UPDATE 8/11/2020 – I’ve realized that quite a few things have changed on Etsy since I originally wrote this post. There’s been more of a push to offer FREE SHIPPING. My opinion: Only do it if it works for you. I do it sometimes on my smaller items but build the shipping cost into the item’s cost. In one shop, I use Etsy’s feature of offering free shipping if the buyer spends $35.
Also, Etsy recently introduced OFFSITE ADS. Shops are automatically opted in to that program. If you make over $10,000 in a year you have no choice but to be part of the program. As a new shop, you can opt out. Find the Offsite Ads area under the Settings tab in your shop. Read more about Offsite Ads here.
(This post has affiliate links)
Recently I had an epiphany about the vintage costume jewelry I’ve been
hoarding stockpiling as inventory recently. I had listed and sold a few pieces on Ebay and in The Recycleista, my main vintage shop on Etsy. But I have a lot of it and I wanted to really start hitting it hard and moving it out. The problem was, I didn’t want to overload my Etsy shop with vintage jewelry when it mostly focuses on housewares and vintage kitchen.
I decided to open another Etsy shop! I know. I know. I just shut down a couple shops. That’s the beauty of selling on Etsy. It’s so easy to start a shop! (Click here to read my post on How many Etsy shops do I need?) I took notes and pictures and thought I’d share the process with you.
Get your first 40 listings free.
First of all, if you know someone selling on Etsy, have them send you their referral link. You will both get 40 free listings. (side note: The referral link used to be a lot easier to find but the new Shop Manager doesn’t have it as of yet. So tell your friend to Google “Etsy referral link”…it’ll get them to an Etsy help article which will get them to the right page. Or they can opt out of the new Shop Manager temporarily to get to it under Promotions).
If you don’t know anyone else who sells on Etsy, you can use my link here. Like I mentioned, we’ll both get 40 free listings. (affiliate disclosure).
Once you accept their invite, it’ll prompt you to register.
You’ll want to have figured out what email you are going to have associated with your Etsy account. It’s one email address per shop, so if you already have an Etsy shop, you’ll need to open a new email address. I usually just go to Gmail and start a new one. I then forward all of its mail to my main Gmail account so I don’t miss anything and I don’t have to log in and out all the time. If you already have a buying account on Etsy, you can probably just turn that into a selling account and sign in.
Once you’ve chosen your username (can be your name or same as your shop name or whatever), there will be an email confirmation too….you’re all registered! Then the Etsy shop opening process continues with choosing preferences for your shop. These are self explanatory…language, country, currency, etc.
Naming Your Shop
The process now leads you to choosing a shop name. Hopefully you’ve given this a bit of thought ahead of time. Have a few different ones or variations thought out, just in case the name you want is already taken. You can kind of scope out whether your hoped for shop name is already taken by using the search bar on Etsy itself. Type in the name and then narrow the results down to “Shops”. If there are any OPEN shops with your name, you know right away you won’t be able to use it.
The search bar only works for open shops so here’s the kicker. Even old, empty, closed shop names are not available. So you won’t be able to tell for sure until you are at this stage of the opening a shop process.
Some other things to keep in mind about shop names on Etsy.
- 4 to 20 characters
- No spaces or special characters. (some shops use capital letters to separate words..ex ModCatTreasures (yay! that’s me!!)
- No profanity
- Can’t be the same as another shop (as we addressed above)
- No trademark infringing.
Your shop name can be a reflection of you, what you’re planning on making or selling or just something funky weird that people will remember! 😉
Filling Up Your Shop
So now we’re at the point of adding items to your shop! It helps to have the items ready and photographed if at all possible. But if you’re not ready, no worries. The shop will just hang out where you left off. And nothing is visible…not until you say so.
Etsy recommends having 10 listings loaded up before opening but any amount is fine. I opened with 6. And then added a few more the next day after I opened. Of course I need to add a bunch more to really get the shop going.
On this blog, I’ve written several “Selling On Etsy” articles, where I go into more detail about listing things on Etsy. Including photography and listing descriptions. To read more, you can click on the “How to Sell on Etsy” tab at the top of the blog (or in the menu dropdown on mobile) or you can just click here.
Payments and Billing
So now we move on to some more nuts and bolts type stuff. How you’ll get paid. You’ll put in the checking account that you want your money deposited to and then there’s just a section that helps confirm your identity.
Then we move along to the billing and fees. You put in your credit card with which you want to pay your fees. If you click on the link on that page you’ll see how the fees work.
See that notice up there about the cost of my 6 listings being put on my bill? I actually used a referral code from a friend so that won’t happen. Not until I hit my 41st listing, of course. (Don’t forget, you can use my referral code too if you don’t know any other Etsy sellers.)
Once Etsy knows how you’re going to pay them, you’re ready to launch!
Are you overwhelmed yet? I hope not. It is actually pretty simple and Etsy makes it nice and logical. Just follow the prompts. This just gives you a visual of the process and some tips. I did the whole thing over the course of a couple days but I did it in small batches. If you’re ready to go with your listings and name and such, you could be up and running in an afternoon.
Of course, we don’t stop there. Once I launched, the shop looked like this:
Blah. Kind of boring. There is more to fill out with your profile, cover photo, avatar, shop sections, disclosures, policies and more. I’ll cover that in part 2. Part Two is here: How to Open and Launch an Etsy Shop – Part Two
Have you opened an Etsy shop? Was it easy? Any confusing parts? Share your thoughts below!