How to Sell Photos on Etsy: Tips and Tutorials for Amateurs

By Tata Rossi 4 days ago, Photography Tips

Are you a professional photographer looking to earn an extra bit of cash? Or an amateur who wants to turn your photography hobby into a money-making venture? If you have been thinking about opening an online shop to make money with your photography, then Etsy may be the right choice for you.

In this article, I will provide you with lots of useful tips on how to sell photos on Etsy to successfully nail your business. Let’s keep reading!

Why People Sell Photos on Etsy

The market has been glutted with a stack of amazing eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento. However, selling on marketplaces with great convenience and accessibility is also a great starting point for eCommerce beginners.

Founded in 2005, Etsy is a global marketplace that is home to a universe of handmade and vintage goods. With more than 80 million buyers worldwide, Etsy is one of the top go-to online markets for people to sell unique and creative works, including photos.

etsy interface

Similar to Big Cartel and Shopify, Etsy empowers its users to set up a customized online shop with full eCommerce capabilities. It provides you with simple and powerful tools to create your own business in minutes and manage it anywhere.

This creative marketplace is a community brimming with talented, independent creators and small businesses.

What Types of Photos You Can Sell on Etsy?

If you want to start your business, you should start with the basics. Thorough preparation with a clear business plan is the pinnacle of a successful Etsy shop. One of the most important steps is to decide on which types of photos to sell on Etsy. Basically, there are two primary photo formats that Etsy sellers gravitate towards in light of their popularity: physical photos and digital ones.

Selling Physical Photos on Etsy

First of all, you can consider selling physical prints in your Etsy shop which involves a considerable amount of preparation.

Finding a reliable printing and framing company that can create high-quality images in a suitable amount of time is the first and most essential step to successfully sell prints on Etsy. Besides, you’ll need to prepare your envelopes, packaging, and postage ready for the orders.

sell prints on etsy

In addition, you also have to pay attention to logistics and distribution. Actually, you can limit the countries to which you sell to, whether you want to sell domestically or internationally.

Selling Digital Photos on Etsy

Another viable and lower-cost option is to send your customers a digital file that can be downloaded and printed anywhere and anytime.

If you want to sell digital photos on Etsy, there exists a worst-case scenario where your photography work might be used for commercial purposes. Therefore, you should make it clear in your description what buyers are authorized to use your image for. If customers wish to use your work, you can request they credit your art or pay an additional fee.

sell digital photos on etsy

Plus, you can print your photos on a range of products such as mugs and blankets, or you can create photo books, whether they be eBooks or physical copies.

How to Sell Photos on Etsy: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Below, there is a step-by-step tutorial on how to sell photos on Etsy. It takes several seconds to register on the platform and then you can get right down to work.

STEP 1. Create an Account

etsy registration

First of all, you should provide your email address to create an Etsy account, or you can sign in using your Google/Facebook/Apple account. Then, click on “Sell on Etsy” and you will be guided through the Etsy shop creation process.

STEP 2. Provide Basic Information about Your Shop

etsy creating account

At this step, you have to provide some basic information, such as shop language, location, currency, etc. Then, think about a photography business name for your shop that represents your creative values. As Etsy allows you only one instant name change, any request for further change is subject to approval.

As you want to sell your photos on Etsy, including a word such as ‘photos’ or ‘prints’ in your shop name is a good point of departure. Then, you should set up your Etsy store under the “Arts & Collectibles” category in the “Photography” department. Voila, you have successfully created an online store on Etsy!

STEP 3. Customize Your Shop

To attract potential customers, you should pay attention to your shop’s appearance. Creating a short description for your Etsy store and featuring your most creative product photos are some useful recommendations. You can look through creative product photography ideas to get inspired by and present your products in a proper way.

Besides, you can consolidate your brand image by adding a cover and banner to your shop. Photo Like the window to your virtual store, a cover or banner can give your buyers a visualization of your style and what you are selling. It makes sense to use a free service full of customizable templates and designs that can serve as a basis for your catchy and personalized Etsy banner.

If your photos require professional processing, I recommend addressing our color correction service. We improve images in a quick way and always make sure they look perfect. If you don’t feel like adjusting shadows, WB, tones, and other photo parameters on your own, get in touch with FixThePhoto experts and we’ll take care of your images.

fixthephoto color correction fixthephoto color correction

To avoid potential conflict as well as make your Etsy shop more trustworthy and professional, you should set your shop policies, including policies for shipping, exchanges, returns, or payments.

Here are some tips from Etsy to manage your shop:

  • Use a store title as a slogan or tagline under your store name.
  • Read about Etsy’s Review system.
  • Use the Sell on Etsy app to easily manage your shop.
  • Put your store on Vacation mode when needed.

STEP 4. Stock Your Shop

Without a doubt, listing is the most important part of your selling process. Here, you need to pay attention to images, product description, categories, pricing, and shipping cost.

sell photographs on etsy

Unlike Etsy alternatives, Etsy doesn’t require its users to pay hundreds of dollars in monthly or yearly subscription fees. This marketplace charges you no setup cost but the listing and transaction fees. Currently, you have to pay $0.20 for each item listed in your Etsy shop and 5% of the price listed for an item purchased.

Therefore, you should choose your photos wisely and figure out how many photos you want to sell. Interestingly, Etsy allows you to upload a maximum of 10 photos per listing. Try to stock your shop with high-quality and vibrant images to stand out from other listings.

how to sell photos on etsy tutorial

In addition, it’s also very important to write a creative and informative description for each photo in your shop. There exist a series of drop-down menus that will position your listing within specific categories and sub-categories. So, make sure to select the attributes that best describe your products and photos.

sell stock photos on etsy registration process

One Etsy listing will expire after four months. Therefore, if it’s not sold within four months, you can renew the listing for $0.20.

Once all the details are out of the way, you then need to set a price. If you aren’t sure how to price your art and shipping costs, you can spend time analyzing the market and your competitors, or you can check out this article regarding 10 pricing strategy examples.

setting price to sell stock photos on etsy

Then, it’s time to set up a suitable payment method. You can choose from Etsy payments, PayPal, cheque, and others. Etsy Payments is not available in every country and charges you 3% + $0.25 for every transaction. Currently, Etsy payments support 21 different currencies. If you opt for PayPal, Etsy takes 5% per transaction. Besides, your customers can also pay for their orders using a cheque or other methods.

STEP 5. Promote Your Shop

In this digital age, photography marketing and promotion are crucial for driving visitors to your online shop. If you want to sell photos on Etsy, it is your own responsibility to market yourself to the potential customer base.

Fortunately, one cheap yet effective way is to perform Search Engine Optimization for Etsy to make your product easier to find. Thanks to a range of helpful tools and guide sections, you can easily understand the world of Digital Marketing and boost the SEO score of your Etsy shop.

Keywords, your shop title, shop sections, your item listing pages, and inbound links are 5 key factors that will directly affect your Etsy search engine optimization. Besides, adding relevant tags and choosing accurate attributes for your photos also help buyers find your items more easily in search results. As Etsy allows you to add up to 13 tags for each listing, you should try to include a variety of tags to optimize your photos.

how to sell your photos on etsy

To advertise your photos to reach more customers, you can make use of Etsy marketing. To set up an Etsy ads campaign, you only need to set your budget and choose which listings to advertise.

Last but not least, social media is also an effective means to boost your sales. Therefore, you should link your Etsy shop to social media accounts such as Facebook to easily share your photos and get more consumers.

Helpful Tips to Sell Photos on Etsy

You can easily get tips on running a successful shop in Etsy’s seller handbook and Support Center. Besides, you can also join the Etsy community and teams to network with sellers and shoppers around the world and find in-depth advice and tips on how to be successful.

using seller handbook on etsy

Above all, if you want to maximize your sales and profits, you need to make sure your products are unique and top-notch. As you sell photos on Etsy, you’d better read more Etsy product photography tips and techniques to enhance your skills.

Bonus Tools

adobe photoshop actions bonus tools

If you’re just learning how to sell photos online, you probably understood that you need to edit photos before sharing them on Etsy. The image editing process can become really tiring and time-consuming.

Usually, the number of photos you have to improve reaches several hundred. Fortunately, you can speed up image editing using Ps actions, suitable for main types of photography. They are designed for Photoshop CS 4-6 and Photoshop CC.