Tech Corner: Selling on Etsy

Laura Rucker business internet technology

by Laura Rucker, Editor and Geek

Tech Corners are going to be all about the dreaded Internet and how to bend it to your will in the decorative arts world! I promise, this won't hurt... 

What on earth is Etsy?

You've heard your friends talk about it, but you don't really want to admit you have no clue what it is or how it works. But you really should! Hundreds of thousands of artists, crafters, jewelers, tailors, and others use Etsy every year to sell and publish their work online to the largest open community of shoppers looking for handmade items. 

That's the point of Etsy: it needs to be handmade or made by you in some way. From Etsy's website at

Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.
  • Discover handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies you can’t find anywhere else
  • Get curated recommendations tailored to your taste
  • Find boutiques, craft fairs and flea markets where you can shop from Etsy sellers offline
Sell creative goods
  • Open an Etsy shop—with just $0.20 USD and your imagination
  • Grow a creative business on your terms
  • Reach customers all over the world, online and offline

It takes about 5 minutes to set up an account and start selling. All you need are good photos of your items (really good ones can be taken with your smartphone if you set up your goods next to a window or under bright lights. NEVER USE A FLASH) and $0.20. Seriously, that's it. No programming, no tech knowledge required. 

If you ever have questions, their Seller Handbook is fantastic and covers about every topic about selling online you'll ever need to know! So we won't cover all that here. 

Some Painting World artists and hundreds of other painters & designers have their own shops and do quite well on them! Check these out for starters: 

Unload Your Studio

You can sell many things that you just don't need anymore: old original patterns, painting magazines, finished projects, surfaces you know you'll never get to, extra paint, brushes and supplies that are in good shape. It's like a huge garage sale online! 

Sell Surfaces

Are you a scroll-saw aficionado? Do you make resin figures or dolls? Do you just have a massive stash of plaques in the basement that you KNOW you're not going to paint? You can sell ALL of those to like-minded painters who would love to have them! 

Sell Your Own Designs

Tons of artists sell pattern packets and books on Etsy, it's the perfect place to have an e-commerce store without having to worry about all the website-related headaches! Share your store link with your friends on Facebook and around the internet and you'll build up an audience in no time! You can even sell your e-patterns there!

Things Not to Sell

Obviously we know that duplicating patterns and books is a copyright violation and a federal crime, so make sure you're not selling anything that might have a questionable origin. If you're not sure it's an original pattern, it's more ethical to just dispose of it than to sell it. The folks at Etsy do keep an eye on these things!

Also if you're selling a painted piece you created in a class or from a book that was created by another designer, make SURE you credit the original designer. You can still sell it, and usually you won't need permission, but don't claim credit for someone else's designs.

Have Fun!

With all this in mind, just get out there and try it! You might lose 20¢ if you don't sell the piece, but chances are good that if you take awesome photos and put up cool items, you'll be able to fund your next shopping spree! 


Feel free to leave a comment about this article below! If you have questions about your account, please DO NOT put that in the comments, they do not get monitored daily and any comments about your account will be auto-deleted. Email your questions about your subscription to

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment