Etsy launched in 2005 as an online marketplace where people could sell handcrafted items, vintage products and craft supplies. Today the site attracts nearly 40 million active buyers, making it an attractive option for people looking to start their own online businesses.
In its early years, Etsy remained very strict about items fitting into those three categories. Items needed to actually be made by hand if they were listed as handmade. However, Etsy has since grown a bit more lax. You can now sell items that have been manufactured on more of a mass scale, as long as you designed or customized them in some way.
If you want to jump into the world of Etsy selling, check out some of the top categories you might consider selling.
There are more than 17 million items currently listed under the “Jewelry and Accessories” category on Etsy. So it can be a saturated market. But there are plenty of different niches and types of products under that general umbrella. You might offer delicate earrings, beaded necklaces or even metal pieces customized with initials or dates. Currently, gemstone pieces like this amethyst ring are very popular.
Home goods can include everything from framed art to hand stitched pillows. You can offer handcrafted items in this category or opt for upcycled furniture or vintage rugs. Kitchen items like mugs also fall into this category. This library card coffee mug is the perfect example of something unique you can find on Etsy.
You can make toys out of fabric, yarn, wood, or plastic and sell them as handmade goods. This crochet dog falls into this category. However, this category also gives you the opportunity to sell some of your favorite old vintage toys as collectibles or refurbished items for today’s kids.
Clothing encompasses so many different styles and types of products. You can offer vintage dresses, t-shirts you had printed with your own custom designs or items that you’ve designed and stitched from your own custom designs, like this linen dress.
Hats and Scarves
For those who like to knit or sew, hats and scarves are the perfect opportunity to break into the world of Etsy. You can create items from patterns or create your own unique designs. You can make products very intricate or keep it simple like this slouchy beanie.
On Etsy, you can sell a wide array of craft supplies, whether you’ve made them yourself or are reselling them. You can find fabrics, stickers, yarn, fake flowers, gemstones, and beads like these opal faceted strands.
For those who are just looking to get started on Etsy, it might be helpful to start with something small. Stickers that were custom designed and then printed by manufacturers or print-on-demand companies definitely fit into this category. They’re also popular as gifts or add-on products. They can also be customized very easily, which can be especially popular for those looking for items for special events like weddings or baptisms.
Wedding related products are very popular on Etsy, since people want items that are completely unique and customizable. Invitations, stationery and other paper products are some of the most popular within this category. You can find pre-made templates as well as completely customizable products.
You don’t necessarily have to offer physical products in order to sell on Etsy. If you’re a designer, you can offer digital items like printables or website templates. Web products like this template can be customized with a few tweaks and then delivered to the customer in a follow up message after they’ve completed the purchase. They can then go in and upload it to their site. Some sellers even offer add-on services for customers who want it all done for them.
Since Etsy is a popular site for vintage shoppers, it’s also perfect for older collectible items. Anything that is at least 20 years old qualifies. This can include coins, stamps, toys, postcards, and even old holiday decorations like these Halloween paper goods.
To learn more about selling on Etsy, read: How to Start an Etsy Shop
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