In the early stages of any new venture, keeping finances as low as possible is always a big priority. One of the things I love about Etsy is that the monetary commitment to getting started is relatively low. It’s technically free to have an Etsy shop!
There are no overall start up costs to setting up on the site itself. You’ll pay a small fee to list each item and will pay the processing charges once it sells. With Etsy, you’re not paying any monthly reoccurring fees to keep your shop running which is
really great crucial when you’re just beginning.
With a stand-alone website, you have to buy a domain, hosting, template or theme, and often some type plugin or ecommerce subscription in order to list and sell products. In most cases, you’ll be charged every year for your domain and hosting as they are annual fees which can be a few hundred dollars.
On Etsy, this is all built in and there are no monthly or annual fees to pay. You will be charged $0.20 upfront to list an item. This keeps the item displayed for four months and if it doesn’t sell it that time period it will expire. If you choose to renew it, you will pay the $0.20 fee again.
When you sell an item, you’ll pay a processing fee to Etsy of 3.5% of the total, minus shipping and tax. The fee for payment processing varies by country, but in the US it’s 3% plus $0.25. You can see the payment processing fees for other countries here. Etsy is great for getting started because you’re really only paying when you make a sale, other than the small listing fee.
Besides the actual fees related directly to the Etsy platform, you will likely want to invest in branding, materials, supplies, and packaging for you new shop.
Branding might include a logo, logo variations, shop cover photo, and mood board with a color story. Costs for working one-on-one with a designer for custom branding can range greatly. People just getting started in the industry might design a logo for under $100, while skilled professionals can charge in the thousands.
A great option for someone just getting started on Etsy is to purchase a pre-made branding package. You can find templates or semi-custom branding kits on Etsy or Creative Market. Note that many of the pre-made branding kits aren’t one of a kind, meaning someone else might have your same logo.
Creating a brand is really important for establishing a look, feel, and story for your shop, but in the beginning it can be easiest to get started with something simple. With this being said, I do recommend investing in branding within your first year as it really is the visual story behind your whole business and levels up your professionalism.
New Etsy shops need business cards, thank you notes, stickers, and any other type of materials used for promotion and packaging. If working directly with a brand designer, these things might be included with your package or available a la carte for purchase. Your cost on these can be as little or as much as you prefer!
Of course, the supplies needed to produce your materials are part of the cost of opening an Etsy shop. In the beginning, start small. Your shop needs 10-20 items to really get going, but don’t be afraid to wait on purchasing additional materials until the cash starts rolling in!
Packaging, including boxes, mailers, tissue paper, and bubble wrap, should be included in your start up costs. Buying in bulk can give you a better cost per item, but when starting out it might be easiest to just pick up a few variations until you learn how to streamline your shipping. You can read my tips for shipping on Etsy here including my favorite boxes and shipping tool I can’t live without!
Overall, starting your Etsy shop is very low cost. It’s such a great platform to begin your adventure of selling online! Spend the time setting things up and you’ll begin making those dollar bills in no time. Cha-ching!