Etsy is one of the oldest and best-established sites to sell art, crafts, jewelry and other hand-made and vintage items

Expected pay: You set it

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: 20 cents, plus 6.5% – 21%

Where: Nationwide (remote)

Requirements: Be age 18 or age 13, with parental permission.

What is Etsy?

Etsy is one of the oldest and best-established sites to sell art, crafts and hand-made clothing, furniture, handbags, jewelry and notions. It is also a marketing machine, with a well-oiled process of turning one-time buyers into regular customers.

Etsy Review:

As a result, Etsy has become one of the top e-commerce sites in the world and is one of the most popular places to sell anything handmade or vintage.

This is both a benefit and a detriment to sellers, however. It’s helpful because you have a large community of shoppers to view and, possibly, buy your goods. It’s a problem because it also means that there are plenty of other sellers competing for your potential customers.

How it works

When you sign up to sell on Etsy, you must agree to seller guidelines that spell out what you can and cannot sell. These specify that the site is aimed at unique and vintage (more than 20 years old) products and art supplies. If you don’t personally make the goods sold in your store, the site expects you to say so and disclose who your partners are.

You’re also supposed to provide clear photos of your listings. If your product can be personalized, the photo should say that it’s for illustrative purposes only.

Outside of needing to abide by the site’s rules, you are essentially running your own business here. You determine  what to make, how to make it and how to price your wares. You’ll also need to describe what you’re selling and pick appropriate keywords so that potential buyers can find you in a search.

As any small business owner can attest, running your own show is hard work and it comes with few guarantees.


That said, Etsy can make your marketing far easier and the site’s fees aren’t wildly out of line.

Etsy charges just 20 cents per listing — 5 listings for $1. If you sell anything, you’ll pay a 6.5% transaction fee, plus a 3% payment processing fee.

The site also added an “outside advertising” fee ranging from 12% to 15%, which applies to you if one of the site’s ads sends a sale your way. If your shop sells less than $10,000 in goods annually, you can opt out of the program. It’s mandatory if your shop earns more.

This is a significant change to the costs that sellers shoulder. However, since you set your own prices, its one that you can account for when determining what to charge for your goods.

Biggest complaints

The main complaint that sellers have is that Etsy sometimes boots people off the platform without warning or appeal. When it does so, it can hold buyer payments for up to 6 months. This is particularly painful if the seller has orders outstanding that need to be filled while their pay is being held.

To be sure, this legitimate issue appears to hamper only a small fraction of the site’s sellers. But when sellers have a problem, Etsy’s customer service is missing in action.

Indeed, when updating the site’s review in 2021, we found that many Etsy sellers were only able to wake the site’s dormant customer service division after they complained to the Better Business Bureau. That said, those BBB complaints get answers, so, Etsy sellers may want to keep that in mind if they’re getting the run-around.


If you have art and crafts to sell, this site has few real rivals. And, if you’re smart about describing your products and marketing, you’ll sell more here than anywhere else despite the plethora of competition.

Other sites to consider: Ruby Lane, for crafts, antiques, art and collectibles; Society6 or RedBubble, which are print-on-demand services that print your art on t-shirts and coffee cups; and, of course, Craig’s List and eBay where you can sell almost anything.

What their sellers say: (from Reddit)

I make 6 figures on Etsy, selling items for 10-20 bucks a pop.

I started my company with zero overhead and it has grown to where I can bring in anywhere between 1,000 – 2,000 a week.

Adds up quickly

My items are not expensive – but if someone orders a lot, it definitely adds up quickly. I think the key is to start small. I see a lot of shop owners get over-excited and spend too much on overhead to start with. Creating items is hit and miss. A full time shop is a commitment for sure. Some weeks I probably work a lot more than 40 hours, but I really love what I do and so it doesn’t feel like work to me. I have the freedom of working from my own office, but I also face the stress of fluctuating market.

My items are cheap. I sell cards for $5 a piece. This month I have 74 orders. It doesn’t take long for me to fulfill one order. So even it’s not full time job, I still pay myself $20 an hour. With more expensive items, you just spend more on supplies and production time.


“Today Etsy sent me an e-mail stating that My Etsy shop of over ten years is being suspended because they believe I am not making items I sell. Further they are freezing $158.00 in my account for 180 days in case they get any requests for refunds from orders.

From Reseller Ratings:

“If you email with a question or concern, Etsy will send you an obviously canned and entirely unrelated response. Write again and they’ll repeat themselves and tell you that they won’t be responding again. Complain in the community forum and they will “muzzle” your account so your not allowed post messages. Express any further concern they will invent a reason to close your shop entirely.

Updated 2/8/2023

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