Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Starting an Etsy Shop

The following information is part of a handout developed for a workshop I'm helping run tonight and tomorrow to assist artists in New York Mills, MN. Thank you Lynn Kasma, for inviting me to help with this program. Printed handouts have been prepared, still it seemed a good idea to get the info online where the links would be active. Then thought, oh maybe, the same info would help others too, so am publishing it on my blog.
------------- here it is:

A hands on step by step session to set up an Esty Shop

sponsored by New York Mills Regional Cultural Center
held at NYM Library

Lynn Kasma -- coordinator, set up workshop
Jane Carlstrom -- shop set up advisor - Etsy shop owner ( and )


A series of workshops sponsored by New York Mills Cultural Center has taken place over the last 3 years -- sessions have covered?

--What is Etsy

--Building a small business, included financial aspects

--Building a small business plan

--Photography class at library, used picasso

--Photography class May 14 - introduction to Flickr and PicNic
(and to get 1 to 2 items with photos ready to list.)

All of that information will be useful and helpful to you in managing your Etsy Shop.

Going live with an Etsy shop is going into business.

*if you are not one of the New York Mills Artists, and are reading this for your own personal venture into online selling at Etsy, look at ways you can acquire the above information. Perhaps through your own local community education sources, small business groups, etc; much information is also available online.


Things you need to open an Etsy shop.

---need email address - every account must have a unique email address.

---need Credit Card for verification to set up shop and sell

---PayPal account helpful, for accepting online payments

---establish User Name and Shop name
User name is what is used for the site address - so you may want your user name to be the same as the name of your shop or your real name.

Getting started on Etsy

There are a variety of ways to enter the Etsy system to set up an Etsy Account/Shop. It does not really matter which path you choose, it may look a little different, but all lead to the same account/shop info and set up.

This is one way to begin:

Go to Etsy front page

click on “ sell “ in gray bar at top of page

if no credit card (cc) available right now, then just open an account, add cc info later and you will be able to sell after you have entered a cc number and been verified

If have cc can open a seller account, get verified, and list item/s for sale.

----need help to walk you through the set up?
Etsy’s Help section has many aids to help you in filling out the different areas of your account/shop.

It is often helpful to open a second browser window, in the second window go to Etsy and click on the blue “help” link in the top row (That way you have the help info available in one window and can jump back to it easily if you encounter questions while working on setting up your shop in another window.)

first go to How to register for an Etsy account

next for general info and suggestions from Etsy for setting up shop go in go to "How to Start Selling on Etsy"


Once you have registered with a cc, you can set up your shop

Begin setting up your account/shop

Etsy may ask you to begin by listing the types of payment you will accept from buyers.

If not just go to “your etsy” by clicking on the blue “your etsy” at the top of the screen

example of what you will see on the Etsy page

See the blue “Public Profile” in the side column? Click on "Public Profile" in your active account/shop window to open your Public Profile page. Fill it in---------

1. Public Profile -- Who are YOU, what do you DO.

Yes, You can leave this whole area blank. However most successful shops have at least an avatar and usually some info. This is your chance to sell yourself as an artist, and created interest in you and your work.

If you have other Etsy accounts you are suppose to identify them. The profile is a good place to declare them.

*avatar ---People like to know who they are buying from - use an avatar that represents you, your “brand”, one of your items - choose something your customers will relate to.

location--- Some people search by locale so you may find putting in location helpful, may wish to use: town, region, state

*Bio--Buyers also like to know a little about you, so share something in the bio. If you do not want to make it “personal” write about your art and why you do what you do.

Gender-- optional

BD -- optional, if you put in BD, Etsy has a birthday notice board

Favorite Materials-- optional, just gives buyers a sense of what you like to use

Favorite items--display or not ---- these are the items from other sellers that you “Heart” and put into your personal favorites. If you do not want buyers to see this on your profile page then do not display them.


Anxious to add items to sell?

Whoa, not yet. First set up your shop. On your active "Your Etsy" window, scroll down the side column to Shop Set Up

Before listing any items for sale, one ought to fill in:

and Payment Methods

Why? These set a tone for your shop, make customers aware of what you sell, and how you operate. Do you take returns? Do you accept checks or only take PayPal?---------------

So far everything we have done has not cost you any money. You start accruing fees as soon as you list an item for sale. Total fees accrued are assessed monthly. The Esty Bill comes to you by email on the 1st of the month. Payment is due by the 15th. You can pay by cc or by Paypal.

Before going any further think about what it costs to operate an active Etsy store.

Each listing that goes active costs 20 cents for 4 months. Whether you keep it live and active (shows up in your “shop” or if you mark it inactive, or delete it. Once it is listed even for 10 seconds, you pay the listing fee. If you edit a listing, mark it inactive or put your shop on vacation, the inactive/vacation time counts in the 4 month of “listing time. Within the 4 months you can activate the listing at no further charge. The expire date does not change. If you delete a listing, and then redo it and list it again, you are charged a 20 cent listing fee.

When you sell an item you incur a transaction fee. Etsy charges 3.5% of the price of the item. (shipping is not included in calculation of the selling fee (commission) charged by Etsy.)

If you accept Paypal, Paypal charges fees on the total amount the buyer pays at the time of payment - that is price of the item plus shipping.

When pricing your items, be aware of these fees, and account for these fees in your price.

Listing an item for sale.

Click on “Create a listing” from the Etsy Help Page
(remember to get to Etsy’s Help page - click on the blue “Help” link which is at the top of every page)

Then to “How do I list an item?”

This has text and graphic step by step, explaining each portion of the listing process. Again, you may find it useful to have the help section open in one browser window while working on your first listing in another window.

One of the “tricks” in listing is to keep abreast of SEO (search engine optimization). The way you state your title and description effects how well the item will be picked up by search engines. You want to use keywords to help buyers find your product, you also want to place the words in the title and description in a search engine friendly way.

How you do your tags effects how well the item is picked up by the search within Etsy (when someone comes to etsy and uses the search bar on Etsy to shop.)

Another tip* There is not an official delayed listing method on Etsy. If you do not click finish once you have completed the listing, you loose the listing info.
=====Unless you have been tricky and saved the url address on the last page of the listing form. If you want to make a listing and activate it at a later time, copy and paste the url on the last page of the completed listing form into a word document. When you want to activate the listing, sign into your shop, then copy and past the listing from url into the address bar, hit enter and viola - there is your listing, now click finish and it becomes an active listing.


Not ready to stock your shop yet? That is OK. You can still open a shop account, you can still set up your store with profile, policies, banner, avatar, etc. Doing so reserves your shop space and user name, plus your shop is ready to stock whenever you are ready to take it live. Again, there are no charges to you until you begin listing items for sale. Setting up your shop space is free, it just takes a credit card for verification.

This information should help you get your shop started on Etsy. It is a learning process. Run into frustrations, get stuck? Go to the help section, still have questions, contact support or ask in the Etsy forum.


niftyknits said...

oh well done Jane! What an excellent resource!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Very good post, Jane! It is somewhat daunting to begin a shop and every tip helps. And we are forever learning more!

Just recently I discovered how to save the listing when I was in the middle and couldn't finish. Saves a lot of frustration!

Thanks for some good tips and good luck with the workshop!