Selling On Etsy: Tips For Starting Strong! 

3 min read

Have you often been told that one of your hobbies could be sold on Etsy? Well, if you’ve finally decided the time is right and you’re looking to turn your unique passion into income, we’re here to help! Today, C$ walks you through the top selling shops on Etsy, some things you should know before jumping in and MORE to get your shop up and running efficiently.

Running a shop on Etsy has always been a long-term goal of mine. I have a knack for all things craft and DIY home decor and am hoping to work with my sister in the near future to get our shop up and running.

Not only is Etsy a great place to channel your hobbies and enjoy what you do, it can also be a nice side job if you’re looking to use your talents to get a little extra cash. 

The key to selling on Etsy is making sure there is a market for your product- but how do you know? Here, Consumer $ense breaks down the key to figuring out what to sell and if you’re idea has the potential to be profitable.

First, there are a few things you should know about Etsy.

Etsy has a set of fees they charge for selling on their platform. Opening a shop is totally free, but listing an item is $0.20 cost to you. They also take 5% of the amount you sell an item for. If you allow your shoppers to use Etsy payment, there is a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee for each item you sell. Etsy payment allows buyers to choose from several purchasing options and is also a way for sellers to get paid. Check out Etsy’s official site for a breakdown of all of their fees. 

Setting up a shop is super easy, especially if you follow their helpful guide. The hardest part is coming up with a name! 

Product descriptions and photos are SO important; however you don’t need to be/hire a professional photographer. A good quality iPhone, a solid color or an outdoor background and good lighting are all you need to get started and capture a picture of your product. Make sure it’s clear, the colors are accurate, and every angle that needs to be seen is shown in a different shot. It is also important to show your product “in action” if you can. For example, if you’re selling a bracelet, have a photo of someone wearing your bracelet to give your customers a better idea of how it would look on. As for product descriptions, Etsy can help with that too. While you’re there, Etsy has a whole Seller Handbook that is definitely worth checking out before you jump right in, filled with articles on any question you may need answered.

Now that you understand the logistics, let’s take a look at the most popular shops and items on Etsy, what they sell, and their techniques for making sales. 

In 2019, the top selling shop was PlannerKate1 who sells craft supplies and tools, specifically accessories for your planners. With total sales of over 800,000, Kate’s shop is definitely a niche. This shop is geared towards organizers, and crafty people with a busy schedule. Each set is handmade and she releases new ones every Wednesday to keep people coming back.

Out of the top 5, the next 3 shops involve jewels and charms. How do they all make it in the top 5 with such similar products? Let’s take a look.

Yakutum at #2 sells pieces to create jewelry such as pendants, jump rings and basic charms to make and customize jewelry yourself.

Coming in at #3, Nicoledebruin focuses on unique, individual charms, some antique, as well as customizable tags.

Finally, #4 and similar to Yakutum is CLBEADS. They also sell pieces to make your own jewelry, but categorize their products by material over type such as genuine leather, sterling silver, and wood and resin.

All three shops sell similar jewelry, but each one is just different enough to target a specific need.

Number 5 is ModParty specializing in wedding favors, bridesmaid gifts and decorations. This shop thrives on personalization and actually moved to Etsy after starting her own website. Each favor can be customized with names, monograms, and colors. To keep her buyers coming back, she has a newsletter with exclusive sales and offers to those who sign up.

All of these tops sellers have one thing in common: some sort of promotion or sale. For example, PlannerKate1 has “five freebies with every order” and “free shipping on orders over $35” to entice people to spend more money.

Modparty (along with most shops) has an email newsletter her customers can sign up for to learn about discounts, sales, and different promos. Email newsletters allow your consumers to remember about your shop since they’ll be seeing your shop name in their emails every so often. Etsy suggests sending emails no more than once a week and no less than a month, but it depends on how often you post new content or have sales. 

eRank keeps track of the top selling Etsy shops, updated on a daily basis. You can register your own shop to see how it stacks up to the competition. 

The question still remains: how can you tell if your product will sell?

Find other products like it! Go directly to Etsy and type in your product to see what else, if any, are on the site already, especially if it’s unique. For an item like jewelry, Etsy is crawling with shops dedicated to jewelry, so narrow your searches, investigate similar shops to yours and figure out what makes your product unique. Is it homemade? Customizable? Anything that sets you apart- use it to your advantage!

If you’ve already established your Etsy shop and sales have slowed, check out this blog with ideas on how to pull your shop out of a rut.

With this information in mind, you’re all set to pursue your Etsy dreams! From everyone here at Consumer $ense, good luck and happy selling!

For more tips and marketplace updates: