Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Running an ETSY Shop

Here are a lot of different things that you need to consider before you start having an ETSY shop.  Some of the items will be very easy, and some of the other items will take some planning as well as some research, I know that before I ever opened my ETSY shop there were things that I needed to figure out, and they were changed a bit even once the shop was up and running.

I am going to try and document some of the things that I had to figure out along the way, and hopefully, this list will help in before and even after you have your shop up and running.

Here is a list of the things that need to figure out when opening/having an ETSY shop or even when you want to sell items like your crafts. Some of the items will be logical, but they need to be listed so that they can be managed and figured out.

  • Products (what are you going to offer)
  • Shipping (are you going to be shipping the items?)
  • Cost of the item to make
  • The sales price of the item or items

Now I am going to try and go into some of the items in more detail as there are a lot of hidden costs or decisions that need to be made.


This is the actual item or items you are willing to make or offer in your ETSY shop.  Some of the biggest decisions are going to be made around your products.

  • What am I going to make
    • This can be a major challenge because you may have lots of ideas, but you are also going to need to figure out if there is a demand for what you make.  If there isn’t a demand, you are going to have a difficult time getting sales.
  • How many of an item am I making
    • One thing you need to consider is are you going to make the items once they are ordered or are you going to have some stock so that you can ship once the order has been received.
  • What does it cost to make the item
    • The cost of the making of the item has to be taken into considering as this will assist you in pricing the item.  Remember you need to consider the time it takes to make the items as well
  • Storing the supplies and made items
    • If you are going to be making items, you will need to consider how much stock you want to carry and also what raw material you need to keep the stock at a good level.
  • Will I accept custom orders
    • Making custom orders is something that needs to be figured out because that will also impact what supplies you have in stock as well as how quickly you can get the material to make the custom orders.  


The shipping of the items is something that also needs to be considered.

  • Cost
    • What is the cost going to be to ship these items to customers?  Also, are you willing to ship out of your own country will also need to be determined.
  • Packaging the items
    • What items am I going to need to package the items for shipping?  The cost of these items is also going to have to be considered when you determine your shipping costs. Are boxes required to ship the items, or can they be placed in envelopes and mailed to the customer?  The size of the item will determine if it is an envelope or box and that will impact the cost of shipping
  • Frequency of shipping the items
    • How often am I going to be shipping the items, as this is something that also needs to be considered so that it can be noted in your shop policy?

Cost of making the item

What is the actual cost of making the item needs to be determined as this is going to help you determine your sales price?  I know that you might be getting some of your supplies on sale, and I do recommend trying to watch for sales.  You are also going to have to figure out the cost if you need to purchase something when there isn’t a sale, either for a custom order or even to restock something that is in high demand.

Sales price

Now, the determination of the sales price of the item is going to have some different factors, and all of these are going to need to be considered when you are pricing your items.

  • Cost of making the item
  • Possible fees that are going to be incurred for listing and even selling the item.
  • How much profit do I want to make on each item?  

Having an actual ETSY shop

Now that you have figured out some of the things, there are now other things that need to be considering once you decide that an ETSY shop is something that you want to do. 

  • Listing
    • The listing is something that is going to be the biggest part of having an ETSY shop, and it does involve a few things.
      • Description – you will need to figure out how you are going to describe your item so that someone else understands what it is and would be interested in purchasing it.
      • Photos – you must have a minimum of one photo for each of your items.
      • Shipping – does your sales price include shipping as part of the price or are you going to charge shipping separately.
      • Tags – there are short phrases to help people find your listings when they are doing searches.
      • Inventory – are you going to have some stock. If you are going to have the stock, you can add the quantity to the listing, and that will show the customer that there is more than one of an item available for purchase.
    • A piece of advance that I can offer about your listing is to make sure that you add items at various times and don’t put everything up at once as each listing is a new item and something that might appear on someone’s view.  The other piece of advance is to have your listing auto-renew because then you don’t have to monitor when an item will expiry and not be available in your shop.  The auto-renewal is a great tool, especially when you start to have multiple items available.
  • Fees
    • Fees are something that you are going to have to look at because again you are going to be incurring costs when you list and sell your items.
      • Listing fee – for each listing that you put up on ETSY, there is a listing fee.  If you have multiple of a single item, you can add the quantity, and you will incur a new listing fee each time you make a sale.  The good part of having multiple of an item available is that as soon as one sells, your listening is updated with the new quantity, and it shows again in your shop.
      • Transaction fee – these are the fees that you are going to incur when you make a sale.  It is a percentage of the actual sales price and also a percentage of shipping fees if they are separate.
  • Messages
    • With ETSY, you will be able to get messages from potential and current customers.  The messages you receive are something that you will need to reply to, as this also impacts your customer service.  You can have the messages show in your email account as well as the ETSY app, so you can manage the messages on a timely basis. 

Having an ETSY shop can be extremely rewarding, especially once you start getting sales, and the reviews start to appear.  Each customer can do a review on the item that they received, and they will rate it based on sales between one and five.  After rating the order and your customer service, they can add an actual comment to explain what they thought of the item as well as your service. There are always going to be things that you will learn as you start having a shop, and then you can make the changes and move forward.  Another good thing is to ask someone that has an ETSY shop about their experience because they will give you the advice to assist you in finding the process a little easier. 

I know that I talked to someone that helped with an ETSY shop before opening my shop, and I appreciated their input.  If you are thinking of having an ETSY shop and would like to talk to someone about it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or other ETSY shop owners because a lot of us had to figure out things and are willing to share our experience.

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