How to set up an Etsy shop (for dummies!) Part 1

Are you ready? Are you ready to take your craft to the next level? Are you ready to be excited and discouraged all in the same day? Do you love what you do? Does it give you a thrill when someone wants to purchase your handcrafted item?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, you are ready to plunge into the wonderful world of Etsy! Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Their mission and vision statement says, “to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is build a new economy and present a better choice: buy, sell, and live handmade.”

There are a several very easy steps to begin selling your items on Etsy.

1. You need to sign up! This is the easiest part. Go to and click on register. You will need to choose a username and password. This user name will become your shop’s web address so CHOOSE WISELY!

2. Once you have filled out the initial sign-up page you will need to wait for a confirmation email from Etsy. When it arrives, click through the link in the email and you will be confirmed on Etsy. They will ask you to log in with your username and password. You didn’t forget it already did you? ☺

Whoo Hooo! You are on your way. You did it! Sit back, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! This is a big deal, taking the first step is always hard, but you did it! Now let’s get that shop set up!

3. Once you are logged in, click on the word SELL at the top of the home page. This is where Etsy will guide you through the steps to get your shop started. Their directions are so clear, I’m going to leave you to read through and follow the steps. This will include entering address information, billing information as well as a credit card number. Don’t worry, no charges, just important to validate you are indeed a real human being. Read on when you are all set to sell!

4. There are several items you should have ready before you even list your first item.


Click on the words Public Profile in the left margin. You will be directed to a place to upload a photo of yourself, your AVATAR. Then add your location, and other important information. The next thing you will need to add is your BIO.


This is exactly what it says…a mini biography about you. Keep it short, keep it simple, but do it. People want to buy from a person, not a store. That is why they are shopping on Etsy in the first place, so make them want to buy from you! Shop around read other artists bios. What do you like about them? What appeals to you? Use that info to get you started…but DO IT!


This is a biggie with quite a few steps so we will tackle this part in Setting up Your Etsy Shop (for DUMMIES) – part 2

Lisa (that’s me) is a wife, homeschool mom of 4 fabulous children, and jewelry designer / metal smith. She has extremely curly hair from the stress in her life, lives for coffee and creating. You can meet Lisa at her blog, or shop for her wonderful creations at


What do you think?



  1. 6

    Can you put a link to part 2 of this article concerning Etsy business issues? I’m not able to find it. Thanks for the helpful info.

  2. 7

    yes amy i did write the article.

    as to address the issue of sales tax:
    it depends on your business and how much you actually sell. these are things you need to work out with your accountant. i personally do in fact charge sales tax to my michigan customers only…and it is easy to set up that feature in your etsy shop as well.

    as to the fees etc. i have also maintained my own website for years and the cost of that maintenance far exceeds the fees from etsy and/or the paypal fees. the ease of use of those two sites make it SOOOOO worth it.

    if you have ANY other questions, i would be more than happy to address them.

    thanks for your interest 🙂

    lisa j lehmann

    follow me on twitter:

    • 8

      Hello! I have a question…I also have a website and pay quarterly taxes on any sales in my state. If I set up an Etsy shop, for some separate items I will sell, does it have to be separate, or can I “lump it all together” so to speak when I pay my quarterly taxes. Also, do both businesses have to have the same name?

      Thank you!
      Sonya Coenen

  3. 9
    amy detrick says:

    curious to know if you wrote the business set up article. I to have questions about charging sales tax. Everyone says, “Just set up an Etsy store,” but I feel like the tax issues are too complicated. Plus all the percentages of sales you have to pay to Etsy and paypal. Let’s just say, I much prefer to use the right side of my brain over my left! thanks for any help.

  4. 10

    To address the taxes question. I do collect sales tax for the state of michigan purchases ONLY. and then submit that monies to the state. you can do that quarterly or yearly…your choice.

    as for a business license, the easiest option is to set yourself up as a DBA (doing business as) – you get yourself a separate checking account that will actually say DBA on it. Your bank can easily do that for you. You can claim it as hobby income, but at a certain point it goes beyond “just a hobby” – so I would recommend the DBA account. In order to collect sales tax, you need a Sales Tax License. An application you can get through an accountant, or your states government website.

    then in addition to all that you should apply for a tax exempt number. that allows you to purchase your supplies at wholesale prices, thus saving you money.

    i’m thinking i need to write another post, just on the business set up! thanks for your questions ladies, if you would like to discuss anything further email me at

  5. 11

    Along with Vanessa’s question (I’m assuming she’s referring to sales tax?) do we need business licenses? If we don’t, I think the income could be included on our 1040 as hobby income? Thanks!!

  6. 12

    My husband and I have wanted to set up an Etsy shop for some of the goods that I make and would love to sell. However, our question is, what do you do for taxes from goods you have sold on Etsy?