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Updated on March 3, 2013

Selling on Etsy can be fun............

Hi there!!! I am a semi-retired artist/musician that keeps on dabbling in both areas and am having fun doing both. I've had an Etsy store for a couple of years now. I've also had an eBay store for several years. I also have three Zazzle stores for two years now. See what I mean about dabbling? Since I am involved in the visual arts, most of this lens will deal with how you present your items on Etsy, with a few other things thrown in. I hope you enjoy looking at it. Have a wonderful day!

What Can You Sell on Etsy?

From what I can tell, you should be selling something that you make with your own hands, like art, jewelry, toys, gadgets, knitting, crocheing, furniture, etc. etc. etc. Vintage items are ok too and also supplies for making craft objects. An Etsy shop is usually put up by an individual, but if you have some artist friends that want to form an art group shop that is OK too. The picture on the right is a small watercolor that I listed a couple of weeks ago. If you click on it you will go to the Etsy listing. I have been listing mostly small art works, greeting cards, and small giclee prints along with some CD's of my music. Etsy charges a small fee of 20 cents per listing and then a small back end fee if your item sells (3.5%).

How Do I Open A Shop?

[the picture above is one of my wife's creations from her Val's Beads store.]

It's easy! First you register for an Etsy account. Then you choose a username and you need to be careful about choosing because it can't be changed later and it will be used in your Etsy web address. After you have your account you can upgrade (at no cost) to being a seller. You'll see a "Sell" tab at the top of the page and you just click the blue "Sign Up to Sell" button. It will walk you through the fill in forms and billing requirements. One important requirement is that you have a valid credit card on file.

CLICK HERE for complete information on setting up your Etsy store.

How Do I List An Item?

I find Etsy to be easier than eBay for listing items. They have the process laid out in five easy pieces. (sounds like a movie title, no?)

Step 1: This is the description section where you give your item an interesting title, and then an accurate description of it. For example: Hand made rubber octopus with 9 legs. Six feet high by five feet wide. Pink in color with hand painted eyelashes.....anyway you get the idea. Then there is a box at the bottom of the page where you list your materials separated by commas like: rubber, sequens, aluminum spikes, etc.

Step 2: Sort Your Item. On this step you enter tags which will help shoppers find your item. It helps if you think like a shopper that is searching for your item and enter search words that they might use. Etsy walks you through this step and then you click NEXT.

Step 3: Price: You enter the price of your item. Quantity: How many are you selling. (times 20 cents each to list). Tax: sales tax, if any. Section: You can create Sections in you store like Bracelets, Necklaces, Rings etc. Types of Payment: You check a box for PayPal, Credit Cards, Checks, etc. however you want to receive payment. Shipping Info: your preferred shipping methods, prices within your country, or for other countries. You can fill out a shipping profile and just click to bring it up each time you list something.

Step 4: you add images of your item. You may add up to five images for each listing.

Images: Your photos should be at least 570 pixels wide, but the height can vary. Images should not be more than 1000 pixels wide or high, as this creates a large file that may not upload correctly. Your photos are automatically resized and cropped from the center for square thumbnail and rectangular gallery view images. To upload an image: click Browse, find the image on your computer, then click Upload. Learn more about item images.

The first image will be the main thumbnail for that item that shoppers will see in searches. Use your most compelling photo of the item for the first photo. You can change the order of your images by clicking and dragging the thumbnails.

Step 5: This is a preview of your listing. Check it out and make sure that sure everything is accurate and complete. You can revise your listing before it is posted by clicking on the pencil icons. This takes you back to that page in the listing process.

When you are done, click the Finish button.

Your Item Has Been Listed......Yay!

If you need more info on listing CLICK HERE.

What Is Your Favorite Selling Site?

Do You Have a Favorite Site for Selling Your Arts and Crafts?

See results

How Do I Put Up My Shop Sign (Banner)?

[above is the banner that I use on my Etsy shop]

Each shop on Etsy has the option to display a banner graphic at the top of the shop. This is important to your shop branding process.

Be certain that you have your properly sized image saved on your computer. I always put my currently needed files on my desktop. Your banner should be 760 x 100 pixels at 72 dpi. Banner images must be in one of the popular .jpg, .png or .gif file formats.

To upload your banner image to your Etsy shop, go to Your Etsy > Info & Appearance. Click the Browse button to locate the file on your computer, then click the Save button at the bottom of the page. Your new banner will show up in your shop in a few moments.

PHOTOS ARE IMPORTANT (Make Them Beautiful)

I've always noticed that Etsy has a great deal of good looking photos of items that are for sale. It's always a good idea, when taking photos of items to list, to keep the background simple. This can be done by draping a piece of fabric (a white sheet) behind what you are shooting. Sometimes I use a large white sheet of paper when shooting something like a small ring or bracelet. I use my scanner a lot and lay the object on the scanner's glass and put a black felt or velvet cloth on top. This becomes the background. The photo above is an example of that process. I just used a piece of cardboard and wrapped it in black felt and laid it behind the bracelet that I was scanning.

Photoshop CS2 is something that I use constantly: first for re-sizing photos, cropping them, adjusting color, and sharpening. Sometimes I use the blurring tool to blur the background. One of my favorite tools is on the top menu at IMAGE/ADJUSTMENTS/ CURVES....the Curve tool can make your images come alive and once you use it you will be hooked.


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Etsy Afficianado Guestbook

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    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @anonymous: Hi there. Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it.

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @Gayle Dowell: Thanks for coming by. I've been neglecting my Etsy store. My wife is out on hers (valsbeads) constantly. I think she has 200 or so treasuries. Good luck with yours. What is your Etsy name?

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I have my jewelry on Etsy. I've not listed my watercolor paintings as I'm not sure the two items will mix well. I agree that photos are important to grab the attention of buyers. That is why I always seem to be re-doing my photos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had no idea it was that easy to list on Esty. Thank you for sharing.