As a new Etsy seller, you want your business to thrive and grow as quickly and simply as possible. As an Etsy Seller since 2012, I have learned a few things about running a successful Etsy shop. Get ahead of the game with your shop by following my top tips for new Etsy sellers.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use and recommend. You can read my disclosures here.
It’s like the common phrase says, “practice like you want to play”. If you want your Etsy shop to be a thriving business that makes good money, then take it seriously from the beginning, and treat it like a business from day one. If you treat your shop like a hobby, it will produce hobby levels of income. If you treat it like a business, you have a much greater chance of success.
What is the best way to treat your Etsy shop like a business? Don’t ignore your finances. Begin by using a bank account and credit card for your Etsy shop that are separate from your personal cards and accounts. Once you have separate accounts established, do not delay in finding a bookkeeping system or accounting program to keep track of your revenue and expenses. Getting set up with an online accounting program is super easy, and it will save you tons of time when it comes to doing your taxes. I compared three popular online accounting programs to help Etsy sellers make the right choice for them.
For more information on getting started with your business finances, take a look at my article on business record keeping.
Don’t just use your accounting program and the reports it produces to make tax time easy. The whole point of bookkeeping is to have financial data that you can use to make decisions. Use your financial reports, look at your financial information, think about it, analyze it, and use that information to increase your revenue and decrease your expenses.
As a new business owner, setting up a mailing list may not have even crossed your mind. But having a mailing list is one of the best ways to grow your business long term. Sure, social media can help grow your business, but you don’t own all your likes and followers. What happens when a platform disappears, or the algorithm for what your followers see changes? You need to be in control of the information your fans and followers see.
The best way to do that is through an email list. Convertkit is what I use, and they offer a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers! Convertkit will guide you through the steps of customizing your email sign up forms. Don’t worry, it’s super easy! When you are done you will have a link you can use for people to sign up for your list. Put that link everywhere! Place it in your shop announcements, about section, and in your message to buyers.
For my new Small Business Sarah Etsy shop, I also placed an email sign-up call to action in the image field of the About section of my shop. Check it out!
There are several ways to save money on shipping and make the process easier.
First, always have plenty of shipping supplies on hand. Nothing is more stressful than having an order, but no shipping box. Begin with the United States Postal Service website. You can actually order some flat rate and priority mail boxes for free! I knew about free flat rate boxes years ago, but it was only 6 months ago that I realized I could replace a shipping box I was paying for, with a free priority mail version from USPS. When I have to pay for boxes I use Uline because they have a huge selection.
Second, use Etsy calculated shipping and print postage directly from Etsy. Using calculated shipping will save you money. In the old days before calculated shipping, you had to select a shipping cost and hope that it would cover the cost no matter where the customer lived in the country. Now, with calculated shipping, the amount the customer pays is always correct.
To set up calculated shipping thru Etsy, on your left menu go to settings, then select shipping settings. Select calculated at the top and then fill in the rest of the information. Don’t be afraid to add a small handling fee. Then when you create a new listing, select that shipping profile. On your listing page, you will enter the item weight and size to help Etsy calculate the correct shipping.
You will definitely need a small package scale to weigh your items before shipping. The scale I use works great and is super cheap! But if you want to spend a few more dollars this scale by the same company is really pretty! I use this inexpensive yet industrial quality tape dispenser to make sealing my boxes quick and easy. I’ve tried other tape dispensers, and this one is my favorite so far.
Don’t forget to include a thank you note and business card in your package. Buyers really appreciate the extra effort of a thank you note. I buy single-panel flat notecards similar to these in bulk, which keeps the cost low. They are also nice to have on-hand when customers ask you to send a personalized note with their gift, which happens frequently.
Print your postage labels directly from Etsy, it will be cheaper than going to the post office because you get the commercial rate. I use half sheet labels to print my postage labels. Always minimize expenses where you can!
Third, if it is available in your area, use the USPS free pick up service. Go to USPS.com and under Mail and Ship select Schedule a Pick-Up. Type in your address to see if it is available where you live. If it is, just pick your day and mark off how many packages you have. That’s all! They will pick-up for free even if you only have 1 package.
Learning and growing as a business owner is so important! I always gain helpful insights when I listen to a business podcast, glance at a business article, or read a business eBook. I am an avid reader so I have decided to start a page dedicated to my pick of Must Read Small Business Books.