How to Start a Small Business on Etsy
For the Makers

How to Start a Small Business on Etsy

Etsy is an online retail store designed to support creative entrepreneurs to sell their goods. If you’re new to selling online and using Etsy, starting your own shop can feel like stumbling around in the dark. Before you walk face first into a wall, we’ve put together something of a flashlight for you to find success on the platform!

First, stop! Spend some time considering whether Etsy is the right platform for you. Etsy makes it quick and easy to set up a shop and connects you instantly with a large potential audience. Just remember, Etsy is built for comparison shopping. The platform makes money when items sell, and
that means they don’t care if it’s your item or your competitor’s. You’ll have to take this into consideration when planning your photography, pricing and promotions. Etsy also charges fees to sell on their platform and your shop could technically be taken down at any time if you’re accused of
copyright infringement, for example. For those reasons, Etsy is a great place to start selling online but may not be the best basket for all your eggs.

Before starting your Etsy journey, take the following steps to ensure you have everything you need to begin.

  • Come up with a shop name! Try adding “shop” or “boutique” to the end of your brand name if your chosen name is taken. Don’t worry if you don’t have it perfect — you can always change it!
  • Have at least one item ready to sell.
  • Have digital product photos of your item(s) (800–1000 pixels wide).
  • Have a list of words that describe your item to be used in tags and titles.
  • Have a price in mind for your item.
  • Know how much it will cost to ship your item.
  • Have a checking account and debit/credit card ready to use for your sales.

Now that you have a store created, you’ll need to stand out! In order to reach more customers and close more sales, consider the following tips for success.

  • Customize the layout of your shop. Move products around so you can group like products together and make the buying experience easier for your customers.
  • Customize your “About” section with photos and videos giving shoppers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and who their purchase is supporting.
  • Use consistent and high-quality images. Use a ring light or photo box when photographing your products to ensure they look their best and, if using a filter, ensure you use the same filter in every photo to maintain consistency.
  • Update your shop’s banner and featured items at least once every season to account for seasonal shopping trends (Christmas, Easter, summer, etc.).
  • Assess your Shop Stats frequently to ensure your keywords are working. To make the most of keywords, brainstorm words or phrases that customers might use to find your items. Once you have a list of possibilities, circle the strongest ones. Go into the listings editor and plug those words and phrases into your product tags and item titles and at the beginning of your item descriptions.

With these tips, your Etsy shop should be off the ground in no time! Remember that done is better than perfect — you can always change and edit things as you go! For more details on how to open an Etsy store, visit