Who Can Sell On Etsy And Open A Shop? 

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 03/05/23 •  8 min read

Etsy is an incredible place to buy and sell handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. With over 5.4 million active sellers as of the fourth quarter of 2022 and 89.40 million active buyers, Etsy has grown into a global marketplace for hobbyists and independent sellers, and designers who want to get their products in front of a worldwide audience. 

But who can sell their items on Etsy and open a shop? 

In this article, we will delve into the eligibility criteria for selling on Etsy, whether or not you need a business license to open a shop, and what is the procedure for opening your shop.

Who can sell on Etsy?

Etsy allows anyone over the age of 18 who has a valid email address and lives in one of the countries supported by Etsy Payments to sell on the platform.

Additionally, you can have more than one shop, provided that you use different registration information (a unique email address) for each shop.

Currently, you can create a shop in any of the following countries, assuming you meet the other requirements:

Does Etsy require sellers to have a business license?

Although Etsy itself does not require sellers to have a business license, you still may be required to have one in order to comply with local, state, or national laws, depending on your location.

In general, if you are selling handmade products, you may not need a business license as long as you are selling the products as a hobby and not as a business.

However, if you are selling products as a business, you may need a business license, tax ID number, or other permits, depending on your local laws and regulations.

It’s essential to research your local laws and regulations to determine what licenses and permits you need to sell on Etsy.

Some states and countries require sellers to obtain a sales tax permit, while others require a business license.

You can check with your local government to determine what licenses and permits you need to sell on Etsy.

What Can You Sell on Etsy?

Once you've made sure that you meet the requirements to become a seller on Etsy, you may be wondering what exactly you're allowed to sell on the platform.

Handmade items 

These are items that have been made/designed by you, the seller. For an item to qualify as handmade, you must

Print On Demand Products:

Like with completely handmade products, you may also sell print-on-demand products on the Etsy platform.

These products may be sold as long as you created or own the rights to the design of the product and include any and all manufacturing partners, just like you would for a handmade product.

Digital Downloads:

Additionally, the etsy marketplace allows you to sell digital files as downloads.

There are a wide variety of digital products available inside of the Etsy platform and often include things like:

Keep in mind, that just like any other product type on the Etsy platform, you need to comply with their policies.

Vintage Items

Etsy allows sellers to sell or resell vintage items. 

These are items that are at least 20 years and older. Newer vintage items are not allowed under this category. 

Craft Supplies

Craft supplies serve the primary purpose of creating an item or fulfilling a special occasion by providing tools, materials, or ingredients.

What Can’t You Sell on Etsy?

Although Etsy is a fairly open marketplace, there are a wide variety of things that they do NOT allow to be sold on the site including:

Metaphysical items and services 

Psychic and tarot readings that include a physical copy, such as a recording, email, or tarot photo spread, can be sold on Etsy. However, metaphysical services such as spell castings and reiki are prohibited on the site. 

Services or rentals 

Etsy prohibits the sale of services such as rentals on its site and only permits the sale of services that result in the creation of a new tangible asset.

*Note * – Etsy has a comprehensive list of prohibited items ranging from firearms to mature content that they don’t allow to be sold on their site. Prospective sellers should review this list to ensure they don’t go against Etsy seller guidelines. 

Is it possible to resell handmade items? 

This might seem like a loophole for sellers not up to the task of making and designing their items. However, this is against Etsy seller policies.

How to Open an Esty Shop?

The process to open your Etsy is pretty straightforward. 

Here is the step-by-step guide, 

Before you can start creating your Etsy seller account, you need a consumer account. Locate the sign-in tab at the top right corner, and a dialogue box will pop up. 

Click on register if you don’t already have an account and proceed. You will receive an automated email asking you to confirm your email address. 

After you've signed in, find the gray circle with a silhouette next to it. It is next to the shopping cart icon. This has a drop-down menu that will give you the option to sell on Etsy. 

Creating Your Shop's Preferences 

Here you'll be required to enter your shop preferences, currency, location, and whether your shop is your full-time income or not. Click save and continue after you are done.

Shop’s Name 

This is pretty forward. You are required to give your shop a name. Let the creative juices flow in 20 characters or less. Remember to make it unique, have unaccented roman numbers and letters without a space. 

The next step is to enter your proposed name and check if it is available. If you’re struggling with a name, Etsy has some tips to help. 

You are only allowed to change your name once, so think about the name that best suits your brand before getting to this step.

Create Listings 

The next step is creating listings for the products you want to sell. Etsy recommends ten listings for a greater chance of being discovered by potential customers. 

Listings should include the following;

Photo – Etsy requires at least one image. Make sure the photos are high quality. You can add as many as you would like. However, remember to add one picture next to a ruler to enable customers to see the length of the item. With the listing, you must input the item's measurements.

Videos – Although not a requirement, this can help set you apart from the competition. Show your item in use from all angles to help your customers better understand its use. 

Listing details – This includes 

1. Who made the product? 

2. When was it made? 

3. Is it a digital or physical product?

4. What materials were used? 

This section is also where you will add your tags. So utilize the tags well for better SEO. 

Variations – Does your product comes in various sizes and colors? If so, add that here. Additionally, if you offer personalization to your items, add it in. 

Shipping –  How long is the processing time, the item's weight, what destinations are you willing to ship to, and do you offer free domestic shipping and international shipping?

Add in Payment Settings. 

You must input whether you’re a sole proprietor, a legal entity, or an individual. This is for your tax filing status. Depending on your answer, you will be required to infill each section accordingly correctly.

In the following section, you must fill in the location and routing number of your bank as well as the account number for your savings account where your Etsy sales will be deposited.

Credit Card Details 

Etsy requires a credit card on file. This is to charge their fees (listing, transaction, and payment processing fees). After you've finished entering your card details, you can officially open your shop. 

Update Your Bio 

Your bio is where your customers go to learn more about your shop. You can talk about the inspiration behind your items and any other thing you feel appropriate. 

Set Up Your Shop's Policies. 

Your shop's policy should answer your customers' potential questions. This can include your processing time, the type of shipping you utilize, payment options, and your policy on cancellations and returns. 

Wrapping up 

Etsy provides a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to sell their handmade, vintage, or unique products online. 

Whether an artist, crafter, or vintage collector, you can open an Etsy shop and showcase your products to millions of potential customers worldwide.

The platform is easy to use, affordable and provides excellent tools and resources to help you succeed. So if you're looking to turn your hobby into a business or want to expand your existing online store, Etsy is definitely worth considering as your next step. Happy selling!

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!