There are SO many ideas Etsy – and we’ve covered lots of them already.
Today we’ll share our best hacks for starting a new store – on a ZERO budget!
Because it’s 100% possible.
Lots of successful stores were started on zero (or close to) budget.
Let’s get started!
Ideas For Products That Cost Nothing (or VERY Little)
Let’s start with one of the most popular options – digital products.
Sell Digital Products (No shipping cost!)
One of the easiest ways to start an Etsy shop with no money is to sell digital products. These products can be created using free software like Canva or GIMP.
Some popular digital products include:
- Printables like planners, wall art, etc.
- Stock photos or graphics
- Travel guides to local areas
- SOME templates and graphics
- Knitting and sewing patterns
- Printable coloring pages
- Website templates and graphics
- Templates for resumes, invitations, or business cards
These products are easy to create and can be sold multiple times without any additional cost.
Plus, there are no shipping costs involved, which means more profit for you!
Sell Printable Files
Printable files are another great option for those looking to start an Etsy shop with no money. These files can be created using free software and can be sold as digital downloads.
Some popular printable files include:
- Planner pages or inserts
- Wall art or prints
- Wedding invitations or save-the-dates
- Custom Coloring pages
- Wall art and posters
- Greeting cards and invitations
- Calendars and planners
- Coloring pages for adults and children
- Educational materials and worksheets
- Party decorations and banners
- Gift tags and labels
- Wedding stationery and signage
- Origami patterns and templates
- Quotes and motivational prints
- Stickers and decals
- Customizable certificates and awards
- Recipe cards and cookbook templates
- Home organization and cleaning checklists
- Travel itineraries and packing lists
By selling printable files, you can offer a variety of products without any upfront costs.
Plus, customers can print the files themselves, which means no shipping costs for you!
Recycled And Upcycled Products Are Popular
Creating products from recycled or upcycled materials is not only environmentally friendly, but it can also be a great way to start an Etsy shop with no money.
Some popular recycled/upcycled products include:
- Jewelry made from recycled materials
- Home decor made from reclaimed wood or fabric
- Bags made from recycled materials
- Upcycled clothing and accessories
- Repurposed furniture and home decor
- Eco-friendly tote bags and grocery bags
- Reusable beeswax wraps for food storage
- Recycled paper stationery and notebooks
- Bottlecap art and jewelry
- Recycled glassware and dishware
- Upcycled garden planters and ornaments
- Pallet wood signs and decorations
- Bicycle tire belts and accessories
- Reclaimed wood picture frames and shelves
- Recycled fabric quilts and blankets
- Wine cork crafts and trivets
- Reusable produce bags and mesh bags
- Recycled tin can lanterns and candle holders
These products can be created using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, which means little to no upfront cost.
Plus, customers love unique and eco-friendly products!
Knitting and Crochet Products Are In
Knitting and crochet products are always popular on Etsy.
These products can be created using inexpensive materials like yarn and can be sold at a higher price point.
Some popular knitting/crochet products include:
- Scarves or hats
- Blankets or throws
- Beanies, berets, and headbands
- Sweaters and cardigans
- Baby blankets and booties
- Stuffed animals and toys
- Dishcloths and potholders
- Shawls and wraps
- Socks and slippers
- Handwarmers and mittens
- Cozies for mugs, teapots, and electronics
- Knitted bags and purses
- Pillow covers and home decor
- Pet clothing and accessories
- Christmas stockings and ornaments
By creating these products, you can offer a variety of items without any upfront costs.
Plus, customers love handmade and unique products!
Custom Illustrations And Art
If you have artistic skills, you can offer custom illustrations or art on Etsy. These products can be created using free software like GIMP or Adobe Illustrator.
Some popular custom products include:
- Personalized family and pet portraits
- Custom house and building illustrations
- Travel and cityscape art
- Botanical and floral drawings
- Wildlife and animal illustrations
- Abstract and geometric designs
- Nursery and children’s room decor
- Watercolor landscapes and seascapes
- Hand-lettered quotes and typography
- Fashion and beauty sketches
- Fan art inspired by movies, TV shows, or books
- Food and kitchen-themed art
- Minimalist and line art drawings
- Collage and mixed media artwork
- Custom illustrations for weddings or events
- Custom logos or branding materials
By offering custom illustrations or art, you can charge a higher price point and offer a unique product that customers can’t find anywhere else!
Creating Your Shop
Once you have decided on the products you want to sell, it’s time to start creating your Etsy shop.
Here are some tips on how to do it without spending any money:
Using Etsy’s Free Listings for New Shops
Etsy offers new sellers 20 free listings when they open a shop!
This means you can get started with no money up-front!
Take advantage of this offer by creating listings for your most popular products. Make sure to use relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions to help your items show up in search results.
Use Recycled Boxes for Shipping Packaging
Shipping materials can quickly add up and cut into your profits. Instead of buying new boxes, consider using recycled boxes from around your home or from local businesses.
You can also use newspaper or other recycled materials as padding to protect your products during shipping.
Talk to local stores and see if they will sponsor some boxes for free (they will save the trip to the recycling center).
Setting Up Your Shop Profile
Your shop profile is the first thing potential customers will see when they visit your shop. Make sure to fill out all the sections, including:
- your shop name,
- logo, banner,
- and about section.
Use clear, high-quality images for your logo and banner to make your shop look professional.
Creating Eye-catching Product Photos for Free
Good product photos are essential for attracting customers and making sales.
You don’t need an expensive camera or studio to take great photos. Use natural light and a plain background to showcase your products.
You can also use free photo editing software like GIMP or Canva to edit your photos and add text or graphics.
Marketing Your Shop On A Zero-Budget
When starting an Etsy shop, it’s important to have a plan for marketing your products. While paid advertising can be effective, it’s not always feasible for those starting out with limited funds.
Fortunately, there are several ways to promote your shop without spending a dime.
#1 Using Social Media to Promote Your Shop Organically
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest provide an opportunity to showcase your products to a wider audience.
Instagram and Pinterest are probably the places to start as they can send a LOT of traffic.
And they are visual!
By creating a business page or account, you can share photos of your products, provide updates on new listings, and engage with potential customers. It’s important to build a following by regularly posting quality content and interacting with others in your niche.
#2 Optimizing Your Product Listings for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your listings more visible in search results. By including relevant keywords in your titles, descriptions, and tags, you can increase the chances of your products being found by potential customers.
It’s important to do keyword research and use terms that are commonly searched for in your niche.
Additionally, high-quality product photos and detailed descriptions can improve your listings’ visibility and appeal to shoppers.
#3 Engaging with Your Customers
Building relationships with your customers can be a powerful marketing tool. By providing excellent customer service and responding promptly to inquiries, you can create a positive reputation for your shop. Encouraging customers to leave reviews can also help attract new buyers.
Offering promotions or discounts to repeat customers can also be an effective way to encourage loyalty and increase sales.
While marketing on a zero-budget may require more effort and creativity, it’s still possible to build a successful Etsy shop.
By utilizing social media, optimizing your listings for SEO, and engaging with your customers, you can increase your shop’s visibility and attract more buyers.