How to set up your Etsy Shop: A simple step-by-step
Hi guys, let’s talk a little bit about Etsy. For me, Etsy is the number one place I sell my vintage goods. I do find other things at the thrift store that I sell on eBay or even in local markets but if you’re interested in vintage/antique items then Etsy is your first stop.
So, let’s dig a little deeper into how you can “promote” your items on the Etsy platform (of course always take advantage of your social media if you use any).
The market on Etsy demands higher prices (and you get it) and it is so popular in the vintage & handmade space that it automatically funnels your ideal customer right to you. Just like with blogs or social media, you can find ways to pay for your customers OR you can utilize the sources that Etsy provides for free and get your name out there in other ways.
Here are some great ways to get recognized and get your shop name in front of your ideal customers:
- Leave reviews for other sellers that you’ve purchased from. You’ll want reviews in the future so you should make a healthy habit of reviewing all customers that purchase from you and all shops that you have purchased from.
- Start making Treasury lists. Treasuries are lists compiled by individuals (shop owners or simply Etsy account holders) of whatever they want. For example, I created a list of [bundt pans]. I searched Etsy high and low for my favorite and unique bundt pans and added them all to my Treasury. The benefits of that is, once you add things to a treasury, someone might add your items to a treasury they make in the future. That puts your shop in front of many eyes, increasing your potential to sell. It’s a great way to have fun and help yourself and other people at the same time.
- Start pinning your items on Pinterest. Use your personal page and utilize the followers you already have. Provide some helpful information to what you’re selling so when pinners see your item, they know the value and uniqueness of it (ex. 1920s vintage teacup & saucer).
- I’m not a huge fan of ads on Etsy. I used them the first year I was in business and I realized that I spent more money on ads than I did the actual items I was selling. After a while, I decided to cut ads out of the picture. And, you know what? My sales stayed the same. No drop in sales whatsoever. For me, at least. So keep that in mind when you’re thinking about ads.
*Thoughts: It might be a good idea to pay for ads for a month or two to get your products directly in the public eye but, I’ve found that over time the ads cost more than they’re worth.
So, what are the first steps in opening an Etsy shop? I’m going to walk you through, step by step of how to open your Etsy store. Some of these steps may seem straight forward but I really wanted to go over this step by step so you can see the exact “steps” to take. 😉
First, go to www.etsy.com & select REGISTER located on the top right corner.
Next, fill in your information along with an email address that you’ll be using to access your Etsy account/shop. *Note: The personal information provided is fabricated and is used for demonstration purposes only.
Once you submit your form, you will be redirected to a new page where it asks you to confirm your email.
Open the email from Etsy.
Once your account is created and confirmed, you can move on to the fun part…opening your shop. After you confirmed your email address, you should have been redirected to a new Etsy page. Click SELL ON ETSY near the top right of the screen.
Then select OPEN YOUR ETSY SHOP.
The first step to setting up your shop is to choose your preferences. I have filled them out to my specific preference in the examples shown, however, no matter what you choose, the preference options will be the same as you go through the setup process no matter where you are in the world.
You will then choose your shop name. Now, this is very, very, very (did I mention VERY) important. Seriously, do not take this part lightly. You choose your shop name when you open your store and you are only allowed to change it one other time. If you want to change it a third, fourth, fifth time, you will have to write into Etsy and ask them for permission to change your name and give them a good reason why they should let you.
Now, before I knew that, I had opened a shop and sold random stationary and things and my shop name was super specific. Once I decided that I wanted to sell vintage goods, I had to request to change my name (because PaperGoodsByAng just didn’t fit with birdcages and bundt pans. I can’t remember my actual shop name but, just to prove the point – it didn’t work). I came up with a very encompassing name and really tried to persuade Etsy to let me change my name just once more. And they let me.
But that is why it is so important to choose the right name the first time around. Because when you ask, it isn’t always guaranteed.
At this point, you have to add a listing to your shop. You cannot go forward unless you do. So, before you start this process, I would be prepared with a good image and information on at least one product.
Once you’re in the “add a listing” section, this is what you’ll see. I’ve gone ahead and added a picture as well as a product title as an example. For a good listing, you should have a minimum of three well done photos. *I’ll touch on photography in a later post.
This next part is where it gets a little more in depth. You have to know about your product and answer some questions. I’ve added two photos, the first shows the form blank (and what you’ll see when you fill it out) and the other photo shows what the form looks like after I filled it out about my product. If you can, try and get pretty specific when you’re adding your item to categories, etc. That helps with search results.
This part is sort of new (it wasn’t there when I first started selling). But I generally like to enter a fixed shipping amount. I take into consideration the cost of the box I’m using to ship my item in, the packing material, any business or note cards I add in, tape, plus the actual cost of shipping. You can choose the other option where Etsy determines your shipping cost manually based on the size and weight of the item. But, to me, that’s a lot of work upfront. I choose to enter a fixed amount and I’m generally pretty spot on. I’ve calculated way too low and ended up having to take shipping out of my profit and I’ve calculated on the high side in which case I’ve refunded the overage back to the customer. But, that doesn’t happen often. I just prefer this way to save any unnecessary upfront work. That way, you don’t spend all of your time weighing each item, making sure you have all proper material, etc. And you can utilize that time to list actual items and start building up your storefront.
*I also like to give myself 1-3 business days to ship an item. Usually I have it out the very next day but if something happens (i.e. I don’t have a box, need to get packing material, emergency) I have those cushion days.
And finally, there are tags. Tags are helpful when searching for an item. So, when you’re looking for an item on Etsy, or Pinterest, or Google, what search term would you type in to find that type of item? For the item that I listed I would probably type in “teacup”, “flowered teacup”, or “china teacup.” Which is why I put those terms in my Tags. These are just simple ways that could help you come up in a search and get your products seen.
Now that you have your listing completed, go to SAVE AND CONTINUE.
Select your country.
Enter your deposit information (where Etsy will deposit any money you make).
And finally enter your personal information. *They ask for your social security number for tax purposes.
Since I already have an Etsy shop and I did not want to put my payment information into a fake shop, I don’t have any more images of setting up to show you. However, the last step will be setting up your billing information. They need that so they can bill you for any listing and advertising fees.
And that’s it! Once you have everything set up, you can always locate your shop by clicking in the top right corner labeled YOUR SHOP. There you can add items, update any shop information, and check on orders, etc.
CONGRATULATIONS! You have just opened your very own Etsy shop! You are officially a business owner!
Now, you can get to the good stuff. Click around in your shop settings and add a photo of yourself or your brand and make it personal: add a tagline & about me section. Even if you want it to be, everything doesn’t have to be perfect to start selling. Take photos of what you have available to sell, do your research, and start making money!