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How To Sell On Etsy in 2023 - A Beginners Guide

By Pritesh B

Posted | 9 min read

Woman shop owner holding flowers

Etsy is an ecommerce platform focused on selling handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique manufactured items. These items fall under a wide range of categories, including art, food, bath and beauty products, photography, clothing, jewelry, quilts and more. Etsy is a marketplace and allows sellers to open their own shops and sell items.

It is one of the simpler ways for individuals and solopreneurs to start selling online and having a first hand experience with ecommerce.

With over 60 million active buyers on the platform, it makes an absolute no-brainer to try out Etsy if you are contemplating about starting an online business. So, if you are an aspiring Etsy seller who is still on the edge, then this beginners guide will definitely help you with Etsy store-


Is Etsy the right platform for you?

As a small business owner who creates and sells handmade goods or manufacture them, Etsy may be the a good choice of platform for them to start selling their goods on the Internet.

The biggest advantage of selling on Etsy is the large number of buyers who are interested in niche products. But at the same time, the platform also has a large number of sellers which makes Etsy a competitive space to start selling with.

This makes it obvious that in order to stand out, you will have to put in some serious efforts to stand out from the crowd. You will need-

  • High quality product photos
  • Compelling product descriptions
  • Above average customer service

Apart from this, as a new Etsy seller, you may also have to take a look at overall offerings by the marketplace including but not limited to payment processing fees, shipping fees and in some cases, a listing fee.

This means that if your goal is to sell on a marketplace that is already established then Etsy is a great a choice for you. On the other hand, if you have mass manufactured products and would would like to build your own brand on the Internet, then it is better to choose other ecommerce platforms like Storeplum.

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Most popular categories on Etsy as of 2022

How To Setup a Etsy Shop?

To open an Etsy shop, you will need to create an account on the Etsy website.

Once you have an account, you can then click on the "Sell on Etsy" button to start setting up your shop. You will be prompted to enter information about your shop, such as shop name and location, as well as information about yourself as the shop owner.

Setting up Etsy Store

Once you complete the basics of shop preferences, you can start adding listings for the items you want to sell. Each listing should include a photo of the item, a title and description, and pricing information. You can also set up shipping options for your listings.

Adding products to your Etsy store is fairly straight forward.

  1. Open your Etsy account and navigate to your shop's dashboard.
  2. Click on the "Listings" button, located on the left-hand side of the screen.
  3. Click on the "Create a new listing" button.
  4. Fill out the listing form with information about your product, including a title, description, and photos. You can also add tags to help customers find your product more easily.
  5. Set the price of your product, as well as any applicable taxes and shipping costs.
  6. Choose the category that best fits your product and the options that apply to your product.
  7. Click the "Save and continue" button to preview your listing.
  8. Once you're satisfied with your listing, click the "Publish" button to make it live on Etsy.
Adding product photos to Etsy

Etsy offers an option to bulk upload products in a go. To do this, you will need to create a CSV file with all the information about your products and then upload it to Etsy. The platform also allows you to have product variations with multiple values.

This means that if you are selling a vintage rubik cube, you can sell variations of it like 3x3, 6x6, 12x12 and so on.

Best practices for listing products-

  • Always use high quality product images
  • Use attributes, titles and tags to perform better in Etsy search. This is one of the crucial step for your product discovery.
  • An appealing product copy and description goes a long way. Add descriptions in a tone that would attract your target segment. If you need help in understanding target segments and user persona, have a look at this in-depth article on identifying user personas for business.
  • Do not forget to put processing times and shipping times on the listing. That way, potential buyer has an idea on when the item will be delivered of they buy it.
  • Update your shop location, shipping profile and other information which is relevant to sell your product.

It's always important to keep your listings up-to-date and accurate, including your stock levels, and prices, to avoid any confusion or cancellation of orders.

Next, set up the payment options for your Etsy shop.


Setting up Etsy Payments

Etsy Payments is a payment processing service offered by Etsy to allow sellers to easily accept payments from buyers on the platform. Enabling Etsy payments allows sellers to accept various forms of payment, including-

  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Buy now pay later options and other forms of payments.

When etsy customers purchase an item from a seller's shop, the payment is processed through Etsy Payments and the funds are transferred to the seller's account. The service automatically deducts the appropriate fees for the transaction, including the listing fee, transaction fee, and payment processing fee.

Etsy Payments is available to sellers in certain countries and regions, and it's mandatory for shops to use Etsy Payments if it's available in their location. Sellers can also choose to use their own payment processing service, but they will need to manually process payments and handle all transactions outside of Etsy.

With this service, Etsy has made it easy for sellers to accept payments from around the world without setting up a gateway or any other related charges.

Using Etsy Payments eliminates the need for sellers to have their own merchant account or payment gateway and makes it easy for them to manage their finances in one place. It also provides a secure and efficient way for buyers to make payments, which can lead to more sales for the seller.

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Marketing and promotion as a Etsy seller

Running a successful Etsy shop is all about execution. Having a well planned marketing and promotional plan will guarantee predictable sales on your Etsy store. A marketing plan covers everything under the sun from thoughtful product headlines, upselling, cross selling, retaining old customers and more. Learn how to sell on products on your Etsy store using these tried and tested strategies-

Optimize your listings

Make sure your listings are well-written, easy to read, and include high-quality images. Use keywords in your titles and descriptions to help customers find your products. Most of the online sellers find the below tools handy-

  • Headline studio by Coschedule - To write better product copies.
  • Canva - Helps to generate great creatives
  • Fiverr - Marketplace to find VAs, freelance designers, copywriters, etc.

Use social media

With plethora of social media available at your disposal, use it for your advantage. Try to identify where your ideal target segment is hanging out. Mostly, it will be either as a private facebook group, a mass followers of an instagram influencer or a vibrant community on reddit. Also, having a lively account on these platforms would work wonders for your business. You can share your product catalogs in one of these channels-

  • Share on your personal Facebook page
  • Share on your Instagram account
  • Share on Twitter
  • Pin to Pinterest
  • Share in Etsy Teams and forums
  • Join relevant Facebook Groups related to your products and share a link
  • Add a link to your store in any relevant online directories
  • Create a YouTube or Vimeo video featuring one of your items and add a link to your store in the description
  • Post in niche forums related to your products
  • Use hashtags to reach a wider audience.

Offer promotions and discounts

Run sales and promotions to attract new customers and encourage repeat business. You can create seasonal promotional campaigns or provide discounts to specific users or to users who are indecisive of making a purchase.

Study has shown that cart abandonment rates on ecommerce can be improved over 65% by just sharing a coupon code with the customers.

Building an email list

Collect email addresses from customers and use them to promote new products and sales. Email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to build customer relationships and drive sales. Collecting emails from customers is the first step in creating an effective email marketing strategy. You can use email addresses collected from customers to promote new products, sales, discounts, or other promotions.

You can also use these emails to send out newsletters or updates on company news or upcoming events. Email marketing can help keep customers engaged with your business and increase customer loyalty.

Use paid advertising

Paid advertising is a great way to boost your business’s visibility and reach more potential customers. Platforms like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Google Ads are popular choices for businesses wanting to promote their products or services. With these platforms you can target specific demographics, customize your budget, and track the results of your campaigns in real-time.

Multiple ads that cater to different audiences so that you can maximize your reach. Paid advertising is a smart way to get the word out about your business and increase ROI.

Work on SEO

Optimize your shop and listings for search engines by using relevant keywords, meta tags, and other SEO techniques.

It's important to have a consistent marketing strategy to build a strong brand and attract new customers to your Etsy store. Keep testing different strategies to see what works best for your store and keep track of your progress.


Costs to sell on Etsy

Let's come to the part which is going to play a big role in your decision of whether you should be selling on the platform or not.

The cost to sell on Etsy varies depending on the listing and transaction fees. Following is the fee structure on Etsy-

Listing feesThere is a $0.20 fee for each item listed for sale on Etsy. Listings remain active for four months or until the item is sold.
Transaction feesEtsy charges a 5% transaction fee on the sale price of each item.
Payment processing feesEtsy also charges a fee for payment processing, which varies depending on the payment method used by the buyer.

So, to calculate the total cost of selling an item on Etsy you have to add-

$0.20 (listing fee) 5% of the item's selling price (transaction fee) Payment processing fee (varies)

Additionally, some sellers may choose to purchase additional services, such as promoted listings or shipping labels, which would also add to the cost of selling on Etsy.


Frequently asked questions

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1. How to sell on etsy?

Setting up a store and creating a Etsy listing is fairly easy. A seller can start an Etsy storefront in lesser time compared to other platforms. Selling on Etsy requires adding business information, product information, setting up Etsy payments, etc.

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2. What is Etsy Ads?

Etsy Ads is a paid advertising program offered by Etsy that allows sellers to promote their products to a wider audience on the platform. By using Etsy Ads, sellers can increase visibility for their products and drive more traffic to their shops. A note should be taken that Etsy ads will incur additional costs apart from its standard listing fees and transaction fees.

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3. Does Etsy plus make a difference?

Etsy Plus is a paid membership option offered by Etsy that provides sellers with a set of additional tools and features to help them grow their business. These tools include but not limited to shop analytics, store customization, discount configurations and much more.

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4. Why are Etsy fees so high?

Etsy's fees are high because they include both a listing fee and a transaction fee, which is standard for online marketplaces, but it's also important to consider the benefits and services the platform provides in return.

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Pritesh B
Pritesh B

Ecommerce advocate and Co-founder at Storeplum. I like to write about current trends in ecommerce, best practices and innovative ways on improving online store conversions.

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