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How to sell on Etsy: a guide for designers

Posted by Sticker Mule on

Did you know that you can make some money on the side by selling on Etsy? Yes, you read that right! If you’re a designer, the possibilities are endless!

Do you know how to start an Etsy store? Here’s our handy guide for your future side hustle.

How does Etsy work?

Etsy is a marketplace that allows creators to connect with customers. The website targets niche creators or sellers catering to a very specific audience.

Now, you may ask, what’s the best reason to sell on Etsy? We won’t just give you one but several reasons why you should give Etsy a go:

  • You can work on it during your free hours If you have a day job and would like to make some extra money, Etsy is one of the places where you can sell your crafts without any pressure.
  • It is easy to use You can easily sign up and start selling. You don’t need to check on it every hour of every day and when you want to stop selling, you can also easily close your shop.
  • You can sell a variety of products Aside from actual crafts, you can also sell digital services such as design.
  • Etsy is well known and attracts different kinds of customers It’s not difficult to find a buyer for all sorts of products because it has a high amount of traffic.

What are the products that designers can sell on Etsy?

What are some good business ideas for an Etsy shop for designers such as yourself? You can start with these:

  • Sticker sheets For people who don’t know how to design but are into stickers, they usually go to Etsy to look for sticker sheets that they can use to decorate their gadgets or room. It’s a good idea to target these potential customers and you can start by researching what kind of sticker sheets may sell well on the website. (Here’s a tip: You can create and print your sticker sheets with the help of Sticker Mule!)


  • Digital downloads Designers on Etsy sell what are called “digital downloads” or templates for calendars, planners, stationery, and more! Customers are basically buying your design so they can print these for their own use.
  • Laptop stickers One of the more popular items that designers can sell is laptop stickers! More and more people want to personalize their gadgets with laptop stickers! You can design and print laptop stickers from the comfort of your own home then sell them on Etsy!


- Magnets Customers on Etsy love unique and quirky things! Creating customized magnets may just be one of those!


  • Vehicle stickers Car and bike owners who want to personalize their ride go to Etsy to look for stickers and other accessories.
  • House decors If you can design wall decorations and decals, it’s a good idea right now to sell these on Etsy. You can target people who are remodeling their houses. Did you know that you can also produce wall graphics on Sticker Mule?


What are the top-selling items on Etsy?

Another strategy that designers can use is to look at the top-selling categories on Etsy. Then they can decide if they can create anything that corresponds to these items:

  • Crafts and supplies
  • Handmade items
  • Wedding essentials
  • Party supplies
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Vintage items
  • Clothing

Digital downloads vs. actual products

If you’re a designer who is deciding whether to sell digital downloads or actual products, here are a few considerations:

Digital Downloads- Easier to deliver the finished product- Competition is tough inside Etsy
- You can make as many as you want without having to think of inventory- Design templates can be downloaded for free outside Etsy
Physical Products- You can price your products higher- Coordination with manufacturers
- You can create more unique, customizable items- You have to mind the inventory
- You have to take care of shipping

Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy?

Though Etsy itself doesn’t ask for a business license when you’re opening your shop, it’s best if you check with the laws in your country or state. Some countries require online sellers to have licenses and pay taxes, depending on how much they earn.

How do you work with manufacturers?

If you do plan on selling actual products that may require you to find a manufacturer, take some time to really consider who you want to be involved in your business. Do take note that the time you spend coordinating with them is part of the resources or investment you put into your business.

Etsy also wrote an article on how to work with manufacturers with lots of tips from sellers who have been doing this for years. The most important thing to bear in mind is that a manufacturer is your business partner. This is why you should choose a partner who is reliable, trustworthy, and has a reputation that speaks for itself. (Someone like Sticker Mule for all your sticker and packaging needs, of course!)

How do you open a shop on Etsy?

Follow these simple steps when you’re ready to open your first Etsy shop:

Step 1: Click Sell then Open your Etsy shop

You can find the "Sell" link at the bottom of the Etsy homepage.

Sell on Etsy Link

Step 2: Select your shop language, country, and currency, then click Save and continue.

Sell on Etsy Preferences

Step 3: Choose your shop name

Sell on Etsy Open

How do you price your products on Etsy?

There are two ways to price your items, according to Etsy.

Top to bottom approach

Take note of all materials you used and how much you spent on them. Add your overhead or any other miscellaneous expenses related to an item. Of course, add your labor cost. (Pro tip: If you don't know how to price your work, just take a look at the rates of designers in outsourcing websites and find an hourly rate that corresponds to your experience and output.)

When you add all these together, that shouldn’t be the price of your item because you have to decide how much you want to profit too.

Bottoms up approach

You can start by researching how much similar items are priced on Etsy. Next, determine your target market and how much they're willing to spend on your products. You may even create a survey to do this. After that, you can test different price points and see how people respond to it. Just make sure not to price it too low that it's way below how much you spent on making each item!

How much can you earn on Etsy?

One of the things that may have encouraged you to sell on Etsy are the success stories of page owners who have managed to earn $40,000 to $50,000 in a year. However, they may be the exception and not the rule.

There is no “average income” for sellers on Etsy, especially since the products are so varied. The expenses or operating costs for each product would affect the profit, as well as the popularity of one’s offerings. Many Etsy sellers, however, report earning around $30 to $50 per month.

How do you ship your products?

So you’ve marketed your products properly, received some orders, coordinated with manufacturers, and now you’re ready to ship! How do you start this process?

Step 1: Create packaging that will stand out

Packaging can help you boost your branding and impress your customers so they will order more. Part of your packaging also ensures that your product will arrive to your customers in one piece.

Step 2: Ship them away

Now that you’ve packed your product, it’s time to ship them. Follow our tips and save on shipping costs!

Step 3: Coordinate with your customers

If you set up your shop alone, you also need to act as the customer support representative for your customers. This job entails asking for feedback, answering questions, and making sure they get their orders on time.

If you don’t have time to do this, you can hire virtual assistants who can do these tasks for you.

How do you advertise your Etsy shop?

For your Etsy page to succeed, you must market it properly too. Here are some tips on how to promote Etsy shop:

  • Use social media - Set up a social media account for your shop! Using Facebook or Instagram makes it easier for people to discover your works of art.
  • Do blogging or vlogging - Is creating content something you really enjoy? Have you tried blogging or vlogging? You may use these platforms to showcase the works on your Etsy page.
  • Try email marketing - If you have managed to build a list of clients and they allow you to contact them after the sale, consider promoting new items to them with emails.
  • Try promoted listings - Etsy’s advertising tool is called Promoted Listings. When you use this tool, it puts your products on the first page of Etsy, which can create a buzz about your page.
  1. Make sure you're signed out of Facebook or Twitter in the same browser.
  2. Go to Shop Manager > Settings > Info & Appearance and scroll down to Links. If you manage multiple Facebook Pages, you will be able to choose from a list of your pages. You can't connect the same Facebook Page or Twitter account to more than one Etsy shop.
  3. Allow certain permissions to Etsy for the connection to work.

Are you ready to start your first Etsy store?

You can read more articles on the Etsy website or do some more research about what kind of products you want to sell. Can we tempt you with selling sticker sheets?

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