Today, we’re sharing a list of the non-craft items you can sell on Etsy. Very ideal if you’re not crafty at all, but want to make some money!
First off, Etsy is popular. So you absolutely can make an income here, crafter or not.
Here is a bulleted list of the things we’re going to discuss that you could sell:
- Digital Downloads
- Vintage Clothing & Accessories
- Crafting Supplies
- Specialty Items
- Food & Baked Goods
Read on for more detail on selling the above non-crafty things on Etsy.
1. Digital Downloads
Do you know what the best thing is about digital downloads? You create them one time, and then you can sell them over and over.
These are ideal for visual artists and graphic designers, but you can learn to make them and sell them even if you’re not skilled at it.
Types of digital downloads people sell on Etsy
If you search “digital downloads” on Etsy, you’ll see some of the things people are selling. But here are some of the more common digital downloads people sell on Etsy:
- Printable wall art
- Digital clip art – popular with graphic designers and content creators.
- Printable planners
- Stock photography
- Wedding or other event invitations
- Gift tags
- Resume templates
So if you’re a visual artist or graphic designer, capable of making any of the above, you fall into the “non-crafter” category of folks who can still sell their creations on Etsy.
Don’t know how to make digital downloads, but still want to sell them?
Not capable of making any of the above? Udemy has a helpful e-course (also very inexpensive) that teaches you exactly how to create printables to sell on Etsy.
After you’ve gone through that course, you’ll want to read the seller handbook created by Etsy for people taking this route, available here. It explains exactly how to post these items for sale once you’ve created them.
2. Vintage Items
This is an entirely different skillset other than the aforementioned ones.
You are in no way making these things — you just have to get good at knowing where to look for them, identify what is “vintage,” and know if you’re getting a good enough price to resell at a profit.
Types of Vintage Items To Sell
There are many stores on Etsy that sell vintage items, so you will need to figure out what makes you unique (other than the items that you’re selling, of course).
It helps to know your brand – are you selling 1950s dresses? Porcelain figurines from the WWII era? China sets from different eras?
Below are some types of vintage things people look for to resell on Etsy:
- Old books
- Clothing from different eras
- China or other glassware from different eras
- Old records
- Vintage jewelry
- Old toys
- Old video games for systems that are no longer being made
- VHS tapes
- Old magazines
Where To Find Vintage Items To Resell
Finding these vintage items won’t be as hard as you think. Vintage stuff is everywhere, and it’s a popular category on Etsy. Therefore, there is a market for it.
You could look for vintage items at …
You might even want to hit up your parents or grandparents to see if they have items that would now be classified as vintage that they wouldn’t mind for you to sell.
Understanding What To Charge For Vintage Items
It can be tricky to know if you’re getting a good price on something you want to resell.
Over time, as you figure out what types of items you want to specialize in, it will become second nature. But there’s definitely an initial learning curve.
To help you learn what to charge, I’d recommend doing your research first. What are the items selling for on Etsy currently? You should price your stuff in that range.
You’re also going to want to invest in an antiques pricing guide. Amazon has a ton of these. Some of them are even for specific types of items.
Familiarizing yourself with the worth of items you invest in can keep you from accidentally overpaying.
3. Crafting Supplies
Beautiful rose-colored wire, hemp cord, and laser-cut wood abound in the crafting supplies section of Etsy. Yes, it’s true! Etsy is not only a haven for all things handmade, it’s also a great place to get the stuff to make your handmade things.
And you, as the non-crafty person you are, can make some extra income selling craft supplies to all those crafty people.
Types of Crafting Supplies To Sell on Etsy
The sky is really the limit here since people make crafts out of everything under the sun. But to give you an idea of the more popular things people buy, here’s a list with some ideas:
- Shape cutouts
- Fabric scraps
- Walnut shell halves
You can really get creative here. Crafters will use just about anything to make stuff.
Where To Find Crafting Supplies To Sell On Etsy
You may be thinking, where exactly do I find this stuff to post it for sale?
You could ask your crafty friends and family if they have an overstock of supplies they plan to throw out.
Another ideas is to scour Craigslist or your local periodical for items.
Is a major department near you having a clearance, going out of business, or half off sale? Take advantage!
And of course, a great option is to buy them wholesale and resell. Side note – reselling is allowed on Etsy only in the crafting supplies and vintage categories.
Some Tips For Selling Craft Supplies On Etsy
The key to selling craft supplies on Etsy is, like other listings, to know your audience and create a listing that helps you to sell.
Etsy suggests utilizing those “captivating writing” skills and “product photography that turns window-shoppers into customers.”
While all of the Etsy tips and tricks for selling crafting supplies on their platform are pretty general, they are good reminders on how to move product within your Etsy shop.
For example, “optimize your shipping and inventory processes” is one of Etsy’s suggestions – meaning, shipping crafting supplies fast is key to customer satisfaction.
And of course, it’s also important to make sure your inventory is extremely organized, and use the most cost-efficient shipping methods.
It can’t be emphasized enough. You need to show – don’t tell – what the consumer is going to get. Etsy sellers take photos of every angle, color, texture, size, etc. of their supplies. It’s worth taking the time to do it.
Also, don’t ignore your customers’ demands. Etsy sellers take the “customer is always right approach,” particularly with crafting supplies.
After all, Etsy is the go-to website for crafting pros, so it makes sense that those who buy crafts on the retailer will only accept the best of the best!
4. Food & Baked Goods
You may not be crafty, but can you cook or bake? If the answer to that question is ‘yes,’ then Etsy’s food and baked goods section(s) may be the best option for you!
Types of Food To Sell On Etsy
Again, the sky is the limit. You can sell just about anything you can make and ship efficiently. Consider the following:
- Pecan and date bars
- Food coloring
- Mushroom powder
- Edible chalk chunks
- Spices and rubs
- Edible glitter
I recommend browsing Etsy’s food category to get some ideas from what other people are selling.
Familiarize Yourself With The Government Regulations On Selling Food
The main thing to keep in mind when selling food on Etsy is that there are many government regulations that “dictate who can make, sell, and package food.”
We won’t go into detail on that here, but Etsy has provided a pretty fantastic overview with the applicable links to government-run sites. You will need to do plenty of research on your own before diving into this line of business.
Sellers also have to contact USPS and other shipping carriers about how to properly package the food items that they are selling. UPS actually has a good overview here on how to ship food so it stays fresh in transit.
5. Specialty Items
Hard-to-find or unique items are big sellers on Etsy. Items like monster masks, or the large acrylic teardrop bead that sold at $2.99 per bead (someone bought 291,188 recently!) can lead to a lot of dough in the bank for non-crafty Etsy sellers.
Like vintage clothing, it’s important to know your market, and find the right niche for what you’re selling.
Love horror movies? Then try the monster mask route – and have a blast collecting all those scary Leatherfaces. Are figurines your thing? What about collectibles? Make sure to pack them well, so you never have to worry about a negative customer review.
Whatever your unique thing is, you can easily turn it into cold, hard cash on Etsy!
Do: Find your niche – believe me, it’s worth repeating, especially with specialty items. You shouldn’t try and stretch yourself too thin, and sell collectibles, vintage items, and Halloween masks.
Don’t: Price incorrectly. If you don’t have beads that actually cost $2.99 per bead, then don’t sell them as such just because someone else had a success story!
It’s the equivalent of lying to your customers, which is something no legitimate seller wants to do. Be upfront and honest with your potential clients, and you should have repeat customers – which is something we all want, no matter what business we’re in.
More Help With Etsy
If you’d like more Etsy help, check out these posts:
Etsy Seller Overview – This is a general overview for how to sell on Etsy. It might help you if you’re completely new to the site.
11 More Sites Like Etsy – This is ideal if you want to sell Etsy-type things, but want to branch out from them. Or maybe you just don’t like their listing fees and need a cheaper alternative.
15 Etsy Success Tips From Savvy Sellers – You can’t beat learning from the pros! In this blog post, I’ve gotten some tips from people who are already having success on Etsy.
Post originally published on April 26, 2018. Updated and republished on October 26, 2019.