Selling on Etsy and Using Paypal - under 18 years old?

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Original Post

Within the next few weeks or so I'm planning to start selling some of my handmade items, such as amigurumi and plushies. I'm 15, but I have both of my parents' approval and permission to sell on etsy and use my mom's paypal.

Now, when it comes to shipping items when I have a sale, I'm going to use paypal to make shipping labels. I don't want to make my own paypal because it's illegal at the moment because of my age. Is there a way I can edit the name on the return address, because it has my mom's name? Or should I leave it as my mom's name and notify all of my buyers that all packages that they receive will be under a different first name in the return address? If I do this, should I make note of this in my store policies that in their transactions their payment will be made to my mother's account (so that they won't have questions if they see another name in their paypal payment history)? Other suggestions?

I think I'm over-thinking all of this, because buyers may not even look at my profile so whether or not they see my name or my mom's name on the package won't really matter because they don't know my name, but any suggestions will be very helpful. :)

Posted at 5:04pm Jan 29, 2011 EST


technically, you arent old enough to even enter into a sales contract or register a business. your mom has to do that as well.

and minors under 18 arent allowed to be here in the forums either

Posted at 5:06pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

and, using your moms paypal acct, she would have to be the registered business and claim the income as well, as the money will be going to her , tecvhnically

Posted at 5:07pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

of course, these things apply if you are here in the US, anyway

Posted at 5:08pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

Your mom can set up a shop that sells the items you make, but until you're 18 it legally has to be her business, not yours.

One option on the PayPal account is to set up a business account. They don't cost any more, and allow you to use the name of the business instead of a person's name.

Posted at 5:14pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

oh, and when selling, you cant use a personal paypal acct, either. it has to be premier or business

Posted at 5:15pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

Thanks for the helpful information! :)

Posted at 5:16pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

she will need to register with the state tax dept. to collect sales tax and the city/county will likely require a business license and registration of your DBA name

Posted at 5:19pm Jan 29, 2011 EST

Hello Lost Alien,

I like that you are interested in selling your plushies, and that you are asking questions. It's a good learning experience in learning how a small business operates. It seems like you have supportive parents, which is very nice.

Reading Etsy's TOS regarding minors selling, plus reading the Seller's handbook, is very informative and helpful to parents and anyone else looking to learn how to sell on this venue. I am always learning, always reading, and do appreciate the good advice I get here.

My shop is set up with all its due legal paperwork and business paypal, and where my teen has her prints for sale. When one sells, I take care of the business side; she is involved in the printing process. After all, they are her prints and she knows how much they should appear on paper. And yes, printing out shipping labels with paypal is really quite convenient.

When my teen posts her items on Etsy, I will follow after to check for errors and to gently point out what I think would help her posting(s). In time, at age 18, she would have her own shop.

I am sure that others would be happy to add their thoughts here. Good luck, Lost Alien, on your plushies and amigurumi, and God bless!

Posted at 8:08am Feb 1, 2011 EST