How to Sell on Etsy: A Beginner’s Guide to Succeed in 2019
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Among other e-commerce marketplaces that focus on vintage or top-selling handicraft products, Etsy is the most popular eCommerce marketplace and to sell on Etsy; you should primarily deal in handmade, vintage items and craft-oriented products such as clothing, photography, art, jewelry, health & beauty, food, and many others. As most of the merchants having an Etsy store are small ones (or micro-producers), it is termed as the C2C platform.
Not only this, Etsy is compatible with Open Source and SaaS-Based platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. Therefore, sellers look forward to connecting with an Etsy store. By the end of this guide, you will get to know how to sell on Etsy successfully in 2019.
Etsy has over 54 million registered active users, and as per Etsy’s Quarterly results, it is connected with 2.33 million active sellers with 42.74 million active buyers. It has more than 60 million products listed on its website. The revenue of Etsy for Quarter 2 of 2019 was $181.10 million, and the revenue growth percentage rate in Quarter 2 of 2019 was 37%.
The Buyer Persona found on Etsy marketplace are 33%Men, 67% Women, 69% Have no children, 50% have ages between 18-34.
Aspiring Etsy sellers must know (2018 as the base year)
- Total Active Etsy sellers – 2.33 million
- Total Active Etsy Buyers – 42.74 million
- Repeat Buyers at Etsy – 40.1%
- Female Etsy sellers – 86%
- The median age of Etsy sellers- 39 years
- No. of products listed – 60 million
- The annual revenue: 603.69 million (2018)
- Share of direct and organic traffic- 79%
- Percentage of mobile visitor traffic – 66%
- Mobile share of Etsy GMV – 55%
Sell on Etsy: Seller Handbook to Stay notified about Best Practices
This guide is, therefore, a gateway for all the sellers aspiring to sell on the Etsy marketplace or are already an Etsy seller and aimed at answering all the prominent queries to ease selling and increase profitability.
- Benefits of Selling on Etsy
- What are the most searched and bought items on Etsy?-
- What is the Seller fees?
- Eligibility to Sell on Etsy → permits or Licenses
- How to Apply and Open a Store on Etsy?
- Ways to Attract Traffic and Improve my Etsy listings? How does Etsy search relevancy work?
- How to Optimize the title for a listing and ensure that Etsy items appear on Google Product Search?
- Ways to get paid with Etsy payments? Is it possible to use PayPal on Etsy?
- Can you Sell a trademarked product on Etsy?
- Who pays for Shipping on Etsy → Buyer or Seller
- Do’s and Don’ts guidelines on Etsy.com
Earlier, artisans sold their products at fairs, open markets, and on consignment. While the web opened ways to achieve buyers in their neighborhood, specialists didn’t feel the need to set up their particular website, then came Etsy, it enabled every dealer to set-up a modified online “shop” with full internet business abilities by utilizing its basic set-up wizard. It’s simple, quick, moderate, and an effective method to achieve customers.
a) Personalized storefront:
This is the benefit that few other marketplaces offer – a customized storefront, sort of online store parked at Etsy. It enables aspiring merchants to list all of their items at one place, brands their shop – put logo, personalized taglines, and create their own policies.
Etsy seller dealing with Garment Printing has branded their storefront. They put products in their cover photos, along with the cause they believe in – plant trees, change lives with their motto being – Tees for trees. They’ve also put their Instagram handle on the cover photo to engage their audiences on a personal level.
The cover photo, logo, shop owner photo and contact details, a short shop description, and item listing is available to all the sellers, however, it depends how smartly one can use it.
b) Huge audience:
As already mentioned, Etsy has an exceptional 33+ million active community, and among them, 40% are the repeat buyers. It is a testimony to the customer’s love towards Etsy. These are great metrics that compel merchants to open their Etsy store and start selling as soon as possible.
c) Engage Customers:
Another flexibility that Etsy offers 3rd party sellers is to engage their visitors. It allows 3rd party sellers to leave their social media handles, drop coupons, and collect emails to enable them to engage with their targeted audiences personally.
d) Own Shipping Policies:
Etsy sellers are in charge of their individual listings. It allows sellers to devise shipping, return, and exchange related policies. Since the majority of the sellers are part-time, therefore, they can’t offer competitive shipping or refund policies like the e-commerce behemoths, and Etsy completely understands it. It lets them decide their own policies.
e) M-Commerce Presence:
Etsy has a great mobile app which also benefits the 3rd party sellers on its platform. The share of the mobile visitor traffic on Etsy was 66% in 2017, and the mobile share of total GMV sold on Etsy in 2017 was also 51%. In 2019, the Etsy mobile sales percentage has increased to about 6% from the Quarter 1st of 2017. Therefore it offers an excellent m-commerce presence to online Etsy sellers.
Etsy is the marketplace designed for the creators, where sellers around the world connect to make, sell, and buy unique products. You must be wondering, exactly what to sell on Etsy. The top categories available to Etsy sellers primarily are:
- Handmade Goods,
- Vintage Items ( At least 20 years old) and,
- Craft supplies
As per Etsy’s 2016 report, 87% of the Etsy sellers are women, which brings us to the fact that the most popular items are customized unique handmade items comprises of Stickers, Custom Jewelry, and Crafts and supplies. The more creative and eye-catching the product is, the more it tends to show up in the search results. Different Etsy sellers come up with tactics to make their product thematic yet straightforward; the top-selling items on Etsy usually carry a pinch of personal touch in them.
There are different types of fees applied when you sell on Etsy. These are the following:
a) Listing Fees
b) Shipping Label or Delivery Fees
c) Transaction Fees
d) Payment Processing Fees and
a) Etsy Listing Price:
To make a listing online on Etsy website of on Etsy app costs $0.20, which is available for four months (variations excluded). Etsy automatic renewal feature will renew the listing every four months, charging $0.20 each time unless you cancel any listing. For example, if you sell four different varieties of Jewellery design, the charges will be $0.80 (4 x $0.20).
Once it gets expired, either you can set an auto-renew option, or you can manually renew the listings, and for each of the listing, the same 20 cents/listing fee will be applied.
It also charges $0.20 for each of the ADDITIONAL quantity that sells within a single transaction. It means if you sell multiple listings in 1 order, $0.20 will be charged on each item. Learn more about the Listing and Multi-Quantity Listing Fee here:
If you want to list a private/custom status for a particular listing, you need to pay a $0.20/listing. Once a custom fee is applied, it shows as follows:
b) Shipping Label Fee:
This is the fee set to deliver an item. It includes several factors such as distance, dimension, weight, and shipment carrier. The Etsy sellers of U.S, Canada, UK, and Australia who accepts payment by Etsy or PayPal payment are eligible to use Etsy Postage/Shipping labels.
The major shipping carriers of Etsy are USPS, FedEx, Canada Post, Royal Mail, and Australia Post. Etsy sellers can buy postage labels from these carriers at the rate offered by them. Shipping fees also include Primary and Secondary fee, which means that basic shipping fee for an individual item plus when it is shipped combined with other product by any of the shipping carriers respectively. You can reach for carrier’s terms and guidelines through Etsy help.
All fees for postage label appear separately on your payment account and will specify the name of the service provider and the postage label number.
c) Transaction fee:
The first is a shipping transaction fee. It is different from the shipping label fee and is 5% of the shipping cost listed for an item. Then there is a Transaction fee that constitutes 5% of the total value of a product. Also, if a seller chooses Etsy’s “Immediate Checkout,” a 3% fee is levied.
Contrasted with the costs of setting up a website with a shopping cart, and getting a merchant account (which likewise charges handling expenses), Etsy is a reasonable option. Etsy is not only feasible but also flexible enough to allow you to sell products from your online store.
Etsy Plus offers numerous tools for growing your own brand or increase your brand recognition, Etsy sellers with Etsy plus membership have to pay $10/month as subscription fees. If you use Etsy Square to get your multiple listing at a discounted rate of $0.20, it will be termed as In-person selling fees where the square payment processing fees will be applied.
There are three types of VAT fees:
i) The VAT on processing Fee
ii) The VAT on seller services and
iii) The VAT charged in some states.
Then there are miscellaneous fees involved; however, these are subjective. It will be levied only if you use features like Etsy payment processing fee, deposit currency conversion (it is 2.5% of the market rate), promoted listings, Google Shopping ads, and Targeted offers ($0.10 for every targeted email sent).
The primary goal of Etsy as a marketplace is to have a platform with buyers getting positive experiences at last. It aims to offer its buyer what they don’t get anywhere else so quickly. It lays down various categories as per what can an Etsy seller sell and whatnot.
a) What can be sold: Etsy is a unique marketplace that allows the sale of handmade products designed by you, vintage items and craft supplies that include tools, ingredients, or materials.
As said, Etsy is an open marketplace, but there is always confusion among sellers on what to sell on Etsy. Sellers on Etsy are usually not well-versed with the detailed guidelines as they are the creator and seller at the same time. Etsy has specific rules for the Manufacturer as well as for their Business permits.
Etsy offers a level playing field to all. This information will be crucial to those who are just getting started. So there are three things to know:
- Manufacturer related information: It depends on the end location where a product has been assembled.
- Business Licensing compliance issues: It depends on the location of a buyer, the place of a business, and the item you’re selling on Etsy.
- Shop Policies: It underlines the guidelines to be followed while setting your shop policies.
Etsy Manufacturing Rules
As discussed earlier, the final location of manufacture depends on where the product took its final shape. On drilling further down, there are two situations →
- If the products don’t change shape: here the site of manufacture will be the place where the item was made, produced, or grown.
- Products that change shape: here the site of manufacture will be the place where the item took its final form.
Note: These rules apply to the sellers who live outside the US territory as well.
Now that the Manufacture related information is settled. Let’s discuss the business license related requirement on Etsy.
Business Licenses to Sell on Etsy
As already mentioned, the Business licensing also depends on the state, county, or municipality where your business can be located. However, overlooking these regulations will attract a fine. Many states require Etsy sellers to collect sales tax. Depending on the state where you do business, these rules are applicable.
In this regard June 2018 declaration by the US Supreme Court is crucial. The court directed states to enforce sellers to collect sales tax even if they do not have a physical presence in that state. Online sellers will require to register for a license and collect and remit sales taxes in all states that impose a sales tax where they satisfy the tax law’s nexus requirement.
- Physical Vs. Digital Sales: Some states demand sales tax collection information for both digital and physical products, whereas some limit to the physical products only.
- Fictitious Business Names: If you sell products under a name other than your own, you may need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) with your state or locality, even if you’re not required to be licensed.
- Selling Food on Etsy: If you sell food on your Etsy store, you may need to be certified under your Local Health Department to sell online.
- Hobby vs. For-Profit Business: Do you have the same business license requirements for your Etsy store if it’s only a hobby? Well, it depends on the state; some may require licenses, whereas others don’t. Check with your state and local taxing authorities to answer this question.
- Information required in production partner profiles: Production partner profiles can be created during the listing process by using the production partner manager. The actual name of each production partner you work with must be disclosed to Etsy in each profile.
Your About Section and Shop Policies
Your Shop’s About section is an opportunity to tell the Etsy community about your shop’s unique story and the people behind your items. Your shop policies should provide brief descriptions of what your buyers expect from you.
Sellers need to get a detailed overview of Etsy Business Licensing and Manufacturing Rules before onboarding on Etsy.
It is as easy as it gets. Etsy is an open marketplace which means you don’t need to be pre-approved or an experienced seller to sell on Etsy. Therefore, whenever you feel like getting started, all you need to do is visit, this page, fill the required information, set up your shop and get started. Let us see the details:
Step 1: Get Started
- Create an account and read all the policies to ensure that offering products on Etsy is ideal for you and your business.
- When you have an Etsy account, make your open profile and bio.
- You can either register by providing an email address, username password, or directly signup using your google or facebook account.
Step 2: After Creating Profile Create Your Own Store
- Click the “Sell on Etsy” at the upper right side of the page or, “Open a shop,” once you do this. You’re redirected to your shop page wherein you’re required to enter information regarding:
a) Shop Preferences
b) Name your Shop
c) Stock your shop
d) How you’ll get paid
e) Set up billing
- In the Shop preference option, enter your shop language, country, and currency and your category.
- In Name, your Shop option, Pick your shop name.
- Make your first posting. It can be for a real thing or a computerized record.
- In Stock your shop section, you’re required to enter the inventory, it has additional fields such as Title, About this listing (Description, Category, Price, Quantity. After that, enter all the highly searched terms that increase your item’s visibility, you can add: Up to 13 tags and Up to 13 ingredients
Furthermore, you need to enter the shipping details for the product which requires you to enter: Shipping Costs, Origin Zip Code, Processing Time, Where I’ll Ship, Shipping Services, Free Shipping
- In the “How you’ll get paid” section, enter your bank details to get paid. Include your billing info. You may need to enter your credit or platinum card, PayPal details, as well as bank points of interest.
- In the Set-up billing section, enter the credit card details for listing fee-related deductions.
However, once you’ve done this exercise, you can use a multichannel marketplace listing app to automate your all the sales-related operation for forever.
Step 3: After Creating Your Shop Utilize the sections of the shop
- Include your shop policies.
- Upload your shop logo and cover photograph.
- Update your shop’s “About” section.
- Utilize Shop Segments to sort out your products so that the purchasers can discover their way to your shop.
Step 4: Next Step is Advertising, Branding, and Advancement of Shop
- Ensure optimization of your shop details for Etsy Search. Try to include your location with the goal that your shop can be found in nearby quests.
- Offer rebates to your purchasers with deals and coupons.
- Think about promoting your shop through paid publicizing.
Step 5: Managing the shop
- Ensure you take after these accepted procedures, so you meet all requirements for Etsy’s Dealer Insurance Approach.
- Realize what to do when you make your first deal.
- Read about Etsy’s Survey framework.
- Enjoy a reprieve from your shop when required.
You can go through this video for a step-to-step guide on onboarding to Etsy
If you are already selling on any one of the e-commerce frameworks and onboarding altogether on Etsy seem to be a hectic process to you, you can go for integration apps that are available to provide you with a helping hand and can easily make you Sell on Etsy and becoming a full-fledged Etsy seller.
Are you the creative mind, Who owns a Store; Consider onboarding it to Etsy through Etsy Integrations to go global and capture the market.
To attract traffic on your Etsy store, it is paramount to understand “How Etsy search algorithm works.” This, in turn, will help you create a listing that not only attracts visitors but also convert them into paying customers. So, let’s get to the bottom of the Etsy search mechanism. Here are five factors that influence Etsy search:
- SEO and USER search behavior optimized listing:
- The rate of Engagement a page generates
- The positive experience part [Complete about us and shop Policy page].
- Listing Quality factor
- Inbound links
1. SEO and USER search behavior optimized listing: This is among the most dominant factors in the Etsy search algorithm, as it matches the search term entered by the visitors with the text in Title, Item Description, and Tags, and accordingly suggests results.
2. The rate of Engagement a page generates: Engagement is a go-to word in today’s social media-driven world, and Etsy is no different here. It rewards those listing which gets more clicks, being added to favorite list and are purchased regularly.
3. The positive experience part: Since positive customer experience compels decision making factor in the buyer, Etsy also rates positive customer experience high in its search algorithm.
4. Listing Quality factor: Complete About us page. In the ‘About us’ page you can include the products of the shop and the inspiration behind it along with clear Shop Policies is a must. Shop location also affects the ranking of listings to achieve a faster delivery time.
5. Inbound links: The general rules of SEO also come into play here. A page that attracts higher links towards it, from personal blogs; from different item listings; and all kinds of various sources. Every link contributes to higher search engine relevance.
To get the complete picture and how to implement the factors mentioned above read, tips to rank your products up in Etsy search rankings [and be on top always]
Also, aforementioned will guarantee that your products appear on the top positions in the Etsy Search, however you need to be patient as well as these are the best practices and it takes time, however if you’re concerned more about “How to increase the sales of the Etsy Shop, then going through 17 LESS FAMILIAR tricks to boost sales on Etsy [You won’t find anywhere] is a must. It contains tricks to engage and acquire more customers as a result garner more sales on Etsy.
7. How to Optimize the title of your listing and ensure that Etsy items appear on Google Product Search?
First and foremost, you need to be smart while creating the title for Etsy as it only allows 140 characters. Furthermore, Google, Bing & Yahoo also displays the first 66 characters in their search results. Therefore, the essential terms [and keywords] should be put at the beginning of the Title.
A standard title may include the type of product; its feature; its brand name; and its usage.
Therefore some of the general observations to create a search-friendly title are:
a) The first preference is given to Exact phrase match results. It means priority is given to titles with exact phrase match terms.
b) The second priority is given to listings with relevant keywords both in title and tags over those that contain keywords either in title or tags.
c) Then comes the listings which include relevant keywords at the beginning, they are preferenced over listings with keywords at last.
There are several ways to get paid from your Etsy store:
- The first in the list is Etsy Payments: Etsy Payments contains most payment methods a buyer can use to purchase from your shop. Also, Etsy deposits the amount directly in your bank account. If you haven’t enrolled in Etsy Payments, do it now.
- Also, you can get cheque or money orders through emails after they purchase from your shop.
- PayPal: One of the best methods is to take payments through Paypal, if you’re located in a country where Etsy payments are unavailable, you can receive the money through Paypal. Register your seller account on Paypal soon.
- Besides this, you are free to deal with customers and accept the payment as per the convenience.
The straightforward answer is NO. You can’t sell any products that include copyright, trademarks, or patent that belongs to others. Etsy can/will remove your listings if they’re reported for this and repeated intellectual policy infringements may get you to ban from Etsy. Read Etsy’s Intellectual Property Policy guidelines.
It varies from product to product. Some of the products are offered free shipping where sellers bear the cost of shipping, whereas, some require buyers to pay for shipping. It depends upon the order value, shipping destination, and the shipment method chosen by the buyers.
Etsy shipping carriers have a set of categories and fees accordingly for each product. Sellers have to purchase postage labels directly from Etsy or the specific shipping carriers. However, shipping faster on Etsy can help you sell more, and with satisfied customers, the ultimate ROI can be achieved.
Let’s start with Don’ts:
- Don’t spam your customers: Don’t send your customer too many spam emails or messages.
- Don’t put low-quality images on Etsy: Before listing images on Etsy, make sure that all photos should look attractive. You can edit your image using a free photo editor. We suggest you use a white background for every item.
- Don’t Copy: Don’t Copy someone’s work. Originality will help you in the long run.
- Don’t worry about your sales.
- Don’t compare your conversion rate with someone else’s.
List of Dos:
- Answer politely: If your customers want to know about something and ask a question, then reply to them nicely. This will help you grow as a brand.
- Say thank you when someone orders from your Etsy Store: Whenever you get the order then respond to them graciously.
- Be an active team member: Try to be an active team member of your team. Try to participate in maximum activities.
- Make your shop look perfect: When customers come first at your site, then try to provide a good look at your shop.
- Follow Etsy’s rules: Follow all the Terms and Conditions provided by Etsy for sellers.
- Price: Set your price, including all the fees and expenses as decided.
- Look at your product critically: Analyse the market value of your product.
- Provide Discount: Provide a discount to regular customers. You can make a coupon over Etsy and provide a discount to the customers.
- Make your postage accurate at different places: Put your postage price if you need it. Don’t make money from them. Take the items to the post office and get them weighed.
- Check your convos regularly: Check your convos daily and reply to them as soon as possible. This can help you in lead generation.
- Brand Everything: Brand every item which you are selling on Etsy. There should be no confusion to the customer related to the brand. This will turn your customers into your most loyal advertisers.
- Detailed description: Try to provide a detailed description of what you are selling on Etsy. The presentation of the product should be excellent. You should describe your product as accurate as possible. The product description should be optimized following the search engines.
Read these pro tips from the top sellers on Etsy based on their own experiences and bring your Etsy store on the right alignment.
Etsy is a global marketplace. Selling here means getting worldwide exposure for your brand and generate cross-border sales. And if you’ve any other queries, do write in the comments. We will be glad to help.
Facing trouble in deciding whether to sell on Etsy or not? Selling on Etsy reviews will help you figure it out: