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

Etsy first launched in 2005, and since then, it has become one of the biggest e-commerce retailers in the world. And the company isn’t showing signs of slowing down — its revenue grew 71% during the first six months of 2020. So if you’re considering opening an Etsy shop, now may be a good time.

Open and customize your shop

Visit the Etsy homepage and click on the “Open Your Etsy Shop” button to open your store. 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 pictures 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.

[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 know 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.

Come up with a marketing strategy

There are many ways to market your store, but Instagram and Pinterest are two of the best options. Instagram is 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.

Pinterest is 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.

Leverage SEO

It’s also a good idea to optimize your shop for SEO. Improving your store’s SEO will make it easier for customers to find you on Etsy and through Google.

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.

Don’t forget about the fees

Setting up your initial Etsy account is free, but it does cost money to do business on the platform. If you make money in your online store, the company will take a piece of your earnings.

If you decide to use Etsy Payments, these fees will automatically be deducted from your sales. Here are the three main fees Etsy charges its merchants:

  • Listing fees: Etsy charges you a small fee every time you list an item in your shop. You’ll pay 20 cents per listing, regardless of whether the product sells or not. And listings expire after four months, so you’ll either have to relist it and pay an additional fee or remove it from your store altogether.
  • Transaction fees:Every time you sell an item, Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee for the price of the product, plus whatever you charge for shipping and gift wrapping.
  • Payment processing fees: If you decide to use Etsy Payments, you’ll also have a payment processing fee. The fee varies depending on the location of your bank account.

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

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Published April 14, 2021