How to Start Up a Business on Etsy

By Lydia Stephens
craft a card! image by Shirley Hirst from

Etsy, an e-commerce website specializing in handmade and vintage items, offers artists of all types a venue to sell their work online. The easy-to-use interface and reasonable fees make Etsy an affordable alternative to eBay for online sellers. Whether you make jewelry, greeting cards, clothes or collect vintage items, it is easy to set up and run a business through Etsy.

Decide what product you plan to sell. Etsy only allows you to sell items you have made yourself or vintage items. Have at least 10 to 20 items ready to sell before you open your shop.

Choose a name for your Etsy store. Brainstorm possible names and ask friends and family to look at your products and suggest name ideas. Pick a name that is catchy or easy to remember.

Register your business with Etsy. Remember that your user name will appear in your store URL. Enter your PayPal account details.

Photograph your items. Etsy gives you space for five photos of each item, and you should use them all. Take pictures of your items from multiple angles, and be sure to get close.

Complete the information on your Etsy profile page. Be sure to include your location, as buyers will want to know where your items are coming from. Complete your shop policies as well. Browse some of the front-page Etsy store policies for ideas on what to include.

List your items under "Your Etsy." You will need to enter an item description, list of materials, search tags, price, shipping cost and five photographs of the item. You can edit this information at any time during the 90-day listing.

Ship items as they sell. Etsy will email you a notification when an item from your shop sells. Double-check the address before dropping off items at the post office.

Pay your Etsy fees through PayPal every month. Keep creating and listing new items, and enjoy your Etsy business.

About the Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other websites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.