Etsy is a global marketplace and Etsy sellers can sell from anywhere in the world.
The benefit of this is you can also sell to those in more developed countries, where items can be sold at much higher prices.
Many sellers come from India and other emerging and developing nations as they can sell for much higher prices than they can get in their country of origin.
So, how do you sell on Etsy in India? Selling on Etsy in India is the same as in any other country. It is a case of opening a store on Etsy, and listing items. As long as you are honest about what your items are, where they come from and how long they will take to ship, there is no reason you cannot sell from India.
Can I sell on Etsy from India?
Can Indians have an Etsy shop? Yes you can sell on Etsy from India, there are no geographical restrictions to selling on Etsy.
You can open a store easily by following these steps:
Click Sell on Etsy on Etsy.com
Click Open your Etsy shop.
Select your shop language, country, and currency, then click Save and continue.
Choose your shop name, then click Save and continue.
How To Sell on Etsy From India
The steps to being successful on Etsy in India are much the same as any other Etsy sellers. The keys are:
- attracting the attention of international buyers
- establish your location and policies
- setting your shipping profiles to sell internationally
Attract the attention of international buyers
In order to sell items to international customers, you need to create items that are attractive to people in countries other than your own.
This means keeping on top of style trends and societal trends – ideally in the US and UK. This means you know what your target customer is thinking, and you can create products that resonate with them.
The only way to make sales is to create listings that people actually want to buy. You need to do thorough research on what is selling, and what is likely to sell for you. For this I use Etsy Hunt. Etsy Hunt has a massive database of Etsy listings, with details on how often every listing sells, its keywords and tags.
Using Etsy Hunt has made researching on Etsy a breeze, and it finds some real gems! Best of all you can sign up to Etsy Hunt for free today
You can follow my guide on this here if you are struggling to find ideas yourself.
Establish your location and shop policies
Once your store is set up and you know what you are selling you need to set your store location and policies.
This is super important when selling internationally as:
- You want to be open and honest with the customer. They need to know where you are and what you are able to do for them
- You need to set boundaries. Unless you are selling digital goods (more on that later) you are going tom have to deal with shipping. This has issues with customs, and returns. Both of which can lead to delays or additional costs to the customer
Get these two important factors set up and you will be well on your way to a maintainable and successful Etsy store.
Create your shipping profiles
Finally, the last step. It’s time to set your shipping profiles.
Again, this is about being open and honest with the customer. People on Etsy are far more relaxed about shipping. After all, if they wanted something with “Next Day Delivery” they’d shop on Amazon.
If your selling a unique item that they can’t get anywhere else, then they will be willing to wait. Set your shipping times accordingly.
I always err on the side of caution with shipping estimates. Ask your shipping provider their expected delivery times, and add 10% as a buffer.
Best products for international sellers
The best items to sell internationally on Etsy are:
- Digital/Downloadable products
They fulfil the key requirements when selling to customers in other countries. They either cut the delivery time out completely (in the case of Instant Downloads), or they restrict issues with shipping cost by being incredibly light and by removing most customs restrictions – as they are essentially paper, and this is unlikely to be on a banned substances list.
Biggest Mistakes when Selling On Etsy From India
The top mistakes made by sellers when selling from India are:
- Not being honest with their location
- Not checking the spelling and grammar on listing descriptions
- Selling large items that are hard to ship overseas
Not being honest with their location
International sellers are often worried their nationality being a hindrance on Etsy. The worry is that they will be trusted less if they are from a different country. Whilst some shoppers do prefer to shop with “local” stores (using the Etsy “Local Seller” badge as a guide) this has little to do with nationality and more with keeping delivery times down, and the carbon footprint from shipping overseas.
Just be honest. Fake accounts and dis-honest sellers are a big issue right now on Etsy – so just be yourself, and if you offer a great product at a reasonable price, shipped correctly there is no reason why you can’t be successful on Etsy.
Not checking the spelling and grammar
When selling internationally on Etsy the language barrier might come in to play. This is especially true if English isn’t your first language.
The predominant language of buyers and sellers on Etsy is English – so it’s important to ensure your English skills are good/excellent. Remember, it’s not just the listings you have to write – it’s also the customer service.
You will be reviewed lower if customers find it hard to understand what you are saying if your spelling and grammar aren’t good enough.
Don’t have good English? Hire in help. There are many gigs on Fiverr that will help you with your written English.
Selling large items that are hard to ship overseas
If your selling overseas on Etsy then you are going to have to ship overseas. This is tricky, as it will restrict what you can create.
Remember it’s not just big, bulky or heavy items that are the issue. Many countries have customs restrictions that limit the items that can be delivered. They also add customs charges to some, which will get passed onto the customer.
Be sure to do your homework, and check the list of “Best products to sell” section in this article.
Do you need license to sell on Etsy in India?
Do you need license to sell on Etsy in India? Yes, you need an IEC Code which is only available if you have registered a firm in India.
For more information on how to setup a Firm and get your IEC Code check out this guide on applying for an import/export code.
Selling on Etsy is great even for those outside of the US and UK. A thriving market is open to all, and as long as you plan correctly, and structure your business to make best use of your location, there is no reason why you cannot make good money on Etsy.