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You can start an Etsy shop very quickly with a few items. Still, if you research the best selling items before you start, you can make money. Find something people are actually looking to buy, this way you will know what you should sell on Etsy.

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In this post, we will talk about what to sell on Etsy, and why starting on the right foot is the best way to make money long term. 

*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. It will not cost you a penny more) Click here to read my full disclosure policy.


Selling on Etsy is really a no brainer when you look at their stats. They had around 45 million active buyers in 2019. This will be much higher this year in 2020 due to the lockdown and other world issues. 

40% of these buyers are repeat buyers. Etsy is a secure, functional website that makes everything smooth and straightforward. I’m a repeat buyer too. 

This is easy to comprehend when you learn there are 2.5million active shops on Etsy. Wow, does that mean it is high competition? – yes, but you won’t be spending precious time trying to get your website found either.

The traffic is already passing by your door, your only job is to get them to come inside your shop. 

A more advanced technique would be to send traffic to your Etsy shop yourself from outside. Such as using Pinterest or Instagram to promote your shop.

Oh – let us get on with helping you decide what to sell on Etsy.

What are the best selling items on Etsy

The best way to find the best selling items on Etsy is your own research. I wasn’t able to find any statistics from Etsy, but I did look at Craftcount. A website dedicated to Etsy sellers statistics. 

The leading seller which popped up on several websites was PlannerKate1. 

PlannerKate1 She sells stickers on Etsy. A lot of them. According to Craftcount, the day I researched this article, she had sold over 8000 items.

Say what??

Yes, – must a small army of individuals placing stickers in envelops all day. 

Infant, she recently said she has 4 people, and over 40 cutting machines.

Here is a list of top-selling items on Etsy items

  • Stickers – Gorgeous stickers are everywhere on Etsy. I’ve already mentioned PlannerKate1, but there are lots of smaller sellers in this niche. I love these cute succulent stickers. 
  • Baby stuff – A large market for baby wear on Etsy means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you can easily see who is selling what and see if you can complete. As of today, the best seller is this cute little shop selling baby headbands. Babies are big business; even baby jewelry is selling well.
  • Art & Collectables – This is my category for my Etsy shop. I am not a best seller, but I have sold over 5000 items. Also included in this category are collectibles. – who knew that selling miniature garden ornaments would be a best seller.
  • Craft supplies – I love bangles and bracelets as much as the next person, but if you want to sell supplies, just look at these cute charms from Clbeads.
  • Pet Supplies – Specifically, dog collars do very well on Etsy. Not surprising with these pretty floral offerings from one of the top sellers – PuddleJumperPups
  • Weddings – Probably one of the largest markets on Etsy is Weddings. You can buy everything for your Wedding on Etsy, and the best sellers have you covered. Modparty specializes in gifts – such as this perfect Bridesmaid gift boxes. Wedding invites also do really well on Etsy, you can sell them as digital or printed and shipped. I love these detailed Wedding invites from Minty Paperey on Etsy

Do you have some ideas yet?

No, let’s continue.

What can I sell on Etsy

After looking through some of the shops above – are you able to sell anything in these categories. Perhaps you are good at art and want to try and sell some of your artwork. 

Do your research – spend some time making notes, following shops you like and looking into how they made them, is it something you make yourself.

Can you improve on their product idea? 

If this isn’t possible for you – you can look at some the categories to help.

  • Printables
  • Home decor
  • T-shirts
  • Gifts
  • Personalised products
  • Pet items
  • Baby products
  • Digital artwork
  • Small run handmade items
  • Stickers

GET STARTED SELLING DIGITAL ON ETSY – FREE EBOOK

THINKING OF SELLING DIGITAL PRINTS?

Now I’m writing this post in June 2020, and a lot is going on across the world that Etsy sellers are keen to cash in on. Obviously, due to the virus, masks are still selling like sweeties on Etsy. We all need one, most of us have one, and it is, of course, a fashion item – or at least it will be.

Hopefully, the trend will have gone entirely in a year or so – meaning they are no longer needed.

I looked yesterday and noticed yard signs where a big deal on Etsy right now. Many people want to express their opinions in ways that don’t require feedback, and yard signs are a great way to say what you like to the world. 

Notice that even when the world has returned to normality, those trends will continue and have highlighted many items which may not have been in the spotlight otherwise.

My thoughts – if I had a half-decent printer and I didn’t live in Asia, I’d be making social distancing cards right now. Many sellers have been quick to uptake on the current situation and a social distancing card – is a great way to acknowledge your Birthday or celebration without breaking the bank.

But note – these trends will come and go, you may not make money from them long term.

Can I make money selling on Etsy right now?

Yes, yes, yes. Right now is probably the best time to switch to selling on Etsy. Not only are many people staying at home right now, and they are still buying online, even given the limitations of postal services.

Online selling is here to stay, and this year – there will be even more people searching for items online than ever before. 

How much money can you make on Etsy

I started my Etsy shop selling printable artwork in late 2017. Yes, it took quite a long time to research how to sell digital items on Etsy, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to compete with the big sellers.

But really – once I had my first few listings up and made a sale – I was inspired to do more and more over time. 

Since then, I’ve made 5000 sales, with 139 items. 

Yes, but how much money do you make? 

I know that’s what you want to know. Of course…. 

Last month I made 807$ from this Etsy shop. Not a huge amount, but enough to keep my in coffee money with some to invest in training and courses. 

Remember – my shop is Digital, so my income is almost passive. I don’t have to post anything or send any files.

How much does it cost to sell on Etsy

The Etsy selling fees are currently – 

.20cents for each listing you have in your shop

Plus a 5% transaction fee for each item sold. Transaction fees are charged on the price you display the item for sale and include shipping and gift wrapping. 

There is no subscription for fees for selling on Etsy. You can upgrade your site to Etsy Plus, costing 10.00$ per month. This gives you 5$ in ads credits also. But please remember this can change at any time. 

You will also be charged a payment processing fee depending on where your bank is based and varies. 

All fees are deducted at the point of sale. 

To give you some idea – each time I sell an item for 6$, I receive around 5.23$ in my account. I do have lots of free listings as each time someone opens an Etsy shop with my link, we both receive 40 free listings. 

So taking this into account – I should make around 5$ per item, which I sell at 6$. 

Please note – I sell digital artwork and do post anything. Postal costs vary, and Etsy encourages sellers to show free shipping. They have obviously done a lot of research into this, and it does make sense.

Shipping charges can make people stop and potentially look for another shop with free shipping. 

So I would say – all in all – it is worth selling on Etsy. Especially if you are in the digital market and want a more hands-off approach to your selling site. 

How to start selling on Etsy

Here are a few articles to get you started. 

How to get traffic to my Etsy shop

Start by learning more about SEO and how you can maximize your chances of being found in search on Etsy. 

There are some great articles on getting started – including my own on how to get found on Etsy. 

Off-site traffic to Etsy is a little more complicated, but starting with Pinterest is a great way. Owning your own website is a little more advanced and time-consuming. Still, it is a great way to build a customer base off Etsy and eventually transition to your own site. 

Shopify v Etsy

I also have a Shopify attached to my blog. It doesn’t sell anything like the Etsy shop, only a few sales – but to be honest, I haven’t put in any effort this year to grow my reach offline. 

Many shops start on Etsy because it’s easy to get started, and once you know how much money you can make – it might be better to move off Etsy and start your own store. 

I don’t have enough facts to tell you how much it costs me to sell my prints on Etsy – but I pay 29$ per month to keep it alive. They pay me each time I make a sale – so I do see some money in my account, you don’t have to wait for it like Etsy. 

I’m in Hong Kong, so it will be different for other countries as to how much you would receive in your bank account.

Final thoughts on the Best selling items on Etsy. Many sellers begin with one shop and start a second shop when they have a bit more knowledge. It’s perfectly acceptable to have two Etsy shops if you are not sure what to sell. The main thing is to try – do you research and understand what is expected of you.

Here is a list of what we have covered in this post.

I hope you enjoyed this post on what to sell on Etsy, if you did, please pin it to your favorite Pinterest board.

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Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you have a great shop idea or have any questions.

GET STARTED SELLING DIGITAL ON ETSY – FREE EBOOK

THINKING OF SELLING DIGITAL PRINTS?

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