If your business is in the handmade, custom or vintage space, you might be wondering, “What do I need to open an Etsy shop?”

Fortunately, getting started with Etsy is easy. You can open up shop in less than an hour. Here’s how.

Why Sell on Etsy?

39 million consumers spent more than $3 billion on Etsy in 2018.

Opening an Etsy Shop in 6 Simple Steps

1. Register Your Etsy Store

The first step is to head to Etsy’s registration page. Here, you can register with an email address and specify:  

  • The language you want your shop to be in    
  • What country you’re based in    
  • Which type of currency you want to use

Wondering about the cost of opening an Etsy shop? Registering costs as little as 20 cents a listing. Once you start selling, you’ll pay fees based on what you sell.

2. Name Your Etsy Shop

Next, you’ll be prompted to choose a “memorable name that reflects your style.” If the shop name you choose is already taken, Etsy’s name generator will suggest similar names that are available. 

You can only change the name of your shop once, so choose wisely. Etsy recommends you check trademarked names before you name your business to avoid trademark conflicts.

3. Add Etsy Listings

Next, you’ll add product listings to your Etsy store. The site recommends showing off multiple angles of your products in photos so sellers can understand what they’re buying. Some photos to consider in each listing are:

  • Straightforward shots of the product on a crisp, clean, uncluttered background         
  • Action shots of the product being used or dramatic examples of how to display it.
  • You’ll be able to choose a featured thumbnail for each listing, so make sure you select the one that makes the biggest impact and inspires the most clicks. 

When you’re creating copy for your descriptions, use words people might be searching for when they need a product like yours. You can definitely get creative with your descriptions, but you want to include keywords so your listings are more likely to pop up in search results on Etsy. 

You should also add tags to each item, which are keywords that are associated with your listing. These should be search-friendly, too. 

You can add as many listings as you’d like to your Etsy shop. The site recommends offering fast-as-possible delivery to increase order likelihood. As for pricing your products, we have some tips.

Adding Etsy Listings: Key Takeaways 

  • Use attractive and varied product shots 
  • Include searchable keywords in the listing title.  
  • Be as detailed as possible in item features.  
  • Write a search-friendly description

4. Determine Payment

Next, you’ll determine how you’ll get paid. You’ll need to input where your bank is located, routing information for your account and personal details including the last 4 digits of your social security number and your home address. Keep in mind:

  • You’ll need to link a form of payment to make your listing live. Again, it costs 20 cents to publish or renew listings, which are active for 4 months or until the items are sold. 
  • When an item sells, Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee on the item and postage.  
  • Etsy also charges a payment-processing fee. That’s 3% plus 25 cents deducted from the sales total. 
  • You have the option for purchasing an Etsy Plus subscription package, which costs $10 a month and gives you an expanded set of features, including advanced shop customization and access to custom web address discounts.

Etsy has a tax guide on its website.

5. Taxes and Etsy – What You Need to Know

Once you’re selling goods, be aware of the business taxes you’ll need to file, even if Etsy is a side job. If you’ve opened your Etsy shop with the intention of making a profit, it is a business even if you experience a loss during the first year or so. 

Etsy has a thorough guide covering tax matters on its site.

1099-K and Other Forms

You’ll use the Form 1099-K to organize taxes for Etsy sales. If during the previous tax year you processed more than 200 transactions through Etsy that exceeded a gross payment of $20,000, Etsy will send this form to you by Jan. 31 of the year you are paying taxes. 

If you didn’t earn this much, you’re responsible for reporting the data. If you make $400 or more a year from your Etsy store, you’ll need to file a Schedule SE form. And if you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes for your Etsy venture, you’ll need to pay estimated taxes with a 1040-ES form every quarter. 

Tax Deductions

Remember that you can deduct certain expenses for your Etsy store come tax time, including shipping expenses and advertising fees. Keep track of all your business expenses so you can maximize your tax deductions later.

6. Adding Sales Tax to Listings

Wondering about sales taxes on the goods you’re selling? Etsy explains how to add a sales tax to listings on its website. Note:

  • Etsy automatically charges the correct sales tax amounts based on where the seller is located. You can look up a sales tax in your area to get an idea of the charges by going to your state government’s website.  
  • Etsy tracks all the sales taxes shop owners collect and enables them to download a sales record spreadsheet so they can see which taxes are owed to which states.

An Etsy shop is a great way to sell your items online. 

Ready, Set, Open Your Etsy Shop

Setting up an Etsy shop is an easy way to sell your unique items online. As with any ecommerce store you manage, you can get more eyes on your store by promoting it on social media, through email marketing and via online advertising, such as Facebook or Google Ads. 

Get weekly business insights & expert advice to help grow your business.