There’s nowhere better on the web to sell your handmade items, vintage goods, or craft supplies than through an Etsy business.
With a vibrant community of buyers and sellers alike, selling on Etsy has become a must for anyone who wants to be competitive in the current online market.
As eCommerce accountants, we’ve spent time with many business owners with shops on Etsy, talking to them about what’s important, what works, and what causes them problems.
In this article, we’ll use what we learned to take you through some key things to consider when you’re looking to begin selling online as an Etsy seller.
How much does it cost to register on Etsy?
There aren’t any setup fees or monthly charges with an Etsy account — however, there are listing fees and fees on sales.
Ensure you know all the fees and charges (more details here) and how they will affect your profits before you sign up.
Do I need a business licence to be an Etsy seller?
No. Anyone can register as an Etsy seller; there are no requirements to be registered as a limited company.
However, you’ll still need to adhere to the UK tax laws — you can earn £12,570 a year without paying income tax. And you have a trading allowance, meaning if you can earn up to £1,000 tax-free on selling websites (like Etsy) — but only if you’re selling on the side, not as a business.
If your Etsy shop is a side hustle to a 9-5 job, once your earnings are above £1,000, you are liable to pay tax at your highest income tax rate.
How do I register as an Etsy business?
Etsy has a helpful guide that takes you through the registration process — but we’ll cover it briefly here. It’s a fairly simple process.
Create your account
Before you create your shop, sign in or create an Etsy account. You’ll use this account to run your shop and to buy from other makers on Etsy.
Make sure to add your profile picture and bio to let the Etsy community know who you are.
Make your shop
- Go to Etsy.com/sell and select Get Started.
- Select your shop language, country, and currency
- Choose your shop name
This first step will need to be done via a web browser. After you’ve completed this step, you’ll be able to manage your shop on the sell on the Etsy app.
Set up your payment details
Getting paid is easy — all you need to do is connect your bank account to your Etsy shop.
To do that, fill out your personal information, and select the location of your bank account. Then enter your bank details — you’ll be asked to register to confirm your address.
You can then add a credit or debit card to your account. Once this has been done, you can open your shop.
You’ll need to set up two-factor authentication on your account — whenever you log in on a new device, a code or authentication prompt will appear on your mobile device for security reasons.
You can receive this prompt on:
- An authenticator app on your Android or iOS device (Etsy recommends this)
- An SMS
- A phone call
How do I stand out as an Etsy business?
Like any small business, there are many challenges that will come your way when using Etsy.
Capturing the right buyers is vital if you want your shop to succeed. This means using strong imagery and branding to help your products stand out from the crowd. It also means working with a professional — like an accountant — to help determine a financial strategy for your Etsy shop.
Some simple business understanding is crucial — if you’re trying to sell a product in an already saturated market, you will struggle. Basic market research should always be done before you start selling on any platform, not just Etsy.
Make sure your pictures are of high quality — this means well-lit portrait shots (most people view Etsy on their mobile device)of your products that clearly show every important detail. You don’t need to shoot with a pro camera — phone tech has come a long way now, so your iPhone or Android equivalent will do just fine.
The more success you get with your shop, you can start thinking about a dedicated marketing strategy (although having this in mind when you start won’t hurt.)
Talk to a professional
Just because Etsy is easy to set up doesn’t mean it’s not a real business opportunity. There are some incredibly successful sellers on the platform who have captured a niche in the market and can make more than just some extra pocket money.
Whether you’re serious about transforming your Etsy shop into your main job, or just want to build some nice passive income, we can help you succeed.
Talk to us, and we’ll help you with your Etsy business.