How To Sell On Etsy for Beginners in 2023

Etsy is not just for artists and crafters, the categories and items you can sell on Etsy are vast. Etsy is constantly evolving and changing, including their newly updated categories and allowable items.

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Want to know how to start an Etsy shop? Read this quick beginners guide to selling on Etsy.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a very unique selling platform that offers an array of handmade products, craft supplies, private label products, clothing, accessories, supplies and much more. Many Etsy sellers, especially those who have been with the platform for many years, will tell you that Etsy is only for handmade goods, but this is just not true in 2021.

For me, as a seller on multiple platforms for over a decade, Etsy is both fun and profitable. The platform, in many ways is more relaxed than selling on Amazon, for example. Etsy does not compete against sellers with their own products, and they really stress a more personal approach to selling. Instead of pushing sellers to have product photos on stark white backgrounds, Etsy encourages sellers to let their personality and brand shine by including such features as a shop owner bio and shop announcements.

Etsy shoppers as a general rule, seem to communicate more with sellers, due in part to the easy messaging features built into the platform. Having a personal connection to the shop owner through a written bio and photo seem to ease the tensions when issues with an order arise. As a seller, it feels like I can have genuine interactions with my customers, a stark contrast to selling on Ebay or Amazon, where selling is much more transactional in nature.

What can I sell on Etsy?

Etsy is not just for artists and crafters, the categories and items you can sell on Etsy are vast. Etsy is constantly evolving and changing, including their newly updated categories and allowable items. The new top level categories on Etsy for 2021 are:

Within these top-level categories, are hundreds of subcategories. Products you sell on Etsy can even be digital downloads such as graphics, planner sheets and sewing patterns or even print on demand items that allow you to outsource production and shipping to a third party printing partner.

You can learn more about integrating Print on Demand and Etsy with the Ecommerce Empowerment Print on Demand Step by Step Course.

Selling on Etsy Fees in 2021

Etsy fees are fairly straightforward. There are three main types of Etsy fees including listing fees, transaction fees, and advertising fees (which are mainly opt-in).

Listing Fees are .20 USD per item listed. You are not charged to edit a listing, but will be charged again when the item is relisted or when items auto-renew after 4 months.

Transactional fees are 5% of the selling price. The selling price is all-inclusive, meaning you are charged 5% for item cost plus shipping costs. Any additional fees you charge to the customer, such as personalization or gift wrapping would also be subject to the 5%.

Advertising fees are mainly optional. I have success with Etsy ads, and use them on a daily basis. If you decide to use the Etsy Ads feature, you set your daily budget ($1-$100). Etsy also has a somewhat confusing Ad category called Offsite ads, where sellers may be charged up to 15% of the selling price of an item.

Shipping label fees will also show up in your Etsy finance dashboard if you decide to purchase your shipping within Etsy.

What to do before opening an Etsy shop

Prior to creating a shop account, you will need to create a personal Etsy account. This account will manage your shop account, and will also allow you to purchase products from other sellers. You will eventually want to add a profile photo and bio about yourself, as this will display to sellers when you are listed as the shop owner to your future shop.

Do I need to have a business to sell on Etsy?

Etsy doesn’t require sellers to have a business license to sell on Etsy. If you don’t have a business entity, you can set up your shop under your individual name and social security number. Payments can be direct deposited into your personal bank account.

 To open your Etsy shop:

To open your Etsy shop, you will need to be working from a desktop computer.

  1. Click Sell on Etsy at the top right of
  2. Click Open your Etsy shop.
  3. Select your shop language, country, and currency, then click Save and continue.
  4. Choose your shop name, then click Save and continue.

You will need to then add some marketing elements and content to your shop including:

  • Banner and shop logo to set the stage for your branding
  • Shop announcement to include a welcome message or specials and sales
  • About section where you can share more about your brand and products
  • Shop policies to outline how you will handle shipping, returns and other selling issues. Etsy includes some great boilerplate templates you can edit within this section.

Adding your first listing to your Etsy Shop

Once the setting up shop process is complete, download the Sell on Etsy app. The app is much easier for upload product photos and making listings and edits right from your phone. Be sure to take great photos and add detailed descriptions and keywords to your listings.

You will need to figure out shipping details, such as package dimensions and package weights so you can create a shipping profile for each listing. Once an item sells, you can purchase shipping right through Etsy.

I personally prefer this method, as notifications are generated for your customer when your item ships, and Etsy automatically provides tracking details for the buyer. Plus, you get a discount of up to 30% with shipping providers.

How to sell on Etsy successfully

After creating your first listing, consider your marketing strategy to drive traffic to your listings and store. Your marketing strategy needs to include optimizing your listings with keywords, linking social media accounts, paid advertising through the Etsy app or outside PPC (Pay Per Click) methods such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads.

Remember, you can have the best handcrafted widget in all the land, but if a buyer can’t find it, your sales will be dismal. A successful seller will spend ample time crafting a winning marketing strategy to catapult their products front and center to potential customers.

Step By Step Etsy Guide

Is your interest in selling on Etsy piqued? If you are eager to get fast-tracked to profitability, read more about the Ecommerce Empowerment Etsy Selling Course. This in-depth Etsy training guide includes 45 lessons for selling on Etsy from beginner to advanced courses including curriculum on finding a profitable niche, wholesale and dropship contact lists, print on demand and digital download courses, making listings that sell, and optimizing your listings using keyword research.

Hopefully, I have given you some points to consider when you continue your research into selling on Etsy. Never stop learning and happy selling!


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