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I know it sounds too good to be true, but you can start your own business today for less than five bucks.. Take a second to hear me out. I’m going to give you a link to start an Etsy store and you automatically get 40 free Etsy Listings!

That means you can list forty items for sale without paying the $0.20 listing fee on any of them. I’m going to show you exactly how to get your inventory.

With this tutorial you’ll learn how to set up your Etsy Shop, how to take photos, and how to list your first product on Etsy! Ready? First grab your free listings.

how to start a business for just 5 dollars


How To Start A Business For Under Five Bucks

Believe it or not, starting your own business for $4.00 is actually doable. Anyone can do it, and it’s real easy to do! I know a lot of people who have done this, some of which sell thousands of dollars of products each month and make a living doing so!

You’ll have to put the time and work into getting things going, but there are not many opportunities out there where you can become your own boss and own your own business for less than a $5 start up cost!


40 free etsy listings

40 Free Etsy Listings

Click here to get your 40 free Etsy listings. Once you sign up, confirm your email and come back here to finish the walk through. Don’t worry, the free listings don’t expire, so you can sign up now even if you’re going to wait a week, two, or a few months even before listing your first product. Go sign up, and get the ball rolling – it’ll help you hold yourself accountable!

Don’t forget to verify your email address and all that good stuff!

When you set up your shop, think of something fun, easy to remember, and catchy for your Shop Name. It doesn’t need to be niche specific, though it can be. It could include your name — Etsy shoppers love dealing with people! ie. “Barbara’s Boutique” – easy to remember and personable.

40 free etsy listings

What To Sell

Next you’ll need to figure out what you’re going to sell. Vintage and cool clothing are very good sellers on Etsy. Scarves, shirts, dresses etc… So, I suggest with that four bucks, head to the thrift store and hit the 10 cent racks.

That’s going to give you 40 items to sell (well, maybe a little less if your state has a sales tax.) But 40-ish items and remember, you just got 40 free Etsy listings too!

You don’t need to get 40 items on your first shopping run, but you do want to post a new product on Etsy every. single. day. This will help rank your store better as “active” so it doesn’t become stale in the Etsy algorithm.

Anyway, go to the thrift store and choose a niche. Browse the vintage clothing, shoes, DVDs, Books – whatever is inexpensive and looks like high price item – that’s why I say vintage clothing.

Whatever item niche you choose, stick to it! And whatever you choose, it must be vintage – otherwise it must be made by you, or unique, per etsy rules.

Setting Up Your Etsy Store with 40 Free Etsy Listings

Next, it is time to set up your store. Make sure you sign up through my link here to make sure you get your 40 free listings!

Now that you’ve been to the thrift store and selected your niche – it’s time to get rocking!

Log into your Etsy account.

Go into the Shop Manager > Settings > About Your Shop

Shop Owner

A little write up about you and your love for vintage clothing, or whatever products you’ll be selling.

Shop Owner Story

Tell your journey. Talk about your family, life, kids, pets, cars, but continually highlight your long lasting love for whatever product you’re selling! (keywords!)

Shop Manager > Settings > Info & Appearance

Shop Photo

Your shop photo should represent what you sell, or be a logo that you make on your computer. For now, you can head over to a free stock image site like Pixabay and snag a free pic to use for your shop photo and banner.

Shop Banner

This is where you’ll choose your header photo of your Shop. It should be well stylized and show off what you sell. Again, you can grab a stock photo from Pixabay just to get your store set up, until you have photos of your own to use.

You will need to crop the image (use Paint or whatever program your computer has) to crop the image for the head to 760px by 100px.

Shop Announcement

This is where you talk about what you’re selling. Get your keywords in here, like vintage tee shirts, vintage jeans, vintage clothing, vintage shoes…etc..

Make sure your keywords are all work into your shop announcement and structured into sentence and paragraph format so it’s easy to read.

Message To Buyers

This is a message that is sent to buyers after they make a purchase. Thank them for their purchase, tell them you’re shipping it right away and ask them to leave you a great review once they receive the item.

And that’s basically it for setting up your shop. Now that your shop is ready to roll, let’s batch out your photos and get them ready to upload!

40 free etsy listings

Etsy Shop Product Photography

For your Etsy shop you want to take consistent photos. Doing so will give your shop an overall ‘feel’ of consistency and that’s great for sales.

Most big-time Esty sellers will have invested in a simple backdrop or use models for every photo. However, you don’t need to invest in anything.

Simply find a plain wall  near a window and use that as your backdrop. You want a simple, plain and non-distracting backdrop for your photos.

Once you’ve chosen a spot, set yourself up – stack all of your items on one side of the shooting area – then snap, snap, snap, snap – take a minimum of 4 photos for each product, but it’s best to fill all 10 photo slots.

You can add up to 10 photos on each Etsy listing. Go for all 10 if you can! For instance clothing – take a front and back photo, then more photos closer up of the sleeves, neckline, hems etc…

Alternatively, you can use a model – perhaps a friend or family member who’s very photogenic would want to model the clothing for you?

Models always show off clothes better than flat-lay photos. Plus, you can accessories them, people can imagine themselves wearing the clothes, too!

While you’re batching out your photos, write everything down! Get the brand, size, colors, note any imperfections etc… to include in your listing. You can even tag each piece with a piece of masking tape and a number so you can stay better organized.

There’s a place to put a “sku” in the back end of your Etsy listing for your reference – so you can find the item easily when it gets sold!

Once you batch out all of your photos, and have all the information written down, it’s time to list them!

How To List Products On Etsy

Ready to start using your 40 free Etsy listings? Again, you’ll log into your Etsy account and click on Shop Manager in the top right. Then click on Listings. Find the “Add A Listing” button with a plus (+) sign on it — it’ll also tell you how many free listings you have right there!

Did you sign up for Etsy and get your FORTY FREE LISTINGS YET? <<< CLICK to get them! 🙂

Now you’re on the product listing page it’s time to fill in all the information and upload your photos.

Upload your photos to Etsy

Etsy allows you to upload 10 product photos per product. Remember when we batched out the products, now it’s time to choose the 10 best photos for your first product. Upload the 10 best photos for this product onto the listing page.

The “Primary” photo will be the featured image that shows up on the main Etsy search pages. It’s the photo that customers will see first. It’s important that this photo shows what the product is, but it close enough for people to see details of the product as well. You can adjust the photo zoom by using the “Adjust Thumbnail” feature in the photo editing area.

Now that you have all 10 photo slots filled with well lit, beautifully styled photos of your product, you’ll be entering your listing details.

Etsy vintage store ideas and free listings

Listing Details

Your product title should include some of your keywords and describe the product. If it’s a t-shirt, make sure to call that out in the title. For instance “Funny Shirt for Nurses”.

About this listing, category, primary color, secondary color are the next to complete. Choose the correct options to match your item. After that, you’ll see Renewal Options – each Etsy listing is good for 4 months. I always select Automatic Renewal, but that’s your call. Type, physical or digital – if you’re selling clothing it’s obviously a physical item. If you’re selling a digital file, this is where you’d select that option.

Description. This is the next major step in listing your product. Fill out the product description area with as many details about the piece as you can. Include things like size, material, fit, colors, style, and of course sprinkle in your keywords throughout your description. Make sure your keywords are in the first couple of lines – this is what Google search engines pull from when your listing shows up on Google search.

Section. Here you can create different sections for your listings. These will show up as clickable to shoppers. For instance, if you have a variety of clothing you may want to create different sections. Perhaps “Shirts”, “Pants”, “Dresses”, Shoes” etc…

Tags. Etsy allows us to use 13 tags for each product. Your keywords should be some of them. The rest also need to be filled in. Use words that shoppers might search when looking for items like yours – be short, descriptive, and not repetitive in this area. No need to say “shirt” 12 times.

Materials. You can likely pull this off the tag from the item you’re selling. List all the materials the item is made from so people know what they’re buying.

Inventory and Pricing

Price. Select a price for your item. You want to include free shipping, because this day and age – free shipping is expected by most customers. So building the shipping cost into the item price is necessary. If you need help calculating estimated shipping costs, jump to the bottom of the page and fill out the shipping information. However, I always use Flat Rate 1-3 Day Priority shipping. This way I know the exact cost of the shipping before calculating at all (see Shipping section below!) I also suggest you start with shipping to the USA only as well.

Quantity. You’ll likely only have one of each item. However, if you have more than one piece of the same item this is where you’d list how many you have. It will allow buyers to purchase more than one, or allow more than one buyer to purchase the item. Also, the item won’t be sold out when one person purchases it, if there is more than one available.

SKU. Remember those handy dandy masking tape numbers we added to each piece as we photographed them? This is where you’d enter that number. It doesn’t show up to the customer, but it does help you identify and locate the items when they sell.

Variations. This is if you have the same exact item but offered in different colors or finishes. For instance, I have one Etsy store where I sell gift pens. Sometimes I offer the same wood with different accent colors.


Etsy has enacted a new policy where people who offer free shipping to customers within the USA get ranked higher in the customer search queries. Therefore, you want to offer free shipping to all customers. Like we said before, just build the cost of shipping into the price of the item.

I try to ALWAYS ship Flat Rate 1-4 day Priority. This way I know the shipping cost to me up front, and my customers get their products SUPER FAST! Plus, it’s easy to calculate the cost of the items when I know exactly how much it will cost to mail. You can find updated Flat Rate shipping prices on the USPS website.

However, USPS has different categories for different items. For instance, books can go media mail, and items under 1 pound can go first class.

Etsy has “calculated shipping” to help you set up shipping costs, and there is a learning curve to this. So be patient and learn all the ins and outs.

No out-of-pocket shipping costs. You don’t need cash on hand to ship the items. Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes are available for free at your post office and you can use the funds paid by the customer into your Etsy account to pay for the shipping label.

Simply select the get shipping label option within Etsy, fill out the box or envelope size and weight and which class you want to send it, and print your shipping labels at home. Tape them to the envelope or box and you’re all set to send the item to your customer!

One thing I do recommend is a scale like any of these on Amazon.

Publish Your Etsy Product

Once you set your free shipping, you’re ready to hit publish! See how easy that was? You’ve published your first Etsy item and are ready to publish more! Get those listings up, list a product every day and keep the ball rolling!

40 free etsy listings

Advertise Your 40 Free Etsy Listings – Products

You don’t need paid advertising for your Etsy Shop. You’ve already got 40 free Etsy listings – why pay to advertise them? Further down the road when you’re selling like a mad-person, you may want to bump your sales a bit with some advertising. But, for now, let’s go the free route.

Advertise your Etsy listings on your social media accounts. Share with your friends, to your family, and get everyone talking about your new Etsy store! Word of mouth is the best advertising (remember we made your shop name easy and memorable?). Not all advertising costs money!

Get people talking and sharing your stuff on social media. Find Facebook groups that align with your niche, promote your Etsy products in forums, chats, and other places your ideal customer may be hanging out. Buyers will soon follow…

40 free etsy listings

What Are The Etsy Fees

Etsy fee breakdown. The Etsy fees are really quite simple. to run an Etsy shop, you need to know the fees.


  • 8% of your the item(s) total paid by the purchaser.
    • This includes both the 5% transaction fee and 3% Payment processing fee
  • $0.45 (45 cents) This is payment transaction fee of $0.25 and Listing fee of $0.20.
    • Get your 40 free listings (worth 0.20 each by clicking the link below to open a shop today!
  • Offsite ads. Only when a product is sold through an Offsite add, a charge of 15% will take place of the 8% charge. For those that make over 10k/year, the fee is 12%. You will see it marked as Offside Ad in your dashboard when it is charged as such.

So overall, the fees are 8% + $0.45 if the total price paid by the customer. This price includes the item and the cost of shipping (if not included in the sales price).

Example: $10 + $4 shipping

$14 x .08 = $1.12
$1.12 + 0.45 = $1.57
$1.57 are the total Etsy fees.

Other fees that you will see that can be confusing.

  • Shipping Labels. These are not fees. You can purchase shipping labels though Etsy, which is less expensive than going to the post office. This will come out of the sales income as another line item. Alternatively, you can purchase shipping labels elsewhere and you will not see a cost of shipping label line in your Etsy dashboard.
  • Sales tax. Etsy does collect and remit sales tax for most States. The sales tax will be collected and paid to the States as necessary. If you live in a state where Etsy doesn’t collect sales tax, you should keep this in mind so you can remit sales taxes if need be.
  • Advertising. Aside from Offsite Ads (see below), you can opt to spend money advertising your products on Etsy. Advertising fees will come out of your running total on a daily basis, but are not fees. It is money you are choosing to spend advertising your products.


Free Shipping Over $35

Now you can offer free shipping over thirty five dollars with a click of a button. This will not only help you make more sales, Etsy says they will show your listings first over similar listings that do not offer free shipping over thirty five dollars.

Offsite Ads

Offsite ads are new to Etsy! These are advertisements that Etsy will place of your items across a variety of channels including Google, other search engines, Social Media, and even on different Websites.

The cost for Offsite Ads is 15% of your total price for that sale. You can turn off the offsite ads within your Etsy dashboard.

However, if you make over $10,000 in sales in 12 months, the fee for Offsite Ads drops to 12%, but you cannot opt out.

I don’t suggest opting out, especially if you’re making money. Ad sales lead to better organic ranking and more sales in the long-term! The more you sell, the more valuable you are to Etsy, and the higher they rank your products.

How To Start Your Own Business For Under Five Bucks

Congratulations! You’re a business owner! You just started your own business for 4 dollars!

You’ve created a free Etsy Shop, got 40 FREE Etsy LISTINGS << right?! and added your first product!

It’s time to rinse and repeat. Add at least 20 products and continue adding products every single day! This will help your store rank better in the Etsy algorithm. Doing so will also keep your store updated with new inventory! A win-win- for you and your customer base.

I think that is all for the nitty gritty! Please let me know if you have any questions. Grab your 40 free listings below and get started!

40 free etsy listings