Among several other e-commerce marketplaces that focus on Vintage or top selling handicraft items, Etsy is the most popular eCommerce marketplace, it emphasizes to sell primarily handmade, vintage items and craft-oriented products such as clothing, photography, art, jewelry, health & beauty, food, and many others. As the majority of the merchants that sell on Etsy are a small one (or micro-producers), it is also termed as C2C platform.
Not only this, Etsy is compatible with SaaS-Based platforms like Shopify. Therefore, sellers do look forward to connecting Shopify and Etsy.
Etsy has more than 54 million registered active users and it is connected with 1.9 million active sellers with 31.7 million active buyers. It has more than 29 million products listed on its website. The revenue of Etsy for quarter 3 of 2017 was $106.38 million and the revenue growth percentage rate in quarter 3 of 2017 was 21.49%.
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 is taken as the base year)
- Total Active Etsy sellers – 2.1 million
- Total Active Etsy Buyers – 39.4 million
- Repeat Buyers at Etsy – 40.1%
- Female Etsy sellers – 87%
- The median age of Etsy sellers- 37 years
- No. of products listed – 29 million
- The annual revenue: 603.7 million
- Share of direct and organic traffic- 79%
- Share 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 who are aspiring to sell on Etsy marketplace or already have started to sell on Etsy and aimed at answering all the prominent queries to ease selling and increase profitability
- Benefits of Selling on Etsy
- What is 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 shop on Etsy?
- How to attract traffic and improve the position of my Etsy listings? How does Etsy search relevancy work?
- How to write the title for a listing in Etsy for SEO? How to ensure that your Etsy items appear on Google Product Search?
- How to get paid with Etsy payments? Is it possible to use PayPal to accept payments in Etsy?
- How can people sell a trademarked product on Etsy?
- Who pays for Shipping on Etsy buyer or seller?
- Some Do’s and Don’ts guidelines at Etsy.com
Earlier, craftsmen sold their products at fairs, open markets, and on consignment. While the web opened ways to achieve buyers past their neighborhood, specialists didn’t feel the need to set up their own 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 personalized 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.
As visible in the above image Imprinting – an Etsy shop dealing with Garment Printing have 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 a great 33+ million strong community and among them, 40% are the repeat buyers. It is a testimony to the customer’s love towards Etsy. These are great metrics and should compel merchants to open their Etsy shop 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 coupon and collect emails so as to enable them to engage with their targeted audiences personally.
d) Own Shipping Policies:
This one also puts sellers in charge of their listings. The Etsy 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:
It 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%. Therefore it offers a great m-commerce presence to online sellers.
The top categories which sell on Etsy are:
- Home & Living,
- Toys & Games,
- Supplies & Tools,
- Kids & Baby and Vintage.
Whereas, the best seller products include Stickers, Handmade Kid’s clothing, Homemade or specialized clothing, party decorations, vinyl & heat transfer supplies, Jewelry articles and findings, Home decor, art and collectibles, unique items and vintage items and anything which is hard-to-find.
There are different types of fee applied when a sale of your listing happens on Etsy. These are the following:
a) Listing Fees
b) Shipping Label Fees
c) Transaction Fees
a) Etsy Listing Price:
A listing online on Etsy costs $0.20 which is available for 4 months (variations excluded). For example, if you sell 4 different variations 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, same 20 cents/listing will be applied.
It also charges $0.20 for each of the ADDITIONAL quantity that sells within a single transaction. It means if multiple listings are sold in 1 order, $0.20 will be charged on each item. Learn more about the multi-quantity fee: Multi-Quantity Fees
If you want to list a private/custom status for a particular listing, you need to pay $0.20 listing for the fee. Once a private 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. It also includes Primary and Secondary fee which means that basic shipping fee for an item and when it is shipped with another item respectively.
c) Transaction fee:
The first is a shipping transaction fee. It is different from shipping label fee and is 5% of the shipping cost listed for an item. Then there is a Transaction fee which constitutes 5% of the total value of an item. In addition, 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 reasonable but also flexible enough to allow you to sell products from your online store. Thus, if you have a Shopify store, you can sell Shopify products on Etsy.
If you use square payment processing for a contactless transaction and other modes, $.20 + square payment processing is applied.
There are 2 types of VAT fees:
i) VAT on processing Fee and,
ii) VAT on sellers services.
Then there are miscellaneous fees involved however these are subjective. It means they will be levied only if you use them such as 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).
As said Etsy is an open marketplace and anyone can sell on the marketplace. However, there are some permits and license required if you’re selling products belonging to a certain category. Etsy offers a level playing field to all. This information will be crucial to those who are just getting started. So there are two 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, a location of a business and 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
- Products that change shape
1. Products that don’t change shape:
This implies the listings are made without their changing their form and use. To better understand it let’s take some examples:
- the label wrapped around a spool of twine – You can see manufacture location mentioned directly on the product packaging)
- clay or paint containers – You can see manufacture location mentioned directly on the top or bottom of containers
- a pair of scissors – You can see manufacture location mentioned on the product itself
In this case, the location of manufacture refers to the country where your item was made, produced, or grown.
2. Product Changes the shape:
a) In the case where raw materials were sourced from Multiple Countries:
If the item contains raw materials which are sourced from multiple countries then the final location where these materials were combined to take a different shape, the location of manufacture would be the place where these materials were combined. A DIY kit is a classic example of products belonging to this category.
b) In the case where products were assembled in one country:
Another example is where the raw materials were not sourced from multiple countries but one. Nevertheless, they were transformed into another country. The example in consideration here could be silk threads sourced from one country and then transformed into decorative tassels into another. Here, the latter country is the location of manufacture.
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. It is to be noted here that overlooking these regulations will attract a fine. Many states require Etsy sellers to collect sales tax. Depending on the state where you do business, sales and use tax can be complicated.
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: It varies by State. Some states demands sales tax collection information for both digital and physical products whereas some limit to the physical products only. You need to check with local tax authorities/accountants for more information.
Fictitious Business Names: Most Etsy sellers come up with unique names for their shops to stand out and let buyers know the types of products they sell. 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’re selling food on your Etsy store, you may need to be certified through your local Health Department to sell online. The US Food and Drug Administration has great resources to help you navigate the various requirements for US sellers.
Hobby vs. For-Profit Business: Do you have the same business license requirements for your Etsy store if it’s only a hobby? The answer to this question is it depends on the IRS if it requires every penny of income you receive to be reported on your federal tax return whether you do it for fun or for profit, then you need to do it. Every state is different, and 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 or by using the production partner manager. Production partner profiles ask for the actual name and/or descriptive title of your production partner and for some additional details about how your items are designed and produced.
Only some fields of each production partner profile will be viewable by the public, including the location and description you enter related to each partner. While the actual name of each production partner you work with must be disclosed to Etsy in each profile, you can also choose to enter a “descriptive title” for your partner that will appear publicly instead of the actual business name.
Your About section and shop policies: While not required, it is strongly encouraged to have both your About section and your shop policies completed. 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.
Please be sure to include all your shop members’ names and their roles – including your own – in the Shop members area of the page. If you’re the only person involved in your Etsy business, you only need to list yourself.
Your shop policies should provide brief descriptions of what your buyers should expect when purchasing from your shop. For example, you can outline your policies for payment, shipping, and returns/exchanges.
Edit your policies by going to Shop Manager, clicking the pencil icon next to your shop name under Sales Channels, and scrolling down to the Shop Policies section.
It is as easy as it gets. Since Etsy is an open marketplace which means you don’t need to be pre-approved to sell on Etsy. Also, you don’t need to be an experienced seller to get started 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. All of these steps are explained below:
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 and password or directly signup using your google or facebook account.
Step 2: After Creating Profile Create Your Own Shop
- 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 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 physical 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. Thereafter, 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.
To attract traffic on Etsy 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 5 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 one is among the most domination factors in the Etsy search algorithm as it matches takes the search term entered by the visitors and 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 for 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. Etsy termes this parameter as listing quality. Therefore, listing with high conversion rates are given preference.
3.The positive experience part: Since positive customer experience compels decision making in one’s factor, 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 and properly worded Shop Policies is a must. Shop location also affects the ranking of listings. This is to achieve 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 from all kind of different sources. Every link contributes to higher search engine relevance. A great idea is to link back your home shop page with individual listings and policy pages.
To get the complete picture and how to implement the aforementioned factors read, 5 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 write the title for a listing in Etsy for SEO? How to ensure that your Etsy items appear on Google Product Search?
First and foremost you need to be really 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 most important 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.
Some of the examples are:
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 titles with exact phrase match terms are given higher priority.
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 contain relevant keywords at the beginning, they are given preference over listings with keywords at last.
There are several ways to get paid from Etsy:
- 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’ve made the 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.
- Besides this, you are free to deal with customers and accept the payment as per the convenience of both of you.
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.
10. Who pays for Shipping on Etsy buyer or seller?
It varies from product to products. Some of the products are offered free shipping where sellers bear the cost of shipping whereas, some requires buyers to pay for shipping. It depends upon the order value, shipping destination, and the shipment method chosen by the buyers. 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 images should look attractive. You can edit your image using 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 shop: Whenever you get the order then respond to them graciously.
- Be an active team member: Try to be the 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.
- 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. Don’t make money from them. Take the items to the post office and get them weighed.
- Check your convos regularly: Check you 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 your product. Presentation of the product should be good. You should describe your product as accurate as possible. The product description should be optimized in accordance with 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:
Want to sell on Marketplaces, Read below Articles:
1. Shape your journey of selling on Etsy. Shape it with WooCommerce.
2. Sell on Etsy with BigCommerce
3. Learn to make money with Etsy International Shipping
4. Why do people leave Etsy? | How not to be one of them!