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The best things to sell on Etsy for money in 2021 can be found right here. I’ve done all the research, so you don’t have to! I’ve compiled a list of 15 unique and profitable items that will help you generate extra money from home.
Are you looking for a new way to make money? Have you considered selling things on Etsy? Etsy says it is “home to a universe of special, extraordinary items,” which makes it the perfect place to sell handmade crafts, vintage items, and personalized gifts.
Thousands of people visit Etsy every day looking for something new and unique.
And if you are looking for a way to translate your hobby, unique skill, or idea into something you can actually make money from, Etsy can help you to do just that.
So what are the best things to sell on Etsy in 2021?
There’s something for everyone, and even if you’re not a maker yourself, there are plenty of ideas of things you could get your hands on to sell on the platform.
And as a bonus, I’ve included the top tips for how to sell things on Etsy and make money!
What sells best on Etsy?
Right now, there are over 60 million products for sale on Etsy in thousands of categories and sub-categories.
So, where can you start?
Don’t worry: it’s easy to find out what sells best on Etsy.
To start, go to Etsy.com and check out their ‘Popular Right Now’ and ‘Editors’ Picks’ sections.
But we can do better than that.
The secret is a little tool called erank.
Register for a free account, and you’ll be able to get a snapshot of the most popular products on Etsy. From there, upgrade your account ($5.99 for a basic plan, $9.99 for pro), and dive deep into erank’s data on the most popular search terms and keywords.
But if that all sounds like a lot of work, just continue reading below to find out the 15 best things to sell on Etsy to make money in 2021!
15 Best Things to Sell on Etsy
- Handmade and personalized jewelry
- Jewelry and craft supplies
- Digital artwork
- Notebook and journals
- Party decorations
- Wedding products
- Personalized cards
- Personalized gifts
- Handmade clothes
- Homemade bath and beauty products
- Zero-waste products
- Vintage items
1. Handmade and personalized jewelry
Without a doubt, handmade jewelry is one of the most popular things to sell on Etsy.
And with good reason. In large numbers, people go to Etsy’s online marketplace looking for one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and more.
Remember, a jewelry purchase is a distinctly personal decision; buyers want a unique piece for a unique person. Even in a market that may seem saturated, there is always room for new sellers that can create something unique and personal.
2. Jewelry and craft supplies
With so many people buying and selling handmade jewelry on Etsy, it might not be a surprise that the top-selling category on the platform is actually craft and jewelry supplies.
This means the beads, gems, and stones used in handmade jewelry and the fine-point tools to put things together. But it also means supplies for crafters like ribbons, yarn, miniatures, crochet, and knitting patterns. In fact, one of the most popular things to sell on Etsy in this category currently are DIY craft kits.
Printables are digital products customers purchase, then download, and print themselves from the comfort of their own home. This can include resume templates, chore charts, even photo albums or coloring books.
But the #1 hot seller in this category right now are planners.
This means everything from day and budget planners, to fitness goal trackers, to meal planners to stick on the fridge, even blog or social media content planners.
It’s simple: people want to pay for something that keeps them organized and saves them time.
The best part of selling printables on Etsy?
First, printables are an excellent source of passive income – create once, then sell forever!
Second, I have spoken in the past about the importance – and difficulty – of shipping when selling online. With printables, there is no shipping to worry about!
4. Digital artwork
Today, more artists than ever are going digital.
This means that artists on Etsy are selling printable wall art and small-scale prints, graphics, and labels for businesses, banners, and unique home décor, even funny or inspirational quotes.
Like with printables, selling digital art pieces means the seller does not have to worry about shipping, and the buyer gets in the instant gratification of getting their purchase in their hands immediately.
If you are looking for creative things to sell in your Etsy store, stickers are one of the best choices.
For new sellers, stickers are inexpensive and easy to produce and ship – create the design once, then partner with a print-on-demand service that will print and ship your product for you.
And for buyers, well, from bumper stickers to wall stickers, to stickers you put on your phone case or water bottle, they are a quick and easy way to customize your life.
6. Notebooks and journals
Some say Etsy is the platform bringing “intimacy and individualism back to commerce.”
What could be more intimate than a journal?
From gorgeous diaries and funky travel journals to basic notebooks for scribbling, and everything in between, to provide people with a unique space for their innermost thoughts, or even for their schoolwork, is a booming business on Etsy.
7. Party decorations
It’s simple: people like to spend money on special events. More and more, these people are spending this money on Etsy.
There, party planners search for one-of-a-kind party décor, handmade items, accessories, party supplies, invitations, and party games. Yes, we’re talking about birthdays and baby showers, graduations and weddings, but the chances are, if you can think of a party idea, you can probably find it on Etsy.
8. Wedding products
Did you know that the wedding market is worth over $70 billion yearly in the US alone?
When talking about selling party décor, wedding products are at the top of the mountain and are, without a doubt, some of Etsy’s best selling items.
Because more so than maybe any other occasion, people don’t want something generic for their wedding. So they come to Etsy for handmade invitations, decorations, and jewelry, for one-of-a-kind bouquets and corsages, even for their wedding dresses!
9. Personalized cards
Handmade wedding invitations are best sellers on Etsy. But the thirst for personalized cards goes far beyond that.
Think about it; how many times have you stood in the corner store looking for the perfect card for a specific person, event, or occasion, only to eventually settle for something good but not great.
Etsy solves this problem with its treasure of unique options that allow adding a personal touch, which is why many Etsy sellers have had success with personalized holiday cards, announcement cards, even cards leveraging popular memes.
10. Personalized gifts
Good news, it has never been easier to print art or design on just about anything!
This means you can let people create their design and print it on coffee mugs and glasses, jewelry and keychains, t-shirts and socks, and pretty much anything else you can think of!
The best part is, like stickers, with print-on-demand services, you can partner with a business that will print and ship the orders for you.
11. Handmade clothes
Yes, customized t-shirts and other clothing with designs printed on them are an all-time Etsy favorite. But within the clothing category, there is a booming sub-market for handmade clothes.
Whether you are an expert knitter, or a master with a crochet needle in your hand, or an aspiring designer creating custom clothes from scratch, handmade clothes are one of the best creative things to sell on Etsy!
Quite simply, clothing accessories are one of the most popular things to sell on Etsy.
Of course, Etsy’s most well-known success story might be ThreeBirdNest, which made millions selling legwarmers, scarves, and other accessories. But right now, the most popular clothing accessory is baby bows and ribbons.
(Don’t be afraid to click the link; it’s as cute as you’d think it would be).
13. Homemade bath and beauty products
There is currently a “movement” in the bath and beauty category that moves away from the mass-produced, chemical-filled products and towards the homemade, organic, and eco-friendly.
This means that on Etsy, homemade bath bombs and soaps, body lotions, and skincare facemasks are big, as are organic cosmetics.
If you want to start selling on Etsy, now it’s time to take advantage of this growing movement.
14. Zero-Waste products
It’s been called a “sustainability journey.”
In short, the goal of zero waste products is to send nothing to the landfill.
On Etsy, shops are selling things like reusable face rounds, refillable deodorant, zero-waste toothpaste, even shampoos and dish soaps that don’t contain the harmful chemicals that get into the water system.
And in an era of rising social conscience and responsibility, more and more customers are willing to pay a premium for these products.
15. Vintage items
Last but certainly not least, we reach the category with a truly passionate fanbase – vintage!
There, buyers are looking for quirky and unique items from the past: from vintage dresses to mid-century furniture. And guess what, when they find what they are looking for, they are keen to buy at any cost.
We can’t leave a list of the best things to sell on Etsy without mentioning 2020’s best seller.
Yes, 2020, the year of the mask. From April to December, over 54 million masks were sold on Etsy alone, sales worth over $600 million!
So should you sell masks in 2021? Maybe, something to keep in mind!
7 Tips to open a successful Etsy shop
1. Understand what you can and can’t sell
Remember, everything sold on Etsy must be handmade, vintage, or a craft supply.
Handmade products are those made or designed by you, the seller. Handmade products do not include reselling something somebody else made, and you must disclose any production partners you use.
Vintage items are items over 20 years old. New items made to look retro don’t count!
Craft supplies are, according to Etsy, tools or materials “whose primary purpose is for use in the creation of an item or special occasion.”
If you are unsure, make sure to check out Etsy’s regulations.
2. Photos make or break your Etsy shop
The disadvantage online sellers have when compared with in-person stores is that customers cannot feel and hold the product before they buy.
In short, high-quality product photos are absolutely vital to the success of your Etsy shop!
You don’t have to be a professional photographer. But as a bare minimum, make sure your product is styled well, on a light background, and in focus. Moreover, you are allowed 10 photos per product – use them all!
Use the best photo as your product thumbnail and the rest to show your product from different angles and in lifestyle situations.
3. Create a cohesive product line
Remember, Etsy is not Amazon or eBay – your shop should not be a smorgasbord of mismatched items like some sort of garage sale.
Rather, your products should share a common theme, design, and aesthetic. Different items should work together as a collection.
4. Use the power of Pinterest to get people in your shop
For Etsy in particular, Pinterest is the place to be.
Whereas other social media platforms are about conversation and content, Pinterest is all about inspiration; it’s a visual search engine where people go for ideas for their home, their wardrobe, and their lives.
The secret is to not only create your own theme-based Pinterest boards highlighting your product but join existing Etsy Pinterest boards where various sellers share each other’s material to build exposure.
5. Treat customers like you would treat your best friend
Many of Etsy’s most successful sellers are those who are able to build relationships with their customers.
How do you become one of these sellers?
- Respond to messages quickly.
- Participate in the conversation on social media.
- Set up a post-purchase ‘thank you’ message to buyers.
- Use pronouns like “I” and “We” in product descriptions and the shop About section.
Etsy is a loyal community, and sellers can take advantage of this by treating customers like they would treat their friends.
6. Keywords Are Key
How do you get your product listings to the top of the Etsy search results? – keywords, keywords, keywords!
When a potential buyer searches for a product on Etsy, the platform matches their search with the keywords in the title, tags, attributes, and categories of product listings.
The key for sellers is to use the same keywords everywhere!
But how do you know which keywords to use?
It’s easy. There are many keyword-finding tools to help you discover the keywords buyers use to find listings similar to yours. However, Marmalead is the one you want.
7. Use seasonality to your advantage
Make sure to follow the yearly holiday schedule and consider adding a seasonal twist to your shop each time it’s applicable.
What type of twist?
- Create new products for specific seasons.
- Update keywords.
- Change your store banner, cover photo, and messages.
- Offer seasonal discounts.
Check out Etsy’s constantly updating seasonal tips for their top trends, keywords, and tips for specific holidays.
Top free Etsy resources to help you
Check out these amazing FREE Skillshare courses!
- Building an Etsy Shop that Sells: Strategies for E-Commerce Success – One of the most popular courses out there, it takes you through everything from picking your product and designing your digital storefront to finding the right customers and building your brand.
- Super Easy Ways to Make Your Etsy Shop Popular – The best part of this course? In the words of course creator Ashlee Geheb, it is “short, sweet, and perfect for both full-time entrepreneurs and freelancers and side-hustlers too!”
- Learn to Create Etsy Product Listings That Get Seen – In barely 30 minutes, this course will teach you how to master SEO for Etsy and get your products seen!
- Clean Up Your Shop for Maximum Sales and Peace of Mind – If you already have an Etsy shop but are not yet seeing the success you’d hoped for, this is the course for you. It is designed to help sellers hone and tweak their shop in ways they might not have thought of before.
Don’t miss these YouTube channels
- Ringcrush – A behind-the-scenes look into how Baily Lehrer built “The Million Dollar Etsy Shop” in just two years. A great resource from someone who has done it.
- Nancy Badillo – An Etsy coach and the creator of an Etsy sellers support group, Nancy Badillo gives her tips on how to grow your shop traffic, increase brand awareness, and build your social media presence.
Top Things to Know Before Selling on Etsy – Fast FAQs
How much does it cost to open an Etsy shop?
Great news, you can sign up for Etsy and open your shop today for free!
All of Etsy’s costs are pay-as-you-go, meaning Etsy does not require an up-front investment.
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy?
- Listing Fee: Etsy charges a small fee for every item you list. In the US, this cost is $0.20 per listing.
- Transaction Fee: For each item purchased on your Etsy Shop, 5% of the total price paid goes to Etsy.
- Payment Processing Fee: Etsy provides a service called Etsy Payments which gives customers ten different payment methods. This adds a processing fee to all transactions. In the US, this fee is 3% plus $0.25.
How much money can you make on Etsy?
Etsy marketplace is a booming community of 3 million sellers and 60 million buyers across 234 countries and territories. Whether looking to start a small business on the side, or something more, there is room for shops and dreams of all sizes on Etsy.
But remember, the majority of Etsy sellers fail to make a significant amount of money because they don’t treat their Etsy shop like a business. If you are serious about earning an income on Etsy, start by implementing all these tips, never stop learning and improving, and give it your best shot.
Do you need to pay taxes if you sell on Etsy?
In short – Yes!
Many assume that selling on Etsy is a hobby, not a business, so they don’t need to pay taxes on their shop – wrong.
First, even if your shop is classified as a hobby, you will still have to pay taxes on it.
Second, your shop will almost certainly not, by definition, be a hobby. In the US, the IRS states, “an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.”
The good news is, it’s actually better your shop is considered a business for tax purposes since this means you can write off expenses for things like tools, materials, and marketing.
Take a look at Etsy’s Taxes 101.
Do you need a tax ID to sell on Etsy?
If your shop is a sole proprietorship, you will report your business in the personal section of your tax returns. In the US, this means your tax ID number is your social security number.
If your shop is a corporation, LLC, or partnership, you will be required to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
How do you get paid from Etsy?
Etsy securely processes your sales then sends the funds into your payment account. Schedule these deposits either monthly, weekly, or daily.
Once paid, it usually takes 2-3 days for banks to make your funds available.
So there you have it, the best and most popular things to sell on Etsy, and the hottest tips and resources to make your shop successful!
For more information on how to sell things on Etsy, check out my in-depth guide!
The resources are yours, so what are you waiting for?
If you have any questions, add a comment below or email me. I reply to every comment and every single email!
And if you know someone thinking about starting an Etsy shop or looking to improve the one they have, please do not hesitate to share this with them!
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