I’m working on an Etsy app for some client work (an Etsy listing scheduler) and just getting started is quite a process. So I’m documenting it here for anyone else that may be interested in creating an app for Etsy.
Step 1: Have a Real Etsy Account
To begin, you’ll need a real Etsy account. If you don’t have one already, sign up for an account on the Etsy website.
Step 2: Create a Test Etsy Store
Next, create a test Etsy store that is real enough for testing purposes. You need to create a real listing, even if it’s a digital item that is some throw-away photo. You also need to connect a real bank account to receive payouts. This Etsy store will be your test environment for developing your app.
Step 3: Set Store to Developer Mode
To ensure that your listings are not visible in Etsy’s search, set your store to Developer mode. Only do this if you’re working through your own personal account. Do not do this for a real Etsy shop.
Step 4: Create a Webpage
Create a webpage for your Etsy app. This will serve as the main interface for users to interact with your app. But for now, it’s really for the Etsy app approval team, so they can learn about the purpose of your app.
Step 5: Review Etsy’s Terms and Conditions
Before proceeding further, carefully review Etsy’s terms and conditions. A specific restrictions they have is that you cannot use the term “Etsy” in the name of your app or the title/heading of your website. You should also include the following text on your website: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.
Step 6: Register for the Etsy API
Step 7: Contact Etsy Developer Support
Reach out to the Etsy Developer Support team by emailing email@example.com. This shouldn’t be necessary since you registered in the previous step, but if you actually want to get a response and your app approved, you need to email them. Someone will review your website and registration to ensure it complies with their terms before approving your app.
Step 8: Start with Personal Token
Initially you will only get a personal API token, which means you can only interact with your own store through the API. This will allow you to test and iterate on your app’s functionality. You’ll need to actually create an initial version of your app before requesting commercial access.
Step 9: Provisional Users
As you progress with your app development, you may want to test your app on other stores. You can add provisional users with a special API.
Step 10: Create Material for Etsy Review
Prepare all the necessary materials, such as documentation and screenshots, for Etsy’s commercial API review process. This might include OAuth permissions required, and API calls that your app makes. These materials will help Etsy understand and evaluate your app.
Step 11: Request Commercial Access
Once your app is ready for wider usage, request commercial access from Etsy. This will allow anyone to authenticate and use your app via OAuth, once you’re approved.