If you’ve been thinking about starting your own small business or getting into online sales, you’ve probably thought about selling items on Etsy.
But what sort of things sell on Etsy? It’s important to know what’ll sell otherwise you won’t get sales and your inventory will sit around with no customers.
Hobbies can easily make you money as a seller- it’s the easiest way to find things to sell on Etsy. It’s not only handmade items either. You’d be surprised at the best sellers on the Etsy platform!
In this article, we’ll talk about the top-selling items on Etsy- let’s see what you can sell on Etsy in 2021 that will make you some extra money or boost your business.
If you are looking for the answer quickly. The best items to sell on Etsy are digital printables! The are the easiest to make and the most profitable.
You can learn more about selling digital printables on Etsy with this incredible E-Printables Course.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an incredibly popular marketplace that specializes in selling handmade items, craft goodies, or even vintage items and party decorations.
There are so many different categories of things to sell on Etsy such as clothing, toys, jewelry, furniture, illustrations, and more- it’s understandable why so many sellers have joined Etsy to make money!
Etsy has been running since 2005, and as of 2020 has 4.3 million users- that’s up 2.7 million users from the previous year – showing that it’s growing astronomically as the world accommodated online sales more over the last year!
Why Selling on Etsy is Worth It
When it comes to selling products online, it’s worth thinking about the best place to make sales and get the most traffic to your shop.
This is why people think it’s worth selling on Etsy!
There’s no point putting all of your efforts into a website if no one in your target market is finding it to buy your stuff.
There are lots of benefits to selling on Etsy, especially if you are a brand new artist or seller starting out.
The main benefit that you get from selling on Etsy is all of the potential buyers that they have on there, ready to go, and probably looking for small shops like yours.
Think about it – if you set up your own website and start selling on it, that means you will have to get traffic onto your site to make any sales.
If you sell on Etsy, there will be millions of people on there already, and if they are searching for a specific item then you can pop up in the search results.
There are literally people starting to sell on Etsy one month and making over $1,000/month the next.
Not only that, but a lot of potential buyers will feel safer buying on Etsy as it’s a trusted site, rather than a random site they stumbled across.
There’s nothing to stop you from having both, and it’s worth remembering that you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket, but selling on Etsy is a good place to start growing your brand.
15 Things to Sell and Make Some Moolah
1. Digital Printables
Digital products may be one of the top high-demand things to sell on Etsy- people can download and use them right away, and it can sometimes be little to no cost to sell once it’s set up.
You only need to create the printables one time, and then customers can download them as many times as they want!
You could focus on PDFs that people can buy and download on any topic you decide, e.g. parenting, personal finance, household, and more.
This is what we do with our online Etsy shop and we have made some easy passive income from it.
Keyword research or an Etsy search will show you what’s selling well before you create your products- plenty of offerings means that there may be a demand for it.
Planner printables and supplies are top-selling items with a lot of customization options. There are millions of people who use planners, and you can design printables, sheets, or stickers for them to use within their planner.
Not only that – but you could even design and sell planners for them – budget planners, life planners, grocery planners, wedding planners, party planners, and so on.
You don’t need to have fancy programming or a graphic design degree to design printables – you can use programs like Canva (which is free).
E-Printables Course is an incredible resource to help you learn everything you need to know about researching, creating, and selling digital printables on Etsy
2. Custom Made Clothing
The cool thing about selling clothing on Etsy is that you can sell either new or second-hand clothes plenty of people are looking for costumes, outfits, and more for their wardrobe!
Vintage clothing is one of the best things to sell on Etsy, as a lot of people are on the site to find unique items.
There is also a huge market for unique or unusual kids’ clothing, even cosplay or accessories for adult costumes.
3. Sell Your Old Jewelry
When you look at the top-selling Etsy shops, you will find that a large majority of them are jewelry sellers.
People love buying jewelry on Etsy because there are so many unique, handmade pieces that may not be as expensive as if you went to a high-end store.
There are all kinds of jewelry that you can sell on Etsy, such as wedding rings, engagement rings, cufflinks, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more.
You can set things up however you want – you could create bespoke pieces, or create a range that you make multiples of.
Even if you are new to jewelry making, there are lots of tutorials out there that you could follow and start selling today.
4. Paper & Party Supplies
Social media has turned parties into something a lot more grand – it’s not just celebrities that can throw a huge party, but anyone!
As much as people like to throw epic parties for themselves, they will also likely be doing it for the ‘gram!
That means that a lot of people will be willing to pay a lot of money to get party decorations!
When we say ‘parties’ you may be thinking of a birthday party, but don’t forget celebrations like weddings, engagements, bridal showers, baby showers, new jobs, and more.
It will help if you create a niche for the types of party supplies that you will be doing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a shop for all.
The way to make the things that you sell generate a passive income is to have them be generic or for the customer to be able to customize them, themselves.
If you are willing to do custom work then you will make more money, but it will take up more of your time – which you can charge for.
A good example of this is wedding decorations or invitations. Engaged couples are looking for special invitations which will impress, and this is where a lot of money can be willingly spent.
Are you a talented artist? Etsy is a great place to sell your artwork, especially when you are just starting out.
You can sell your artwork either as physical pieces that you ship out, or printable art.
Printable art is really popular on Etsy because it makes things convenient for people who want some artwork for their homes.
The type of printable artwork that is particularly popular is printable art for kids’ rooms.
6. Pet Supplies
If you’re looking to sell something that people will spend a crazy amount of money on apart from their children – look no further than their pets!
There are so many different types of pet supplies that you can sell on Etsy, such as:
- Shoes (yes, really)
- Pet collars
- Pet leashes
- Pet ID tags
- Pet portraits
- Carriers and houses
People will spend a lot of money on their children, so this is always a good area in which to try and sell things.
As homemade items do so well on Etsy, it’s worth thinking about what you could make/have made to sell. Wooden toys always sell well on Etsy.
You could also sell things like homemade slime, as this is a really popular craze for kids right now.
8. Self Care Items
You’d be surprised at how many people head on over to Etsy to purchase self-care items.
You could sell items like bath bombs, facials, soap, etc. Soap and bath bombs are relatively easy to make, and you can create so many different styles.
There are lots of Youtube videos that have tutorials on how to make these. Just make sure that you are doing it all so it’s safe for someone to use on their skin.
9. Craft Kits/ DIY Kits
The great thing about selling craft kits or DIY kits is that you don’t need to make the items yourself! So even if you are not a crafter, you don’t need to be to sell a kit.
With that being said, they can be a good additional item to sell alongside your products if you do sell crafts.
Have a look at the kinds of things people like to make for themselves – and also the kinds of things that kids would like to make.
These could be kits you make and sell- like jewelry making (bracelets, necklaces, etc), terrarium kit, pottery kit, crochet kit, and more.
10. Vintage Anything
For something to be considered vintage on Etsy, it needs to be at least 20 years old.
There are all kinds of vintage items that you can sell on Etsy, such as:
- Home decor
- Craft supplies
- Art and collectibles
- Clothing and shoes
- Toys and games
- Wedding items
- Books, films, and music
11. Handmade, One of A Kind Items
Etsy is a perfect place to sell handmade, one-of-a-kind items. This is great if you are an artist or sculptor, where it is hard to create a bunch of the same thing.
There are so many different niches that you could do this in, such as stuffed animals, clay art, amigurumi, and more.
12. Home Decor
As Etsy is known for unique items, this is a place where a lot of people will flock, to look for rare pieces to make their home decor stand out.
There are so many things that you can sell for home decor on Etsy, such as furniture, lighting, rugs, paintings, wallpaper, and more.
13. Niche Culture Fun
If you are into any niche culture, you’ll understand why people go to Etsy to look for items to buy.
If you like things like Nintendo, Etsy is a perfect place to sell these kinds of things, as they tend to be more on the vintage/rare side.
The world of anime opens up lots of potential ideas for things that you can sell, such as clothing, art, stationery, phone cases, jewelry, and more.
14. Personalized Goodies
When people are looking for personalized items, they will often head to Etsy to look for them – which is why it’s such a good idea to sell them on there!
The potential for the various personalized items you could sell is huge, and you could do it for a wide range of niches.
You could do personalized clothing, phone cases, pet collars, toys, keepsakes, jewelry, furniture, notebooks, beauty items, mugs, and more.
15. Purses & Bags
A really cool thing that you could sell on Etsy is purses- or any sort of bags. These could be vintage items or handmade ones!
You could sell handbags, shoulder bags, crossbody bags, wristlets, purses, purse inserts, and more.
How to Make an Etsy Store
To start selling on Etsy is actually quite easy. Just follow these steps, and get ready to customize your Etsy shop- and take good pictures of things to sell on Etsy!
Here’s what you need to do to become an Etsy seller:
- Click ‘Register’ at the top of the site page
- Fill out the form with your information
- Find the confirmation email within your email and click to confirm
- Go back to Etsy and click ‘Sign In’ at the top of the page
- Fill in your bio and add a profile picture (this doesn’t have to be you, it can be your logo)
- Click ‘Open a Shop’ at the bottom
- Choose your shop language, country, currency, and then save it
- Choose your shop name (it’s important to stand out compared to other Etsy sellers- and don’t copy names either!), then click on save and continue
There are some additional steps to take as a seller- such as choosing how you’ll get paid, setting up billing, and adding your products on Etsy.
Listing and Transaction Fees
Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 USD per item in your Etsy shop. This is only for new listings- you won’t be charged if you edit an existing shop listing.
Listing fees will be charged whether the item sells or not, so be sure to plan what things to sell on Etsy- I’m sure you’ve got some best-selling items just waiting!
If you create a private listing, like for a custom-order wall art, vintage products, or any other personalized gifts, then you will be charged the small listing fee only when the item sells.
Etsy has an automatic renewal feature where the listings will automatically renew after four months of being unsold, and you will be charged $0.20 to keep your listing current.
If you don’t want your listings to automatically renew then you can turn this off within your Listings Manager (change it from ‘Automatic’ to ‘Manual’ under the Renewal Options).
There are also transaction fees on Etsy, which is how they make their money. When something sells from your shop, Etsy takes 5% of the product total.
The transaction fee doesn’t apply to sales tax, goods and service tax, or harmonized sales tax (unless you have included these in your pricing).
Shipping costs will vary depending on who the shipping carrier is, where it’s going, the weight, and the dimensions of the package.
It’s up to you to decide how you ship from your Etsy store. You have the choice to purchase shipping labels within Etsy to make things easier (within certain locations).
The fees can be seen in your payment account and are taken off your balance inside Etsy, which is one less bill to pay attention to.
Getting Paid (PayPal, credit cards, etc.)
One of the most important parts – getting paid! Selling products and receiving payment is really easy and you have so many options!
If you are registered for Etsy Payments then you can have payments via credit card, debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Etsy gift cards, and credit.
Top Selling Categories on Etsy
You can search to see who the top sellers on Etsy are on Google, or with some programs like Marmalead and Etsy Rank.
The top sellers are typically in the craft and supplies category or the wedding category, which may sway you on product offerings!
The reason these programs are helpful is that you can do competitor analysis (this is essential for running a business) and you can improve your Etsy SEO.
As already mentioned, people will find you on Etsy usually by searching for a specific item – which means that you are going to want to come up as high as possible in the search results.
A large part of being high in the search results is having good SEO, which is why it’s important to use keywords and good details in your store.
Promoting Your Goods
Believe it or not, but Pinterest can be a huge source of traffic for you to direct to your Etsy shop. You’d be surprised at how much referral traffic successful Etsy stores get from Pinterest.
If you need help with this, we recommend taking the same course we took, called Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
Facebook pages are a good place to promote your Etsy listings because there are millions of users on Facebook. You could also use Facebook ads, which we discuss below to earn you extra cash besides selling items on Etsy.
Running ads is something that you can do on Etsy, but make sure you do the math to see if it will be worth it.
If you have ads on Etsy then you will show up at the top of the search results, but a lot of buyers are wary of ads and may skip past them – do A/B testing.
Instagram is a great platform for marketing your Etsy store. We have seen this work particularly well for illustrators, who can gain huge followings and point people towards the Etsy store.
Tips to Etsy Selling
To sell well on Etsy, you will need to think about a few things in particular for a successful shop:
- Plan what you want to sell
- Choosing a popular niche that sells well on Etsy, but beware of competitors
- Creating excellent products that stand out
- Create a shop that sells more than one category- you can sell wedding and craft supplies in your store
- Getting good reviews from your customers increase your chance of selling to new customers
With a new business, it can be tempting to think that if your product is good enough, the people will come.
As true as that is, it’s also really important that you focus on marketing. Your product can be the best product ever, but why should people buy it from your shop?
You will have to think about why people will buy your product at your price, and put together a marketing strategy to gain sales.
This is why social media can be a really effective tool in pointing people towards your Etsy shop – you can show them the face behind the scenes, as well as what goes into making your product.
Other Side Hustles to Pad Your Wallet
There are some other side hustles that we love and recommend, that you could do alongside Etsy to get even more money coming in.
This is actually something that you can do on Etsy if you want to – or on other platforms.
Flipping is where you buy an item for a low price at a garage sale, thrift store, or even estate sale, then sell it on for a higher price to make a profit.
It sounds amazing, but there is obviously a technique to this. We highly recommend checking out our friends over at Flea Market Flipper who will show you how to do this to get the best results.
It’s really easy to use the Ibotta app. You just need to open up the app, select the items that you want to purchase, purchase them, and then upload the receipts.
You will be rewarded cash back, but be sure to buy what you planned on- no need to go overboard and buy extra just for the app.
Facebook ads are something that not everyone knows about, and as you have to spend money on them, people are worried about not getting it right.
But Facebook ads can be hugely beneficial to your business if you know what you are doing – which is why companies are willing to pay someone to do it for them.
You could offer a Facebook ads service to businesses in your local area or ones which you think you can help online.
We recommend Facebook Side Hustle, which teaches you how to set this kind of business up. Or you could check out Flourish with Facebook Ads. (Or both can help you grow your shop through social media!)
Ebates is another easy way to make money with cash back. Ebates works differently to Ibotta however.
With Ebates, you need to go onto their site and find the website that you will be buying on.
Then you just need to click through onto their site and continue your purchase like normal. Ebates will track your purchase and give you cash back on it. Simple!
Etsy is a hugely popular platform where you can show your offerings to millions of potential buyers. The last year has boomed and so many people now sell on Etsy to make money!
We recommend starting out on Etsy and seeing how your items do, whilst focusing on your marketing strategy.