Are you ready to launch your first Etsy business? As an Etsy seller, you can earn money selling handmade items, craft supplies, and other handmade items to customers around the globe.
Below, I’ll share a simple, step-by-step guide on how to make money on Etsy in Canada using the following steps:
- Decide What To Sell
- Create Your Online Etsy Shop
- Create Content For Your Listings
- Optimize Your Etsy Shop
- Use Social Media To Promote Your Etsy Business
- Etsy Ads
It may seem like a lot of steps, but I promise that it’s a lot easier than it looks. Once you decide on the product(s) you’ll be selling, you can set your online store up in less than a day!
How Can Etsy Sellers Make Money?
Firstly, it’s important to note that Etsy is a lot different than other online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace. Almost anything (legal) can be sold on those platforms, from small handmade goods to big-name brands and drop-shipped items.
This is not the case with Etsy.
Canadian sellers on Etsy can only sell:
- Handmade products
- Craft supplies (such as beads, wire, etc.)
- Vintage items
Purchasing wholesale items in bulk and re-listing them on Etsy is a violation of Etsy’s guidelines and can get your Etsy account suspended. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Etsy’s seller rules before you start selling on Etsy.
While this may seem a bit strict, it’s part of what makes Etsy such a great platform for artisans, crafters, and other small business owners and creative entrepreneurs.
On larger platforms like Amazon or eBay, unique, custom-made products are often overlooked and overshadowed by eCommerce giants. On Etsy, small shop owners can really thrive in their niche and sell items to discerning customers who don’t mind paying extra for handmade quality.
- Related Reading: How To Sell On Amazon In Canada
How To Start Earning Money With An Etsy Store
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, here are the six simple steps to launching your online store and selling your first products.
Step 1: Decide What You Want To Sell
First things first – you need a product to sell. While you don’t have to have a huge selection of products, it helps to have a few key offerings, as it makes your store look more professional.
As I mentioned above, the Etsy platform is designed for handmade and vintage goods, as well as craft supplies. You can sell different categories of items, but it’s generally best to stick to a specific niche of products, as this will help your store rank better. It can also simplify the creative process.
Once you decide what you want to sell, the fun part is coming up with a shop name. Here, it can be a good idea to get creative and come up with a unique name that will differentiate you from other sellers.
Step 2: Create Your Online Marketplace With Etsy
Now, it’s time to get serious and create your Etsy account, which is 100% free.
At this point, you’ll:
- Specify your store name
- Write a brief description of your store
- Create individual listings and categories for your items
During the set-up process, Etsy recommends that sellers have at least ten listings before launching their online store. However, it’s not required, and you can technically launch your store with just one or two product listings.
Step 3: Post Pictures And Videos Of Your Items
The number one success tip I can give to a new store owner is to create great pictures and videos for their products.
I can’t tell you how many Etsy storefronts I’ve seen where products only have one or two blurry, low-quality photos. Image quality is often correlated with product quality, and nine times out of ten, these products will get overlooked.
If you want your products to stand out, you should take several high-quality photos of each product, showcasing all of its sides and angles.
It’s also a good idea to upload high-resolution images, as this will allow customers to zoom in and see the finer details. Thankfully, most modern smartphones have excellent cameras.
Here are some tips to take great product photos and videos:
- Purchase a cheap white lightbox on Amazon (great for lighting)
- When possible, photograph your products on models or yourself
- Use free or low-cost editing tools to sharpen your photos and highlight key details
- Consider using AI photo/video tools like Pixelcut or Booth.AI to create incredible product photos
In addition to photos, uploading videos of some of your top-selling products is also a good idea. Videos can make your products seem more real and can give customers a better idea of the product dimensions.
Step 4: Optimize Your Etsy Listings
You should write a brief but detailed description of each product listing. Be sure to mention important details, such as:
- The materials that it’s made from
- How it can be customized (if you offer that option)
You should also write some tasteful copy to make each listing more desirable and unique.
This part may seem tedious if you don’t enjoy writing. Here, it can be good to enlist the help of a free AI writing tool like ChatGPT, Google Bard, or Bing Chat. Just give the AI a technical description of your product, tell it how many words to write, and describe the tone in which you want it written.
Here’s a good prompt example:
- “Using a creative, engaging tone, write 80 words of copy about a handmade wire-wrapped quartz necklace that I’m selling on Etsy.“
Of course, you’ll probably need to edit the results. But the AI answer is a good framework to start from.
You should also include one or two top keywords for your product in the description. These are key search terms that customers will type into Google or Etsy’s search bar when looking for a product, such as “copper bracelet” or “vintage lamp.”
Step 5: Promote Your Etsy Page On Social Media
Once your store has been launched, it’s time to start promoting it. You may get some organic traffic from users browsing the Etsy app. If you really want your store to grow, though, social media is your friend.
Most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube allow you to post a link in your bio, which can help your followers find your Etsy shop. Next, consider making a few posts showcasing your items and encouraging your followers to check out your online store.
Step 6: Invest In Etsy Ads (Optional)
If you’re working with more capital, you can invest in Etsy ads. Similar to “boosting” a social media post, you’ll be able to set a budget and duration for your ad. This will help more potential customers find your store and can really boost your sales.
Do You Need A Business License To Sell On Etsy?
The Etsy platform is open to artisan businesses and hobbyists alike, meaning that a business license is NOT required to sell on Etsy, and you won’t be required to show business documents when you sign up.
That being said, it’s a good idea to get your business license if you plan on taking your Etsy store seriously. Local laws often require individuals to obtain a business license.
Having a business license can also help you save on your taxes, as you’ll be able to deduct business-related expenses from your store’s income.
How To Fulfill Orders From Your Etsy Shop
Canadian sellers can fulfill orders in the following ways:
- Ship personally: Once you receive an order, use your local post office or shipping service to sell it.
- Etsy shipping: If you opt-in for Etsy shipping, Etsy will provide you with pre-made shipping labels, which can make shipping personally a lot easier.
- Ship from a warehouse: If you’re running a larger operation, you can set up a shipping department for your product warehouse.
How To Factor Shipping Costs Into The Price
Shipping can be quite costly these days, so it’s important to factor shipping costs into the total price. To get a quote from your local shipping company, you’ll need to enter the weight and dimensions of your product.
You’ll then add this price on top of the item’s price, which will make it the customer’s responsibility to pay for shipping.
Some stores may also offer free shipping and roll the total cost of shipping into the product price itself.
Etsy offers a lot of value to its sellers. Although it’s free to create an account, there are some fees worth knowing about. Etsy’s fee schedule is regularly updated, and you can view all seller fees here.
Etsy Payments Fee
If you want to accept payments online using Etsy Payments (which is required for card processing and Etsy gift cards), you’ll be charged payment processing fees of 3% plus a transaction fee of $0.25.
Conclusion – Is It Easy To Make Money Online With Etsy?
Starting an online Etsy store and making your first few sales should be easy. Like any business, though, it takes hard work and dedication to earn lots of money. If you’re making handcrafted goods, you’ll also need to factor in the time it takes to create each item until you earn enough to outsource your manufacturing.
That being said, Etsy is, by far, the best online platform for artisans.
Once your business is up and running, you’ll need a reliable business banking solution. Keep on reading to see my list of the best business bank accounts in Canada!