Etsy Dropshipping: The Complete Guide to Dropshipping on Etsy 2022
Etsy is a billion-dollar marketplace that connects buyers and sellers with 86 million active users all over the world.
Dropshipping is the model with global market size of USD 122.3 billion in 2019. According to the Grand View Research, in 2025, it is expected to reach USD 557.9 billion.
But what happens when we integrate these 2 terms? Yeah, Etsy dropshipping! This term has been gathering interest from many merchants and dropshippers. But how does it work? What is it pros and cons? How to be successful at dropshipping on Etsy? The successful rate of a dropshipping business is from 10% to 20%, according to a study. So is Etsy dropshipping at the lower or the higher end of the spectrum?
In today’s article, we’ll explain every single question above and help you grasp the concept of dropshipping on the Etsy platform to see if it’s right for you.
Let’s dive in!
What is Etsy dropshipping?
Etsy and dropshipping are way too popular that we don’t think you need an explanation on each of them. But how about ‘Etsy dropshipping’? What does this mean?
Unlike ‘Shopify dropshipping’, the term ‘Etsy dropshipping’ can be a little bit more complicated and ambiguous. This is because there are two ways we can approach this term. Or in other words, there are two ways to dropship on Etsy.
The first way is you dropship a product from Etsy to a non-Etsy store. For example, you create a Shopify store that sells vintage bags and shoes. But you don’t necessarily have these products in your inventory. You simply dropship them from an Etsy store to your customers.
The second way is to dropship from another platform to your Etsy shop. For example, you establish a T-shirt store on Etsy with motivational quote designs. Then, via Printify, you find T-shirt suppliers. Every time you have customers, you’ll send requests to your suppliers to dropship the T-shirt to your customers.
If you’re running an Etsy shop and trying to find a way to boost your shop ranking and visibility, try EtsyHunt. This powerful tool shows you 38M+ product listing and makes your SEO optimization become easier than ever.
We cannot say which way is better or more popular since each way serves well to different niches.
Dropshipping on Etsy: Pros and Cons
Etsy dropshipping isn’t a perfect business model. There are pros and cons you need to consider before starting this. Below, we will list down the top common advantages and disadvantages of merchants who join the process.
Pros of dropshipping with Etsy
Unlike Amazon - Etsy focuses on promoting unique handcrafted items. But if this makes you think that Etsy has no diversity and it’s difficult to find a niche on Etsy, think again. On the contrary, Etsy is one of the best marketplaces with a myriad of niches. Etsy offers one-of-a-kind products that buyers can hardly from anywhere else. Some of the evergreen niches include:
selling enamel pins, handmade earrings, hats, socks, scarfs, etc. is probably one of the most popular categories on Etsy.
printables, digital planners, business cards, children's learning materials, phone wallpaper, Zoom background, and social media templates are among the top popular digital products on Etsy in 2022.
vintage fashion items, antique Chinese potteries, or anything vintage and valuable can be sold on Etsy.
Home decor, utensils, wind chime, stickers, etc. sell really well on Etsy.
Do your homework and you can totally find a profitable niche there!
Unique products that you can’t find on other platforms
One of the biggest concerns of dropshipper is to find unique products. If it seems nearly impossible for you to find a one-of-a-kind product that hasn’t been popular yet, maybe it’s time to consider dropshipping from Etsy. Since you can find the unique product here, you have more chances to get the first-mover’s advantage. Etsy can help your online store (no matter it is on Etsy or Shopify) stand out from thousands of other shops out there!
Etsy is extremely transparent in its policy. To be more specific, they don’t exactly show customers how your business operates. However, they require certain information such as your location, etc.
For some black-hat sellers, this isn’t a pro at all. However, if you think again, the transparent policy implies that the platform prioritizes its buyers - one of the main reasons behind the phenomenal growth of Etsy. With transparency, their customers (your potential customers) can rest assured that they buy from authentic businesses with ethical production standards.
Cons of dropshipping from Etsy
Etsy dropshipping comes with several fees
Even though this platform doesn’t charge you the fee of opening a store, it isn’t a free platform. Make sure you are aware of the fee before starting your business with Etsy.
First is the listing fee. You must pay Etsy $0.20 for a four-month listing. After 4 months, you’ll need to top up. While this fee is merely a fraction of a dollar, it can eat up your profit once your number of listings increases along with the expansion of your business.
Second is the processing fee of 5% for each sold item. This fee doesn’t include the cost of shipping.
The third is the fee for add-on tools and resources. Some examples are ad fee, pattern fee, etc.
Strict rules for dropshipping
We’ll help you get familiar with the basics of the dropshipping rule on Etsy. Though it’s quite strict, it doesn’t necessarily mean a pain in the butt.
First, you aren’t allowed to resell handmade products on Etsy. Except for those products, you can dropship craft supplies or vintage items.
Second, you can add product assistance. What does this mean? A simple example is when you create an Etsy store that sells customized cups on Etsy. Your customers can send you an image, and then you design the cup according to that image, order that from a cup print company, and ask them to ship directly to your customers.
Complicated listing process
While it is nearly effortless to list your product on your own website, no matter if it’s Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, WooCommerce, etc, the same doesn’t happen to the Etsy store.
Etsy is notoriously for a complicated listing process. To many people, it requires way too much information. However, this is a part of the process and there is no way to dodge it. The reason why Etsy does that is that they want to sort the products in the most logical way possible. So, if you’re determined to dropshipping on Etsy, this shouldn’t be a problem!
How to do dropshipping from Etsy to Shopify (Step-by-step)
Step 1: Find your niche
Niche is extremely important for any business, including Etsy dropshipping business. If you have spotted a potential niche, bravo! Let’s move on to the second step.
However, if you’re struggling to find a winning product, consider FindNiche - one of the best dropshipping tools that help you analyze dropshipping products for Shopify. This niche finder gathers data of 25M+ Shopify products, which saves you a tremendous amount of time to research for the right product to sell.
FindNiche also offers you the store spy tool that helps you take a closer look at who are your competitors, what they are doing with their marketing strategy, ads links, and keywords.
Try FindNiche today to get a 3-day trial for only $1!
Step 2: Find a reputable supplier on Esty
This step is especially important because it can make or break your brand.
When it comes to finding a supplier, make sure they have high-quality products, good communication, and clear terms.
Changing your suppliers from time to time can definitely cost you time and money. That’s why we recommend you spend more time on supplier research.
Step 3: List the product on your Shopify store
After you set up the Shopify store, you can start listing. This step is all about your creativity. Besides basic information such as product name and price, try to make a gripping description that makes visitors can’t help but part with their money.
Step 4: Pass shipping information to suppliers
After you get the customers and get their shipping information, pass that information to your suppliers.
Then, wait until your customers get the product and ask for their feedback. Use this feedback to enhance your customer service and boost Etsy conversion rate. This is important because what makes you stand out from other dropshipping competitors is the quality of your service.
Where can I find some Etsy dropshipping suppliers?
If you want to find a supplier to dropship to your Etsy store, read on!
Before you look for some Etsy dropshipping suppliers, it’s important to know what kind of products you can and cannot sell or dropship on this platform. So, stay away from the list below:
- Creatively repackaging commercial items (This means if you’ve thought of re-making the packaging of some non-handmade items, forget it!)
- Other shop’s handmade items that you don’t make/design
You should also know that Etsy doesn’t allow merchants to dropship from AliExpress.
So, what Etsy merchants often do is work with Printify, a Print-on-demand supplier to establish their POD Etsy shop.
A quick tip: Are you thinking Etsy is too strict? Try some Etsy alternatives such as Ecwid, Amazon Handmade, Aftcra, Zibbet to start your dropshipping business.
If you want to find a supplier to dropship from Etsy to Shopify, simply do your own research. We recommend you contact the shop owner directly to understand the process and finalize the terms and agreement.
If you’re interested in Malaysia dropshipping, looking for suppliers, and winning tips recommended by experts, click here to check out our article!
Etsy dropshipping FAQs
Can I dropship AliExpress to Etsy?
Dropshipping from AliExpress to Etsy is not allowed. Since Etsy promotes original handmade products to support a community of artists and creators, it finds dropshipping from AliExpress conflicts with the vision.
Is it legal to dropship on Etsy?
Yes and No. Dropshipping in its original meaning isn’t allowed on Etsy. However, Etsy allows manufacturing fulfillment and print-on-demand. This means you can design the products and have another party help you with the fulfillment/shipping.
Can I resell Etsy products?
You can resell Etsy products. But it depends on what kind of products you’re about to resell. Etsy doesn’t allow you to resell handmade products. However, they let you resell vintage products and craft supplies. Note that vintage products are over 20-year-old items. Clothing in vintage style doesn’t count.
What is Etsy dropshipping policy?
Even though you don’t need a license to dropship on Etsy, the platform has a transparent policy on dropshipping.
Etsy has stated very clearly on their seller policy what is prohibited and what is allowed. Basically, if you sell hand-made items,
- All your items are designed by you or someone on your team
- You must show who involve in your business within your shop description
- You use your own content (images, videos). You are not allowed to use stock photos or take photos from someone else.
Etsy dropshipping comes with some pros and cons, no matter what model you choose. We can’t decide whether Etsy dropshipping is easier or more difficult than dropshipping on other platforms because this is determined by so many factors. But what we agree is that it takes patience and good strategy to be successful at dropshipping, including dropshipping on Etsy. It’s easy to agree that Etsy is a strict platform to dropship. However, in our opinion, the opportunities make it worth it.
Are you interested in more dropshipping articles? Consider checking out the dropshipping tips that work like a charm.