Etsy is a global online marketplace for handmade and one-of-a-kind goods. From doormats to craftworks to t-shirts with funny memes on them, Etsy is the place for finding original, non-corporate works of beauty.
It is also the perfect site entrepreneurs to start their at-home business thanks to its extremely low fees, at $0.20 cents per listing, and its simple registration process. On top of that, the “Sell on Etsy” mobile app provides business owners access to their store anywhere, anytime. It is designed for simplicity and enables owners to stay connected with their customers and edit listings on the go.
Where do I start?
Assuming you already have your printing materials, including your printer of choice and blank shirts ordered from alldayshirts.com, making an Etsy account is a simple process. You start by deciding your shop preferences. These include the language you will use for your copy and the currency you will accept in transactions. This section is self-explanatory enough, but other aspects may require further guidance. Read on for our advice on creating a top-notch Etsy store.
Choosing a Name
Next, it is time to name your shop. Etsy hosts over 2.5 million stores, all jostling with competitors for customer attention. The name you choose should be catchy and easy to read, so that it stands out from the crowd. Moreover, it should appeal directly to your desired customer base. The shoppers you want to attract should be able to tell from a glance that you have what they want — or at least pique their curiosity.
After you decide a name, search it on Google and Etsy to make sure there isn’t anyone out there already using it. You may also want to look through the database of trademarked names on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website, just to see if anybody has trademarked the name. Before you set it in stone, ask friends and family for feedback, or reach out to social media and ask what they think.
Lastly, think about the global market. Some words can have negative connotations when translated, even if the intent is innocent. Run the name you choose through Google Translate and reverse-translate to ensure that you will not offend anyone with your storefront.
Listing Your Products
Now it is time to stock your shop with all of your wonderful homemade shirts! The process to post your products is easy and direct. You will be prompted to provide a primary photo of the t shirt, other photos with additional detail (sleeves, design, neckline), photos of your product in use (on a model), a size and scale representation, and styled scenes. You do not need to post one or multiple of each category, but having multiple pictures can reaffirm to customers that your shirts are high-quality.
A great tool for creating mockup images of your t-shirts, and practically any other product, is placeit.net. This site is a lifesaver for businesses that do not have the time or materials to take model pictures of their product. With a wide array of products to choose from, the site allows you to upload your design and select the shirt you would be putting the design on. It will then render the image and your design into a picture of a model displaying your clothing, with a high-quality mock-up photo as a finished product.
After you upload your shirts images you will be prompted to provide a title and describe the details of your product (category, who made it, when was it made, etc.). Following that, you can decide a price point for your merchandise. This is extremely important, so make sure you take your time to make the decision. Remember to factor in the costs of materials, labor, and shipping when deciding the value of your products. The beauty of Etsy is that the great majority of shoppers on the site truly value design, quality, and creativity, so don’t hold back on adding that extra buck or two for creativity and originality. If you are selling multiple of the same product, make sure to signify that in the quantity section and ensure you have the correct inventory to match the site.
Lastly, input your shipping information and handling fees. Congrats! You just uploaded your first shirt to your Etsy storefront!
Collecting Your First Sales
The final two steps to set your shop up are simply inputting your banking information and setting up a billing account with Etsy. They keep a 5% transaction fee on each item you sell (including shipping) and charge a 3% + $0.25 processing fee for each payment transferred to your bank account. These practices are something else to keep in mind when determining the prices you will charge for your products.
Now that you have a storefront and a product posted, it is a good idea to have friends and family purchase the item. You can create coupon codes for 99% off and reimburse them shipping to ensure your friends do not get mad at you for forcing them to buy your product. This practice may sound strange, and it is not at all a requirement. However, even a few sales can make a huge difference when it comes to how high your product is shown in Etsy’s search engine.
It is all about search engine optimization (SEO). Products that have never sold will be displayed at the very bottom of the search feed, often multiple pages back. Having people go to your store and buy items quickly tells Etsy’s algorithm that your item is quality and has a good turnaround time. This will prompt the site to display your product higher in the search feed when keywords relating to your shirt’s design are searched. The desired result is that more people will find your store before they find your competitors.
Afterward, have the same people post a review of the shirt with pictures. This will demonstrate to strangers that you are trustworthy when it comes to shipping and what your product looks like. While 3 or 4 sales may not seem like a difference when it comes to the millions of products and sales made on Etsy daily, it may be enough to provide all these benefits. Let your friends and family know about all this when you ask for their help.
Success! You have officially opened your first Etsy store!
Etsy is designed to make buying and selling homemade goods simple, and it does that and so much more. Selling on Etsy gives hobbyists like you the opportunity to profit off their skills and crafts and take their passions to the next level. For those of us who love making t-shirts and want to share our work with the world, Etsy is a wonderland.