Sometimes an online business can seem like a first voyage to a foreign land. Opening and running an Etsy shop for the first time may give you unknown voyage like jitters. That’s why our guide is here to help you start an Etsy shop simply.
Running an Etsy shop is a very popular way to sell products across the world and earn a good income. Etsy is good for those talented artists and creative individuals looking for ways to sell their goods to the third-party marketplace and earn handsome profits.
Before anything, get familiarised with the Etsy Seller Handbook. Etsy has a flourishing community of makers, crafty individuals,and innovative curators. The first step is always the most difficult one. Rest will fall easily once you start following the steps.
The next paragraph is for those who are still confused if Etsy is the right idea or not…
Why Build an Etsy Shop?
You have something marvelous to sell and looking for a wider market reach? The best approach you should be choosing is to tap an existing and thriving online shopping platform, such as Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, and Etsy.
However, Etsy clearly distinguishes itself from the others with just a single feature – on Etsy, you sell products that have been made by you only, while on Amazon and eBay you sell items manufactured or sold by others, under your private company label.
Etsy gives creatives the satisfaction of making and selling their passion. Etsy helps you sell your handmade products to a global audience, which is not possible on other sites, considering the fact that it may get lost in other million products on Amazon and eBay.
You can sell physical as well as digital products on Etsy.
If you are ready to open one, download the Start Your Etsy Shop Checklist and begin preparing with the essentials.
How To Start an Etsy Shop– Steps to Follow
1. Find the Right Product
First of all, do what you know or learn a skill to make it work. For most, Etsy is more like a side hustle or the extra income generator; so, we suggest you combine what you like and your skills to create your items for sales.
A Big Part Goes into Research
If you want a successful shop, you need to find out what items are trending in the market. If you have a basic idea, type in the product name and see what is for sale or just browse through to see what sells these days. Start your search with shops that have high ratings (at least 2000). When searching for high rated shops, the things you need to look for are:
- Number of sales
- Their product quality
- Their products
Etsyrank and Craftcount are other two ways to find top sellers overall or in specific categories. However, you don’t have to be the best shop to make profits on Etsy.
2. Naming Your Etsy Shop – Pick the Right One
Your Etsy shop name will work as your brand name and so, you should give it a lot of attention and seriousness. You should not pick a shop name that limits your offerings. Don’t use specific terms, like ‘jewelry’, ‘clutches’, ‘knitted’ etc. unless you are sure that it is what you want to sell.
The name should represent your company and it is the first thing that buyers notice and develop a liking. Keep your name fanciful and unique. However, make sure it is easily pronounceable.
Your shop name must be 4 – 20 characters in length, no spaces allowed and don’t keep any name too close to another shop’s name.
You can also use your personal name as your shop name and make it more personalized.
3. Create a Budget and Calculate Finances
Like any online business, finances should be a major concern, especially when you are new to a platform like Etsy. And the best way to calculate and set a budget, and avoid any kind of surprises is by doing a thorough research before embarking.
Cathy Stein, owner of EDCCollective says, “You should have an idea of what your business model will require [concerning] reporting for income taxes, and you should find out what your state requires of businesses with regards to business licenses and sales tax collection. Getting these things straight before starting a shop on Etsy can help ensure you will not incur a penalty for failure to collect sales tax, for example.
Mapping out expenses will help you prepare to deal with unforeseen risks and issues. Like, you should calculate the selling price of the product, how much it would be to make a single item and the time length to finish products.
Creating a budget will help you understand your earnings versus your expenses, such as production, raw material, packaging, inventory and shipping.
Roy Barker, the owner of The Clock Money, says,
Make sure you think through the cost of shipping. This includes your time to and from a mail center, the packaging, and the cost of transportation. It is easy to get caught short in shipping
4. Stock Your Shop with Products
Keep your items ready for listing and sales. To get your items noticed you have to make sure the following things are ticked off:
You can add upto 10 photos. Take photos that show your items in different angles and lights. Images are required to be atleast 1000 pixels minimum. They should be HD images only.
b) Adjusting Thumbnails
You should take extra care to ensure that the important content of your product’s main image falls within the thumbnail. Thumbnail images play the role of profile pictures; a deciding factor for customers in short.
c) Details of Your Listing
Here are few details you should be taking care of Title; About Item, such as finished products, Category; Attributes, such as colors, occasion; Product Type; Product Renewal Options; Product Description; Production Partner for Physical Products; Section, Tags or Keywords, and Materials.
5. Inventory and Pricing
An item price can be changed anytime without paying any additional cost to Etsy. However, we recommend you to start with a low price and see if it sells. You can raise the price as per the demand of the product. You must price your item moderately lower than your competitors’ prices. We, nevertheless, don’t ask you to price too low. Well, it totally depends upon the product and its market value. Sometimes, you will be surprised to see a higher priced item getting sold faster.
When it comes to product quantity, list the number you have currently in stock. This is especially important for physical products. You shouldn’t sell more than you can fulfill at a time.
The technique is reversed in digital products; you should list more than one product or else you will have to activate your listing again and again.
Tips for Opening an Etsy Shop Without any Worries
1. Stand-out in Your Packaging
Create a unique experience for your customers by getting crafty with your packaging. Your customers should be enthralled receiving your package; make it fun and promising. Packaging speaks a lot about a business and its conduit. Give a personal touch to your packaging, something like a hand-written note.
2. Ace Your Photography Skills
You need to present your products in a professional way. And the best way to do so on an online shopping forum is by learning to click quality pictures.
You should sharpen your knowledge of pic sizing, image editing, natural lights versus lighting fixtures, background, styling etc. Pay close attention to coloring, formatting and overall presentation.
“The reason for this is that the image of your product really needs to stand out and compel a customer to click and learn more about your product”, Said Gari Anne Kosanke, owner of Bead Lovers Korner. She also adds, “If the image is sized incorrectly, it won’t show properly in the search view, or if it is dark and blurry, most people will pass right by the photo without looking. This can harm your company’s credibility.
3. Use Various TechnologiesTo Make Most of the Internet Marketing
Don’t post your product and write just anything that comes to your mind. You have to optimize your page with keywords and tags before listing your item. Use SEO methods to gain crucial views of your product page.
Amanda Lehto, of The Painted Tee, says, “Etsy search works very differently than other search engines. You need to understand how to optimize in order to be found in the millions of items listed on Etsy. It’s best to understand this before listing, so you can do it right from the start, rather having to adjust all of your listings that are done incorrectly.”
Social media marketing is another way to reach out to target audiences and attract more customers. Focus on promoting at least in 2 social media platforms for optimum results. You can also use Pinterest as it has an advantage over other sites. Etsy Pins are ‘Rich Pins’ that also show pricing.
Furthermore, Pins are searchable for a long period, which can lead to sales in the future.
If you really want to start your Etsy shop, just make one item and open your shop with it. Opening an Etsy shop can be done in a day, if not a few hours.
Create your Etsy shop and share the link in the comments below. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated.