Etsy shop questions, making a business?

Hello all! I eventually down the line want to sell cosplay stuff, but am unsure of the business side of things, registering with the government or shipping physical items, mostly through Etsy as I already have a store there and would feel comfortable branching it out from there.

I’m curious about what others have done/what is needed, and would like tips/advice/ whatever!

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There’s kinda two separate questions in here. The registering a business thing is pretty straightforward, I did that last year and can help you. It costs about $50 as I recall, you might need to register for gst too - don’t know about pst as I only sell my labour.

My neighbour does etsy a lot (random plug ToddWoffindenCarver - Etsy Canada). The real problem in Canada is shipping. His stuff is small so it ships cheaply (especially to the US with small packet pricing) but most things cost a lot to ship. I would start with Canada Post etc. and see if the cost of shipping is something you think people will pay. Watch out for volumetric weight too (pricing based on size not actual weight).

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Hmmm good to know. I know I have a business registered, I just dunno how to register for anything else or what would be needed… Still, this information certainly helps!

I guess it’s just hard to find out what I need to do to properly do this, and there’s no clear information or I’m getting inconsistent information - it’s allowed, it’s not allowed, it’s allowed with paperwork, I get so confused

Would it be ok to ask him about some of the information I would need to know? By email or would he prefer I talk through you or something? I just think he may have the most accurate information I can get

No personal experience here, but I believe Canada Post has much better rates / a decent discount for small businesses. Keep that in mind when you’re pricing stuff out.

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I saw this service advertised - no idea if they’re any good or not, but they claim to have cheaper rates than Canada Post.

Yeah, I also saw Stallion Express

So in general, there’s definitely options!

This might be specific to the packages I’m sending, but for shipping my small-ish package to the USA, both those services were more expensive than canada post with the small business discount (just requires signing up, very easy to get).

What caused it to be more expensive?

Not sure, I only compared the one package size/weight combo that i’ve been sending. I was just saying that i don’t know if my situation applies to all other package sizes/weights, just the one i care about. :slight_smile:

If it’d be helpful, and you know your package size/weight, i can punch it into canada post and tell you what the price with discount is. Dm me on slack if you want me to.

Well I don’t have a package right now, but I’ll most likely let you know in the future!

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Do you also have an Etsy I could look at, perhaps?

I’m selling via my own website:

Etsy didn’t seem like a great fit for what I wanted to do. Tindie is a better fit, and I considered it as a starting place, but in the end I decided to skip ahead to making my own website. Imo it was worth it for what I’m doing, but might not be for plenty of other businesses - it was a lot of work!


I was definetly considering making my own site yeah, even if it would be a lot of work. Thank you for sending this to me!

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chitchats is the best for small packets between lettermail to parcel size! I believe their $4 flat fee for that category is the best currently for tracked service.

I have a small Etsy shop, about 20 listings, everything around $6 with “free shipping” aka the $1 stamp included in the price. For $2 I believe you can lettermail items up to 2cm thick and 500g?
Ppl are leaving Etsy because of the fees but I owe most of my customers due to their traffic and marketing :woman_shrugging: its beneficial when starting out; with the cheapest upfront cost of 20cents/listing.

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Thank you for the response! I very much appreciate it!
I actually have some other questions I’d love to ask you, like labels for shipping and stuff - do you have a printer at home you use for it? Do I need to get a special printer for my labels?
I’ve also heard chitchat to have a few problems, like packages not being delivered at all, so I’m a bit hesitant to use it I admit… But I do like that their locations are easier for me to get to.

I agree with the view point on Etsy - I agree the fees are ridiculous, but the marketing they do and the user base already on etsy makes it much easier to get started.

Whats your etsy, if I may ask?

Anytime :slight_smile:
So far I only have maybe 5 orders a week so I just handwrite the shipping addresses. Peeked into those Avery labels amd it was surprisingly a setup nightmare, for me at least.
I think the cheapest and simplest option is one of those cutesy pocket thermal roll printers.

Canada Post has dropped the ball on maybe 1% of my packets, cant prove it. But ppl are pleasantly surprised at the speed. I think speed of delivery or speed of which you refund shipping is more important than actual delivery :woman_shrugging: at least if its going to keep you up at night


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Thank you again for your input - this means a lot to me to hear from someone who does this already! Waves a lot of my concerns that I’ve had!

anytime :slight_smile:
can’t wait to see your stuff!

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