How much does it cost to sell digital downloads on Etsy?
Etsy is a great platform for creative entrepreneurs to sell their products, but it can be confusing to figure out how much it costs to start an Etsy shop. There are so many things to consider, like the cost of listing your products, the cost of shipping, and the fees Etsy charges for each transaction.
However, digital products have some distinct advantages when selling on Etsy. For example, there are no shipping costs, and you can offer instant downloads to your customers. You’ll still need to factor in the cost of listing your products and Etsy’s transaction fees, but overall, starting a digital downloads Etsy shop is a relatively low-cost endeavor.
If you’re thinking about starting a digital downloads Etsy shop, I’ll be sharing some tips on how to get started, and using the Start-Up Calculator for Digital Etsy Shops below, you’ll be able to get an estimate of how much it will cost you to get up and running.
The bare necessity start-up costs for starting a digital Etsy shop include things that you absolutely have to have and can’t avoid. It’s the baseline for what you’ll need to get started, and you can always build from there as your business grows.
1. COMPUTER/LAPTOP (IF NEEDED)
The first and most obvious cost of starting an Etsy shop is a computer or laptop. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to factor in the cost of purchasing one. You can technically get by with a smartphone, but it’s going to be much harder to manage your shop and create high-quality product photos and listings.
2. DESIGN SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY
Creating digital products requires some sort of design software. The type of software you need will depend on the product you want to create. For example, if you want to sell printables, you can create them in Microsoft Word or Canva. But if you want to sell more complex products like e-books or online courses, you might need a more robust software like Adobe InDesign or Photoshop.
If you plan on selling printable or digital planners on Etsy, we provide 100% editable, done-for-you white label planners…so you don’t have to worry about designing! The best part? It’s a one-time investment that you can continue to use as an asset for a lifetime!
Ready to get started right away? Check out our white label planners for Etsy shops here!
3. ETSY LISTING FEES
Etsy charges $0.20 to list an item for sale in your shop. This listing lasts for four months, or until the item is sold. You can relist an item for free after it’s been sold. It’s something that you have to factor in for each and every product you plan to list for sale.
You need to have an active internet connection to manage your Etsy shop. This is something you likely already pay for, but it’s worth mentioning as it is a required cost of starting and running an Etsy shop.
Nice to Have
The costs in this category are things that will make running your Etsy shop easier and more efficient, but they’re not absolutely necessary. You can get by without them, but they will make your life a lot easier.
Printers are nice to have if you’re selling printable products – such as planners, invitations, flyers, etc. – so you can print off products before selling them for a quality check. If you plan to sell physical products in tandem with digital products in your shop, you can also use a printer to print shipping labels, which can save you time and money in the long run.
6. OFFICE SUPPLIES
Basic office supplies like scissors, tape, and paper can come in handy for any random business-related task or project. For me, I map out my entire business – mission, vision, goals, product lines, etc. – with pen and paper, so have supplies on hand helps for me to stay productive. You don’t need a ton of supplies to get started, but it’s helpful to have a few basic things ready to go when you need them.
Branding your Etsy shop – creating a logo, choosing a color scheme, etc. – is not required, but it can make your shop look more professional and help you stand out from the competition. Consistent branding from the very start will make it easier to market your business down the road.
In this category, we’ll be talking about the investments that can probably wait until after launch and aren’t required to get started. But, if you can afford them now, they’ll make great start-up investments, so down the line you can put all of your focus into building your business. These are things that can make your life easier or help you create higher-quality products, but they are by no means necessary.
8. OFFICE FURNITURE
You don’t need a fancy office or a lot of furniture to run an Etsy shop, but a few key pieces can help you stay organized and be more productive. A desk, comfortable chair, and good lighting are all worth investing in. It’s also helpful to have some sort of storage system – like shelving or file cabinets – to keep your office organized and tidy.
9. LICENSES & PERMITS
Etsy shops are considered home businesses, so you may need to apply for a business license or permit from your city or state. The requirements vary depending on where you live, so be sure to do your research before starting your shop. Most of the things you sell on Etsy will not require any sort of special license or permit.
Setting up an LLC for your Etsy shop is not required, but it is something you may want to consider down the road. LLCs offer personal liability protection and can help you save on taxes. Make sure to speak with an accountant or tax advisor to see if setting up an LLC is right for your business.
You don’t need any formal education to start and run an Etsy shop, but there are a lot of resources – both free and paid – that can teach you the ins and outs of running a successful business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a consultant or taking an online course. A little bit of guidance can go a long way.
It’s always nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of or help you troubleshoot when things go wrong. If you know anyone who’s already running a successful Etsy shop, see if they’re open to offering occasional advice or mentorship.
Start-Up Costs for a Digital Etsy Shop
So there you have it – a comprehensive list of the start-up costs associated with starting an Etsy shop. Keep in mind that this is just a guide and your actual costs may be higher or lower depending on your specific business.
One last thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to make all of these investments upfront. Start with the basics and invest in luxuries as you go. The most important thing is to just get started and learn as you go. Good luck!