How to Sell on Etsy: The rise of online marketplaces has been gradual and tremendous. The recent phase of unprecedented changes to business models has prompted most businesses to switch to online marketplaces. Even small businesses are operating from online shops and eCommerce stores. They find the brand relatable to connect with their customers through online portals.
One of the lesser-known online selling portals is Etsy. Etsy was established in 2005 and has been growing as an online marketplace. Etsy at present has 81.9 million active buyers. On the statistical front, the number of sellers on Etsy is 4.1 million. The products offered on Etsy have gone into the range of 50 million and more.
Selling on Etsy can help you create marketing channels and sales formation. Before going into the ways to sell on the platform, one should know what the platform is all about. In the next sections, you will know about what Etsy is and the tips for selling on the platform with maximum potential.
What is Etsy- the marketplace?
The platform of Etsy specializes in marketing and selling artistic goods, collectible craft supplies, and handmade products. The platform has been a very good marketplace to find vintage items and things rarely found in general online stores. Etsy has the advantage of marketing unique, handcrafted items over mass-produced commercial items. In a broad eCommerce industry where people are bored of the normal and saturated with choices, Etsy is a breath of fresh air. Mostly small-scale and mid-scale businesses have benefited from selling on Etsy.
Etsy provides an outlet for small businesses that otherwise fail to make a mark on large-scale third-party eCommerce platforms. Since people are now more interested in buying from small and local businesses, Etsy has come into the shopping limelight. Etsy helps sellers to sell artisan products through a broader channel without the need for a separate website and its maintenance.
The majority of the products on Etsy are with vintage labels. The platform is great for collectors who like to search for unique, delicate items. The channel connects buyers and sellers easily. Based in Brooklyn, the business also supports artists and budding creators by extending the facility of Etsy Labs, where they can learn and hone their skills.
What does it cost to be a seller on Etsy?
The initial cost of setting up an Etsy account on the platform is $0.20. Then, the seller can list an item on the marketplace. The account listing will remain active until the item is sold. If the item remains unsold even after 4 months of listing, the listing will expire. During the sale, 5 percent of the sale price is counted as transaction price.
Most of the sellers who do not turn successful shut shop after a month of little or no sales. However, to sell well and consistently, the seller needs to be follow through with many things. A seller needs to know how to manage selling costs so that the profits are sustained.
Etsy Store Cost
It does not cost practically anything to set up a shop on Etsy. However, even though the cost of signing up as an Etsy seller is zero, there are listing prices. For example, one item per listing costs $0.20. The listing price is a bit complex because a listing may contain multiple items in the list. In one listing, different varieties of the same product can be included. Once the listing is sold out or expired after four months, the seller can either automatically renew the product listing or remake it manually.
This renewal process is where the first trick lies. Automatic renewal of the product listings may seem like an easy way out. However, when you delve deeper into the financial makeup of Etsy listings, manual listings are better. The manual renewal of listings helps in studying the financial parameters of the shop.
The seller can easily shift the listings with the help of analysis. The seller can decide to remove the products that do not sell well. It is always better to maximize the listings that go on sale the most. This helps increase revenue and profits. If the listing price is not managed in a good way, it adds up as a recurrent price.
Is the renewal price all there is for listing?
The renewal price for listing at $0.20 seems very less. However, there are different cases of how listing prices can affect your profits at the end of the day. The listing price is different from the product price on sale.
Here are a few examples of how listing prices factor in:
In the case of selling one handcrafted item, the seller exhausts his listing. If he decides not to renew the listing and stop sales of the item, he does not have to pay the renewal fee for the listing.
If the seller lists multiple varieties of one product under a single listing, the sale of one of the varieties will revert the listing to zero and ask for renewal for new listings. Therefore, the seller has to pay for the listing after every sale. The listing price multiplies by the number of products sold from the listing. However, once a listing is made and a seller wants to edit it, he does not have to pay for the addition of new products for the same listing.
What is the transaction fee on Etsy?
The seller needs to pay a nominal fee for each of his sales on every transaction between the seller and buyer. The seller pays 5 percent of the selling price as a transaction fee to Etsy.
What are the promotional costs on Etsy?
Etsy sellers can also create promotional listings for better visibility and reach. The promotional campaigns can be run at a price as low as $1/day. The seller can opt for a cost-per-click model for promotions. As a new seller on Etsy, you should invest a chunk of your selling budget in promotions and advertisements. You can choose a CPC model starting from $0.10 per click.
What are the Etsy processing fees?
If the seller uses the transaction channel and payment gateways of Etsy to sell items, the Etsy platform charges a 3% and additional $0.25 per transaction. Sometimes, there are additional tax charges and conversion residue to pay to the platform.
What are the shipping costs on Etsy?
Shipping costs are usually handled between the seller and buyer. The costs should suit the buyer as he will pay for it. However, the shipping costs fluctuate based on the scale of the item and the location it is sent to. Based on these parameters, the shipping costs have to be properly calculated.
The seller has to do proper research to offer fair and reasonable shipping costs to buyers.
A round-up on Etsy pricing
While as a new seller, you may think that the price of starting out on Etsy is only 20 cents, you have to sustain the business. For continued sales, you have to factor in other fees that Etsy charges throughout the sale journey. The seller has to count in recurrent listing fees, transaction fees, payment processing fees, and shipping fees. On the other hand, if the seller picks up any marketing and promotional moves, the prices go up. This calculation does not include the COGS related to the items. Since there are so many hidden costs linked with the items, it is tricky to sell the items with the right profit margins.
The seller has to keep track of all the costs and alter the selling strategy accordingly. This is not a one-time process, and it is a continuous process to follow through with. You have to count in external and internal charges going into each sale and then optimize the sale process.
Steps to selling successfully on Etsy
Here is a simple stepwise guide to selling on Etsy successfully.
Go to Etsy.com
The seller has to visit the Etsy home page at Etsy.com and start your journey as a seller by signing up for selling. You can click on the Sell on Etsy link, then click on the Open your Etsy Shop option for further setup.
Customize your shop
You would want to create a unique digital marketplace that identifies with your brand. The customization of settings linked with the shop helps you create a new and unique shop that is appealing to buyers. You can set up your preferences and how others look at your shop. You will essentially set up the client-side of the shop. You can customize your shop according to the products you plan to list.
Select shop name
Your shop name is the brand name that buyers will later search for your business with. The shop name is very important for identity and marketing purposes. You have to create a unique shop name that resonates with your potential buyers. The name should be easy to remember so that you can create brand recall with it. Choose a name that you can easily use with packaging ideas.
Start with listing
Once the shop is set up and the name is selected, go for a product listing. Create product listings with the items you want to sell.
Add photos for all the products and experiment with product shots. Good, appealing images are great for improving product sales. The best advice is to add at least four to five photos of each product so that the buyer can trust your shop.
Choose the right thumbnail. It is always advisable for sellers to take care of presentation because marketing links with it.
Optimize the listing information
Moreover, you also need to optimize the product description so that the buyer can find what he is looking for. Use the tags offered to create keyword-optimized content for better search result visibility for buyers.
Inventory addition and management
You also have to add inventory quantity for later management.
Shipping cost fixation
The shipping costs have to be also set for the entire process. The setup and management of these parameters help in establishing clarity in the selling process for you and the buyer.
Once you have fixed all the parameters and information, you can preview the information visible to the buyer and edit it at times.
Select the payment method
Payment methods are fundamental to all transactions on Etsy. The seller needs to set up payment gateways for transactions with buyers. The platform gives the option of many modes for sellers to receive money. The buyers can transact through credit cards and debit cards or online payment apps.
Set up billing information
The Etsy platform needs to send you information related to all transactions to a certain account. For this, you have to set up billing information. You have to provide your country of origin, and your credit card information, for verification. The card will be for billing the fees and transactions you do with Etsy as a seller.
Once you have set up the shop, product listings, and payment modes, it is time to optimize the shop. You have to optimize the store to keep the shopping running in profitable shape at all times. For example, you can start with a user profile and profile photo.
Add your user profile
The profile of the user is an important pointer to add to your store. The seller can start with a short bio and a profile photo. The creation of an engaging user profile attracts more potential buyers and increases their trust in your store.
Create a shop policy
The creation of a shop policy helps maintain clarity in the case of sales and returns. The seller can include a section of frequently asked questions in the policy. This will answer the queries of approaching customers and help you retain customers. You can clarify on shipping policy and also any other policy alignments of the shop. For example, you can talk about your sustainability policy for product creation.
Use Etsy marketing tools
Etsy has marketing tools for sellers that help sellers in optimizing different aspects of a shop. You can explore these tools and start marketing with their help of them.
Tips for selling on Etsy for business success
Once your shop is optimized and ready for operations, you can carry out sales without a hitch. However, sales strategies evolve with time. Therefore, it is important to tweak your strategy and optimization with time. Here is a list of tips for better business on Etsy over a long period.
Hire a professional photographer for the photos
Product photos are very important when you are solely operating on the eCommerce marketplace. When a buyer is browsing through your store, he is looking for good, elaborate photos of the product. Good, professional-quality photos help the buyer connect with the products and ultimately buy them faster.
Therefore, you should focus on creating great photos for the product catalog with the help of professional photographers. You will not be disappointed with a professional photographer on your team. Many photographers specialize in product photography. Hire them for short-term or long-term projects.
SEO techniques are something that every marketplace is using. Etsy is no stranger to the use of SEO strategy. Whether it is about using the right tags for categorization or using the right keywords in the product description, you need to invest in SEO. Get an SEO expert on board and start optimizing your SEO content for better marketing. You need to do SEO research to know about the most popular search words and categories. This will help you in product category expansion.
Create competitive pricing
Pricing is a matter that directly relates to marketing and sales. You need to optimize the price from time to time according to customer needs and demands. You should also take up competitor research to set competitive pricing to capture the best of customers. Always try to lower production costs to increase the profit margins from sales. Test different price points on your shop and finalize the price point that is most popular among customers. Always listen to your customers’ requests.
Do not copy
The whole idea behind Etsy is to market the uniqueness of products and their freshness as compared to other marketplaces. Therefore, always go for unique products and price points. Study your customers and their needs, analyze your competitors but do not copy them blindly. In the case of both strategy and product offerings, try to be as unique as you can.
Include different payment modes
There are many modes of payment offered by Etsy. Even customers are comfortable with multiple payment modes. Be open to getting payments through multiple payment modes for the convenience of customers. This helps you get more sales as customers are more likely to follow through with the final step of the purchase.
Endnote Even if you are doubtful about starting a shop on Etsy, take the first step with confidence. Most sellers on Etsy started out small. With an understanding of sales and marketing, you can easily run a shop on Etsy profitably. Today, there are millions of sellers on the platform. You can join them and realize your dream of creating a business out of