How to Sell on Etsy?

Are you ready to turn your craft into cash? Selling on Etsy offers a unique opportunity to reach a global audience looking for handmade, vintage, and unique items. Whether you create custom jewelry, design digital prints, or curate a collection of vintage treasures, Etsy is the go-to platform.


This guide walks you through starting an Etsy store the right way to avoid costly rookie mistakes. From setting up an account and listing your first products to optimizing for organic reach and using paid ads, we will simplify the process and provide practical tips in between to help you get started and get results fast. 


Why sell on Etsy?


Etsy isn't the best choice for quick passive income. It requires a lot of work upfront and could take weeks or months to see consistent sales. However, the long-term earning potential is high, making it the primary sales channel for many artisans. Here are other reasons online sellers love Etsy and why you could be the next success story.


  • Low startup costs: Unlike Amazon or Walmart, you don't need a large capital or inventory to start.
  • Low skill level: You don't need to learn coding or website development to create a stunning shop.
  • Personalize policies: Etsy is one of the few platforms that lets sellers implement their own policies.
  • Access to a large, targeted audience: Etsy has over 100 million users, all interested in authentic crafts.
  • SEO and marketing tools: Etsy offers a range of tools to help sellers optimize their listings for search engines.


What products can you sell on Etsy?


 Etsy champions creativity and individuality, emphasizing handmade, vintage, and unique manufactured items. If you're planning to sell on Etsy, here are the key product categories you can explore:


  1. Handmade Goods: This is perhaps the most prominent category on Etsy. 
  • Jewelry: Necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and more.
  • Clothing: Custom t-shirts, dresses, scarves, hats, and other apparel.
  • Accessories: Bags, purses, belts, and hair accessories.
  • Home Decor: Art prints, candles, pottery, decorative pillows, and handmade furniture.
  • Bath and Beauty Products: Soaps, lotions, perfumes, and bath bombs.


  1. Vintage Items: To qualify as vintage, items must be at least 20 years old. 
  • Clothing and accessories.
  • Furniture and home decor.
  • Toys and games.
  • Books, magazines, and postcards.
  • Jewelry and watches.


  1. Craft Supplies: Etsy allows sellers to offer materials used for creating handmade goods. 
  • Fabrics, threads, and yarn.
  • Beads, clasps, and jewelry-making kits.
  • Patterns and blueprints for clothing, woodworking, and other crafts.
  • Stickers, stamps, and scrapbooking supplies.
  • Painting, drawing, and sculpting materials.


  1. Art: Both original pieces and reproductions can be sold.
  • Paintings and drawings.
  • Prints and digital artwork.


  1. Digital Products: These are items that customers can download directly from the Etsy platform.
  • Digital prints and art.
  • Patterns for sewing, knitting, or crochet.
  • Printable planners, calendars, and stationery.
  • Website templates and blog themes.
  • E-books and tutorials.


  1. Personalized and Custom Goods: Many Etsy shoppers look for customized products.
  • Customized clothing and monogrammed towels.
  • Personalized jewelry and custom-engraved gifts.
  • Bespoke furniture and made-to-order art pieces.
  • Custom party favors, wedding invitations, and greeting cards.


  1. Unique Manufactured Products: While Etsy emphasizes handmade items, sellers can also list unique manufactured products that meet Etsy's criteria of being special and not available widely. These items typically have a unique design or a significant level of customization.


Step-By-Step Guide to Selling on Etsy


Now that you know the benefits of having an Etsy shop and the different products you can sell, let's dive into the process of creating an account, listing your products, and generating conversions. Here's the A to Z of selling on Etsy to help you start on the right foot. 


Step 1: Create an account.


Go to and click "Sign in" next to the search bar. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to continue the sign-in process. Since you don't have an account yet, click "Register." You only need to provide a username and a password.


Tip: You can skip some steps or enter temporary information, which you can update later. However, preparing all the required details before completing the registration process will allow Etsy to index your shop more quickly.


Log in and click your profile in the upper right-hand corner. From the dropdown menu, choose "Sell on Etsy." Click "Get started," answer all the questions, and click "Start your shop." Then, choose a language, a country, and a currency. Click "Save and continue."


Choose a name for your shop. This name should be unique, decent, and easy to remember. You want to avoid a shop name that people will remember for the wrong reasons, such as one with negative connotations.


Etsy will tell you if the name you entered is no longer available and recommend similar ones. If you can't think of an alternative name right away, put in a temporary one that has no duplicates and change it later.


Of course, you can add a word or characters—such as "co," "collective," "boutique," "studio," or "gallery"—at the end of your chosen name just so it can pass the originality check. However, having another shop name closely similar to yours might affect your optimization. Hence, it would be best to choose a different one.


Once you have a name for your shop, click "Save and continue."


Step 2: Create your first listing.


Etsy requires you to create a draft listing as part of account creation. If you don't have the necessary images and details yet, you can use placeholders and update them later. However, it's best to have your assets ready beforehand to speed up account setup and minimize updates later.


The first step is to upload at least ten images of your product. Etsy labels each image slot with its suggested image types to help guide your photography. These include the primary photo, every angle, multiple details, lifestyle or in use, size and scale, styled scene, and variations.


Etsy also provides tips on how to make crisp, Etsy-friendly images on the left sidebar. Since some images require text and graphics, consider editing photos on Canva and saving them in PNG format. The size should be at least 2050 x 1155 px.


Each image must also have alt text for optimization. These are relevant keywords that increase your product's searchability not just on Etsy but also on search engines. Then, include a clear, well-adjusted thumbnail. You can also add a soundless 5- to 30-second video to enhance your listing. The file shouldn't exceed 100 MB.


Navigate down and complete the listing details. Use targeted keywords with high search volume and low competition in your title, description, and tags for better visibility. Many fields are optional, but we recommend filling everything out to give potential buyers as much information as they need to make purchase decisions.


Step 3: Add your payment information.


Select the country where your bank is located. Then, choose between "Individual" and "Business" as your account type. Etsy generally requires businesses to have a limited liability company (LLC) structure. If you want to register as a business but do not have an LLC set up yet, you can choose "Individual" for now and switch later.


You also need to enter specific information about yourself and your business, including your country of residence, full name, birthday, and complete address. From there, you can return to your dashboard to verify your bank account. Once you click "Get started," Etsy will send a small amount to your bank account and ask you to provide details about it for verification.


Step 4: Explore your Shop Manager. 


Your Shop Manager is where you manage all your listings, orders, shipping, sales, returns, messages, and refunds. It is where you can run ads, integrate off-platform apps and software, and view your store stats. Examples of apps and software you can sync with Etsy include your stores on platforms like Shopify and the email marketing software you're using.


Start Your Online Business Journey with Etsy Today!


Now that you know what to sell and how to sell on Etsy, it's time to put this information into action. Setting up your shop on Etsy is just the beginning; the real journey lies in nurturing your store and engaging with your customers. You can build a loyal customer base and create a standout presence in a vibrant marketplace by consistently following best practices for listings, customer service, and marketing.


Whether you're a seasoned artisan or a beginner in online selling, Etsy offers a platform that values uniqueness and craftsmanship. Your Etsy shop can flourish with dedication and creativity, turning your passion into profit. So take that first step, embrace the learning curve, and start your selling adventure on Etsy today!