10 Things You Need to Do Before You Start a Business on Etsy
Starting a business on Etsy is an exciting and potentially profitable venture. However, before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, there are several things you need to do to set yourself up for success. In this document, we will discuss 10 important tasks you should complete before launching your business on Etsy.
Research the market
Before starting a business on Etsy, it’s crucial to conduct thorough market research. This will help you understand the demand for your products, your target audience, and your competitors. By doing this, you can identify potential gaps in the market and determine how you could fill them with your unique offerings in your Etsy shop.
It is crucial to learn about Etsy SEO. Using a platform like eRank or Sale Samurai will give you insights into what people are actually searching for. You’ll learn about competition and search volume. You want to create product listings for items that are selling on Etsy.
Benefits of using an Etsy SEO software:
- valid keywords for listing details
- keyword search volume and competition
- tag suggestions
- Etsy listing and shop audits
Create a business plan
Having a well-defined business plan is essential for any business, including an Etsy shop. This document will outline your goals, target market, financial projections, marketing strategies, and more. A solid business plan is crucial to help you stay focused and on track as you build your business.
In my opinion, one of the most crucial parts of a business plan is understanding the platform you are selling on. This is vital to your successes. I highly recommend taking the Etsy Mastery Course before you start. It will give you detailed, step by step information about how to set up your shop, and make sales. It even teaches you how to make all kinds of digital products. I can’t recommend it enough!
Choose a niche
Etsy is a vast marketplace with millions of sellers and products. To stand out in this crowded space, it’s important to choose a niche for your business. This could be anything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing or digital prints. Specializing in a specific niche will make it easier for potential customers to find you and help you build a loyal following. Your shop name should give your customers an idea of what your niche is.
Set up your shop
Once you have completed your research, created a business plan, and chosen your niche, it’s time to set up your Etsy shop. This involves creating a unique shop name, writing an engaging shop description, and uploading high-quality product photos.
Adding a shop announcement to your Etsy account will encourage customers to buy. You should also set up your shop policies, including shipping and return policies, to ensure a smooth purchasing process for your customers. You’ll also need to choose your shop currency and shop country.
Create quality products
The success of your Etsy business is heavily dependent on the quality of your products. Take the time to make sure your handmade or vintage goods are well-crafted and visually appealing. This will help you stand out from other sellers and attract more customers.
This can be a physical or digital product, ideally 10 or more Etsy listings before you open.
Determine your pricing strategy
Pricing can make or break a business, so it’s important to determine a pricing strategy before launching your Etsy shop. Consider factors such as the cost of materials, time spent on each product, and your competitors’ pricing to come up with a fair and profitable price point. Competitive pricing is the goal, but don’t undersell yourself and operate at a loss. It’s important to know your numbers.
Source materials and suppliers
If you will be creating products to sell in your Etsy shop, it’s important to find reliable suppliers for your materials. This could include fabric for clothing or packaging materials for shipping. It’s also a good idea to have backup suppliers in case one falls through.
Create a social media presence
In today’s digital age, having a strong social media presence is crucial for any business. Use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to promote your products, engage with customers, and build brand awareness.
Instagram is an extremely visual platform, which is perfect for those wanting to start a business on Etsy. As an Etsy seller, product photography can be a little intimidating. Using an app like PhotoRoom is an easy way to get great photos right from your phone.
Familiarize yourself with Etsy policies
Etsy has specific policies that all sellers must adhere to to maintain a healthy marketplace. Take the time to read and familiarize yourself with these policies, including rules regarding copyright infringement, shipping guidelines, and prohibited items.
This also includes things like payment processing fees, Etsy payments, Etsy fees, etc. It’s not hard to sell on Etsy, but you don’t want to do something by accident that would jeopardize your Etsy account.
Develop a marketing strategy
A solid marketing plan will help you reach your target audience and drive sales to your Etsy shop. Consider using Etsy ads or creating your promotional campaigns through social media or email marketing.
Etsy sellers can use the ads that are offered through the Etsy platform, or pay for ads on Instagram or Facebook. What is also helpful is to create an email list for your customers to sign up to. There are creative ways to do this without violating any of Etsy’s policies. You cannot, however, add emails from orders directly to an email list.
Bonus Tip: Continuously evaluate and improve
Finally, remember that starting a business on Etsy is an ongoing process. Continuously evaluating your progress and making adjustments as needed will help you grow your etsy shop and succeed in the long run. Keep track of your sales, customer feedback, and industry trends to stay ahead of the game.
Great customer service goes a long way to ensure that potential customers and existing customers become loyal customers who will become loyal, repeat customers.
What can I sell on Etsy?
The possibilities are endless! Etsy is a marketplace to sell handmade goods, as well as vintage products and craft supplies. Some popular categories on Etsy include:
- Jewelry and accessories
- Home decor and furnishings
- Clothing and fashion items
- Beauty and skincare products
- Artwork and prints
- Digital downloads (e.g. templates, patterns)
- Handmade crafts (e.g. candles, soap)
- Vintage clothing and home goods
- Print on demand products such as t-shirts and coffee mugs
However, these are just a few examples. There is room for all types of products on Etsy, so get creative and think outside the box! The key is to offer something unique and high-quality that will attract customers. So go ahead and start brainstorming your one-of-a-kind product ideas now.
How to create an Etsy listing
To create a listing on Etsy, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Etsy account and click on the “Sell” tab.
- Select “Add a Listing” and choose the type of listing you want to create (e.g. physical product, digital product).
- Fill in all required information, including title, description, price, quantity, images, and shipping details.
- Preview your listing to make sure everything looks good before publishing.
- Click “Publish” to make your listing live on Etsy.
Remember to regularly update your listings in your Etsy shop with new products and remove sold-out items to keep your shop looking fresh and organized.
How do Etsy fees work?
Etsy charges fees for listing and selling items on their platform. The current fee structure is as follows:
- $0.20 USD listing fee per item
- 6.5% transaction fee on the item price (including shipping)
- 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee (if using Etsy’s payment system)
It’s important to factor the listing fees, payment processing fees and transaction fees for each item into your pricing strategy and consider using Etsy’s payment system to avoid additional fees from third-party processors. For more information on Etsy fees, you can visit their website or contact their customer support team.
Also, Etsy’s fees are subject to change, so it may have changed since this post was written. Consult Etsy’s website for their current transaction fees and payment processing fees.
You can also accept in-person payments with a credit or debit card as payment at a craft or trade show, and accept payment through Etsy via a Square reader.
How to set up an Etsy payment account
To set up an Etsy payment account, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Etsy account and click on the “Shop Manager” tab.
- Go to “Finances” and select “Payment Settings.”
- Click on “Set up payments now” and fill in all required information, including bank account details for payouts.
- Once your payment account is set up, you can choose to accept payments through Etsy or use a third-party processor (additional fees may apply).
Etsy payments are processed every Monday and deposited into your account within 3-5 business days, depending on your bank’s processing time. Keep track of your payments through the “Payment Account” section in Shop Manager.
How to ship items on Etsy
Shipping is an essential part of running a successful Etsy shop, as it allows you to get your products into the hands of your customers. Here are some steps to help you ship items on Etsy:
- Choose a shipping carrier: The first step is to select a shipping carrier that works best for your business and product type. Popular options include shipping services like USPS, UPS, and FedEx. You can also offer international shipping.
- Weigh and measure your items: Before listing your products, it’s important to accurately weigh and measure them to determine the shipping cost. This will also help you set accurate shipping rates for your customers.
- Set up shipping profiles: Etsy allows sellers to create shipping profiles that can be applied to multiple listings. This makes it easier to manage and update shipping costs as needed.
- Print shipping labels: Once an order is placed, you can print the shipping label directly from Etsy. This will include all necessary information such as the buyer’s address and tracking number.
- Package items securely: It’s important to package your items carefully to avoid any damage during transit. Use appropriate packaging materials and consider adding insurance for more expensive items.
- Communicate with customers: Keep your customers updated on the status of their orders and provide them with tracking information. This will help build trust and encourage repeat business.
- Monitor shipping costs: It’s important to regularly monitor your shipping costs and adjust your rates if necessary. You may also want to consider offering free shipping as a marketing strategy.
Etsy also allows you to offer free shipping. Keep in mind the cost of shipping and factor that into your pricing strategy.
Shipping labels can be purchased through Etsy, but you can also purchase labels for domestic and international shipping through Pirateship.com with their free Etsy integration.
Tips for managing your Etsy shop
Running an Etsy shop involves more than just creating and selling products. Here are some tips to help you effectively manage your business:
- Keep track of finances: It’s important to track your income and expenses for tax purposes. Consider using a spreadsheet or accounting software to make this process easier. My favorite reseller accounting software works great for Etsy too!
- Stay organized: As your shop grows, it’s important to stay organized with inventory, orders, and shipping. Consider using storage solutions and labeling systems to help streamline these processes.
- Communicate with customers: Good communication is key when running an Etsy shop. Respond promptly to customer inquiries, address any issues or concerns, and provide updates on orders.
- Utilize analytics: Etsy provides sellers with analytics that can help track sales, traffic, and other important data. Use this information to make informed decisions about your business.
- Seek out support: Running a business can be overwhelming at times. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other Etsy sellers or join online communities for support and advice.
- Continuously learn and improve: As with any business, it’s important to continuously learn and improve. Stay up-to-date with industry trends, customer feedback, and new techniques to help your shop grow.