- Etsy is growing rapidly, boasting 60.27 million members in 2020, up from 45.7 in 2019
- Etsy has a reputation among art-minded buyers as a go-to for fashion, homewares, art, and much more
- In fact, 3 in 4 online shoppers expect free shipping on orders under $50
Etsy is the #1 eCommerce platform for selling creative products. Like a cross between eBay and a flea market, Etsy welcomes anyone with artsy, craftsy, or vintage products to sell. If you’ve got artistic goods, you probably want to sell them on Etsy.
Established eCommerce brands use Etsy to supplement their online stores. Newbie artisans also use Etsy to feature their one-of-a-kind handmade items. Etsy is growing rapidly, boasting 60.27 million members in 2020, up from 45.7 in 2019.
Before we show you how to sell on Etsy, you can use Easyship to ship with Etsy. Using Easyship saves you up to 89% off all shipping rates from couriers like USPS, plus offers shipping automation to streamline your shipping and fulfillment processes.
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The Benefits of Selling On Etsy
Etsy is the place to sell creatively-inspired products.
Makers of every persuasion list their goods on Etsy, from beautiful apparel to knick-knacks to cat fedoras. All these items sell like hotcakes on Etsy. This is because Etsy has a reputation among art-minded buyers as a go-to for fashion, homewares, art, and much more. For eCommerce sellers with products in this niche, Etsy is a goldmine.
The Costs of Selling on Etsy
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy? Good news: you can open your Etsy shop for free.
That said, you can expect to incur the following fees as you sell on Etsy:
- Listing fee ($0.20 per listing)
- Transaction fee (5% of each sale)
- Payment processing fee (3%+$0.25/per transaction)
- Promotion fee ($1/day min.)
- Shipping costs (including any duty and taxes)
To start, you’ll pay $0.20 to create your product listing. A listing can have more than one product in it, fortunately. For example, you’ll include 100 hats of different colors in the same listing. A listing must be renewed every four months to remain active. This means if you have 100 products listed in Etsy, you’re paying just $20 over four months.
Every time you sell something on Etsy, you pay the 5% transaction fee of the total sale price. Sold a $200 handmade table? You’re paying $10 to Etsy. You’ll also need to pay 3% for the payment processing, plus the $0.25 per transaction. All totaled, your take-home for the table after Etsy fees is $183.55.
You can use Etsy to promote your listings for a daily minimum of $1/day. This service uses offsite ads to help storefronts to gain visibility with potential buyers.
The Cost of Free Shipping on Etsy
Etsy encourages its sellers to offer free shipping. This is because free shipping is a priority with online shoppers in the age of Amazon Prime. In fact, 3 in 4 online shoppers expect free shipping on orders under $50.
Historically, Etsy buyers have paid for shipping. But the burden of shipping has shifted to Etsy sellers. This was made official when Etsy altered its listing algorithm in 2020 to prank stores that offer free shipping in its search results.
In other words, if you offer free shipping, your store will get seen in more searches and appear more prominently on the site. If you decline to offer free shipping, though, your visibility to customers will suffer. It’s a real pickle for Etsy sellers.
Most Etsy sellers either raise their item prices to cover these additional shipping costs or offer free shipping on certain orders. For example, lightweight items being shipped domestically don’t incur high rates from shipping companies. For a full guide on how to offer free shipping for eCommerce businesses, you can read this full guide.
7 Steps For How to Sell On Etsy
Here are the seven steps to set up your Etsy store completely.
1. Create Your Store
Head over to Etsy.com and click the "Sell on Etsy" button. Click the "Open your Etsy Shop" button on the next page.
2. Customize Your Etsy Shop
Take a minute to set your preferences on how you sell on Etsy. You’ll be asked to complete the following fields:
- Your shop name: Must be less than 20 characters without any space or non-letter or number characters; include any keywords.
- Shop title: Describe your Etsy store briefly in terms of what you sell.
- Links to social media: Helps you promote your store.
- Shop announcement: Offer any important tips to prospective buyers.
- Message to buyers: Set the default message that appears to buyers if they make a purchase.
- Store bio: People gravitate to sellers who tell a compelling story about their process, products, or reason for selling.
3. Create Your Shop Policies
This is where you determine the settings around what you sell on Etsy, including:
- Welcome message: Give visitors a quick overview of your store and why you exist, including any important keywords.
- Shipping policy: Outline where you ship to if you offer free shipping, and other key shipping details. Tips on creating a transparent shipping policy can be found here.
- Refund policy: Be clear on what happens if a buyer requests a refund, and which orders qualify for a refund.
- Seller details: Share your contact information, location, and other business details you want buyers to know about.
4. Share About Your Shop
The “About Your Shop” section in the “Your Shop” area is where you go into detail about your products, business story, and business partners.
- Members: You can like your Etsy profile to other Etsy seller profiles if you like.
- Story: Relate why and how you started your Etsy business. Telling your story helps to entice sales, and this is a great place to link to your website, social media, etc.
- Manufacturers: Mention any unique selling points as it relates to your manufacturing, whether your items are locally-sourced, handmade, or eco-friendly.
5. List Your Products
When you’re ready to create a listing on Etsy, you’ll fill out the following sections:
- Title: Give a descriptive name to your product listing including any keywords.
- About: Talk about who made the item, how, when, and what it is.
- Category: Choose the item category and subcategory to help buyers find your listing.
- Type: Select for physical items or digital items.
- Quantity & Price: Specify the price and the number of items for sale in the listing. If you offer products in different sizes, colors, etc., list these variants.
- Product description: Describe your product to draw interest from visitors, including any keywords.
- Photos: Include at least one high-quality photo and ideally more with every listing to give customers a sense of their purchase.
- Thumbnails: Before buyers enter your listing, they see your listing as a thumbnail in Etsy search. A set of tantalizing thumbnails are key for compelling buyers to enter your store and buy.
- Shipping fee: Enter the shipping costs for the specific item, including shipping costs to buyers, or free shipping options, the processing time, zip code of origin, item weight and size, and where you ship
6. Select Payment Methods
You can accept many payment methods if you sell on Etsy, including:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Store credit
- Etsy gift cards
- PayPal (and other e-wallets)
- Etsy Payments
Most Etsy sellers use Etsy Payments to process payments since it's the easiest way to accept payments.
7. Add Billing Information
Location depending, you may be asked to enter your billing information like a credit card. This lets Etsy charge you for fees around selling.
What To Sell On Etsy
The best things to sell on Etsy are artistic by design. Etsy listings range from rustic to polished from handmade crystal necklaces to mass-produce wall art.
If you’re already in the creative niche, you’re all set to list. But if you’re looking for some ideas for top-selling Etsy items, here are perennial favorites with buyers on Etsy.
2. Notebooks and journals
3. Digital Artwork and prints
4. Personalized items
5. Children’s clothing
7. Home decor
8. Party bags
9. Organic cosmetics
12. Airpod cases
All these items are a safe bet when it comes to deciding what to sell on Etsy. Etsy rewards creativity, though, so don’t be afraid to list a truly unique product.
Tips to Sell on Etsy
How to sell on Etsy is a question that quickly becomes: how to sell well on Etsy. Here are a few tips to maximize your Etsy business.
Optimize for Etsy search: Like Amazon, Etsy is a search-driven platform that uses keywords to surface search results to buyers. To maximize your visibility, include the appropriate keywords for your products in the item description, title, about section, and images. Similarly, it's important to choose the category for your product that aligns with customer expectations.
Use Pro Photos: Etsy listings with high-quality photos sell better. For best results, stage your product photos in a well-lit area against a white background. You may also want to hire a professional photographer to assist.
Calculate your prices: Pricing items is a delicate game. Too high and people won’t bite. Too low and you’re not covering your margins. Look at competitor listings for similar products to gauge a reasonable price range, then experiment until you find the sweet spot. It’s also important to consider the full costs of a sale, including all shipping costs.
How to Ship on Etsy
Your Etsy shop policies let customers know what to expect for shipping. But what do customers want? Free shipping, of course. According to Etsy, 50% of buyers say they are less likely to complete a purchase if shipping costs are high or higher than usual.
As mentioned above, Etsy merchants should think about offering free shipping on some or all orders. This way, you can rank high in the search rankings on Etsy and convert more of your store visitors.
Typically, merchants can more easily afford to offer free shipping on lightweight items that are shipped domestically at economic speeds. But for large items traveling long distances, free shipping may be too expensive. In these cases, it’s important to access the cheapest shipping rates anywhere worldwide. This is especially important for international shipping.
Easyship integrates with Etsy and allows Etsy merchants to ship anything, anywhere at up to 89% off all retail shipping rates USPS, FedEx, DHL, and more. Want to see how much you’ll save in seconds? Try our free shipping rate calculator.
If you want to offer free shipping in Etsy, check out our total guide to free shipping for eCommerce stores.
How to Sell On Etsy: Do’s & Don'ts
Etsy is the premier eCommerce marketplace for creative goods. How to sell non-Etsy begins by creating an appealing listing that ranks well in Etsy search. To this end, optimize your listing with keywords, great pics, and story-driven descriptions. Secondly, you’ll maximize your conversions by offering free shipping, at least on some orders.
Don’t overlook the importance of cheap shipping with online shoppers. Brands that don’t meet customer expectations consistently see fewer sales. It’s best to take a creative yet calculated approach to how you offer free shipping.
Easyship makes shipping cheap and simple for Etsy merchants. You’ll instantly save up to 89% off all retail shipping rates. There are no minimum orders, no account creation required – just instant savings. Easyship is 100% free for anyone sending less than 100 orders per month. To start using Easyship, create your free account.
Selling on Etsy FAQ
Is it easy to sell jewelry on Etsy?
Yes, Etsy is home to thousands of jewelry listings. You can create a jewelry listing in just minutes.
Is it safe to sell expensive items on Etsy?
Yes, Etsy offers a handful of seller protections you can read about in the Seller Protections area on their website.
What's the best-selling category on Etsy?
Jewelry and personalized items are the two top-selling product categories on Etsy.
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