Etsy is one of the leading e-commerce companies, and has created a niche for itself by being women-centred and focused on personalised and customised items, and below, you will find the 10 most popular products and services to sell through Etsy
Etsy is a global online marketplace which offers crafters, artists and collectors the platform to sell vintage, handmade, or a variety of custom-made items, such as jewellery, clothing, arts, toys and home décor.
Currently, the website is considered as one of the best e-commerce platforms for aspiring creatives and artists looking to create passive income through their passions.
Founded in 2005, the e-commerce company has created a niche for itself due to the seller pool which consists of over 80 percent women.
For its customers, the company offers and accepts a wide variety of payment options, which include credit and debit card payments, Apple and Google Pay, and the use of Etsy gift cards.
- How to sell things on Etsy
- 10 best things to sell on Etsy
- Easy things to sell on Etsy
- Things to make and sell on Etsy
- Easy things to make and sell on Etsy
- Dos and Don’ts for Etsy sellers
- Common misconceptions and pitfalls
How to sell things on Etsy
In order to be a seller on Etsy, the company has made it easy to navigate the website in order to register. However, there are some steps to follow and considerations to take into account ahead of creating and starting to sell on the website.
A big consideration before beginning the journey is to know that being a seller on the website will require regular updates and attention in order to optimise your page on the website.
Thereafter, these are the steps to follow in order to sign up:
In order to be certain that Etsy is the best platform for you to sell your products, it is important to conduct research. First, you should go on to the website and understand how to navigate the website.
Second, you will need to know what item(s) you would sell on the website. A tip: preferably start with a single item before diversifying your offering.
Before creating a store, you are required to create an account with Etsy. In order to create the account, you will need to upload a profile picture, create a biography and follow the prompts. It goes without saying, read the terms and conditions.
Thereafter, find the Sell on Etsy tab, and you’ll be able to open your store. Basic requirements will need you to select your preferred language, country, currency, and store name.
Once the store is created, you will be responsible for creating the look and feel. This includes creating and uploading a professional store logo or image, and a store banner.
Secondly, in order to increase your visibility, it is important to use SEO best practices in order for your store to easily show up during searches.
SEO best practices are inclusive of write ups on your description, bio, listing titles, tags, and product descriptions. A tip: look at similar stores on the page to gauge how the popular businesses have done this.
After you have set the store up, it is time to begin to create listings. This refers to creating detailed descriptions of the first products you are selling.
This includes uploading high-quality images of the products, providing a detailed description, setting the price for the items, and ensuring that the descriptions are in line with SEO best practices.
Customer is always right
It is important to note that buyers on the website can leave reviews about your store and the service received.
Therefore, you should always be aware of maintaining a high rating and ensuring your reviews are complementary. This means always being professional and giving the best customer service.
An additional consideration is the cost of being on the platform, which the website explains as, “List your first item for just $0.20 – you only pay transaction, payment processing, and offsite advertising fees when you make a sale.”
10 best things to sell on Etsy
So, when considering your product offerings, there are two ways that you can navigate it. You could choose the “easy” way out or choose to sell the best.
What does this mean? Well, you can either choose to sell easy products with not much required at the backend, or you can choose to sell items which will require some work. Below, you will find the 10 best things and most popular products and services to sell through Etsy.
For context, Vintage refers to clothing, jewellery and other accessories or products that are over 20 years old. They could range from vintage furniture, art and collectables.
The best tip for when looking to sell your vintage items, is to consider their uniqueness and lack of availability. This allows you as the seller to set your own price and still have interested buyers.
One of the most popular items which are hot sellers on Etsy is handmade accessories. This could range from bracelets, necklaces, and children’s clothing accessories.
Ultimately, the list is endless when it comes to the type of accessories you can make to sell. However, the most popular accessories to sell this year are those that focus on children and babies.
Journals and diaries
Everyone is always in search of either journals and diaries, which are customised in order to personalise their possessions.
Therefore, one of the most popular products to sell on the website are journals and diaries. The tip is to create them to be unique and have a different take to those available.
Whether it is through the design, the copy on the cover or the design used for the pages in the journal or diary.
Wedding accessories and items
Weddings are a consistent market, therefore, Etsy offers a wide range from designs and invitations. To wedding accessories like decorations and lights, and wedding takeaways for the guests who attended the wedding.
As a seller, you can choose which of the multitude of products you want to venture into selling.
Bathroom and bath products
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of bathing products like baths salts, herbs and bombs.
Etsy is one of the most popular e-commerce companies with a wide offering in this regard, as the demand for these products has grown.
Similarly, with people taking more baths, bathroom accessories like the bathmats have also grown in terms of the demand by customers.
Candles, specifically scented and home essential candles, in the last few years have also grown in their popularity. Some prioritise the scent, while others prioritise the design.
Each of these have a demand and customer base looking for unique and exclusive designs or scents, which is a market, and which you as a seller can tap into.
Being green and eco-friendly is the new craze. Therefore, the market is continually looking for products which do less harm to the environment, but still produce the same result as less cleaner products.
The imaginings of what natural product to sell is vast ranging from bath products, to skincare to home essentials like washing liquid, which do not have chemicals which will damage the water system.
Self-care kits and ready-made packages
These include anything between food hampers designed for picnics and date nights, to ready-made craft kits. Specifically, for food hampers the bestsellers have remained those which have sweets and decadents.
While the ready-made craft kits are a popular purchase due to the interactivity that the packages encourage.
Seeing as Etsy is popular for people searching for unique or personalised items, it is important to ensure that your own gift cards do not look like a rip off of popular airport and big retailer gift cards in order to ensure profitability.
One of the most popular purchases on the website are stickers. In light of children’s-oriented products being bestsellers, it is no surprise that stickers are popular.
A general rule of thumb to consider when looking to sell stickers is that the more unique the design or theme, the better.
Easy things to sell on Etsy
As touched on before, when considering what is easy to sell on Etsy, the best consideration is raw materials.
This is because as much as there is a demand for ready-made, customised or handmade products, some buyers on the website are looking for raw materials or services which they can complete themselves.
Below is a list of 5 of the easy products to sell on Etsy, which are best-sellers on the website.
Printable refers to templates which are designed and sold on Etsy. The reason for the ease, is that you as a seller design the template, sell it on Etsy, and the buyer can download the design and print it out themselves.
This cancels out the need to consider shipping and quality control of the products when being delivered.
The most popular of the printable templates is currently planners, which range from day planners, meal planners, and social media post planners for those inclined.
Similar to printables, Digital artwork is one of the easiest sells as the customer can purchase a design and print it out themselves. Moreover, with the digital artworks, it cancels out the hassle of having to figure out dimensions, frames and shipping.
Moreover, the option of digital artworks can be beneficial in creating relationships with other sellers as they can be referred to if the customer is looking to have the design printed on a shirt, mug or as wallpaper.
Raw crafts materials
While you can make the jewellery yourself or sell ready-made craft kits. Another option is to sell the raw materials it takes to make the products.
The difference between this and creating ready-made craft kits is that each of the items are sold individually, leaving the onus of choosing materials like the beads, gems and stones up to the customer.
Customised mugs and clothing items
Mugs and clothes are generally popular purchases. However, everyone is always looking to purchase unique or collector’s items when it comes to the two products.
Therefore, when looking to sell these products, it is important to have them personalised or customised.
This could include selling a digital design and working with other stores on the website in regard to printing the products. One creating handmade details on the items and selling them afterwards.
As indicated before, individuality is key. Similar to selling plants, the rarer the better chances that the plant will sell on the website.
This is not to say that general house plants do not sell. However, creating a niche for your plant business will inevitably cross pollinate to other plants sold on your website.
Things to make and sell on Etsy
A big part of Etsy’s ethos is humanising e-commerce, which is highlighted by its mission statement, which states:
“In a time of increasing automation, it’s our mission to keep human connection at the heart of commerce. That’s why we built a place where creativity lives and thrives because it’s powered by people. We help our community of sellers turn their ideas into successful businesses. Our platform connects them with millions of buyers looking for an alternative – something special with a human touch, for those moments in life that deserve imagination.”
Therefore, most items sold on Etsy, outside of the vintage category of product lines and offerings, involve the seller needing to customise or personalise their products.
This is as Etsy has set itself apart from other e-commerce companies in the same space, which are popular for selling commercial items which can be found at a retailer or high-end store.
This is probably why the website consists of 80 percent of women as sellers. Furthermore, it would be of interest to find out how many work from home and are versions of stay-at-home moms.
So, the basic rule of thumb when considering starting a business that you want to be on Etsy, is that you will be required to have made some element of the product.
This is outside of an already small and saturated pool of products not personally made like vintage items or raw material stores on the website.
Easy things to make and sell on Etsy
On the other hand, there are products and items which are technically easier to make and sell than others. These items were highlighted in the easy to sell on Etsy subheading, which included printables, digital artwork and raw craft materials.
While, we have discussed them as easy to sell, the reasons why they are considered easy as products to sell has not been fully nuanced.
Firstly, the biggest reason for this notion is the backend requirements. This is especially pointed to printables and digital artworks.
Due to the fact that the seller is literally only selling their design, the business does not have to worry about factors like shipping or ensuring quality control between the product being given to the delivery service and the product arriving to the buyer.
After the customer has bought their desired design, they only need to download the template and are solely responsible for printing.
Alternatively, as indicated before, the seller could work with other sellers on the website which print digital designs and they would still have some responsibility in dealing with the backend of a purchase.
This is unless they work on a referral system, which again places the onus on the buyer and the second party business.
For raw craft materials, it is more of the effort placed in the front end. Sourcing raw crafts materials might be hard in the beginning.
However, after finding a reliable supplier(s), there is some ease as the focus for the seller would be to promote their unique items and ensure that the raw materials are delivered timeously.
Unlike, for instance a handmade jewellery designer who would need to find the raw materials, create different designs, sell and ensure the timeous delivery of the product.
Dos and Don’ts for Etsy sellers
The greatest way to understand quality control as a seller is reading and familiarising yourself as a seller with the terms and conditions stipulated on the website.
This provides a detailed understanding of faux pas to avoid before making any beginner mistakes. While it is detailed, it is divided into subheadings aimed at explaining different aspects.
The subheadings include:
- Advertising & Marketing Policy: Which is aimed at explaining how to best increase your visibility on the page.
- Anti-Discrimination and Hate Speech Policy: Which is aimed at explaining the words you should not use in order to risk losing your membership.
- Community Policy: Which is aimed at explaining how to navigate the community page, which is where all community members share and exchange information.
- Fees & Payments Policy: Which is aimed at explaining how charged fees and payments change depending on country, currency and payment systems.
- Handmade Policy: Which is aimed at explaining what constitutes handmade items, which can be sold on the website.
- Intellectual Property (IP) Policy: Which is aimed at explaining how you could be infringing by stealing or copying someone else’s IP.
- Pattern Policy: Which is aimed at explaining how you can incorporate an existing store with your Etsy online store.
- Prohibited Items Policy: Which is aimed at explaining which products or items cannot not be sold on the website.
- Sanctions Policy: Which is aimed at explaining the limitations in terms of the reach outside your own country you will have once you have signed up.
- Seller Protection Policy: Which is aimed at explaining the parameters which will allow Etsy to intervene if there are payment issues between sellers and buyers.
- Seller Referrals Policy: Which is aimed at explaining the credit system for sellers who refer new signees to the website.
- Delivery Policy: Which is aimed at explaining your obligations, rights and responsibility as a seller when working with postal services to deliver your products.
Common misconceptions and pitfalls
Reading and understanding the terms and conditions is important, as they assist in avoiding the possibility of falling into five of the most common misconceptions about Etsy.
A fact which is a result of a lack of research. This becomes the first and most important obstacle which is faced by any seller; a lack of understanding of the company’s policy.
Therefore, when the store fails, it is easy for the seller to place the blame on the website and not take onus.
The second is the use of subpar or just low-quality images. Considering that people will buy off of seeing the images of the products, it is important to take careful consideration on the picture quality and the framing and composition of the images to increase chances of sales.
Similarly, with the third misconception, which relates to a lack of providing detailed listings, tags and description. If a customer likes the image but cannot find adequate information, then they will not buy.
Hence, if you as a seller do not optimise on your visibility through using SEO best practices on the tags or listings, then customers will not be able to know about your business.
This is interlinked with neglecting the business side of running the store. Sometimes sellers focus on their passion, whether it is sourcing clothes or making the jewellery, and not on the business end, like stock taking or engaging with customers.
Lastly, although not a misconception but a result thereof, is giving up too quickly. Instead of addressing the misconceptions mentioned, sellers tend to throw in the towel.
Rather than attempt to address these misconceptions in order to gauge whether the business failed as a result of the product offering or because of a lack of management skills.
Therefore, as we draw to the end, it is important to be emphatic on the importance of first familiarising yourself with the Etsy Sellers Policy.
This is as the understanding of the policy will help show why Etsy is one of the leading e-commerce online websites, with a particular focus on handmade and vintage items.
In 2021, the company is still the go-to website for anyone looking to make a side income through their passions, whether it be arts and craft, design, fashion or children, Etsy has a viable market for you.