Get Started Selling on Etsy

The online marketplace Etsy reported $1.9 billion in sales from 22 million buyers in 2014. The site offers sellers the ability to set up their own stores, name their own prices, use the free tools provided to manage their stores, and receive support when needed. Creating your store is fast and easy, but these tips can help you decide whether it is a good fit for your particular business as well as help you understand the different aspects of the site.

Deciding Whether Your Items Are a Good Fit

Unlike many other online marketplaces, your products must fall into one of three categories: handmade items, craft supplies, or vintage items.

Handmade items are designed or made by the seller. If the items are produced with the assistance of another individual, you must describe this person on your “About” page. If you have the item manufactured from your design, you must submit an application for outside manufacturing and choose a manufacturer that complies with the site’s ethical manufacturing policy.

Craft supplies can be either handmade or commercially produced items. This category includes tools, materials and ingredients that are used to create handmade items.

Vintage items must be a minimum of 20 years old. Commercially produced and handmade items can be sold in this category as long as they meet the minimum age requirement.

Although the site’s policies are liberal, there are some things that you cannot offer for sale:

You cannot sell handmade items unless you were directly involved in making or designing them. In other words, you cannot purchase handmade items from another individual or company and then resell them.
You cannot sell items that promote violence, illegal activity or hatred.
You cannot sell items with mature or pornographic content.
You cannot sell hazardous materials or recalled items.
You cannot sell weapons, including firearms.
You cannot sell drugs or paraphernalia, tobacco, alcohol or items that make medical claims.
You cannot sell animals, items incorporating parts of animals defined as endangered, ivory from any source, items made from dogs or cats, or items incorporating human remains with the exception of teeth.
You cannot sell a service that does not provide a new, physical item.
You cannot sell an item that violates another’s intellectual property rights.
Creating Your Store

To set up your store, you must first register and set up an account. You can register by completing a form or using your Facebook or Google profile. When registering, you will be asked to choose your username; this will become your shop name, so you should pay special attention to this decision.

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