If you have decided to take your business plans to the next, practical level and create an online store, but have no clue where to start, you have come to the right place to get some clues. This is our intro article of the Etsy series, where we’ll help you create your very own Etsy store!
First things first - what is Etsy
Etsy is an online marketplace, loved by creative artists, small business owners, and just in general - people who want to sell their stuff. You have probably already checked out the website and noticed that there are mostly handmade, vintage, or custom things. Basically, Etsy is where the creative minds sell their creations. And customers love that! Also, many people enjoy shopping there just to financially support small business owners and artists - they know that the money goes to actual hard-working people and not a mega-corporation.
That is how Etsy differs from other online marketplaces (like Amazon, for example) or classic large scale retailers – it focuses more on personal, individual experience and products rather than mass-produced goods, and thus attracts a certain type of audience that is looking for original and creative things, and is not afraid to spend a higher sum for them.
To help sellers improve their business or to learn some useful tips, there is a forum section that is also worth checking out if you are a Etsy beginner. It might be really helpful while you take your first steps into your new business! Overall Etsy is great for beginners - the customer traffic is good, you get to see which products they love more than others, you can communicate with other sellers, and it is easy to create an account, so let’s get into that!
How to create an Etsy account
After opening the Etsy website, you will be presented with the chance to register. In this step you have to enter your email, name, password - basically the usual sign up stuff you have to do everywhere. This is a super-fast step and after 2 minutes the vast world of Etsy will be presented to you.
2. “Sell on Etsy”
That's the next thing you have to click on after you have registered your account and logged in. You will find the button under your profiles icon.
3. "Get started"
After that, you will be directed to a different page and in the middle of your screen there will be a button “Get started” (it’s hard to miss it), click on it!
4. Set your shop preferences
After the previous step is done, you will have to set your shop's preferences. The great thing about starting an Etsy shop is that it’s hard to get confused with these steps, since all of them have clear instructions of what you have to do! You have to choose the default language you’ll use to describe your products, the country in which your store is based (where are you located or where your products are being manufactured, either is fine), the currency you’ll use to price your items (though for customers from other countries, the currency will be converted to theirs), and then, you have to inform Etsy what kind of a seller are you - a beginner seller, or with some previous experience in this field (this information won’t affect your store in any way, so don’t worry). After you are done with this step, click “Save and continue” and move on to the next step.
5. Name your shop
Your store’s name should include the name of what you are selling or at least the vibe of your store, so it is easier for customers to find you. For example add words like vintage or urban. To reach your target audience, try to come up with a name that will stay in people’s memory, or if you have any social media platform, use the same name from it - that way it will be easier for your followers to find you! And if you can’t think of a name, Etsy has a wonderful article on how to come up with one, but, if you don’t feel like reading another article, when you enter you shop name, Etsy provides different names that are available.
6. Stock your shop
Next you have to add listings (the products you want to sell) for your store.
- Upload a photo of the product you wish to sell. Make sure the picture is in good quality (recommended resolution at least 2000 pixels wide) and the main product is clearly visible. The photos you upload will affect people's decision to buy the product or not! It is also possible to upload a video, so record your product from all angles, capture every detail, so your customers know what they are paying for.
- Choose the title carefully, because it will determine if the buyers will be able to find your product. Simple words work best, for example, if you are selling a T-shirt with your design on it, write something like “Black customised T-shirt” or “T-shirt with cool design”. However, try to include multiple keywords to increase the chances that people will find your product through search. Keep it tasty, though! Take a peek at competitors if you are out of ideas.
- In the description section feel free to write anything you want about the product, though the first lines have to be really catchy, because those will be the first your customers will see and thus will judge if it’s worth reading till the end. Write about the making of the product, why should people spend their money on it, what’s the purpose of the product, why should customers choose that particular product instead of some other alternatives, basically anything that you think your customers should know (just don’t over-do, keep things balanced).
- Tags are not mandatory, but let's treat them like they are, because that’s how people will find your store, so don’t skip this part and add tags that relate to your product. Add some tags that are currently trending (do some research on that), but only if they relate to your shop in some way.
- Note materials (if you can) - people pay close attention to what they buy and what the product consists of.
- Add price. To determine what price would be the best for you and your customers, do some market research, compare what your competitors offer, calculate your expenses. The price consists of many things and you might want to do some research or consult with a person who can give you some tips on this topic. The basic version: calculate how much it costs to produce the item, then add a certain percentage to that number.
- Add shipping details. You should look up your local shipping services and find the average delivery time, shipping prices, customs information etc. If you do print on demand, talk to your supplier about shipping details, they'll do the hard work for you! Note that some shops write free shipping in this section, but put the shipping costs in the product price. People love the word free, so it's effective marketing.
7. Set up your payment and billing details
Etsy has a system called Etsy Payments. When you connect your shop to it, customers will have a number of options on how to pay you and they will be able to pay in their currency. After you have entered the payment details, you will also have to verify your identity by uploading your ID card/passport/driver’s licence or any other government-issued document that can confirm your identity. After you have done that, you can move on to the billing details.
8. Take care of security
You will be asked to set up two-factor authentication, so that if some nasty hackers try to break into your online shop, they won’t get the chance to do that without your knowledge.
And that’s basically it! You have created your store, but for it to look better, you should edit your store details, for example, add your location, profile picture etc, so that other users of Etsy can see who are you and wouldn’t think that your account is some sketchy shop with no selling experience (to get to the editing, click on the store button, you will find it on the right side at the top of the page, and then click “edit shop”).
After all is done, you will have to take care of another thing that is of great importance - marketing. But that sounds like a topic for another day, doesn’t it? Now go on and create an Etsy account!
And if you feel inspired to sell custom design print products in your Etsy store, but are worried about all the practical issues that come along with fulfillment, like manufacturing costs, equipment, and product shipping, we have a great solution for you - Printseekers print on demand service. So, if you really want to get going with your new Etsy print shop without an inventory & significant investment, let us know and we’ll help you!