Selling clothes online is the dream for designers, fashionistas, or those who appreciate having their own brand.
Whether you are creating clothing items to pair with your already-growing social presence or starting a new online business, Etsy may be the platform for you!
However, before you make that final decision, you should really review the rules, tips, and tricks that we have outlined for you here:
Can I Sell my Clothes on Etsy?
There are many successful Etsy shops that sell clothing or their vintage clothes online.
Many people love to shop for completely unique and handmade items that they can’t buy anywhere else.
There are a few rules you have to follow when selling clothes though:
- Clothes Must be Handmade or Vintage
- Clothes Can’t be Re-sold from other Stores (Unless Vintage)
- “Vintage” Means 20 Years Old or Older
Etsy is not the place to host a garage sale for the clothes you don’t want anymore. In fact, Etsy customers and other sellers will be able to tell if your clothing products are clearly from somewhere else and not handmade or vintage.
If, however, you are a fashion designer, sewer, knitter or crocheter, Etsy is a great place to showcase and sell your amazing homemade designs and clothes.
Just make sure that you are clear about the materials you use in your products and give
What Type of Clothes is Getting Sold the Most on Etsy?
There are hundreds of thousands of clothing styles and items to choose from on Etsy.com.
In many styles, colors, materials, and from different origins all over the world, it is hard to narrow down just what is best-selling on Etsy.
Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the more popular products online right now:
- Vintage Clothing
- Leather Bags & Satchels
- BoHo Jewelry & Flowing Skirts
- Customized Tops (Men, Women & Children)
- Knitted Hats & Scarves
This is obviously not the definitive list, nor should you use it as a substitute for doing your own research. Knowing what your product is up against (competition-wise) is crucial for making it big on Etsy.
Clothing & Demographics
Etsy is most likely to sell to customers who are female, identify as female or wear traditionally “feminine” clothing – on the flip-side, many females like to buy men’s clothing because it is made of stronger materials and is usually pretty comfy.
This means that the Etsy demographic of sellers and customers are predominantly female. Because of this, many of the clothing items on Etsy are geared toward young women and older women or moms.
If you are considering selling clothing on Etsy in women’s styles, you will want to know what is over-done or what has not been done enough in this demographic.
Market research is your friend – make sure to stay on top of the competition!
Blank Customization VS Original Designs
Customized clothes or items on Etsy are incredibly popular these days.
You can choose quotes or images to be printed onto blank shirts, sweaters, or hats and then have them shipped to you from Etsy sellers.
However, with all this freedom comes competition. There are way too many stores on Etsy that allow you to customize blank, bland items and then have them shipped to you.
To combat this problem, consider making your own custom designs or quotes to put on blank clothing and then market them from your store.
This helps you stand out from the crowd, and if you have great designs, you will create a fan base that may grow and spread the word of your shop!
Do New or Vintage Clothes Sell Better on Etsy?
Both new and vintage clothes on Etsy sell pretty well.
However, Vintage clothing is much more likely to sell for much higher prices.
For example, an average crewneck sweater on Etsy will cost about $24, but a vintage crewneck or jacket may cost upwards of $40 due to their rarity and history.
This means that Etsy stores that sell predominantly vintage items can make more money off of less product. However, finding and restoring or refurbishing vintage items is much more labor-intensive than customizing or printing your own designs on fashion basics.
So while both of them do sell pretty well on Etsy, vintage items are going to on-average make much more money.
Should I Choose Etsy as a Platform for my Clothing Store?
Choosing Etsy as the platform for your clothing store online comes with a few questions that you need to ask yourself:
- How big do you want your store to get?
- Do you have a team, or are you an individual?
- What kind of product are you selling?
Going big with an Etsy shop isn’t impossible. In fact, there are many success stories out there where shop owners have been able to quit their 9-5 jobs and become their own boss.
However, turning your shop from a small business into a multi-national corporation with third-party manufacturers and distributors is a whole other story.
Many Etsy owners dream of going big – becoming rich off of their designs and ideas. If this is you, you may want to think bigger than Etsy.
Etsy is a great place to start, but it isn’t the best eCommerce site out there for brands that want to be big someday.
Consider other sites like Shopify or WooCommerce in order to expand our grow your business once your Etsy journey has reached its end.
Teams VS Individual Owners
When first starting your shop, you should consider what the workload is going to look like and how you are going to accomplish daily weekly and monthly goals.
If you are planning to “go big” on Etsy as we talked about, you are most likely going to need a team or a partnership with a third-party manufacturer.
Doing it all on your own – even on a user-friendly site like Etsy – can turn out to be exhausting once your product starts to take off.
If you don’t think you want to hire a team or partnership, consider branching away from Etsy and working with other companies to make your dream a reality.
Otherwise, you may be on your own for the first year or two.
Your Product & Market Research
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to make, you need to be prepared for massive competition on Etsy.com.
If you don’t already have an online following or a well-known brand, getting yourself noticed on Etsy among the competition is very difficult.
If you’re on top of the research and working hard to know what is and is not selling online, you will have an easier time standing out from the crowd.
Be professional, be unique, and stand out as best as you can!
4 Clothing Stores on Etsy to Research When Starting
To help you along on your quest for market research and checking out what the top-sellers are doing right, we’ve listed four five-star shops with thousands of reviews and sales as of January 2020.
These shops are all clothing stores on Etsy – both handmade and vintage – and are great business models for getting an idea of what a successful shop looks like:
See reference links below to view their shops…
Maeven Vintage has been on Etsy.com for years beginning in 2008.
Since then, they have sold over 3,700 items and have racked up ratings and reviews of roughly 1,600 five-star reviews.
Furthermore, their shop is favorited by nearly 18,000 Etsy users at the time of writing this article.
Maeven Vintage became well-known for its unique, vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories and had about 3,000 followers on Instagram. Their shop stands out with professional photography of their items on models and creative, nearly artistic demonstrations of how to properly showcase your products.
The takeaway from their shop is how to give Vintage a “brand new” vibe and to remind customers that old doesn’t mean “bad.”
Next, we have Portland Leather, an online Etsy store that focuses on leather products such as satchels, wallets, journals, makeup bags, credit card holders, and many more!
On Etsy since 2014, Portland Leather has sold over 130,000 items! They also have almost 24,000 reviews with an average five-star rating.
Furthermore, their shop has 54,000 likes and favorites with their items on frequent Etsy shopper wish lists.
These leather goods are made in Portland, OR, and are genuine in nature. They also are handcrafted and customized with initials and nature-inspired designs.
The takeaway from this shop is to branch out against what you consider to be fashion or clothing accessories, and to breathe in their unique style!
Alibell Boutique is famous for its custom prints and designs centered around pop-culture – specifically Disney and its affiliated brands.
Their unique takes on famous pop culture references and characters are great for families, gifts, and parents of children who love Disney.
AlibellBoutique has sold over 30,000 items on Etsy since starting in 2018, and they are showing at least 3,000 reviews and favorites with a five-star rating on their shop.
Although they do not make the shirts, they do make the designs themselves, and they boast using eco-friendly water-based inks in their products.
Furthermore, they are able to make hundreds of different combinations of products through different shirt colors, materials, sizes, styles, and many, many designs.
Learning how to design, market, and print your own designs onto blank canvas clothing is a great way to sell many different products without having to handmake each individual one.
Like AlibelleBoutique, WildHeartsUSA is a custom design shop that prints and distributes clothing with unique quotes, images, designs, and digital drawings.
From images of animals to quotes like “Ew, People” or “Be a Good Human,” there are there is something for everyone on this Etsy shop.
Furthermore, they are completely unique and do not rework characters or designs from other companies, such as AlibelleBoutique, which works primarily off of Disney themes.
However, it is important to note that unlike AlibelleBoutique, WildHeartsUSA only creates clothing geared toward women.
This shop began on Etsy in 2016 and has since sold over 51,000 items with an average rating of five-stars, 7,500 reviews, and 13,000 favorites.
The takeaway from this shop is that unique printable items are usually higher-sought after than your shops that have reworked or re-designed clothing.
The more unique and trendy you are, the more likely you are to sell on Etsy!
Other Tips for Selling Clothes on Etsy
If you aren’t keeping up on the trends in the market or your product competition, selling clothes on Etsy that will make enough of a living to be your own boss will be very difficult.
Our biggest tips and advice for selling clothes on Etsy are these:
- Be Unique & Stand Out from the Crowd
- Utilize Excellent Customer Service to Boost Reviews
- Invest in High-Quality Materials
- Design and Photograph Listings to be Attractive to Customers
- Utilize SEO Terms and Phrases to Show up on Search Results
Most of all, budget and plan your business expenses and what you want to get out of your business.
If you’re not staying on top of your competition and your own shop, you may disappear from customers’ view.