How to make money on Etsy without making anything

Etsy is the world’s most famous market place where thousands of sellers meet the buyers. Etsy is basically an e-store where anyone can open up a shop and sell handmade products. The products sold on Etsy are unique, handmade, artistic, custom made and even vintage.

Etsy is a very versatile store and one can find creative arts and crafts stuff, jewelry, home goods, accessories, clothing and a lot more. Naturally, anyone selling stuff on Etsy will earn money and so can you. If you are wondering: How to make money on Etsy without making anything? Then, this post is just for you. Even if you are number 1 on the world’s clumsiest person list, you can still sell and make money on Etsy!

how to make money on etsy without making anything

Selling stuff on Etsy is an extremely easy way to make money. You can set up a virtual shop on Etsy for just $0.20 listing fees and a $3.5 transaction fees on every sale that you make.

There is a major miss-conception regarding making money on Etsy: that you will be able to make money on Etsy only if you are an artist or have a talent such as making handmade goods and crafts. But this is not true. There are so many ways through which you can make money on Etsy without being an artist or being able to do something crafty.

If you can weave baskets, create spectacular goods from your own hands, have a God gifted talent or can design amazing clothes; good for you. But even if you can’t, Etsy can be an extremely beneficial platform for you as well.

How to make money on Etsy without making anything is something that I wish to discuss in this post and inform you about all the ways that you can adopt to make money on Etsy without being super crafty.

Here is a rundown of all the ways that you can benefit from to make money on Etsy without creating products of your own. If you are still confused and are wondering how? Then just read on!


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Top ways to make money on Etsy without making anything!

#1 Buy stuff from thrift stores

To sell on Etsy, you need to register for a shop with Etsy. Once you do that, you will need the stuff to sell and fill up your inventory. One way is to create products by hand and stock them in the inventory. But if you can’t do that, you can always buy stuff and re-sell them on Etsy.

But the important part is that you buy stuff that has a good resale value and can be sold again at a reasonable price without damaging your pocket. In order to earn and boost your profits (which I will discuss further down in this post), you need to buy products that are in demand and also cheap. For that purpose, shopping at thrift stores is your best option.

You won’t believe but you can find some amazing stuff at very low rates. Thrift stores are full of options but your job will be to hunt down something that is low priced and will be sold easily on Etsy. The only hard part is shortlisting products and then procuring them, the rest is all easy work. You buy the items and flip them online to be sold at a higher rate.

As I have mentioned before as well, the important task at hand is to decide on a niche and what products will you be stocking and selling in your shop. Make sure you don’t go for the most usual and typical products such as t-shirts and coffee mugs because there are hundreds and thousands of sellers already selling these items and you will be just another unwanted addition.

While brainstorming about the products that are not so commonly available on Etsy and are in demand, you can hop on to the Etsy app and search for products that you find unique. You can also look for the available competition on Etsy once you have narrowed down the niche and see what kind of products are being sold on Etsy.

This is important because once you know who you are competing against, you will be able to better prepare and equip yourself.

Thrift stores are hidden treasures. You can look for and find unique and cheap items such as coffee mug holders, candles and candleholders, customized buttons and cufflinks, craft supplies, small bags and kits, pot holders, vintage crockery and so much more.

#2 Create Digital products

We come across terms like:

Everything is getting digitalized.

Technology is the new science.

And so many other statements which prove that digital word is the new trend. Online businesses and services are succeeding at a much faster pace. Etsy is a great platform to promote your digital business and ventures.

Also if you create, promote and sell digital products you will not need to create any handmade products. You can create digitally and sell digitally. Another great advantage of digital products is that you will never go out of stock. Your inventory always remains stocked and no issues like poor quality damaged goods (during shipping) or lost items.

Etsy already has tons of such shops that sell digital products. It is easy and also allows you to be super creative. Creating digital products is the easier option as well because you can use numerous free online tools to create digital products such as printable downloads, drawings and art, pictures and fonts, clip art, website design templates, blog front end templates and so much more.

Also, free tools such as Canva and PicMonkey are great tools that can help you to create wonderful digital products for free. You can create products that require zero investment and people are interested in buying.

There is a long list of digital products that you can create and sell on Etsy. Recently I saw so many bloggers promoting printable art available on Etsy because it is easy and convenient. Also, requires no shipping hassle and charges. Everything is made and sold online.

You can create products such as daily affirmation cards, inspiring and motivational quote images, planner download, and party/wedding invitations along with other home décor printables.

Before you start looking for products to sell on Etsy you need to select your niche. It is better to select a niche and stick to it. It will allow you to focus on your products and not create a distracting mess.

It also helps if you select a niche that you have a personal interest in as well. This will help you in finding quality stuff of thrift stores and reselling them.

To be honest, the only legit way of making money on Etsy without creating anything are the ones I mentioned. One, you buy cheap thrift stores and second you create digital products. You can use the free templates available online and tweak them a bit or use free tools to customize your work.

Once you have decided on your niche and procured the items, the next step is to properly and effectively list them on Etsy and maximize your sales. The entire process is very similar to opening up and promoting a physical shop.

But how exactly it is done and what you need to do in order to effectively list your products on Etsy is what I will be discussing now.

How to list products on Etsy?

Etsy is a big market place. Almost all the fields are saturated and numerous sellers are claiming to sell the best product out there. But you are claiming the same, right? So what should be done that will make you and your shop stand out? How can you make your shop famous and your products sell? Here is how!

But before I proceed to the tips on ‘How to make money on Etsy’, let me fill you in on the fees that Etsy will be charging you. For every listing (meaning for every product that you will list on Etsy) you will be charged 0.20 dollars and a fee of 3.5 dollars on every sale.

  • Set up your shop and listings. Once you have everything sorted out, you need to start setting up your listings. You need to list each product in such a way that it completely describes the product and provides every possible piece of information that a client or potential customer will be interested in.

Etsy is a large market place. There are so many people selling so many products. If you wish to compete with them and sell your products as well then you need to follow a few rules and steps.

  • Take great photos. The first and foremost among them is to list each of your products in the best manner. When people log on to Etsy and think about making a purchase, they trust your word. They are unable to pick up the product in their hands, feel it and check the quality so make sure your photos can satisfy all of their concerns and convince them to buy the product.

Etsy allows you to post a maximum of 5 photos with each product. Make sure you fill in all 5 and take the best photos you can. The photos you post must be able to describe and show the product of every angle. Try to take the photos in good light and after properly cleaning the product. Dust or stickers are a big turn off.

Show the product as it is and don’t conceal or hide the flaws. Take authentic photos and use tools like Photoshop to edit and brighten the photos. Another great tip is to include photos of the product while it is in use.

  • Write great descriptions. Once the photos attract the customers, next they will read the description that you will provide. So make sure that you write a complete and useful description.

Try to connect with your potential customers through your words. It is even better if you tell a story and engage the reader. Again, the customer will not be able to see or touch the product in person so your description is all you have to convince the customer.

If you assume the role of a buyer looking at a product online, you would want to know the size, material, color and all the other details about the product. So make sure you provide all of this information as well.

  • Use effective keywords. As I have been mentioning, again and again, Etsy is a large market place. There are thousands of products listed under a single search word. Consider for example you are selling knitting kits. If you will add the word ‘knitting kit’ in the description, there will be hundreds of other products as well with the same description.

When someone will search for the product by the name of knitting kits, your product will be lost in the flood of the knitting kit’s results. You need to stand out and be visible to sell.

Therefore, it will be better if you include a more detailed and descriptive keyword such as, “Vintage colorful knitting kit”. When someone will search for a vintage knitting kit, your product will come up among maybe a handful of others. So including effective keywords will not only make you visible but also streamline your products.

  • Share your products. Once you have listed your products effectively, start promoting and marketing your products.

Just like physical shops promote their products through signboards, ads and, promotions; you need to do the same as well. Share your work and products online on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.

The more people know about your shop and products, the more exposure you will get and the more sales you will make. As simple the idea may seem to you, promoting your products, upcoming projects and promotions (if any) will give you a lot of exposure.

Once I started promoting my products on Etsy, I received so many new customers and also valuable feedback. I had people messaging me what kind of products they are looking for and if I can arrange them for them.

So you should never underestimate the power of social media marketing and keep up with the latest digital trends (hashtags, challenges, and campaigns).

Also, make sure that you keep up with the changing seasons. To offer products for events and seasons such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and many more will give you so many extra sales. Don’t forget to offer discounts and promotions as well.

  • Try to connect with your customers. I have said it before and I will say it again as well. When you own and run a virtual shop, your customers and potential buyers are unable to see the product and feel it. So there are a lot of reservations, concerns, and trust issues often associated with the purchase.

Make sure, you talk to your customers.

Market your products; show them in the best possible angle and light. Talk about them like you would talk to a friend. Let your personality shine through your products and their descriptions. Talk on multiple social media platforms and explain your products effectively.

Selling products on Etsy that you have not made by hand or digital products is a great way to make money. It does not require you to be crafty and very artistic. But whatever is it that you decide to sell, make sure it is a quality product and is promoted effectively to ensure maximum sales.

A great way to earn reviews and make people know about you or trust you is to include bloggers in your marketing campaign. You can always send free stuff to bloggers that have a good amount of fan following. They will use and review your products. Word of mouth and recommendations are a great way to boost your sales.

How much can you make on Etsy?

There is no set limit or a defined amount that you can earn through Etsy. It all depends on your efforts, your products and how exactly are you representing the product out there.

If you are selling a smaller product, you can earn $25 per piece or even more in case of a larger product. But whatever you sell, the prices should be reasonably placed and you should never overcharge your customers. This will only result in a decrease in your customers and sales.

When you start making money on Etsy, it might not be enough for you to start making a living out of it, but it surely will be a good raise of your pocket money or monthly income. I believe that making money on Etsy is a growing income. You might start slow but with proper promotional techniques and good quality products, the sales will increase with time.

So, it is not a bad idea to sign up for a shop on Etsy and start selling products. Why not give it a try?


Etsy is one of the most renowned platforms to sell handmade, unique and vintage products. It is like a more refined thrift store. People have been making great amounts of money by selling stuff on Etsy. The stuff mostly sold on Etsy is handmade, unique, very artistic and special.

But it doesn’t mean that if something is not handmade, it cannot be sold on Etsy. I have discussed all the possible ways with which you can make money on Etsy without creating anything. Also, how you can make sure your shop is visible to people and your products are promoted and marketed well.

There is a lot of competition and almost every niche is saturated but that should not stop you from giving Etsy a try and making money.

You can always come up with new ideas and products. Promote them differently and effectively and start making money without creating anything.

If I was to round up this post for you and give you the top tips to make money on Etsy without making anything, then here are my recommendations:

  1. Look for cheap stuff. Even if you are buying off thrift stores make sure you bargain and use coupons and discount vouchers. There are often pretty awesome deals at some stores and you can avail them to get some great stuff at a very cheap price. Remember, the more you save, the more you will earn.
  2. If you are into digital products, then try to look for stuff that is available for free online and with just a few personal touches and amendments, you can sell them and earn good profits (given your investment was practically zero).
  3. Invest a great deal of time, effort and thoughts into listing your products on Etsy. Make sure you provide complete and authentic information along with the use of effective keywords.
  4. Social media promotion. Sharing your work and making more and more people aware of your products is a great way to market your products and promote your sales. Don’t take the power of social media for granted and use it smartly.

And that is all there is to it. If you have any questions and concerns, leave a comment and I will get back to you. What about you? Have you heard about or tried selling on Etsy before? Let me know about your go-to tips and tricks about selling on Etsy.