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Have you decided to turn your hobby of knitting gorgeous winter jumpers for friends’ dogs into a money-making enterprise? Or maybe you run a second-hand bookstore and have decided to use Etsy to find buyers for the rare vintage novels in your collection.
Whichever items you’re thinking of selling, careful planning and research are essential to determine whether running an Etsy shop will be worth your while. This means working out how to price your items, calculating delivery costs and factoring in Etsy's selling fees.
To help you get started, this guide contains all the essential info you need to know about selling on Etsy from the UK.
It’s free to join Etsy and start your own shop. However, there are three types of fees you’ll need to think about:
|Listing fee||US$0.20 (£0.16)||Since listing fees are billed in USD, the exact amount you pay varies depending on the current exchange rate. You’ll pay this fee regardless of whether the item sells. If your item doesn’t sell after four months, you’ll need to pay the US$0.20 to list it again.|
|Shipping transaction fee||5% of the listed shipping cost||If you charge shipping fees, Etsy will take 5% of this. However, you can avoid this fee by pricing your items to include the cost of shipping and then selling them with no added shipping in your store (advertised as “free shipping”).|
|Transaction fee||5%||This is 5% of the sale price plus delivery and will be in whatever currency your listing is in. If this is a different currency to your payment account, it’ll be converted at the mid-market rate with no margin or fees added on.|
|Etsy Payments processing fee||£0.25 + 3% (for domestic orders) or 4% (for international orders)||Etsy Payments is the main way for you to accept payments through Etsy. If you don’t use Etsy Payments, your options include accepting payment by mail or arranging a different payment method directly with the buyer.|
|Listing currency conversion fee||2.50%||If you’re listing your items in a foreign currency, Etsy charges you a fee to convert it. We’ll go into how you can make this fee a lot less below.|
You also have the option of buying subscription packages that can help you grow your business. The prices for these are as follows:
To make this easier to understand, let’s look at an example. Say you’re selling vintage band t-shirts online for US$40 and shipping is US$10. Someone from New Zealand has bought one of them. The fees would look like this:
In total, this is $6.80 in fees or the equivalent of £5.52). From the US$40 t-shirt, you’ll end up with US$33.20 (£26.94) at the end – which means Etsy is getting 17% of this in fees. Keep in mind that this calculation doesn’t take into account how much it costs to make the shirt in the first place. You’ll also be able to get a better deal on the currency conversion fee if you use a third-party money transfer service that offers a dedicated online seller account.
Selling items on Etsy can be a great way to earn some extra cash and even develop what could one day become a major business. However, just like with any other business venture, there are many factors that can affect your level of success, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually make a profit.
There are several things you can do to mitigate this risk and increase your shop’s chances of success, such as the following:
If you’re after more tips, Etsy’s Seller Handbook is a great resource that has guides on everything from branding to productivity.
You can start selling on Etsy by following these steps.
There are two factors to consider when pricing items on Etsy: what you think is a reasonable profit margin on each item you sell and how much you think buyers would be willing to pay.
You’ll need to do the following:
It might take a bit of trial and error, but you should soon be able to find a price point that will keep you and your customers happy.
Payments are handled through the Etsy Payments system. This allows buyers to pay you in their local currency using a wide range of payment options, including the following:
You also have the option to accept payment by mail or to arrange another payment method with the buyer.
Funds from your sales are then deposited into your account in your local currency. You can choose from daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly deposit schedules, and request additional deposits at any time.
If your shop accepts currencies other than Pound sterling, you’ll need to find a cost-effective way to convert your profits into GBP. You could simply send a bank transfer, but that means accepting a poor exchange rate and a high transaction fee.
To find the best value for money, consider opening an online sellers account with an international money transfer service. These multi-currency accounts allow you to make and receive payments in a wide range of currencies, and offer superior exchange rates (compared to the banks) when you want to transfer your profits back to the UK.
For more details on the exchange rates, fees and features of online sellers accounts, you can read more in our guide or check out the table below.
The next factor you’ll need to consider is how to ship items to your customers. You’ll need to research the packaging options available for your shop items from your chosen shipping provider, whether that is Royal Mail or a dedicated international courier service.
Not only will you need to find the most affordable shipping option, but also consider whether you’ll offer express shipping. This will allow you to include accurate postage costs and processing times on your listings.
If you’re sending items with Royal Mail, there are several shipping options to choose from:
Etsy also lets you apply pre-saved shipping settings to new listings, and buy and print Royal Mail postage labels directly from your account.
Etsy offers several tools to help you promote and market your products. Some of these tools come at an additional cost:
However, you can also market your products using a range of free tools and promotional strategies, such as the following:
There are a few key risks and traps you’ll need to avoid when selling on Etsy, so watch out for the following:
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