How to Sell on Etsy – Beginners Guide for Success in 2023

Illustration of a marketplace

Are you interested in starting your own Etsy store this year? With the booming e-commerce industry and a growing demand for handmade items, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this opportunity.

Selling on Etsy can be an incredibly rewarding experience if done right – bringing together creative entrepreneurs with shoppers able to appreciate their products. In this post, I’ll give you my top tips and strategies for launching and running a successful business on Etsy in 2023. You’ll learn everything from product ideas and pricing techniques, to marketing your store effectively and creating great customer satisfaction.

Great success awaits – so read on!

Why Sell On Etsy?

If you are a solopreneur or a small business specializing in small handcraft goods, there’s really only one worth considering: Etsy. Here’s why.

Etsy launched in 2005 as a marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. In the years since, it has become the go-to platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to sell their wares online. And it’s easy to see why. It offers a number of advantages that other platforms simply can’t match.

For starters, It has a built-in audience of millions of potential buyers. That’s thanks to its huge user base; in 2021, Etsy had nearly 90 million active buyers on its platform. What’s more, those buyers are highly engaged; on average, they spend $20 per order. That’s significantly higher than the average order value on other ecommerce platforms.

Etsy is also much friendlier to small businesses than other ecommerce sites. For example, listing an item is free, whereas most other platforms charge a listing fee. And when you make a sale they only charges a 3.5% transaction fee; on other sites, that fee can be as high as 15%.

Finally, they offer powerful tools to help you market and manage your business. For instance, the site provides detailed analytics so you can track your performance over time and identify areas for improvement. Etsy also makes it easy to promote your products off-site; with just a few clicks, you can share your listings on social media or create targeted ads that reach buyers both on and off the platform.

If that has not convinced you these stats surely will….

  • Etsy has a HUGE community of buyers and sellers.
  • Over 60% of Etsy buyers are repeat customers!
  • 87% of sellers are women!
  • The median age of an Etsy seller is 39 years old.
  • They have over 65 million products listed.
  • In 2020, Etsy processed $10.28 billion in gross sales, a 106.84% increase from 2019.

How Does Selling On Etsy Work?

Etsy acts as intermediary connecting buyers and sellers. One of the first fees you’ll encounter is the listing fee. To list your items for sale, you have to pay a $0.20 standard listing fee for each item. The seller fees are only valid for four months, after which they must be manually or automatically renewed at the same price. It’s important to note that on Etsy, a “listing” can contain multiple products.

So, for instance, if you have ten pairs of boots for sale that come in different colors, you’re only obliged to create one listing and give buyers the choice of selecting a pair of boots with any color they want. You can list products in any of the categories on the platform, and once you sell an item, the platform takes a 5% transaction fee on the total sale price (including the shipping costs). If you accept payments through PayPal, there will also be a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee.

Lastly, if you use Etsy Ads to promote your listing, there will be an advertising fee ranging from 0.1% to 3% of the total sale price, depending on how successful your ad campaigns are. In addition to the fees discussed above, they also charge a monthly subscription fee of $15 per month if you want to use certain features on their site (e.g., being able to offer coupons or discounts to customers). Overall, is relatively simple – and it’s worth considering if you’re looking to start an online business!

Who Pays For Shipping?

The buyer typically pays for shipping, and the costs depend on where the buyer is located. Problems often arise when shipping fees aren’t appropriately calculated, and sellers realize they must pay more for shipping than they originally intended. If this happens, it can significantly increase the total cost of doing business on the platform, mainly when the shipping charge includes insurance, further driving up the price.

One way to avoid this is to do some research to find out the exact price for shipping different items to different locations. If you are offering free shipping to your customers, then your sale price should include the cost of shipping so you can still make a healthy profit from your products. By being proactive and doing your research, you can keep your business running smoothly on Etsy without any unexpected prices creeping up and eating into your profits.

Pros & Cons Of Selling On Etsy


  • Increased Visibility
    When you sell on Etsy, you are automatically given a platform with increased visibility. There are currently over 35 million active buyers on Etsy, which gives you a much larger audience than you would have if you were selling through your own website or brick-and-mortar store. In addition, Etsy’s search engine is very good at helping buyers find the products they are looking for, which means that your products are more likely to be seen by people who are interested in them.
  • Low Start-Up Costs
    Another advantage is the low start-up costs. You can create an Etsy shop for free, and there are no monthly fees. You only pay a listing fee (which is 20 cents per listing) and a transaction fee (which is 3.5% of the total sale price) when you make a sale. This makes Etsy a great option for people who are just starting out in the world of ecommerce.
  • Easy to Use
    Etsy is also easy to use, even for people who are not particularly tech-savvy. Creating listings and managing your shop can all be done from one central location, and there are plenty of resources available to help you get started and grow your business.
  • Strong Community
    In addition to being a marketplace, Etsy is also a strong community of creative entrepreneurs. There are forums where sellers can ask questions and give advice, and there are regular meetups and events that take place around the world. This community can provide valuable support and networking opportunities.
  • Access to Promotional Tools
    Finally, you Etsy account comes with access to a number of promotional tools that can help you market your business and reach new customers. For example, Etsy offers ads that allow you to promote your listings on other websites, and they also offer discounts on shipping for orders that are made through their site


  • Etsy takes a cut of your sales
    The first and most obvious downside is the cut Etsy take on your sales. For each item that you sell, Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee and then takes a 3.5% cut of the final sale price. This means that if you sell an item for $100, Etsy will keep $3.50 as their commission.
  • You have to compete with other sellers
    Another downside of is that you have to compete with other sellers. Because the platform is so popular for selling handmade and vintage items, there are literally millions of other sellers all vying for the attention of buyers. This can make it difficult to stand out from the crowd and generate sales.
  • You’re responsible for shipping costs
    When you sell on Etsy, you’re responsible for shipping costs. This means that you’ll need to factor in the cost of shipping when setting your prices. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that your items are properly packaged and shipped in a timely manner in order to avoid negative feedback from buyers.
  • You’re responsible for customer service
    Another downside is that you’re responsible for customer service. This means that if a buyer has an issue with an item they’ve purchased from you, it’s up to you to resolve the issue. This can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if the buyer is unreasonable or uncooperative.
  • There are limits on what you can sell
    Finally, it’s important to note that there are limits on what you can sell. Specifically, Etsy prohibits the sale of certain items such as weapons, alcohol, drugs, and pornography.

If you’re thinking about opening an Etsy shop of your own, read on for a step-by-step guide.

Getting Started With Your Etsy Shop

Follow these simple steps to get your business up and running in no time.

Step 1: Create Your Account

The first step is to create an account. You’ll need to provide your email address, create a password, and choose your username—which will be displayed to the public on your shop page. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be prompted to select a subscription plan.

Step 2: Set Up Shop Preferences

Next, you’ll need to set up some basic preferences for your shop. This includes choosing the language and country you want your shop to be displayed in, as well as the currency you want to use.

Step 3: Name Your Shop

Once you’ve set up your preferences, it’s time to name your Etsy shop! When naming your shop, be sure to follow the guidelines set forth by Etsy—which you can find here. Once you’ve chosen a name and confirmed that it’s available, click “Save and Continue.”

Step 4: Create Product Listings

Now it’s time to start adding products to your store! To create a listing, click “Add a Listing” from your shop manager page. Then, add photos, details, categories, inventory, pricing, shipping information, and more. Be sure to proofread your listing before publishing it!

Step 5: Set Up Payments

In order for customers to be able to purchase items you’ll need to set up Etsy Payments. This payment system is integrated with most major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal. Once you’ve linked a payment method to your account, customers will be able to checkout directly from your listings!

Step 6: Set Up Subscription Billing Options

If you sell digital products (such as artwork or templates), you may want to set up subscription billing options for customers who want access to new content on a regular basis. You can learn more about setting up subscription billing here.

Step 7: Customize Your Shop

The next step is to customize the look and feel of your shop according to your brand and style preferences. To do this, head over to the “Shop Settings” page in your Etsy shop manager. Here, you can upload a banner image and logo, edit your shop policies, and more.

Step 8: Open Your Shop

Once you’ve completed all of the steps above (and paid any associated listing fees), simply click “Open Your Shop” from your shop manager page—and you’re good to go!

How Much Does It Cost To Sell On Etsy

Fees are composed of 3 main types: a listing fee charged per listing ($0 .20 USD ), a transaction fee charged per order ($0 .30 + 3%),and a payment processing fee ( 2% + $0 .25 ). Overall , average selling fees range from about 10 % – 12 % depending on the item’s price . For example , if an item costs $15 .00 USD ,selling fees would come out to $ 1 .80 USD ( or 12 % ). Listing fees are automatically deducted when an item is renewed after 4 months .

If an item sells, transaction & payment processing fees are automatically deducted when an order is marked as shipped or completed by the buyer. For orders processed with PayPal, there are no additional fees unless the seller decides tom upgrade their PayPal account to use invoicing or other business tools which have additional charges.

Etsy Payments

Etsy Payments is the easiest, most secure way to get paid, as it simplifies payments for both buyers and sellers. With Etsy Payments, shoppers can pay with credit card or debit/bank card, Etsy Gift Card or Etsy Credit. There are a few requirements you need to meet in order to enroll. To join Etsy Payments you will need an account and a valid bank account that accepts US dollars with your shop’s business name attached to it (no personal accounts accepted).

You must also have an up-to-date billing address linked to the Etsy account used for Etsy Payments. Lastly, due to regional restrictions not all merchants may be able to use Etsy Payments at points of sale. By making checkout more efficient, it reduces fees and helps build strong relationships with buyers in the long run – not to mention limiting headaches from dealing with direct payments outside of the Etsy platform.

How To Boost Sales On Etsy

1. Understand Esty’s Search & Listing Algorithm

The search function ranking considers two factors when positioning a listing in the search results: Query match and Ranking. Etsy states that their query matching looks at how well a listing’s title and tags match a buyer’s search term. Their ranking algorithm looks at several factors, including things like a listing’s recent sales, the number of times it has been favorited, and whether it has been sold before. There are several SEO tools available to help you optimize your listings and improve your chances of appearing in the search results. By taking the time to learn about their search function and using some SEO tools available, you can help improve your store’s visibility and sales.

2. Optimize Product Pricing 

Optimizing product pricing can be the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to get by. When you consider that the marketplace is extremely competitive, it’s clear that pricing plays a significant role in the number of sales a shop makes. Many sellers find themselves in a precarious position, unsure of how to price their items too low, and risk getting into a price war with other shops or too high and making no sales.

There is a happy medium to be found, though it may take some trial and error to figure out what that is for your shop. The key is to balance the cost of your production, shipping, and other associated costs with a fair price that will attract customers. Remember, you can always update your prices as needed based on competitors’ prices, changes in the cost of raw materials or labor, or other economic factors. With a little time and effort, you can find the perfect pricing sweet spot for your products.

Not sure if Etsy is right for you? Consider these Etsy alternatives for your online store.

Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Frequently asked questions about Esty.

Running a sale on Etsy is easy. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Log into your account and go to the Shop Manager page.
2. Click on the Promotions tab and then click on Add a Promotion.
3. Select the type of promotion you would like to run from the list provided and then enter all of the necessary information.
4. Click on Create Promotion and your sale will be live!

Etsy transaction Fee is 5% of the sale price plus $0.20 per item. So if an item sells for $10, the seller would pay $0.55 in fees (5% of $10 plus $0.20).

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the profitability of selling on Etsy depends on a number of factors, including the type of products you sell, your production costs, and your marketing strategy. However, generally speaking, there is a lot of potential for profit in the handmade and vintage markets.

The key to being successful on Etsy is to offer unique and high-quality products that resonate with your target audience. You also need to invest time and effort into market research and branding in order to create a cohesive identity that will help you stand out from the competition.

Finally, it’s important to have a solid marketing strategy in place so that you can reach buyers who are interested in your products.

There are a number of ways to get traffic to your Etsy store. One way is through online advertising. You can use platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads to target potential customers. Another way to drive traffic to your store is through SEO (search engine optimization). By optimizing your shop and listings for keywords that people are likely to search for, you can increase your chances of being found in search engines.
Finally, you can also promote your Etsy store offline by attending craft fairs, networking with other Etsy sellers, and spreading the word through word-of-mouth.

It depends on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve with your ads. Generally speaking, there are two types of Etsy ads: sponsored listings and promoted listings. Sponsored listings are the basic type of ad, and they allow you to promote your listing in Etsy’s search results.

Promoted listings are a more advanced type of ad, and they allow you to place your listing in front of potential buyers who have visited Etsy looking for items similar to yours.

The cost for both types of ads varies depending on how much traffic you want to generate, how competitive your keywords are, and other factors. Generally speaking, though, promoted listings tend to be more expensive than sponsored listings.

There is no simple answer to this question because Etsy takes a percentage of every sale, but the amount they take depends on how successful the sale is. Generally, Etsy takes 3.5% of each sale, but they also charge a fee for payment processing (which varies depending on the
payment method used). So, if you sell something for $100, Etsy would take $3.50 and you would also pay a processing fee (depending on the payment method used). However, if your item sells for $1,000, Etsy would take $35 and you would still have to pay a processing fee. So, in short: it depends! But generally speaking, Etsy takes a small percentage of each sale.

Bottom Line

Like any other business, selling on Etsy takes time to launch—and success requires continuous effort. Fortunately, Etsy makes many listing and selling products quite easy, especially compared to maintaining your own website.

This leaves you more time to concentrate on your creative works. It’s after opening your shop when the real work begins. A great marketing strategy, quality unboxing experience, and consistent stellar customer service will give your shop the potential to receive five-star reviews.

They also convey your credibility to potential customers, which will directly result in more sales. However, remember that the Etsy community was built for creatives and artisans—so, ultimately, excellent products are the biggest draw for new and returning customers. Therefore, if you want your shop to be successful, make sure you always put your best foot forward with high-quality products.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to sell your handmade or vintage products online, then Etsy is definitely worth checking out!

With its large audience of potential customers and low listing fees, it’s no wonder why so many small businesses and creative entrepreneurs are finding success on the site.

So what are you waiting for? Start setting up your shop today!

If you’d like to learn more about how to sell online with Etsy why not check out their guide on how to start selling on etsy.