As one of the largest marketplaces in the world, Etsy is a popular choice for selling anything handmade, vintage, or unique.
For shop owners, Etsy also presents incredible opportunities for making money online. And the best part is that this marketplace doesn’t have to be hands on if you don’t want it to be.
In fact, earning passive income on Etsy is possible if you know the right products to sell and use the right shop model. And I’ve tested out this idea on Etsy in the past and know plenty of sellers who make decent money on Etsy each month with most of it being passive.
Time to dive into the world of Etsy passive income so you can begin selling and diversifying your own income!
How To Make Passive Income On Etsy
Generally, passive income on Etsy requires selling digital products like printables or selling print on demand products. This is because it removes the need to manufacture and ship products to customers yourself, keeping things much more hands off.
However, it’s also important to know the best passive income products to sell on Etsy, as well as tips for scaling your shop’s traffic so marketing becomes more passive as well.
This guide is going to cover the different business models you can use and then cover some top products and shop scaling tips for you to keep in mind.
1. Sell Print On Demand Products
My favorite option for earning passive income on Etsy is to sell print on demand products.
This is actually one side hustle idea I tested in college. Back then, I sold meme mugs on my Etsy Printify shop, and I actually managed to get two sales while testing out the business idea.
I like this Etsy passive income idea since with print on demand, you don’t handle any manufacturing or shipping. And with Printify, my Etsy POD partner of choice, uploading your unique designs to products is easy, even without experience.
Printify lets you sell over 100 products on Etsy, including:
I’m not a graphic designer, but I find that Printify’s design tool is very easy to use. And once you have a few print on demand products on your Etsy shop, you can begin making passive income whenever you make a sale since you don’t have to worry about manufacturing and shipping.
Picking the right Etsy niche for print on demand is important. But if I could make two sales without any experience, I think anyone can.
Another method to make passive income with Etsy is to sell your own digital downloads and printables.
This is one of the most lucrative, high-margin ideas because with digital downloads, you have zero product expenses. In contrast, POD selling has lower margins since you have to pay your POD partner to create and ship merchandise.
Some of the most popular Etsy digital products and printables you can sell include:
This video from Etsy shop owner Sandra Di shares how she made over $11,000 by selling digital products on Etsy and steps you can take to launch your own shop.
Personally, I’ve made money with Canva in the past by designing digital products like eBooks and then selling them online.
You can do the exact same thing to make passive income on Etsy. And even though many Etsy sellers only sell printables or digital downloads for $5 to $15 depending on the niche, your profit margin is immense.
3. Outsource Shop Management
One final idea for making Etsy passive income is to launch a regular Etsy shop and to then outsource management.
Etsy is really just a sales platform at the end of the day. So, if you can outsource tasks like marketing, Etsy SEO, customer support, and shipping, you can gradually make the operation more hands-off.
Some ecommerce store owners I know do this since Etsy is just one of their sales channels; they also sell on Shopifyand on Amazon.
Of course, this autopilot cash idea for Etsy requires having enough cash flow to outsource tasks. But it’s still a viable strategy to turn Etsy into a sustainable, scalable passive income stream.
What Are The Best Passive Income Products To Sell On Etsy?
Some of the most popular passive income Etsy products you can consider selling include:
eBooks (this is my personal favorite)
Party games and decor
Seasonal printables (like Halloween and Easter cards, or Christmas decorations)
Tracking templates (especially for niches like finance, fitness, and self-improvement)
This video from Etsy expert and YouTuber Creative Small Business Club shares even more of the best selling Etsy products if you’re curious.
The key is to create digital products or print on demand products for niches that have a lot of customers.
Chasing seasonal products can work, or short-term trends as well. And some sellers also try tactics like making money with memes by creating funny merchandise.
The key is to establish your Etsy shop as a reputable shop within your chosen niche. And many Etsy sellers I know operate several shops so they can experiment with several niches.
How To Create Passive Income Etsy Products
Personally, I make all of my Etsy products like printables and eBooks by using Canva.
This graphic design tool has pre-built templates for products like eBooks, stickers, planners, cards, invitations, and more. And its design tool is incredibly easy to use, even if you don’t have any graphic design experience.
This book now earns about $300 per month in sales. And I was able to make it for free with Canva and without having any experience with making digital products.
Of course, you can also go the print on demand route and work with a provider like Printifyor Printful.
With this method, you just need to create designs and then use the print on demand design tools to create products. This might mean using Photoshop or another editing tool that you’re comfortable with.
Tips From Other Etsy Sellers
Now that you know how to earn passive income with Etsy, I want to share a few tips from other Etsy sellers you can keep in mind to increase your odds of success.
Thankfully, other Etsy sellers are sharing their tips for scaling sales on forums like Reddit. Here’s what some other shop owners suggest:
steelhip says: “Photos. I’ve been selling my art online since 2002. Once you learn how to take and edit great photos everything else will come.”
jpcitybit says: “Build up your social media presence and link to your Etsy account. Start doing local craft markets and scale up your shop!”
volty24 says: “Interact with your buyers as much as you can! Making it a more personal experience usually makes it more likely they will leave a positive review.”
As you can see, these Etsy sellers suggest taking excellent photos to make your products stand out. And another common tip is to build up a social media following so you can consistently drive customers to your shop.
It still takes time and positive customer reviews to grow your shop. But the process can become more passive over time as your products begin to rank through Etsy SEO efforts and appear when people search the marketplace.
Yes, it’s possible to make $1,000 a month on Etsy or even more if you pick the right niche and create popular products. I know several sellers who make decent side income or even full-time income on Etsy, and this is across several niches.
The first sales are the hardest. But once you gain some reviews and traction, you can begin scaling your shop and total monthly sales.
Granted, reaching a milestone like $1,000 or $5,000 a month can take months or years. But Etsy has immense potential due to its size.
Is Etsy Worth It For Passive Income?
Yes, Etsy is worth it for passive income if you want to sell digital products or try print on demand. It’s also a creative, fun side hustle that’s perfect for couples or anyone who wants to run their own ecommerce store.
If you want immediate passive income, you’re better off investing for income or using some other type of method instead of trying to earn passive income on Etsy.
I hope my guide on Etsy passive income helps you create a new income stream for yourself while exploring this robust online marketplace.
Creating passive income Etsy products is one of the coolest online side hustles in my opinion. And with the right niche and trend, a store can grow incredibly quickly.
So, brainstorm several niche ideas and some creative and fun products to test. Then, you’re ready to dive-in to launching your own shop to see what sticks.
If you invest in SEO and experiment with social media or Etsy ads, you can find success over time. And you can also outsource more of the shop management responsibilities over time to keep things even more passive.
Best of luck!
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Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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