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Selling on Etsy in 2021: A Complete Guide

Etsy has become one of the most popular selling platforms on the Internet. There are hundreds of success stories from everyday sellers on the platforms. These people turned their crafts or collections into a business.

Sarah Sewell​ is one such person. She started selling her crafts on Etsy in 2008, opening her store ‘Stones by Sarah.’ Her shop was widely successful and brought in over $650,000 in the six years it was open.

While not everyone sees a profit of half a million dollars, most sellers make enough to count their Etsy shop as a part- or full-time job. Anyone can start selling on Etsy and, depending on the time they put in, make a decent living.

If you have a handmade skill or talent that you would like to start a business with, Etsy is the place for you. The site has grown exponentially in the past few years, and we can expect to see even more growth in the future.

What Is Etsy For the unfamiliar, Etsy is an online marketplace used by millions of people around the world. In 2019, there were over 2.5 million sellers​ and nearly 46 million ​buyers.​ This is a considerable increase from 2012, where there were less than a million sellers and a little over nine million buyers.

People flock to Etsy for its unique products. Unlike other online marketplaces, Etsy is designed to support crafters, artists, and collectors. Most shops offer handmade products, vintage items, or craft supplies, making Etsy a haven for small, individually-owned businesses.

Why You Should Be Selling On Etsy Exposure


While there are many benefits to selling on Etsy, a significant reason to join is exposure. As we mentioned above, Etsy’s audience is massive. Opening an Etsy shop means you can reach a much wider audience than you ever did before.

Small Fees One way that Etsy supports small businesses is through its low operating fees. You do not have to pay to open a shop at all, and there is no monthly fee.

Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee per product, a 5 percent transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. The payment processing fee is 3 percent plus $0.25

for each transaction. There is also a 15 percent offsite advertising fee, though you only have to pay if you make a sale from one of the ads.

Compared to many other platforms, these costs are significantly lower. Shop owners can afford to keep lower prices while still making a profit.

Designed To Support You Etsy is designed to help individual creators and artists make a business out of their passions. The platform is easy to use, with simple features that ease the process of opening your shop.

Security Their entire platform is secure, with SSL-encryption, security specialists, and fraud detection systems to keep customers’ information safe. A significant issue when opening a business is securing your customers’ data. With Etsy, buyers already know that the platform is secure, lending your shop more trust and reputability.

Discounted Postage To help shop owners with postage costs, American sellers can purchase USPS shipping labels on Etsy. Sellers can save up to 30 percent on postage, lowering one of the highest expenses for small online businesses.

Sell on Etsy App For accessible store management, Etsy has an app for sellers. The Sell on Etsy app is available for iOS and Android and allows shop owners to manage their business on-the-go.

Sellers can access the app from anywhere and on any device. They can view new sales, manage their shop, and respond to customers. With a 4.4 star rating, Etsy’s app is considered reliable and easy to use.

Custom Website Etsy sellers can create a custom website powered by their Etsy shop. It only takes a few minutes to set up and gives shop owners a unique place to build their brand.

Support Etsy has support specialists available to help shop owners at any time. They also regularly post blogs and other content that includes tips to build your business on Etsy. The platform’s goal is to support shop owners, as they are the ones who make Etsy what it is, and they offer direct support for those that need it.

Etsy Plus There are two different paths for Etsy sellers. The standard option has no monthly charge. The plus option offers an expanded set of tools to grow your business and brand for 10 dollars a month. If you decide to subscribe to Etsy Plus, you will have access to further shop customization, more communication with your customers, and listing and advertising credits.

While it may be more expensive, Etsy Plus is an excellent option for those who are serious about their Etsy business. It is an investment in your growth and gives you the tools to expand your shop.

How To Set Up Your Etsy Shop Setting up your Etsy shop is simple. First, you head to and sign in. You may need to create an account, though this will only take a second. You just need an email address and password. Once you are registered, you can start the process of creating your shop.

Creating Your Shop After signing in, go to your profile icon in the upper right and click ‘Sell on Etsy’ from the drop-down menu. One of the first things you will do is select your language, country, and currency.

The next thing to do is to choose a shop name. While you can change your shop name later on, it is better to stick with one and build your brand. You do not want to confuse customers with multiple name changes. Once you have added your shop name, click ‘Save and continue.’

These first few steps have to be completed on a web browser, but you can use the Sell on Etsy app from here.

Preparing for Selling Here is where you start to build your brand and finish your shop setup through the following steps.

  • Upload a banner and shop logo

  • Create a brief welcome message for your customers

  • Create an about section that describes your brand

  • Introduce any other members of your team

  • Outline your shop policies for returns, exchanges, shipping, payments, and customization

Creating Listings Now, you can start adding your products. You will want to add:

  • Photos and videos

  • A thumbnail image

  • Listing details

  • A product description

  • Your inventory

  • The product price

  • Files for digital items

  • Set up shipping (the shipping profile determines a customer’s shipping cost, the processing time, and the shipping service)

Once you are satisfied with your listing, you can publish it to your shop.

Setting Up Payment It is always best to allow multiple payment options. If you choose to use Etsy Payments, you can offer a wide variety of payment methods without opening multiple merchant services accounts. Etsy Payments supports credit, debit, Etsy Gift Cards and Credits, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Selling On Etsy In 2021 While Etsy has always been a great option for entrepreneurs, the pandemic has caused many more people to turn to Etsy to open their at-home business. As we go into 2021, we can expect Etsy to continue growing and more shops to open on the platform.

Etsy is an excellent platform for small businesses, but its increasing popularity also means more competition. Here are some ways to help your shop stand out from the crowd, from creating the right shop name to following the trends we expect to see in the coming year. Choose a Strong Shop Name

Etsy shop names must follow specific criteria. They must:

  • Be between 4 and 20 characters

  • Have no spaces or special characters

  • Not contain profanity

  • Not already be in use by another Etsy member

  • Not infringe on a trademark

Beyond meeting these requirements, you want your shop name to be straightforward and memorable. It should represent your brand’s style and character.

Calculate a Good Price When choosing how much your product should cost, you need to factor in your expenses. Remember to include fees, production, and materials.

Additionally, you do not want to over- or underprice your item, as it could harm other shops. Research similar items to see what the right price is for that type of product.

Craft a Personal About Page Your About Page is your way to connect with customers personally. Describe your brand, inspiration, journey, and any other information you think shoppers want to know. Keep your paragraphs short for easy reading, and include links to your social media accounts.

Describe Your Shop Policy Anything that you want your customers to know about how your shop operates should be included in your policies. Keep your policies clear and straightforward so that everyone can understand what to expect when buying from your shop. Include information about:

  • Returns

  • Exchanges

  • Packages lost in shipping

  • Damaged items

  • Cancellations

Etsy does have a template for new shops that allows them to easily customize their shop policy. However, it may not be descriptive enough to meet your shop’s needs.

Optimize Your Listings There are several ways to optimize your listings and better your chances of reaching shoppers that will become customers.

Photos Your photos should:

  • Be clear

  • Be well-lit

  • Be high-quality

  • Show different angles

  • Include another object for a size reference

  • Demonstrate a cohesive look for your shop

  • Be professionally edited (This does not mean you need to hire a professional, but that they should not look cheap or mass-produced)

Categories and Attributes Including the relevant categories and attributes for your listing helps it rank higher in Etsy’s search results. You can identify specific subcategories for your products so that they appear when users look for those criteria.

For instance, adding your product into the jewelry category ensures that it will appear there. However, adding it specifically into beaded necklaces will increase the odds that a customer looking for that exact product will see your item.

Attributes refer to characteristics like color, use, occasion, etc. Specifying your product’s attributes allows customers to find it when they are looking for items with those characteristics. If you are unsure of which attributes to include, search for similar products and see what attributes other sellers included.

Tags You want to make sure that your tags are accurately describing your product to match with searches. Here are some tips for your tags:

  • Use all 13 tags

  • Use tags similar to your title keywords

  • Utilize long-tail keywords

  • Avoid repeated tags

  • Do not use pluralized tags

  • Ensure that your tags are spelled correctly

  • Avoid tags in multiple languages

Product Description Your product description should be as effective as possible. Include the item’s dimensions, condition, color, age, and use. Use similar keywords to your tags and attributes to ensure it appears for the right searches. Mention unique materials or techniques used, along with the item’s estimated production time and shipping. While you should include plenty of information, you also need to keep your description short and simple. Check out popular shops’ product descriptions for comparison.

Trends in 2021 Once you have established your shop, you will want to keep an eye on current and upcoming trends. These will let you know how you can capitalize on customer demands and grow your shop.

Etsy has already released its ​predictions​ for trends in 2021. As you might guess, the biggest thing to account for is the pandemic. It has affected every aspect of our lives, and that includes what customers are shopping for. Here is what Etsy expects to see the most of in the coming year.

  • Sky blue (Etsy’s color of the year)

  • Reimagining the spaces in people’s homes

  • Bringing the outdoors indoors

  • Anniversary receptions to make up for elopements and tiny weddings

  • Updated loungewear that is loose and comfortable with style

  • Outer space-themed children’s items

  • Pet products like beds, collars, matching owner and pet sets, and toys

Going into the new year, take a look at these trends and see if you can include them in your shop. While you should stick with your brand and style, try to find ways to give your take on these popular categories.

Final Thoughts Etsy is an excellent platform for small, at-home businesses. It offers a more personal touch than other large platforms while having a large audience. If you are looking for a place to sell your homemade or vintage products, go ahead and set up your Etsy shop.

For additional info or to learn more about growing your small business go to

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