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Want to get in on the Etsy action but don’t know what to sell?
Or maybe you’ve already got an idea of things to sell but you’re not quite sure if Etsy is the best platform to start your side-hustle.
Well either way, you’ve come to the right place.
Etsy is a unique online marketplace that caters towards a specific audience looking for specific things, so not every product idea is guaranteed to sell well and make you money.
But for many of you who are looking to monetize your hobby and build and online business doing what you love, Etsy is the answer.
So in this post, we’ll go over all the information you need to know about Etsy and what are the 15 best things to sell on Etsy to make money. Let’s get started…
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace founded in 2005 where crafters, artists, and creatives sell everything under the sun, from digital products to vintage finds to handcrafted pieces.
Essentially, Etsy gives individual sellers, small business owners, and boutique shops a way to reach a global audience online. In fact, there are over 4 million Etsy sellers and an even more impressive 81+ million buyers who use this ecommerce website.Woah!
So if you’re a creative type looking to make money online, Etsy is one of the best and most popular platforms to list and sell your items. The Etsy company and online platform is already niched-down, and it specifically caters towards buyers looking for handmade, vintage, personalized, and unique items—just like yours!
Here are some other fun facts about Etsy:
- 81% of Etsy sellers identify as women
- 14% of sellers live in California, taking the #1 spot for states with the most Etsy sellers
- Home & Living sellers account for 25% of the seller share in the handmade category on Etsy.
How much money can you make selling on Etsy?
Like a lot of online ventures and money-making opportunities, the amount of money you can make selling on Etsy greatly depends on a number of factors, including:
- The type of items you sell and whether it fits the Etsy audience.
- The quality of your products.
- The amount of time you dedicated to creating and selling items.
- How well you incorporate Etsy SEO (search engine optimization), which allows users to find your items via search.
- How well you market your products, through effective branding, copywriting, ad campaigns, and social media promotion.
Whew. There are a lot of factors here but don’t let that discourage you!
Ultimately, selling on Etsy can be just a small side-hustle that earns you an extra $200+ a month, or an online business that generates a full-time income—even 6 figures!
While we can’t peek into Etsy sellers’ wallets, we can look at the number of sales they’ve had to get an idea of how much they’re earning.
Here’s are some of the most profitable Etsy shops from 2020 (source: YahooFinance). These top sellers are most certainly making around 6 figures a year:
- PlannerKate1 — 1,345,101 sales
- BreadBoat1 — 844,015 sales
- ModParty — 776,966 sales
- Yakutum — 731,306 sales
- CaitlynMinimalist — 715,310 sales
- Nicoledebruin — 642,985 sales
- PeggySueAlsoLeather — 621,346 sales
And here’s some more Etsy seller success stores to get inspired:
- Brittany from October Acres made over $100k in her first year on Etsy.
- Jami of Handmade Journey made over $53k in her first year.
- Shay from Shay Budgets made nearly $30k working just part-time on her Etsy shop.
But one things I’ll say is:
If you really want to join these sellers in the money-making club, you’ll also want to diversify your income sources beyond just Etsy.
The BEST thing you can do for your business is to start a blog or niche website that covers your topic. So for example, if you’re going to be selling handmade jewelry on Etsy, why not start writing tutorials on how to make jewelry and write “Top 10” posts that cover the best materials to use. Or perhaps start a YouTube channel!
In a nutshell, the more content you put out there, be it listings on Etsy, blog posts, or YouTube videos, the wider your net will be for reaching a larger audience and scaling your income.
Find out how you can start a money-making blog around your creative interests in my in-depth guide below…
Related Read: How to Create a Niche Blog That Makes Money
What does it cost to sell on Etsy?
While it would be great to sell on Etsy and keep 100% of the profits, unfortunately that’s not how it works on Etsy or any other online marketplace really.
Just like with Ebay selling fees, there are a few costs to selling on Etsy. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Starting an Etsy Shop: Free! — You can sign up for Etsy and create your shop page without paying a thing.
Listing Items: $0.20 fee per item — For each item you list for sale, you need to pay a listing fee. The listing will last 4 months or until the item is sold. For digital products, you should set the quantity to 100+ and you’ll be charged the listing fee again when you get another sale.
Transaction Fee: 5% of the sale price — The transaction fee also includes any shipping charges, so price accordingly.
Payment Processing: 3% + $0.25 — Etsy Payments is the built-in payment system that Etsy uses exclusively. This allows Etsy buyers to pay using a credit/debit card, Etsy gift cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more.
Offsite Ads: 15% (if you made less than $10,000 in the past 365 days), 12% (for $10,000+ in the past 365 days) — Offsite Ads are display advertisements and product listings that Etsy publishes on social media and partner sites. Etsy pulls popular some of its most popular listings and generates more leads to Etsy sellers’ listings this way. Read more on Etsy’s Offsite Ads FAQ.
How do you become an Etsy seller?
Becoming an Etsy seller is easy and free. You don’t need to have an LLC, license, business background or anything! You can sign up to sell on Etsy with just a few simple clicks.
But before you do!
Make sure that you have done some preliminary market research on Etsy and have a few items ready for listing. Your Etsy shop won’t officially go “live” until you’ve listed some stuff. For ideas for things to sell on Etsy that’ll make a profit, keep reading!
But once you’ve figured out what you’re going to sell and sized up the competition, then…
If you’re already an Etsy user, then you can simply login with your existing account and setup a shop! Or, you can create a new account with your email address, Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll immediately want to establish your shop name, logo, and/or profile picture. Ideally, your shop name should allude to or indicate what types of products you’re going to sell. For example, if you’re not selling printables, don’t put “printables” in your name. Duh!
Really take some time to think about your Etsy branding. Your name, logo, and shop description is what will make your listings stand out from the rest, get users to “Admire” (or follow) your shop, and build an engaged community around your products. So don’t breeze past this brainstorming process!
Then, once your awesome new shop is ready to go, just add your listings and you’re all set!
What are the best-selling items on Etsy?
After setting up your Etsy shop, the FIRST thing you should do is sign up for Etsy Rank. They offer a free plan which is all you need to get started.
Etsy Rank is a tool that shows you the daily Top Sellers on the platform and analyzes other sellers’ listings for keywords (search terms) to include in your product listings.
When viewing the Top Sellers on Etsy Rank, you’ll see the names of Etsy sellers that are making a killing. Check out their shops and see what types of products they’re selling for ideas of things you can sell too!
And in regards to Etsy Rank’s keyword tool, just like with niche blogging, keywords are extremely important for SEO (search engine optimization). SEO basically determines whether or not users can even find your stuff on Etsy! And if you don’t come up in search, you might as well not exist. (More on this later in the post…)
While seasonality greatly affects which items are best-sellers, overall the top 3 things that sell very well on Etsy are:
- Crafts and supplies
- Wedding and party accessories
If these aren’t in your niche, not to fear! Keep reading for even more best things to sell on Etsy to make money…
15 Best Things to Sell on Etsy to Make Money
Printables are digital products that you can make and sell on Etsy, without keeping inventory or having to ship items. The buyer just clicks a download link, and the product is in their hands! Well…digitally…
Anything that can be downloaded and printed is a printable. So really, the sky’s the limit with this one. There are so many different kinds of printables you can make and sell on Etsy, it’s unbelievable.
Here are just a few ideas of different printables you can create:
- Inspirational quotes/sayings
- Printable cards/invitations
Creating and selling printables is also one of the easiest things to sell on Etsy because anyone with a computer can get started. Tools like Canva allow you to make beautiful, custom printables either using their templates (you’ll need to customize) or designing your own from scratch.
You can also make printables using software that you already have on your computer! I use Apple’s Pages program to make my printables and then convert them into PDFs for selling. If you’re a Microsoft fan (I won’t hate you for it…maybe), you can use Microsoft Word to create cool digital products too!
Jewelry is one of the most popular categories on Etsy, so you’ll find lots of interested buyers here. In fact, Etsy is very much known for its unique jewelry finds, thanks to the wide range of sellers and styles the create and/or sell.
To sell jewelry on Etsy, you’ll either need to fit in either the handmade or vintage categories, so either create your own jewelry from raw materials or open a shop for vintage jewelry that’s 20+ years old.
You can sell a whole range of jewelry items, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces, body jewelry, and rings.
As well, another popular revenue stream is from personalized jewelry. Buyers are looking for unique gifts for friends/family birthdays, anniversaries, etc., so you can offer things like custom engravings on jewelry items to meet this demand.
Related Read: 45 Most Profitable Crafts to Sell Online
3. Mugs & Tumblers
Clever mugs and tumblers are just one of those things we all like to collect, am I right? Over time, our mugs cupboard tends to morph into a mini representation of our likes, dislikes, and sense of humor.
And that’s what’s so brilliant about custom mugs/tumblers—they’re the perfect gift for almost anyone. No matter who the person is, there’s a mug that fits them.
So it’s no surprise that Etsy has one of the biggest collections of clever and/or custom printed mugs and tumblers around. And you should get in on this action!
It’s important to know that you don’t need to keep inventory in your house in order to sell custom designed mugs and tumblers.
Services like Printify and Printful can be integrated with your Etsy shop easily, and these Print-On-Demand (POD) companies do the inventory, printing, and shipping for you! All you have to do is setup the shop and attract buyers with your clever sayings, cool illustrations, and beautiful designs.
With POD companies doing all the hard work for you, selling mugs and tumblers is one of the easiest things to sell on Etsy to make money.
Similar to mugs/tumblers, custom-designed t-shirts are a big hit with the Etsy crowd.
And again, all you have to do is design the t-shirts using Adobe software or another photo-editing or graphic design software. Then, sign up for a POD company like Printful and Printify and upload your designs. The POD company will then print and ship your t-shirts when an Etsy buyer purchases it!
So if you’re an artist looking to make money online, or someone with loads of funny, clever quotes up your sleeve, then selling t-shirts on Etsy can be a profitable side-hustle for you!
Stickers, yes stickers, are another excellent thing to sell on Etsy to make money.
Because people use stickers for tons of different things. Just think: parties, planners, marketing, labels, bumpers, and laptops. We use stickers in a lot of different ways and on a lot of things!
You can make money selling stickers by:
- Printing and shipping them yourself, using your own printer, Cricut, and/or Silhouette machine.
- Selling the digital files, so the buyer can print them on their own.
- Or using a sticker printing service, like Sticker Mule.
The great thing about selling stickers is that you can venture into different niches and provide a wide range of sticker designs for different purposes. With a sticker Etsy shop, there really is no limit to the stickers you can create and sell to make money!
6. Craft Supplies
With all the crafty creators out there, there’s a huge demand for craft supplies like beads, yarn, fabric, thread, charms, ribbon, and pretty much everything else you’d find at a Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
You can open an Etsy shop catered towards a particular crafts niche, like knitting for example, and sell related craft supplies. Or, you can make money selling a wide variety of craft supplies to various crafters. The choice is yours!
But considering the fact that Etsy’s primary audience is people who make and/or regularly buy handmade goods, selling craft supplies is a great idea for things to make and sell on Etsy…because you can definitely make good money doing it.
7. Wedding Items
Etsy is the go-to place for customized and unique wedding items and accessories. Sellers are making a killing creating clever wedding stuff that brides and grooms-to-be can’t live without.
Some weddings items you can make and sell are:
- wedding decor
- bachelorette/bachelor party games
- wedding favors
- bridesmaids gifts
- groomsmen gifts
- picture frames
Honestly, for those of you that’ve already planned and had a wedding, you know how many little items and accessories are required to make it happen. Pretty much every single thing someone needs on their big day, can be created and sold on Etsy.
8. Baby Toys & Accessories
If you’re wanting to make money on Etsy, I have 3 words for you:
All. Things. Baby.
Be it personalized newborn onesies, baby blankets, wooden toys, bows, headbands, milestone mats, teethers, baby room decor, etc., there are TONS of different baby toys and accessories that sell really well on Etsy.
Because, who can resist cute, handmade baby items that are truly unique?
If you want to sell baby stuff, then you should definitely offer ways to customize and personalize the items in your shop, as this is a huge draw for buyers! Think: custom name, age, and message engravings.
9. Pet Accessories
And for the dog and cat moms out there, other great things to sell on Etsy to make money are pet accessories!
It’s practically to the point where pet clothing, toys, and accessories rival those for babies in both variety and number! Sheesh!
But hey, as a proud dog mom, I’m not complaining.
Some ideas for pet accessories you can make and sell on Etsy are:
- Collars and leashes (customizable, of course!)
- pet toys
- pet clothing and bandanas
- pet shoes
- pet carriers
- pet beds
- pet portraits
- pet memorial engraved stones and markers
If you haven’t noticed, the pet industry in general is MASSIVE. People are spending more and more money on their pets, so you can sell any number of pet items on Etsy and find plenty of buyers!
10. Home Decor
As I mentioned before, the “Home & Living” category on Etsy which includes home decor accounts for a large majority of sellers on Etsy.
So what does this mean for you?
Firstly, yes there’s competition in this niche on the platform, BUT it also indicates that this is a big seller too.
So if you’ve got an eye for designing cool wall decals, door hangers, floral arrangements, wall art, clocks, knick knacks, and more, this could be the money-making idea for you.
11. Cards & Invitations
Other easy things to sell on Etsy to make money are cards and invitations, especially for artists and graphic designers.
Using Adobe Photoshop, Canva, or other popular software, you can make creative and fun greeting cards, thank you cards, party invitations, etc.
And even if you don’t have mad graphic design skills, you can put your photography skills to use and sell cards and invitations with your images on them, or just use unique fonts to write humorous or inspirational quotes on cards.
As well, cards and invitations can be sold as printables, or you can print and ship them yourself, or you can use POD services like Printify to fulfill orders.
12. Party Decorations
We hold parties for what seems like everything these days.
You got your birthday party, house-warming party, bachelor/bachelorette party, anniversary celebration, gender reveal party, baby shower…pretty much every major event in our lives can be turned into a party of some sort.
So while selling party decorations on Etsy, you’ll never run out of ideas. That’s for sure!
You can make and sell things like:
- banners and signs
- place cards
- cake toppers
- table centerpieces
- cups, plates, and napkins
And like with many products on Etsy, give your buyers the option to personalize your party decoration items too!
13. Vintage Items & Collectibles
Vintage finds are big sellers on Etsy.
After all, providing a marketplace for vintage goods is pretty much why Etsy was created in the first place!
So if you’re a vintage and antiques lover, why not turn your passion into a side hustle and sell these things on Etsy?
Etsy considers any item that’s 20 or more years old to be vintage. So as long as that’s true, you can sell anything vintage, from jewelry to clothes to home decor.
And as for collectibles, you can sell rare coins, stamps, figurines, knick knacks and other memorabilia and make money.
14. Bags & Purses
A woman can never have too many bags and purses. It’s true.
Switching out purses and having different ones for different purposes is practically a pastime for many of us. We can’t just have one, we gotta have them all.
So as a seller, you can create and sell backpacks, handbags, totes, coin purses, wallets, luggage, cosmetic bags, gym bags, electronics cases, and more!
You can either make these items yourself or use certain Print-On-Demand companies that’ll print your designs onto bags and purses.
15. Knitted Goods
Calling all my knitters out there!
It’s time to turn that yarn into cash on Etsy.
Funnily enough, you can even buy your yarn on Etsy and then sell what you knit on Etsy. How cool is that?
If knitting is your hobby, then you can knit and sell clothing, baby items, cute little home decor pieces, blankets, coasters, etc. and make money. You can also sell knitting patterns, which are huge sellers on the platform.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to either be a fast knitter or keep a decent amount of inventory that’s ready to ship at a moment’s notice. Your buyers won’t want to wait super long to get their items, so you’ll need to make sure the items are ready to go.
And one huge perk to selling knitted goods is that they don’t really ever go out of style. People have always wanted knitted items, especially scarfs and sweaters, since any of us can even remember! So this is one fad that isn’t going away. There will always be buyers.
6 Tips for Making More Money on Etsy
1. Do thorough market research.
If you have an idea of what you’d like to sell on Etsy, make sure that you conduct some basic market research on the platform first.
At the very least, you should head over to Etsy and search for similar items. Pay attention to how many sales they’ve gotten, the number of reviews, and how many admirers some of the major shops in that niche have. This will give you an idea of whether or not there’s an audience for that product on Etsy.
If you search for your product idea and find nothing similar, this is probably not a good sign. It most likely means that product doesn’t fit Etsy’s audience.
2. Use irresistible product photos and graphics.
Product photography is everything.
Most people who are searching Etsy will only ever see your product images, so make them count!
If you’re selling digital products, then use Adobe software, Canva, or other graphic design software to create cool, trendy, and branded product graphics.
Or if you’re selling physical products, use a high-quality camera, proper lighting, and perhaps even models to really attract buyers.
Honestly, your product images will make or break you and will determine how successful you are on Etsy. Buying good equipment or investing in graphic design software is a must!
3. Develop a clear brand.
You don’t want to just copy what every other seller in your niche is doing. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that your products bring fresh ideas and incorporate your own personal touch.
And the way you stand apart from the rest is through clear branding, including:
- Your shop name
- Style of your product images
- Product descriptions
When buyers can clearly identify your products across searches or remember your brand’s name, you’ll develop an engaged community around your items and increase sales as a result.
4. Optimize your listings for SEO.
I mentioned Etsy Rank before, and I’ll mention it here again. It’s seriously a must for anyone wanting to monetize on Etsy and build their online business.
In case you missed it before, Etsy Rank offers 2 important tools: a top sellers list and a keyword research tool.
By checking out top sellers in your niche, you’ll get more product ideas for your own shop and be able to keep an eye on the competition.
But most importantly, Etsy Rank’s keyword tool helps you optimize your Etsy listings for Etsy SEO or search engine optimization. It shows you exactly which words you should use in product titles and descriptions so that interested buyers can find your stuff.
If you don’t incorporate the correct and optimal keywords (or search queries) into your listings, you might as well not exist. Buyers won’t see your items in search and therefore won’t buy from you.
5. Engage with your admirers.
Etsy is a wonderful platform, but it isn’t the one providing you income—your admirers are.
Admirers, or followers, are the people who buy your products, receive updates on your recent listings, and are more likely to be repeat customers and leave you rave reviews—drawing in even more customers and admirers.
Therefore, you want to make sure you’re engaging with your admirers on social media and on Etsy, by responding to comments and questions or even creating your own Facebook Group that they can join.
Ultimately, you don’t want to be solely reliant upon Etsy to make money. Instead, you need to create a community around your business on social media, your website, or through email marketing so that you can make more money.
6. Provide excellent customer service.
People remember quality customer service. (They also remember terrible customer service!)
So it’s extremely important that you respond to any and all questions you receive from buyers, address their complaints, and solve their problems.
Essentially, you should always go above and beyond when it comes to making buyers happy (obviously, to a point).
This way, people will remember your brand, the customer service they experienced, and they’re more likely to promote you to people they know and buy from you again.
Where should you promote your Etsy shop?
You can’t just open an Etsy shop, put a couple items up for sale, and expect the money to just come rolling in.
Like any online business or side hustle, you need to get out there and reach your target audience through marketing and promotion.
Here are some (if not ALL) of the places you should promote your Etsy shop online:
Offsite Ads — Etsy provides this service you and as I said before, also takes a percentage of your earnings you make through Offsite Advertising. Offsite Ads are ads Etsy puts around the internet, on websites and on social media platforms, of your products. Every Etsy shop owner can take advantage of Offsite Ads to increase earnings.
Your own website — If you’re serious about building an online business around your Etsy products, you need to create a website for your brand. This is where you can advertise your products, and even sell them with ecommerce plugins/services. It also provides you a space to build greater brand awareness through blog posts, announcements, etc. Find out how you can start a niche website for your business in my in-depth guide to creating a website from scratch.
Email marketing — Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to capture leads and increase sales. You can use ConvertKit, one of the best email marketing tools, to collect email addresses and send your followers the latest products and updates straight to their inbox. To get started, you can to create a website and incorporate ConvertKit opt-in forms or create a landing page with ConvertKit and link to it in your Etsy shop page.
Pinterest — Pinterest users are people looking to buy stuff, plain and simple. And that’s why Pinterest is probably the BEST social media platform to promote your Etsy shop and products. First, create a Pinterest business account and then link your Etsy shop. Then, you’ll be able to pin your product images and drive traffic to your Etsy page.
Facebook Page or Group — Planner Kate, THE most successful Etsy seller, has an engaged community on Facebook for her business. In this Facebook Group, she can interact with her audience, promote her products, and build a sense of community. It’s no wonder she beats everyone else in the number of sales! Do as Planner Kate does. Link to your Facebook Group on your Shop page and promote your business to people who are already interested in your listings!
Instagram — Instagram is the perfect place to promote any Etsy shop that involves handmade items and crafts. Why? Because you can share images of the product creation process and interact with people in your niche! On your Instagram account, you can link to your Etsy shop and promote your latest products to boost sales.
Other social media — Pretty much every social media platform provides a space for you to reach your target audience, get them engaged, and turn them into buyers. So get on TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, you name it!
Related Read: 7 Legit Ways to Make Money Advertising for Companies
Learn more about making money on Etsy
We’ve gone over a whole heck of a lot of information in this post.
But, when it comes to building an Etsy business, there’s still so much more to learn!
So for those of you that are ready to learn more and turn your Etsy shop into a full-blown profitable online business, look no further than Udemy.
Udemy offers a wide range of courses that’ll teach you everything you need to know to earn big with Etsy. Some of the most popular courses include:
- Etsy 2021: Learn Etsy from a Top 1% Seller
- Print on Demand with Etsy for Passive Income 2021 Guide
- Etsy 2021 Masterclass: Setup, SEO, Social & Etsy Marketing