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Uploading Large Files To Etsy

One of the biggest problems with selling digital artwork on Etsy is the ridiculously low maximum file size allowed. As of this writing it’s set to 5 files at 20 mb each. That might of been great when Etsy first started. But with todays technology it’s severely lacking.

Most high resolution artwork comes in psd or vector (.ai, .esp) format. These files can easily exceed the 20mb limit and by a sizable margin. One 300dpi psd file can weight in excess of 50mb’s or more. If you’re selling a collection of files like this you might be wondering just how you’re going to go about this.

Image reduction / Zipping your files

This might be an option if you are close to the file upload allowance and just need to shave a few megabytes off. The best file format for compression is .jpg but it comes at a cost of quality.

You can also try compressing your files into an archive and even break up one large archive into multiple smaller files. For example if you have 2 x 40mb files you can compress them into an archive in 4 parts. Your customer would download the 4 files and when they decompress them they would get the original images.

A nifty program for this is winrar.

Once Installed follow these steps to split your archives

  1. Highlight your files, right click and click add to archive. In this example we are going to archive a file over 50 mbs.

2. Next, winrar will open and you will be presented with a dialog. At the bottom of the genera tab you will see “split to volumes, size”. This is where we tell it how big each part will be. Since Etsy’s upload limit it 20 mb’s we can type 19mb (because if we type 20 it will actually exceed 20 mb’s by a small amount).

3. Once that’s done the program will compress the archive.

That’s it! Now you have 3 files, each under the etsy upload limit. Enjoy!

Off Site File Hosting

While the above methods may work if your total file size is under 100mbs what about larger downloads? Unfortunately, the only way to work around this limit would be to host your files elsewhere. Dropbox and google drive are popular alternatives. Dropbox allows up to 2gb’s of storage for free.

Of you use dropbox, once you upload your files to a folder click the share button and you will be presented with a window where you can create a link that you can give out to your customers. Be sure to password protect it in the link options.

Once you have your files hosted it’s just a mater of creating a text file with the link and password and uploading it to etsy for your customers. If you want to get creative you could make a fancy pdf file with the information as well.

Host Your Own Cloud

This is probably the best option if you are an advanced user and have the time to set everything up. There are opensource cloud packages available that will allow you to host files on your own server, share access & password protect files. If you have a large amount of data this may be the most cost effective option. But, it would require knowledge of how to set up a server, most likely linux based. Not an easy task if you have no prior experience. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere right?

You could also hire someone to do it for you but you would have to factor in the costs involved and decide for yourself which option is best. A few of the most popular pieces of software are ownCloud and Nextcloud. Nextcloud being the most popular.

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