A Reseller’s Guide to Etsy: Getting Started Selling on Etsy

Marketplaces 101
By
A Reseller’s Guide to Etsy: Getting Started Selling on Etsy

“Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures”

 

Etsy is a popular selling marketplace with approximately 31.7 million active buyers around the world. Etsy’s gross merchandise sales (GMS) have rapidly increased annually, surpassing 20 billion dollars in 2020. Etsy has a large audience and is a great place to buy and sell handmade goods, vintage, and craft supplies. Etsy’s mission is “To keep human connection at the heart of commerce.”

 

Fun Fact: Etsy acquired Depop in June 2021.

 

You can sell handmade items, vintage fashion, and craft supplies on Etsy. Handmade items are the top-selling category on Etsy. On Etsy, handmade goods are those made by the seller and range from clothing to décor and everything in between (including digital downloads). Vintage items are those which are at least twenty years old, for which you can provide authentication of age. Craft supplies include tools, ingredients, and materials whose primary purpose is for use in the creation of an item or special occasion (including party supplies).

 

While I always recommend reading the terms of use for every selling platform, here is an introduction to selling on Etsy.

 

1. Creating an Etsy Account 

 

Creating an Etsy account is free and simple, and you can sign up on the website or the app in just a few minutes. Etsy also provides sellers with control of their shop. You can establish shop policies with your preferences for costs, processing times, shipping methods, your return and exchange policy, and even payment options.

 

Etsy Tip: Enroll in Etsy payments so that your buyers can pay in any way offered on Etsy. This widens your customer base.

 

2. How to List Items for Sale on Etsy 

 

Listing items on Etsy is simple but a bit more time-consuming than other reselling platforms. When listing, you can upload  photograph and video content, listing details, tags, and item “attributes” (description and category fields). On each listing, you will also provide pricing (including shop tax rates), and determine if you would like the listing to automatically renew. There is a fee to list an item on Etsy.

 

Etsy Tip: If you are selling personalized items that are made to order, there are a few other steps involved in the listing process. 

 

3. Etsy Seller Fees

 

Etsy has low seller fees (especially in consideration of the seller’s freedom in shop policies), but many resellers are deterred by the listing fee (It’s not too bad at twenty cents…). Etsy has a bit of a complicated fee structure

 

Three factors apply to Etsy seller fees:

 

  1. Etsy’s Listing Cost is $0.20 per listing (which automatically renews and charges every four months by default, but you can disable that).
  2. Etsy’s Transaction Fee is the basic seller’s fee in the amount of 5% of the sale price.
  3. Etsy’s Payment Processing Fee is 3% + $0.25 per order.

 

There is also an optional 15% off-site add fee. If you choose to opt-in to an Etsy Ads Campaign, there is a 15% fee that applies only when you make a sale as a direct result of the offsite ad.



4. Etsy Shipping & Getting Paid on Etsy

 

Etsy puts the seller in control of all things shipping, including handling time, cost, geographical limitations, taxes, and shipping carriers including FedEx, USPS, UPS. For users in the United States, you can pay for and print automatically generated USPS labels right from Etsy.

 

Etsy Tip: I highly recommend offering free shipping and using Pirate Ship for the lowest rates.

 

Getting paid on Etsy is quick and simple. When you are a brand new Etsy seller, you will be in a probationary period whereby your funds will not be available for deposit until 3 days after a sale. After 90 days, Etsy payment orders will become available for transfer the next business day after a sale. On Etsy, you can set up a deposit schedule for funds, or you can request your funds at any time. Either way, Etsy does direct deposit to your bank account.

 

You may also like: 8 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider

 

5. Etsy Tips and Tricks:

 

  1. Like other reselling marketplaces, be sure to have amazing photographs and skillfully select your thumbnail image (cover photo). Selling handmade items with a lot of competition can be tough, so make your listings stand out. Video content is recommended as well.

  2. Similarly, effective descriptions are crucial on Etsy. Be sure to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) on your listings, and to select relevant tags, categories, and attributes to maximize exposure.

  3. Offering competitive pricing and low shipping costs is always a great way to maximize interest and make your listings more appealing.

  4. Etsy recommends optimizing your shop profile with branding and a professional shop profile. There are many tools and resources to help accomplish this.

  5. Engage with your customers. Etsy is unlike other places due to the niched selection and personalization of homemade goods. Be sure to cultivate relationships with your buyers to create return customers.

  6. Participate in the marketing opportunities on Etsy and offsite as well. There are many promotional opportunities to increase exposure and generate sales. Find the Etsy Marketing Guide here.

  7. Familiarize yourself with the platform, and all of the tools, support, and education available to Etsy Sellers.

 

Etsy Tip: Once you are comfortable selling on Etsy and you are ready to take your shop to the next level, consider an Etsy Plus subscription. Etsy Plus users have customizable shop options, alerts to customers, your website domain, bonus listing, and advertising credits.

 

 Do you sell on Etsy? Please share some of your best Etsy tips and tricks below!

Vendoo Subscribe Blog!