How to Start Selling on Etsy- A Full Walkthrough

Opening an Etsy shop isn’t difficult, it’s making your first sales that gets tricky! But once you decide what you’re going to sell, you can get started selling on Etsy by opening a shop and listing your first items.

This walkthrough will take you through the whole process of opening an Etsy shop and listing your first items.


How to start selling on Etsy: Things to check first.

To open a new Etsy shop you’ll need to use an account that doesn’t have a shop attached to it already. If you have an Etsy buyer account you can use that, or you’ll need to sign in and create a new account using an email address that’s different. Use the link below to get started with 40 free listings: (affiliate link)


You can also go directly to this link but it won’t give you the free listings! Sell on EtsyOpens in a new tab.

You can have more than one shop but each one has to have a different email address. You can use the same financial information, though, so if you have one business bank account you can put that on all of your Etsy shops.

Before you start selling on Etsy you should also check to see what the legal requirements are for your area, because you might have to register as a business. Check this article for that: Do You Need A Business License To Sell On Etsy?

You should also go through this article with a list of things to do before setting up shop that came from members of the Artisan Shopping Directory: Things to do before opening an Etsy shop.

The main thing to check is whether you can sell what you want to sell on Etsy. Etsy is for handmade, vintage, and supplies, but you can’t resell things that someone else made. If you didn’t make it or design it, you can’t call it handmade.

For an article about using production partners on Etsy, click here: Production partners on Etsy


How to start an Etsy shop: The setup.

The basic setup of an Etsy shop is pretty easy, with the most difficult part probably being finding a name for your shop.

If you have a business name already you have to make sure that the name is available, but that’s done as part of the process.

For a full video walkthrough, watch this:

How to start selling on Etsy.


The basic steps to creating an Etsy shop:

1. Go to Etsy.com/sellOpens in a new tab. while you’re signed out of any other Etsy seller accounts that you have.

2. Sign in using an email address that isn’t attached to a current selling account, or create a new account.

3. Set up your shop preferences by following the prompts that Etsy shows you.


The shop preferences page.

4. Choose your shop name. You might have to get creative with this, since a shop name can’t be used more than once on Etsy, even if the account is inactive. If you already have a business name, try that first, but if another business is already using it on Etsy you’ll have to do something else. You can use your own name, add something like “designs” or “co” onto the end of your business name, or choose something totally different.


Image of the Stock Your Shop page in the Etsy shop setup process
Add listings.

5. Add some listings. Etsy suggests ten to start, but you can open a shop with only one listing. You can also add a listing, then immediately change it to a draft using the listing manager, so don’t worry about messing things up too much.

At this point, I’d suggest that you add a listing, then change it to a draft and go through the rest of the setup. Then you can come back and finish listing more things once you get the rest of the shop setup done.


Image of the payment account setup on Etsy.
Set up your payment account.

6. The next section after you list something is to add your financial information. You need to fill this out with the exact information that’s on your tax return, plus the bank account that you want your Etsy deposits to go to.

I would suggest that you use a business bank account, not a personal one, because it’s basically impossible to change bank accounts on Etsy once you have one set up. Just assume that this is a decision that you’re going to have to live with and make the account that you put down the one that you want to use forever!

At some point in this process, you’ll probably have to confirm your Etsy account by having them send you email.

You’ll also want to turn on two-factor authentication for your Etsy shop account, since that will make it more difficult for someone to hack your account.


Image of the billing account setup.
Set up your billing account to pay your Etsy bill.

7. Next, you’ll have to add a credit card so that Etsy can charge you for any outstanding charges that you have. When they take fees from your orders, they’ll take those out before you’re paid, so normally you won’t have anything to pay.

But if you’re listing a lot of things at 20 cents each (the listing fee) and you haven’t made any sales yet, you might end up owing more than you made. This could also happen if you spend a lot on ads but you haven’t made many sales yet.


The pencil icon to edit your shop.
Pencil icon to edit your shop.

8. Now you can set up your shop details, like uploading a shop logo and filling out the shop About section. The shop About section is different from your personal profile, and it should tell about your business, not about you.

To edit your shop, click the little pencil icon next to the shop name, or on the homepage of the shop next to the shop name. This will open up the shop editor, where you can edit each section individually.

Etsy moves things around a lot in this section, so you might see options that are different from the ones in the video above, but you should basically fill out everything that you can fill out. Make sure that your shop policies follow the laws in your area. For example, if you live somewhere that requires online sellers to accept returns, you can’t say that you don’t accept returns.


What to do after setting up your Etsy shop.

Once your shop is set up you can add more listings and start working on building your traffic. I would suggest that you watch my Youtube tutorials channel, because I’ve done a lot of short tutorial videos for new Etsy sellers that can help you with the basics of understanding the system: Youtube.com/karabuntintutorialsOpens in a new tab.

You should start sending your own traffic to your Etsy shop with social media, and keep listing things to fill your shop up. Using good SEO is important, so make sure that you understand that before you start running ads. Etsy ads tend to work better for things with higher price points, but they rely on the titles and tags that you’ve put on your listings.

A lot of people will say to start throwing a lot of money at Etsy ads right off the bat, but I wouldn’t suggest that unless you have a lot of money to play with. Some people have success with that method but a lot of people don’t, and they end up losing money they can’t afford to lose.

Read the other home-based business articles on this website, and you can also join my public Facebook group for home-based business owners hereOpens in a new tab. to get more advice and support.

Kara

Kara Buntin has run a home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 46,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO.

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