15 Things To Do Before Opening Your Etsy Shop

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Recent studies show that online businesses are growing at an unprecedented rate, so there has never been a better time to open your Etsy shop.

If you like to learn what to do before opening an Etsy shop, here are 15 tips to assist you in getting started on the right foot.

These suggestions will secure that you are well-prepared and willing to establish your online business.

1. Act Now

One of the most meaningful things to do before opening your Etsy shop is to take action.

Analyses show that taking action is one of the numerous required factors in achieving success, so initiate as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will waste time and energy that you could use to grow your business.

It can be compelling to put off starting your new online business, and procrastinating can often lead to missed chances. But you will only get somewhere if you put it on. So be proactive and take the first step towards making your Etsy shop a success.

2. Decide what to sell

Before you even open your Etsy shop, you must figure out what products or services you will offer.

Consider what you are good at, what you enjoy making or doing, and what seems to be in demand by potential customers.

This will help you narrow down what type of items to sell, which can help increase your chances of success.

If you are good at creating digital assets as an artist, consider selling digital downloads on your Etsy shop. Need inspiration? Remember to check our blog post on Etsy digital product ideas.

If you are a craftsperson with a knack for creating unique, handmade items, you should focus on selling those products.

Regardless of what you decide to offer in your Etsy shop, it is essential that what you sell stays true to your brand and aligns with what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur.

3. Make sure that you can sell what you create on Etsy

Creating various products and services is excellent, but what good is it if you can’t sell what you make on Etsy?

Etsy allows certain items to be sold on the marketplace, such as handmade, vintage, or craft supplies. You can also sell services on Etsy that create a tangible product.

By meeting Etsy’s standards for what can and cannot be sold on the platform, you can boost your odds of success and avoid getting your shop suspended.

Remember that dropshipping and reselling premade items (unless the design is yours) are not allowed on Etsy.

4. Check the legal requirements for your location

Before opening an Etsy shop, check with your local laws and carefully read Etsy’s policies so that you have all the information necessary to operate within their guidelines. This will help ensure that you avoid any legal issues or restrictions later.

Legal requirements for the US

The US Small Business Administration can tell you which licenses are necessary for your location.

Legal requirements for the UK

The UK Government and The Federation of Small Businesses offer helpful guides to what types of licenses and permits you may need when opening an Etsy shop in the UK.


You can check with local authorities.

5. Check if you need to get registered

You must ensure that what you want to sell and what business entity you operate under are legal in your location. Depending on your selling, you may need to register as a business before starting your Etsy shop.

For example, if you are on selling food online in the United States, you will need to register with the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is required by law, so research beforehand to avoid legal complications.

This is especially important if you plan to expand your business. You may need additional licenses or certifications depending on what type of operations you are running.

6. Ask yourself questions

Ask yourself what is essential for you as a business owner. The questions that you ask yourself can help you determine what direction you should go in.

Some questions you need to consider:

  • Are you dedicated to the long-term success of your Etsy business?
  • Will you give up easily if things don’t go as planned?
  • What are your objectives for your Etsy shop?
  • What type of business structure do you have?
  • What are your priorities as an entrepreneur?
  • How do you plan to sell and promote your products or services?
  • What type of assets do you need as an entrepreneur?
  • Do you have what it takes to be a successful business owner on Etsy?

By asking yourself these questions and carefully assessing what it takes to be an entrepreneur on Etsy, you can take actionable actions toward reaching your goals.

7. Read the Etsy Seller handbook

The Etsy seller handbook is an excellent resource for anyone starting on the marketplace. It is called “handbook“, but it is basically Etsy’s seller blog and guides all in one.

In the handbook, you can find tips and tricks for promoting your shop on Etsy and what types of marketing strategies to use along with general business advice.

You can also get advice from other successful Etsy sellers about what worked for them and what didn’t on Etsy Forums.

8. Consider getting involved in courses

Although Etsy provides a lot of great information on what it takes to be an Etsy seller, you may want to consider taking a course that covers key strategies for success.

One of the free Etsy courses on YouTube you can take to help you get started is:

9. Choose a business name

Your business name is what consumers will see first when they discover your shop on Etsy, so it’s essential to pick something eye-catching and easy to remember.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your business name is available as a URL (web address) so you can create a branded website and marketing materials down the road.

You can check to see if your username is available on Etsy by using a tool like BrandSnag.

10. Secure your brand name & register your URL

If you find that your business name is available as a URL and on Etsy, you may want to register it right away to prevent someone else from snatching it up.

You can secure your Etsy seller username by opening an Etsy shop and listing your first product.

You can also register a URL through domain registrars.

Cheapest domain registrars for your Etsy brand:

11. Figure out your own costs and prices

You need to know how much it costs you to make each item and then add a profit margin on top of that.

You must understand your expenses to dodge losing money or earning little profit.

To help you predict your costs, you can ask yourself:

  • What are the material costs per item?
  • How much time will it take to complete each item?
  • Are shipping and packaging costs included in your price?
  • What further costs do you need to include (such as taxes and fees)?
  • What are the overhead costs associated with operating your business?
  • Do I need to spend on someone else to assist me in creating my items?

12. Look into the competition’s prices

Once you know what it costs you to make each item, you must detect what the competition charges for comparable products.

You can search on Etsy for similar listings and then sort by “price: low to high”. This will give you a conception of what the going rate is for your type of product.

You want to ensure you are not overcharging or undercharging for your items. If you are too high, you may not get any sales (unless you add additional value to your item). If you are too low, you will likely lose money.

13. Develop a targeted marketing plan

Now that you comprehend what it costs to make your products and what the competitor charges, you can begin to prepare a marketing plan.

It would be best to think about how you promote your shop and get people to buy from you.

Understand your audience. Knowing what type of marketing will be most practical in reaching your buyers is also critical.

You can utilize various marketing channels, such as Etsy Ads, social media, email marketing, etc.

It would help if you determined which channels will work best for you and your Etsy shop before opening it.

Further Reading: Ways To Promote Your Etsy Shop

14. Get a grip on Etsy SEO

You may think that with millions of sellers on the platform, it can be tough to get your products noticed by potential customers. And you are right in this thought, and that’s where Etsy SEO comes in.

Etsy SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to optimizing your listings and shop to make it easier for customers to find you when they search on Etsy.

Understanding how Etsy’s search algorithm works can improve your visibility and increase your chances of selling your products.

So, how can you get a grip on Etsy SEO and boost your sales?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Use relevant keywords in your titles and tags. Check your competitor’s products or utilize Etsy keyword research tools.
  2. Optimize your shop’s categories and again use keywords in the category names.
  3. Offer unique, high-quality products. High CTR (click-through rate) means a high Etsy shop quality score.
  4. Utilize Etsy’s promoted listings feature to trigger your initial sales (to start gaining your quality score)

For more tips, check out our Etsy SEO Strategies article.

15. Join the Etsy Community and Facebook groups

It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in the Etsy community. This is because both for following Etsy trends and crucial updates that can impact your order count on the platform.

Etsy Community space on Etsy is an excellent place to start. You can ask questions and seek advice from fellow sellers.

Etsy Facebook groups are also a fantastic resource for sellers. These groups are usually run by experienced Etsy sellers and provide a space for members to ask questions, share advice, and support one another.

Many groups also host events, such as promo threads or handmade holidays, where members can share their products and get extra exposure.

Opening your own Etsy shop is an exciting journey. However, it’s also important to be aware of what needs to be done before diving in head-first. By keeping these tips in mind, you can be well on your way to running a successful Etsy business. Good luck!

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Emir E.
Emir E.
I've been working in the digital marketing space since 2012. My main focus is SEO consulting, helping businesses improve their search engine rankings and drive more website traffic.