Etsy - Handmade goods for sale worldwide

Everyone knows about Ebay as a place to sell goods online, but for artisans, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

Etsy on the other hand, calls themselves “the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace”. The Etsy community spans the globe with buyers and sellers coming from more than 150 countries.

Their mission is to empower people to make a living making things, and to connect makers with buyers. They have a vision to build a new economy and present a better choice: to buy, sell, and live handmade.

Like anything online it has risks but the Etsy Community – Etsyville, and their support network provides a fantastic environment to launch your business onto the web. When you join Etsy, you’re joining a community of helpful, knowledgeable sellers. You can share ideas in the Etsy Forums, collaborate with other Etsians on an Etsy Team or attend an online workshop. But being so easy to setup and get started can be a curse as much as a blessing for sites like this as latent vendors come in with visions of grandeur and clutter the site, but Etsy do a great job of filtering and featuring products of interest as well as exciting vendors, hints and tips etc.

So if you create handmade goods or if you restore ‘old stuff’, Etsy is worth a look at. Here’s a few facts about opening an online shop with Etsy:

  • They only work with handmade goods, along with commercial and handmade crafting supplies, and vintage (20 years or older) items.
  • It only costs 20 cents (US) to list an item for sales and a selling fee of 3.5% for each item when it sells so it’s easy and cost effective to get started.  – How Etsy Fees Work
  • Items are listed for 4 months
  • You can upload 5 photos for each listing for free
  • Your online shop can be customized with a banner, profile and feedback
  • Payments are handled through PayPal
  • No auctions, just set your prices and adjust at your discretion
  • Etsy is optimized for search through Google and Froogle search engines

Register for Etsy

Visit and sign up by clicking on the “register” link at the top of the page.

WARNING! – The name you choose for your account ultimately becomes the name of your shop and your Etsy website address (, so choose carefully and be professional. It can’t be changed.

Customize Your Etsy Shop

Setup up and customizing is easy and takes only a few minutes. You can customize your shop with a banner, profile, shop policies and more.

List Your Items for sale

Once you have customized your shop, it’s time to start stocking your shelves. This involves:

  1. Entering the title of your product, choosing a category to sell under, entering a description and listing materials used and tags that help shoppers to find your item.
  2. Entering your price, quantity and shipping information.
  3. Upload photos of your item. The first image you upload will be the thumbnail shown for your listing
  4. Review and post your item.

Accepting Payments on Etsy

Etsy uses PayPal for payments. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you will need to register for PayPal. It’s a fast and easy way to for you to collect payment, and it’s a secure and easy tool for buyers to use.

Overall, Etsy is a great resource for artists, crafts people or anyone that makes their own products to enable you to establish and maintain an online store. Of course this is only the beginning, simply putting your goods in the store and expecting them to sell is like setting up shop in a back alley. You need to market and promote your store. Network, communicate and provide the kind of customer service that you would expect when dealing with a business.

The Etsy community has some great advice in this area too.

For more information, visit