4 Best Ways to Make Money Selling on Etsy

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Want to make money on Etsy?

From beautiful, fragrant handmade soaps to adorable knit caps or blankets for babies, there’s something for everyone on Etsy.

But did you know that, instead of spending money on unique gifts, people are actually making money on Etsy?

If you do an Internet search, you can find stories of people making thousands of dollars a month by selling stuff on Etsy.

How to Make Money Selling on Etsy

How can you get in on the Etsy money making bandwagon? Here are some ideas that might work for you if you’re interested in potentially making money on Etsy. And it’s not just about knitting caps and making soap.

1. Sell Digital Products

digital products on Etsy

One of the categories I love to shop in on Etsy is the digital products category. On Etsy you can find digital downloads for prints for your home, for planners, for invitations and much more.

Selling digital items on Etsy can be a great market for you as a designer because it’s a “once and done” kind of a thing. Instead of knitting scarves or making soaps over and over again, you can just create your digital products, post them to your personalized

Etsy store and potentially gain some passive income.

When people want to buy one of your digital creations, they simply make the purchase and then download the item to their computer, bring it to their local print shop and get it printed out.

You can even make t-shirt designs for digital download, which people can take to their local t-shirt shop to get printed on a t-shirt of their choice.

Do you like scrapbooking? You can create digital download paper packs in a variety of colors and designs for crafters to print out and use in their own scrapbooks.

Or create inspiring sayings in designer text for people to print out, frame and hang in their homes. The possibilities are endless and you are creating a true passive income source once you create and post your design.

If graphic design is your specialty, selling digital products on Etsy could be a great way for you to make some extra cash with a variety of digital download products.

2. Sell Handmade Items

handmade items for sale on Etsy

Maybe you like making handmade soaps in a variety of enticing fragrances. Or, like a friend of mine, maybe you love sitting in front of the TV as you knit gorgeous mittens, scarves and hats.

You could turn your passion for creating handmade items into a money-making project to help increase your income and fund your financial goals.

I know a couple that tag teams on Etsy and makes a few thousand dollars each year selling handmade items on the site.

She makes beautiful handmade soaps, lip balms and other items; he makes wood-carved flash drives. The money they make may not get them to financial independence, but it definitely gives their annual income a boost.

Handmade items sold on Etsy can encompass a number of different ideas, such as:

  • Jewelry items such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings
  • Accessories such as bags and purses
  • Clothing such as shirts, dresses, tops and pants
  • Customized shoes for weddings or just for fun
  • Wedding party décor or other items such as cake toppers
  • Toys for babies and kids
  • Children’s books
  • Cell phone and tablet covers

Whether your passion is taking a great shirt and making it better by adding jewels, or carving home décor items out of wood, there is a nearly endless list of handmade items you can create and sell on Etsy if you love creating that kind of stuff.

3. Sell Vintage and Collectible Items

vintage items for sale on Etsy

Etsy can also be a great marketplace for vintage and collectible items. Vintage items sold on Etsy have to be at least 20 years old.

Some of the vintage stuff I found on the Etsy website included old rock band t-shirts, bags and purses, home décor items such as old wooden fruit boxes, etc.

If you want to sell vintage items on Etsy you can find them in a number of places. You might be able to find vintage pieces in your own closet, or at your parents’ or grandparents’ house.

Checking thrift stores can be another way to find vintage items to resell on Etsy, and if you shop on special sale days you can buy the items for even less.

Thrift stores often have buy one, get one days or half off days where certain items are given super huge discounts.

Collectible items can be sold on Etsy as well.

Some ideas for collectibles you could sell on Etsy include:

  • Older toys still in their original boxes
  • Coins and money
  • Collectible dolls
  • Collectible art, figurines
  • Knick knacks (think Hummels and Precious Moments)

These types of items can also often be purchased at garage sales and thrift stores and then re-sold at a higher price if you buy right.

4. Sell Crafting Supplies and Tools

craft supplies selling on Etsy

Crafting supplies and tools are also sold on Etsy. You can sell a variety of items in this genre as well. Some ideas include:

  • Wood carving tools and design plans
  • Specialized digital fonts
  • Yarn, buttons and zippers
  • Dried or plastic flowers and plants
  • Decorations for cakes and cupcakes
  • Silicone molds for designing frosting, etc.
  • Stencils for scrapbooking or baking

And a host of other stuff. The types of items that can be sold in this area of Etsy really is expansive – if you can use it to make something cool, you can potentially sell it to others wanting to do the same.

So there you have it: four ways to potentially bring in some extra cash on Etsy. But what else do you need to know about selling here successfully? Here are some thoughts.

Need-to-Knows for Selling on Etsy

Before you jump into a soap-making binge, keep these tips in mind as you ponder starting an Etsy account of your own.

Great Photographs are a Must

When you’re selling stuff on Etsy or any other site, it’s really important to include great photos in your advertising and marketing. No matter how nice your product looks in person, people will judge its quality based on the photo they see.

This tip even applies even if you want to sell stuff fast on Craigslist. Use a great camera, appropriate lighting and professional angles for any pictures you post in your Etsy store.

Marketing is Vital

If you’re considering selling on Etsy, you need to know that you’ll have to be proactive at marketing your products. This means sharing them on social media outlets, promoting them to family and friends and more.

Competition is stiff on Etsy so you’ll be competing with thousands of other sellers who post their items on the site as well. Buyers need to be able to find your stuff, and they have to be attracted to it with great marketing language and photos.

Not sure how to market your items successfully? Just do an Internet search and you’ll come up with a list of dozens of great articles that will help you learn. It’ll be worth your time if it gets your products in front of more faces.

Sell Products that are Enticing

When considering what you might sell on Etsy, it’s important to ask yourself one question: Would I spend my hard-earned cash on this stuff? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you consider what to sell on Etsy:

  • Is the product useful?
  • Will it make life easier or more enjoyable for others?
  • Will buyers like looking at it (or wearing it, or whatever)?
  • Is it a good value?

Yes, value is important as well. If a potential buyer can get the same item for cheaper at Walmart, they likely won’t buy it from your store.

However, if you offer something cool and unique that they can’t get just anywhere, you’ve got a much better chance of making a sale.

Keep this in mind as you consider what to sell at your Etsy store. Which reminds me…..

Fees and More

There are costs associated with selling on Etsy, and those costs should be factored into your bottom line as you determine potential profits. Here are some of the basic costs you may be charged if you sell on Etsy.

Listing Fees

Listing fees on Etsy are pretty minimal. You’ll get charged 20 cents for each item you list for sale on Etsy. A listing last for four months or until the item is sold; whichever comes first.

Transaction Fees

Once you have an item that sells on Etsy, you’ll pay a transaction fee of 3.5%. This fee is based on the sale price and does not get charged on shipping costs.

Payment Processing Fees

Etsy ensures sellers get paid through a platform called Etsy Payments. To use Etsy Payments, you’ll pay a transaction fee on the payment that comes to 3% plus an additional 25 cents.

Etsy Payments allows you to accept payments from 10 different sources including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Etsy Payments helps keep buyers and sellers safe during the payment process.


No matter if you are using Etsy as your full-time gig or you have a few items to sell as a side gig, make sure you follow the above fee structure to help you out. Etsy is a great way to get your name out there.

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One Comment

  1. Elizabeth Shedlousky says:

    Not certain but am considering it. I am a singer and song writer. Don’t think that would help me sell on etsy. I also write poetry and like to sew. So I am still kicking around ideas. But yes I am considering it.