Are you a pattern designer? A cross-stitcher? Are you knowledgeable in online crafts and everything handmade? It’s possible to profit from your skills.
Etsy is a marketplace focusing on handmade and vintage items. In this article, we’ll go through the steps to building your own Etsy shop.
Step 1: Open an Etsy account
1: Visit the Etsy website and click on Sign In in the top left corner. Sign in to an existing account in the pop up box or click Register in the top right and fill in your details.
Step 2: Head to the shop creation section of Etsy
1: Visit Sell on Etsy.
2: Read all the available information on fees, tools, support and so on… When you are ready to continue, click on Open your Etsy shop.
3: Start by creating your seller’s account. This will be different from the shop information so fill the information accordingly. You have the option of either connecting your account through Facebook or Google or simply fill your personal information when registering.
You will receive an email with a link to confirm your registration before being able to proceed further. Don’t forget to check your spam folder if it doesn’t arrive. You are now ready to start creating your store.
Step 3: Set up your shop information
1: When you confirm your registration, a step-by-step form will appear to set up your shop. In this first phase, you will choose your shop’s preferences:
- The language you will be using throughout to describe your products
- The country your shop is in
- The currency you will be using when pricing your items. Currencies will be automatically converted according to your buyer’s preferences so don’t worry about that.
You will also be asked to describe yourself as a seller. This is just for information purposes and it doesn’t really affect how you will appear to buyers.
After you make your initial selections, click on save and continue to proceed.
2: Choose the name of your shop. Make it short, memorable and brandable and make sure that it somehow reflects you. Be careful to only include roman letters without accents and numbers and you can’t include spaces. If you want to change it later on, you are able to do so.
Check the availability of the store name of your choice to be sure no one else already has it. Once you are satisfied, click on save and continue to start uploading your product information.
Step 4: Stock up your store!
Time to fill your new store with products. You can add as many listings as you like. Try to have at least a dozen items for sale before your launch.
Adding a listing may seem like a long process, but the more information you provide about what you are selling, the better your potential buyers will understand what you’re offering. When you’re ready, click on add a listing to begin.
1: Add photos. The best way to show your product is to add plenty of photos. If you’re selling a digital pattern, you can add pictures of what the finished product would look like. Take high quality pictures of your product from several angles. You need to upload at least one, but you can add up to 5 pictures per listing. They should be at least 570 pixels wide JPG, PNG or GIF.
2: Add the description. Time to give some details about the listing. In the title section, you should not only give the name of your item but add as many keywords as possible. For example, if you’re selling a completed cross stitch piece of a duck, you have to clarify that it is a stitched piece so potential buyers don’t confuse it with a pattern or a kit. Note: We’ve listed some useful resources around search optimisation and reaching customers at the bottom of this post.
In about this listing, explain:
- Who made it: whether it’s you personally or if you are a reseller
- What type of listing it is: for example a finished product or a supply
- When it was made: the date of the product’s creation. If it’s an on demand item, make sure to select made to order.
Finally choose the category, sub-category, sub-sub category and so on of the item. Each item type will have an extra set of fields to fill depending on what you choose.
There are hundreds of possibilities to choose from, but for this tutorial, we will stick to cross stitch related categories. Here’s what you should select in the drop down menus for each category:
- Patterns: Craft Supplies & Tools –> Patterns & How To –> Patterns & Blueprints
- Kits: Craft Supplies & Tools –> Patterns & How To –> Kits
- Hoops: Craft Supplies & Tools –> Frames, Hoops & Stands –> Hoops
- Aida canvas: Craft Supplies & Tools –> Canvas & Surfaces –> Canvas –> Aida Canvas
- Floss: Craft Supplies & Tools –> Fabric & Notions –> Notions –> Floss
- Finished pieces: Arts & Collectibles –> Fiber Arts –> Cross Stitch
3: Choose your renewal option: manual or automatic. When you first submit your listing, it remains active for four months. If your item is still available, you can choose to renew your listing for another four months. If you select Manual renewal, you will have control over when to renew an expired listing. Otherwise, renewal will be done automatically every time it expires.
4: Fill in your product description: In this section, you should elaborate and provide as much detail as possible about your product. It can be a simple description or you can create a funny and creative story to explain the story behind your product. Add details such as dimensions, extra colors, difficulty, key features, etc…
5: Add optional information such as Tags and Materials. You can add up to 13 tags for each that will make your listing more searchable and indexable. For example, when describing material information about a finished piece, you can add: metallic floss, beads, aida 14 count canvas etc….
6: Define your inventory and price. When thinking about how to price your item, take into consideration all your expenses. After all you want to make a profit when selling!
If you have more than 1 of the same item, the listing will renew automatically until it is sold out.
SKU, or stock keeping unit, is a method of organizing your stock to keep track of your inventory. If you’re selling multiple items, or are considering mass-producing, it would be wise to set up an inventory system. You have complete freedom over how to define your system.
If you’re selling unique patterns, you can name your items Pat001, Pat002 and so on. If you’re also selling stitched bookmarks, you can add BKM001, BKM002 etc… Each product should have its unique SKU.
7: Add the different variations of your product. This optional phase allows you to add all the different types of the product you are offering. For example if you are selling a pattern in two size versions, you can list them accordingly.
8: Set your shipping preferences according to your product type. Depending on whether your product is physical or digital, you will have different shipping systems.
For a physical product: You can choose the cost of shipping from your country to any other country depending on your fees. For example, if you live in the United States, you may set free shipping to other people in the United States, a $10 shipping fee for neighboring countries like Canada and Mexico and a $15 fee to everyone else around the world.
Shipping fees often depend on the location of the seller, the location of the buyer and the weight of the item. To get a better ideas of how to set up these fees, contact your local post office to get an estimation. You don’t want to set a low fee and see all your profit go on these extra costs.
For digital files: You only have to upload the file in a PDF format and Etsy will handle the online delivery of the file after payment.
Step 5: Choose how you’ll get paid
You have several methods of getting paid depending on your country:
- Direct checkout
- Payment by Mail such as checks or money orders
- Other: you are responsible for arranging payments after purchase
Step 6: Set up your billing information
Now for the last step! Add your billing information such as credit card payments, address etc… since Etsy needs to charge you listing fees and transaction fees on your sales.
After you are done, you will see the open your shop button change colors. You can now click on it and open your store to the world!
Step 7: Customize your shop
Time to customize your store and make it more appealing. You can add your store’s logo, a cover photo, edit your shop tagline, add an about page, announcements, featured items, etc…. Allocate some time to make your store look unique and interesting.
Step 8: Promote your shop and reach more customers
Having a physical OR online store is always more work than it looks. There is a lot of competition for customers so learn as much as you can about running a successful Etsy shop.
Here are some extra resources to help you understand how Etsy works.
1. 8 Etsy SEO Tips to Help Your Customers Find You – Understanding Etsy search is super important. This post explains how to improve your titles and descriptions and raise the profile of your shop.
2. The New Seller’s Guide to Etsy Marketing – A detailed overview of additional ways to promote your shop such as social media and paid advertising.
Overwhelmed already? Try not to be. Every successful online business started at the beginning. Just decide if it’s something you really want to try and keep learning.