Setting Up Shop on Etsy

Posted on April 14, 2011

Setting up your Etsy Store:


Pick the name of your company/store.  If you already have a business name, it can be a variation of that, or it can be your name, such as “Laura Critchfield Designs”.  This will associate your name with your products, and create name recognition among your clientele.   One thing to remember is to pick a name that does not “box you in”.  If you decide in two years to expand into glass work, then don’t pick a name like “Metalworker”, you will have a harder time expanding into other design areas.  I chose “Chestnut Ridge Designs” because I live on a ridge, have lots of chestnut trees on my property and started out with artwork, photography and glasswork.  And remember, you can’t change your Etsy name once you set up your shop, so take some time on this one.


Pick out a profile picture.  I have noticed a trend lately to have a picture of yourself for your avatar.  This may create more of a personal connection to your customers.  I have a picture of an old bead from 3 years ago, so I will probably be updating mine.  The size is 75 x 75 pixels.


You will also need a shop banner.  If you have a website, and want to use that banner, it creates continuity between your online sites.  Your hosting site may also have a template you can use.  I used Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher and Paint to make my banners, there are some readily available online also and there are many designers willing to create a personalized banner design for you.  Mine is 100 x 760 pixels. 


If you have an artist bio ready that is a good starting point.  For Etsy, what I think works well is to “warm this up”, making it more personable and friendly.  Give your background, why you do what you do, and why you love it!  But also talk about what moves you, what inspires you and what you love about your art.  A personal journey story could also work.


So now you have the basics to get started setting up your Etsy shop!


Log into Etsy:


Your Public Profile:


Upload your Profile Picture.  It should be 75 x 75 pixels.


You can put in your name, and Etsy encourages you to do so, but everyone can see this information on your page.


Put in your location.  I use this feature all the time in deciding whether or not to buy from a shop- so I have this information on my page.



Cut and paste or type your bio into this box.


Favorite materials: type in all of your favorite materials


“Info and Appearance”


Shop Info/Shop Announcement:


Here is your opportunity to tell what you do, and why you do it better, more creatively and with more passion that anyone else!  Make this announcement your, make it personal and in detail- show them why and how you make great art!


Shop Banner Image:

Download your banner, Etsy specifies it can be no larger than 2 MB (Mine is 100 x 760 pixels)


Message to Buyers:

This is your “nuts and bolts” statement.  List your materials, your techniques, your processes, your experience and anything else you can mention that makes your work different or more unique.  Let them know you will package it safely for shipping or if you ship for free.   How big, how small, what is included with each piece (do you include a chain with your pendants?)  Is it boxed, or do you offer gift wrapping?  Everything matters, so make sure this is detailed.


“Shop Policies” (there is a link for help with this section) 



“Hi and welcome to my shop, I am…… and this is what I do….”



What types of payment do you take?  There is a drop down menu of payment types to choose from.



Set your shipping prices.  These can vary tremendously.  Are you willing to ship out of the country?  You can look at other shops that make a similar item and see what they are charging, or estimate your cost for packaging, and then cost for postage to come up with a figure.  More options can be added as you go.  Try and keep it reasonable, people will not buy even quality products if they feel the shipping is too high.



What is your refund policy?  Do you have a return policy?  Make sure these are stated clearly and are straightforward.


Additional Info

Do you accept custom orders?


Yeah!  Your shop is now set up, you can start listing an item (or three)



Listing an Item


You will need an item description, materials you used, the price, and 5 pictures, cropped to 900 x 900.  Don’t spend a lot of time on the cropping, Etsy’s program will automatically crop it perfectly square for you.  Just remember the maximum size is 1000 x 1000 pixels, anything bigger will not upload.


On the left side of you shop, under “Items”, the first link down is  “Add a New Item” click on that link


Pick a name of your item, I try to incorporate what it is with the name: “Cayenne Pepper Lampwork Bead Set” “Ocean’s Song Silver Necklace” etc…


Write out a description.  Make it as detailed as you can, how long, how big, what it is for, how light/heavy it is, how it fits, etc.  The big thing here is to describe what cannot be captured in a photo, such as weight, size, materials (think allergies) used etc. 


Materials: List all materials used


2nd Page/ Tagging


Tagging is picking out the words that will allow people to pull up your item in a search.  You get 14 tags, try and use all of them.  If you made this piece, then make sure you tag it “handmade”.  Try and list everything about the piece that people might want to know.  Look at what other sellers are using to tag their items, this will help you to learn what are appropriate tags.


Use the search engine yourself, pick an item you are looking for and put in the tags you think best describe it, see what comes up!


3rd Page: Price/Shipping


List the price of your item.


Put in your shipping profile from the pull down menu.


Page 4: Photos


Take at least 6 photos of each piece.  If you have a photo cube, that is great, if you don’t, a white piece of paper for a background and a sunny day can also give you pretty good photos.  I use a Canon point and shoot digital with a macro feature, totally acceptable for internet pics.  Edit them in Photoshop, or Gimp, or any other photo editing program.  Crop, color correct and white correct- show off you piece! 


Download your photos


You have 5 available, try and use all 5, you can show the piece from different angles, the clasp, the back of the piece and any other details you think are relevant.  Upload your pictures.  You can move them around by dragging and dropping after they are downloaded, the first picture will be the one everyone sees- make it your best!


This is one of my favorites, it shows the colors, and a nice close up detail of one of the beads:



Where this picture shows the entire set so your customer can see what they are getting:




Page 5: Finish


Each listing will cost you twenty cents.  When an item sells, Etsy charges you a percentage of the sale price.


Listing Strategies:  I list two items at least 4 times a week.  If I can’t list new, then I at least renew.  The more often you list, the higher you are on the search pages.  Also, you can link you items to your Facebook page, it’s easy (there’s a link to do it) and you will generate some extra interest!


Once an item sells, I always email a personal note to the buyer, letting them know when it will be mailed and thanking them for their business.  I package very carefully, and always include a business card, and a postcard if I have them. 


Leave feedback ASAP.  I do this as soon as an item sells, if something happens with the sale, I just fix it for the customer.  Hopefully the customer will leave you feedback as well, although some do not.  If you have purchased on Etsy, you may already have a feedback number if not, your number will be “0”.




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