A woman consults her laptop in a brightly lit room filled with cardboard boxes and racks of clothing. On the desk in front of her is a wrapped package.
For sellers of handmade or vintage products, Etsy is a great platform to reach customers. — Getty Images/filadendron

With over 45 million buyers, Etsy is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, and it’s one of the best platforms for anyone looking to sell handmade or vintage items. If you’re interested in becoming an Etsy seller, here’s how to get started.

Open and customize your shop

To open your shop, visit the Etsy homepage and click on the “Open Your Etsy Shop” button. From there, you can create, customize and name your shop. Try to choose a name that is memorable and represents your brand and what you’re selling.

Etsy will guide you through the setup process, and it’s a good idea to follow all of their recommended steps. Etsy features certain sellers and by clearly filling out your profile, you’ll make it easier for your listing to be found by potential buyers.

Begin listing your products

Once your shop is approved, you can begin listing your products. Make sure to write a thorough description of all your products. Etsy recommends that you also include five high-quality photos per product.

It’s important to get the photos right since buyers can’t hold or touch your products before buying them. If you take the photos from different angles, potential buyers will get a better sense of what each product looks like. Make sure you also adjust the thumbnails, which are the first photos buyers will see when they come to your shop.

To avoid any mistakes, preview your listing before it goes live and try to evaluate it from the perspective of a first-time customer who doesn’t know anything about your store.

Decide on your payment method

Next, you’ll update your payment preferences in your account. Most sellers use Etsy Payments but you can use PayPal as well. If you choose Etsy Payments, you can accept a wide variety of payment options, including:

  • Credit cards.
  • Debit cards.
  • Etsy credit.
  • Etsy gift cards.
  • Mobile wallets.

[Read more: Guide to E-Commerce Credit Card Processing]

You want to price your products so your business will be profitable but you also don't want to scare off potential customers.

Price your products appropriately

Most new Etsy sellers are concerned about pricing and for good reason. You want to price your products so your business will be profitable but you also don’t want to scare off potential customers.

It’s a good idea to do competitor research first so you have an idea of what other sellers are charging for similar items. If your pricing is significantly higher, your store will likely get passed over a lot.

Once you’ve priced your products, continue to test your pricing and keep track of your financials. Keeping good financial records will help you understand whether you can make a profit at your current pricing.

Optimize your shop for SEO

One of the best ways to help new buyers find your shop is by optimizing it for SEO. Not only will this help you show up easier in Etsy’s search engine, but customers can find you through Google as well.

Optimizing for SEO really starts with the name of your store. Your shop name should immediately give potential customers a glimpse into what it is you’re selling.

From there, you’ll want to come up with several long-tail keywords that customers would use to look for a store like yours. If you’re not sure how to do this, Etsy-specific tools like Marmalead can help you identify the right keywords.

Come up with a marketing strategy

Your marketing plan will be one of the biggest factors influencing your success on Etsy. There are many options to choose from but Instagram and Pinterest are two of the best ways to market an Etsy store.

Instagram is great because it’s a very visual platform and it allows you to showcase your products from different angles. Instagram also allows you to build a personal connection with your audience.

One of the best things about Pinterest is that it’s very easy to automate. You can take a few days a month to schedule your pins and you’re good to go. And Pinterest users tend to be highly motivated buyers, so you’re putting your products in front of an eager audience.

Any marketing strategy you choose is going to take a lot of effort and persistence. But by putting in the work and staying consistent, you’ll start to build trust with your audience and make a name for your Etsy shop.

[Read more: How to Drive Traffic to Your E-Commerce Store]

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Published November 02, 2020