What To Sell On Etsy

Wanted to get started with selling on Etsy but don't know what items are the best to sell? Keep on reading if you want to find out what to sell on Etsy!

SaleSource Team

How To Make Money Selling On Etsy? (Etsy Best Selling Categories)

etsy items

Etsy has risen in popularity over the last decade. Many artists have turned to this E-commerce website to sell their homemade creations. Etsy has transformed into much more than an art collection site. You can buy a wide variety of items, ranging from jewelry to furniture. One great aspect about Etsy is it’s very easy to set up your own store. Etsy’s advantage over physical stores is that all of Etsy’s products are “stored” online. No longer does a creator need to own a physical store and pay all the costs that come with it. Etsy allows a mom and pop shop to sell their own creations from the comfort of their home.

In 2018, Etsy brought in $603.7 million in revenue. So the question isn’t whether you can make money on Etsy; it’s how can you make money on Etsy. On their own website Etsy proclaims: “Millions of shoppers can’t wait to see what you have in store.” From handmade goods, to craft supplies to even vintage collectables there are plenty of items you can choose to sell on this website. This article will educate you on successful Etsy products and hopefully inspire you to open up your own Etsy storefront!

How Do I Sell On Etsy?

etsy logo

Etsy has thrived off the simplicity of their business model. The e-commerce site is beginner friendly to new business owners. You can design your new Etsy storefront website in just minutes. When the site design is complete you will have a home to place your listings. Once you establish a billing/payment method then you are ready to start selling! When you create an Etsy account you get access to discounted postage for customer orders. Etsy also has a convenient mobile app, so you can access your Etsy storefront on the go.

While Etsy’s storefront design setup is very helpful, Etsy sellers will need to get eyeballs on their own pages. And the way to do this is through advertising. You’re probably thinking that you came to Etsy to sell artwork or merchandise. Will you be expected to create advertising as well? Lucky for you, once again Etsy has you covered! Etsy offers two type of advertising programs: Etsy Ads and offsite ads. Both names are self-explanatory. Etsy ads post your listings within the Etsy site, and offsite ads posts your listings on other platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). What is great about Etsy’s advertising model is their transparency. Etsy will only charge an advertising fee for the ad’s buyers clicked on. This way the storeowner will be taking in some profits before they have to pay for advertising.

Etsy Pricing

Keep in mind there will be some costs in order to participate in Etsy’s services. Posting a listing to Etsy will cost you $0.20. This listing lasts for 4 months or until your item is sold. On a sale there is a 5% transaction fee, as well as a 3% + 0.25% payment processing fee to go with it. Offsite ads charge a fee of 15% from offline ad sales. It is important to note that offsite ads can be optional for a user, depending on their total sales within a 12-month period. This is a new feature, and is meant to offer flexibility to new users. Once you hit a target sales metric you will be forced to use/pay for offsite advertising. Etsy has 2 different membership options for sellers. The standard option, which is free of charge with all of the features described in this article so far. The premium option is $10 a month, and allows more advanced sellers to access brand building tools. Check out Etsy’s seller website to learn more.

What Do I Sell?

Etsy is far from a niche online marketplace. In 2018 there were over 60 million different items sold on Etsy. These items came from all different sorts of categories. Etsy lists clothing & shoes, jewelry & accessories, and Home & living as three of their main shopping categories. Within these options there are many sub-sections to help a visitor sort out where to go to. For new sellers, it is important to understand what areas you have both experience and interest in. There is a good chance your area of expertise will be able to be sold on Etsy.

Etsy is very transparent about which sellers/products are having success. For many new sellers, it is important to find out what types of products are selling the best. An analytics website called Etsy Rank (known as eRank for short) shows the top sellers on Etsy during a given time period. We will explore eRank more in-depth in a bit, but for now let’s check out the 2020 Etsy leaderboard.

Posted above are the top 10 sellers on Etsy in 2020. Out of this list of top sellers, Craft and Supplies is the top category for sales. Handmade Items and Wedding Essentials & Jewelry round out the top 3 categories for sales. If your niche is in one of these areas, then Etsy is definitely worth considering!

top etsy sellers


It’s great to understand what categories are selling on Etsy. But let’s face it; some of these categories are extremely broad. Take Craft & Supplies. There could be a number of different items driving sales within this category. According to Cedcommerce, the top selling sub-categories within Craft & Supplies are:

  • Stickers
  • Antique Charms &
  • Hooks, Claws, and Beads

You read that correctly. Stickers are one of the top selling items within the Craft & Supplies section. Does this surprise you? If so, it’s definitely worth doing some further research to find other popular trends on Etsy.

Etsy Rank

While having a dynamite product is crucial for long term success, as a storeowner you will need prospectus customers to find your listings. For the analytical folks out there, there is a service that allows you to track top Etsy search keywords, and top Etsy seller accounts. Etsy Rank allows sellers to view the most successful Etsy storefronts from that day. The website proclaims they are the most popular Etsy SEO available on the web. This website is important for Etsy sellers because it gives data on popular search terms. You can see what search phrases got entered the most from customers. Average clicks and average click through rate (in US) are also tracked as well.

The expression “imitation is the highest form of flattery” is really taken to heart by Etsy Rank. New storefront owners have the ability to analyze accomplished Etsy owners. You can take a phrase you were looking to use in your own listing and see if it had been used by top selling owners. Once you’ve compiled all of this data and you are ready to post a listing, Etsy Rank can give you a preview listing option. This way you can see where your listing will show up with a given search term, and from there you can adjust accordingly.

Don’t just take our word for it, many Etsy storeowners have used Etsy Rank to improve their listings. Amanda, the owner of AmandasDesignDecals had this to say about Etsy Rank:

“With the amazing analytics and data I was able to pull from competitors, I launched my best-selling product line in 7 years! I now show other Etsy SEO students the power of eRank and how they can use it for their shops. Thanks, eRank!”

So Should I Open An Etsy Selling Account?

Etsy’s popularity proves that there are many successful sellers on Etsy. However, there is a lot of competition out there from other online marketplaces. Amazon and Shopify immediately come to mind. Which one is right for you?

It is important to note that Etsy has some inherent advantages over these services. While Amazon is a giant conglomerate with a massive potential customer base, this can work against you as a seller. You will face huge competition from big companies that can most likely offer cheaper pricing. Amazon has some additional fees associated with their selling platform as well.

Shopify is another selling option that has spiked in popularity within the last decade. They use a bit of a different business model, as you are creating your own website with a unique domain name. The customization aspect of Shopify is probably it’s biggest advantage and disadvantage at the same time. A beautiful website with strong advertising can grow a customer base. However, if you don’t have a website design/advertising background Shopify may not be for you.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to what the seller is looking for in a selling platform. While Etsy has expanded their depth of product offerings, the site still has the reputation for being a homemade craft store. If you want to sell your own creations without the hassle of setting up a unique website or competing against gigantic competitors, Etsy will probably be your best choice. You do not have to pay a fee to use Etsy’s platform either. Starting the selling process with Etsy makes sense for a lot of new storefront owners. If you have some success within Etsy, then it may be worth checking out other online marketplaces.

SaleSource Team