Getty ImagesThe Etsy e-commerce platform began in 2005 and has expanded into a marketplace with millions of products for purchase that vary from artwork to vintage items to craft supplies and more. As per Etsy’s policy, everything listed for sale must be crafted by hand, vintage, or a craft supply.
Etsy’s interpretation of “handmade” covers items that are made or designed by you. This implies that you can sell items that you have designed but are produced by a third party or sell printable items like cards or other digital downloads. So, even if you are unsure of your artistic abilities, there are still numerous options available for you to establish your shop. If you have ever wanted to sell your DIY projects or start a side business, here’s all the information you need to successfully sell on Etsy.
If you are a novice, setting up an Etsy shop may seem daunting, but it actually involves only a few simple steps:
- Create an account on Etsy. You will require an Etsy account to set up a shop and sell on Etsy. Signing up only takes a few minutes, and you can use your email address or Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
- Create your Etsy shop. Once you have signed up, creating your shop is straightforward. Simply visit the Etsy selling site and choose your language, country, and currency. You will also need to set up your payment account and enable two-factor authentication.
- Set up your storefront. Etsy allows each seller to personalize their own storefront by adding customized banners and logos. You can also include a bio to introduce yourself to potential buyers. Once your storefront is configured, you are ready to start listing your items.
Once you have established your storefront on Etsy, there are limitless possibilities for the items you can sell. The great news is that you don’t need to be a professional artist to create items for sale. Here are some suggestions to get you started or to inspire you to come up with other items to sell.
- Tie-dye: Tie-dye is excellent for beginners because even if it doesn’t go as planned it often still looks pleasing. Additionally, the cost to get started is lower than some other handicraft projects. You can create tie-dye effects on almost any fabric-based item from garments to bedding, but ensure that the dye you are using is compatible with the type of fiber.
- Embroidery: There are numerous items that can be embellished to be sold on Etsy. Some popular items include sweatshirts, t-shirts, decorative patches, towels, and even dog collars. If you’re selling on Etsy, you’ll want to use an embroidery machine to help expedite the process. We adore the Janome MB-7 Seven-Needle Embroidery Machine for selling on Etsy because you can pre-thread the seven needle heads for faster embroidery speeds; despite its steep price, it’s ideal for individuals engaged in extensive embroidery. If you’re just starting out and want to find a more affordable embroidery machine than the Janome, our top suggestion is the Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine.
- Sewing: There’s a learning curve when it comes to utilizing a sewing machine. Hence, if you’re just starting out, you may want to attempt easier projects such as fabric napkins, baby headbands, or simple throw pillows. If you’re an advanced sewer, the possibilities to sell on Etsy are limitless — from stuffed toys to garments and more.
- Rug tufting: In recent years, rug tufting has gained popularity, and if you’ve ever watched a rug tufting TikTok video, you know how gratifying it can be to tuft your own rug.
There are numerous rug tufting supplies available on Amazon, with the majority of rug tufting guns priced below $200.
- Decals: Decals are in-demand for sale on Etsy, and they are also inexpensive to ship since they are lightweight. To produce decals, simply create your decals using the design software of your preference, print on sticker paper and cut. It is essential to ensure that your printer has the capability to print decals and that you are using the appropriate paper for your printer. Decals can be trimmed using an X-acto knife, but if you plan on cutting a large quantity of decals, consider investing in a Cricut machine, which simplifies the task and saves time.
Depending on the items you are selling, shipping costs can be significant. Additionally, packing each item and making a trip to the post office for mailing can be bothersome. Fortunately, there are numerous options for digital items such as planners, wall art, resume templates, and more. Buyers can directly download these items from the website, eliminating the expenses and inconveniences associated with shipping.
An included bonus, if you’re not particularly skilled with your hands, these items are created using design software such as Canva. Once you’ve designed your digital item, simply upload the file and create the listing as an immediate download, which customers will receive instantly when they make the purchase. There’s also an option for “made to order,” which means you can personalize the item to the buyer’s preferences after they buy it.
How much does it cost to start selling on Etsy?
The cost to sell on Etsy can differ depending on how many products you sell and the cost of shipping, here’s a list of the fees and costs on Etsy.
✔️ Listing fee: There is a fee of $0.20 per item, which lasts four months. After four months, you’ll need to pay the $0.20 fee again to keep your listing active. This fee applies for each listing regardless of whether your product sells or not.
✔️ Transaction fee: Unlike listing fees that apply regardless of whether your product sells, transaction fees apply only to products sold. The transaction fee is 5% of the total order amount, including shipping and any other applicable costs like gift wrapping. Keep in mind that starting April 11, 2022, Etsy plans to increase the transaction fee to 6.5%.
✔️ Payment processing fees: Payment processing fees vary depending on your location in the world, but for the U.S., the fee is 3% $0.25 USD for banks in the U.S.
✔️ Shipping costs: This will change depending on the size and weight of the item as well as which carrier you use. To save money on shipping, consider purchasing USPS shipping labels on Etsy, which can save up to 30% compared with the USPS retail rates that you would pay at the post office or elsewhere online.
✔️ Ad fees: Etsy has fees for two types of ads — Etsy ads and offsite ads — each with a different fee structure. However, these fees are optional, depending on whether you choose to use ads and whether your shop makes under $10,000 in a year.
- Etsy ads. If you choose to participate in Etsy ads, Etsy charges a fee every time someone clicks on your ad, which is based on various factors, so the cost will vary. However, you can set a daily budget maximum where Etsy will stop advertising your listings when it reaches that maximum. The minimum you can set for ads is $1.00.
- Offsite ads. Etsy will automatically run ads on other sites such as social networks or search engines. If your shop has made less than $10,000 in the previous 365 days, the fee is 15% on the total amount for orders made as a result of offsite ads. Sellers who made less than $10,000 in the previous 365 days can also choose to opt out of offsite ads altogether. If your shop made more than $10,000, the fee is discounted to 12%.
The brief answer: It depends. Below are the pros and cons to help you decide if selling on Etsy is right for you.
- There are no monthly subscription fees, so it’s low risk to begin selling on Etsy, costing only $0.20 to list an item, even if it doesn’t sell.
- Selling on Etsy can be a fantastic outlet for creativity because you can sell almost anything you can make by hand, design, or even create digitally.
- Starting is simple. Establishing a shop only requires a few minutes.
- Dana Levy, the managing editor of Good Housekeeping and owner of DV Design Shop, enjoys utilizing Etsy and states, “It’s simple to post things for sale and promote them. Additionally, it’s a reputable website.” She appreciates that it eliminates the necessity of constructing and maintaining an independent website where you need to generate your own traffic, as Etsy already attracts millions of users searching for items in one location.
- Although listing items has a low cost, depending on what you choose to sell, the initial equipment expense can be considerable. For example, Cricut and embroidery and sewing machines can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Therefore, if you’re unsure about selling on Etsy, you may want to start with a low-cost craft.
- Establishing an Etsy shop is straightforward — but managing the shop requires more time and continuous commitment. You’ll need to keep track of your inventory, respond to potential buyer inquiries, and ship products.
- There’s no guarantee of making a profit and you may even incur losses if you’re not careful with pricing and monitoring advertising expenses.