Etsy Business: 15 Useful Tips to Guide You Through How to Start Your Etsy Busine


Etsy Business

15 Useful Tips to Guide You Through Starting Your Etsy Business

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Before you sell anything…

Chapter 2 – How to start selling

Chapter 3 What about shipping?

Chapter 4 – Build your Brand

Chapter 5 – Use the Power of Social Media

Chapter 6 – A Few More Tips


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If you’re thinking of selling your handcrafted products on Etsy, you’ve no doubt already thought about what you’re going to make, who may buy your products and how much work you’re going to put into your new venture.

The trouble is that a lot of people start an Etsy business without putting much consideration into the process. Have you for example, decided what you’re going to make, where you will source the materials from, and how much they cost? Can you get the materials cheaper elsewhere?

Can you dedicate enough time to creating the products, and selling them?

Are you doing this for fun, or to make profit, or both?

What about creating your brand, do you know how to do that? And can you use the power of social media to help you boost your business?

Selling your products on Etsy can be a lot of fun, but it can also involve a lot of work too. This book will explain what you need to do in order to start your Etsy business, ship your purchases and increase the likelihood of returning customers.

Chapter 1 – Before you sell anything…

Before you even start to think about selling any of your home made crafts on Etsy, you will need to think about your business in some very specific ways. Although you may be really keen to start selling, it’s vital that you start at the very beginning, so your business has the foundation it needs to grow.

1 Choose your new businesses name and set your goals

This is one of the most important things you can do, as the name of your new Etsy store could potentially be seen and used by many people. Try to be original, and think of a slightly unusual name, but one that is also relevant to what you plan to sell.

Be aware that the name you’ve already chosen may already be used by someone else, this can be a little upsetting, but it does mean you have the chance to come up with another and potentially great name.

If you had planned on calling your new business ‘Rachel’s’, why not try adding the word ‘Boutique’, ‘Store’ or ‘Shop’, you may also want to consider going for other words such as ‘Cavern’ or ‘Cave’. Try to add another word that works well with the name you’ve chosen, but make sure it rolls of the tongue nicely.

Don’t worry if at a later date you come up with the perfect name for your business, you can always change it, but once you’ve opened the shop you can only change its name once.

Set realistic goals

We all have big plans for our Etsy businesses, and we all dream that it will be more successful that we ever imagined. Sometimes however, those dreams can make working on a day to day basis really hard.

One of the best things you can do to ensure you and your business is as successful as it can be, is to set realistic goals. I know that in 2 years’ time you would like to have a few employees making the products you have designed, and you would like a long list of global customers, but you need to be a little more realistic, and set some smaller goals to begin with.

One way to achieve those realistic goals is to aim to make your first sale within the first 3 months of starting your business. You may also be determined to design and create at least 4 new items each month. Another goal may be to make $50 profit during your first year of trading, and so on. Although these goals may not seem particularly big, they are realistic, and they could help you to keep your feet on the ground.

Set small goals, ones you can realistically work towards, and you’ll find you won’t be too disappointed should you not reach them.

2 Help people find your products

When anyone does a spot of shopping online whether it’s on Etsy or another website, they usually type specific words into the search engine or search bar. This is where you can make a big difference to the success of your business, as using the ‘Right’ or most popular keywords will encourage your products to be found by potential customers.

If you were looking for an engraved wooden bracelet, you would search for an engraved wooden bracelet, and you’d type those words into the search bar. If a seller has made the mistake of calling the bracelet a ‘Hope ring’ or something else, not many people are going to find it.

When you’re about to name your product, yes you can call it a Hope ring, but you should use the listings editor to put the words ‘Engraved wooden bracelet’ into your product tags as well as the item titles. This will ensure your product is more likely to be found when someone searches for a bracelet.

Check out your statistics

Once you have opened your shop and you’ve listed more than a few items, you should make sure you check your shops’ statistics about once a week. You can do this by going to ‘Shop -> Stats’, and you’ll see which keywords are successful, and which ones need to be replaced.

3 Take good photographs

I don’t mean you should get out there with your camera and practice taking photographs of people and landscapes; I mean you need to take good photographs of your products. This is not always an easy thing to do, but it’s worth practicing as soon as you can.

Try to take product photographs that are simple, but sharp. You want them to show the product’s detail, without leaving a potential buyer second guessing as to what the actual color and patterns are.

The good news is you don’t need to buy an expensive camera or equipment in order to take a good picture. Make sure there’s plenty of light, you use the flash if necessary, and you try to get the best angle.

You will need to practice, and you will need to take more than one shot of each product, but keep trying and your skills will develop and improve with time.

4 Treat your store as if it were a ‘Real’ store

Rather than thinking of your shop as a virtual store, think of it as a real one that you could almost walk in to. Try to kit your shop out in a thoughtfully designed way that makes potential customers want to buy every single item.

If you can, design a range of products that look like they are a set when bought together. Sell them individually, but make sure they look slightly better with the rest of the range. This is likely to encourage people to come back and buy again, as chances are they will want the rest of the range.

You may also want to think about making your products in a range of different colors or even different materials, as this will encourage people to come back too.

Try not to get everything ‘Just right’

A lot of people make the mistake of trying to create something perfect. Of course, you will want to sell something that’s been made to the best of your ability, but sometimes perfection is not what your customers want.

Some products look better and more authentic when the lines aren’t straight, the engraving isn’t spot on etc. You will soon start to learn that people love the individuality of crafted products, so put those not-quite-right cushions up for sale, and let someone discover and love them.

Chapter 2 – How to start selling

When it comes to selling your products, you may wish to set a price that will help you to make a profit, and pay for the quality of the goods you’re selling.

The trouble is that it’s not always easy working out what the right price is. Of course you would love to make a 50% profit on everything you sell, but if you price your crafted items too high, you won’t get any buyers.

Here are a few things you need to take into consideration before you choose a price for that cushion

1 The cost and time

How much money did you spend on the materials for that stunning cushion you made? You should not aim for a ball-park figure here, you should try to get the exact figure (Keep your receipts every time you buy materials, equipment etc.)

How much time did it take you to make that rug? Remember every step of the process, from getting the yarn together, to dying it, and knitting or weaving the rug.

The final cost

How much money did it cost in total? When working out this figure, think about how much it cost per finished product, or how much it cost per hour to make.

Now it’s time to think about profit, what percentage would you need to add to your carved piece of furniture in order to make a nice profit? When working this out, don’t forget to include all of the overheads, the site fees, the office supplies, the cost of the materials, and even how much electricity you used to boil the kettle to make a cup of coffee.

When you add up how much it costs to make the products you’re about to sell, add it to the final cost as if it was a material. You will also need to think about your quarterly and yearly costs, as they will need to become a part of the final figure you come up with.

2 Correctly pricing your products

A lot of sellers make the mistake of underpricing their products, and this is often because they don’t think their products are worth very much. Another reason for underpricing things is that they haven’t adjusted the prices once they start to develop their range and become better at making things to sell.

Remember you’re not a big store

Remembering that you’re not a big store can make you feel quite feeble, but it can also be a good thing. A lot of hand crafted products are personal and reflective of your style and tastes. Don’t forget that customers are usually happy to pay a little more than you would think, this is because they appreciate that you have made them with your own fair hands, and they know the materials can be quite expensive. What’s more is people are more willing to pay more for a specialist piece of craft work, and the experience that comes with buying it from Etsy.

If you know how much it costs….

If you know how much it costs to run your business, you will be more aware of how much profit you need to make in order to break even. Breaking even should be one of your first monetary targets, followed by making a small profit. If you know these figures, you will find it easier to run your business.

When you price things accurately

When you price what you have made accurately, you will get more of an idea of that final price. Try not to set a formula and decide to sell your products two or three times the cost of the materials. This could make them quite expensive, and it’s a bad way to do business.

When you need to bump up your prices

When you need to bump up your prices, make sure you do it a few cents or dollars at a time. A cushion that has previously sold well at $29.99 should not be put up to $39.99 straight away. Add a few more dollars over the course of a few months, and customers won’t be put off.

Chapter 3 What about shipping?

You may not have already thought about shipping your products yet, at least not to the extent that this chapter is going to make you consider. Remember that when you sell something on Etsy, you will need to ship it, there’s no other way around it unless you can convince every single customer to come to your home.

One of the good things about shipping is that it can be a lot of fun, and it’s something that could help you to get your products sold through-out the world.

If you set yourself up with some shipping guidelines, you will know what to ship, when to ship it and what kind of packaging to ship it in.

Here are a few tips to help you get the shipping process right.

1 Think about how you’re going to post your sold products

When it comes to shipping your sold items, you should be aware that it’s not just a case of stuffing the rug into a packet and hoping it reaches its destination. You will need to consider the range of options that are available to you.

p<>{color:#000;}. Will you be able to offer insurance?

p<>{color:#000;}. Can you get your sent packages tracked?

p<>{color:#000;}. Will there be a signature confirmation once the parcel has reached its destination?

p<>{color:#000;}. How long will you leave between selling an item and posting it?

Will you be mailing your packages and parcels yourself, or will a carrier come to your door and collect it for you?

If you can answer these questions before you even make your first sale, you’ll be well on the way to running a well-organized business.

2 Estimate your shipping costs

One of the best things you can do when it comes to shipping things is to estimate the costs. The shipping costs will need to be added to your product listings so the potential buyer is aware of what they may need to pay out.

When it comes to estimating the costs, think about:

p<>{color:#000;}. How much each of the packages weighs – you may want to weigh the cushion on your kitchen scales to help you determine the final price.

p<>{color:#000;}. How much packaging you’ll have to use – some products will need a lot more packaging than others. This means you may have to set a standard amount to cover the overall costs, or price the shipping per item.

p<>{color:#000;}. How much it will cost you to send the item – this will vary depending on the size and the weight of the product you have sold.

You should also work out how much you are usually charged per weight of product. You can usually find this information at your local post office, or online, depending on which company you choose to ship your products with.

Other shipping considerations

There are other shipping considerations that you’ll need to think about in order to save time and money, here are a few that could make a real difference to the shipping process:

p<>{color:#000;}. Buy your printing labels in bulk so you have them to hand when you need them.

p<>{color:#000;}. Print all your labels when you have the time

p<>{color:#000;}. Let Etsy fill out those customs forms, these forms include the order information, which makes things a whole lot easier.

p<>{color:#000;}. Use the shipping notifications function to let a customer know when you have shipped their order.

p<>{color:#000;}. Use the seller protection policy as it will make buyers feel more confident when it comes to parting with their cash.

3 Define your shipping policies

Now you’ve decided how you’re going to ship your products and how much you’re going to charge for it, you need to think about your policies.

Think about your processing times

How long is it going to take you to process the order? Will your customers need to wait up to 7 days? Or can you get the order processed within 48 hours? If you take any longer than 7 days to process an order, your customers will be kept waiting and that’s not a good thing.

Will you offer postal insurance on everything you send?

It may cost a lot for you to do this, but in the end it could give you and your buyer’s peace of mind, especially if a package goes missing or it gets damaged in the mail.

Will you accept returns?

Occasionally customers may be unhappy with the product you have sent them. The reason may not be clear to you, but it’s obviously important to the buyer. Are you willing to accept returns, and if you are, will you refund the shipping costs?

What are the average shipping times?

It may only take a day or so for a package to reach an address in Miami, but it could take weeks for a package to reach a UK address. Try to find out what the average shipping times are so your customers know how long they may need to wait.

Will you offer faster shipping?

If Sarah wants to buy a piece of jewelry for her aunt’s birthday next week, will she have the option of paying for expedited shipping?

Will you ship to all four corners of the earth?

Some sellers are happy to sell within the United States, while others have no problem selling their goods on a global scale. Are you prepared to sell and ship internationally?

Will you offer free shipping?

Have you thought about offering free shipping to buyers who spend more than $150? Offering free shipping is a good way to get people to spend a little more.

Once you have readily defined your shipping policies, your customers will know where they stand, and they will be more likely to trust you. what’s more is if you have your policies outlined, there will be less buyer confusion about when they should expect their parcel, and how you’re going to ship it.

Will you keep your shipping receipts/proof of postage?

If you do, you will be able to prove to a buyer that you have in fact posted their parcel.

Communication is key

Shipping and communicating with your buyers almost go hand in hand. The more you communicate with your buyers through the shipping process, the more confidence they will have in you.

Once a customer has made a purchase, send them a message regarding the receipt of their order. Then, detail the product or products that they’ve ordered, and when you intend to ship the package.

Once you have shipped the package, inform your seller, again remind them of your shipping policies, and when they should expect to receive the package. Share as much information as you can with your buyer so they feel included in the purchase, and always ask for clarification of an address if you think there’s a spelling error, or it just doesn’t look quite right.

Chapter 4 – Build your Brand

The thought of building your own brand may seem quite ludicrous, after all, you’re only selling online, and you won’t be a multi-national business any time soon, so does having a brand really matter? Yes, it does.

One good way to succeed in business is to develop your own brand, so that customers know how you are, why they should buy your products and the kind of products and services that can expect from you.

1 The process of building your brand

Before you try to entice customers to buy from you, you need to build your brand. In order to create a brand, you will need to think about:

Why you make and sell your products

Why do you spend so much time making and potentially selling your products? Are you looking to raise cash for a vacation, or is this something you’ve always wanted to do? Think about how your personal story of why you’re making and selling handcrafted items can tie in with your brand.

Do you believe that everyone loves individually made items as opposed to widely manufactured ones?

Do you get a lot of pleasure out of creating something beautiful, and do you have a desire to make a living from it?

If you can come up with a little story that tells potential customers why you’re doing what you’re doing, they will put more worth into your products.

How are your products different from anyone else’s?

Why are the materials you use to create a tapestry so different from everyone else’s? Are they so much better? Do they come from a specific part of the world? What makes them so unique?

How would you describe your products?

Try to think of a few words that you could use to describe your products, and how they are different to your competitors.

Think of roughly 20-30 words that describe your products, and then try to halve the number of words you use. Once you have halved the number of words, do it again. End up with about 5 words that are used to describe your products.

Are the items you sell ‘Original, sophisticated, daring, charming and unique?’

Who is your target audience?

Many people make the mistake of trying to sell their products to everyone. The trouble is that not everyone will be interested in buying your products, no matter how hard you try to convince them. Work out who your target market is, what appeals to them, where they live, what shows they like to watch and more.

The more in tune you are with your customers, both current and potential, the more likely you are to make a sale.

2 Know your competition

Let’s face it, no matter what or where you sell, you are always going to have competition. Try to determine what your current competitions customers think about the products they sell. Are there any gaps in the market and can you offer them something different?

One good way to beat your competition is to find out what they don’t offer, or to offer the exact opposite. If your competitors sell armchair size bean bags that come with a cup holder, perhaps you could sell stiffer bean bags that come with a cup holder, a tray and a place to rest your feet.

3 Be original

Don’t try to be like everyone else, be original, and be different. Sometimes it pays to stray from the flock and try out something new. Right now, pretty fake flowers may be hugely popular, but has anyone thought about replacing the flower head with a felt skull?

Chapter 5 – Use the Power of Social Media

Right now, social media is the way forward, it can help you to stay in touch with your friends, but it can also help you to promote and boost your business.

Having the better known social media logos on your store site can make a lot of difference to your customer base. These days more and more people are using the power of social media to find out what their favorite businesses are selling.

1 Keeping your customers up to date

These days customers aren’t happy just to check out your new store every now and again to see what’s for sale, they want to be told what’s for sale. Social media sites can help you keep your customers up to date with your new range of handcrafted products. This way you can let potential buyers know what’s on offer, how much it will cost, and of course, a little bit of information about the product itself.

2 Update your pages frequently

If you want people to remain interested in your Etsy store, then you’ll need to update your social media pages fairly frequently. Try to update each page or feed at least 4 times a week, and don’t be afraid to add photographs if you can. This will encourage your customers to remain interested as they can see you’re busy making and promoting products.

Communicate with your customers

Even though the concept of using social media for your Etsy business may seem quite new and odd, you can use it to your advantage. Those who ‘Like’ your page or ‘Follow’ you via social media are likely to ask questions, leave comments and more.

Communicate with your customers via social media, and they will assume that you care about them. Interact with your customers as often as you can, and they will begin to trust you, as soon as they start to trust you, you can expect more sales.

3 Work towards getting more ‘Likes’

When you start to use social media to promote your business, chances are you won’t get a lot of ‘Likes’ right away. Friends and family members may be the only ones to like your pages to begin with, but all this can change.

Promote your social media pages via Etsy (A new feature now lets you link your Etsy and social media accounts), and don’t forget to advertise your social media accounts each time you send a package to a customer.

Put the name of your social media accounts on the invoices you send to buyers, mention it on your shop’s page, and do all you can to get those numbers up.

You should be aware that only 10% of people who ‘Like’ your page are likely to make a purchase, which is why you should try to get as many fans as possible.

Chapter 6 – A Few More Tips

Just in case you want a little more help setting up your Etsy business, we have included a few more tips below.

Be good to your customers!

This is absolutely essential as at the end of the day, it’s the customers who give you cash for your handcrafted products.

Do what you can to keep your customers happy, try to go that extra mile for them, and they will come back for more, or give you positive feedback (Which is priceless!).

When you send a package, hand write a ‘Thank you’ note for that personal touch, and don’t forget to update them with the status of their order every step of the way.

Throw in a freebie or two

I recently purchased some garden tools from a Japanese firm, they sent the order promptly and with it they also sent me a free apple peeler. Although I wasn’t expecting the peeler, and I’ll probably never use it, it was a nice touch, and makes me feel more loyal to them, because they obviously appreciate my custom.

If you can throw in a freebie or two, your customers will appreciate it, after all, who doesn’t like something for nothing?

Find out what makes other Etsy businesses successful

This is the key to understanding how you can make your business successful. Please make sure that you don’t copy another business’s ideas, but working out what their best selling products are, how they take their photographs and how they brand themselves could help you.

Some of the most successful Etsy businesses ask their customers what they want, and this is something you should take into consideration. Ask them if they were happy with their purchases, find out what they would like you to sell, and what they think of your shipping costs. Don’t be afraid to take criticism, and always be ready to apologize if a customer is unhappy with something; this is what successful businesses do, and so can you.

Give people the chance to be updated

These days’ customers want to be updated about new products and developments. You could use this to your advantage by sending out news letters to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Those who send out newsletters, or blog updates usually find there’s a surge in their sales over the next few days.

Send out a newsletter at least once a month, give as much detail as you can about your new and exciting products, how sales are doing and anything else you think may be relevant. Throw in a few competitions that only your subscribers can enter, and you’re sure to get a lot of interest.

When you send out a package, make sure its attractive

Although this may seem like a bit of an odd thing to do, the more attractive your packaging is, the more excitement your customers will feel. Traditionally, products that are sent through the mail are not very exciting to look at, but you can make yours stand out.

Choose the best looking (But reasonably priced) packaging that you can find, and use it every time you mail something out. Customers appreciate you going that extra mile, and presenting their newly purchased items in an original way.


As you can see, selling on Etsy can be quite complicated, but if you get yourself organized, it can be enjoyable and profitable too.

Although it would be nice to make a lot of money selling through Etsy, the most important thing you can do is enjoy it. If you enjoy crafting and selling your products, every cent you make will feel special.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead; know your brand, your target audience and how you’re going to ship those items you’ve sold. Sooner or later, these processes will become second nature, and you can get down to the really good stuff: Making something beautiful to sell.

Start your Etsy business as soon as you can, using the tips that have been set out in this book. Don’t expect to be an overnight success, but keep working at it and you’ll soon discover that having an Etsy business is its own reward.

Etsy Business: 15 Useful Tips to Guide You Through How to Start Your Etsy Busine

If you’re thinking of selling your handcrafted products on Etsy, you’ve no doubt already thought about what you’re going to make, who may buy your products and how much work you’re going to put into your new venture. Selling your products on Etsy can be a lot of fun, but it can also involve a lot of work too. This book will explain what you need to do in order to start your Etsy business, ship your purchases and increase the likelihood of returning customers.

  • ISBN: 9781310159794
  • Published: 2015-10-25 14:20:10
  • Words: 5336
Etsy Business: 15 Useful Tips to Guide You Through How to Start Your Etsy Busine Etsy Business: 15 Useful Tips to Guide You Through How to Start Your Etsy Busine