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Etsy Selling: A Guide to Selling Art & Prints on Etsy

Etsy is a great avenue to explore for creatives who want to sell their art online. Essentially Etsy is the cupid who marries buyers with sellers. It is a dream for creators who can now look beyond local sales and can widen their net to global buyers. The idea has been a hugely successful venture. This year’s revenue for the 12 months ending 31 March 2022, was US$2.35 billion - it's a hugely successful marketplace. We’ve put together a guide on how to sell art on Etsy as well as prints and other items, read on to find out everything you need to know, from the best-selling items on Etsy to top tips for selling on Etsy and everything else in between.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is a wonderful online marketplace where creativity knows no bounds. It's a haven for artisans, crafters, and vintage enthusiasts to showcase their unique creations and connect with like-minded individuals. From handcrafted jewellery and personalised gifts to vintage clothing and home decor, Etsy offers a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind finds.

What can you sell on Etsy?

Although it started as a creative marketplace site for artists, Etsy speedily expanded into a much wider range of categories. So, if you’re looking to make a profit from sales on Etsy items you can sell a whole load of things including furniture, toys, home décor, craft supplies and tools. It’s the perfect platform for anyone selling cards, artwork, photobooks and all items in between to really put a stamp on the market. What to sell on Etsy can ultimately be decided by where your talents lie.

What sells best on Etsy?

When considering what sells well on Etsy, it’s important to think about your own skills and passions. If you’re creative, you’re likely considering selling art of some kind on Etsy. When it comes to best-selling products on Etsy, Digital art is very popular in different forms. Personalised cards, illustrations, wall art and stationery are all best sellers on Etsy, so if you want to make the most of your Etsy shop, then this could be a very successful route to go down.

If you want to know what is trending on Etsy – to help drive or shape your own business decisions – there’s a section on the site called “popular right now” which also offers more detailed information.

Popular artwork on Etsy

When it comes to what’s selling well on Etsy within the print field, popular choices include landscapes and abstract art.

It doesn’t matter which theme or subject you ultimately choose, be it a whale or an abstract flower, as the method of how to make art prints for Etsy is the same. From turning drawings into prints to choosing portrait or landscape, selecting the paper size, paper stock and quantity, there are a few things you need to do before loading photos of your prints onto Etsy and selling them.

How to sell prints on Etsy

If you’re wondering how to start selling on Etsy, there are a few things for you to consider and do:

1. Define your artistic style

Whether you are an illustrator or graphic designer, selling physical or digital art on Etsy can be very successful if you define your style and make sure you stand out from the crowd. Take inspiration from others, but don’t directly copy them. Do you have a certain colour you always use? Do you create modern or classic art? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when figuring out your specific style.

2. Set up your account

Set up your account on Etsy and ideate an account name that stands out from the crowd. Include information about why people should buy from you, the quality of your prints or products and optimize the content on there.

3. Show off your personality

Brand identity is crucial for businesses, and it’s the same for Etsy businesses too. Make sure to show off your personality on your Etsy account. Be descriptive about your products and shout about any unique qualities of your artwork.

4. Print your artwork

Whether you want to print your products in advance so that shipping is as quick as it can be, or you want to adopt print-on-demand, we can print artwork quickly and efficiently so that it works for your Etsy business.

Designing a product and printing it via a trusted online printer like us involves selecting your artwork, the type of paper, size and weight of the product, as well as choosing accompanying envelopes, colours - including metallic – images, font and print number.

What is digital art on Etsy?

Generally, digital art is defined as any type of artwork that has been created via digital means. Digital art on Etsy can work as a digital download, rather than a printed product. This means you can sell your artwork, and the consumer has the option to print it off themselves. While this is an easy and cost-effective way of selling art, it’s better to provide your consumers with options so that they can buy a physical, printed product from you too.

How to sell digital downloads on Etsy

To get started, make sure you have high-quality digital files of your artwork. This could include illustrations, designs, or even printable art. Create a captivating cover image for your listing to attract potential buyers. Write an engaging and detailed description that highlights the unique features of your art. Consider setting a fair price by researching similar listings on Etsy and comparing their prices. Don't forget to use relevant tags and keywords to help your art appear in search results. Showcase your talent by including samples of your artwork in your shop's portfolio.

How to sell cards on Etsy

Selling artwork on Etsy doesn’t just mean designing prints or wall art. Art can be sold in various forms, including greeting cards and wrapping paper. Greetings cards are extremely popular on Etsy and this is because it’s one of the best places to go to buy family and friends personalised products that are unique to them. Wrapping paper is also a popular product on Etsy as many shoppers turn to Etsy to find unusual gifts for their loved ones.

Create mock-ups of greeting cards for the product pages and focus on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. A wise marketing move is to map out the year ahead on a calendar picking out seasonal or specific celebrations when your customers need that card. Kicking off in January you have the obvious New Year cards, followed in February by Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Once you have covered the basics, build your repertoire by including cards for more unique days such as National Friendship Day. National days are a great way to create buzz all year round!

Huge bestsellers on Etsy in the card category are personalised or bespoke commissioned pieces. Personalised birthday cards, postcards, invitations and customised greetings cards send a more meaningful message.

Whatever your business, teaming up with a printer and/or designer to showcase your products on Etsy is a no-brainer. In 2019 alone, the e-commerce site boasted 39.4 million users throughout 234 countries … all just waiting to see your incredible product.

For more useful articles, check out our ecommerce blog hub to make your business boom.


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