Etsy as a selling platform is tailored to sellers of unique handmade and vintage items, but you may not realize what a wide range of products can fit under this umbrella.
As a seller on Etsy, you have almost unlimited possibilities for the products you can market.
So follow your passions, and find your niche!
Etsy’s store is divided into categories and subcategories, making it easy for buyers to find what they’re looking for, and for sellers to make sure their products are accessible.
If you’re just setting up your Etsy shop, these categories can help you zone in on what you want your personal product line to consist of.
Etsy’s top-selling categories are an excellent place to start.
1. Handmade Items
Of course, we all know that handmade items are one of Etsy’s main niches, but this category gives you as a seller a ton of possibility to find your niche.
The handmade item category includes visual art, home decor items, candles, jewelry, clothing, leather goods, and almost anything else a creative could dream up.
Depending on your raw materials, a lot of handmade goods give you a lot of room for a high-profit margin. If you’re using scrap leather, or you’re making original paintings, or knitting/crocheting, you can give your items a significant markup, particularly if you’re investing a lot of time in making them.
A lot of visual artists also make their pieces available for purchase or download, which allows the seller a low production cost per unit, with no shipping and handling costs.
2. Craft Supplies
This one may seem a bit surprising, as Etsy is most known for handmade items, however, a lot of sellers aren’t only listing things they’ve made, but also materials for buyers’ own DIY projects.
Under this category, you can offer a range of craft items from simple raw materials such as yarn, paper, and fabric, all the way to full kits of do-it-yourself projects with all of the supplies and instructions needed.
Not only can you sell your handmade items, but you can also teach your buyers to make their own handmade items, or provide quality materials for their independent projects.
Your listing photos are important no matter what your products are, but with selling craft supplies and raw materials, you also have the opportunity to use your listing photos to inspire your customers.
Give them ideas to open up their creativity!
Plus, this will make your shop more memorable and maybe even keep them coming back.
3. Wedding Essentials
Are customization and stenciled lettering your specialties?
Etsy has a huge market for wedding decor, and customization is an easy way to increase your item value, especially if you’re keeping your overhead costs low by purchasing bulk items, like candle holders or wedding favors.
You can offer customized wedding gifts, as well as gifts for bridal party members. Cake toppers, decorations, and invitations can be found under this category and even bigger ticket items such as bridal and bridesmaid gowns.
Most couples planning their big day are looking for something unique that will set their wedding apart from others. This gives you, as the seller, an opportunity to rise to that demand with your unique taste and skill set.
4. Jewelry & Accessories
Etsy is an excellent place to market handmade jewelry and accessories like scarves, hats, head wraps, belts, and gloves.
This is once again a profitable category, especially if you keep your raw material cost low, and combine your own unique creative style with the aesthetic trends of your target market.
If you’re the thrifty type, you can even resell antiques in this category, or upcycle your thrift finds into something new.
5. Home & Living
Customers come to Etsy because they want something unique, which means they probably have a pretty strong sense of style and aesthetic.
This kind of care begins at home. Warm, relaxing, and a little bit bohemian seems to be a major trend among the chosen environments of Etsy’s main demographic.
Home items are also pretty accessible and easy to thrift or make as a seller. This category contains things like handmade candles and candle holders, macrame plant hangers or decorative plant pots, wall decor, throw pillows, blankets, and lamps.
Like the previous category, many of these items can be made at a relatively low cost, or thrifted/upcycled.
6. Vintage & Collectibles
Etsy’s parameters for what can be classified as “vintage” are simply:
- The item must be over 20 years old
- The item must not still be in mass production in its same version
So if you’re the type to go thrifting, get to it! Hit up those antique shops and estate sales.
Here you can sell specialty items like nostalgic ‘90’s toys or rare comic books, but the nice thing with this category is that it can also overlap with a lot of the other popular categories.
If you sell vintage jewelry, home decor, wedding items, etc., your item listings will get more exposure and quite possibly have a wider market.
What Should I Look For When Choosing Products For My Shop?
With so many broad categories, the possibilities for what to sell in your Etsy shop may seem overwhelming at first glance.
So how do you decide what items should be in your own product line?
Here are a few places to begin:
What Do You Like?
It’s easier to sell a product you believe in that one you’re indifferent towards.
So while it helps to stay on-trend, first go with your own taste. Would you buy it? How much would you spend on it?
Are you excited to show it to your customers?
Is it Current?
You do want to make sure and follow trends.
If your item fits into too small of a niche, or if it’s just something that is no longer selling on any platform, it’s not going to bring you in any revenue.
Can You Make Money From It?
If it costs you more to make or acquire than you can reasonably expect to charge for it and still make a profit, it may not be the right product.
Does it Leave Room for Future Expansion?
It’s important to give your product line room to evolve and grow so that you can keep selling. Don’t forget to stay adaptable as a seller.
Honing in on your product line can involve some trial and error—if, after a couple of months of selling, you notice that certain types of products sell more than others, follow the customer demand, and sell more of the types of products that seem to move.
How Can You Tell What Sells Most on Etsy?
Keeping track of what sells the most on Etsy can be tricky.
Unfortunately, the statistics provided by Etsy only allow you to see your own store’s numbers, not the numbers of Etsy sales as a whole.
Some stores have a setting that allows visitors to see the total number of sales they’ve made in their time up and running. This is a default setting, but sellers can opt to hide it from view. However, even if stores do have this number available, the information only helps so much.
For example, if a given store sells a variety of products, you have no way of knowing which items seem to be the best sellers and which items aren’t moving as much. Plus, since the number you’re seeing is the shop’s total sales over its lifetime, this doesn’t allow you to look at fluctuations in order to glean what sells and when.
However, there is a platform called eRank that you can register for, which will give you access to more information on what types of items sell the most on Etsy, as well as other helpful statistics.
Should I List My Products in Several Categories?
If your items fit under more than one category, then by all means, list them.
Customers can shop by category on Etsy. The more categories your products are listed under, the more exposure they’ll get. So if you sell antique wedding-themed decorative pillows, then list them as vintage, as bridal gifts, and as household items!
Keep up the variety. It’s better to have items all over the place than to have just one item or type of item listed in multiple categories. Exposure only helps you if you have products that fit customer demand.
Categories aren’t the only place for buyers to encounter your products. Your listing title and tags also help your items get more exposure.
The more of these tools you use, the more traffic your shop will get.
Know Your Categories
You have a lot of categories to choose from.
Remember that categories are different from item descriptions; your categories should say what your item actually is, in a literal sense, rather than just telling what attributes its features.
Check out Etsy’s categories page to see what you’ve got to work with, and try to give each of your items as much exposure as possible, which can then increase your shop’s traffic and boost your sales!