So you got your first Etsy order. Yay! You made a sale, doesn’t that feel awesome?

Most people would say that this is the best news this week, right?

They would congratulate you and expect you to be thrilled.

But only an experienced Etsy seller would understand that this is equally stressful and exciting time.

One of the biggest milestones in your handmade career is one of the most stressful and anxiety-filled moments of all.

Did the customer pay? Can I ship? What if the customer asked for a refund?

Hundreds of questions might be filling the creative space in your head.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! And you’re not going to get through this by staring at the invoice. We are gong to get through it together, and everyone will be happy.

Let’s make sure that you know what to do when you get your first Etsy order so you have delighted customers and enjoy the cash you earned with your creative bliss.

Check if order is paid

You got an order but you don’t see any $$ in your account. Did the customer pay? Well, most probably they did, but to make sure, navigate to the order invoice. Click here to go to your orders’ page.

Then make sure the order you got is marked as Paid. It should look like that:

Direct checkout



paid by paypal

Other: if you have enabled “Other” payment methods, you should most probably get in touch with your buyer to arrange payment.

Etsy will let you know in the sale notification if the order has been paid with an e-check and you need to wait for clearance. It might take a few days, be patient. Do not ship unless the order has been marked as paid.

Prepare order

Well, that’s the fun part, isn’t it? make sure you prepare the order according to the customer’s specification paying attention to any requests in the message to seller (all the way on the bottom of the invoice, if any), size, color, etc.

I always like to add a small gift for my buyers like stickers or small paper origami.

Prepare packaging

Good packaging has several benefits:

  • helps you brand your store;
  • makes the experience unforgettable;
  • helps customers remember your shop;
  • helps you connect with customers;
  • helps you get new social media followers;
  • keeps the product safe.

Make sure you use packaging not only to wrap, but to secure and brand your product. Business cards, thank-you notes, other branding materials, your story, brochures, catalogues, everything goes.

Tip: Learn from the big brands! How does your favorite brand deliver their products?

Print shipping labels (if needed)

If you’re using shipping labels, print them out. it’s a good idea to also print your address, the customer’s address and two copies of the invoice, one for your records, and one for the customers.

I prefer not to, because of all the paper waste, but many Etsy sellers send paper invoices as well.

Ship with tracking if possible

When you ship your items for the first time, ask the post office clerk to explain how you can ship with a tracking number.

This helps you:

  • stay on top of your orders;
  • communicate with clients;
  • track lost orders;
  • resolve cases on Etsy;
  • make your customer feel safe;
  • guarantee faster delivery.

Send a shipping notification to your customer

After you’ve sent your item, mark it as shipped on Etsy.

No matter if you’re using a tracking code or not, marking shipped improves your Etsy ranking and keeps the customer happy. You would like to know when the items you order get shipped, don’t you? Well, so do your customers.

Personally, I write a note for every buyer letting them know how much time shipping would take and thanking them for the purchase.

Click on “Mark as Shipped” in your Orders page.


Then this pop up will open.


Here you can communicate important details about the order, shipping time, special offers, tracking number, inspiration and gratitude.

BONUS: When do I get my money?

That’s the most important question bugging us all, right?

Don’t worry, Etsy will send it to your account in two weeks. For direct checkout purchases, Etsy makes payments bi-weekly, directly to the bank account you’ve specified on Etsy. If you need it sooner, you can always request Etsy to send it the next business day. You have to do that manually via Dashboard.


That’s it, you’re set!

You got and shipped your first Etsy order.

A few tips to streamline the process:

Print your address / get a stamp. I ordered a stamp with my address and this has helped me streamline shipping. Instead of wasting paper printing or time – writing, I just stamp the envelopes now.

Print customer address. Here’s where printing comes in handy if you have a printer at home. It saves you a lot of time and looks more professional. I’m still to invest in a printer, so all my envelopes are hand-written.

Prepare your packaging in advance. This tip is always work in progress because I always test new ideas for packaging but buying paper boxes and bags in bulk, cutting twine and sorting cards and freebies in advance saves me time and helps me organize my branding.

Get tracking stickers in advance. If you’re not printing shipping labels but you can get the tracking number stickers from your local post office in advance, that also saves you a lot of time and allows you to save shipping notifications from home, easily. It also saves you a lot of frustration at the post office!

Make friends with the postman 🙂 Well, this is my favorite. The relationship I’ve developed with my post guys over the years has been an added bonus to having an Etsy business. They’re fun and do everything to support me and come in really handy when an order is delayed or lost. And that’s why they get my famous vegan bonbons once a month.

Keep creating,


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