How To Open Your Etsy Store
Market places can be a great starting point when considering setting up your own business and selling online. Places like Etsy offer a great platform for those creating homemade goods to find an audience and customer base online and we will give you some important tips to take away when you open your Etsy store.
Etsy is an online marketplace similar to Amazon and eBay in the sense that it connects sellers with customers and facilitates the buying and selling of goods. Where Etsy differs, however, is that the products on sale are largely handmade by the seller themselves. The only time an item can be sold that you haven’t made yourself is if it is either a ‘vintage’ item (at least 20 years old) or a ‘craft item’ (where their primary purpose is to be used in the creation of other goods), for more information on what can be sold on Etsy read here.
Decide what to sell
Now you have an idea of the types of items that you can sell on Etsy it’s time to think about what you would like to sell. In this blog, we will be talking about items that are handmade as this is the biggest and most popular category of products on sale on Etsy, including products such as jewellery, clothing and home décor. With that being said, one of the most important factors to consider is whether you have the skills to make the product (or can easily gain them). It’s no good saying you’re going to start selling something that requires a great deal of technical skill, equipment or experience that you don’t possess. Pick something that you are either passionate about, have experience with, or can learn to make without a great degree of difficulty. If you want to generate some ideas just hop on Etsy and see what other people are selling.
By having a look at other products on Etsy you can see if there is a demand for products that are similar to yours and allow you to identify who your main competitors are, allowing you to start thinking about what you can do to make your products stand out from theirs. It will also let you see the price they are selling for, which once you’ve calculated how much each item will cost to make, package and post will help you determine if it’s a product worth selling. Keep in mind that to list a product it will cost £0.15 for four months or until it sells, a 5% transaction fee when you sell a product and a 4% + £0.20 payment processing fee (as of April 2019).
For some help generating some ideas on products to sell use this template and fill out each section and compare them against each other.
Come up with a good store name and branding
It’s better to come up with these aspects before you open your Etsy store as you can take your time to think about it. Come up with a store name that is relevant to the products you are selling and is memorable for your customers. You can do an online search or have a look at other Etsy vendors for some inspiration if you get stuck and to also make sure that you aren’t using a name that’s already being used by someone else.
This is also a great time to start thinking about a logo that will help customers recognise and remember you and create a brand around your products. Whether you want to make your own or pay for someone to create it for you is up to you. Either way it’s important that it reflects your products and the image that you want for your business.
Don’t forget that you can use your packaging as a marketing tool to enhance your brand by customising it. You don’t need to spend loads on fancy custom printed packaging either, you could try something as simple and cheap as our printer labels that you can print your logo onto from a standard printer and add them to your packaging. Other options could be our custom dressing tape or printed ribbon, this will give your parcel that special touch and can help reinforce your brand!
Establish your delivery and returns policies
It’s important for all e-commerce sellers to clearly lay out their delivery and returns policies to their customers. This will allow you to be transparent with your customers, allowing them to understand when they can expect to get their orders and how they can return an item if needed which will help to gain customer trust. This will also help to protect you and your business as you can rely on it in the event there are any issues with your products being delivered or needing to be returned.
Make sure you can meet demand
At the start, you won’t need to keep a huge amount of inventory, but it’s still a good idea to keep enough materials, packaging and stamps before you open your Etsy store to make and post the first few orders so you don’t have to worry about getting all your supplies together and making your customer wait longer. As you start making more sales and becoming familiar with the number of products you’ll be making, you can get a better idea of the inventory of supplies you need to hold to make your Etsy business more efficient. Also decide on whether you want to be selling your products internationally or just domestically, as you will have to pay different amounts for postage and may need to use different packaging depending on where you are shipping to.
Keep in mind that even if you sell your items in your own country you’re going to have to post them to your customers, so make sure they are in a good quality postal box (or something similar) with enough protective packaging to get them to their destination without any damage.
Now open your Etsy store
By following and considering the above tips, you can open your Etsy store with a bit more knowledge and understanding of the platform. Follow the list below for a step-by-step guide on setting up your Etsy business online.
- Go on to Etsy.co.uk and create your account (this first step needs to be done on a desktop web browser
- Add your shops’ location language and your local currency
- Take the store name and logo that you decided on earlier and add them to your store
- Start adding items to your shop and write down some key features about them, a description, a name that describes the product in detail, keyword tags and some good product images.
- Choose how you want to be paid e.g. Etsy Payments, PayPal or cheque/money order
- Add a credit or debit card to your shop to pay fees (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
- Click ‘open your shop’
- Add a bio, a photo the policies you created earlier and fill out the shop’s about section
Now that you’ve opened your store you will want to keep building on it and making improvements to it to ensure its success in the future. Start to market your shop on social media platforms to help build your brand and trust amongst competitors. Keep adding products that you think will sell well and are related to your brand and existing products and review what is and isn’t selling well so you can start to make improvements.
P.S are you looking to start selling on eBay? Check out our guide on getting your eBay business off the ground here!