Etsy is a unique marketplace where handmade sellers can offer their one-of-a-kind products and art supplies to millions of people. If you create your own art, craft jewelry, collect vintage items, or design your own products, selling on Etsy can be a lucrative business for you.
Want to sell your products on Etsy but not sure where to start? Read on to find out more!
In this article we go into:
- What is Etsy?
- Why sell on Etsy?
- What products can you sell on Etsy?
- How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?
- How to create an Etsy seller account
What is Etsy?
Etsy is a marketplace built specifically for handmade goods, vintage products, and art supplies. It’s the perfect place for artists, shopkeepers, woodworkers, jewelry makers and more to offer their one-of-a-kind wares to millions of potential buyers.
Where Amazon and eBay stand for almost every item imaginable, Etsy is a place where customers can find customizable products, specific items, and niche items that you probably can’t find anywhere else.
Why sell on Etsy?
If you’re a hobbyist who enjoys creating, building, or crafting, Etsy can turn your hobby into a profitable side business or even a full-time business.
Here are some reasons why you should consider selling on Etsy:
- Etsy receives over 500 million site visitors per month, and 65% of that traffic comes from the US alone
- Low selling fees and no monthly subscription fees (like selling on Amazon)
- Etsy only allows certain products and categories to be sold on the marketplace, so it never becomes an Amazon or eBay.
- You make your own products or sell custom products
- They sell art and craft supplies
- You can target very specific niches
- The Etsy marketplace is more user friendly compared to Amazon Seller Central
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?
Etsy keeps its fees simple and easy to understand:
- No monthly subscription fee
- $0.20 listing fee per item (renews every four months)
- 6.5% transaction fee
- $0.25 payment processing fee
- 15% fee for offsite ads*
- “Etsy pays to promote your items on the web through offsite ads. You only pay a fee when you make a sale through one of these ads.”
While Etsy’s standard shop is free, Etsy also offers an “Etsy Plus” shop that costs $10/month. What’s in it EtsyPlus?
- A monthly credit budget for listings and Etsy Ads
- Access a discount on a custom web address for your Etsy shop
- Restocking requests for buyers interested in your sold out items
- Advanced shop customization options
- Access discounts on custom packaging and promotional materials such as boxes, business cards and signage
What products can you sell on Etsy?
According to Etsy, you can sell handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. At first glance, that doesn’t seem like much, but if you break down their categories and subcategories, you actually have one ton niches to choose from.
Thousands of different products can fall into each of these categories, so don’t be discouraged – as long as your product is considered handmade, vintage, or craft supplies, you can sell it on Etsy.
Now Etsy’s Handcrafted Policy is a spectrum (as they describe it) because your items can be considered handmade if you are actually making your own product or when you design your own products but outsource the manufacturing to an outside company.
Before listing your product as handmade, you agree that the items were made or designed by you.
Here’s a snippet of Etsy’s Handmade Policy:
A maker is a seller who physically makes the items for sale in their Etsy shop. A manufacturer may design their items in addition to manufacturing, or follow a pattern or template that they did not design. Regardless, manufacturers need to create their items with their own hands (or tools).
A designer is a seller who has developed an original design, pattern, sketch, template, prototype, or plan to be manufactured by in-house shop members or a manufacturing partner. Simple customizations such as choosing colors, shapes, or choosing from pre-made options are not considered a design on Etsy.
If you are a designer and use a manufacturing partner to create your items, you must also disclose information about your manufacturing partner in your listings. A production partner is anyone (not part of your Etsy shop) who helps you with the physical production of your items.
Here’s how to find products to sell on Etsy
We know product research can be tricky, so here are some tips to help you figure out what to offer your customers on Etsy.
Browse every category on Etsy
A great way to find out what handmade or vintage items you can sell on Etsy is to browse multiple categories on Etsy and see what catches your eye.
What do other sellers offer or produce? Can you create something similar or make it better? There are thousands of subcategories on Etsy so you’re bound to find something to sell.
Etsy has 15 “top-level categories” but over 3,200 sub-categories! digging through Etsy’s complete category list to really niche yourself and find something that interests you.
A good indicator of a popular product is the number of reviews. On average, only 2 out of 100 buyers leave a review, so products with a high number of reviews usually mean the product has a strong sales history.
Check out the dates of the latest reviews as well. If any of the ratings are within the current month or so, this indicates a popular product.
Examine your skills or hobbies
What skills or hobbies do you have that could lead to a thriving Etsy business? Perhaps you are an experienced carpenter with intricate tools to create beautiful wooden furniture. Or maybe you want to create custom bracelets for your family and friends.
Whatever it is, you could potentially turn your hobby or skill into a profitable business.
Also, don’t list your skills or think “nobody will want to buy this”. Search for your ideas on Etsy and see how many listings come up.
Check the demand for existing products you create
If you’re interested in selling on Etsy, you probably already make your own products.
Here are some ways you can check demand for your products:
- Search Google Trends
Google Trends is a free tool that anyone can use to determine the popularity of a particular keyword over time. Search for the product you want to offer and review the last 12 months and the last 5 years to see if popularity for that keyword has increased or decreased over that time period.
- Search Amazon Handmade and Etsy
As mentioned above, search for the product you are about to create on Etsy and even on Amazon Handmade. When you see similar products with a solid number of reviews, you can be sure that there is some demand for that product.
Take a look at what is already available in the market for your niche. Can you offer a better quality product? Can you offer more customization? These are some things to keep in mind when researching a product.
How to create an Etsy seller account
If you think Etsy is the right marketplace for you, it’s easy to create a seller account here.
1. Go to etsy.com/sell
The first step is the visit Etsy’s seller page and click Get Started. Then enter your email address, name and password to start the registration process.
2. Start your shop
After completing the registration process, you can now start your shop! Before you begin your shop, Etsy will walk you through a few questions (which you can skip) to provide you with any relevant information or recourse you may need to get started.
After going through these simple steps, click “Start Shop”.
3. Enter your shop information
In this step you will be taken to the shop settings page where you name your page, enter the product you want to sell (fill in what you can, you can edit this later) and set up billing and shop Security.
If you don’t have a product yet, just enter random information in the “Stock your store” section to continue to the next step. The product will not go live, and you can always edit and add new products once your shop is open.
Take the time to go through these steps to ensure your store and information are set up correctly.
4. Customize your Etsy storefront
Once your shop is open, you can now work on customizing your shop and adding some personality to it!
- Customized Banner: Etsy allows you to add a unique banner to your shop to show your potential customers what your shop is about. Add your shop name, pictures of your products or other information about your business.
- Information about the shop operator: Include a photo of yourself or the company logo and contact information.
- Top Article: Add featured items to your storefront so customers know what you’re selling.
Tips for Selling on Etsy from a Celebrity Seller
I asked Jungle Scout’s contributor Jenna Christie, a celebrity seller on Etsy, to give you all some expert seller tips you can use for your own Etsy businesses!
- Use social media. People love going behind the scenes of small businesses and meeting shop owners on Etsy. I find that a lot of people include photos in their Etsy reviews, which makes creating the content pretty easy. It also helps you get discovered outside of Etsy and brings people to your shop.
- Analyze your competition and adapt accordingly. If your competitor’s main photos all have a white background, maybe try using a colored background to draw attention to your offering.
- Add a video. Most sellers have the option to add a video to their listing. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just show your product in action. This really helps with conversions.
- Join an Etsy seller Facebook group. You will be amazed at what you can learn from experienced salespeople and how willing they are to help you.
Ready to sell on Etsy?
We hope this article helps you learn more about selling on Etsy and whether Etsy is a good fit for your business.
Do you have questions about selling on Etsy? Let us know in the comments!