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So You Want To Open an Etsy Shop…Part 1

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I sold on Etsy for a year and a half.  I definitely don’t know everything about it.  But this is what worked for me.  And I did study advertising and marketing in college, so I like to think that I know a little about that too.  🙂 

  I don’t even know how I first heard about it, frankly.  But somehow I did, and I had this funny little idea that I could sell some stuff on Etsy.  But little did I know that the world of Etsy is kind of a big world.  And I was pretty overwhelmed at first!  So I’m going to do my best to cover everything.  But since it is so much information, I’m going to break it up into a series of posts.

Step 1:  Setting Up Shop

When I first decided to open my shop, I didn’t think about it for more than like a week before I opened it.  I just went to Etsy.com, clicked on the big gray button that says, “SELL”

Once you click on SELL, you will get this page.  It will give you lots of information about being a seller, I suggest you read all of it!  I don’t think I did, but it would have helped a lot.

You have to be a member of Etsy to sell on Etsy.  So you need to create a Login.  Decide your name VERY CAREFULLY at this point because it is going to be your shop name forever after.

Once you’ve registered, you will get this page.  Click on that big green button that says ‘Get started.’

Once you’ve gone through the menu prompts for Get Started, you will have your shop.  You can access this by clicking ‘My Etsy’ at the top left side of the screen.  You can view your shop by clicking on the little square button next to ‘Sign Out’ that says ‘shop.’

Here is what the store’back’ looks like.  This is where you do all your stuff to make your shop happen.  You can upload a banner, create a shop announcement, and most importantly, list items you are selling!!

Your Shop Announcement
Think of your Shop Announcement like that old guy that greets people at Wal-mart.  Most people smile politely and move right by.  Mostly because he just said, ‘Welcome!’  But what if he said, Welcome to Walmart, where all your dreams come true!!!  Wouldn’t you be a little more interested in what he had to say?
Think carefully about the things you write.  You want your shop announcement to be concise and catchy.   
You want people to read it. 
The first sentence of your announcement should summarize your purpose of your shop.
For example:
I could write this:  “Honeybear Lane sells custom handcrafted baby bedding.”
Which I did, for awhile.  But after time went by, I realized that my niche was in the puff quilt industry (is it an industry?  It should be) and I changed the sentence to be this:
Welcome to Honeybear Lane, home of the puff quilt!
This worked much better, since it made me seem more established, expert in one particular area, and the exclamation point helps the customer to think, ‘Hey this must be something exciting!’  
Keep the announcement relatively short.  They have changed Etsy’s layout recently so that the announcement has a jump break, which is nice.  Before you saw the entire announcement, and seriously, some shops would have PAGES of crap to wade through.  Who cares?  We wanna see your product!  The announcement needs to say relevant and important things, but you don’t need to tell everyone all the items you sell.  They can figure that out for themselves by looking at your shop categories.
Your Banner
This was my first banner:

It worked really well for me, since the colors were bright and it portrayed the puffs, giving the seller an idea of what I made.   However, after awhile of selling, I was becoming more recognized.  So I had my graphic designer make up my logo and graphic elements, so my banner changed to this.

I’ll talk more about branding a logo later on, but I really loved all my new graphic elements.  It really helped me to feel more professional.
Setting up shop can take awhile, so take your time to really think about each thing you do.  You can always change it later on.  However, don’t change it too much or people will get confused.  You need to stay fairly consistent about your look.  I feel like a hypocrite saying that, since you all know how much I change my look, but I change so much because I am constantly learning so many new things about it.
So I’m just sharing what I’ve learned. 

Read Part 2:  Listing an Item
Read Part 3: Making Sales
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  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm actually considering starting an Etsy store and your advice is invaluable. Thanks again!

  2. Dana at StrawberryTart! says:

    I agree with Cara. I have been debating for some time about opening an etsy store.

  3. Thanks for the series… it's an idea i've been toying with. Can't wait to read Part 2!

  4. Thank you for starting this series! I recently started an Etsy shop and I'm looking forward to reading your tips. I agree that it's very overwhelming in the beginning. Any advice you can offer is very much appreciated! 🙂

  5. Traveling Thrifter says:

    I'm so excited that you are doing this series…I am in the works of creating an Etsy shop…I'll be excited to follow along and learn new things

  6. Fancy Frills Style Studio says:

    I'm thinking about opening up a shop so this is really good information for me. Thanks for sharing, can't wait for the rest!

  7. This is VERY helpful, because I have been considering selling on Etsy. Thank you, Heidi!

  8. good info! thanks..
    i'm still considering on this etsy shop. awaiting for your next tips 😉

  9. Hoosier at Heart says:

    My shop has been open for about 5 months but I never put anything in there to sell because the shipping is so confusing for me. How do I know how much it's going to cost me to ship it if I don't know where I'll be shipping it to. Hope you get into that. Thanks so much for sharing this post, you are a God Send!

  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to share what you have learned with us. I have been thinking about opening an Etsy Shop. Looking forward to reading Part 2!
    Many blessings, Donna

  11. Life In The Thrifty Lane says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us, I was thinking about opening an etsy shop too and your post arrived at the perfect time! I hope too that you will share some "how to ship" tips.

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