What to do?
Opening a shop of your very own on Etsy is not a difficult thing to do. Here is a super basic, step by step guide to get you started!
Etsy's front page will look more or less like this. The treasury (all the pictures) will be constantly changing with new and exciting collections all the time.
If you have never explored Etsy before, now would be a great time to do so. It will help you in building your own little store.
Ready to start? Go the the top left hand corner and click "Sell."
This next window will provide basic information on what you can or can't sell on Etsy.
Click "Open an Etsy Shop." A window will pop up. Fill in the appropriate information.
*Note on user names: these cannot be changed, this includes capitalization, so pick wisely.
Click "Register" and keep going!
You will then be presented with the option of setting you language, currency and country.
If you speak more than one language, you can also add those later.
For the currency, some people prefer to use the United States Dollar rather than their own country (e.g. Canadian). This is also Etsy's default. This does depend on where your target audience is and your own preference. You can also switch this later, if, for example, you notice that while you are Canadian, most of your buyers are from the USA. However, some sellers prefer to keep the currency of their own country for ease of bookkeeping, etc.
Etsy will then ask you "What do you hope to accomplish?" Interesting question. Sell lots and make money, right? But really, this is a good question to consider.
Having a clear(ish) direction will help you set goals. It will also help prevent you from getting overwhelmed. You don't have to start out as a full time seller. It takes time to build a good store and a solid customer base. As with most things, goals can change over time as you get established.
Now it's time to enter your shop name! Getting excited?
Shop name refers to the name of your shop and will appear in the web address to your shop. These can be up to 20 letters and numbers, but no spaces or punctuation.
Shop names can be changed. You can change your name as many times as you like before you shop is open. But once it's opened the name is now taken for good and if you switch it, you can't switch it back. You can also change your name after opening, but if you decide to change your name more than once it will need to be submitted to Etsy for review.
Your desired shop name may not be available to you for a number of reasons. The obvious one being that it is already in use by another shop. But what if you've looked and can't find anyone using it? The restriction on user names extends to shops that are closed, and won't show up in search, so it's good to have a couple back ups ready.
It's getting close! You can't really open a shop without any items in it now can you?
We will have a more detailed look at listing an item in a future post. Once all is filled in, including a lovely photo, you can "save and add new listings" (but we know you may be anxious to actually open, you can always add new listings later) or "save and continue."
This is important. This is also where indicating the correct country of origin is important. Some countries can only offer certain methods of payment. Select your desired method, fill out corresponding information (PayPal account, etc) and "save."
At this point you will be asked to confirm your email, if you have not already done so.
Once you confirm your email you will be booted back to Etsy automatically.
You do need a credit card to sign up for an Etsy shop. At the end of each month Etsy will send you a bill. This bill will reflect any items listed, at $0.20 (USD) an item, and a transaction fee of 3.5% for any items sold. You can pay your actual bill using either Paypal or your credit card, but Etsy does need your card number to open shop.
Enter the required information, validate your card and you're good to go!
Your listing, added earlier, will be in draft. Publish it and you're set for business!
Congratulations! You now have a shop of your very own on Etsy!
Looks a little bland?
Okay, well, let's admit, you're not totally good to go. We need to spruce up that shop of yours. Tune in next Thursday while we go through the Info & Appearance section!
Andrea Davis resides in Winnipeg. A proud member of WEST for 2 years and the owner of "We Are Bound Together", a shop where 100% of the proceeds go to charities. Check out her shop, or blog.