Friday, February 27, 2015


With the encouragement of some friends (thank you! you know who you are), I decided to look into opening my very own Etsy Shop. Although it was overwhelming at first, albeit exciting, little by little the process became clearer. I have to admit that I did a lot of research before taking the plunge. Kudos to the Etsy community for sharing so generously all their knowledge. 

Listing on Etsy in not expensive, about $2 to list 10 items, and if you sell anything, then you pay 3.25% of the selling price. Also, a payment processing fee of $0.25 plus 3% of total sale price, if you use their Direct Checkout, or you can use PayPal.

Some preparation is required: photographs of your items, description, price (not as easy as it sounds to set), variations (it is offered in different sizes, other colours), etc. So far, not too bad. But... the most difficult part, in my opinion, is the shipping.

In Canada, it would seem that Canada Post is the least expensive option, although the cost is not simple to figure out. For example, shipping from Ontario to BC is about $3 more than shipping the same item to Quebec. Now add in shipping to the US! Also, there are many variables to consider: do I want delivery confirmation, a tracking number, insurance, faster service? Let's not forget the size of the parcel, the volumetric size and the weight all affect the shipping cost - as well as the final destination! The decision regarding the shipping cost is what held me back for some time from opening my shop. After more research, more reading and more measuring, I selected the highest end of the economical scale: assuming the furthest destination and including a tracking number. In my Shop's policies, I inform potential customers that I will refund the difference if the actual shipping cost is at least $2 less than what they paid.

This reminds me, you also need to develop your Shop's policies regarding ordering, shipping, refunds, and anything else that might be relevant. Taxes too. You have to figure out the HST or GST for each province and set that up. No HST if your Shop is in Canada and your customers are in the US, but they might have to pay taxes and duties in their country. However, although there are some advantages to registering for HST, if your sales are below a certain amount, you are not required to - unless you have other business income that puts you above that threshold. Taxes have to be set up to be calculated based on your customer location. Also, collected and remitted, less input credits, which means the taxes you paid on your supplies and other expenses to do business can be deducted from the sales tax you owe. 

Old Hickory Crafts is now open for business on Etsy. Overall, I am pleased with what Etsy is offering its sellers... And time will tell if it was worth the effort, but in any event, it will have been an interesting learning experience!

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