The Guide To Etsy Dropshipping

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As more people adopt dropshipping, the business model has proven to be a path to success. New methods and channels have been developed to implement this online business. 

 

Etsy, a renowned e-commerce platform with a focus on handcrafted and unique items is one of the channels being explored. However, while Etsy offers a promising avenue to connect with a specific audience, it may not be the optimal choice for dropshipping. Let’s get into it. 

 

What Is Etsy? 

 

What Is Etsy

 

Etsy has developed into a strong rival to other online shopping portals. Offering a digital marketplace for the sale of handcrafted, customised, vintage, and unique goods is the major concept behind Etsy. 

 

Originally intended as a platform for small-batch manufacturers and artisans, Etsy has expanded to accommodate companies of all kinds. Its uniqueness is evident in its user base. Etsy boasts approximately 96.3 million active customers and connects to over 87,000 live seller websites

 

This vibrant marketplace facilitates the sale of millions of products annually. According to Etsy’s 2021 report, the platform’s gross merchandise value (GMV) for the year reached $13.49 billion, a significant increase from $10.28 billion in 2020.

 

Etsy Dropshipping Policy: Does Etsy Allow Drop Shipping? 

 

Since Etsy does not directly prohibit the practice of Dropshipping, this implies that dropshipping is permitted on the platform, as long as sellers adhere to Etsy’s specific product guidelines.

 

Etsy’s Seller Policy emphasises that you can list and sell products that are “made and/or designed by you, the seller.”

 

So, as long as the listed items are unique or handmade, you’re actively involved in the design process and your production partner discloses their assistance in your product listings you’re good to go. In the case of vintage items, Etsy requires them to be at least 20 years old.

 

Several reselling activities are expressly prohibited by Etsy’s guidelines. These include rebranding and repackaging commercial products, selling handmade goods made by other people (for which you are not the manufacturer or creator), and selling goods created or designed by sellers who are not affiliated with your shop. Your store may get suspended from the platform if these rules are broken

 

So, while it may be possible to find ways to engage in dropshipping on Etsy, it is not a straightforward process. Etsy does not appear to be actively making changes to facilitate dropshipping.

 

Therefore, if you decide to dropshipping on Etsy, you and your supplier must be fully aligned with Etsy’s seller policies and guidelines. 

 

You can search for more information on this from the Seller Policy for Etsy dropshipping.

 

How Dropshipping With Etsy Works

 

How Dropshipping With Etsy Works

 

As you’ve seen, Etsy’s policies don’t exactly make it easy to dropship products on the platform, but it does offer distinct advantages for those selling creative and unique items. 

 

There are two primary methods to adopt the dropshipping business model within the Etsy marketplace:

 

1.Open an Etsy Store and Source Products From Third-Party Suppliers:

 

This is the more straightforward approach. You first establish an Etsy store and identify products that meet the platform’s criteria, including handmade items, vintage, and craft supplies.

 

The problem with this is that Etsy does not accept bulk or multiple listings, so you will have to write and publish a listing for each product you wish to sell separately. Completing this process could take some time, particularly if you want to sell a range of products.

 

Furthermore, Etsy’s seller policy demands you to be actively involved in the design process, so you can only outsource the production of things that you have yourself developed. You must maintain creative involvement in the design aspects of your products to meet Etsy’s criteria.

 

2.Source Your Products From Etsy and Sell Them on Another Platform:

 

In the second strategy, you use Etsy to identify handmade and unique products that you can resell on another platform rather than establishing product listings on the site. This might be an online store, an eCommerce platform, or your website.

 

The strength of this approach lies in the vast array of distinctive and creative products available on Etsy. You can select products that resonate with your target audience and are in demand.

 

The Etsy seller, in this case, becomes responsible for shipping the product on your behalf, but you retain the role of the primary point of contact for the customer. This may require managing inquiries, order updates, and ensuring a smooth experience for your buyers, even though the products are fulfilled by Etsy sellers.

 

However, it’s crucial to note that Etsy does not provide readily available integration tools for this process.

 

When a customer places an order through your chosen platform, you must manually place an order with the corresponding Etsy seller and provide the necessary contact and shipping details for your buyer.

 

Benefits & Drawbacks Of Using Etsy For Dropshipping 

 

Dropshipping on Etsy presents a unique set of advantages and challenges. Its focus on handmade, vintage, and creative products, makes it appealing for dropshippers looking to offer unique items.

 

However, it comes with specific constraints due to Etsy’s stringent product guidelines. Let’s now explore the pros and cons in more detail.

 

Benefits Of Etsy Dropshipping

 

Benefits Of Etsy Dropshipping 

 

1.Loyal and Patient Consumers:

Etsy has cultivated a unique environment where both sellers and buyers value craftsmanship and appreciate unique items. Etsy customers are typically ready to be patient and wait for longer manufacturing durations when they know they are getting a one-of-a-kind, high-quality product. 

 

They recognise the value of handcrafted items, making them more willing to pay a premium for them. This sets Etsy apart from its competitors like Amazon, which prioritise convenience and speed. This gives you a level of flexibility in how you choose to operate your dropshipping business.

 

The value of having a patient and loyal customer base on Etsy cannot be underestimated. It allows for a more sustainable and customer-centric approach to business, which can lead to long-term success.

 

2.You Can Niche Down All You Want:

Etsy is the go-to destination for individuals actively seeking specialty items. Whether it’s home decor, wedding-related items, clothing, baby products, or a myriad of other niche categories, Etsy hosts numerous thriving stores catering to these specific niches.

 

The marketplace has spent a great amount of time and effort building a reputation for unique products, which benefits niche dropshippers.

 

As a result, there is no better location to market a niche product than Etsy. It provides you with a market that actively seeks out what you have to offer, laying the groundwork for the success of your store.

 

Drawbacks Of Etsy Dropshipping 

 

1.Expensive Transaction Costs:

A significant drawback of dropshipping on Etsy is the presence of expensive transaction costs and fees. When you open a dropshipping shop on Etsy, you’ll encounter a listing fee of $0.20 for each product you list. 

 

Listings expire every four months, which means you’ll have to either manually renew them, incurring additional time and effort, or set up automatic renewals, which result in recurring fees every four months. While $0.20 may seem insignificant, it can accumulate, especially if you have a substantial inventory.

 

2.Rigid Policies:

Etsy’s rigid policies don’t particularly favor the dropshipping business model. The platform doesn’t readily embrace this business model and doesn’t offer any dedicated features for dropshipping and there are no indications that Etsy is planning to introduce such features in the future. 

 

The absence of explicit policies means that the platform could potentially introduce new rules or guidelines. This unpredictability poses a level of risk for dropshippers, as Etsy might decide to implement policies that could entirely outlaw dropshipping or close any existing loopholes.

 

In light of these uncertainties, aspiring dropshippers on Etsy should consider building a brand alongside their Etsy storefront. This approach allows for a more stable and adaptable business strategy that isn’t solely reliant on the policies and whims of the platform.

 

How To Start Etsy Dropshipping?

How To Start Etsy Dropshipping

 

1. Do Your Product Research

 

Etsy hosts an extensive and diverse marketplace with more than 60 million items available for purchase. With such a vast selection, it’s vital to ensure that your chosen product category isn’t oversaturated. So, once you’ve opened your Etsy Store, you’ll need to choose a product niche by conducting product research. Here are some of the top dropshipping products.

 

You can gain insights about customer interests and trending topics on Etsy by using external tools like Google Trends and Ahrefs. By plugging the Etsy website into these tools, you can access comprehensive reports on what customers are actively searching for, helping you pinpoint potential niches.

 

In the process of product research, try striking a balance between quality and profitability. Choose products that you can deliver with exceptional quality to meet Etsy’s standards, and at the same time, ensure that you can price them competitively to maintain a healthy profit margin.

 

2. Make Your Product Designs

 

Your designs should be unique and of exceptional quality. Remember that these designs will be printed on the products you plan to sell on Etsy. It’s crucial to ensure that they not only stand out but also meet the high standards of Etsy’s community

 

You can create the designs yourself. Canva is one of the most widely used tools. By creating your items, you receive complete creative control and the flexibility to connect the designs with your brand image.

 

Alternatively, you can collaborate with freelance designers from platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Freelance designers bring expertise and professional skills to the table, which can be particularly useful if you lack design experience.

 

3. Choose A Dropshipping Partner 

 

This choice will significantly influence your ability to offer high-quality products and deliver an exceptional customer experience. 

 

  • Start your search by seeking out dropshipping suppliers with a well-established reputation for reliability and professionalism. Read reviews and actively engage with other dropshippers who have worked with them to gain insights into their credibility.
  • Evaluate the size and diversity of your partner’s product catalogue. Having a wide range of products can enable you to cater to various niches and expand your offerings, allowing you to target different segments of the market.
  • Ideally, your partner should offer products that are unique or customizable. Etsy buyers appreciate items that stand out and can be personalised, so a partner who can provide these types of products will be an asset.

 

One supplier I would recommend for you is Globallyfulfill. They specialise in one of Etsy’s best-selling products — Clothing. The company tailors their sourcing strategy to find products that resonate with your unique customer base. This can be super useful for meeting Etsy’s requirement of selling unique products. 

 

4. Market Your Store 

 

Leverage your social media accounts to promote your Etsy store. Connect your store to platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Regularly share high-quality images of your products and engage with your audience 

 

You can also use SEO on your store to increase its visibility on search engines like Google. Research the keywords that potential buyers use when searching for products similar to yours and incorporate these keywords into your store’s titles, tags, and product descriptions.

 

High-quality images of your products are also essential. Etsy buyers rely on visuals to make purchasing decisions. You’ll need to invest in professional product photography or learn how to take appealing product photos yourself. Clear, well-lit, and aesthetically pleasing images can significantly impact conversion rates.

 

Best Products To Sell On Etsy

 

Best Products To Sell On Etsy

 

When it comes to dropshipping products on Etsy, uniqueness, and personalization are major factors for success. Here are some top-selling products Etsy buyers are interested in:

 

1.Handmade Jewellery: Unique, handcrafted jewellery pieces, such as necklaces, bracelets, and rings, often perform well. Offering customization options, such as initials will allow buyers to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

 

2.Vintage Items: Etsy’s buyers are often drawn to items with character and history so products like vintage clothing, collectibles, and antique items have a dedicated customer base on Etsy. 

 

3.Craft Suppliers: This category can include items like specialty paper, beads, fabric, and crafting tools. You can even stand out by providing guidance and tutorials on how to use these supplies, attracting and assisting customers who are passionate about crafting.

 

4.Pet Accessories: Personalised pet accessories like collars, pet tags, and pet clothing appeal to pet owners who want to pamper their furry companions. Offering options for different pet sizes and breeds is essential. Highlight the durability, comfort, and safety of your products to gain the trust of the pet-loving community on Etsy.

 

5.Personalized Home Decor: Etsy shoppers often seek personalized home decor items to add a unique touch to their living spaces. Offer products like engraved wooden signs, custom doormats, or monogrammed pillow covers. The ability to customise these items with names or personal messages makes them attractive. 

 

6.Clothing: Clothes are one of the hottest items you can sell on Etsy. You can find artisans and designers offering one-of-a-kind clothing items that resonate with the craftsmanship and individuality Etsy buyers are looking for.

 

You can find other apparel manufacturers here

 

Conclusion 

 

Etsy is a remarkable online marketplace to reach a global audience that values unique items but if you’d like to enter the world of dropshipping on Etsy, you must do so with careful consideration, understanding that while the opportunity is vast, it comes with its share of complexities and challenges. 

 

The intricacies of Etsy’s policies and the associated costs, including fees and shipping expenses, should not be taken lightly. A successful journey in Etsy shipping hinges on your dedication and diligence.

 

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