score. 
  • Shipping services. Etsy pushes sellers to offer free shipping in the United States and prioritizes items with lower shipping prices.
    Remember to add shipping costs to the retail product price if you’re offering free shipping.
  • Translations. Etsy automatically translates your shop and listings, but you can add your own to improve your ranking.
  • Shopper habits. Etsy personalizes search results for each user, considering customer behavior, history, and favorited listings.

Google SEO

To drive traffic to your store and increase customer conversions, it’s important to optimize your store for popular search engines.

So, how do you improve your visibility on Google?

  • Add a shop title and description. Briefly describe your business and the items you sell. Share your story, experience, and creative processes.
  • Add visuals. Upload up to five images and a video in your store’s About section to showcase your brand to potential customers.
  • Add shop policies. Add all the details on shipping, payment options, returns, and exchanges.
  • Use relevant keywords. Choose all the keywords that potential customers will likely use when searching for products like yours. Sprinkle them throughout your shop page and product listings.
  • Optimize your metadata. Make sure that your titles and descriptions meet the necessary character count. Keep it between 50-60 characters (or approximately 580 pixels) for titles and 50-160 characters (or roughly 920 pixels) for descriptions.
  • Add high-quality images and videos. Capture the unique features, colors, and materials of your products from various angles and close-up shots.

Tools for Etsy and Google SEO

Explore these SEO tools and utilize them for keyword research, tracking, and analysis:

  • Semrush. The free plan allows tracking ten keywords, ten analytic reports per day, and managing one project.
    Paid plans start from $129.95/month (paid monthly) or $108.33/month (paid annually).
  • Ahrefs. Offers several free tools with limitations, including a Free Keyword Generator, website authority, and backlink checkers.
    Paid plans start from $99/month.
    Or check out tools that offer integration with Etsy, providing insights on SEO, keyword research and monitoring, market prices, or competitor analysis:
  • eRank. Offer a freemium option and plans that start from $5.99/month
  • Seller Way. Offer a freemium option and plans from $8.33/month paid yearly to $19.99/month.
  • Marmalead. Paid plan only. The membership costs $19/month or $15.83/month paid annually.
  • Sale Samurai. Three-day free trial. Payments of $9.99/month or $99.99/year.

After fine-tuning your store and product listings, take advantage of Etsy Shop Critiques to receive valuable peer reviews.



Quick tip

Watch insights on optimizing your store and read Etsy SEO to learn more.

Step 1: Sign up on Etsy

Before you start selling, you’ll need to create an account.

Go to Etsy and click on Sign in at the upper right corner.

Sign up using your Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account or click on Register in the upper right and provide your email, first name and create a password.

Etsy will send you a confirmation to confirm your email address.

Make sure to confirm your registration, otherwise you won’t be able to continue to create your shop.

Step 2: Create a Shop

Once you’ve created your Etsy account, go to the drop-down menu in the upper right corner and select Sell on Etsy to create an Etsy Seller account.

The landing page offers information on Etsy’s ​​fees, tools, support, stories, selling, and FAQ.

Click on Get Started at the top of the page or Open Your Etsy Shop at the bottom of the page.

On the upcoming pages, you’ll need to agree to Etsy’s policies and terms of use, and you’ll be asked some optional questions.

Choose the reason for launching your store, and then select the topics you’re interested in learning more about.

Step 3: Adjust Your Etsy Shop Preferences

Fill out all of the required fields:

  • Shop language.
    Choose your language carefully because you won’t be able to change it after your store is created.
  • Shop country.
    State the country where the store is located and where you pay taxes. If your bank account’s currency differs from your shop’s, 2.5% of each sale will be charged as a conversion fee.
  • Shop currency.
    Select a currency for pricing your items.
    Note that Etsy will automatically display prices in the local currency for customers from other countries.

Move to the next step by clicking on Save and Continue.

Step 4: Name Your Etsy Store

Use your own name, a descriptive reflection of your products, or go for something more abstract.

Your store name must be four to 20 characters without special symbols, spaces, or accented letters.

  • Make it clear. Make sure the name is easy to pronounce and spell.
  • Use a focus keyword. Ensure that shoppers find your store more easily by using a high-ranking keyword in your shop name.
  • Carry out research. Once you’ve generated ideas, use Google to see existing usage and determine its uniqueness. Check if the name has any trademark conflicts to avoid legal issues.



Quick tip

Trademark your business name to keep your unique brand safe.

  • Ensure cross-platform availability. Verify your store name is available across many online platforms and social channels, and check domain names through websites like GoDaddy.
  • Use online tools. Go for business name generators like Namelix to discover unique and catchy store names.

Click Save and Continue to proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Stock Your Shop

In this step, you’ll create your first product listing. Note that it’s not possible to skip this part, and you will be charged a $0.20 listing fee for this item.

Add Photos and a Video

Upload up to ten product photos. Place the best pictures first, and use keywords in the alt-text. Follow Etsy guidelines for proportions and sizes. 

There’s also an option to add a video. Film an up to 100MB video of the product unpacking, being worn, or simply showcasing the product’s features.

Fill in Listing Details

Optimize your product listing by filling out all the important information and paying attention to every detail.

  • Title. Use short titles and place the most relevant keywords first to improve visibility on all search engines.
  • Category. Use relevant keywords in the search bar to find the right category for your product. Etsy will then include all nested categories, making it easily discoverable.
  • Description. Make your description easy to read by using short paragraphs and bullet points. Add fitting long-tail keywords of up to three words to enhance search visibility without overwhelming the description.
  • Add tags. Fill all 13 tags per listing with keywords (preferably long-tail) containing central characteristics of the product. Don’t worry about translations or plurals – Etsy handles these.
  • Inventory and pricing. Set a clear price for your item and specify the available quantity for sale. Use our Etsy Calculator to simplify your financial planning.



Quick tip

Follow our guides to learn about Etsy taxes and how to price a product to drive up your Etsy sales.

Adjust Shipping Settings

Give your customers a clear idea of shipping times and costs by creating a delivery profile, which you can also later apply to other product listings.

  • Specify how much time you need to prepare an order and hand it to a shipping carrier.
  • Set fixed delivery costs or let Etsy calculate costs for you by choosing calculated shipping and specifying the item’s weight and size.
  • Consider offering shipping upgrades for expedited and discounted delivery when buyers purchase multiple items or set up free shipping.

Click on Save and Continue to proceed to the next step.

Use Printify

After you’ve launched your store, connect to Printify and offer customized goods to your customers.

Easily create listings by choosing items from our Product Catalog, making designs in our Mockup Generator, and choosing the best product mockups.

Your products will be synched to Etsy as draft listings, including photos, titles, and descriptions, where you can adjust the final listing details.



Quick tip

Learn how to sell on Etsy with Printify.

Make It Happen Today!

Step 6: Adjust Payment Options, Billing, and Security

Set up a bank account, provide personal documents, and enroll in Etsy Payments during the registration process. Follow these steps to the letter to avoid an account block or even being banished from the marketplace.



Quick tip

Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy? Check our blog to find out.

Add Bank Account

Open an Etsy shop as an individual or business seller, and fill in your personal information. You’ll have to register a bank account to get paid.

Make sure that the payment account belongs to the shop owner and that the registered name matches the one in your Etsy account.

If you’re a seller in the US, you’ll need to verify your bank details through a third-party service provided by Plaid.

Enable Etsy Payments

If Etsy Payments is available in your country, you’re automatically enrolled. Allow customers to pay with cards or several gateways, including Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, iDEAL, and Sofort

Adjust your payment settings by selecting the frequency you’ll get paid – once per month, every two weeks, once per week, or every day.

Click on Save and Continue to proceed to the next step.

Choose a Form of Payment

Add a credit or debit card and billing address.

Keep in mind that Etsy charges listing fees – the first one is due on the first day of the next calendar month.

Click on Save and Continue.

Verify Your ID

Complete your registration by uploading an ID from your country of residence – a driver’s license, a government-issued photo ID, or a passport.

Proceed to the last step by clicking on Save and Continue.

Keep Your Shop Safe

Enable two-factor authentication to make sure you’re the only one who can access your Etsy account.

If you select SMS or Phone authentication, you’ll need to enter your phone number to receive the registration code.

If you select the Authenticator app, download the Google Authenticator on the App Store or Google Play.

Click on Open your shop.

Step 7: Review, Customize, and Launch Your Store

At this stage, it’s time to fine-tune aspects from the initial setup, infuse personality into your shop, and provide more insights into your small business.

Completing the About section and defining Shop Policies enhances the customer experience and positively impacts your ranking and Etsy SEO.

Craft a Personal Bio and Shop Story

Navigate to the Shop Manager → Sales Channels and select the pencil icon next to your shop name.

  • Shop members. Add a personal touch by including a picture, specifying your role, and adding a brief bio. Allow customers to connect with the faces behind the brand.
  • Story. Share your brand’s journey as an Etsy seller. Include a shop announcement, headline, video, photos, and links to your external web presence like your webpage, Pinterest, Facebook, or blog.

Work Out Shop Policies

Clear store policies ensure transparency and cultivate a mutual understanding between Etsy sellers and buyers, fostering trust in the shop owner.

Etsy provides fixed policies for estimated delivery updates, customs and import taxes, and editable policies for order cancellations, returns, and exchanges. You can also write your own privacy policy.



Quick tip

Check out our advice on how to write the best Etsy shop policies.

Use Social Media

Using social media strategically, you can expand your shop’s reach, connect with a broader audience, and drive up customer purchases.

Use popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok to share important information and updates on your shop activities.

Include a direct link to your Etsy shop in your social media profiles, making it easy for potential customers to find you.

Collaborate with influencers, encourage audience engagement with user-generated content, and monitor analytics to refine your strategy.



Quick tip

Learn how to make money on Etsy, and check out our tips on how to grow your Etsy store.

Use Etsy Ads

Etsy’s built-in ad feature is your way to strategically enhance your shop’s reach, drive traffic, and improve your sales potential.

These ads run only on Etsy, placing your listings in Search, Category, and Market pages on Etsy.com and the Etsy app.

Set your daily budget, starting at $1.00, and Etsy Ads will automatically optimize your bid for maximum exposure.

Keep a close eye on your performance through the Etsy Ads dashboard and fine-tune your strategy to achieve optimal results.



Quick tip

Check out our blog on Etsy Advertising to learn how to sell items on Etsy.

List Production Partners

If you’re selling custom products with POD, you’ll need to specify that they are ​​handmade with production assistance.

Add a production partner in your Shop Manager → Settings → Partners you work with → Add a new production partner, including the following information:

  • Production partner – Printify.
  • Location – United States of America.
  • About production partner – A production partner.

FAQ

Etsy will charge you an initial $0.20 listing fee for the product listing you create during store setup.

This charge will be due on the first day of the next calendar month and auto-renew after listings expire.

Absolutely. Etsy is a unique online marketplace that successfully connects sellers and buyers worldwide, catering to everyone trying to find one-of-a-kind items for themselves, family, or friends.

If this isn’t your platform, check out Etsy alternatives.

That depends on the amount of effort and time put into the store.

A successful Etsy Shop earns around $44,380 annually, while some top sellers make more than that every month.

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This charge will be due on the first day of the next calendar month and auto-renew after listings expire.

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Final Thoughts

Setting up an Etsy shop is relatively easy, but getting it to the next level demands some planning and devoted work.

Follow this piece and explore how to open a shop on Etsy, make money online, and grow your customer base

On top of that, you can enhance your product offer and simplify business operations by partnering up with Printify.

Now, it’s time to start selling!



Disclaimer

Etsy is always evolving and adapting, adding resources and altering the seller handbook. Follow our blog to keep in the loop and learn more on how to start an Etsy shop and make it grow.

Make It Happen Today!

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Tags

Business Tips & Ideas, eCommerce 101, Etsy, Start a Business


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