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Selling on Etsy: 14 Tips for Your Small Business

Selling on Etsy

Selling on Etsy can be both inspiring and lucrative for a small business owner. The online marketplace is the ideal destination to showcase the unique, the different, and the handmade. It’s also the place to launch products, target new markets, and get ideas to help you grow. Etsy sellers are as varied as the products that are sold on the site. However to effective sell on Etsy, there are some strategies that can help regardless of what you’re selling.

14 Etsy Selling Tips

Pick a Great Name

As a seller on Etsy, your name is very important. It should be reflective of what you do and memorable to your customers. However, it should also be short and to the point. Limiting it to no more than three words is a good idea, and avoiding misspelled words is smart. Be thoughtful about choosing a name and remember that it will be a reflection of your business for hopefully many years to come!

Define Your Product Line

With such a wide variety of Etsy sellers, it may be tempting to sell a broad range of products. However, the reality is that the Etsy shops with similar products do the best. Your Etsy online business will be more memorable to your buyers if you specialize in one or two things – whether that’s handmade bags, vintage sweaters, or funky greeting cards.

Identify Your Market for Selling on Etsy

It’s always a good idea to keep a read on your market. Who are they? If the group is too small, there might be enough business out there for you to be successful. If your market is too broad, you may get lost in the shuffle as a small business owner. Keeping a read on who your customers are, is essential to smart selling on Etsy.

Research Your Competition

Who else is selling on Etsy products like yours? Check their tags, their prices, and their sales policies. You don’t have to be absolutely consistent with these sellers, but you do want to stay competitive in your pricing and by using the categories and tags that work best.

Stock You Etsy Store

Customers want inventory to choose from. If you only have a handful of items, you won’t keep them coming back. Start with 20 or so items to launch, and grow from there.

Use Great Photos

Etsy sellers quickly find out that this online marketplace is inherently visual. Take more than one shot for each item that you’ll be selling Etsy. Try to take clear, focused, and stand-alone photos that will capture the interest of your customers. For more help, read How to Photograph Your Work for Sale on Etsy.

Be Descriptive

Your words can make or break your ability to sell on Etsy. Since your buyer can’t pick up and hold the items you’re selling, your descriptions along with photos must do the selling for you. To add interest and make the shopping experience more engaging, consider sharing background information or interesting details that reflect the uniqueness of your products.

Pay Attention to Your Packaging

Packaging is the first impression you give to your customers once they have purchased from you. Focus on details such as the box and tissue paper used as they can reflect your brand and communicate quality. Want to really impress a customer and differentiate yourself from other Etsy sellers? Include a small extra gift as a surprise. Your customers will remember you and hopefully share information about your business to others.

Tell Others Online about Your Business

Facebook is a key promotional tool for Etsy sellers because it’s such a great platform for sharing information. Twitter is equally as beneficial as a way to share news about your products and to network with people within your community or industry. Blogging gives you an additional forum for discussing your products and for sharing information that your customers have interest in.

Tell Others Offline About Your Business, Too!

Every Etsy seller should carry a stack of business cards with them. Who knows when the opportunity to tell someone about what you’re selling on Etsy will pop up? Hand cards to friends and family and post them on community billboards. It’s an inexpensive and simple way to tell the world that you’re open for business!

Stay Active with Listings

Selling on Etsy requires you to stay current with your shop on a daily basis. This means renewing listings or listing new items. Customers will only return to your shop if you’re keeping things fresh and current.

Polish Your Customer Service

Every sale as an Etsy online business matters. So, having great customer service can make the difference between having a loyal base of repeat customers and not selling anything at all. You should always have the goal in mind of showing your customers that buying from Etsy store is better than heading over to the big box retail chain down the street. If you provide great service along with amazing products, you’ll have a winning combination that certainly won’t fail!

Stay Positive

While you might be bustling with business in December, times can be tough in March. One key to success is being able to stay positive even during those slow times. Instead of fretting over a slowdown, take advantage of the time to improve your products, ramp up your marketing, or plan for a successful holiday season.

Be Inspired

Success will come when you’re enjoying what you do and what you sell. Be inspired by other Etsy sellers and by those who you meet elsewhere in your life. Have enthusiasm for your products and build a community of customers and fellow sellers that can help you on your journey as a business owner.


Selling on Etsy is an amazing way to start a business and can launch many new opportunities as you grow. By staying focused on what you’re selling and who your customers are, you’ll be able to achieve your goals. And, by keeping an extra close eye on customer service, uniqueness, and marketing, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself in a way that will help you now and into the future.

Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at

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