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Things to Sell on Etsy: Top Picks for Profitable Handmade Goods

Etsy has established itself as a vibrant online marketplace where creativity meets commerce. It’s a platform where you can showcase your handcrafted goods, vintage items, and craft supplies to a global audience eager for unique and personalized products. If you’re considering joining the ranks of successful Etsy sellers, it’s essential to understand what items resonate with the Etsy community. With an emphasis on the handmade and the original, your offerings on Etsy not only reflect your talent but also cater to the demands of consumers looking for something special beyond what’s available in traditional retail stores.

When deciding what to sell on Etsy, think about products that align with your skills and interests while also paying close attention to market trends. Handmade jewelry, custom-designed apparel, unique home decor, and personalized stationery are just a few examples of what does well on the platform. Take into account Etsy’s ethos of craftsmanship and authenticity as it’s a key factor that attracts buyers. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a newcomer looking to turn a hobby into a business, you have the opportunity to build a brand that stands out by focusing on quality, originality, and a personal touch.

Your success on Etsy comes from more than just what you sell; it’s also about how you connect with customers and present your products. High-quality photographs, detailed product descriptions, and engaging branding can make a substantial difference in attracting and retaining customers. By creating a memorable shopping experience from browsing to unboxing, you demonstrate the value you place in your handiwork, which, in turn, instills trust and loyalty in your customer base.

Starting an Etsy Shop

When you decide to start your Etsy shop, you’re joining a vibrant marketplace of creative sellers. First, register for an Etsy account to begin the process. Crafting your shop’s identity with a memorable name is crucial; choose one that reflects your brand and can attract customers.

Before You Launch:

  • Create Your Listings: Compile a list of items you plan to sell and generate high-quality images for each product.
  • Understand the Fees: Etsy charges a small listing fee for each item, and when you make a sale, there’s a transaction fee and a payment processing fee.
  • Set Your Currency: Decide on the currency you’ll use for transactions, acknowledging that Etsy Payments allows buyers to pay in their local currency.

Setting Up Shop:

  1. Personalize your Etsy store with a banner and detailed shop description.
  2. Stock your shop with at least 5-10 product listings to give customers a range to choose from.
  3. Establish your policies regarding shipping, returns, and exchanges to set clear expectations for your customers.

Ready to Sell:

  • Choose how you’ll get paid; Etsy Payments integrates a range of payment processing options, simplifying the management of transactions.
  • Monitor your shop’s performance and adjust strategies as you gain insights into what works best for your products and target audience.

By following these steps, your Etsy shop can become a place where your unique products find their audience. Stay diligent, continue learning, and your endeavour into the world of Etsy can be a rewarding one.

Understanding Etsy Fees

Laptop with shopping trolley

When setting up your shop on Etsy, it’s crucial to know the costs involved in selling your items. Etsy has a variety of fees that you, as a seller, need to be aware of to manage your prices effectively and maintain profitability.

Listing Fees

Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for each item you want to sell on the platform. This fee is required for each unique product and applies every time you create or renew a listing. Remember, listings expire after four months, so if your item hasn’t sold, you’ll need to pay the listing fee again to renew it.

Transaction Fees

Once your item sells, Etsy takes a 5% transaction fee on the sale price, including the shipping cost set by you. If you’re selling from the US or Canada and use Etsy shipping labels, the fee doesn’t apply to the shipping label cost. This percentage is deducted from your total revenue, so factor it into your pricing strategy.

Payment Processing Fees

Payment processing fees vary by country and are charged on the total sale amount, including shipping and tax. For example, US-based sellers are subject to a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee. This fee is for Etsy to process each payment from buyers through their platform and directly influences your net income.

Ads and Promotions

Investing in ads can help increase the visibility of your listings on Etsy. The cost is flexible; you set a daily budget for Etsy to display your listings in search results and other placements. Furthermore, Offsite Ads incur a fee only when they lead to a sale, and this fee ranges from 12% to 15% of the item price, with a lower rate for sellers with higher annual sales.

Product Ideation

Woman making jewellery to sell on etsy

When considering what to sell on Etsy, your goal is to create unique items that resonate with customers. Start by identifying a niche that aligns with your skills and interests. Whether it be handmade jewellery, vintage accessories, or custom artwork, ensure each item has a personal touch.

To spark creativity, explore the following product categories:

  • Jewellery & Accessories:
    • Personalized necklaces
    • Engraved bracelets
    • Vintage brooches
  • Clothing & Shoes:
    • Custom t-shirts with original designs
    • Hand-knitted socks
    • Upcycled tote bags
  • Home & Living:
    • Custom mugs with motivational quotes
    • Hand-poured candles with unique scents
    • Artisanal home decor like macramé wall hangings
  • Wedding & Party:
    • Handcrafted wedding invitations
    • Personalized party decorations
  • Toys & Entertainment:
    • DIY craft kits for all ages
    • Educational printables for children
  • Art & Collectibles:
    • Original paintings and posters
    • Custom digital portraits
    • Hand-bound journals and planners

Your product should offer something not widely available — exclusive designs, personalization options, or items made with rare materials. Consider the best-selling items on Etsy to gauge market trends, but don’t shy away from introducing your flair for innovation.

In the ideation phase, balance creativity with practicality. Think about production time, material costs, and shipping logistics. Ask yourself, “Can I make this efficiently while maintaining quality?”

Consistency is key. Your product line should tell a cohesive story, ensuring customers recognize your brand identity across different items, whether that be bath bombs or notebooks. Remember, the most successful Etsy shops carve out a distinct presence in a crowded marketplace with items that reflect genuine craftsmanship and artistry.

Creating Your Product Line

Laptop on the table along with jewellery articles to sell on etsy

When building your product line for Etsy, focus on items that resonate with your skills and passions. Your success hinges on the uniqueness and quality of what you offer.

Handmade Items

Handmade items stand at the heart of Etsy. Your hands-on crafts should reflect originality and craftsmanship. Consider markets like jewellery, where the demand for unique designs is high. Utilize quality jewellery supplies to create pieces that dovetail with current trends while infusing your signature style.

Vintage Goods

For vintage goods, carefully curate items that are at least 20 years old. These should be in excellent condition and hold some degree of collectibility or nostalgia. From classic home decor to rare collectibles, ensure each piece has a story that enhances its value to the buyer.

Craft Supplies

Crafters and DIY enthusiasts are always on the hunt for high-quality craft supplies. Stock your shop with items like specialty fabrics, unique beads, or quality tool kits. Be the go-to resource for fellow artisans by supplying the components they need to bring their creative visions to life.

Art and Prints

Your art and prints should represent your artistic voice and connect with your desired audience. Whether it’s through limited edition prints or commissioned pieces, offer a variety of sizes and mediums to attract a wider customer base. Quality and presentation are paramount, so use archival materials and offer your prints with the option of beautiful, yet protective, packaging.

Marketing and SEO

Woman with laptop learning how to sell things on etsy

As an Etsy seller, your success hinges on how effectively you harness the power of Etsy search engine optimization (SEO) and strategic marketing. Your aim is to increase your store’s visibility and connect with buyers who are looking for what you’re selling.

Optimizing Etsy Listings

Your foremost task is to optimize your product listings for Etsy search. This involves using relevant keywords in your title, description, and tags to help your items surface when potential customers search for products like yours. Use tools like eRank to research keywords and monitor your shop’s statistics. Make sure your titles are descriptive and your tags cover a variety of related terms.

Social Media Promotion

Leverage the power of social media to extend your reach beyond Etsy. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are your allies in showcasing your products through compelling visuals and engaging stories. Consider also using Pinterest, as its user intent often aligns closely with shopping and product discovery.

Using Etsy Tools and Resources

Become proficient with the resources provided by Etsy, such as the Seller Handbook, which offers comprehensive guides on best practices for selling on the platform. Etsy’s own marketing tools allow you to run sales and send targeted offers to interested buyers, helping you to increase conversion rates.

Crafting Stories for Your Products

Stories elevate your brand and create an emotional connection with buyers. They should convey the inspiration and craftsmanship behind your products. Share these narratives in your listings and through your marketing channels to differentiate your brand and endear your shop to customers.

Sales and Shipping

People discussing strategies to sell on etsy

When aiming to increase sales on Etsy, it’s crucial to understand that the platform offers a versatile environment for creators like you to grow their craft businesses. Effective sales and shipping strategies are key to managing your online presence and keeping customers satisfied.

Creating Sale Opportunities:

  • Set competitive prices: Research similar items to ensure your pricing is in line with market expectations.
  • Launch promotions: Consider seasonal sales or discounts on bundle purchases.

Shipping For Success:

  • Calculate accurate costs: Use Etsy’s shipping tools to determine shipping prices based on size and weight.
  • Offer multiple options: Provide a range of shipping methods to cater to various customer needs.

Efficiency in Shipping:

  • Prepare in advance: Keep a stock of shipping supplies like boxes, labels, and tape to handle orders swiftly.
  • Streamline process: Use an assembly line approach to packaging if you’re experiencing high volume sales.

Remember, transparent communication with your customers about shipping times and costs is vital. Always provide tracking information to ensure customers feel informed and secure about their purchases. Your dedication to a seamless sales and shipping process can help bolster your reputation and lead to repeat business on Etsy.

Customer Relations and Engagement

Man shaking hands with a woman for selling things on etsy

When selling on Etsy, mastering customer relations and engagement is essential to your success. It’s important to develop strong relationships with your buyers through timely and supportive responses. Here’s how you can excel:

  • Communication: Always respond promptly to inquiries and feedback. Use a personal touch in your messages to create a connection with customers.
  • Feedback: Encourage buyers to leave reviews and address any concerns they raise proactively. Positive reviews can spur future sales.

Support After Sale:

  • Resolve post-purchase issues swiftly.
  • Offer assistance with product use or any potential queries.

Customer Service Tips:

  1. Personalization: Make customers feel special with personalized notes or packaging.
  2. Availability: Be available to support customers during their shopping experience.
Implement a customer-first approach.Let customer queries go unanswered.
Maintain professionalism in all communication.Disregard the importance of feedback.
Keep a positive attitude, even with difficult customers.Take negative feedback personally.

Effective customer engagement on Etsy often leads to a loyal customer base. By developing a considerate and customer-focused brand presence, you position yourself to flourish in the competitive Etsy marketplace. Remember, your relationship with customers can significantly impact your shop’s reputation and success.

Managing and Growing Your Business

People discussing on table how to grow sale on etsy

As an Etsy seller, it’s crucial to focus on effective strategies for expansion, optimized profit margins, and the use of advanced tools for business intelligence. Embracing a multi-channel sales approach can further solidify your brand’s presence in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Strategies for Growth

To successfully grow your Etsy business, consider optimizing your listings for popularity by using keywords that potential buyers are searching for. Regularly update your inventory with in-demand products, and glean inspiration from success stories within the Etsy community. Employ marketing tactics like social media promotion to increase visibility.

Profiting from Your Sales

Your goal is to make your Etsy shop profitable. This requires a keen understanding of your profit margins and keeping overhead costs low. Price your items not just to cover costs but also to ensure a profit, and remember that quality photography and detailed descriptions can command higher prices.

Diversifying Sales Channels

Don’t rely solely on Etsy. Consider diversifying by setting up an online store through platforms like Shopify. This can reduce the risks associated with relying on a single platform and can also expand your online business reach. Additionally, integrating an e-commerce business strategy across different platforms can provide a safety net and increase overall sales.

Business Tools and Analytics

Utilize Etsy’s analytics tools to track which items are selling and understand customer behavior. Analyzing this data can inform your decision-making and help you manage your inventory more effectively. For a broader analysis, incorporate additional e-commerce analytics tools that can compile data across various platforms, giving you a comprehensive view of your small business performance. By implementing these focused strategies, you can elevate your Etsy shop from a hobby to a thriving e-commerce business.

Setting Up Shop Policies

Laptop on table showing policy to sell things on etsy

Creating comprehensive shop policies ensures a trustworthy shopping environment on Etsy. As a seller, it’s crucial to establish clear expectations for your customers regarding shipping, returns, exchanges, and payment methods.

Shipping Policies

Your shipping policies should detail the carriers you use, handling times, and shipping times for both domestic and international orders.

  • Carriers: Specify which shipping carriers you use for delivery.
  • Handling Time: Clearly state the time taken from order placement to dispatch.
  • Shipping Time: Provide estimated delivery times for various regions.

For example, if you use USPS Priority Mail for domestic orders, your customers can expect their items to arrive within 1-3 business days after dispatch.

Return and Exchange Policies

Setting return and exchange policies is about balancing customer service with protecting your business.

  • Time Frame: Define a time limit for returns and exchanges (e.g., 14 days post-delivery).
  • Condition of Items: Clearly state the condition items must be in to be eligible for a return or exchange.
  • Custom Items: Note if personalized or custom-made items are exempt from returns.

If your policy includes a 14-day return window, ensure that customers are aware they need to contact you within that timeframe.

Secure Payment Methods

Etsy provides a platform for secure payment methods to protect both buyers and sellers.

  • Etsy Payments: Familiarize yourself with Etsy Payments for buyer and seller protection.
  • Payment Options: List the payment options you accept, such as credit cards, debit cards, Etsy gift cards, and more.

Ensure you highlight that all transactions are secure and supervised by Etsy’s security system for the protection of both parties involved.

Branding and Store Aesthetics

Store displaying brand cloths

Your Etsy shop’s success hinges significantly on branding and store aesthetics. These are not just superficial embellishments; they encapsulate your shop’s identity and values, directly influencing how customers perceive and interact with your offerings.


Your brand is the story your store tells. It’s essential to align your branding elements coherently across all touchpoints. This consistency ensures customers will recognize and trust your shop amidst the digital marketplace. Consider the following:

  • Shop Name: Choose a memorable and descriptive name that reflects your shop’s character and what you sell.
  • Logo: A well-designed logo acts as the face of your brand, essential for brand recall.


The visual presentation of your shop forms the backbone of its aesthetic appeal:

  • Photography: High-quality images showcase your products in the best light, enticing buyers. Let your product photography set a mood that complements your brand.
Photography Tips
Use Natural Lighting
Keep Backgrounds Uncluttered
Showcase Multiple Angles
  • Shop Layout: Organize your listings to create a pleasant browsing experience. Group similar items together to guide potential buyers towards making a purchase.


Remember to be transparent with your customers. Your shop policies, shipping details, and return procedures should be clearly outlined. Transparency fosters trust, and a trustworthy brand garners a loyal customer base.

Embrace these elements to construct a compelling Etsy shop that captures and retains customer interest, laying a solid foundation for commercial success.

Specialized Markets and Occasions

Women with laptop selling things on etsy

Etsy provides a vast playground for sellers who cater to specialized markets and occasions. Whether you’re crafting handmade wedding items or designing vibrant party decorations, understanding the ebb and flow of demand throughout the year can be crucial for your success.

When considering occasions, think about the multitude of events that occur annually. There’s a high demand for unique items that celebrate engagements, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. For instance, personalized wedding items such as custom invitations, tailored decor, or guest books can distinguish your store.

Your product lineup might cover:

  • Personalized gifts: Customized jewellery, engraved keepsakes, or portrait illustrations.
  • Seasonal items: Ornaments for Christmas, costume accessories for Halloween, or festive decorations for Easter.
OccasionsProduct Ideas
Weddings* Invitations, cake toppers, bridal accessories
Milestone Parties* Banners, photo props, personalized games

When brainstorming the best things to sell on Etsy, pay close attention to detail and quality, ensuring that your offerings not only stand out but also fulfill specific needs of your buyers. Keep abreast of the latest trends within these niches—vintage themes or eco-friendly materials may significantly increase interest in your products. Cater your craft to the occasion, and remember, presentation is everything. A well-styled party decoration can invoke the desire to celebrate, making your shop the go-to for festive needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the bustling marketplace of Etsy can be exciting. In this section, you’ll find specific answers to common queries that will help you thrive as a seller on this platform.

What are the most profitable items to sell on Etsy?

Profitable items on Etsy often include personalized jewelry, wedding-related products, and home decor. Since customers are looking for unique, custom items, these categories allow for higher price points due to their perceived value and customization options.

What categories of digital products perform well on Etsy?

Digital products that perform well on Etsy include printable art, planners, and templates for business or personal use. These categories enjoy a high demand as they offer instant delivery and incur minimal overhead costs for you as the seller.

Which handmade items are top sellers on Etsy for craft enthusiasts?

For craft enthusiasts, top sellers on Etsy include handmade jewelry, pottery, and unique clothing. Items that cater to niche interests or showcase exceptional craftsmanship tend to attract a dedicated customer base.

What strategies can be used to generate passive income on Etsy?

To generate passive income on Etsy, consider selling digital downloads, such as patterns or instructional ebooks. Additionally, you can offer customization services for existing products, which allows you to leverage your time effectively by selling the same item multiple times with small variations.

How can one leverage Etsy to sell items without upfront costs?

You can leverage Etsy to sell items with minimal upfront costs by engaging in dropshipping or print-on-demand services. These methods allow you to offer physical products without holding inventory, as items are made and shipped by a third party when an order is placed.

What insights do Etsy sellers share on forums like Reddit about successful selling?

Etsy sellers on forums like Reddit often highlight the importance of having clear, high-quality product photos, utilizing SEO-friendly titles and descriptions, and staying active on the platform. Engaging with the community and remaining consistent with your branding are also key factors in building a successful Etsy shop.

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