Selling On Etsy- How To Get Started

If you’re looking for a new way to make some extra money, selling your wares on Etsy could be your next side business. Etsy is an online marketplace with a focus on independent sellers and handmade, unique items. Customers usually head to Etsy to find things that no one else has, and popular purchases include personalised gifts, wedding favours and vintage clothing.

I have personally found Etsy to be a fantastic place to sell my hand embroidered t-shirts, and it has given me a way of making money from a hobby that I love. If you have a creative talent whether it’s sewing, graphic design or calligraphy it’s worth setting up shop to start selling on Etsy and see whether you could add a string to your bow and some cash to your pocket.

Selling On Etsy- How To Get Started

So you know that you want to start selling online, but you’re not sure how to get started. Selling on Etsy can be relatively straightforward- but we are going to answer some common questions about Etsy before we dive into how to get started on the platform.

Is it worth selling on Etsy?

In my opinion, it is totally worth selling on Etsy if you have an idea for a product that you think people will love. Selling on Etsy has the capability to become a lucrative side hustle, and if you’re creative at heart this could be a side hustle idea that will really bring you joy.

More and more people are also looking to purchase products from small businesses, especially if they are handmade or unique. The public is becoming more aware of the ethical and environmental implications of mass production, and are now seeking small business alternatives.

What is best to sell on Etsy?

The best thing to sell on Etsy has got to be something you are passionate about, and something that you are knowledgeable about. Products that tend to do well are personalised items, jewellery, vintage clothing, candles, stationery, and digital downloads. As you can see, even if you’re not a crafter, you could still make money on Etsy.

Is it better to sell on Etsy or eBay?

Whether you choose to sell on Etsy or eBay really depends on the products that you are selling. Keep in mind that Etsy customers are more likely to want to buy unique, handmade or quirky items. eBay customers are probably more likely to buy run of the mill products that serve a purpose- for example craft tools, materials and clothing.

It’s also worth noting that the selling fees for Etsy are lower than eBay- so that might sway your decision!

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Selling On Etsy Fees

You can open a shop really quickly to sell on Etsy with super low start-up costs. You can list your first item for as little as US$0.20 (about 15p). Once you have a name and logo for your store, you can start to list your products and create descriptions. For handmade items, you can even set up a ‘custom request’ button so that buyers can request something that is customised to their needs.

Once an item is sold, there is a 3.5% transaction fee on the selling price. When you receive payment through Etsy Payments there is also a 4% plus 20p payment processing fee when an item is sold. This makes Etsy a low-cost option for setting up a store and selling your products online- imagine what you would pay for a bricks and mortar store!

How To Set Up An Etsy Store

When you’re just getting started, Etsy are kind enough to give you access to a Seller Handbook which features a ton of advice on everything you need to know about being an Etsy seller. From branding and marketing to growth strategies, they’ve got you covered. The Seller Handbook seems to hold all the answers whether you are starting out or wanting to take your Etsy side business to the heady heights of a full time income. The absolute best part of being a seller on Etsy is the community of sellers and the support that you get from the platform itself.

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How To Make More Etsy Sales

Etsy is a global online marketplace, so it means you have access to millions of potential customers, all searching for that something special. You’ll find that, like most retailers, your sales will often peak around pay-day, and you may find yourself particularly busy over the Christmas period.

To make your Etsy store stand out, it’s important to use clear and well-lit photos to make your items gleam amongst your competitors- remember, there will be hundreds of other things that will show up when a potential customer searches the site.

Use Social Media

My best advice for getting traffic to your Etsy shop is to open social media accounts for your store. Most of my Etsy traffic comes from my Instagram account, and it’s a great way to connect with fellow crafts-people and build a relationship with your customers.

If you use social media to tell your customers about new products and promotions, they are far more likely to return to your store to make that all important repeat purchase. Check out my post about how to promote your Etsy store using Instagram for more information.

Use Keywords In Your Listings

To get more traffic to your Etsy shop, you need to use keywords in your listings to make sure that your products are shown to as many people as possible. The more people that see your listings, the more sales you will get on Etsy.

Use keywords that you think your buyers might be using, and use them in your description and in the tags that you are using to describe your item. This should eventually mean that your product shows up whenever a potential customer searches any key words or phrases that are in your title or tag words.

Ultimately, you can have the best, most exquisite products in the world, but if people can’t find them using the search function, they will be difficult to sell.

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Etsy Business Ideas

There are a crazy number of thriving Etsy businesses selling everything from jewellery to the kitchen sink (literally!). Even if you don’t want to create products by hand, there is still a huge scope to try out different product ideas.

Sell vintage on Etsy

There is a huge part of Etsy that is dedicated to vintage sellers- whether that’s clothing, jewellery, zero waste products, homeware or toys. So whether you love sourcing furniture, or dresses from the 70s, you can be sure that it will have its place on Etsy.

Sell craft tools and materials on Etsy

There is also a high demand for tools and craft materials, so even if you don’t do the crafting yourself, you can sell the materials to people who do. Popular materials include things like sewing supplies, embroidery hoops, jewellery making equipment and card making tools.

Sell printables on Etsy

If you’re keen to set up a passive income stream, you can do that on Etsy too with a little technological know-how. Printable artwork, graphics and typography are super popular to buy and sell on Etsy and work well as gifts and distinctive home décor. You do the work once to create the printable, and sell passively for years to come. There’s no postage involved and customers should be able to download the files and instantly print everything themselves from the comfort of their own home.

Selling on Etsy Tips

With a little bit of research you could be the next person making their Etsy business their full time job! Here are some top tips for successfully selling on Etsy:

  • Pick a product that you love! You want to make sure that you love your product niche for months and years to come.
  • Optimise your listings- make sure your photos are bright and your listings are optimised with key words and phrases that people are likely to be searching for.
  • Open a dedicated Instagram account for your Etsy store to promote your products.


I’m taking part in the Monday Money linky with Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny and Faith from Much More With Less.

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