How to Start an Etsy Shop

For all the creatives out there, selling on Etsy has most likely crossed your mind. You open an account for free, do what you love, and be your own boss. No wonder why Etsy is one of the best places to try out being a small business owner!
If you’re ready to start an Etsy venture, all you need (besides your amazing talent) is a quick “How To Start an Etsy Shop” guide. So, let’s see what we can do to help you become an Etsy star.

Learn How to Start an Etsy Shop

To get started on Etsy, you’ll need to open an account. Don’t worry, this is the easiest step of all, it’s just a regular sign-up process and you only need an email for it.
Once you have an account, go to the sellers’ page and fill in the needed info. You’ll need to choose a currency and a unique shop name (don’t worry, you can change that later.)
Just keep in mind that your username and your shop name are two different things. You can’t change your username later on.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you cut your way through. Ready to turn your hobby into a successful business? Here are eight tips that’ll help you navigate your way.

Display Captivating Products

Your choice of products makes all the difference in your Etsy shop. So, take a while to consider what you want to sell on Etsy.

Choose Products That Sell

The thing about Etsy is that it’s very open to new ideas. Most commonly, you’ll find shops selling products like:
  • Stationery items
  • Handmade crafts
  • Vintage second-hands
  • Custom jewelry
Other categories like digital art or film memorabilia are rising trends on Etsy. If you want to know what sells the best, there are tools for that.
Etsy provides a stats tool and if things get a bit overwhelming, refer to this guide.

Capture the Best Photos

Regardless of what you sell, the way you make it look can make or break your success. Here’s how to make your pictures captivating:
  • Make use of sunlight: If you can’t get a professional lighting set, rely on soft sunlight instead. It’ll make your products look more appealing.
  • Choose a suitable background: Some sellers prefer using a blank (white or colored) sheet behind their items. Others prefer choosing backgrounds where the product fits in. Like a desk background to photograph stationery items. Both methods work well, see what suits you best.Try different angles: Don’t rush! Take your time testing different angles and take a lot of pictures. Decide later which complements your product.

Choose Your Descriptions Wisely

The description under the photo may seem trivial, but it plays a big role in customer attraction. Write unique product descriptions and include every detail about your product.
When naming the item, try to avoid vague names like “Wall Art.” Instead, go for something like “Hand Painted Canvas With Pastel Oil.”
Knowing a little bit about SEO and keywords can boost your shop’s visits. Don’t just take it from us, take a look at Etsy’s advice on product descriptions.

Study the Market

Here’s where the Etsy stats tool gets relevant. Customers aren’t browsing your shop only, but your competitors’ too.
So, keep an eye on how you rank. This will also help you set competitive prices.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Keeping an eye on your competitors doesn’t mean replicating. Most Etsy shoppers are looking for an artistic connection.
Learn from the best but stay true to who you are and let your shop reflect that. Creative ideas like neat packaging will show the customer that you care. It’ll also give you an advantage with customer retention.

Crunch the Numbers

Remember that your goal is to make a profit. Do the math and consider all the costs from the logo to packaging materials. Set your prices accordingly.

Etsy Listing Fees

Selling on online shops saves you the trouble of rent, but you’ll need to deal with fees. One of the fees required by Etsy is the listing.
Listings are how you post a product, you pay around $0.2 for each listing and it lasts for four months.
Read up on your region’s regulations on online shops to know if you need any licenses or tax filings. Anyone can figure out how to start an Etsy shop, law-abiding citizens file taxes for it!
For US-based sellers, we recommend registering your business with the SBA.

Stick to Your Brand

Set a brand for your shop. Your shop’s brand is what people will remember you with.
Do you want to be known as the shop that sells abstract art? Or maybe as the shop with the colorful animal-print products? All is good, as long as you stick to the brand.
Let this brand reflect all through your shop, especially in these items:
  • The shop’s metadata
  • The logo
  • The cover photo
  • Packaging materials

The Power of Social Media

If you’re active on social media, capitalize on it by spreading your brand there too. Many Etsy sellers choose to promote their work on Twitter.
If you don’t have a big enough following, consider sponsoring a tweet.

How to Start an Etsy Shop: FAQ

Getting started can be daunting and you’ll probably have a couple of questions. Here’s what people wonder about the most when opening Etsy stores:

Do I need a credit card to sell on Etsy?

No. Etsy gives you a choice between PayPal and regular credit cards. However, Paypal payments may come with additional fees.

Is selling on Etsy hard?

Opening an Etsy store isn’t all that complicated but listing and branding your products can be quite challenging. Especially, when you consider the competition of more than 2.5 million sellers!


Etsy is an empowering platform for many people looking to make an extra income. However, growth takes time and effort.