Starting your own business is an exciting venture, but it also takes a lot of hard work. Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling handmade or vintage goods, so it's perfect for creative entrepreneurs who want to start their small businesses. This guide will teach you how to register an Etsy business, so you can take advantage of the opportunity that this online marketplace has to offer. If you have ever considered becoming your own boss, then this article is a must-read!
What You'll Need To Get Started Selling On Etsy
- Good business sense - Your Etsy shop will be your livelihood, so it should be taken seriously and treated as a real business and not a hobby.
- Patience - It takes time to build up sales volume on Etsy, it could take a couple of years to start making money you can live off.
- Knowledge - You have to know what you are doing to be successful in any business. That's no different when it comes to selling on Etsy.
Setting Up Your Etsy Account
- First, you will need to register your account with Etsy. You can register using an email address. When you create your account, make sure to use an email address you have access to. I know that sounds silly but you would be surprised by some of the things I have seen.
- Next, you will set up your storefront. This is the page where people can find your items for sale and learn more about you as a seller.
- Finally, it is time to add items for sale in your new Etsy store.
How to Conduct Business on Etsy
Running your own business can come with a lot of responsibilities. To help you get started, Etsy has created a comprehensive guide on conducting business on Etsy. It's called the Sellers Handbook, and I suggest you read it from start to finish. This guide explains everything you need to know, from what you can and can not sell on Etsy to ranking better using Etsy SEO. I suggest you bookmark it for easy access because Etsy updates this guide often. The Etsy Sellers Handbook is a real benefit and something that no other selling platform offers.
First, make sure that you have the right tools for success. Make sure you have a computer that meets the minimum requirements to run the site, and if necessary, invest in some basic supplies like shipping labels and boxes. Next, step through their checklist of essential minutiae: Create your account, set up payment information, upload pictures of your work, fill out seller profile information, and add tags for your products.
You also want to be reasonable about interacting with potential customers. Reply to comments posted on your page and thank customers for their purchases. If possible, try to answer any questions about your product - this will show prospective customers that you care about customer satisfaction! Finally, make sure you follow their guidelines for selling items. There are a few rules which include making sure all the things you sell are made by you or someone in your company and that all of the items are eligible for sale under the Etsy listing policies.
Pricing and Shipping
Etsy will charge you a monthly subscription fee, which is 2.5 percent of the cost of your items. This fee supports Etsy's website and server costs and marketing efforts to help sellers grow their businesses. You can also decide to add a fixed transaction fee on top of this monthly fee at checkout, which is a percentage that ranges from 3 to 5 percent.
To sell on Etsy, you also have to pay close attention to your shipping and handling fees because these can vary depending on the item and the shipping destination. You will find that many sellers offer free shipping on their products. If you want to do that, ensure you have enough markup on your products so the shipping does not affect your profit margins.
Legal Requirements for Selling Online
To start, you have to register your business legally. That means you have to form a legal entity and obtain the proper licenses and permits. In the United States, most states require that you file as a sole proprietor, LLC, or as a corporation. It's a good idea to consult your Accountant or Attorney on which choice is better for you.
An excellent resource to form a Corporation is LegalZoom.com. You can have them do it all for you the right way for a few hundred dollars. A common question I often see is, "how much money do I have to make before I should create a corporation"? The answer is .1 cent. Technically anything you earn as income, the IRS wants their piece of it.
Setting up an Etsy business is relatively straightforward, and it's a great way to start your online sales. Just make sure you have everything you need, and you stay in compliance with the law. Once you're set-up, it's time to start selling!
Are you looking to learn all you can about being a successful Etsy seller then be sure to listen to our weekly Etsy Podcast.