Creating and Launching a Successful Etsy Shop — A Step by Step Guide

Calling all crafters — want to make some extra cash this year while creating items you love? Then this blog post is for you! Etsy is an e-commerce website featuring handmade and vintage items made by small shop owners. If you’re someone who is crafty and likes to make items, now is the perfect time to set up an Etsy account. Keep scrolling below for a step by step guide on creating and launching a successful Etsy shop. 

Step 1: Create an Etsy Account

The first step in having an Etsy shop is to create an Etsy account. Once you go to Etsy’s website, you’ll scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and click “Sell on Etsy.” From there, you can read all the information about how Etsy works like their pricing system, how to sell items, their website tools, other seller success stories, and much more. 

If you’re ready to create your account, type in your email, name, and password, and then click register. You can also create a shop through an established Google or Facebook account. 


Step 2: Set Up Your Shop Preferences

After creating your account, you’ll set up your shop preferences. From here, you can choose the default language for your shop. Etsy has seven different languages to choose from. Once your store is open, you have the option to have your page translated in other languages.

Choosing your home country and currency comes after your language preference. Etsy currently accepts twelve different currencies including the United States dollar, Euro, Danish Krone, Singapore dollar, and more. 


Step 3: Create Your Etsy Shop’s Name

Now the fun begins! The next step that you need to do is to create your Etsy shop’s name. Your shop’s name needs to be not only intriguing and easy for customers to remember, but also reflective of your products and their values. 

Etsy’s guidelines explain that store names can be four to 20 characters long. Title names can’t have special characters, trademark infringements, spaces, profanities, or a name another member already has in use. 


Step 4: Add Items to Your Shop

Once you have your shop’s name, it’s time to add products. The first step to adding an item to your shop is to add photos. Etsy recommends that you add five photos per item. These photos need to be 2000px on the shortest side of the image and a resolution of 72PPI. To learn more information about image specs, check out Etsy’s Requirements and Best Practices for Images in Your Etsy Shop

After you add your photos, you will choose and adjust the thumbnail you want for the product — a thumbnail is the first photo that browsers will see of your product. You’ll want a thumbnail that is enticing and shows the product clearly. 

The next step is to complete your listing details. First, you’ll give your product a title that describes the item — this title can be one to forty characters long. Afterward, you’ll type out an in-depth description of the product describing what it is, how it is used, what it is made of, and other relevant information. Then, you’ll write out a bulleted list giving an overview of the in-depth description. Once this is filled out, you’ll add additional details like categories, types, and tags. 


Step 5: Complete Your Inventory and Pricing

Now that you have your items added to your shop, you’re ready to complete your inventory and pricing. This is the step where you add your product’s price and sales tax. For more information on how to calculate sales tax based on your location, visit Etsy Help Center for Adding Sales Tax to Listings

You’ll also add information on the quantity of each product. This is where you will list if you have more than one item in stock of each product. You’ll also list the different versions you have of each product which will include sizes, materials, and color choices. 

Step 6: Place Shipping Price

The way that your customers will receive your products is through shipping. On this step, you’ll set what shipping services you will use (domestic, international, FedEx, USPS, etc.), shipping costs, country of origin, processing time, and item weight and size. For all your Etsy shipping questions, head over to Etsy Shipping for more information. 


Step 7: Publish Your Listings

Once all your item listings are done, it’s time to publish them for everyone to see! Make sure to preview the listings before they go live. 


Step 8: Pick Payment Preferences

Customers can pay many different ways on Etsy, but sellers have the option of accepting payments from PayPal, checks, money orders, other, or Etsy payments. If you choose to accept ‘other’ as your type of payment, you will have to explain in detail how you want your customers to pay. 

Many Etsy sellers are opting to use Etsy payments. Etsy payments accept credit cards, debit cards, Etsy gift cards, store credit, and more. 


Step 9: Set Up Billing

In order to have an Etsy shop, there are a few fees you have to pay. All sellers have to pay fees for every listing, transaction, and payment processing through billing. Keep in mind that billing differs for each country. Every seller must include a debit or credit card on file so Etsy can charge their selling fees. 

For Etsy sellers in the US, they have the option of choosing auto-billing. Auto-billing is where Etsy automatically charges the card you have on file for all their selling fees. 

Step 10: Open Your Etsy Shop

All of your hard work from setting up your shop is done — it’s now time to finally open your shop!


Step 11: Customize Your Shop

To add more personality to your Etsy shop, you can customize it. Customizing your shop lets you add your biography, photo, policies, and more. 

There are two different biography sections. One biography section will be about yourself, where you can add information about how long you have been crafting and any other relevant information. There is also a biography or an ‘about’ section for your shop. Here you have a 5,000 character limit where you can add your origin story, list anyone who helps you create, run, or does photography for your shop. You can also add links to your social media here, too. 

Most successful shops have their policies listed out for their customers. Setting up your policies include manufacturing, processing, shipping, and payment processes. Under the policies section, you’ll include estimated processing and shipping time, return and exchange policies, and payment methods you accept. 

While customizing your shop, you can also add all your social media platforms. Adding social media is a great way to advertise store announcements, new listings, store milestones, and great reviews. 


Great Tips for Success

Now that your Etsy shop is up and running, here are a few tips on helping your store stay successful. 


  • Take Professional or Professional-Looking Photos

To entice customers to purchase your products, you will need professional or professional-looking photos of every item in your shop. For every item, you can add up to 10 photos. The best types of photos to use are photos showing different angles of the item and photos showing how the product is used.

All photos used need to be clear, well-lit, and brand-oriented. You’re going to want all your photos to have the same type of background and lighting, so your store looks consistent. For professional-looking photos, you don’t need a professional camera. Most cell-phone cameras have high-definition camera features. 


  • Curate Your Store

Once you start your Etsy store, you are going to want to curate your shop to tell a cohesive story. In order to not confuse potential customers, all your items should be similar or fall under a similar category. For example, if you sell knitted items, you’ll want to keep your store displaying only knitted items. You can switch up your item selection for each season or holiday. 


  • Searchable Store with SEO

For your shop to be successful on the internet, it needs to be searchable with Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) SEO is a method used to increase user traffic and ranking of a website in the results of search engines like Google or Bing. The better your SEO is, the more likely that browsers will click on your link.

To make your Etsy shop easy to find on the web, there are a few things you need to consider using. You need to make sure the title of your product is suitable and keyword-friendly. With each product, you should add tags, a word or short phrase to describe the item that also makes sense with your product’s title. This allows search engines to make searchable combos. A couple of great places to check out trending tags are Marmalead and eRank.


  • Properly Price Goods

Pricing your products can be tricky because you want to cover all your materials and labor while also be enticing enough for customers to buy the items. The pricing of each item should cover material, labor, production costs, and reflect the quality of your products. You’ll also want to keep your pricing modest so browsers will want to buy. To help you figure out your pricing, Etsy does offer a pricing formula and worksheet. 


  • Organize Your Etsy Shop’s Finances

Just like any other business, you need to keep your Etsy shop’s finances organized. Many shop owners create a separate bank account to house all their Etsy shop’s earning, so they know how much they are earning and spending on materials. By staying organized, you’ll know how successful your shop is and it will keep you organized for tax filing season. Also, for all sellers who can’t do auto-billing, keep a calendar of when you need to pay your Etsy seller fees. 


Now that you are well-versed in creating an Etsy shop, it’s time to start crafting and selling. And, every seller needs a durable apron to keep themselves clean while they are creating.