How to Start an Etsy Store and Make Your First Sale

How to Start an Etsy Store Kristen Shane

I started my Etsy store over a year ago, and I’m so glad I did! In my first year, I’ve made over 50 sales… that’s at least one a week! Which isn’t too bad for being a full-time college student and blogger if I do say so myself :). If you’ve been considering starting an Etsy store, I hope this post can be helpful and inspiring to just go for it! You’ll be glad you did.

It can be overwhelming to start a store, but I’m here to help. I chose to open a store with Etsy because they take care of a lot of these little details and make it so easy! There are fees associated with running a shop on Etsy, but I find it so worth it! Alright, are you ready to make your first sale on Etsy?

How to Start an Etsy Store and Make Your First Sale

I’m dishing out all my best tips and things I wish I knew in this post and video! I also have a freebie ‘Start Your Etsy Checklist’ with the basics from starting your store to making your first sale! Since there’s so much information to share, today’s post and video don’t cover exactly the same things, so I hope both can be helpful if you’re starting out!

How to Start an Etsy Store and Make Your First Sale
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This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission from purchases through them, at no additional cost to you. See Disclaimer for further detail.

How to Start Your Etsy Store

First, choose a name

This is so important! I struggled with picking the ‘perfect name’ for a while, but don’t let stop you from actually opening your store! I don’t have the magic recipe for choosing the perfect name, but I would aim for a name that’s short, representative of you/your brand, and available on social media (if you plan to use this for your brand). I didn’t start an Instagram account for my shop right away, but it’s a good idea to have matching handles if you choose to market this way or create a website.

Create amazing products

At this point I assume you already know ‘what’ you’ll be selling, and you’ve chosen Etsy as the ‘where’. To actually start selling on Etsy, you need products! I started out with just 3 or 4 painted canvases. I recommend starting out with more than one product, so potential customers have a better idea of your brand. However, you don’t really know what items will sell best before you start, so I also wouldn’t recommend pre-making a whole bunch of items.PaintedGracebyKS Etsy Store paintings

Prepare for launch

I tell the full story in the video, but shipping was my biggest struggle at the beginning. Once you’ve got products to sell, you need a way to mail them! I order all my padded bubble envelopes on Amazon. They have a wide variety of products for great prices and I’ll link some of my favorites below. Double-check your product sizes so they’ll fit in whatever packaging you purchase. Padded envelopes need to be about an inch wider than the products to fit inside them.

Getting started

Once you’ve got a store name and a few products ready, it’s time to launch your store!! I spent lots of time researching ‘how to start an Etsy’, so I hope you’ll do your research, but again, getting started is the hardest part, so don’t let this stop you! Etsy also has lots of helpful info on getting started, but eventually you’ve gotta just do it!

Once you actually create your account and ‘open’ the store, you’ll have the chance to get set up behind the scenes before you actually list products, so don’t worry about doing it all at once!

PaintedGracebyKS store on Etsy

Bios, keywords, and branding

Shopping on Etsy,  potential customers first notice your store name, photos, and ‘about’. This stuff is important! You can change, update, and edit later, but don’t leave them blank! I’ve created all my blog and Etsy logos myself, but there are also lots of creatives available to hire for this type of work. Like your store name, keep things simple and sweet. But remember, like Pinterest, Etsy is a search engine! Keywords and descriptions are important.

RELATED: Pinterest Strategy for Bloggers – How to Increase Views in One Month

Example Etsy Listing product tags
Examples of my most-used tags

I cannot over-stress the importance of keywords! Throughout your store, listings, and tags, you need to include the relevant keywords customers are searching to find your products. I discuss this further in the video and walk you through exactly how I upload my listings and how keywords brought my first Etsy sale. 

Before your own social marketing drives your store traffic, you’ve got to rely on Etsy searches for customers to find you! Use all 13 tags allowed for every listing. Include as much description as possible to make customers feel informed about their purchase. 

Uploading listings

Alright, you’ve got your brand-new store name, a profile photo/header, and a solid description. Now, you’ve actually gotta add some listings to sell! Before you list, search around Etsy to get an idea of similar items and how they’re listed. Etsy is all about being creative doing your own thing, but there’s always lots to learn from those who have come before!

In attracting customers, product listing images might just be the most important thing (but if you don’t have good titles and descriptions, no one will be able to find them!). You can always go back and update/improve photos later on, but those photos are essentially what people are buying when shopping online!

I’ll go through more of the details of actually adding a new listing in the video, so check that out for more details. I’ll walk you through how to write listing titles, descriptions, and tags to make your first (of many) sales!PaintedGracebyKS Etsy Store products

Start selling, and celebrate!

You did it! Now that you’ve opened up shop and listed your awesome goodies, it’s just a matter of time before you make your first sale. Patience, my friend! As I discussed in the video, I made my first sale directly through Etsy search (from rich descriptions and keywords!). The waiting game isn’t fun, but I promise, it’s worth it.

Promote your store opening to your friends and family and post about it on social media! Be proud of your brand new store! If you’re a fellow-shop-owner, I’d love to check out your store as well.How to Start an Etsy Store and Sell Your First Product

What did you think of this post? Do you want to start your own business? Leave me a comment, and be sure to pin this post and subscribe if you liked it!



I'm Kristen, a small business owner living in the sunny state of Florida. I blog about running my Etsy shop (Lemon and Lily Co.), small business tips, & lifestyle content. I'm all about community over competition & finding the joy in every day.


  1. Lora Bishop
    September 30, 2018

    This is so helpful! Congrats on making so many sales while juggling being a blogger and student – takes a lot of skill.
    – Lora

    1. kristenshane_
      September 30, 2018

      Thank you Lora!

  2. Nyah
    September 30, 2018

    Thank you for this post! I have been considering opening a shop on Etsy, so this was a fun post to see 🙂 It’s great to hear from other people running their own shops who have tips and tricks to share. Good luck with your shop! I hope it continues to grow. Have a nice day!!!

    1. kristenshane_
      September 30, 2018

      So glad you liked this, Nyah! Best of luck to you as well if you do decide to start a shop!!

  3. Caitlin | Beauty & Colour
    September 30, 2018

    This is so helpful! Love your prints by the way!

    Fashion, Travel + Lifestyle | Beauty & Colour

    1. kristenshane_
      September 30, 2018

      Thank you, Caitlyn! Glad you liked this!

  4. Michele Spry
    February 8, 2019

    Great tips and I just opened my Etsy store in Jan 2019. I haven’t “publicly” promoted or even told anyone about it yet as I am putting product in it and tweaking the wording, tags, photos, etc. to get it the way I think it should look. I plan on promoting it (plugging on my social media accounts) within 2 weeks or less. Please check it out…. and thanks again for the information…. let’s me know I am doing some of the right things and learning along the way!

  5. Bonnie Miller
    January 13, 2020

    I have a gazillion stamps and dies from name brand sellers . Most have not been used and world like to something for them. Can I sell these on Etsy or is it just for new products?

  6. Viv
    January 15, 2020

    I’m a college student considering to start an Etsy business. I have a few questions in mind that I hope you might be able to help.
    1. Do I have to register the business with the government?
    2. Do I have to get copyrights/trademark?
    3. Do I have to apply for tax?

  7. Shawnee
    April 9, 2020

    Loved this post, was helpful! & your creativity is great! God bless! Hope your doing well.


  8. Amanda
    May 2, 2020

    Im already selling my product but not on a website. Through my DMS on instagram and I really want to know more about the whole etsy fees and shipping it can be confusing

  9. Debbie
    October 20, 2020

    When I first sold my products I used the bubble packaging and went to the post office. To find the cost very high. The nice lady at the counter said the shipping would have been cheaper in their packaging so we stuffed my bubble wrap into theirs for almost half the cost of shipping. I would say shipping is my biggest down fall on cost of products and I still don’t understand what is the best cost effective way to ship.

  10. Julia
    January 21, 2021

    I first found your youtube video and then came here to read this post – very informative, thank you!
    I am at the very, very start of my etsy store, super exciting! 😁🎉


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