Career, Money, Now + Beyond

Your ultimate guide to opening a successful Etsy shop

We're here to help you start your dream business and make it stand out.

Do you design amazing tote bags that your friends and family can’t stop raving about? Or have other awesome products you want to sell but aren’t sure how? Etsy might be the perfect place for you to start your creative business.

Starting a business online is exciting and offers potential income. But there’s also a risk of your products disappearing into the sea of thousands of other businesses and not getting the sales you want. We’re here to help you get your business started and make sure your shop stands out.

1. Do your research

A woman looking at her phone saying "I'm gonna look that up."
[Image description: a woman looking at her phone saying “I’m gonna look that up.”] Via Giphy
Start off with familiarizing yourself with Etsy’s rules and guidelines. Here you can find out Etsy’s seller policies and what you can and can’t sell and get an overview of Etsy’s policies.

Next, research your product market. The best way to draw in customers is finding a niche. For example, jewelry is one of the most saturated markets on Etsy. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell jewelry, but it means you should think carefully before starting a jewelry business. It’s always a good idea to look through similar businesses to see whether your idea will stand out from the rest. If not, think creatively about ways you can make your products different.

2. Take photographs

A man taking a photograph with a camera.
[Image description: a man taking a photograph with a camera.] Via Giphy.
Found your niche? Your next step is carefully planning how your store will look to shoppers. You can do this using photographs. Bad photographs will deter customers. Check out Etsy’s recommendations about how to take appealing photographs. Key tips include making sure your photographs offer enough information about the product, the lighting of your photographs is good, unnecessary clutter is eliminated and your photographs aren’t blurry or poor-quality.

3. Open your shop account

A woman pointing to the camera and saying "yes bitch".
[Image description: a woman pointing to the camera and saying “yes bitch”.] Via Giphy.
Now, it’s time to open your account! To do this, you’ll need to register an account on the Etsy website. Etsy will then ask you to name your shop. This is the identity of your business and will be displayed at the top of your shop’s webpage and in the URL of your web address. Your shop name should be unique, relate to your business, and less than 20 characters. When brainstorming ideas, it helps to ask friends or family for feedback.

4. List your products

A smiling woman holds her laptop while typing on it.
[Image description: a smiling woman holds her laptop while typing on it.] Via Giphy.
After naming your business, Etsy will ask you to start listing products. Here, you will upload your amazing photographs. Next, you’ll add a title to your listing. When you do this, think about what you’d search for if you were shopping for this item. Avoid creative and individualized titles like Jane’s badass feminist tote and focus on descriptive words of your product that are likely to be searched for like blue linen tote with a feminist slogan.

You will then answer questions on the site about your product. This lets shoppers know details like whether your product is handmade or vintage. You’ll also choose a category that your product will fit into. So a tote bag, for example, would fall under the category of bags and purses. The category you choose will ask you to add more details about the product including size, color and whether it makes a good gift. Fill in this information carefully as this will help Etsy guide shoppers to your product.

5. Price your item and add a description

A man asking "how much?"
[Image description: a man asking “how much?”] Via Giphy.
Now, it’s time to price your item. When doing this, factor in your different costs (such as materials and time) and do your research! It’s important to get a sense of what other businesses are charging before deciding on your own price so that you can be competitive. After you’ve done this, you’ll write a description of your product. Make sure this is well-written and clear. You want shoppers to understand what makes your product unique and special. Etsy offers further tips on writing good product descriptions.

6. Add shipping costs

Cardboard boxes ready for shipment accumulate on a pallet.
[Image description: cardboard boxes ready for shipment accumulate on a pallet.] Via Giphy.
Etsy will also ask you to include shipping costs. Contact local post offices to get an estimate of what your product’s weight will cost when shipped to different locations.

7. Insert descriptive tags

A man with the word "programer" lunges at a man with the word "SEO Expert" and is knocked out.
[Image description: a man with the word “programer” lunges at a man with the word “SEO Expert” and is knocked out.] Via Giphy.
Lastly, you need to insert descriptive tags. This is important for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, these tags are what will lead shoppers to your listings. This is incredibly important and can make or break your business. Read up on how Etsy’s search works for help creating effective tags.

Now that you’ve done this, you can do it all of over again for your next product listing!

8. Add your payment information

A woman moves her hands to symbolise money.
[Image description: a woman moves her hands to symbolize money.] Via Giphy.
Your final step is entering your payment information. Here, you need to enter information about your bank so Etsy can set up payments. The processing system from here is simple and lets you accept payments from Etsy Gift Cards, PayPal and major credit cards.

Yay, congratulations! Your shop is ready to be opened. Share it on all your social platforms and all your friends, share it with us! We’d love to see your amazing creations!