How To Sell Excel Spreadsheets On Etsy (Step-By-Step Guide)

Selling excel spreadsheet templates on Etsy is just like running any e-commerce store, except there are no shipping fees or shipping times, which is a big plus.

The best part? There are absolutely no inventory or stock requirements, and completely free to start your own store.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to help you start selling excel spreadsheets on Etsy. We’ll walk you through from

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How To Sell Excel Spreadsheets On Etsy

Step 1: Figure out the type of Excel spreadsheet you’re selling

As easy as it sounds, figuring out the type of spreadsheet you plan to make needs market research and understanding your target audience.

For a successful spreadsheet to sell, it needs to have a few things, such as:

  1. It needs to solve a customer’s problem or make their lives easier.
  2. Your spreadsheet needs to be user-friendly if it is too complex to use. There’s going to be a bombardment of customers asking for help, some may ask for a refund.
  3. lastly, the spreadsheet needs to be unique.

What I like to do is just hop on Etsy and browse around the spreadsheets that are selling, then I would check the photos and functions of what the spreadsheet does.

Once you’ve found a perfect project, you need to reflect if you can make a better spreadsheet for a more affordable price.

It is all about contrasting to see what functions other sellers are missing and what parts you think you can improve.

Then you would implement those ideas and put them in your new spreadsheet project.

If you need more excel project ideas, then we recommend reading our article “31+ Fun Excel Project Ideas (From Beginner To Advanced)“.

Step 2: Make your Excel Spreadsheet

Although I can’t show you exactly how to make an excel spreadsheet.

But I’ll show you an example of what a spreadsheet should look like.

Below I have attached a Google spreadsheet template that I made to sell on Etsy.

This same concept applies to Excel spreadsheet templates.

example of excel spreadsheet etsy

Here are a couple of things that were added to make the spreadsheet easier to use:

How To Section: The “How To Section” briefly explains parts of the spreadsheet that can be modified. This makes it easier for customers to understand how the spreadsheet works.

Highlighted Input Cells: Cells that require user input are highlighted in pink. This helps users identify where they can input their values.

Bolded headers: Bolded headers help users identify unique attributes from each column.

Consistent Data Attributes: Data attributes are symbols that uniquely identify data. For instance, if your spreadsheet has AUD currency, you want to use the Australian currency ($) next to the values.

Consistent Color Schemes: Using consistent colors helps with ease of navigation, if there are too many colors within a spreadsheet, it might intimidate customers.

Step 3: Protect your spreadsheet from stealers

Now that you’ve created the spreadsheet, you want to protect it from potential stealers or scammers.

One way to do that is by creating a “Disclaimer and Policy” spreadsheet.

The disclaimer and policy spreadsheet is a way to let customers know the spreadsheet’s limit or scope of its liability to users. These statements disclaim things, such as liability, errors, omissions, mistakes, or viruses that a customer or visitor may encounter.

Most importantly it warns users of the potential legality when they attempt to share the spreadsheet with others.

To generate a disclaimer there are many resources online such as disclaimergenerator.net.

Note: This is not legal advice. It is just merely a statement advising the potential buyers of the rules of using your excel spreadsheet.

Protect excel spreadsheet from scammers

Once you created your disclaimer and policy spreadsheet, you want to protect it from being edited or removed.

If you’re using google sheets, they have an option called “Protect Sheet”.

The protect sheet option allows you to warn users who attempt to delete or modify the “disclaimer and policy” spreadsheet.

Step 4: Create marketing materials

One way to create marketing materials is by using Canva.

Canva is a free platform online where you can edit photos. pretty much everyone that runs an eCommerce shop uses them to edit photos.

Below I have created a few samples of what your spreadsheet marketing materials should look like, now I am not an artistic person, but your spreadsheet just needs to communicate to your prospects what your spreadsheet does, and why it is better than your competitors.

Although there are many creative alternatives you can include when making the marketing material, the most important aspect is you want to make it as attractive as possible and highlight the key functions.

Here is what we recommend when making your marketing materials:

Thumbnail: The Thumbnail is the first thing customers will see in your spreadsheet listing. You want to include things such as the spreadsheet name, functionality, and snapshot of the spreadsheet itself. Take a look at our one above for reference.

What’s Included section: The what’s included section basically tells customers what unique features and functions your spreadsheet offers. In my case, I highlighted the statistical and analytical functions of the spreadsheet.

Explanation of the functions: You want to include some images to explain the functionalities of your spreadsheet, this reduces the “uncertainty” that customers may face.

Step 5: Record a short video of your spreadsheet

Etsy allows users to record a short video of 10 – 15 seconds of your product. it’s highly recommended to include videos in your listings, so it’ll capture how your spreadsheet works.

To record a video of your spreadsheet, you want to just make a short screen capture of what your spreadsheet does, nothing too fancy.

It’s just a short video of yourself using the spreadsheet.

It should look something like the gif below, basically, we are showing exactly where the inputs are required and how the spreadsheet reacts once an input is included.

Record a short video of your excel spreadsheet for etsy

Step 6: Make your certificate of purchase

If you’re planning to upload an excel spreadsheet, this step can be skipped.

Basically, a certificate of the purchase is a pdf file that contains a hyperlink to your digital product. This is required if you are planning to sell google spreadsheets.

Etsy does allow you to sell digital products, but the issue is, they only allow file uploads. They clearly state this on their article “How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy”.

To solve this issue, you need to create a “Certificate of Purchase”, which is a file that contains a hyperlinked button for a customer to click to access your google spreadsheet.

So, once a client purchases your spreadsheet on Etsy, they are given a pdf file which gives access to the google spreadsheet.

For my certificate of transaction, it basically confirms to the seller they have successfully purchased the spreadsheet.

The certificate of the transaction should look something like the image below.

certificate of purchase etsy

The “Start” button contains a hyperlink, once the client clicks on the button, it directly opens to the portfolio tracker spreadsheet.

To get a hyperlink to your spreadsheet, you want to click on “Share” then make a copy link of your spreadsheet.

Note: You need to make your spreadsheet a “View Only” so the spreadsheet can not be edited by customers.

private your etsy spreadsheet

Step 7: Make an awesome descrption to sell your Excel Spreadsheet

The best way to really write a good description is just to browse through Etsy’s sellers and see how the pros are doing it.

But, here’s how you should structure your description.

Introduction: Explain shortly what your spreadsheet does. The positives of the spreadsheet, and why should buyers purchase the spreadsheet.

Body: Explain how the spreadsheet works.

What will you get: In this section, you want to clearly identify what the customers will receive once they purchase your spreadsheet. For the google sheet’s case, they’ll receive a certificate of transaction. So, you want to say something like this:

⚠️PLEASE NOTE: the dashboard spreadsheet is shared through a link via Google Sheets. When you check out, you will receive a PDF with instructions and a link to the spreadsheet.

Disclaimer and Requirements: In this part, you’ll let the customer know that there is no change of mind and each refund will be based on a case-by-case basis.

This is to avoid serial refunders who attempt to copy your spreadsheet.

Step 8: Create your Etsy Store To Sell your Excel Spreadsheet

If you’d like an in-depth explanation, Etsy’s article How to Open an Etsy Shop explains it pretty well.

⭐If you like to learn how to make a successful Etsy store online, then we recommend you sign up for a FREE trial on Skillshare’s Online Etsy Classes!

To create your Etsy store, you need to go on their Etsy shop page.

Then click on “Open your Etsy Shop”.

Create your etsy spreadsheet store

Shop preferences

Next, you will have to enter the shop language, shop country, and shop currency.

We recommend leaving the language to English.

Enter your spreadsheet shop preferences

Name your shop

To name your store, you want to create a name that is unique and descriptive to something relating to spreadsheets.

It doesn’t really matter as much, but it’s good for brand image.

If you’re having trouble finding a name then try using a free business name generator like Namium.

Make a name on your spreadsheet etsy store

Stock your shop

Now, you are going to list your first spreadsheet, this is the part where we want to upload all our spreadsheet photos and videos.

When you’re finished it should look something like below.

Stock your shop excel spreadsheet etsy

Listing details

The listing details section is the part where you need to start describing your excel spreadsheet, basically, this part is what determines where your excel spreadsheet is found on Etsy.

Title: The title needs to contain keywords that you want your spreadsheet to rank for. For instance, if you like to rank for “portfolio”, you want to say something like this Automatic Stock Portfolio Tracker Google Sheet template.

About this listing: This section doesn’t really matter as much, I would leave it at the default of:

  • Maker: “I did”
  • Use: “A finished Product”
  • Year: “2020 – 2021”

Category: The category is what helps users find your product, if you search for “excel” the category will prefill to “templates”.

Primary color, Secondary color, Occasion, Celebration (Optional): These options are completely optional and don’t really affect your listing. This is only useful for physical products. I would leave it empty.

Renewal Options: The renewal option is how Etsy charges your listings. Each time you list on Etsy it costs $0.20USD. If you leave it to “automatic” Etsy will automatically charge you each time they re-list your excel spreadsheet. So, I would leave this to manual renewal.

Type: As we are selling a digital product, the type would just be “digital”.

Description: Now, this part is where we describe our spreadsheet, we have already completed this in the previous step, of “creating your spreadsheet description”. So you can just copy your previous description in the description section.

Production Partners: A production partner is someone who helps you in making the spreadsheet, as this is your own store most likely you would just leave it blank.

Section: The section is basically the part where it separates your spreadsheets from other spreadsheets in your store. For instance, if your spreadsheet is used in accounting, you would name the section “Accounting”. We normally leave this blank, as it is not as important.

Tags: Tags are an important way to categorize your spreadsheet, the best way is to find the most appropriate tags is to go on your competitors and see what type of tags they are using.

Materials: The materials section isn’t as important as we are selling a digital product. So, we would leave this part blank.

Inventory and Pricing

The inventory and pricing section is the part where we want to enter the price of our spreadsheets and how many spreadsheets we have in stock.

Price

To identify your spreadsheet price you want to check on Etsy to see how much your competitors are selling the spreadsheet for. A good rule of thumb is to price your spreadsheet somewhere in the middle or lower than your competitors.

You can increase your prices once the spreadsheet becomes popular.

Quantity

The quantity is how much digital products you plan to sell, it doesn’t really matter how much you put in as it is a digital product. But a number between 1 – 999 should be fine.

Etsy has a listing price of $0.20USD and also a $0.20 fee whenever you have a sale, so it’s best to keep that in mind.

They have a great explanation of the listing fees in their article here.

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

Stock keeping unit is an option that Etsy features for sellers, this is not important for us as we are selling a digital product. Basically stock keeping unit is a way for sellers to identify how much stock they have of a particular item physically.

You can learn more about it here.

But as a beginner, we can just leave this empty, as it is not important for us.

Personalisation

The personalization section is the part where Etsy allows customized options for clients.

Personalization helps buyers let you know what they want to be personalized on an item.

I normally leave this off, but if you plan to make customized designs then you can leave it open.

Digital files

This part is where we upload our certificate of purchase or in your case the excel spreadsheet.

So once a customer has purchased your spreadsheet, they are automatically given this digital file.

Step 9: Setting up how you’ll get paid

setting up how you'll get paid on your excel spreadsheet

In this step, you’ll set up your personal details such as name, residence address, and so forth.

It’s important that you fill in your details as accurately as possible so Etsy can data match your details with other services.

If for some reason Etsy can not identify you properly, it may cause an error such as “unable to find details”.

This is where you need to contact Etsy and supply some valid documents such as a passport that matches your name on the parts you filled.

Step 10: Enter your billing details

Finally, the last step.

In this part you’ll want to enter your payment details so Etsy can pay you directly if you make a sale, they’ll also charge you automatically if there are any fees involved such as the listing fee of $0.20USD, so keep that in mind if you see any transactions of your bank account from Etsy.

How much do people make selling excel spreadsheet templates on Etsy?

Let’s actually take a look at how the sellers are doing on Etsy.

If you do a simple search, there are quite a few spreadsheet stores that are making great sales.

For example, take a look at the first one “frankytemplatedesign” and calculate how much income they made selling their “easy bookkeeping spreadsheet”.

If you times the amount of rating (374) by the cost per spreadsheet ($27.36).

They actually made at least $10,232 AUD on that spreadsheet alone!

If you ask me, that sounds pretty good for a couple of hours of work.

But that doesn’t mean you can just create a quick spreadsheet and expect sales.

Rather, it’s in the value of the spreadsheet and the problem it solves, and good marketing techniques.

That is why in this article, I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide to everything you need to know to make an excel spreadsheet store on Etsy.

I’m going to go through how to create an Etsy account all the way to how to list your spreadsheets and properly protect your spreadsheets from copyright.

If you are not sure whether you can sell spreadsheets online, we recommend to read our article “Can You Sell Excel Spreadsheet Templates?“.

Conclusion: Selling Excel Spreadsheet Templates on Etsy

In this article, we went through how you can sell excel spreadsheets and also google spreadsheet templates on Etsy.

Follow these steps above, so you can properly make a successful spreadsheet to sell on Etsy.

⭐If you like to learn how to make a successful Etsy store online, then we recommend you sign up for a FREE trial on Skillshare’s Online Etsy Classes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you allowed to sell Excel or Google Spreadsheets?

Although, we are not legal experts from what we have discovered by searching on Microsoft and Google. They allow you to sell your home-made spreadsheets only if it is made by using a “legitimate, licensed Microsoft software.”

If you would like to know more, we suggest reading our article “Can You Sell Excel Spreadsheet Templates?