How To Set Up An Etsy Shop

If you’ve been wanting to know how to set up an Etsy shop for your beautiful creations, vintage finds or craft supplies then keep reading. I've been selling on Etsy for almost 4 years (wow, I just realized how long it's been) so hopefully you find it’s the right fit for you and your future small business.

How To Set Up An Etsy Shop

Etsy rewards it’s sellers by providing them with their own personal invite link that they can share to bring on new friends to set up an Etsy shop. This link allows both parties to earn 40 free listings when the invitee officially opens the shop up for business.

Then, say, you open your shop through my invite link you will then have your own invite link to share and continue earning free listings while the friends who you invite also gets free listings. (I once went almost a whole year without having to pay any listing fees. I was an Etsy shop slinger, back in the day!)

How To Set Up An Etsy Shop For Success

Your next step after signing up but before you officially open for business you want to set up all the nitty gritty details. This includes your policies, about page, shipping info, accepted payments, etc. so you have a safe and stress free business (well, maybe I can't cure the stress-free part, but having these things set up correctly can certainly help).

About Page

Let people know what you have to offer and how it will enrich their lives. How will your product make your customers lives better and easier? Share that with them. Keep a look out for a blog post on how to effectively write an About page.

Find shops that you love and check out their About page for inspiration. Think about why you buy from other shops and create an About Me page that will send your customers running for their wallet.

Also, in your About section, you can add up to 5 photos plus a video. You want to fill these with photos that show people your process. Show a photo of you in your studio, or of you creating your item or packaging it. Even if you just show your hands I think customers can really resonate with that. 

Profile Page

You’re also going to have a profile page. I like to keep it all about my customer there too. I do introduce myself but I always talk about my products and the benefits first before I introduce myself. You can also include your email sign up link here as well. In fact, I would suggest you include your email signup link everywhere you can.

I will go more in depth about setting up an email list in a separate post so be sure to join the Maker Mob so you don't miss it! (See what I did there?) 

Shop Announcement

This is one of the first things Etsy shoppers see when they enter your shop. If you're just opening your shop then having something like "Welcome to [SHOP NAME]! Browse my unique handmade XYZ)" Remember, shopper can only see the first 3 line of text before they have to click Read More so make sure you use exciting language to pull them in.

If you offer any coupon codes, promotions, have any important events coming up, or your email list lead magnet, then make sure that's visible without them having to click Read More. Then you can add some other info like your social media handles below. 

Shop Policies

Lastly for the Set Up An Etsy Shop For Success section is your Shop’s Policies. Yes, I know, it’s so boring, and wouldn’t you just like to skip that part. Absolutely NOT! This part of your shop will save your butt from time to time. Make it clear what you allow/accept and what you do not.

If you don’t allow returns make sure you include that in your policies (although you should also include that in all your product listings because most places allow returns and you don’t want to have an irate customer who didn’t read your entire shop policies--which happens all the time).

Try to have a friendly voice when writing your policies. If you have a very playful, cheery voice in your About section and in your listings then let that flow on through to your policies. You don’t have to sound too serious.

Make sure that you account for everything, lost/damaged packages, broken items, etc. Satisfy your customer any way you can even if it’s their fault. There’s nothing like a satisfied customer because word of mouth is still the best form of marketing.

"Work That Hustle" Print by Mad Kitty Media on Etsy

"Work That Hustle" Print by Mad Kitty Media on Etsy

Taking Payments

While you set up an Etsy shop you need to think about how you'll take payments from customers and also how YOU will get paid! That’s always the fun part.

How Do You Want Your Customers To Pay You?

You have the option to accept credit/debit cards, PayPal, money orders, personal checks and Etsy gift cards. You don’t have to accept all these payments, you can just accept credit/debit or just PayPal, etc.

How Do You Want To Get Paid?

Before you set up an Etsy shop you'll need your bank account information and PayPal info, if you have PayPal. A lot of people like to pay using PayPal because they like to keep their funds separate from their bank account so definitely think about signing up to PayPal. But it’s not dire to have one and your bank account will suffice.

Etsy Fees

When you sign up through my link you're able to set up your entire shop and list your first 40 items absolutely free. You don’t have to pay anything until you make that first sale.

Listing Fee

After you use up all your 40 free listings (and if you haven’t acquired more through getting others to set up an Etsy shop) then the regular Etsy listing fee is $0.20. Not too bad. You can definitely work that into your pricing if you don’t see a future in Etsy shop slinging, like myself.

Seller Fee

Next, there is a seller’s fee. This doesn’t come into play until you have sold your first item and every item thereafter. Etsy takes a small percentage of 3.5%. To put that into perspective, if you’re selling a $50 item then Etsy would only take $1.75. You can also work that into your pricing so you’re basically accounting for everything and making all the money you need to run a successful (AND profitable) business.

You don’t have to pay a cent until you sell something. That’s fair, right? After all, Etsy provides so much traffic, they teach you everything you need to know, they have an amazingly supportive maker community and they are integrated with Google so you will often find your Etsy shop/items through Google search. 

Learn SEO to make your listings more crawlable by search engines. (Another subject I hope to tackle in the future.)

Monthly Etsy Bill

I also want to go over your Etsy bill. All your listing fees, sellers fees and shipping label purchases (which I’ll go over in a minute) they all get collected in Your Bill (click Your Shop > Finances > Your Bill) where you can pay one monthly fee instead of having to pay right away. I personally think it’s a cool feature. That way you will have your money from selling your first item already in your bank account before you have to pay your Etsy bill.

"Cha-Ching" Etsy Coasters by Peppercorn Prints

"Cha-Ching" Etsy Coasters by Peppercorn Prints

Gettin' Paid In The Shade

Next I’ll walk you through how you will get your money and how long it will take to show up in your bank account.

Direct Checkout (Debit/Credit Cards)

During your first few sales Etsy will hold your money in your Shop Payment Account for a few days, I can’t remember exactly how long but I know it’s about 4-5 days before it becomes available for deposit. After you start getting more sales under your belt Etsy will start to allow you to deposit the very next or same day.

Now, there’s a little trick with this. Once your money starts becoming available to you, there’s a button in your Shop Payment Account that’s labeled Schedule Earlier Deposit (click Your Shop > Finances > Payment Account). You want to click that button as soon as you see your money is available for deposit otherwise Etsy will just hold it there until the next available Monday before automatically depositing it into your bank account.

Depending on which bank you use it can take anywhere up to a day or two from the moment your money leaves Etsy to it showing up and being available in your bank account. So don’t worry if you don’t see your money in either Etsy or your bank account within this time frame. For me, after my money leaves Etsy it doesn’t show up in my bank account until the next day. 

Oh, one more thing. Etsy always deposits your money around 6PM EST on the day it’s scheduled to deposit. Whether you select the Schedule Earlier Deposit or if you just let it sit there until it automatically get deposited on Mondays (which is what I do now that I have my own eCommerce site, Etsy is like an additional revenue stream for me).

PayPal

Now, if someone checks out using PayPal (this is for those who have a Paypal account or chooses to open one) then the money goes directly to your PayPal account as soon as they checkout. But you have to remember that PayPal also takes a small fee of 2.9%, so a little less than Etsy. But I guess it’s a the price you pay to get your money immediately. That is something you can also work into your pricing.

Money Orders

Is someone chooses the Money Order payment option at checkout (if you offer that payment option) then that item moves to your Sold Items. Your address is then sent to that customer where they will send the money order. DO NOT send your item until you have received the money order and have taken it to your bank and made sure its legit and you have the money in your account. After that is approved then you can send out the item. Don’t worry about the wait, anyone who pays with a money order knows that it will take longer for them to receive the item.

Personal Checks

This one is basically the same as money orders. Here is an Etsy forum that goes deeper on this topic. That’s another great thing about Etsy, is all the help you can get from Etsy Admins and Sellers!

Etsy Gift Cards

Etsy gift card payments (you first have to add that as a payment option in your Accepted Payments section in order for people to use gift cards in your shop - Edit: Actually I think you're automatically able to take Etsy Gift Cards if you have Direct Checkout enabled). The money you get from a gift card will act the same as if someone paid direct checkout and the money will go to your Shop Payment Account.

Etsy E-Readers

This is a fairly new feature that Etsy developed. They offer you a free e-reader that you attach to your mobile device and with the Etsy seller app you can take payments in person! This is great for craft fairs, festivals or just at home with friends and family who want to buy from you. I believe you can also take cash and just enter it into your app. I don’t have one so here is a run down on the Etsy E-Readers.

"Girl Boss" Mug by Pretty Collected

"Girl Boss" Mug by Pretty Collected

Shipping

So, what are you going to do once you make that first sale? Why, you print and ship!  Etsy makes it super easy to print your own shipping labels at home.

Figure Out Your Shipping Costs

First, you want to figure out what your shipping costs will be. It’s fairly simple to do, just go to USPS.com or whatever the appropriate shipping company is for your country. Calculate costs through weight and packages size along with the shipping method you’ll be using. Then you add that price to all your Etsy listings. Update: you can actually create shipping profiles so you can re-use shipping setting with just one click (click Your Shop > Listings > Shipping Settings) 

Printing Labels On Etsy

Once you receive your first order that item goes into your Sold Items section of your shop (click Your Shop > Orders > Orders > Completed). You're able to see which payment method they used, you’re able to contact them for any additional info and you're also provided with their email.

There you can see a button labeled Print Shipping Label. Click that button and select your shipping method (i.e. First Class, Priority, Express, etc.), then select your package type, enter the size of the package and lastly enter the weight of it. If you're shipping international you'll need to create a customs form (it's super easy, I plan on creating a blog post just on international shipping because I think a lot of sellers are a bit afraid of it). 

Etsy calculates your shipping cost and voila! Your label will be sent to your printer where you can print it out, create your pretty package and ship.

Printing Labels At Your Local Post Office

You can also take your packages up to the post office, ask for a tracking number and they'll print it out on your receipt. Then you can go into your Etsy Seller app, or wait until you get home, and enter all the tracking numbers for each package into your open sales so your buyers have their tracking information. 

Etsy Headquarters

Etsy Headquarters

Etsy Community + Help

Etsy has an amazing community of sellers and admins who are there for you every step of the way!

Etsy Forums

Etsy has loads of forums that talk about everything from copywriting to product photography to shipping to marketing. You can start your own discussion or ask questions. You can access these forums without having a shop as well. Find these forums here.

Etsy Blog

Etsy even has a blog! Again, you can read about anything in their blog. It’s been so helpful for me and I continue to find a lot of inspiration from it. They even feature shops from time to time so try your hand at pitching to them for a feature.

Etsy Teams

You can also join amazing Etsy teams. There is a team for just about every genre and topic out there. You can also create your own team.

Etsy Success Newsletter

Sign up for their free email newsletter and get the best tips and tricks to improving your Etsy shop success.

Etsy Seller Handbook

This is the Etsy seller's bible! Check out the seller handbook for tons tips on selling your items on Etsy. Remember, Etsy is based on YOUR success They thrive when you thrive!

And So Much More!

I could go on and on! There are so many things you can do and find on Etsy to help you be the best you can be. So check them out, even if you don’t want to set up a shop with them. They still have amazing tips that you can use to your benefit!

So what are you waiting for?! Sign up now and start creating the life you’ve always dreamed of! One with freedom! Be your own boss! #GirlBoss #Entreprenuer #GetOnYourGrinde #EverydayImHustlin You get the picture.

Congratulations! You're Now Open For Business!

That, for now, should cover everything you need to know to set up an Etsy shop! The rest is all hustle! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. If you do decide that Etsy is the right platform and you do end up opening your shop please share it in the comments as well! I’d love to check it out!

Much Success To You!