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Beginner’s Guide to Etsy Dropshipping: Everything You Need to Know

  • system
  • 2023-09-23 13:28:20
  • 1 min read

Updated: 2023-09-25 14:26:05

As a great marketplace for showcasing handmade crafts, Etsy has become hot among online sellers. Many dropshippers also set their sights on the platform in an attempt to get a piece of the action. Nevertheless, not all people are familiar with this platform. So, is Etsy a perfect platform for dropshipping? What are the Etsy dropshipping policies and how to dropship on it? Is Etsy dropshipping profitable?


If you are curious about Etsy dropshipping, you're at the right place! In this article, we'll lead you through the big picture of Etsy dropshipping, and present steps to build up a unique dropshipping business on Etsy.


What is Etsy?

Etsy is a global marketplace where unique craft supplies, vintages, or handmade items are on sale. It is characterized by unique products and a strong connection between Etsy buyers and sellers. While it primarily launched as a platform for small-batch artisans and makers, Etsy has kept expanding, and merchants of all types and sizes can sell here today. 

According to its Second Quarter 2023 Results, growth in active buyers accelerated to a 3% year-on-year increase in the second quarter and reached a new all-time high of 91 million. Etsy marketplace GMS ended June 30 was $5.3 billion. Etsy is on the rise at unstoppable terms. 

Despite these numbers, many business owners, consumers and manufacturers underestimate this place. Etsy still has untapped potential for ecommerce. And for dropshippers, Etsy is a platform full of opportunities and challenges.


Can I Dropship on Etsy?

What You Can Sell on Etsy?


To answer this question, first of all, you must resolve confusion about what products are allowed to be sold on Etsy. Make sure your products are handmade or vintage items. Craft supplies are also welcome.

Here are more categories that may suit dropshipping:


Handmade Items: This includes crafts, artwork, jewelry, clothing, home decor, and more.

Digital Items: Downloadable products like printable artwork, digital patterns, invitations, and other digital files.

Customizable Items: Products that can be personalized or customized according to the buyer's specifications or with the buyer's information.

Physical or Digital Art: Original artwork, prints, illustrations, photographs, and other visual artworks.

Vintage or Craft Supplies: Vintage or handmade materials, components, and tools used for crafting or creating new items.


Rules to Dropship on Etsy


The next thing is to clarify the rules for selling products on Etsy. The originality requirement makes it extremely difficult to dropship on Etsy.  While Etsy does not explicitly prohibit dropshipping. Technically speaking, you can dropship on Etsy as soon as you follow the rules. Here are some important points to consider:


Handmade items are items that are made and/or designed by the seller.

Reselling is not allowed in the Handmade category on Etsy.

Craft supplies may be sourced from a third-party seller and can be handmade, commercial, or vintage.

When working with “production partners,” sellers must disclose the relationship on product listings.

Production partners may not be Etsy shop members or suppliers from whom the merchant sources ready-made products to resell.

Etsy merchants may not use AliExpress dropshipping.

Every Etsy listing must directly promote and sell a physical or digital product.


Ways to Dropship on Etsy

Etsy dropshipping can be different from the traditional dropshipping model. For those trying to dropship on Etsy, there are mainly two choices:

1. Open an Etsy store and outsource the production of your goods. That means finding a professional manufacturer for your designs. You must ensure the production quality and make this clear to platforms and customers. Print-on-demand dropshipping is often an easy starting choice.

2. Source products from Etsy and sell on your own webiste. Note never resell them on Etsy. In this way, you have to manage all the related order fulfillment on your own. Note that handmade products can be hot-selling but the processing is time-consuming so you must account for the uncertain transportation time. And the shipping of fragile crafts is another thing to consider about.


Is Etsy Dropshipping Profitable?

Dropshippers today have many choices for expanding their online business. With various policies and niches lying behind, different platforms suit different dropshipping sellers. Choosing the right form is significant for getting profits. Then you may wonder, is Etsy dropshipping profitable? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Here’s a quick rundown:


The Strengths of Etsy Dropshipping


Lower Competition

Since Etsy has imposed strict regulations about selling, there will be fewer dropshippers in this market. Etsy is a niche ecommerce platform with a market share of 0.22%. That's to say, there is less competition for you than normal ecommerce platforms. You just need to choose appropriate products and set up the niche store to get started.

Friendly to Niche Business

Etsy always welcomes niche products. And certain niches are extremely popular on Etsy. If you have unique product ideas, Etsy is a perfect choice to get the target audiences. The delightful thing is that it categorizes sellers to make consumers easier to find the right merchants when browsing relevant categories and searches.

Clear-targeted Customers

Consumers who use Etsy typically look for specific types of products here. Or they have a more defined orientation to product categories. 40% of them come to Etsy shop for a need or items in their mind. And oftentimes these people are more willing to pay more for well-made crafts or creative items. A stable and mature customer base ensures a profitable business for you.

Brand Opportunities

Building a brand can significantly benefit your business on Etsy. Etsy encourages merchants to share their product stories. A well-crafted brand can foster customer loyalty. This also ensures the originality and uniqueness of the products in your store. When having a stable customer base, you can further strengthen the brand building, and as an opportunity to improve the positioning of the product to obtain more profits.

Plentiful Integration

If you already have an ecommerce website you may connect your storefront to your existing site through integration tools. This can help you enhance your shop and get more sales. Esty has integrated with many ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. 


The Weaknesses of Etsy Dropshipping

High Fees

Dropshipping on Etsy can be expensive. There are a few kinds of fees you can not avoid when selling on Etsy. Merchants must pay a $0.20 USD listing fee per item and a 6.5% transaction fee on the displayed price, plus shipping and gift wrapping costs. Global currency conversions also require a 2.5% fee. These fees are a necessary part of doing business on Etsy and should be factored into pricing and profit margins. These fees will cut your profits and they can increase as your business expands.

Time-consuming Listing Process

If you want to sell numerous products on Etsy, you have to list each item manually. Etsy does not offer the ability to bulk-upload. Listing items can really be a time-consuming listing process on Etsy compared with a dedicated ecommerce site builder.

Stricter Product Monitoring System

Etsy focuses more on maintaining the integrity and special of the growing marketplace these days. With this purpose, it has strengthened the product monitoring system. In total, Etsy removed 1.9 million listings for violating policies in 2022, a 16% increase from 2021. The enforcement across areas including counterfeit, product safety, and handmade had been expanded. Also, it is improving the automated detection system which can effectively identify offending products. For dropshipping sellers, the possibility of your products being removed is getting higher. The originality costs a lot for online retailers.


How to Dropship on Etsy?


Decide a Niche

Decide a niche or certain item for your Etsy dropshipping. You can reference the existing categories on Etsy to get inspiration. In addition to considering profit margins, be sure to choose crafts that meet the platform's requirements. And always bear the prohibited item policies in mind!


Create an Etsy Shop

Before building up a store you need to log in or create an Etsy account. Start by setting your store preferences, including the language you use to describe your products, the country/region where you sell your products, and the currency in which you charge your customers. Add your store with a distinguished name to make it stand out.


Create an Etsy Shop


Add Listings

As soon as you’ve set up a shop, it’s time to add product listings. For each listing, you can add up to high-quality 10 photos or one video to attract more traffic. Add more details for your listing with descriptions, pricing, and shipping information. Create a new listing for each new product you want to sell.


Add Listings


Decide Payment and Billing


Etsy payments give buyers the most payment options and give sellers protection. Fill in your personal information truthfully in order to receive payment properly.


Decide Payment and Billing


Find Suppliers

You can work with print-on-demand suppliers or agents like Printify that have integrated with Etsy. Also, a professional dropshipping agent like SourcinBox can find you the best suppliers that provide products of customization to meet the platform's requirements.


What Are the Best Items to Dropship on Etsy?

Due to the specificity of the platform, some products are not available for sale on Etsy, which puts many dropshippers at a loss for selections. Actually, you can get direct information about popular products from Etsy. Just search “trending now” or “popular right now” to explore all the top hits within the marketplace. Etsy’s Trend Report also reveals the latest market insights. 


trending now


popular right now


Of course, purely depending on these is never enough. You still need tips and tools to help you find the best item to dropship.  To win more sales on Etsy,  it's important to select products and make a marketing strategy through detailed market analysis.

We have listed the following in-demand categories that align with the platform's unique aesthetic for your reference:


1. Jewellery

2. Pet Supplies

3. Home Decor

4. Craft Supplies

5. Wedding Products

6. Baby & Kids' Products


Start a Dropshipping Business to Unlock Success

In short, you may find challenges but also opportunities all along the Etsy dropshipping journey. This distinctive ecommerce platform is certain to gain more popularity in the coming time. If you have great passion and creativity, it's high time to get a start!

Even though Etsy is not the most ideal place to realize your dropshipping dream, still many chances lying behind to start a dropshipping business! There are many options for beginners to build up an online store. Unlock success with SourcinBox's perfect fulfillment services now!


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