How to Start an Etsy Shop – Forbes Advisor

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If you’ve ever made artisan or handmade products, you’ve probably heard the saying “you should sell them on Etsy” a time or two. Learning how to create an Etsy shop is easy. Here are nine simple steps to get your store up and running in just one day.

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Before you start


We’re going to assume that you already have a viable product, but it’s worth mentioning that branding is everything when making your first Etsy sale. If that’s not your forte, hire a graphic designer to create your product labels or purchase a template from Etsy. You can then print these labels at home using a laser printer or order labels online.


You have worked so hard to create your product and label it. Make sure the photos show the effort you’ve put into it. You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional photographer to take product photos. Instead, find a sunny window and use portrait mode on your phone to take photos of your products against a white background (the billboard works great for this). You can also order a simple lightbox on Amazon.


To make filing your business taxes easier, create a separate bank account to manage all your Etsy expenses and transactions. This way, you have all the expenses related to the business in one place and not mixed up with your personal money.

Packaging materials

Etsy shoppers expect their packages to ship quickly, so be sure to have all of your packing materials ahead of time. This includes boxes, biodegradable packing peanuts, packing tape, and shipping labels. Once you’re consistently making sales, you might want to consider branded boxes and a thermal label printer.

9 Steps to Create an Etsy Shop

1. Create your Etsy account

To create a seller account, you must first have an Etsy consumer account. Go to “Login” in the upper right corner and a dialog box for credentials will open. Click “Register” if you don’t have an account yet. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your account.

When logged in, next to the shopping cart in the upper right corner is a gray circle with a silhouette on it. When you click on the circle, a drop-down menu allows you to click on “Sell on Etsy”.

After landing on the “Sell on Etsy” page, there is a black “Open your Etsy Shop” button below the banner.

2. Enter your store preferences

Here, enter your store preferences; language, shop country, shop currency and whether your shop is your full time income or not. When you’re done, click “Save and Continue” in the lower right corner.

3. Name your store

You can name your store in 20 characters or less, and it must be unique among other stores. Your name can only contain unaccented Roman letters and numerals, with no spaces. Enter the proposed name you want and click “check availability”. If you’re not sure what to name your shop, Etsy has tips for choosing a shop name. Once set, you can only change your store name once, so choose carefully. After choosing a name, click “save and continue”.

4. Create your ads

You will now create your ads. Etsy recommends having a minimum of ten different listings for the greatest chance of visibility.

Your ad includes:

  • Pictures. At least one photo is required and you can add up to ten photos. In addition to product images, upload a photo of the product next to a ruler or dollar bill (or similar) to help customers gauge the size of an item. Even if you list the measurements in the listing details, a visual of the size helps.
  • Videos. Although not mandatory, a video can differentiate your product from your competition. Show the product in use and from all angles.
  • Ad details. Include the title of the product, who made it, when it was made, whether it was a physical or digital product, a detailed description, materials used, and labels. Here you can also add a section to group similar products together.
  • Inventory and pricing. What is the price of your item? Be sure to factor in the cost of materials, labor, shipping (if you offer free shipping, factor it into your product price), and shipping materials. If you follow the best manufacturing processes, that’s where you include a SKU as well.
  • Product variations. Does your product have multiple sizes or colors? List them here.
    Personalization. If you offer personalization on your products, select “enabled”. Otherwise, keep it “off”.
  • Dispatch. You can have Etsy calculate your shipping costs for you based on your originating zip code. Enter your processing time, where you’re ready to ship, the shipping services offered, whether you include free domestic or international shipping, and whether you want to build a handling fee into the shipping price. Item weight and size also go here.

You can preview each ad before saving it. Once you’ve added all of your listings, select “save and continue”.

5. Enter your payment settings

Etsy needs to know your tax status. The first question it asks you in the payment settings is therefore whether you are an individual, a sole proprietorship or a registered legal entity. If you select “sole proprietorship or sole proprietorship,” include your country, full name, date of birth, address, phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number.

Incorporated businesses will enter the legal entity name, legal business address, state, business registration number, and EIN. Additionally, Etsy needs a primary contact for the business, so it asks who the shop owner is. You will provide the full name, address, date of birth and the last four digits of their social security number.

After completing this section, your next section is the country where your bank is located. From there, enter your routing number and the checking or savings account number where you want your Etsy sales to go.

6. Enter your credit card details

You need a credit card to pay your Etsy fees. Enter your credit card number, CCV, expiration date and full name on the card. For peace of mind, sign up for Auto-Billing and Etsy will automatically bill your card on the first of the month or when you exceed your charge threshold. Otherwise, you can pay anytime from the 1st to the 15th of the month.

There are three main fees you will encounter as an Etsy seller:

  • Registration fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Payment processing fees (if using Etsy Payments)

7. Open your store

After entering your credit card details, the “open your store” button will turn black and you can click on it. Congratulations, your shop is open. You can now share your store with friends, family, and followers.

Your store URL comes in two different formats:


8. Update your biography

By adding a brief biography and photo, you can show potential customers the craftsman behind the store. It’s a place where sellers like to share their inspiration for what they do. For example, if you’re starting your store because you’re raising money for a cause or to help fund a trip (like IVF or adoption), say so.

9. Configure your store policies

This is one of the most critical steps to becoming an Etsy seller. You want to anticipate any questions a buyer might have to help eliminate back-and-forth questions via chat. A policy section will also help you in the event of a dispute.

The essential elements of your terms and conditions include:

  • Delay of treatment
  • Shipping policies (for example, you may only ship via USPS Priority to take advantage of free insurance)
  • Payment options
  • Returns and Exchanges Policy


You’ve heard it before, Etsy is the place for makers to sell handmade products. It’s where people go for unique and unique items that they can’t find anywhere else. Fortunately, setting up an Etsy shop takes very little time and the barrier to entry is low. Although it’s free to create an account, you only pay a small fee for listing your item and a fee when it sells.

Find legal answers for your small business

Nolo offers hundreds of consumer-friendly do-it-yourself legal products written in plain English.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Etsy report my shop earnings to the IRS?

Yes, Etsy is required by law to report your income to the IRS if you have more than $20,000 in sales and more than 200 transactions. You will receive a 1099-K to file your taxes.

How much are the selling fees on Etsy?

There are three types of seller fees you’ll encounter when using Etsy to sell your products: listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees (if you use Etsy Payments to process your payments). Listing fees are low at 20 cents per listing and transaction fees are 5% of each sale, which is both the price of the item and the cost of shipping it. Etsy Payments processing fee is 3% of each sale plus 25 cents.

Can I buy shipping labels through Etsy?

By purchasing your shipping labels through Etsy, you can save up to 30% off USPS retail rates. You can also use a provider like Pirate Ship or Shippo.

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