Starting an Etsy Business for Dummies

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-08-28
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Turn your hobby into revenue with an expertly-run Etsy shop

Starting an Etsy Business For Dummies is the all-in-one resource for building your own successful business. Arts and crafts are currently a $32 billion market in the U.S., and Etsy is the number-one way to grab a piece of it for yourself. Sales through the site are rising, fueled by Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media—so there's never been a better time to jump into the fray. This book shows you everything you need to know to get set up, get things running, and build your business as you see fit. From photography and sales writing, through SEO, homepage navigation, and more, you'll find it all here.

This new third edition has been updated to cover Etsy's newest seller tools, including Pattern, Etsy Manufacturing, Etsy Shop Updates, and the Dashboard, with expert guidance on QuickBooks Self-Employed to help you keep your business's finances under control. With helpful information, tips, tools, and tricks, this book is your ultimate guide to building your own Etsy shop.

  • Showcase your products to their best advantage with great photographs and compelling listings
  • Learn the technical side of setting up shop and processing orders
  • Manage your storefront efficiently using the latest Etsy tools and features
  • Increase sales by connecting with other vendors and promoting on Pinterest

Are you an artist, crafter, artisan, or craftsman? Etsy can be another great revenue stream. Are you just curious about whether your projects would sell? Wade in gradually to test the waters. Etsy is home to businesses of many sizes and types, and Starting an Etsy Business For Dummies shows you how to stake your claim.

Author Biography

Kate Shoup is the author of numerous crafting books, including Not Your Mama's Beading, and Rubbish: Reuse Your Refuse. Kate Gatski is an artisan, an entrepreneur, an educator, a veteran Etsy seller, and a member of the Full Time Etsy Crafters Team an exclusive group for full-time or high-volume Etsy sellers.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 2

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with Etsy 5

Chapter 1: Handmade for Each Other: Falling in Love with Etsy 7

Creative Crusade: Understanding Etsy’s Purpose and Business Model 8

World Up: Introducing the World of Etsy 9

Registering with Etsy 9

Navigating the Etsy home page 10

Understanding your account and your shop 11

Discovering what’s for sale on Etsy 12

Ensuring your safety on Etsy 12

Storefront and Center: Setting Up Your Storefront 13

Sell’s Angels: Surveying the Etsy Selling Process 14

Takin’ Care of Business: Handling Business Matters 15

Community Collage: Engaging in the Etsy Community 15

Chapter 2: Let’s Get This Party Started: Signing Up 17

Sign Me Up! Becoming a Registered User 17

Setting up your account 18

Accessing Etsy’s House Rules and reviewing its Terms of Use 20

It’s a Sign: Signing In 21

High Profile: Setting Up Your Public Profile 22

Chapter 3: There’s No Place Like Home: Discovering Etsy’s Home Page 29

Home Sweet Home: Etsy’s Home Page 30

Tonight’s Head(er)liner: Exploring the Header Bar 31

Category Eight: Browsing Etsy’s Category Links 32

But Wait! There’s More! Exploring More Ways to Shop from Etsy’s Home Page 33

Viewing personalized picks 33

Perusing more suggestions from Etsy 35

The Velvet Blog: Reading Etsy Blog Posts 36

Campaign Promises: Tracking Etsy Campaigns 37

Say What? Discovering What Etsy Is 38

Playing Footsie: Exploring Footer Links 39

Sell on Etsy 39

Join the community 40

Discover and shop 40

Get to know us 41

Follow Etsy 41

’Appy Days: Exploring the Home Page on the Etsy App 41

Chapter 4: Account Trackula: Navigating Your Etsy Account and the Shop Manager 43

Hey You! Exploring the You Menu 44

Final Account-down: Managing Your Etsy Account 45

Shop Talk: Familiarizing Yourself with the Shop Manager 49

Managing your listings 50

Accessing conversations 50

Handling orders 50

Retrieving statistics 51

Checking your Etsy finances 51

Promoting your shop 51

Finding a production partner 52

Learning more 52

Changing shop settings 52

Adding sales channels 53

Chapter 5: Buy and Buy: Finding and Purchasing Items on Etsy 55

Gimme One Reason: Understanding Why You Should Buy on Etsy 55

Go Fish: Using Etsy’s Search Tool 56

Transaction Oriented: Delving into Transaction Details 59

A Review to a Kill: Leaving a Review After You Buy 64

Case in Point: Filing a Case Against a Seller 65

Chapter 6: Safe Word: Maintaining Privacy and Safety on Etsy 69

Oh, Behave! Adhering to Etsy’s House Rules 69

Private Party: Guarding Your Privacy on Etsy 71

Understanding Etsy’s Privacy Policy 71

Changing your privacy settings 72

Choosing a strong password 73

Safe Passage: Keeping Yourself Safe on Etsy 74

Avoiding scams on Etsy 74

Staying safe in Etsy’s public places 75

Making your account more secure 76

Using Etsy’s Seller Protection program 78

Brooklyn, We Have a Problem: Reporting Issues to Etsy 79

Part 2: If You Build It, They Will Come: Setting Up Your Etsy Shop 81

Chapter 7: Sell Coverage: Understanding What You Can and Can’t Sell on Etsy 83

Yes, We Can! Figuring Out What You Can Sell on Etsy 84

Selling items you made or designed yourself 84

Offering vintage items 85

Selling supplies 85

Just Say No! Understanding What’s Not Allowed on Etsy 86

Knowing what items are prohibited 86

Selling only certain services 87

Off with Their Heads! Knowing What Happens If You Break a Rule 87

Chapter 8: Come on In! Creating an Eye-Catching Storefront 89

Shop to It: Setting Up Your Etsy Shop 90

Creating your shop 90

Picking a name 91

Creating your first listing 92

Setting up Etsy Payments 93

Setting up your credit card 96

Opening your shop 97

Picture This: Adding a Cover Photo and Shop Icon to Your Shop 98

Title Wave: Adding a Shop Title and Announcement 101

All about Me: Adding an About Section 103

Let’s See It! Viewing Your Shop 106

Team Edit-ward: Editing Your Shop Settings 108

Chapter 9: Policy Academy: Setting Your Shop’s Policies 109

Fair and Square: General Policy Tips 110

Policy Wonk: Using Etsy’s Shop Policies Template 110

Shipping 111

Payment options 112

Returns and exchanges 113

Privacy policy 113

Publishing your shop policies 115

That’s a FAQ, Jack! Fielding frequently asked questions 116

Chapter 10: The Price Is Right! Pricing Your Pieces 119

Formulaic Plot: Breaking Down Your Pricing Formulas 120

Calculating the cost of materials 120

Figuring labor costs 121

Adding up overhead 122

Understanding the “times 2” 122

Pricing for wholesale and retail 123

Putting it all together 124

Eyes on the Price: Evaluating Your Prices 124

Assessing your competition’s pricing 125

Studying your target market 125

Figuring out how to lower your prices 126

Knowing when to raise your prices 126

Something Old: Pricing Vintage Items 127

How Low Can You Go? Pricing for Sales 128

Part 3: She Sells Seashells (And More): Understanding the Etsy Selling Process 129

Chapter 11: Say Cheese! Photographing Your Wares 131

I’ll Take That-a-One! Choosing a Camera 132

In Style: Styling Your Photos 134

Using backgrounds 134

Working with props 136

Using live models 139

Lighting Bug: Lighting Your Shot 140

Compose Yourself: Composing Your Shot 143

Trying basic composition principles 143

Applying the rule of thirds 145

Focus, People! Focusing Your Image 147

Shoot, Shoot, and Shoot Some More: Taking Lots of Pictures 148

Clean-Up on Image Five: Tidying Up Your Photos with Image-Editing Software 148

Starting with Pic Monkey and opening a photo 149

Editing your photo in Pic Monkey 150

Saving your changes 151

Chapter 12: Word Up: Composing Engaging Titles and Descriptions 153

Headline Muse: Writing Titillating Listing Titles 154

Story Time: Telling a Story with Your Listing Description 154

Uncovering your item’s story 155

Describing your item 155

Composing your listing description 157

SEO Speedwagon: Using Search Engine Optimization to Drive Traffic 158

Choosing the best keywords 159

Using SEO with your listing title and description 160

Understanding tags and attributes 161

Proofread, Please! Proofreading Your Listing 163

Chapter 13: Selling Like Hotcakes: Listing Your Items 165

Lister, Lister: Listing a New Item 166

Starting the listing process 166

Uploading images of your item 168

Describing your item 168

Adding the price, quantity, and SKU 171

Adding variations 172

Setting shipping options 174

Previewing and publishing your listing 174

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Editing a Listing 175

Copycat: Copying a Listing 178

Renewable Resources: Renewing a Listing 178

Renewing a sold listing 179

Renewing active and expired listings 179

Pull the Plug: Deactivating a Listing 180

Rearrange Your Face: Rearranging the Listings in Your Etsy Shop 181

Feature Comforts: Featuring an Item in Your Etsy Shop 183

Chapter 14: Wrap It Up: Closing the Deal 185

You’ve Got Sale: Finding Out You Have a Sale 185

Baby Got Track: Keeping Track of Sales 186

Guided by Invoices: Handling Invoices 188

Show Me the Money: Receiving Payment 189

Chapter 15: The Ship Hits the Fan: Shipping Your Items 191

The Right (Packaging) Stuff: Obtaining Shipping Supplies 191

Package Deal: Showing Your Love and Care with Packaging 192

Protecting the item 193

Using attractive, brand-friendly packaging 193

Including extras in your parcel 193

Ship Shop: Comparing Shipping Carriers 194

Crafters without Borders: Shipping Internationally 196

Ship Happens: Choosing Etsy Shipping Options 197

Profile Pick: Saving and Selecting a Shipping Profile 200

Print It to Win It: Printing Shipping Labels on Etsy 203

Printing a USPS label 203

Printing a FedEx label 207

Deliverance: Sending Your Package on Its Merry Way 208

Marky Mark: Marking the Item as Shipped in Etsy 208

Part 4: All Up in Your Bidness: Handling Business Matters 211

Chapter 16: High Exposure: Marketing Your Etsy Business 213

Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl: Building Your Brand 214

Composing a tag line 215

Creating a logo 215

Working your brand into all you do 216

Poetry in Promotion: Using Etsy Tools to Promote Your Shop 216

Advertising your shop 217

Creating coupons 220

Posting Shop Updates 222

Saving Facebook: Promoting Your Etsy Shop on Social Media 225

Go Postal: Sending an Email Newsletter 230

Chapter 17: You’ve Been Served: Providing Excellent Customer Service 231

Pros and Convos: Accessing Etsy Convos 231

Let’s Talk: Communicating with Buyers 233

Answering customer questions 233

Giving thanks 234

Finding out how they found you 235

Communicating with foreign buyers 236

Covering all your bases in one short, pleasant message 236

Shipping it quickly 237

Bungle Fever: Handling a Bungled Transaction and Other Tough Issues 238

Prompting a buyer to pay up 238

Dealing with lost shipments 239

Responding to a negative review 240

Dealing with a reported case 240

Issuing refunds 242

Canceling an order 244

Dealing with a difficult customer 245

Refusing service to a buyer 246

Chapter 18: Business as Usual: Managing Your Etsy Store 247

Paradise by the Dashboard Light: Using the Shop Manager Dashboard 248

“I’m Just a Bill”: Paying Your Etsy Bill 249

Taxing Matters: Appeasing Uncle Sam 251

Collecting sales tax 251

Paying quarterly income tax and filing your annual tax return 253

Identifying tax deductions 254

Recording Artist: Keeping Accurate Records 255

Using QuickBooks for Etsy 256

Using spreadsheet software to manage your shop 257

One Track Mind: Tracking and Analyzing Shop Stats 258

An App a Day: Using Etsy Apps to Run Your Store 260

Too Legit to Quit: Making Your Business Legit 263

The Artist Is Out: Switching to Vacation Mode 265

Hanging It Up: Closing Your Etsy Shop 267

Chapter 19: Growing Your Etsy Business 269

You Got the Whole(sale) World in Your Hands: Selling Wholesale on Etsy 269

Howdy Partner: Finding Shop Helpers and Production Partners 275

Hiring shop helpers 275

Using Etsy Manufacturing to find production partners 276

Pattern-Cake, Pattern-Cake: Building a Custom Shop with Pattern 283

Going Mobile: Taking Your Etsy Show on the Road 285

Part 5: Commune System: Exploring the Etsy Community 291

Chapter 20: Community Building: Joining the Etsy Community 293

Talk among Yourselves: Using Etsy Forums 293

Accessing Etsy forums 294

Viewing and responding to posts in a thread 295

Starting a new thread 298

Go Team! Exploring Etsy Teams 299

Searching for an Etsy team 300

Joining an Etsy team 301

Starting your own Etsy team 303

Event Horizon: Staying Apprised of Etsy Events 304

Miss Manners: Respecting Community Etiquette 305

Chapter 21: OMG, Did You Hear? Keeping Up with Etsy News 307

All the News That’s Fit to Print: Exploring the Etsy Blog 307

Mail Bonding: Signing Up for Etsy Email Newsletters 310

Sifting through different types of email newsletters 311

Subscribing to email newsletters 311

Social Skills: Staying in Touch Using Social Media 313

Proto Baggins: Joining Etsy Prototypes 314

Chapter 22: A Love-Love Relationship: Showing Your Love for Other Etsy Sellers 315

Por Favorite: Favoriting on Etsy 316

Favoriting items and shops 316

Viewing favorited items and shops 316

Organizing favorite items 319

Removing a Favorite 321

Follow Me! Following Others on Etsy 322

Following another Etsy member 322

Viewing your Etsy “circle” 323

Checking your activity feed 324

Chapter 23: Help! Getting It When You Need It 325

Handy Dandy: Reading the Seller Handbook 325

Search and Rescue: Searching for Help on Etsy 326

People Person: Getting Personalized Help 329

Using the Questions forum 329

Contacting Etsy Support 330

Part 6: The Part of Tens 333

Chapter 24: Ten Terrific Tips for Etsy Sellers 335

Have a Place for Everything 335

Save Time with Twosies 336

Organize Your Paperwork 336

Use What You Discover from Other Shops 336

Offer Service with a Smile 336

Network, Network, Network 337

Send an Email Newsletter 337

Learn to Say No 337

Never Give In 337

Have Fun! 338

Chapter 25: Ten Strategies for Marketing Your Etsy Shop 339

Offer Tiered Pricing 339

Understand That Giving Begets Giving 340

Provide a Guarantee 340

Consider a Loyalty Program 340

Impose a Deadline 340

Create a Great Email Signature 341

Connect with Social Media 341

Make Google Your Best Friend 341

Use Your Items in the Real World 341

Help Your Community 342

Index 343

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