How to sell on Etsy

Etsy is one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world and has turned many a side hustle into a full-time income. There are an estimated 5.2 million active sellers on the platform, with 69% of them considering their online store a business. Etsy is perhaps most associated with handmade crafts such as jewelry and art, but there are also individuals selling books, toys, shoes, pet supplies, party supplies, electronics, and clothing. 

Consider the marketplace

Etsy is a two-sided marketplace for unique and creative goods. As a marketplace, it makes money via transaction fees on the items sold on the platform. Etsy’s key partner comprises sellers providing unique listings and a wide organic reach across several marketing channels. Etsy generated over $2.3 billion in revenues in 2021, it counts 88.3 million active buyers, and 5.3 million active sellers as of 2022. 

Before creating an account, it is worth taking the time to consider whether there is a market for your products on the platform. 

The most popular product categories are home and living (25% of all sellers), art and collectibles (21%), jewelry (15%), and clothing (11%).

It is also important to consider that 36% of gross merchandise sales occur outside the United States, with most of these sales made in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and Italy. Users looking to make a full-time income in other countries should consider whether the market on Etsy is sufficiently large. 

Creating an account

The first step is to register an account by entering your name and email address. You can also use your Facebook, Apple, or Google credentials. 

Then, have a read of Etsy’s policies to ensure you operate within its guidelines. 

Opening an Etsy store

Before you can start making money, you need to create an Etsy shop. There are a few basic requirements, including:

  • Store preferences – such as currency, country, and preferred language. 
  • Shop name – which must be between 4 and 20 characters and be free of spaces, special characters, and profanity. 
  • Products – a listing must be created for each product you intent to sell.
  • Payment and billing – where you decide how customers can purchase your products and how you want to be paid by Etsy. Users in some locations may have to provide a credit card before they can officially open their store.

Once these requirements have been satisfied, make use of categories, attributes, tags, and detailed product descriptions to make your products more visible in the marketplace.

Consider your USP

With millions of active sellers and just four categories accounting for almost 75% of sellers, you must develop a unique selling proposition to stand out from the crowd.

In other words, why should a customer choose to shop in your store as opposed to a competitor? What can you offer them that is unique, personal, and valuable? What experiences can you provide that are different?

Choose your photographs

Etsy is a visual marketplace that emphasizes photography to sell products. The listings that receive the most clicks are those with the best photos. Indeed, research conducted by the company discovered that 90% of surveyed buyers considered image quality to be ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’ when making a purchase decision.

To take advantage of this, include your best photo as the product thumbnail. Etsy also allows up to ten additional photos in the product description, so make use of them! Ideally, you should take photographs of your product in action to attract more interest from buyers.

Store information

Information about your store and how you do business helps to create a seamless experience for both you and the buyer. Information should include:

  • Shop policies – which include information about payment options, shipping policies, and return or refund policies.
  • Seller information – which includes your location, contact details, and anything else that you think your customers may need to know about the business.
  • A welcome message – use this space to introduce yourself to give buyers a better idea of who you are and why you decided to open an Etsy store. You can also use relevant keywords here for extra visibility.

Etsy fees

In 2022, Etsy had 88.3 million active buyers, over 35 million repeat buyers, and 7.6 million habitual buyers. Etsy’s funnel is skewed toward enabling active buyers to become habitual buyers, which is critical for long-term sustained growth in a two-sided digital marketplace.

Lastly, let’s have a look at the various fees Etsy charges for users in the United States.

For each product you list, Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee. Each listing is active for four months. Successful sales will attract a 5% transaction fee plus a $0.25 payment processing fee.

Etsy also advertises your products across the internet. When Etsy pays for an ad that leads to a direct sale, you must also pay a 15% fee.

Key takeaways:

  • Etsy is one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world and has turned many a side-hustle into a full-time income. Before sellers can start making money, they must create an account and open an Etsy store according to various parameters.
  • With three-quarters of sellers concentrated in four product categories, it is important to develop a USP and upload high-quality photographs to stand out from the crowd.
  • Information about how a seller does business is also vital in attracting buyers. This information encompasses shipping and returns policies, seller contact details, and a store welcome message.

Read Next: eBay Business Model, Etsy Business Model, Etsy Marketing Strategy, Business Models.

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