Etsy is a unique marketplace where handmade sellers can offer their unique products and art supplies to millions of people. If you create your own art, handcraft jewelry, collect vintage items, or design your own products, selling on Etsy can become a lucrative business for you.
Want to sell your products on Etsy but aren’t sure where to start? Keep reading to learn more!
In this article, we’ll go over:
- What is Etsy?
- Why sell on Etsy?
- What products can you sell on Etsy?
- What does it cost to sell on Etsy?
- How to create an Etsy seller account
What is Etsy?
Etsy is a marketplace made specifically for handmade goods, vintage products, and art supplies. It is the perfect place for artists, shop owners, woodworkers, jewelry makers, and more to offer their unique goods to millions of potential buyers.
Where Amazon and eBay are for nearly every item you could think of, Etsy is a place where customers can find customizable products, specific items, and niche goods 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 U.S. alone
- Low selling fees and no monthly subscription fees (like you have to pay when selling on Amazon)
- Etsy only allows certain products and categories to be sold on the marketplace, so it’ll never turn into an Amazon or eBay.
- You handcraft your own products, or you sell customized products
- You sell arts & crafts supplies
- You can target very specific niches
- The Etsy marketplace is more user-friendly compared to Amazon Seller Central
What does it cost to sell on Etsy?
Etsy keeps its fees simple and easy to understand:
- No monthly subscription fee
- $0.20 per-item listing fee (renews every four months)
- 6.5% Transaction fee
- $0.25 payment processing fee
- 15% Offsite Ads Fee*
- “Etsy pays to advertise your items across the web through Offsite Ads. You only pay a fee when you make a sale from one of those ads.”
While Etsy’s Standard store is free, Etsy also offers an “Etsy Plus” store that costs $10/month. What’s included in Etsy Plus?
- A monthly budget of credits for listings and Etsy Ads
- Access to a discount on a custom web address for your Etsy shop
- Restock requests for shoppers interested in your items that have sold out
- Advanced shop customization options
- Access to discounts on custom packaging and promotional material like 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. While at first glance, that doesn’t seem like a lot, when you break down their categories and subcategories, you actually have a ton of niches to choose from.
Thousands of different products can fall under each one of these categories, so don’t get discouraged — as long as your product qualifies as handmade, vintage, or a craft supply, you can sell it on Etsy.
Now, Etsy’s Handmade Policy is a spectrum (as they describe it) because your items can qualify as handmade if you actually manufacture your own product or if you design your own products but use an outside company to manufacture them for you.
Before listing your product as handmade, you agree that the items are made or designed by you.
Here is a snippet from Etsy’s Handmade Policy:
A maker is a seller who is physically making the items listed for sale in their Etsy shop. A maker might design their items in addition to making them, or they might follow a pattern or template that they did not design. Regardless, makers must be creating their items with their own hands (or tools).
A designer is a seller who has come up with an original design, pattern, sketch, template, prototype, or plan to be produced by in-house shop members or a production partner. Simple customization, such as selecting colors, shapes, or choosing from ready-made options is not considered design on Etsy.
If you are a designer and you are using a production partner to help make your items, you must also disclose information about your production partner in your listings. A production partner is anyone (who’s not a part of your Etsy shop) who helps you physically produce your items.
How to find products to sell on Etsy
We know product research can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you figure out what you can offer your customers on Etsy.
Search through each category on Etsy
A great way to figure out what handmade or vintage items to offer on Etsy is by physically searching through multiple categories on Etsy and seeing what catches your eye.
What are other sellers offering or making? Can you create something similar or make it better? There are thousands of subcategories on Etsy, so you’re bound to find something you can sell.
Etsy has 15 “Top Level Categories” but over 3,200 subcategories! Dig through Etsy’s Complete Category List to really niche down and find something you’d be interested in.
A good indicator of a popular product is its review count. On average, only 2 out of every 100 buyers will leave a review, so products with a high review count typically mean product has a strong sales history.
Also, look at the dates of the most recent reviews. If any of the reviews are within the current month or so, that indicates a popular product.
Examine your skills or hobbies
What skills or hobbies do you possess that could translate into a thriving Etsy business? Maybe you are a skilled carpenter with intricate tools to craft beautiful wood furniture. Or maybe you like to create customized bracelets for your family and friends.
Whatever it may be, you could potentially turn that hobby or skill you have into a profitable business.
Don’t count out your skills either or think “no one will want to buy this.” Search for your ideas on Etsy and see how many listings appear.
Verify demand for existing products you create
If you are interested in selling on Etsy, it’s very likely that you are already making your own products.
Here are some ways you can verify the demand for your products:
- Search in Google Trends
Google Trends is a free tool anyone can use to determine the popularity of a particular keyword over time. Search for the product you want to offer and check the past 12 months and the past 5 years to see if popularity for that keyword has grown or declined in that time period.
- Search on Amazon Handmade and Etsy
As mentioned above, search for the product you currently create on Etsy, and even on Amazon Handmade. If you see similar products with a solid amount of reviews, you can be sure there is some kind of 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 consider when doing product research.
How to create an Etsy seller account
If you feel like Etsy is the marketplace for you, here is how you can easily create a seller account.
1. Go to etsy.com/sell
The first step is to visit Etsy’s seller page and click on “Get started.” Then enter your email address, name, and password to start the registration process.
2. Start your shop
After you finish the registration process, you are now ready to start your shop! Before starting your shop, Etsy will walk you through a couple of questions (that you can skip) to provide you with any relevant information or recourses you may need to get started.
After you go through these simple steps, click on “Start your shop.”
3. Enter your shop information
In this step, you’ll be taken to the shop preferences page, where you’ll name your page, enter the product you want to sell (fill in what you can, you can edit this later on), and set up billing and shop security.
If you don’t have a product yet, just enter random information in the “Stock your shop” section to move on to the next step. The product will not go live, and you can always edit and add new products once your shop opens.
Take your time going through these steps to ensure your shop and information is set up correctly.
4. Customize your Etsy storefront
Once your shop is open, you can now work on customizing your shop and giving it some personality!
- Customized banner: Etsy allows you to add a unique banner to your store to show your potential customers what your shop is about. Include your shop name, images of your products, or other information about your business.
- Shop owner information: Include a photo of yourself or the company logo and contact information.
- Featured items: Add featured items to your storefront, so customers know what you offer.
Tips for selling on Etsy from a Star Seller
I asked Jungle Scout’s own Jenna Christie, who is a Star Seller on Etsy, to provide you all with some expert seller tips you can use for your own Etsy businesses!
- Utilize social media. People love seeing behind-the-scenes of small businesses and getting to know the shop owners on Etsy. I find lots of people include photos in their Etsy reviews which makes creating the content pretty easy. It also helps you get discovered off of Etsy and brings people to your store.
- Analyze your competition and adjust accordingly. If your competition’s main photos all have a white background, maybe try using a colorful background to draw eyes to your listing.
- Add a video. Most sellers will have the option to add a video to their listing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but show your product in action. This really helps with conversions.
- Join an Etsy Seller Facebook group. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from seasoned sellers and how willing they are to help you out.
Are you ready to sell on Etsy?
We hope this article will help you understand more about how to sell on Etsy and if Etsy is right for your business.
Do you have any questions about How to Sell on Etsy? Let us know in the comments!