Selling on Etsy – an Introduction

Etsy is an ideal option for any creative individual who wants to launch an online shop to sell their handmade products globally. The massive online marketplace boasts 24 million shoppers from around the world, and those buyers spent over $2 billion in 2015. This means that, with the right strategy, you can start generating profits with minimal investment.

What Makes Etsy Different?

With so many online marketplaces to choose from to sell your goods, you might be wondering what makes Etsy worthwhile.

First off, Etsy is known for helping shoppers find handmade items, as well as vintage goods, that they can’t find anywhere else. It isn’t the site that people think of when they want to shop for products that are mass-produced and easily found elsewhere.

Etsy shoppers also receive convenient recommendations that have been tailored to meet their preferences and tastes. This means that your items can get in front of more people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.    

Many of the items on Etsy can be custom ordered, and some sellers even produce their items as orders are placed, rather than having an inventory. As a seller, this means you’ll have less to worry about, and less upfront investment.   

What You Can Expect When You Sign Up

Etsy makes it easy for people to set up their online shop and start earning profits from sales right away.

After setting up your account, you will need to establish your currency and your location. You can also choose a memorable name for your storefront.

Then you can pick your preferred payment methods to set how you wish to get paid, and you can choose your billing method to pay your Etsy fees with ease.

Once your account details and payment methods are in place, you can begin creating and posting your listings to start promoting your products.   

Perks That Come with Selling on Etsy

  • The ability to sell online affordably: You don’t have to pay any monthly fees to keep your Etsy shop open. Instead, you pay a minor listing fee when you post an item for sale. Once the item sells, Etsy takes a 3.5% commission, along with a small payment processing fee.
  • Secure transactions: The transactions that occur on Etsy are safe for both the buyer and the seller. Payments are processed with a secure and encrypted platform known as Direct Checkout. There are also fraud detection systems and security specialists in place to protect you 24/7.
  • Additional seller protection: Etsy also offers additional seller protection, which will assist you in the event that you have to deal with a dispute from a customer over one of your transactions. Basically, if you can’t find a way to resolve the dispute with the buyer yourself, Etsy will step in and help you fix the problem via their dispute resolution system.

A variety of ways to accept payments: You can accept payments from customers via a range of payment methods that include de

Accessing Additional Helpful Tools

After creating a seller account on Etsy, you’ll gain access to a variety of valuable tools that will help you boost your sales and manage your store more effectively, even if you’re totally new to online selling.

The Sell on Etsy App will give you the ability to manage your shop from wherever you are, even when you are on the go. You can do everything, from editing product listings and responding to customer enquiries, to managing your orders with ease, even when you are on your mobile device.

Etsy also helps you save money when it comes to shipping your products to customers all over the world. In a matter of seconds, you can use your account to easily purchase and print discounted postage for any of your orders.With the help of Promoted Listings, as well as several free tools that you can implement to market yourself on social media, you can increase the number of buyers who are attracted to your shop. The more views you can get, the higher your odds will be of making more sales.

Create Your Own E-Commerce Site with Etsy’s Pattern

Pattern is a great tool provided to sellers who want to go a step beyond simply operating a shop within the Etsy marketplace. In minutes, you can build and customise your own website that will actually be powered by the Etsy shop that you are already running.

After picking your colour palette and theme, Etsy will set up a new website for you, and all of your existing listing details will remain in place. This gives you the opportunity to really showcase specific items that you want to sell, and you can also show off your own brand.

If you do decide to take this route, you can manage both your Pattern website and your original Etsy shop with the same tools. Inventory will sync automatically between the sites, and you can continue processing and shipping your orders just like you would with a traditional Etsy shop. Even the transaction fee remains the same, and there aren’t any additional listing fees because every item that is posted to your Etsy shop will be added automatically to your Pattern store.

Some of the other benefits provided by a Pattern website include:

  • Built-in SEO and mobile optimisation: This will help ensure your site will work well on mobile, as well as show up in relevant search results
  • Built-in analytics and stats: This means you can track your online shop’s progress and make any necessary changes along the way to guarantee long-term growth
  • Custom domain: Using a custom domain can help you further establish yourself as an independent business outside of Etsy

Other Ways to Make the Most of Your Etsy Storefront

Etsy could be the best online marketplace for connecting with your target audience if you are a crafter or artist who loves creating new items for customers all the time. This site will also work for you if you have non-handmade or handmade crafting supplies that you would like to sell, or if you are a seller with a vintage collection of goods that are a minimum of 20 years old.

Regardless of why you want to become an Etsy seller, consider implementing the following tips to make the most of your storefront:

  • Use Keywords: Take the time to ensure that your store is properly optimised for Etsy Search. This means really thinking about the keywords that your customers will be using to search for the types of products that you have to offer. Include relevant keywords and phrases in your products’ tags, as well as their titles and at the beginning of their descriptions. Then use your analytics tools to gauge which keywords are working and which ones need to be tweaked or replaced.
  • Provide Incentives: Customers love sales, so to get more people interested in what you have to offer, set up special discounts and deals. Distribute coupon codes to your social media audience and your email list. Beyond that, you can offer other affordable buying options by letting shoppers place custom orders within your store.
  • Market Consistently: Marketing your Etsy shop consistently will help you reach a bigger audience while reminding people that what you have to offer is special.You can start by running an ad campaign with Promoted Listings on Etsy, but you can also purchase ads on social media, as well as promote your store by creating a strong social media presence in general. Pay-per-click ads can also be an affordable way to get your shop in front of more people.
  • Use High Quality Photos: If you can’t manage to take high quality images of your products, consider asking for help from a professional product photographer with the right lighting and equipment to make every detail pop. Your images are what your customers will use to determine the quality of your items, so posting dark, grainy, or poor quality images could prevent people from realising just how valuable your offerings really are.
  • Save Money on International Sales: Etsy offers Direct Checkout to deposit your funds from international sales into your bank account. But they’ll end up deducting a processing fee, and that fee could be anywhere from 3% to 4%, so it can really dig into your profits.6,7 Whoa.You can increase your profit margins on international sales by opting to use OFX’s online seller account, which can help you save up to 75% whenever you’re ready to bring your money home.*  

A Unique Marketplace for Unique Products

Ultimately, when it comes to selling online, you have a few different online marketplaces, like eBay and Amazon, that have already done the hard work of establishing themselves and attracting customers. But Etsy is the go-to marketplace for those who want to do more than run a typical e-commerce shop.If you want to actually create something new for shoppers, Etsy is a viable outlet. After bringing your ideas to life, this site will put them in front of millions of shoppers who are looking for something different and who want to support small business owners just like you.   

*Average savings based on a sample of published transaction fees for cross border payments provided by Amazon and PayPal dated 8.24.16. Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings. Third party intermediary fees may apply.


IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. OzForex Limited (trading as OFX) and its affiliated entities make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

Written by

OFX team

We help businesses and individuals securely send money around the world by making it easier to navigate the complexities of foreign exchange. Our team consists of foreign exchange experts, dedicated support staff and knowledgeable writers.