Etsy is a great platform to sell handmade products. I got the belt for my wedding dress and bridesmaid’s gifts from Etsy. It’s a great opportunity for creators to sell their handmade goods. But many people don’t know about the other option Etsy offers: selling digital products. In this post, I will share the why’s, how’s, and what’s of selling digital products on Etsy.
Why Sell on Etsy?
While there are multiple avenues available for selling digital or handmade products, Etsy has a few things that set their marketplace apart from others.
First, and one of the most important factors for me, is their audience. Etsy has approximately 10 million users. 10 million. Where else can you reach that many people specifically looking for handmade items?
If you list your products on Etsy, you can also take advantage of Etsy’s search feature. The search bar is like passive advertising. Buyers on Etsy know what they want and can find your item through searching keywords. It takes no work on your part and it’s an additional way for users to find your products. A majority of users find my products through Etsy or the Etsy app.
Finally, Etsy makes it easy for those who want to list digital products. Etsy customers purchase a listing and it is automatically delivered to them via email. And what do you have to do after they’ve purchased it? Absolutely nothing.
There are, of course advantages and disadvantages to using any platform, but overall Etsy is a great place to sell digital products.
Why Digital Products?
Put quite simply, digital products have the potential to give you more bang for your buck. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making physical products but if your goal is to put in the least amount of work for the most amount of money, digital products are the way to go. With digital products, you only have to make the product once and you can sell it as many times as you want without having to put in any additional work. Plus, if you sell on Etsy, the files are automatically delivered. I have about 10 calligraphy worksheet listings on my Etsy shop. Though it took a while to make them, all I have to do now is respond to questions and renew the listings when they run out. I believe that nothing is truly passive income, but after you create your product, it’s just about as close to passive income as you can get.
How to Set Up Digital Listings
Setting up digital listings is largely the same as listing a physical product, except a few important steps. To make a digital listing, fill out all the required fields (pictures, description, etc.). The important part to make the listing digital is to select the type. Switch the type of product from physical to digital.
Once you do this, a box will appear farther down the page that will enable you to upload your digital file.
Fill out the rest of your description and you’re ready to go.
What To Sell
The beauty of selling digital products is that there is a wide range of things that you can sell. Stuck? Here’s some ideas:
- Quilting, crocheting, or knitting patterns
- Printable wall art
- Stock photography
- Wedding invitations (with an editable template that customers can change)
Tips and Tricks for Selling Digital Products
- Take advantage of the “Tags” section when filling out the description (use all of them!). The tags are searchable and will help Etsy users find your item.
- Include sharp, bright, and beautiful pictures. If it’s a worksheet, take a picture of the physical copy. If it’s a pattern, take a picture of the finished product. If it’s a font, show what it would look like on a card or invitation. Making your listing visually appealing gives people more incentive to buy.
- Make sure that your product is in a file format that is universally accepted and makes sense for your product. It doesn’t make sense to sell stock photography as a PDF, but a worksheet or pattern would do well in that format.
- Encourage customers to give you a review in the automatic message they receive after purchase. To do this, go to Your Shop >> Shop Settings >> Info and Appearance and scroll down to the “Message to Buyers of Digital Items” section. In my message, I tell customers “If you like what you’ve purchased, please feel free to leave me a review.” This gives your shop more validity in the eyes of other customers and makes people more confident that they are getting a valuable product.
- Include a link to the Etsy help article about downloading digital products in your message to customers. This has saved me an immense amount of time. Before adding this to my buyer’s message, I would have at least one question a week from buyers asking how to download their file. Since then (about 5 months ago), I’ve probably only had one person ask. This makes it easier for both you and the buyer; you won’t have to take time to answer these questions and the customer won’t need to waste the time trying to figure out the digital download process.
- Make sure you specify that the item is digital. Include it in your item title and the description. A majority of the products on Etsy are handmade physical items, so most people assume that is what your product is. Making it clear that the item is not a physical item helps to avoid confusion and ensures that your customer knows what they are getting.
- If your item is meant to be used on a device (computer, tablet, etc.), consider displaying this in your picture. You can either take the picture of the worksheet on a tablet or find a mock-up that you can use to display your product.
- Customer service is key. Respond to Convos within 24 hours if possible and go above and beyond to meet the needs of your customers.
If you have yet to open your shop, you can get 40 free listings by opening your shop using this link. (Full disclosure: I get 40 free listings, too. It’s a win-win situation, right?)