How to Sell on Etsy UK: Creating a Successful Online Shop

Paola Faben Oliveira

Etsy¹ is a fantastic marketplace to sell handmade or custom items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. If you’re selling a unique product, you need a great way to connect to your customers, no matter where they are. This is where online platforms like Etsy can make all the difference, connecting craftspeople with their customers all over the globe.

If you’re thinking of launching an ecommerce business with Etsy, you’ll need to know a bit about the sort of products to sell, the best way to find potential customers, and of course the transaction fees you’ll need to consider. This guide has it all covered.

We’ll also look briefly at how Wise Business can help you get paid - especially if you’re dealing with customers based abroad.

💡Learn more about Wise Business

How to sell on Etsy UK: Step by Step to start your online shop

Opening a shop on Etsy is simple, you’ll need to visit the Etsy website using a desktop web browser. Once you’re up and running you can download the Etsy app and manage your online business using your phone or other device, even when you’re on the go.

Here are the simple steps to get your Etsy ecommerce business set up:

  • Using a desktop browser, go to the Etsy website
  • Click ‘Sell on Etsy’, which is in the top right of the home screen
  • Choose 'open your Etsy shop' and complete the information requested. You’ll need to input the country you’re based in, and the language and currency you want to use for your online store
  • Input and confirm your store name, and save - your Etsy store name must be original and 4-20 characters long
  • You’ll now need to add listings for the items you want to sell
  • Confirm how you want to be paid, from choices including Etsy Payments, or cheques - more on how best to get paid through Etsy, a little later
  • You may have to link a credit or debit card for verification purposes, and then you can click to open your shop.

You’re all done - and ready to start selling!

Once you have opened your Etsy shop you can continue to add extra information like a personal biography, photo or shop policies. You’ll also be able to use the Etsy social media tools to celebrate your successes and connect with your customers.

What to sell on etsy?

Etsy is a marketplace for handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. These categories are then broken up further, covering:

  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Home and living
  • Wedding and party
  • Toys and entertainment
  • Art and collectibles
  • Craft supplies and tools
  • Vintage goods

The philosophy behind Etsy is about connecting craftspeople with their customers, and helping people find unusual and one off pieces, whether that’s art, clothing, or all the decor you need for a fabulous gathering.

Many of the products available are hand made, or have a personal touch, so it’s the perfect place for your ecommerce business if you’re creative. You might use Etsy if you’re an artist and want to sell paintings online, or if you love to sew unique creations, and would like to sell clothing online, for example.

You can also sell digital products through Etsy. Think innovative and original templates for wedding invitations, or for customers to create their own professional looking custom made CV or website at home.

Vintage products - items over 25 years old - can also be sold on Etsy. So if you have an eye for a beautiful piece of vintage jewelry, or have a passion for the traditional toys and games from your childhood, you might be able to make a living if you choose to sell vintage items online.

💡 Still looking for inspiration? Check out our guide on how to start an Etsy business, covering 20 different business ideas.

Managing your inventory and shipping

Once you start to make sales you’ll need to make sure you can ship items to your customers efficiently, and replenish your inventory.

Etsy has a great shipping notifications tool which you can use to talk to your customers, and to confirm when they’ll receive their purchases. Because Etsy is proud to work with craftspeople, and customers love a personal touch, you could also consider the following ideas:

  • Add an individual note to your customer, thanking them for using your store and asking for feedback on the product and service
  • Use vouchers or discount codes to encourage repeat business
  • Try to find unique or creative packaging - you might choose recycled or environmentally friendly options to show your green credentials, too
  • Give your customer that little bit extra - adding in a small gift or a seasonal extra, like some gingerbread at Christmas or chocolate at Easter, is a great way to make sure you’re remembered

Fees to sell online with Etsy

Before you choose to sell online with Etsy you’ll want to know about the transaction fees involved. All costs are billed in US dollars, and the price will then be converted to British pounds when a payment is made to you.

The main fees² are detailed here - and there’s more on how to get paid for your Etsy sales, below.

ServiceEtsy fee
Listing fee£0.15 (Listing fees are billed for $0.20 - amount charged in your currency may change with exchange rate)
Transaction fee6.5% of transaction value
Payment processing fee4% + £0.20 processing fee (varies by country)³
Regulatory operating fee UK0.32% (varies by country)⁴

For a more detailed breakdown of the fees you should expect, always check directly with Etsy.

How do you get paid?

When you’re setting up your Etsy shop, it’s worth considering how best to arrange to receive payments. The usual way to get paid for your Etsy sales is via Etsy Payments. This is recommended for sellers based in the UK, although there are some countries where this service isn’t available.⁵

Etsy Payments lets you link a bank account and have Etsy automatically deposit your sales income, subject to hitting a minimum daily amount. You can choose to add a bank account to take online payments by bank transfer, and give the details in your listings and your shop policies. If you’re considering selling to customers based overseas, a smart option could be to choose to get paid into a multi-currency account like Wise Business.

When you link your bank account through Etsy payments, your account will set the currency that you will receive payments in. So, if your bank account is in the UK, then you will receive payments in British Pound (GBP).

It’s good to know that in future, you can change the bank account linked to your Etsy account for Etsy Payments, but you will only be able to switch to another account held in the same currency and country as your original selection.

Thinking of selling online with Etsy? Wise Business can help you receive your payments locally.

International payments and converting between currencies can be expensive, and if you want to make your online shop profitable - it may be beneficial to consider services such as Wise Business.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world.

Wise Business multi-currency account allows you to receive and send dozens of currencies all from the same account. Providing you with local bank account details for 9 major currencies, to which you can receive payments directly without the need for international transfer fees.

All currency conversion is done using the mid-market exchange rate - the one you’ll find on Google - with no hidden costs to worry about.

Start saving today with Wise Business

Setting up an ecommerce business is exciting, and there’s a world of opportunities available through Etsy, if you’re into crafts, art, photography or have an eye for vintage finds. Use this handy guide to get you started and you could be selling online in no time.

Sources used:

  1. Etsy
  2. Fees & Payments Policy - Our House Rules | Etsy
  3. Processing fees | Etsy
  4. What is a Regulatory Operating Fee?
  5. Countries Eligible for Etsy Payments

Sources check on June 30, 2023

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location