How to Start an Etsy Shop; Free E loft Event

I will be offering a free workshop, “The Basics: Selling Artwork on” at the E loft in Marquette, MI on April 28th from 12-1pm.  The E Loft is a local brick and mortar that is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.  They are located at 333 W. Washington St.

I will be adding links to this post that will help you along in starting your very own online handmade storefront at  This is an outline of how the presentation will go.  Please use this blog post as a resource to remember what was covered in the workshop.

Helpful Links on Etsy:

Etsy Selling Handbook

Help Menu on Etsy

Etsy Forums (ask questions of others on Etsy, find answers)

Helpful Links on Paypal:

Sign up for an Account on Paypal

Email Invoicing with Paypal (for custom orders and/or refunds)

Helpful Free Programs and Software:

Picassa (free photo editing software)

Mint (free bookkeeping and budgeting software)

1.  Video: About Etsy

2.  Explore: Colors, Custom (alchemy), Shop Local

  • Colors: Go to the home page of etsy and scroll down.  On the bottom Left you will see the button for Colors.  You can move your mouse around and click on the specific product color you would like to purchase.

  • Alchemy (also Custom): You can fulfill peoples custom requests for products, or place a custom request of your own.
  • Shop Local: You can type in your local town, state or region and find sellers in your area.  Make sure when filling out your profile that you have your location filled out thoroughly.

3.  Registration

  • Shop Name/Username: Your Shop Name could consist of Your Name or Business Name and could be Clever and should be Short, or easy to remember.
  • Banner/Appearance: Buy Custom made ones on Etsy, make one if you are able to digital design, hire a local graphic designer.  Your banner should look professional, this is the first thing a customer sees and it should look good.  Make sure you have the graphic designer make the banner 700px wide X100px tall.  To upload your banner and avatar, go to Your Etsy and then click on Shop Appearance.
  • Avatar/Location: The Avatar is the little square image that is like a ‘profile picture’.  Generally people put a product image, or an image of themselves.  I personally prefer the product shot.  This avatar will appear next to public comments you make on Etsy. Make sure to have the graphic designer make a square avatar for you.  Generally it will only be viewed at a small size.   You can upload this under Your Etsy, then click Public Profile.

4.  Shipping

  • USPS, FedEx, UPS: There are many, many different shipping options and it may really depend on what you are shipping.  I would suggest talking to your local Post Office to see what your options are.  I ship my items first class with the US Post Office.  The main reason is that I can print shipping labels directly in Paypal when the money comes in for the item.  You can use this nifty USPS Shipping Calculator to help you make your Shipping Profiles on Etsy.

  • Packaging: Priority Shipping Boxes are free at the Post Office.  You can pick up as many as you want and then you just pay the cost associated with the specific size box that you have.
  • Shipping Profiles on Etsy: You can create shipping profiles on etsy if you tend to ship items that have similar weights.  You will be able to use your profiles in the individual item listing process.  You can access the Shipping Profiles by going to Your Etsy at the top of the screen and then clicking Shipping Profiles on the left hand side.

5.  Payment Methods, Fees, Renewing

  • Payments: Your customers can pay in a variety of ways.  You can have them send you a personal check, money order, or they can pay with Paypal.  I prefer Paypal.  It is simple and fast.  Remember to never ship items until you have received the payment.  This page on paypal has good information on how what is involved with setting up a paypal account, you can click here to create your account and get more information.

6.  Shop Sections

  • You can have up to 10 Sections in your Shop.  To edit these sections, go to Your Etsy on the top and then on the left you will find Sections

7.  Profile

  • Make sure to go down the list of links on the left hand side of Your Etsy and fill out everything completely.

8.  Listings

  • Title, Description, Materials: Title should be short and clear. Description should be easy to read and detailed.  Some things to include in the description are the Size, Materials, inspiration, special care etc.
  • Tags: Make sure to use them all.  It is good to use your name as one of the tags so when people search for you on etsy, they can find your shop.  Tags are based on the Categories that you can click through starting on the home page of etsy.
  • Price, Shop Section and Shipping
  • Photos: Daylight works wonders.  Not bright and sunny though.  Take high resolution images and then crop them square on the computer.  I try to take shots from many angles.  Images are really, really important.  Make sure they look great, or hire a photographer.  Also, remember to show photos of the important parts i.e. the back, claps, seam etc.

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Filed under Artists, Etsy, Jewelry Business, My Website and Store, Online Sales

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