How to Start an Etsy Shop for Beginners Part 1: Opening an Etsy Shop

Etsy is an online selling platform built for handmade and vintage sellers. We all have heard about Etsy, especially in the creative and lifestyle space, and – if you are not on it already – I am pretty sure you are curious about starting an Etsy Shop testing it’s waters. That is exactly why you are hear right? 🙂

This resource is a part of a compilation: How to Make Money on Etsy.

Several small businesses are ran through Etsy, even in addition to hosting their own websites and/or brick and mortar because of the special audience it attracts. Etsy it is a site that highlights handmade and vintage pieces, Etsy is known as a place to get unique and custom made products. This allows online shoppers to shop through Etsy for the perfect gift.

So what has been holding you back? What is keeping you from getting out there and showing the world what you have to offer? Etsy makes it extremely easy for you to succeed and is completely free to open a shop.

Starting an Etsy shop can be a bit daunting because of the unknown. The only person holding you back is yourself. Get out of your mind and stop asking the “what if’s” and just do it. You know what I mean! What if no one finds my shop? What if I look like a failure? MY FRIEND! Stop. These thoughts are just keeping you from trying your all to get to where you need to be.

My Etsy Story

I first opened my Etsy shop in 2016 in the middle of the night after deciding to see if anyone would be interested in a crocheted basket. The listing only had one picture which was dark and fuzzy (cringe!). Fast forward to the end, it did not sell.

A year later I decided to try to list a few amigurumi stuffed animals and see how those go. I worked a little harder in getting the word out through social media, adding a few more listings (not just the one like before!) and then working on taking decent photos. I sold two! My best friend and my uncle. haha

I kept at it, adding listings, and slowly building my shop and narrowing down my niche. To be completely honest, I am still at this phase, and I am happy! I may not be totally successful on Etsy, but I keep at it and continue to build my shop which I now see the fruits of my labor. For reference it is 2020. That is three years since I started showing some dedication to Etsy. I am pretty sure things will continue to keep improving as I dedicate more and more time. AND IT WILL FOR YOU TOO!

So let’s jump right into it.

starting an etsy shop
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How to Set Up an Etsy Shop

If you do not have an account on Etsy yet now is the time to make one. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain! Go on over to Etsy and you will see their home page that looks like this below (May 2020). See the yellow highlight? That is a magic portal to the rest of your creative journey! Let’s make your account.

After clicking on Sign In you will be prompted to creating your own account.

Click on register to start creating a new account

After registering a new account you will be redirected back to the home page. On the upper right corner of your screen, next to the search box you will see a “Sell on Etsy” button. Here is where you get the keys to your shop. I am literally smiling right now just thinking about how exciting this is for you!

starting an etsy shop
open an etsy shop
Keys to your creative empire!

After clicking this you will be directed to the Etsy shop startup stages. Here you customize everything you need for your shop. Think about is as your business structure. Everything is pretty straight forward, just follow the prompts. Etsy makes it extremely easy for you to successfully get started.

Before you open your shop check out my Etsy SEO tips so you can set up for success on the get go. This post talks all about where to optimize your shop while setting it up to help you get found on Etsy search.

There are 5 stages in the startup (note: I combined stage 4 and 5):

  1. Shop Preferences – here you choose your language, country, and currency. Etsy automatically generates the initial settings for you but you are free to change them if it is incorrect. You can also change your shop location if you move so do not let this stop you from moving forward.
  2. Shop Name – Here is where you need to take a longer time contemplating. You might already have a name in mind that you dreamt about since you were in elementary – in this case good for you! If not, here are some tips from Etsy in picking a name for your shop. Avoid generic names such as “Abie’s Craft Corner” or something totally irrelevant like “Sugarcoated Heartbeats” (fun fact: this was my business’ first name when I had totally no idea what I was doing and selling things like a dealer to my classmates bac in the day. CRINGE!).
  3. Stock you Shop – this is your virtual shelf! Let’s get your creations out into the world. Try to stock one item first just to move on. You can work out the kinks later. Part two of this guide will talk about how to make Etsy listings, find part two here!
  4. How You’ll Get Paid and Set Up Billing – I recommend setting up your own business account to keep all of your business transactions in one place. You can read more about this in my post The First Three Financial Moves I made in my Creative Business. However, if you do not have one yet do not make this an excuse to hold off. Enter your own information and you can always make adjustments later on.

And that is it! You just planted the seed to your creative empire! I am genuinely so excited for you!! Just like any plant (yes I am comparing a business to a plant. No judgement!), you need to care for your empire. Now remember to water it with listings and expose it to sunlight through social media 🙂

Want to learn how to make your Etsy shop work for you?

Until next time!

xoxo,

Abigail

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