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How to Start an Etsy Shop: a Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to start a shop on Etsy.

If you’re a crafter, art junkie, or vintage collector, the question ‘How to open an Etsy shop’ has probably crossed your mind once or twice — and for good reason! For years now, Etsy has been a great avenue for creative people to earn a passive income or expand their small businesses.

From handmade custom items, vintage pieces, unique decorations, art supplies and more, Etsy is the go-to online marketplace for people looking to spruce up their day-to-day lives with one-of-a-kind pieces.

In this article, we’ll show you how to become an Etsy seller. Simply follow the steps and apply our helpful tips to get started.

What is Etsy?


Etsy is an e-commerce company based in America that hosts online shops selling craft supplies and unique items, particularly handmade and vintage pieces. Since its conception in 2005, it has been a staple online platform for people to sell, buy, and collect art, jewelry, accessories, clothing, bags, home decor, and more.


Start your Etsy shop in 10 steps


Learn how to open your Etsy shop from start to finish by following these simple steps.


1. Determine what you will sell

When you visit the Etsy website, you’ll see different categories below its search bar. Take the time to review these categories and the listings under it to see if your ideal products are fit to be sold on Etsy.

You can also use this chance to solidify your thoughts about your product line and possibly expand your offerings, from selling finished products to selling materials needed to make them as well.

For example, if you’re selling jewelry, you can also sell beads, crystals, and wires. If you need more inspiration on the type of store you can run based on your expertise or interests, read this article on what to sell on Etsy.


2. Research your competition

Before opening your shop, a good extra step to do is to research your competition. To focus your research, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • What are they selling that I’m not?
  • What can I sell that they’re not?
  • How is their shop different from my concept?
  • What is their pricing strategy?
  • How do they interact with their customers?
  • What is their branding and promotion strategy?

Many beginner Etsy sellers skip this step because it can be tedious and overwhelming at first. But this can also give you the edge you need to be successful in this new venture! With millions of similar shops and products on Etsy, wouldn’t you want yours to stand out in the best way possible?

Here’s a bonus tip: Check out Creative Fabrica to find unique digital resources you can use to create products that you can sell on Etsy. Creative Fabrica products include a commercial license, which means there’s no limit to the amount of sales you can generate from them.


3. Choose a unique name for your shop


Name you shop - screenshot from Etsy


This next step is very important when setting up your Etsy shop! In naming your shop, make sure that it represents your niche and brand perfectly.

Remember that your shop name can only have 20 characters or less. Make it catchy, fun, and memorable so your customers can easily remember your store and go back to it whenever they please.

Read this handy guide on how to choose your Etsy shop name if you need more inspiration. To brainstorm more name ideas, use our Etsy Store names tool which will give you 20 name ideas in seconds based on text prompts.

Tip: Etsy has a function that checks the availability of your chosen shop name. It provides you with different variations in case yours is already taken.


4. Set up your account

To answer the main question, ‘How do you sell on Etsy?’ you must first create an Etsy consumer account. You can do this easily by registering or signing in using your Google or Apple account on the website. Once registered, hover over your profile on the top-right corner until a dropdown menu appears, then click on Sell on Etsy.

This page contains everything you need to start your Etsy venture: seller tools, information on store fees and subscription plans, success stories, and other resources.

Review them carefully and once you’re ready to set up shop, click the “Open your Etsy shop” button to get started.


5. Create your listings


Once you’ve set up the standard requirements for an Etsy shop, it’s time to upload your products and create listings! You’ll need to upload different information to showcase your item in each listing.

  • Photos – Add up to 10 photos in each listing. Etsy recommends uploading photos showing different angles of your product to give customers a clear picture of what they should expect.
  • Videos – Videos are optional though they are very helpful in displaying different angles of your product.
  • Listing details Share specific details about your product like what it is, who made it, when it was made, what materials it’s made of, whether it’s a physical or digital product, and other relevant details. Use keywords relevant to your niche so your listing can rank well on search engines.


listing details - screenshot from Etsy


Tip: Make sure to provide succinct and straightforward descriptions so they’re easier to read and understand. 

  • Product variations – For products that come in multiple sizes, colors, and shapes like clothing, accessories, bags, and furniture, here is where you can list them all down.
  • Personalization – One of Etsy’s biggest selling points is that it can help you sell personalized items. If you offer home decorations, jewelry, and stationery customization upon request, select the “on” toggle. Otherwise, choose “off”.



  • Shipping – Once you’ve specified information about your product, you need to fill out your shipping preferences like your processing time, shipping cost, origin zip code, shipping services, handling fee, and more. After filling these fields out, you can calculate your shipping cost manually or have Etsy do it for you.


Shipping Options - screenshot from Etsy


6. Choose your pricing

When creating your pricing strategy, consider the cost of raw materials you used, the transportation and manual labor needed to create them, and how much profit you’d like to make per sale.

If you’re having trouble coming up with an amount, look at other shops and see how much they charge for similar products.


7. Add your payment details


While you don’t need a tax ID to open a shop, Etsy still needs to know your tax filing status whether you’re a sole proprietor or an incorporated business. You’ll also need to enter your credit card information so you can automatically pay shop operating fees (transaction, listing, and payment processing) or transfer your funds especially if you’ll be using Etsy payments for each sale.

To understand how payment works on the platform and the fees you need to pay as a seller, check out this Payment and Fees guide.


8. Open your Etsy shop

Once you’ve secured your credit card details and billing address, congratulations! You can now “Open your shop”. 


add a credit card options - screenshot from etsy

9. Provide an engaging bio and description


profile details - screenshot from Etsy

Complete your Etsy seller profile by adding an interesting bio and description. 

Providing a glimpse into the artist behind your products is a fantastic way to appeal to potential customers. 



Others also use the profile description as an opportunity to let people know the advocacies and charities they support with the profits they make selling on Etsy. Aside from telling your story as a business-owner or creator, you can use the profile page to include high-ranking keywords in your category for SEO purposes. Make sure to incorporate them in a natural way and avoid keyword-stuffing.

We recommend that you research your competition and fellow Etsy sellers on how they make their bio and profile descriptions engaging. By thoroughly researching what other successful sellers are currently doing in your niche, you can learn their best practices and identify gaps in your category. The gaps will help you come up with ways you can differentiate yourself and your store.

Need help drafting your Etsy shop bio? Use our Etsy shop bio generator to get started.


10. Create Shop Policies


returns and exchanges details - screenshot from Etsy

Last but definitely not the least, you must set up your Etsy shop policies. To have an idea how to create proper policies for your shop, start with the following below:


  • Payment options
  • Returns and exchanges policy
  • Processing time
  • Shipping policies


To get started, you can apply Etsy’s simple policy. As you grow your inventory and offer different products, you can start thinking about creating custom policies. For example, if you offer customization, you may have a different shop policy for your shipping and processing times.

Your shop policy helps you set your customer’s expectations, so it’s best to be as clear-cut and specific as possible. Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes to come up with shop policies that are simple, reasonable, friendly, and fair.


Frequently asked questions on how to open an Etsy shop


1. Do I need a license to sell on Etsy?

You don’t need a license to start selling on Etsy. However, some states, countries, and local municipalities require permits or registration for businesses to operate. Make sure to do research on these before setting up your Etsy shop.

2. How much does it cost to open a shop on Etsy?

It doesn’t cost a lot to open a shop on Etsy. You can actually open one for free. However, there are incurring fees such as monthly subscription, transaction, payment processing, etc. that the platform requires sellers to pay. To learn more about what it costs to run a shop on Etsy, read Etsy Fees Explained.

If you’re still testing the Etsy waters to see if it’s a good platform for your products and target market, you can try partnering with an existing Etsy seller as an alternative. See if they can add your products to their listings for a limited time.

To help handle the cost of your small business, you can convince your family or friends to invest in your Etsy shop as either a partner or a shareholder.

3. Is it hard to sell on Etsy?

It can be hard to get high sales on Etsy, especially if you’re just starting out, but it’s not impossible either. If things aren’t going as well as you expected, take a step back and review your store.

Do you need to make changes in your pricing to be more competitive? Have you gotten some constructive feedback on the quality of your products? Do you need to improve how you handle customer service? Do you need to boost your marketing strategy?

Focus on improving one or two aspects at a time so you can track whether changes you’ve made are effective. 

4. Do I need a tax ID to sell on Etsy?

Generally, if you’re the sole owner of your shop, you don’t need a tax ID to sell on Etsy. Do keep in mind that you still need to pay taxes on your Etsy sales based on your gross sales and tax laws where you’re based.

Otherwise, if you’re partnered with another shop or LLC, you would need a tax ID to sell on Etsy.

5. How many items do I need to start an Etsy shop?

You need at least one item to start selling on Etsy. But given your competition and search engine optimization strategies that other Etsy sellers are implementing, you might want to consider adding more listings to your shop.

Not only does this make your shop seem legitimate to new customers, but it also helps with your shop’s visibility and accessibility.


Tips to optimize your shop page on Etsy


woman taking notes for her Etsy shop


There are lots of ways to optimize your shop page on Etsy. The most effective way is to make your listings SEO-friendly so they can easily show up on search results. Adding as much information about you and your products in your shop is also a big plus for customers and search engines. Here are some quick tips:


  • Create a compelling profile bio Connect with your customers and show your expertise on your profile bio. You can do so by writing in a friendly yet professional tone. Tell the story of your business and your advocacies. Make sure to sneak in your category keywords for search engines. No need to spend too much time writing one. Craft a draft bio in seconds here.




  • Use tags for each listing You can add up to 13 tags for each listing so it’s best to make use of all of them. Make sure that the tags you use are relevant to your listing so you don’t end up misleading customers.


  • Use keywords – Whether writing listing names, descriptions, tags, and other related information, it’s important to add keywords that you know your customers are searching for.


  • Add inbound links – This technique not only helps you expand your market, but it also helps build credibility for your brand. Just make sure that you reference authoritative and legitimate websites.


Tips on how to increase your views and traffic on Etsy


Increasing your views and online traffic on Etsy can be daunting, especially if you think about all the competition you have out there. But there are a few things that, if done right, can help create traction for your Etsy shop. Here are some ideas:


  • Feature some product listings – Arrange your top products where new customers can see them first and label them as best-sellers
  • Promote your shop on social media – Garner views on TikTok and Instagram that would lead people to your Etsy shop. A good tactic is to tap influencers and content creators that already have a community of followers to help you expand your brand. Other effective social media strategies would be to engage directly with followers either by showcasing your expertise or creating relatable content.
  • Use Etsy ads These may cost a little extra for you but it helps reach audiences that look for your specific offerings.
  • Run a sale or offer discount codes, coupons, and free shipping Who doesn’t love discounts and slashed prices? Time your special offers on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other similar holidays.


For more tips and ideas, read our article on how to get more sales on Etsy.


Free Etsy tools to operate your store with ease 


Run your Etsy store like a pro and use our free Etsy tools for a smooth and efficient online business operation:


Etsy Shop Name Generator

Have trouble coming up with a unique and memorable name that matches your branding? Use this shop name generator which will help you brainstorm 20 name ideas at a time within seconds. 

Etsy Bio Generator

Tell the story of your brand and store even if you’re not a writer using this Etsy bio generator. Fill in the questionnaire and watch the text generator draft a bio for you within seconds.

Etsy Title Listing Generator

Create enticing titles for your listings every time using this Etsy title listing generator, which will help you come up with eye-catching titles to sell your products.

Etsy Description Generator

Draft keyword-rich descriptions that will compel buyers to add to cart with our Etsy description generator. Just answer the questionnaire, include your keywords, and get succinct descriptions for your products in seconds.



Turn your passion into a business


Etsy is a great platform to showcase creativity and entrepreneurship in this modern world. Just remember that like everything else, dedicating time, resources, and energy will help you find success in whatever venture you’re getting into. 

What makes Etsy an effective marketplace is that it’s specifically geared towards an audience that values uniqueness and craftsmanship.

So if you’re passionate about selling custom-made handbags, intricate crafts and if you want your offerings to stand out, create your unique line of products – custom stationery, needle art, wall prints, and more –  Creative Fabrica is the better place to be. Here you can access millions of resources such as fonts, graphics, and patterns, all with commercial license included.

We hope you find this article useful in helping you find your footing as you start your very own Etsy shop. For more easy-to-follow tips, guides, and inspiration, check out our Ultimate Guide to Etsy.


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