How To Open an Etsy Shop in 6 Simple Steps

A digital book that explains how to open an etsy shop

 Are you ready to open your shop on the ever-growing and beautiful platform of Etsy? 

If you’re not sure - or if maybe you’re on the fence about whether you should make the effort to open a store - I’m here to tell you a resounding, DO IT!

I’ve been selling vintage clothing on Etsy for over thirteen years. And I wish I’d had someone nudging me to open the shop sooner.

If you’re wondering whether eBay might better suit your needs, read this to double-check your options. EBay is great for a lot of sellers, but if you’re interested in selling a niche handmade item, or you love vintage and feel eBay might be a bit crowded for you, Etsy is your place.

For years I’ve equated Etsy as a boutique-style option and eBay more like a big box store. So, if you’re looking for an Amazon-style place to call home, eBay could be a great option. But if you’re looking for an audience that values your art, your hard work, or your quality vintage clothing, then read on and see how simple it is to open your Etsy shop in six simple steps.

Pick a Name: While this may seem like almost an afterthought, don’t let it. I’ve seen some pretty hideous names, names that shouldn’t be shop names. But so often, we choose a name on the fly, and then change our minds, and by the time we get to change it to what we DO want, the better name has already been taken. 

Take some care when you choose your name, make it reflect what you’re selling or who you are. A good name is better than riches! So make that name count

Read the Rules: Check out Etsy’s handbook first before you commit. It’s long, but not overly long, and definitely not boring. It’s inspirational to see step by step how you can give your art, your craft, and your vintage love to the world. 

The handbook covers all the details of how opening a “shop” works, what you want to put in your shop, and how to follow all the rules - and regulations - that result in being a successful seller.

Have Ten Items to Sell: Perhaps this may seem like a large number of items. It isn’t. You don’t want to have an empty shop. The point of having a minimum of ten items is that it gives folks a chance to look at more than one item. When they find your shop, they can see your craft, your style, and what you offer, and many times, having more than one item gives the buyer the choice to buy … more! 

That is the point, after all, to make money from your craft. Find ten items, make them beautiful, whatever your art is, and make those available as soon as you can.

Register and Create Your Storefront: Sign up with Etsy, register your account, and get started - registering is the first step. Get that fantastic name chosen, and then get a banner photo or shop name banner designed as well as an avatar/icon/logo. If you use software that makes great banners and logos, perfect. If you’re looking for a free and easy option, I use Canva. They are so easy to use and you can find templates for your Etsy shop.

Take Dang Good Photos: It may be tempting to just pull out your phone, snap a few, and throw them up on the site. Resist the urge! Feel free to use your phone, or a real camera (I do both) but think about what you’re doing, and take your time. 

Do use natural light, and have a background that is clean and free of design to focus on the item, rather than the background. You want your items to sell and clean backgrounds work best. Take distance and close-up shots. Use all ten slots available for each item listed. 

Write Stellar Descriptions: If you think less is more (which I often do), when it comes to describing the item you’re selling, write as much as you can, cleanly and concisely. Think like a buyer. What does the item look like and feel like? What are the measurements, the color, and the materials? If it’s vintage, what does the tag say? What are the materials, and what are the specific dimensions of every part of the garment?  

More is more in the Etsy world. Reading is a part of the selling so make sure you cover all aspects of your item. Use all five senses!

If you put yourself in your future buyer's shoes, it takes the guesswork out of everything. Do this, and you’ll have buyers who won’t fill your inbox with questions but instead put your items in their cart for purchase. This is just a small sample of 6 simple steps you can do right now to open your Etsy shop.

Once you’ve set up shop, and sold a few things, you’ll have the hang of it. Just repeat it a few more times and everything will be second nature. 

When you get your first paycheck from Etsy, you’ll be glad you took the risk, opened a shop, and let the world see your beautiful, handmade items or the slow fashion perfection that vintage clothing is.

Let me know if you took a chance and opened a shop, too. I’d love to hear about what you want to sell or what you love to create. Tell me in the comments below. Etsy has been the best choice for me.  

Letting you know how simple and effective it is to create the life you want, a life carved out of your own creation, makes my Etsy world complete.

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