20 Ways To Make Passive Income On Etsy

March 6, 2024

The top ways to make passive income on Etsy are:

  1. Sell digital downloads
  2. Print-on-demand
  3. List vintage and collectibles
  4. Sell crafting supplies and materials
  5. Affiliate marketing
  6. YouTube channel
  7. Offer evergreen products
  8. Offer subscription boxes
  9. Licensing your artwork
  10. Automate customer service

The top businesses of making passive income on Etsy are digital downloads and printables. One of the most successful Etsy sellers is Kate Kim, the owner of CaitlynMinimalist who creates personalised jewelry since 2014 with 2,827,856 sales. The product ranges from $10 to $58 per piece, depending on the design and size. This proves the possibility of earning and transforming your Etsy shop into a passive income business on the platform.

Although it sounds profitable and easy, as mentioned by Etsy gurus on YouTube, it is quite a challenge to make your Etsy shop a passive income stream. It can only become a passive business once you have stable monthly sales. Additionally, aside from the 2.2 million active sellers on Etsy, you always have to update and improve your products. 

This article features 20 ways to make passive income on Etsy for you to get an idea on what products to sell. It also discusses 7 tips you can do to start your passive business on the platform. Additionally, we’ll discover if it is difficult to earn passive income on Etsy, how much can you make and if this is the best business model to earn passive income.

20 Ways To Make Passive Income On Etsy

1. Sell Digital Downloads

Selling digital downloads on Etsy is where you offer digital file such as PDF, documents, images, guide books, MP3, eBooks or videos consumers can download and use. Digital downloads differs for physical products that need stock inventory. You can use a computer or iPad that does not need any printing. It is a business model that provides convenience and low-cost start up because you sell access to any idea and information you have. 

The created Etsy digital downloads are accessible for anyone on Etsy with no constant update or effort, which allows you to have a passive income stream. You can create your content through digital editing tools like Canva and Photoshop. Note that Etsy charges a 6.5% transaction fee for every listing.

Amma Rose Designs, an Etsy digital seller, reveals her Etsy shop revenue of $93,534 after launching her Etsy digital product within 2 days. She claims to be earning at least 6 digits for her 4 years of selling on Etsy. She creates digital planner which many people bought during the pandemic. You can make $1,000 to $5,000 a month based on successful Etsy sellers. A Quora discussion mentions that some earned between $15,000 to $20,000 in their first year of selling on the platform. 

2. Print-On-Demand

Print-on-demand (POD) is a business model where you offer digital printing services on home decor, t-shirts, pants, accessories. Another term for print-on-demand is customized white-label products. You print or create the products after a customer places an order. 

It can become a passive income once you delegate tasks to your team of customer acquisition and design. You can either hire a third party if you don’t want to hire your own team. Create the design and let them do the needed work, which does not require you any ongoing efforts. 

Hannah Gardener is a Shopify, YouTuber and a 7 figure Etsy seller shares how to transform your POD Etsy store to be a passive business. She mentions how other gurus misinforms students into thinking how easy it is to run an Esty business as a source of their passive income. Where in fact, it requires a lot of time spent and knowledge to build a firm foundation to sustain itself. Hannah shares how her POD business includes talking to customers, Etsy PPC, constant follow-ups, and social media participation, making it less passive.

3. List Vintage and Collectibles

Listing vintage and collectibles on Etsy is where you offer items that are valuable by collectors and curators that are valuable. Etsy’s handbook defines vintage as products that are 20 years or older. It can be a collection of jewelry, wood, decorations, etc. While collectibles are coins, toys, glass, dolls, figures, etc. that are collected and well-kept. 

Once you have a stable collection of vintage and collectible items to sell on Etsy. You can create a listing of these items on the platform, which can generate a passive income with minimal work.

Matt Greig from Antiquing with Matt Greig is an Etsy with 5 shops shares how you can ensure extra cash on Etsy. He talks about offering quality items at a reasonable price. Create your descriptions as detailed as possible, partnered with quality photos. He takes advantage of Etsy SEO by using keywords, banners, and item titles.

4. Sell Crafting Supplies and Materials

Selling crafting supplies and materials are products, tools and items you can offer to consumers that are used for the creation of a handmade product or another item for special occasions. It differs from yarns, ribbons, leather scraps, scrapbook accessories, etc. 

Crafting supplies and materials involves bulk purchases that can be listed on Etsy. A seller buying in bulk can list the items and earn regularly without extra input. Blogging Wizard’s research shows that beads, stickers, and pins are amongst the top best-selling items on Etsy through click-through rate (CTR) and clicks per month.

Dylan Jahraus is a 6-figure seller on Etsy shares her secret to earning $75,967 a year selling craft supplies and materials. She sources for products on different local retailers such as Dollar Tree, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and uses local wholesalers. Dylan’s trick is to offer assorted products with a mix of high-ticket items for high profit margins. As you grow your business, be open to outsourcing tasks to take advantage of minimal involvement throughout the processes.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing on Etsy is an online business where you earn commissions through sharing or promoting Etsy products on different online platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok). Etsy’s marketing and promotions encourage anyone to apply in the program. While Creator Co’s for social media creators to earn commission and other perks on Etsy.

Promoting products can help you earn passive commissions through referral links. A successful affiliate link can earn you 4% of commission up to 30 days after the sale happens. More people buy through your link, more commissions you receive.

6. YouTube Channel

YouTube channel is where you create videos that promote Etsy products that include the link to an Etsy store or link. The videos you can upload can vary in categories like music, entertainment, educational, tutorials, skits, gaming, vlogs, etc. That is why there are a lot of Etsy sellers or influencers on YouTube that promote their products through a redirect link. YouTube’s Partner Program

Aside from earning through ads, you can also create videos related to your Etsy product and redirect them to your shop. This technique can help boost your store and your products. An average YouTube channel can earn $0.018 per view. Imagine if you have 2,000 views, you earn $36.

Liam James Kay is a marketer and entrepreneur who created a profitable Etsy shop within 24 hours as a challenge. He shares how he used Google Trends to identify profitable products such as the trending event (FIFA Women’s World Cup) and created t-shirt designs. He chooses the POD model as he claims to have a successful experience on Etsy. At the end of the challenge, he earned £10.10 for selling 3 shirts.

7. Offer Evergreen Products

Offering evergreen products involves offering products that can be accessible by everyone throughout the years. These products never go out of style and are versatile, with consistent sales through the years with minimal marketing efforts. These items can be wall arts, clip arts, greeting cards, digital artworks, pet supplies, clothing, etc. There are specific evergreen products that are attractive to the American taste. Recent data shows that United States consumer has a monthly spending of $5,577 that proves them as a target for in-demand products.

When you buy evergreen products in bulk orders, you can list these products for a long time. The constant demand ensures constant sales without frequent supervision, allowing you to spend more time on other important parts of the business.

8. Offer Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes involve products you offer on a monthly basis that are combined with different physical or digital products from a specific niche. Some Etsy bestselling subscription boxes are mystery boxes like crystal, jewelry, home decoration, books, etc. 

There are Etsy subscription boxes ranging from $15.99 to $49.99, where if you have 50 subscribers can earn you a profit of $2,499 a month. It can be a way of attracting repetitive customers by using pricing strategies partnered with a good customer service to boost revenue. You earn a passive income as long as you have established a solid number of repeat customers.

Michelle Schroeder-Garner is the owner of Making Sense of Cents and a 7-figure business woman who made $1 million from selling subscription boxes proves that you can be successful. After 5 years of selling these boxes, she has earned $5 million from this business alone. 

Catherines Confection by Catherine is an Etsy shop that offers a monthly cookie box from Wisconsin, United States. She offers her subscription boxes from $96 to $150, depending on how many cookies you want per month. She also offers other baked cookies for baby showers and printables.

9. Licensing Your Artwork

Artwork licensing is when artists rent or license their created artworks on Etsy to be used in publication or commercial products. It can be mistaken for outright artwork sales, but artwork licensing keeps the copyright of the artworks. According to Graphic Artists Guild mentions that artwork loyalties are 3% to 10% of revenues and some rates would increase to 15% for character and brand licenses. There are artists who earn $500 to $1,000 a year and even $20,000 to $100,000 a year. 

The artworks you create can earn royalties and fees every time a person or a company wants to use it. Bonnie Christine is an artist that began licensing her artworks in 2012. After 3 years, she reached an income of $90,000 every year.

There are artworks on Etsy page that cost at a least $5 to over $100 dollars per license. Additionally, some artworks are for printed and custom designs up to selling designs for their entire shop.

10. Automate Customer Service

Automate customer service involves offering artificial intelligence (AI) bots to improve an Etsy store's customer service, productivity, and efficiency. It is a way to resolve customer concerns with no a customer service personnel. You can use it to answer specific questions like operating hours and status updates. 

Since automated systems can handle other customer queries and processes, it reduces the need for your active involvement. Indeed’s data for automation customer service representative is $19.38 per hour in the United States. While Upwork’s hourly rate for representatives is $14.

11. Sell Printables

Selling printables on Etsy are any digital product customers can easily download and print on paper at home, which differs from digital downloadable. These products can be a digital planner, sticker, workbook or any educational activity, and cards. Printables cost $3 to $15 depending on the Etsy seller.

Your designs can be created and sold repeatedly with no additional creation needed or production cost. You can create printables on online platforms like Photoshop and Canva.

Creative Jam Co by Sonia from United Kingdom sells printables that cater your finances and budgeting. This Etsy store has 307,192 sales that offer easy to print templates that cost $2.36 to $11.22 for the bundle.

Is Selling Printables On Etsy Profitable?

Yes, selling printables on Etsy is profitable since Etsy has a huge recorded of buyers and is still growing. You can expect to earn $10 to $100 every purchase when you start. Additionally, you can earn more if you offer more products in your Etsy shop. Once you have a stable set of products, Etsy printables can earn you $5,000 to $20,000 a year, depending on your niche.

12. Etsy Affiliate Blog

An Etsy affiliate blog is similar with affiliate marketing where you promote Etsy products through blog posts that redirects them to an Etsy shop. Similar to affiliate marketing, where you earn commissions from referrals through affiliate links. Since Etsy has a huge marketplace where you can promote different products to earn commissions. The commission is 4% for every (qualified) sale and it is calculated based on the product’s value without cancellation or returns. For example, a customer purchases a $500 worth product, your commission is $20. 

You can create countless blogs that can drive purchases through the affiliate links. It can be a great way to earn a passive income stream once you have specified the right audience and the right niche.

13. Digital Art Collections

Digital art collections are a compilation of works by an original artist that you offer in a bundle on Etsy. These collections could be vintage, maximalist, minimalists, aesthetic, nature, etc. After creating your artworks, you can sell it for multiple times with no additional work. You can create different variations for your collections, which means you could sell them for different bundles. 

Digital Print Story by Jenny from United States offers different genres of her collection. Some of her collections are urban, pop art, and traditional Japanese style. Additionally, the products can cost $6 to $16 without the discount.

14. Customizable Template Kits

Customizable template kits involve creating (party, journal, resume, and social media) kits buyers can use that offer convenience. There are 1,000+ templates on Etsy, which makes the competition less intense than other niches. Once you created your template kits, you can easily sell them for a longer period because they are always in demand.

Artisnalavenue by Emma John from United Kingdom specializes in party designs, templates, and bundles. These are easily customisable according to your preference. The shop has 15,991 sales with Party Favour Mega Bundle as their bestseller. It costs $6 to $14 without discounts.

15. Educational Material Series

Educational material series or busy books involve offering printable learning or teaching materials perfect for parents and kids. These products are bestselling on Etsy, with the most popular product are coloring activities. It can also be convenient for teachers as they can buy them rather than making one themselves. Once you created your materials, you can sell them for a long time. You can continuously sell them that can provide you with a steady income stream.

School On Rosedale by Casey Campbell’s specialty are educational materials with 9,311 sales. Their best-selling item is activity sheets that teach the kid to write their name. The average cost for these educational materials is $4 to $12.

16. Crafting and DIY Guides

Crafting and DIY (Do It Yourself) guides involve creating a step-by-step instructions on building something by yourself. A Quora question asking the top DIY craft kits got an answer that mentions jewelry kits, candle making kits, and embroidery kits as trendy niches. After creating your guides, you can sell them repeatedly without additional work.

Beauty School Branding from New York offers manuals and beauty guides with 11,926 sales on Etsy. Their products cost lash, nail, makeup, and other beauty tips that cost $10 to $40 depending on the difficulty of the guide.

17. Specialized Niche Printables

Specialized niche printables focuses on selling printable products that target a specific category. You target niche markets that would have high demands with less competition. After designing your printables, you can sell it for multiple times and not create new products if needed only.

My Mom Plan offers a niche specific printables (meal plan templates). It caters to moms helping their children with back to school meal plans and bundles. It is a newly launched Etsy shop in 2023 with 71 sales. Some products are $3.99 to $7.99.

18. Seasonal Decor Packs

Seasonal decor packs are decorations you offer that cater to a specific season or holiday (Christmas, Halloween, Birthday). You can create decor packs for each season and offer it when the season comes. These are products you can sell annually which can be profitable without wanting to update daily.

Ornament4Orphans is a for-profit enterprise that offers handmade Christmas ornaments. Their bestseller are snowflake tree ornaments that cost $134.99 for 12 packs. While their lowest ornament cost $11.69. Additionally, the Etsy shop has 58,368 sales with 6,168 admirers.

19. Printable Personal Development Tools

Printable personal development tools involve creating downloadable templates that are used for the buyer's personal journey (health, finance, etc.). These are products you can sell for a long time with no need to update your products. Just create a couple of sets and tools that you can offer.

Andrew Pixel by Andrew is an Etsy Star Seller with 13,859 sales offering personal development tools and other printables (planners, therapy tools, and self-care). The shop’s products cost $5 to $118.64 for complex designs.

20. Custom Recipe Book Templates

Custom recipe book templates involve food instructions that are created through a PDF file of a specific dish. It includes information about the measurement and ingredients. There are Etsy sellers who offer kits and cookbook templates for $6.99 to $13.65. Recipes are a great way to earn passive income because you can offer them for multiple times without expiry.

The Fitness Stall by Aaron Bilecki from Australia specialises in weight loss templates, recipes, and workout programs offering a healthier way of losing weight. This Etsy shop has 811 sales with an average cost of $30 to $45.

7 Tips To Make Passive Income On Etsy

1. Identify Profitable Niche

Identifying a profitable niche is choosing a specific category or an Etsy product you want to sell or are interested in. The niche can be anything from perfume, toys, planners, etc., that has strong market demands. This allows you to target your potential customers, which lowers the chance of battling with a tremendous competition. 

You can choose a niche based on your market research. There are websites like Exploding Topics where they show categories and their trends over the years. Step-by-Step Business says that the second most profitable niche in Etsy are graphics or digital designs (90%) with plants being the most profitable niche with 95% profit margin.

2. Master Etsy SEO To Boost Your Shop’s Visibility

Mastering Etsy SEO means understanding how to use keywords in your product descriptions, title, and high-quality images to rank your Etsy shop higher on search results, increasing your shop’s visibility. 

The keywords you should use should apply to the product you’re selling. You can use keywords such as “2024 digital calendar” to take advantage of showing your listing at the top of the search list. Doing so eliminates the need to spend extra money on Etsy ads, which does not guarantee a purchase.

3. Create High-Demand Digital Products

Creating high-demand digital products means designing digital products that have a high-demand in the market, such as planners, templates, and art to ensure a steady profit. There are a lot of articles and research by different gurus and personalities that show a bunch of high-demand and profitable digital products to choose from. You can take inspiration from other best-selling products on Etsy if you’re still not sure about your niche.

4. Offer Bundles And Package Items

Offering bundles and package items involves combining multiple products together or creating a package deal that offers more value to your customers, which can lead to larger purchases. Etsy seller who offer bundles are usually at a discounted price, which attracts more customers.

5. Creative Effective Pricing Strategies

Creating Effective Pricing Strategies on Etsy is considering the cost of production, monthly subscriptions on tools or fees, design, time, and the market before setting your prices. Make your prices attractive but still profitable. It is important to check your competitors and compare your ideal price to the price they are offering. It can be a basis on how much you’ll want to price your products.

6. Use Coupons Or Discounts

Using coupons or discounts is connected to your promotional and marketing strategies, as it can easily attract new customers and increase sales. Discounts are a great way to catch consumers' attention. You can offer 5% or 10% discounts if they purchase a certain number of products. Additionally, be mindful that Etsy charges a 5% fee and $0.20 listing fee. So it is important to keep your prices profitable and competitive at the same time.

7. Automate and Scale Your Etsy Business

Automating and scaling your Etsy business means focusing on improving your store by incorporating tools for automation to handle repetitive tasks. These are daunting tasks that are essential in your business, like customer inventory, tracking of orders, and customer service. It also involves finding new strategies and ways to grow your business (new products or categories and new niche) to further increase your revenue while lessening your active involvement in all tasks.

Can You Make Passive Income On Etsy?

Yes, you can make a passive income on Etsy, but it is not as easy as other people depict them to be. There are plenty of gurus that show how they made their Etsy shop as a stable monthly income. But it will only come true if you have a stable and constant number of buyers. It is possible if you are consistent in offering different products and if you scale while your business grows.

A Reddit thread asking about how much people make on Etsy shows comments from Etsy sellers earning $1,200 to $1,600 a month and a bigger profit during holidays like Christmas. While some mention how people only focus on the profit and not including the additional expenses like ad spend that reduces their Etsy sales.

Another Reddit discussion sharing about the tips to grow their Esty shop and transform it into a passive income by offering “unique” products that are hard to duplicate. And also suggests combining your efforts with Etsy SEO to boost your product listings appearance on search results.

How Much Passive Income Can You Make On Etsy?

You can earn a passive income of $50,000 to $70,000 based on the top Etsy sellers based on Marketplace Pulse’s data for February 2024. The 100 top sellers show 60 people from United States, 11 seller from United Kingdom, and 7 from Canada.

Business Insider’s article featuring Rachel Jimenez, an Etsy seller who makes $9,500 per month on selling digital products like planners and templates. Her tactic is thinking like her consumers and putting an effort to product quality descriptions and images onto her Etsy listings. She advises to be patient and keep going because it took her 9 months to make her first 100 Etsy sales.

What Are Some Etsy Passive Income Ideas?

Some Etsy Passive Income Ideas are social media templates, fonts, website themes & templates, Etsy shop banners, and wallpapers. The most popular niche in Etsy are printables and digital downloads. As you scan Etsy, you can take inspiration on some Etsy best seller products that other Etsy sellers offer on the platform. 

Social Media Templates

Social media templates are pre-made outlines for social media postings and stories. These are a cheaper alternative than hiring a graphic artist. The average cost for social media templates is $5 to $25.

Divya Sharma is the owner of Brand Content that offers templates for different social media platforms. She has different variations of templates for sales, Instagram highlights, quotes, and workbooks. Her products cost as low as $2.38 and as high as $9.17 with 70% discounts.


Fonts are an excellent small business for an Etsy passive income as everyone commonly uses it. Digitizing With Love has 176,582 sales offering different fonts, wall prints, bundles, stencils, outlines, and festive fonts. Additionally, the average price for fonts is $4 to $13.

DigitizingWithLove from France with 176,674 sales offers digital art, embroidery art, customizable mugs, designs and fonts. The shop offers 2,991 products with their bestseller of 50 different fonts in a bundle. It shows that within a day, 3 people already purchased it. The shop offers fonts that cost $2.58 to $33.30.

Website Themes & Templates

Website themes and templates can be a good passive business for owner who dislike doing their website designs from scratch. These products are usually pre-made and easy to edit themes to help simplify and expedite the creation process.

PixelDesignLab’s owner is Veronika from France, is a 5-star Etsy seller with 2,250 sales. They offer template and themes for beauty, fashion and other e-commerce businesses which costs $90 to $130.

Etsy Shop Banners

Etsy shop banners can be a great product to offer, especially for designers. It can be a way to lessen the tasks like designing for new business owners and Etsy sellers.

Ketsia Gilbert is the owner of DesignerBacon that offers Etsy starter kits, covers, planners and banners. The shop has 156 products with 118 sales. She offers products from $3 to $24.


Wallpapers are returning to the scene because they are becoming a trend again in 2024. The founder of Chasing Paper, Elizabeth Rees mentions, confirms that wallpapers are a “bigger trend” this year.

There are also phone wallpapers and wallpaper for devices that are sold on Etsy. AYxStudios by Mel with 110,377 sales offers desktop organizers, wallpapers, and icons, usually in a bundle. Simple designs cost $1 and high resolution icons and wallpapers cost $7.37.

Is Making Passive Income On Etsy Easy?

Making passive income on Esty is not easy because your business needs to have a stable monthly income before you can consider it a passive business. There are things to consider first before you can launch your passive. It is difficult, as you need to find a profitable niche and have consistent products to sell. You also need to be patient because some Etsy sellers have to wait 2 to 3 years before they acknowledge their Etsy shop as a passive income.

A Reddit discussion asking about the duration before turning their Etsy shop as a full-time business before transitioning from their 9-5 jobs. Someone mentions that it took 5 years before they could solely focus on their Etsy business. It is because they looked for other platforms to sell their products.

Conclusion: What Is The Best Business Model To Make Passive Income?

Local lead generation is the best business model to make passive income because your Etsy shop can't standalone without you. You still need to update your products, listings, and talk to your customers, which is not passive as gurus claim to be. Aside from that, selling on Etsy has several disadvantages, like competing with 7.5 million active sellers on Etsy. It means that your Etsy business should be stable first before it can become a passive income. Take note that you should also be consistent in creating designs and products regularly, which contradicts this business model being a passive business. Additionally, you have to follow Etsy’s terms and conditions to use their platform. 

Local lead generation business model is a passive income because you don’t have to put in much work once the website is ranking. The competition is minimal since you are targeting local cities or town then you create a website based on the business. The only competition you get is with 5 to 15 businesses to rank on search engines with your chosen keyword. And once your website ranks, you rarely touch the website, which offers a true passive income stream.

A high-ranking local lead generation website can earn you a passive of $2,000 a month, depending on how much you rent it. The scalability is endless, as you can create more websites; you earn more. If you are looking for a business model that can help you earn a passive income stream, consider the local lead generation business model.

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