Etsy has become one of the top online marketplaces for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners to sell their unique handmade products, vintage finds, and craft supplies. With over 60 million active buyers and millions of shops, Etsy business ideas provide a huge opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to start an online business even with zero experience.
However, with so much competition it can be tricky to find the right niche and know where to start. If you’re looking to open an Etsy shop but don’t know what to sell, this comprehensive guide covers the best Etsy business ideas for beginners in 2024. Let’s dive in!
How to Choose the Right Etsy Niche
When starting an Etsy shop, one of the first steps is identifying your niche. This means finding a specific product category, style, or target customer to focus your offerings around.
Picking the right niche is crucial for standing out and running a profitable Etsy business. Here are 6 tips for selecting an Etsy niche as a beginner:
1. Choose Something You’re Passionate About
The best Etsy shops are born out of genuine passion and interest. Think about your unique skills, hobbies, background, and interests. Turning something you love into a business makes the entire process more enjoyable and sustainable.
For example, if you’re excited about painting, consider selling original artwork. Or if you’re an avid knitter, sell hand-knit scarves. Your passion will come through in the quality of your products.
2. Consider Your Existing Skills and Resources
Building on your natural talents and what you already have on hand saves time and money when starting out. Take inventory of your skills, knowledge, available tools, and materials to guide your niche selection.
Sewing enthusiasts can utilize their crafting supplies and skills to create handmade clothing items or gift sets. Carpenters can use spare wood and tools to produce home goods and furniture. Assess what skills and resources you have readily available.
3. Research Best Selling Etsy Categories and Trends
While you want your niche to reflect your interests, it also needs to have enough market demand to be profitable. Look at which Etsy categories consistently see high sales volume and bestsellers. Usage business trends can also reveal rising categories gaining momentum.
For 2024, some of the hottest-selling Etsy categories include craft supplies, jewelry, bath & beauty, paper & party supplies, clothing, home & living, weddings, wall art, infant products, and geekery. Make sure your niche has buyer demand.
4. Fill Gaps in the Market
Searching current Etsy listings reveals saturated markets, along with gaps for new products that competitors haven’t explored yet. If you have a unique take on a popular item or spot a need that no one’s meeting, that can be the perfect niche opportunity.
For example, minimalist jewelry styles have surged in popularity. But many pieces use the same muted color schemes. Creating minimalist jewelry in bold, vibrant gem tones could fill an untapped demand.
5. Consider Personalization Potential
One of the main Etsy purchase drivers is the ability to buy unique, customized products. Think about niche ideas that easily allow you to offer personalized variations suited to individual tastes and needs.
For instance, selling customizable mugs with printed photos, names, monograms, and other text options. Or children’s toys and clothing decorated with the child’s name or featuring their favorite characters.
6. Take Inspiration From Your Target Customer
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal target shopper. What do they care about? What’s missing from their lives? How could you creatively enhance their day-to-day?
Common Etsy buyer personas include busy moms, experienced collectors, interior designers, pet lovers, conscious shoppers, quirky couples, aspiring chefs, and nostalgia buffs. Shape your niche around your audience.
Okay, now that you know how to strategically select your niche, let’s explore some of the best Etsy shop ideas for beginners by category.
10 Hot Etsy Business Ideas for Beginners
1. Handmade Jewelry
Jewelry remains one of the most consistently high-earning and competitive Etsy categories. But the demand is massive, with jewelry averaging over 10 million monthly searches. This huge interest gives you room to carve out a specialty.
- Minimalist gemstone rings and necklaces
- Dainty gold stacking rings
- Personalized name, initial, and birthstone jewelry
- Bohemian-inspired layered necklaces and bracelets
- Vintage lockets and engraved pendants
- Wedding and engagement rings made to order
Be sure to showcase your unique designs, stones, and finishes. Offering customization options is also key for standing out. With so many buyers looking for jewelry, focus on your unique style.
2. Self-Care & Wellness Products
The self-care and wellness movement has exploded in recent years. And more people now see self-care as a necessity rather than a luxury. Products that help people relax, unwind, and practice mindfulness have major market appeal.
Possible products include:
- Candles and aromatherapy products
- Bath bombs, soaks, and oils
- Essential oil roller blends
- Yoga mats and meditation cushions
- Relaxing sleep masks and pillow sprays
- Herbal teas and infusions
- Reusable water bottles and tea infusers
With a new focus on wellbeing post-pandemic, soothing self-care products resonate. Offer gift-ready sets for easy selling.
3. Wall Art and Home Décor
As people continue spending more time at home, demand has grown for unique wall art and décor that personalizes spaces. Handmade and vintage always sell well within this category.
Bestselling concepts include:
- Nature and landscape photography prints
- Botanical watercolor paintings
- Vintage film and travel posters
- Abstract and minimalist art pieces
- Canvas prints of customized maps featuring special dates and places
- Custom portraits of pets, families, homes, and more painted from photos
- String art and macrame wall hangings
- Decorative wreaths, garlands, and flower arrangements
Playing up the custom and handmade appeal in your product descriptions is key for competing with mass-produced prints. Offer framing options to boost average order values.
4. Craft Supplies
For crafters and DIYers, specialty art supplies are a hot commodity on Etsy. Curating your own line of craft supplies can appeal to fellow artists and creators.
Top-selling supplies include:
- Printed fabric, trims, and sewing notions
- Handmade paper, stationery, and journals
- Paint, brushes, and mixed media art tools
- Patterns and templates for sewing, quilting, or needlework
- Gift packaging like ribbons, tags, and wraps
- Party supplies like banners, confetti, and balloons
- Unique stamp and stencil sets
- Clay tools and sculpting supplies
Bundle materials together in project kits for beginners. Limited edition and exclusive product drops also help your supplies stand out.
5. Vintage Clothing and Accessories
Vintage and secondhand fashion is hugely popular on Etsy. Lean into the nostalgia trend by sourcing and selling vintage clothing finds, shoes, purses, and jewelry.
- Curate by specific decades like 60 ’60s mod or 70 ’60s disco
- Organize by styles like boho chic or cottage-core
- Focus on vintage band tees, Hawaiian shirts, Levi’s denim, or concert memorabilia
- Look for quality designer brands and handbags
- Upcycle damaged or stained pieces into renewed fashions
Take sharp listing photos and provide detailed garment measurements. Restore well-loved pieces to maximize earnings.
6. Bath & Body Products
The bath, beauty, and skin care market keeps expanding year over year. Handcrafted soaps, lotions, balms, scrubs, and bath treats are Etsy bestsellers.
Top product ideas:
- Cold-process soap bars
- Whipped body butter and sugar scrubs
- Luxury bath bombs and shower steamers
- Natural deodorant and lip balms
- Face masks and treatments
- Beard oils and shave sets for men
- Soy wax candles
- Diffusers with essential oils
7. Paper & Party Supplies
Etsy shoppers love stocking up on pretty paper goods, stationery, gift wraps, and party supplies for all of life’s special occasions.
Bestselling items include:
- Wedding invitations, signs, and décor
- Letter writing stationery and note cards
- Custom return address stamps
- Greeting cards for all occasions
- Motivational planners and bullet journals
- Birthday party supplies like banners, hats, and garlands
- Wrapping paper, gift boxes, and bags
Use unique patterns, illustrations, and modern designs to make your paper crafts stand out as special. Offer matching collections and bundles for gifts.
8. Handmade Clothing and Accessories
For shoppers wanting ethically made, one-of-a-kind fashions, Etsy is a top destination. Successful sellers in this category tap into the latest style trends with their own creative spin.
Winning products can include:
- Crocheted and knitted sweaters, hats, scarves
- Tie-dye tees and sweatshirts
- Bohemian dresses and kaftans
- Leather sandals, handbags, and belts
- Upcycled and embroidered denim jackets
- Statement earrings, hair clips, and headbands
- Kids’ clothing and accessories
Provide size variety and fabric details in your listings. Consider offering custom clothing made to order for extra sales.
9. Home Decor and Furnishings
Handcrafted and upcycled home furnishings have a built-in audience on Etsy searching for statement pieces that add character to their space.
Hot-selling home goods include:
- Macrame plant hangers and wall tapestries
- Woven baskets, trays, and storage bins
- Upcycled and hand-painted furniture
- Poured concrete vases, trays, and decor
- Quilted blankets, pillows, and poufs
- Beaded and embroidered wall hangings
- Rustic wood signs and wall art
- Hand-thrown mugs and vases
Include fabric swatches or wood samples to showcase quality. Offer custom sizing for furniture and décor when possible.
10. Geekery Themed Goods
Etsy’s lively geek culture category spans fandoms like sci-fi, fantasy, anime, gaming, and more. These obsessed super fans are always hunting for creative, high-quality merch.
Winning geekery ideas:
- Hand-painted figurines of popular characters
- Embroidered wall art of movie or game symbols
- Jewelry, pins, and patches featuring fandom symbols
- Board game upgrades like metal tokens or jewelry containers
- Costume props and accessories
- Coloring books featuring franchise characters and scenes
Make sure you have proper licensing if using trademarks. Lean into trending franchises and new releases to ride the hype.
How to Source Materials for Your Etsy Products
Once you’ve settled on a winning product niche, the next step is sourcing high-quality materials to create your Etsy inventory. As a beginner, here are 6 smart ways to buy affordable supplies:
1. Shop Discount Retailers Like Dollar Stores, Thrift Shops, and Flea Markets
Discount retailers can be treasure troves for bulk craft materials, decorations, fabric scraps, and more at bargain prices. Thrift stores are great spots to score discounted yarn, sewing notions, home goods for upcycling, vintage jewelry for parts, etc.
Flea markets are ideal for rummaging through vintage wares to repurpose into new creations. Take time to regularly browse discount stores in your area.
2. Buy Wholesale Materials in Bulk Online
Purchasing craft supplies in bulk quantities from wholesalers is hands down the most budget-friendly option. Sites like AliExpress, Wish, and Alibaba have dirt-cheap prices on bulk materials shipped directly from manufacturers.
eBay and Amazon also have lots of crafter-friendly supplies sold in packs of dozens or hundreds, which brings down the per-unit cost significantly. Just remember to factor in shipping times from overseas suppliers which can take weeks. Order ahead so you’re not stuck waiting on materials to make products.
3. Use Coupons, Loyalty Programs, and Credit Card Rewards
Sign up for coupon apps and loyalty programs at craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Joann to get discounts on every purchase. Take advantage of weekly sales flyers and special savings events.
Pay with a rewards credit card that offers bonus points or cashback on craft and art supply purchases. Stack savings by combining coupons with loyalty rewards and credit card perks.
4. See If Friends or Community Groups Will Donate Leftovers
Connect with family, friends, neighbors, networking groups, community centers, and churches to see if they have leftover craft supplies they’d be willing to donate – anything from leftover yarn, fabric scraps, beads, buttons, paint, wood scraps, etc.
Odds and ends they no longer need could become your next Etsy bestseller! Building a network of donate supporters helps source free materials.
5. Repurpose and Upcycle Unwanted Items
Give old items new life by repurposing them into Etsy products! Turn outdated clothes, broken jewelry, and discarded fabrics into renewed fashions. Use scratched furniture, leftover wood, and old dishes to create vintage-inspired home goods.
Upcycling saves money and keeps unwanted things out of landfills – a winning combination! Use creativity to give castoffs unexpected new uses.
6. Grow or Harvest Your Own Materials
If your products use organic materials, consider growing or harvesting them yourself. Plant a garden to grow flowers, herbs, and plants for crafting. Forage for acorns or pinecones to use in projects.
Look for greenery like ferns or birch twigs to dry and preserve. Tap into nature’s bounty as a free raw material source.
Getting savvy with sourcing strategies helps you secure quality supplies on a starter budget. Now let’s look at creating standout Etsy listings that attract buyers.
How to Make Etsy Listings That Sell
Making listings that convert window shoppers into paying customers is critical for Etsy success. Follow these 7 tips to write compelling product descriptions, take pro photos, and optimize your listings:
1. Choose Descriptive, Keyword Rich Titles
Your product title is the first thing buyers see and is vital for real estate keywords. Include your main search term along with extra details.
Good example: “Blue Floral Print Cotton Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Adjustable Straps”.
Poor example: “Handmade Mask”.
Go beyond basic names to help buyers instantly understand your product and find your listings through search.
2. Write Detailed Product Descriptions
Use the description to expand on product highlights, materials used, care instructions, measurements, and origin story. Share what makes your item special and better than mass-manufactured goods.
Be verbose and paint a clear picture for potential buyers. Mention processing time and policies upfront.
3. Take Quality Photos From Multiple Angles
High-quality photos are essential for conveying details and quality. Shoot images in natural lighting against clean, simple backgrounds.
Take pictures from different angles and include close-ups of important features, textures, or embellishments. Show scale using props. Provide at least 3-5 photos per listing.
4. Be Transparent About Processing Times
To set expectations, state upfront how long it will take you to make and ship the item after purchase. Avoid overpromising with unrealistically fast processing times as a new shop.
It’s better to pleasantly surprise customers by shipping faster than promised. Invest in shipping materials like custom packaging.
5. Strategically Set Prices
Research competitor pricing for similar items to determine fair pricing. Price high enough to turn a profit after material costs without going outrageously above market rate.
Consider offering a “basic” version of your product at entry-level pricing, then a “premium” version with upgraded materials and detailing at a higher price point. Offer added value.
6. Enable Personalization and Customization
One of Etsy’s biggest advantages is its focus on customizable orders. Enable customization options like size variations, color choices, adding initials or names, etc.
Buyers love personal touches that make items feel one-of-a-kind. Charge extra for custom work and allow longer processing times.
7. Include Relevant Tags
Etsy allows you to tag listings with keywords and descriptive terms. This helps surface your items in search results. Use all 13 tag spots with popular search phrases buyers might use.
For example, tagging a ring listing with terms like “dainty ring”, “birthstone jewelry”, “sterling silver ring”, etc. Strategic tagging is key for discovery.
To maximize sales, perfect SEO fundamentals like titles, tags, descriptions, and high-quality photos. Now let’s explore important shop setup steps.
Starting an Etsy business as a newbie can be both exciting and rewarding. By focusing on beginner-friendly ideas, identifying a unique selling proposition, leveraging social media for promotion, and investing in cost-effective branding, you can set yourself up for success. Remember to continuously adapt to market trends, listen to customer feedback, and stay committed to refining your craft for long-term growth in the Etsy marketplace.
1. What are some beginner-friendly Etsy business ideas?
Consider starting with personalized crafts like custom-made jewelry, hand-stitched accessories, or personalized home décor items. These allow for creativity while requiring minimal initial investment.
2. How can I stand out in a competitive market as a newcomer on Etsy?
Focus on niche markets or unique product offerings. Conduct market research to identify trends and gaps, and tailor your products accordingly. High-quality photos and detailed product descriptions can also make your listings more appealing.
3. Is it necessary to have a unique skill or craft to start an Etsy business?
While having a unique skill is beneficial, it’s not mandatory. Many successful Etsy sellers begin by curating and selling carefully selected items or providing personalized services. Explore your interests and passions to find a niche that aligns with your skills.
4. How important is social media in promoting an Etsy business for beginners?
Social media plays a crucial role in promoting your Etsy store. Utilize platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to showcase your products, engage with potential customers, and participate in relevant communities. Building an online presence helps increase visibility and attract potential buyers.
5. What are some cost-effective ways to enhance my Etsy shop’s branding?
Start by creating a memorable shop name and a cohesive logo. Consistent branding across your product listings, packaging, and social media can help build a strong identity. Invest time in crafting compelling product descriptions and use professional-looking photos to make a positive first impression.