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Etsy Shopping List - What You Need Before You Open Your Etsy Shop

This post contains affiliate links.
So, if you've decided to open an Etsy shop there are a few things you'll definitely need before that first sale!

So grab a shopping basket and let's go shopping!

(If you're undecided and you haven't read {Is Etsy Right For You?} and {Etsy vs. eBay} then definitely take the time to read those posts, I think they'll help you decide).

To avoid a last minute panic when you get your first sale there are a few things you'll need.

I'll share what I use and some links for optional places to purchase these.

A scale - You will need a digital scale to weigh your packages. You will use this to print your shipping labels. Even if you aren't planning to print your own postage you'll still need to know how much it weighs so you can charge the correct shipping amount for your customers.

While it is perfectly acceptable to refund excess shipping to your customer if you are off with your quote it is never ok to ask them to pay more after they've made a purchase.

This is the scale I purchased for my mom for Christmas last year. She says she's very happy with it!

This is the scale that I use. It's always spot on with the scales at the post office.

Shipping Boxes and Envelopes - I use the free Priority Mail boxes from the post office and recycled boxes that are given to me or that I've received things in.

Here is where you can order free shipping supplies from USPS: {Free Shipping Supplies}

And Amazon has a lot of boxes that are pretty inexpensive until you can find a source for recycled boxes (TIP: ask friends and family to save them for you!)


They also have envelopes:


Bubble Wrap and Peanuts - To wrap fragile items.


Packing Tape - I buy mine at the Dollar Store and sometimes Walmart has rolls for $1.

Amazon also has some that is only about .85 cents a roll!

And you'll definitely need a tape gun... save yourself the frustration of trying to find the end of the tape on the roll and cutting it with scissors.

Tissue Paper - I wrap everything I can in tissue paper and tie it with baker's twine. I'll show an example of my packaging a little bit further down in this post.


The next few items are not quite as important, you can get away without them if you want to.

Business Cards - I purchase my business cards at Vista Print and MOO.

Vista Print has some really cute cards that are very inexpensive or you can design your own! If you use {this link} we'll both get $10 off! These are the cards I ordered for my Etsy shop, Little Boho Cottage.

MOO has some really awesome cards and mini business cards too! They are a little bit more than Vista Print but they have quality products! Use {this link} and you'll get 10% off your order and I'll receive MOOlah to apply to my next order!

These are the cards I ordered from MOO for my Etsy shop, Little Vintage Cottage.

This is the back!

Extras - These are some things that I use to make my packages a little more special.

Here is a little example of how I wrap my packages like I promised!

Yesterday I sold this vintage sewing pattern. To package this item up I used a piece of yellow tissue paper, a paper doily, my stamp for my business, and some baker's twine (links for these items to follow).

First I wrap the pattern with the tissue paper like a present.

Then I stamped the little paper doily.

And used the baker's twine to tie around the wrapped pattern, tucking the stamped doily underneath.

Then I add a business card under the doily and clip it to the doily and twine with a color coordinated paper clip.

Since it's something that could be damaged by moisture I like to put it in a plastic bag for extra protection.

Then it goes into the manila envelope with my return address label and the shipping label I printed on Etsy! I blacked out the recipient's address to protect her privacy.

Here's where I purchased these supplies:

I purchased my stamp from Etsy shop, {Ass Pocket Productions}. They've got some great stamps and it was a pleasure to deal with them.

I purchase different colors of baker's twine, Kraft tags, and the paper doilies from Etsy shop, {The Package House}. They are also a pleasure to deal with and they always include a little freebie sample of some of their products with your purchase!

**Update - check out Melissa's comment below this post for some more sources for baker's twine. Thanks Melissa!!**

Sometimes if my item is oddly shaped I will use a stamped tag instead of the doily. With the tag I can tie it right to the item and then wrap it in tissue paper.

Amazon has some colored paper clips:

I purchased my return address labels and some matching round stickers from {Vista Print}.

Having your products coordinated is one very effective way to brand your shop. We'll talk more about branding later.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, it contains affiliate links. That just means that if you choose to make a purchase after clicking on one of the links above I will receive a small compensation for my efforts but it will not cost you any more :o]

I hope you'll subscribe and keep reading, I've got lots of posts in mind for Etsypedia!


  1. Can I make a suggestion of where to get baker's twine for CHEAP? Webstaurant has 4 colors for $8.89/roll. A roll is 3400yds! (http://www.webstaurantstore.com/search/baker's-twine.html). Another place called We Sell Coffee sells the same size rolls for $10.50/ea. They have 9 colors. (http://www.wesellcoffee.com/page79.html). Also, a great cheap place to get business cards is Got Print. :) Hope this helps!

  2. I hope beginners are reading this - excellent tips. I keep small pretties around to stick in each package for a present - bits of vintage ribbon, lace, buttons, tags - whatever goes with the purchase. Once you buy one of the rolls Melissa suggested, you will never need baker's twine again - I have used the same roll for five years! I include a printed packing slip which has my shop logo on it in case the package is torn apart in the mail. It has happened twice and the packing slip assured the purchase arrived at the buyer's address.

  3. Great info & helpful links! I like the way you wrapped your pattern. I need to take a little more time and remember to do that. I seem to wait till the last minute to get things ready to mail and don't take the time to make them pretty!