Are you an Etsy Seller that is looking to expand your shop and have your own website? If so, I highly recommend Shopify as the platform for your website – and I can help!
I’ve been a seller on Etsy since 2011. In 2016, I opened my ThirdShift Vintage shop on Shopify and have been selling there, in addition to selling on Etsy.
I enjoy the Shopify platform so much, I became a Shopify Partner and have been helping people get started there. (UPDATE: In addition to the information below, I have also created a separate website with more information on how to get started on Shopify. You can find that information at TheDrawingBoard3.com)
The 14-Day Free Trial or…
Most people that are new to Shopify use the 14-day free trial before opening their stores. That free trial is a great way to get started! But, what if you need more time to work on your shop? Or you aren’t sure you even want to commit to a store on Shopify? Or you are just curious to see what the Shopify platform is like? That’s where I can help! As a Shopify Partner, I can set you up with an UNLIMITED FREE TRIAL in my Partner development account. This way, you can work on your store until you’re ready to open your store – with no obligations!
What is Development Mode on Shopify?
Think of development mode as a “parking place” for your store. Instead of using a 14-day free trial, you set up your store in this parking place on Shopify. There is NO COST to you for getting started this way. There is NO time limit either – you can work on your store as long as you need while in development mode – it’s an unlimited free trial. There is also NO obligation to you. If you decide never to open your store, you don’t have to. Starting a store in development mode allows you to experience Shopify without commitment – there’s no risk to you, so there is nothing to lose!
How do I get started with a development store?
To get started with your store in development mode, all you have to do is fill out the form below and click SEND. I need the name that you want to call your Shopify store and your email address – that’s it. Once I set up your development account / unlimited free trial, you will receive an email invitation (from Shopify) to your store. You accept that invitation and you’re ready to go! It’s very quick and easy! You can begin importing your products, customizing your theme, setting up informational pages, etc.
What happens next?
IF at some point, you decide to open your Shopify store for business, at that time you would choose a Shopify plan with Shopify, such as the $29 a month Basic Plan, and then publish your store “live” to start accepting orders. When your store opens for business, it’s no longer in development mode – it’s a live, open, running store.
What’s in it for me?
You might wonder what do I get for helping you do this? If you decide to open your store, Shopify pays me a referral for each development store that actually opens. This referral is around $5. It’s not a lot of money, but I’m really doing this to help other Etsy shop owners get started on Shopify – the referral is just a bonus to me, and it helps me to pay for the help group I host.
When I first started on Shopify, I wish I had known someone with a developer account so I would have had more time to work on my store before going “live” – that’s why I’m offering to help you – to give you the opportunity that I didn’t have.
But wait! There’s more!
Yeah, I know – but I couldn’t resist that heading. As a Shopify Partner, I also lead a group on Slack for the shops that are in development mode through my Partner account. This forum provides tips and resources to help shops succeed with their Shopify stores. There is no cost for any of this. How cool is that!? 🙂
Ready to get started?
If you are ready to get started with your unlimited free trial, please fill out the form below and I will get you set up immediately (usually within minutes).
Have more questions?
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Additional Information About Development Mode
- While in development mode, I do not have access to your store (unless you want to give me access – which some people do when they need my help with something).
- Since I have no access to your store, no one (including me) can see your store or what you are working on. I am not involved in any way with you physically working on your store – I am just providing you the “parking space” so you can work on your store before opening it as a live, running store.
- In development mode, there are two things you cannot do: You cannot add apps to your store that you have to pay for, and you cannot accept orders. The reason for these two things is that in development mode, you are not connected to your bank account. Therefore you cannot be charged for anything (apps you have to pay for), nor can you accept deposits from sales. ALL other functions of setting up your store in Shopify are available, including free apps!
- I have unlimited space in my Partner account for an unlimited number of development stores. If you need more than one development store, I can certainly help you with that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I import all my Etsy products into Shopify?
Answer: Yes! You can export your Etsy products into a CSV file, make any necessary changes to that file, then upload it into Shopify. The CSV file will even import your photos into Shopify.
Question: Do I have to know programming to create a store on Shopify?
Question: Can I use the same PayPal account for both Etsy and for a Shopify store?
Asnwer: Absolutely! And that is probably your best option. You can set up a separate PayPal account as well, if you prefer that.
Question: I have seen links on the internet or in other teams on Etsy that provide a 20% discount for starting a Shopify store through that link. Can I use that 20% discount if I start my store in development mode through your Partner account?
Answer: No. Some Shopify Affiliates are able to offer the 20% discount for store fees. While I am a Shopify Partner, I am not an affiliate (affiliates are generally developers who have a business to develop stores on Shopify). Therefore, I am unable to offer any kind of a discount. However, you CAN get a 10% discount from Shopify, if you pay for a year in advance, or a 20% discount if you pay for two years in advance – so there is that savings. The other savings to you is not having to pay that monthly fee while you are still working on your shop. The difference between the 20% discount and the 10% discount is $34.80 over a year – which is pretty much equal to one month of fees on Shopify. So if you use the 20% discount, but don’t have your shop ready to go live within the 14-day free trial, you’re paying a monthly fee even before you open your shop. Sometimes Shopify extends the 14-day free trial to 28-days, but usually not beyond that. So give these options some thought before signing up for a discount – you might be better off using the development option and save money on monthly fees before you open your store. Make sure to choose the best option for you.
Question: Do I have to purchase a domain name before I create a store in development mode?
Answer: No. You can create your store in development mode, and then add your custom domain (URL) at a later date. When your store is open for business, you can also purchase a custom domain directly through Shopify – which makes everything very easy, so you don’t have to worry about redirecting a web host to your Shopify store. If you ever leave Shopify, the domain name remains yours.
Question: What happens if I get stuck and need more help while setting up my store?
Answer: This is the best part! Shopify has 24-hours a day, 7-days a week (including holidays) live phone support, live chat, and email support! And the Shopify Guru’s are awesome! You just give them a call or chat with them live, and they walk you through whatever issue you are having. They answer your questions and get you pointed in the right direction. They really are that good! And, if you choose, you can also join the help forum that I lead for even more personalized help. There is no cost for any of this help – you’re covered! Click here to see the Shopify Support.
Question: I recently signed up for Shopify through a 14-day free trial with a 20% discount. Can I transfer my store into development to extend my development time?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. Shopify created development mode for people who do not already have a store or an account on Shopify. Only new customers to Shopify can be included in this program.
Question: Can I join your help forum on Slack if I already have a Shopify store?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. The forum is open only to shops that are currently in development mode through my Partner account. Since this forum is a free forum, and I am there to help shop owners, I need to keep that forum open only to the stores I am already helping.
Question: Are you an employee of Shopify?
Answer: No. I am not a Shopify employee. I am a Shopify Partner. As a Shopify Partner, I work with Shopify to help people get started with their stores. Shopify provides resources to it’s Partners, and I use those resources to help you. In addition to helping others start their stores on Shopify, my goal as a Partner is also to eventually develop themes, apps, and do development programming work.
Question: What is the benefit to you for helping others?
Answer: As I mentioned above, Shopify does pay me a referral for each development store that actually opens. While this referral fee is small, it does help me to pay for the forum I use to help others. There is no other benefit to me – well, other than just feeling good about helping others (and that’s a great feeling, and it would make my Mom (in heaven) proud)!
Things to Consider
Fee: If you open a store on Shopify, your fee to Shopify is $29 a month (less if you prepay). This includes UNLIMITED listings that never expire. There are no final value fees (commissions) that you pay to Shopify. $29 is all you have to pay! AND… if you pay for a year in advance, Shopify will extend a 10% discount to you, so your monthly fee would be just $26.10! NOTE: Payment processing fees apply to PayPal orders and to credit card orders.
Consider This: Look at what your monthly fees are with Etsy. Each month is probably a little different, depending on how much you sell, how many items you list or relist, and what your total sales were. For example, my monthly selling fees on Etsy are generally around $250-300 a month. That’s ONE MONTH! If I were to have those same sales on Shopify, my monthly Shopify fee would be $29! That’s a HUGE difference in selling fees between the two platforms! The way I look at each month on Shopify is this: I have to sell at least $29 (or $26.10) a month to cover that month’s “rent” (fee). Any sale beyond that is money in my pocket. It’s not that hard to sell that much in a month, right?!
Traffic: Etsy is a marketplace made up of many individual shops. Because of this, Etsy does help generate some traffic to our shops. Shopify is not a marketplace like Etsy. Shopify is a platform for you to host your own website. Shopify does not direct traffic to your shop – that’s up to you.
Consider This: When you create your own website, you are in complete control. You decide what products customers will see when they land on your website – customers are not redirected to other shops and taken away from your storefront! Besides controlling the look and feel of your website, you also control how you market your website. Just like any other business, marketing plays a key role in your success. The old adage of “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t work with ecommerce websites. To have a successful website, you need to market and promote it. You can promote your website through your social media channels and through your blog, without having to spend any money. Of course, you could decide to have paid ads on social media, but you are still in control of setting your own budget. There are lots of ways to drive traffic to your website, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg (or anything at all)! Yes, marketing your shop does take time and effort – but so does anything when you want it to succeed.
Selling on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and your Blog: When you create a store on Shopify, you have access to Buyable Pins on Pinterest, a Facebook Shop on your Facebook business page, Buy Buttons on Tumblr and on your own blog – all at no additional cost! This allows you to get sales to your store from all these social media platforms – it’s really slick!
Consider This: On Etsy, you can pin your products to Pinterest or post your products to Facebook, but when someone clicks on those links, they are directed away from your social media sites. With Shopify, your customers can complete their purchase directly from their favorite social media platforms! All orders are processed through your store, and the integration is seamless and easy. Having Buyable Pins on Pinterest gives you a huge advantage over regular pins from your Etsy shop.