Etsy lets you make money selling handcrafted products, vintage items, craft supplies and just about any kind of artistic goods that you won’t find in traditional stores.
Today, we’re going to go over the best things that are selling on Etsy so you can come up with your own version and get a piece of the action.
But first, let’s go over a few things.
What Is Etsy?
Etsy is an e-commerce site that lets individuals and small businesses easily sell handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. Handmade items represents 85% of sellers, Vintage goods represents 6% of sellers, and artistic supplies represents 12% of sellers (source).
But Etsy isn’t limited to just handmade, vintage and supplies. You can sell plants, furniture legs, downloadable home decor, even handbags.
Continue reading to learn the things to sell on Etsy that make money as well as the fees and how to do market research.
What Can You Sell On Etsy ?
The things you sell on Etsy should fall within at least one of these three categories:
- Handmade items
- Vintage things
- Craft supplies
Even though there are only three main categories, what you sell within those categories is endless.
Let’s go over some of the more popular items within each category sold – and bought – on Etsy
- Printables and downloadable products
- Personalized jewelry
- Wedding items
- Stylish baby items
- Home Decor
- Personalized Pet Items
- Art and Collectables
- Bags and Purses
- Jewelry Supplies
- Art Supplies
- DIY Kits
- Custom Fabrics
Etsy is a fluid marketplace; depending on the time of year, items rotate and seasonal things sell really well for a few weeks.
For instance, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s day are profitable for Etsy shops that sell Valentine’s related items, with items like garlands, banners and floral wreaths selling being top sellers (source).
Things To Sell On Etsy That Make Money
Stickers is one of the best things to sell on Etsy because the options are endless. And for such a small item, selling stickers really can mean pretty good money.
Some of the best selling ideas in the sticker category are:
- Address labels
- Wall decals
- Laptop stickers
- Custom logo stickers
- Name decals
- Custom wedding stickers
And here’s a cool idea: wine glass name stickers from the Etsy shop PantryEnvy.
To get started selling stickers on Etsy you need basic graphic design skills, software to create your sticker designs, sticker paper and a printer. And, to make professional-looking stickers, a sticker cutting machine like Cricut is an invaluable tool.
Here is an awesome tutorial showing us 3 methods to make stickers:
Planners are always popular because there are so many options. And with the ease of digitally downloading them, people flock to Etsy to get what they need.
In fact, if you go to Etsy right now and search for ‘planners’, you’ll be presented with 100’s of shops with planners for sale. Yes, there is a lot of competition, but if you make yours a bit different – offering a different ‘type’ of planner, you have a pretty good chance of making money.
For instance, these student planners are best sellers because they are targeted to students.
And these personalized daily planners sell really well because they can be buyers can add their name.
The key to selling planners is to be creative and offer something different than what everyone else is doing. With the use of the free graphic design tool Canva, you can create your own planner and start selling it on Etsy.
It’s no surprise that jewelry is one of the most popular categories, with thousands of daily shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind pieces to express their personal style.
Some of the specialized jewelry niches – based on Etsy top selling items – are:
- Personalized jewelry with names, initials, or little messages will always be popular. A look through Etsy shows that shoppers are in search of monogrammed earrings and necklaces , zodiac necklaces and birth flower jewelry (source).
- Charm necklaces will always be popular, with birthstones, birth flowers, and butterflies being big selling items.
- Specialty jewelry, for instance earrings for sensitive ears, is a niche jewelry category that generates a devoted target audience.
#4 Craft Supplies
Craft supplies is a huge category, and includes anything that people need to create their craft.
In fact, many of the best selling items on Etsy require craft supplies, indicating a great market in this area.
And the best thing about selling craft supplies is the fact you don’t have to be creative. All you need is an interest in providing other crafters with the supplies they need.
Scrapbooking and knitting supplies sell extremely well, with paper and yarn topping the list. Fabric, silk thread, bookbinding kits, wooden picture frames, and all sorts of patterns are also great sellers.
Etsy has a pretty thorough handbook with tips to sell craft supplies.
And to get your hands on supplies, Savvy Shopkeeper has a pretty big list of places to buy wholesale craft supplies.
#5 Wedding Items
Wedding decorations are one of the most popular searches on Etsy. In fact, one of the top party-decoration sellers sells a ton of wedding items.
The wedding industry generates over 60 billion dollars each year (source) and brides are willing to spend a lot for their special day.
So it’s no surprise that wedding items are hot sellers on Etsy. Some of the best selling things include:
-unique party accessories
-table place holders
Not only are wedding items hot sellers, bridal shower gifts are really popular, too.
For instance, these are great things to sell:
-bridal shower games
-bridal shower invitations
The more creative and personal you can make your wedding items, the better your chances of being a top seller.
#6 Personalized Pet Items
People love to spoil their furry little ‘family members’, and Etsy has seen a drastic uptick in personalized pet items.
One of the coolest pet related items I’ve seen is matching pet / human t-shirts offered by the boutique shop Barkley And Wagz.
And there are plenty of other personalized pet items that you can sell: monogrammed water bowls, custom fit beds, name collars and favorite dog toys are big selling items.
If you can add that personal touch, bring pet and owner closer together, your pet friendly Etsy shop is sure to be a hit
#7 Stylish Baby Items
There are so many things new moms want for her baby and stylish baby items will always be near the top of the list.
There are several things that fall into this category, such as…
…stylish head bands
…personalized name sign
But stylish items aren’t limited just to babies.
Baby shower things are pretty popular on Etsy, such as invitations, thank you tags, and due-date game signs are big sellers.
#8 Custom Fabrics
I was surprised when I discovered this little gem. I was even more surprised when I realized that a lot of other people looked for custom fabric too.
Leather, upholstery fabric, and scraps are a few of the ‘kinds’ of fabric you can sell on Etsy. And fabric sold by the yard or bundle are most commonly searched for.
#9 DIY Kits
It’s simple to get started:
First, you need to know the laws regarding selling food. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration will give you information to starting a food business and CottageFoods.org will guide you through your state’s food laws.
Then, acquire the appropriate licenses and permits (which you can find in the FDA and Cottage Foods links).
Next, make sure you don’t violate your local ordaninces are are allowed to process food for sale.
Finally, set up your Etsy shop.
Etsy has a food-seller handbook to walk you through the steps to selling food online.
#10 Home Decor
People can find just about anything for their home on Etsy, from lamps to furnitire legs (I bought some a few years ago 🙂 ) making home decor one of the best selling items for a reason. In fact, Etsy has experienced fantastic seller growth in room dividers and foldable desks (source).
But those aren’t the only home decor items that sell well.
Decorative pillows, rugs, handmade side tables, themed wall paper and murals, and wall hangings are – and always will be – popular.
To get some ideas of what other are selling, take a look at these shops:
When it comes to accessories, you’re only limited by your imagination. However, hair accessories leads the charge in this category with headbands and tiaras being the most popular items.
Hats, caps, sunglasses, scarves, belts and keychains are also top selling ideas.
The secret to selling a lot of accessories is to have a niche. And creativity.
For example, take a look at this Etsy shop. It specializes in scarf face coverings.
And this one sells hair accessories for girls.
#12 Vintage Items
Anything vintage is always hot on Etsy, bringing back a bit of nostalgia.
Some of the hottest selling vintage items on Etsy are rings, clothing (sweatshirts in particular), jewelry, lamps, rugs and just about any vintage toy. Even furniture sells well on Etsy.
#13 Homemade Soap
Soap will always be a top selling item on Etsy, and the more creatively personal you can make soap, the better. And remember this – all-natural soap is what most people shopping for soap on Etsy are looking for.
Here are a few ideas:
Tumeric soap with skin reviving properties is popular.
Goat milk soap is a big seller.
Pride soap is also very popular
If selling soap on Etsy interests you, this easy-to-follow soap making guide shows you how to make soap with natural elements.
What Are The Fees To Sell On Etsy ?
Here’s a rundown on what it costs to sell things on Etsy:
-Free to open an Etsy shop
-$0.20 fee per item listed
-5% transaction fee for each listing and its shipping cost.
-3% plus $0.25 payment processing fee (potentially)
It’s free to open an Etsy shop, but it costs $0.20 to list each item you’re selling for up to 4 months. At 4 months, if the item has not sold, your listing expires. You can opt to have your listings automatically renew after the 4 month cut-off and be charged $0.20 per item.
And If you list multiple quantities of the same item, the initial listing fee will be $0.20, and the listing will be automatically renewed at $0.20 after each of the items sells.
There’s also a 5% per-item transaction fee when an item sells – this fee includes the price of the item AND the cost of shipping.
If you accept payments through Etsy (instead of Paypal), there is a payment processing fee of 3% plus $0.25 for each item sold. In countries other than the USA, these fees are a bit higher – 4% plus change.
Etsy also offers advertising and promotion fees as well as monthly subscription charges, but as a beginner, we won’t go into those things.
How To Become An Etsy Seller
To start selling your things on Etsy, you first have to create an Etsy shop.
Here’s how to do it:
First, go to Etsy.com, scroll down a bit and click the ‘OPEN YOUR ETSY SHOP’ button.
Then, sign in using the options provided or create an account. This will also let you browse other Etsy shops..
Finally, name your shop and add your listings. The walk-through is pretty simple to follow and works similarly to Craigslist and Ebay.
Your items will not be available to purchasers until you go through all the steps and actually open your shop.
How To Get Customers To Your Etsy Store
Besides those two resources, here are some other effective ways to get customers for your Etsy store:
–Use Pinterest to attract people to your Etsy shop – This is a fantastic FREE tool to send potential customers to your Esty store.
–Set up your own website or blog – People often do an internet search before going to Etsy.com. So, making your own website or blog will let you showcase your items and direct people to your Etsy store,
–Make your Etsy Shop Search friendly With SEO – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is making sure your Etsy store comes up when someone enters a keyword or phrase in Google or Etsy.com. When setting up your Etsy shop AND entering items, put specific keywords in the title and description areas.
For example, if you sell giraffe door stops, make sure to put the words “giraffe door stops” in the item title.
–Use Social media – Use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…any social media platform. Tell people about your products so they click on your Etsy store.
Things To Consider When Selling On Etsy
Before you get too deep into Etsy, here are a few things to consider:
- There’s a 90 day seller probation period
For new sellers, the first 90 days is a probation period. This means, for your first 90 days, your funds will generally be available for deposit 7 days after a sale. After the first 90 days, Etsy Payments orders will become available for deposit the next business day.
- There may be a 5-day hold on your earnings
Whenever you update your back details, Etsy puts a 5-day hold in your Payment account. Once the hold lifts, funds will be sent to your bank account in accordance with your deposit schedule.
You set your payment deposit schedule – daily, weekly or monthly – however, some countries have a minimum amount of funds that can be deposited (source).
- Your items may be subject to the payment reserve policy
According to Etsy (source), some sellers who have recently made their first sale may be subject to the reserve policy. This means for earnings above a certain threshold for some sellers, Etsy will set aside a percentage of earnings on an order for 45 days just in case there’s an issue with the order.
The purpose of this policy is to keep the Etsy marketplace safe and easy for everyone, we’re introducing Payment account reserves for some sellers that have recently made their first sale on Etsy.
As we talked about earlier, there are seller fees. Fees will reduce your earnings, so to overcome any loss, price your items accordingly while still offering value to your customers.
You are responsible for collecting paying any taxes with your sales through Etsy. Etsy will send you 1099-K forms for tax filing purposes
Beginner Tips To Selling On Etsy
Being successful on Etsy depends not only on what you sell but also on how you handle your shop. Here are a few tips to sell things on Etsy for beginners :
1.Include high-resolution photos
Once you’ve decided on the best thing to sell on Esty, it’s important to take good pictures of your items. Upload clear, high-resolution photos that show in detail what you are selling.
Consider taking pictures from different angles and different backgrounds.
Lighting is just as important in showing off the true beauty of your products.
2. Be a good customer service rep.
Customers and potential buyers are more likely to buy from your Etsy shop if you are responsive and can accommodate them well. Be prompt with your replies and answer all of their questions.
Here are a few customer service tips that will provide a positive experience:
-Add a small ‘thank-you’ note in your package.
-Be responsive. Answer questions quickly and politely.
-Respond to customers quickly—within 24 hours if you can.
-Consider offering discounts or coupons if buyers leave positive feedback.
Remember: a happy customer will give positive feedback; positive feedback will increase the ranking of your Etsy store.
3. Ship on time and adjust your processing times if needed.
If you ship your packages without using shipping labels purchased on Etsy, remember not to mark items as shipped before they’re dropped off with your carrier. Include tracking info. when you ship a package. When you add tracking Etsy may be able to release funds in reserve earlier.
4. Sell items that are in high demand and don’t under or over price your items.
Take a look at some Etsy shops that sell items similar to yours to see what their prices are.
How To Discover Best Things To Sell on Etsy
To find the best selling things on Etsy, you have to do a bit of market research.
You can do this in two ways:
#1 Research best selling things directly on Etsy,
#2, Research the best selling things on Amazon Handmade and transfer that info. to Etsy.
Let’s go over both these options now
Research The Best Selling Things On Etsy
Etsy doesn’t make it easy to find what sells best. You can scour through thousands of shops, looking for best sellers, but that is time consuming.
The easier way to find things that sell on Etsy is to use outside tools.
One tool is eRank. But you have to have an active store to use this tool. So, because of that, we’re not going to go into detail here. Feel free, though, when you get your shop up and running.
The other tool is CraftCount.
CraftCount is a pretty simple tool, just follow these two steps:
- Go to CraftCount. You’ll see the top10 sellers today – which you can sort by category or country.
- Click on the seller to see what they have listed in their shop. This lets you see what they’re selling and how popular their items are.
For example, today I clicked the first top seller, plannerkate1
And then I went to that Etsy shop to see what items are the top sellers.
It looks like stickers are the best selling items.
Doing this kind of market research opens the door to possible things that can be sold on Etsy so you can start making money.
Research the best selling things on Amazon Handmade
Amazon Handmade makes it easy to find things that sell well; you can find this info. by looking at the customer reviews for any handmade item within any category.
You can even check out the featured artisians.
By getting a good idea of what handmade items are big sellers on Amazon, you have a great starting point to determine the best things you can sell on Etsy.
Etsy Courses For Beginners
But the best way to really make a difference as an Etsy seller is through the experience of others.
These online courses will make it easy to start selling on Etsy.
Learn Etsy From A Top Seller – This is an in-depth guide that teaches you how to open, build, and market your new Etsy shop. Covering everything from writing the right titles and descriptions to going from a 1-star rating to 5 stars and everything in between.
How To Print On-Demand Items For Your Etsy Shop – On-demand printing is one of the top selling Etsy items and this online course will go over everything you neeed to know to make money with printables.
How To Find Physical Products Without Storing Inventory – This top-rated course will teach you how to sell your own products on etsy (clothing, phone cases, mugs, etc.) without carrying any inventory or having to fulfill orders.
The Bottom Line:
Etsy is an amazing marketplace to sell just about anything and people are hungry for one-of-a-kind and specialty items.
The best things to sell on Etsy are the ones we mentioned above but remember, Etsy is fluid. What is hot today may change tomorrow depending on the environment.