Most people who spend lots of time on the Internet know about Etsy. It’s an online marketplace that enables people to sell crafts and handmade stuff.
Like most Singaporeans, you probably took one look at the site and said you weren’t the “creative type”, and that’s why you’ve never considered selling anything on the site.
But turns out that there are more than a few sellers on Etsy who make a nice supplementary income, or even make a living on the site. Yes, Etsy millionaires do exist—this woman makes almost a million bucks a year selling knitted items on the site.
Now that that’s piqued your interest, what can you possibly sell if you have the artistic skills of a accounting student and the creativity of a civil servant? Here are six things that have the potential to sell well.
Cloth tote bags
While bona fide artists are selling their artwork in the form of postcards, posters and art prints, you have to be pretty damn good in order to make people want to display your work in their homes.
But if your artistic talent is limited to Photoshop manipulation of images and thinking up ironic slogans, sell tote bags instead. You know the kind—plain cloth tote bags with graphics or ironic symbols in black and white emblazoned on one side.
These bags have proven a hit with the Etsy crowd and hipsters, and because they’re a fashion rather than a decorative item, people are more likely to buy multiple pieces.
Etsy is very popular amongst DIY brides looking for personalised décor and goody bag stuffers. That’s why wedding products have the potential to do well.
Wedding stationery is a very sought-after product on Etsy, so if you’ve ever fancied yourself a stationery designer, you might be able to offer personalised wedding invitations on the site.
Other products brides-to-be might snap up include table and venue decorations, wedding jewellery and hair accessories. Have a look at the wedding section on Etsy to get a better idea of what products are popular.
There are clearly lots of people knitting baby booties and selling them on Etsy. Perhaps that’s why the site has a very prominent kids and baby section.
Not all these products are hideously difficult to make. Anyone who took home economics in Sec 1 and Sec 2 can create cutesy headbands for babies and baby blankets.
What’s more, because you’re allowed to sell vintage products on the site, if you have old Ladybird books lying around, you could probably sell them for a better price on Etsy than you would get on, say, Carousell.
There are quite a lot of geeks on Etsy who search for products relating to their favourite sci-fi series, TV show, fantasty novel series or anime series. If you’re a fan of just about anything, now’s your chance to make and sell products related to your pop culture obsession.
To cite a very common example, there’s a ton of products for fans of Studio Ghibli movies—from the necklace Sheeta wears in Laputa Castle in the Sky and the bag carried by Arrietty to Totoro iPhone cases and Kodama earrings.
If you identify with a particular subculture (no, Office Lady is not a subculture), there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell themed products on Etsy.
For instance, there are many fashion products and accessories for fans of steampunk, lolita, cosplay and goth style.
Hippie-looking products sourced in South and Southeast Asia
If you’ve ever been to Chiang Mai, you’ll have seen those hippieish elephant pants that hordes of ang moh backpackers and Chinese tourists wear while holidaying there. Well, people are selling them on Etsy for 3 to 5 times the price.
Hippie-looking products are quite a hit on Etsy due to the DIY, environmentally-friendly crowd that tends to hang out on the site.
And countries like Thailand and India tend to be hotbeds of cheap hippie-style products. If you often go to countries where these products can be bought in bulk for cheap, you could make some money reselling them on Etsy.
Have you ever bought or sold anything on Etsy? Share your experiences in the comments!