What to Sell on Etsy to Make Money in 2023
Etsy is a popular online marketplace for a wide variety of custom and handmade products from independent sellers. If you’ve been thinking about expanding your online business to new sales channels, Etsy may be the perfect platform for you.
Table of contents
- Is It Worth Selling on Etsy?
- How to Find Products to Sell on Etsy
- Best Selling Product Categories on Etsy
- What to Know Before You Start Selling on Etsy
- Tips for Beginner Etsy Sellers
In this guide we will examine how you can get started selling on Etsy and how you can find great products with a high profit potential.
Is It Worth Selling on Etsy?
Whether or not Etsy is a viable sales channel for your business depends primarily on the type of products that you want to sell. Unlike other popular online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart, that offer products from essentially every category, Etsy only lets sellers list a few specific types of products.
Specifically, all items listed on Etsy must be handmade by you, a vintage item, or a craft supply. If you sell products that fall into this category, Etsy can be worth exploring as a sales channel. The marketplace has a large audience and continues to grow in popularity.
Plus, the process for listing and selling your products is simple and straightforward. There are several fees you need to pay to sell your products, but they are not too high, allowing you to get started without much cost.
How to Find Products to Sell on Etsy
If you want to sell on Etsy successfully, you must first learn how to find profitable products. Below are a few different ways you can find good ideas for what to sell on Etsy:
1. Search the Most Popular Items on Etsy’s Site
The first place to look for good product ideas is directly on Etsy’s website. Start with the homepage which features several sections showcasing some of the market’s top-performing products. The first of these sections is the “Popular Right Now” section. It displays five currently trending items for products across Etsy.
The Editor’s Picks section is another selection of products you can use to find winning items to sell on Etsy. It contains different curated collections chosen by the site’s editors who have deep insight into what customers value the most. Items in these collections have the potential to work well if you sell them.
2. Use Google Trends
Another way to find great Etsy products is to use Google Trends. The online tool allows you to search for a specific topic to see how interest in the subject is changing over time. You can use this to assess the demand for a product you are interested in selling to know if it is worth the effort.
3. Use Social Media Sites
The next place to find product ideas for Etsy items is social media. People will often post about the brands and products they are interested in. You can use these insights to learn what types of products are in demand.
There are several social media platforms you can use. We recommend starting with Pinterest. Users actively pin their favorite design ideas creating boards where you can quickly find many new product ideas.
4. Look at Trends and Demand for Other Marketplaces
Finally, you can find good Etsy products by analyzing other marketplaces to see what is performing well. Amazon is a natural place to start as it is the largest ecommerce site. Items that have high demand on Amazon tend to be popular on other online marketplaces.
Plus, Amazon research software makes it easy to thoroughly analyze any product on the market. With the AMZScout PRO Extension, you can quickly pull the historical sales data for Amazon products and niches to learn how much revenue they earn, how competitive they are, and how high the demand is. The app also helps you calculate the potential profit margin for different items.
Amazon is also a good place to find keywords for optimizing your Etsy listings. You can use the AMZScout Keyword Search tool to see how many people search for a specific keyword and how this is trending over time.
Best Selling Product Categories on Etsy
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of products you can sell on Etsy:
Etsy features an extensive collection of jewelry items including necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets. You can find plenty of different styles and pieces across all price ranges. Shoppers like buying jewelry on Etsy because they can get handmade pieces and custom designs at an affordable price.
2. Wedding products
Etsy is a popular destination for people shopping for a variety of wedding-related products. Customers can often find unique goods that are not available on other marketplaces. Some of the popular wedding items on Etsy include bridesmaids’ gifts, cake toppers, centerpieces, and invitations.
3. Handmade clothes
Etsy is home to all sorts of unique and affordable clothing. Buyers enjoy shopping for these types of items as there is a wide range of styles along with designs you can not find on other sites. Additionally, many find value in wearing handmade items while also supporting independent creators.
4. Personalized gifts
With products offered by individual creators, many customers use the marketplace to find personalized items. Shoppers can design unique gifts such as name necklaces, custom t-shirts, and wall decorations, among others. Etsy makes it easy for customers to find personalized items by adding a Customizable filtering option to the sidebar of its category pages.
5. Homemade beauty products
Etsy’s product catalog consists of a variety of beauty products including cosmetics, fragrances, hair care and skin care items. These items are popular because customers get a freshly made product at a great price. Many creators use natural and high-quality ingredients for their homemade beauty products, making them even more appealing to a larger audience.
There are several types of home décor products that are popular on Etsy. One of these is candles. Shoppers can find candles with creative elements like messages and images on the outside. Many are handmade and offered at a cheap price.
Accessories is one of the largest categories in the Etsy marketplace. Some of the top accessories are face masks, keychains, sunglasses, scarves, and hats. They are popular as Etsy is great for adding personalized and custom designs to these types of items.
Etsy is one of the best places on the web to find vintage products. The vintage collection includes everything from t-shirts and jewelry to posters and handbags. People frequently shop Etsy for these products to find cute and retro items less common in other stores.
9. Zero-waste products
Etsy boasts a diverse selection of zero-waste and reusable items. Examples of some of these items include deodorants, lotions, paper towels, and food wraps. The products are popular among customers as they are eco-friendly and allow you to cut down on the use of consumable products.
What to Know Before You Start Selling on Etsy
Here are some important factors you need to keep in mind before you begin listing and selling your products on Etsy.
1. How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Etsy?
While it is not expensive to sell on Etsy, it is not free either.
To start, you will need to pay to list your items. This will cost you $0.20 per listing. Obviously, the more products you have, the higher this cost will be.
If you make your products yourself, you won’t have to worry about manufacturing costs, simply the cost of your materials. You will however need to pay for shipping costs unless you plan to pass these on to your customers.
You will also likely need to pay for advertisements as it will be difficult to get a lot of visitors to your products without them. Overall, these costs (except for the listing fees) will vary based on the specifics of what you want to sell and how much you are willing to spend for paid promotions.
Below we will go into more detail about the various fees you are subject to as an Etsy seller.
2. Paying Taxes
The money you earn selling on Etsy is liable for federal and potential state income tax. Because of this, Etsy will file a form 1099-K with the IRS if you sell over $20,000 of items during the year. They will also collect a taxpayer ID from you upon sign up to be able to properly report any income you earn.
The appropriate taxpayer ID depends on the type of business you run. If you operate as a sole proprietor you can use your social security number as the ID. If you have run a limited liability company, partnership, or corporation, you will need to get an Employee Identification Number from the IRS.
You also need to be aware of how Etsy handles sales taxes. The company currently collects sales tax on orders placed in over 30 states across the US. If you are physically located in one of the states where Etsy collects taxes, you will likely need to file a sales tax return for your state. However, you won’t have to make any payments as Etsy will remit the funds it collects when processing your orders.
The last thing you should be aware of before searching for good Etsy products is fees. Below are the different types of fees that you will need to pay if you sell on Etsy:
Listing fees: Etsy charges a $0.20 fee for every item that you list on the marketplace.
Transaction fees: When you sell a product on Etsy, you must pay a transaction fee worth 5% of the listing price plus the shipping costs.
Advertising and promotional fees: If you choose to advertise your Etsy products, you will need to pay promotional fees.
Subscription fees: Etsy offers a subscription plan for sellers known as Etsy Plus. If you enroll, you are allowed a few free listings each month and a small number of Etsy Ad credits. The subscription costs $10 per month.
Shipping Fees: Sellers in certain geographic locations can purchase shipping labels from Etsy to use for their deliveries. The cost for these varies depending on the shipping carrier and the size of the package.
Payment processing fees: Etsy uses its own in-house payment processor Etsy Payments to accept payments for orders. Like all payment gateways, there is a processing fee. Etsy charges 3% + $0.25 for each transaction.
Pattern fees: If you use Etsy’s Pattern tool to create a customized website, you will need to pay $15 per month.
Tips for Beginner Etsy Sellers
Do Product Research
It is important to research your products before fully committing to a particular niche. You want to know how much demand there is for an item and how competitive the market is. You can then assess how high of a sales price you could use for the potential product and whether it is enough to generate a profit.
Do Keyword Research
Keyword research will give you an overview of the size of a potential market by showing the total volume of searches for related terms. It also gives you the specific terms to use when optimizing your product listings and building your advertising campaigns.
Respond to Inquiries Quickly
One of the reasons many people love using Etsy is the ability to easily communicate with sellers. Shoppers can message creators with questions about an item and the creators can respond within their Etsy account.
It is important to respond to and messages from customers quickly. This will not only help you capitalize on the sales opportunity but will also encourage more people to engage with you while viewing your listings. Etsy places an average response time next to your seller info. Faster responses will be more appealing to buyers.
Provide Your Customers with Good Service
A great customer experience is essential for all ecommerce sales channels and Etsy is no exception. To give your customers an enjoyable buying experience, you need to make sure that you provide all the important information about your products. A customer that buys a product essentially bets that it will meet their needs. With thorough and accurate listings and responses to questions, you can boost their confidence.
The need for great service doesn’t end when someone places an order. After a customer makes a purchase you must ensure smooth delivery of all the order items.
Price Your Products Competitively
Price will always be one of the most important factors customers weigh when deciding which products to buy. When you sell on a third-party marketplace with other sellers, price is an even bigger factor as shoppers can easily compare items from multiple sellers. As such, it is important to make sure your products are priced competitively to not lose potential sales.
Promote Your Products
No matter how cool your product is, you won’t get any sales if nobody can find it. With so many other sellers listing their own items, you need a strategy to get in front of your target audience. The easiest way to do this is through paid promotions. You can use Etsy’s advertising service or you can advertise off-platform to drive visitors to your listings.
If you’re into handmade and craft products and want an extra way to make money for your business, Etsy is worth exploring. Use this guide to start thinking about what type of products your audience will like and how you can grow your presence on the marketplace.