eBay isn’t the only site you can use to buy and sell stuff online anymore. Etsy has been the newest and latest trend for business owners and shoppers looking to buy and sell some of the most unique products you’ve ever seen.
You may have already known that Etsy is an online marketplace. But Etsy sets itself apart from others by being a marketing place for handmade goods. It’s much more of a crafty site where very-very small businesses can reach a global audience.
Whether you want to use Etsy to buy or sell products (or do both), registering for a free account is the first step. Depending on your geographical location, Etsy will detect what currency you may want product prices to be displayed in when browsing the site.
Buying from Etsy
All you really need to do to start browsing as an Etsy buyer is plug in a term in the search bar and see what kind of results show up. Here are a few other ways you can browse for great stuff:
Categories: See a full list of major categories and their subcategories. A great alternative if you just want to casually browse for anything non-specific.
Colors: This is a really neat, interactive way to find stuff in your favorite color. Simply use the grid to click on your favorite color and discover a new item in that color.
Treasury: The Treasury is “an ever-changing, member curated shopping gallery.” You can sort them by most recent, or by “hotness.”
Shop Local: Enter any location in this section to browse products offered local. This is a great way to discover what’s right in your area.
Shop Search: Look for specific shops either locally or globally. Browse for the name and have your results listed by relevancy, most recently added or alphabetically.
People Search: If it’s not products or shops your looking for, you can search for people who are currently on Etsy. This is a great tool if you’re involved in the community.
Prototypes: If you’re feeling ambitious, you might decide to check out some of the projects Etsy Admin is working on, which explores different ways to use Etsy.
Selling on Etsy
You have three broad categories on Etsy that your categories must fall into:
Handmade Goods: Obviously, this is anything that has been built or crafted by hand.
Vintage Items: These items don’t necessarily need to be handmade, but they do need to be old. Items should be 20 years or older.
Supplies: Lots of people sell supplies like ribbon, buttons, fabric, beads and so on.
The great thing about selling on Etsy is that there are no membership fees and you don’t have to fork over a large percentage in revenue when you make a sale. To list an item for four months, it costs just $0.20. When an item sells, Etsy only collects 3.5% of the sale price.
It’s worth it for many sellers. Etsy’s community is 15 million buyers strong and the opportunities to grow your brand--locally or globally--are endless. Etsy Teams and Online Labs are also great for newbies, since they can engage and learn from experienced sellers and online merchandise experts to make the most out of their Etsy listings.
Sellers do need to provide valid credit card information in order for Etsy to verify your account. Your credit card won’t be charged until you decide to open up your shop and publish your listings.
Keep in mind that when you choose your username, it can’t be changed at a later time. It’s permanent. So choose wisely! If you later find that you want to change your name, the only way to do it will be to register a brand new account.