Etsy Dropshipping Guide (2023): Following Product Rules

Although Etsy is known for unique and handmade products, those aren’t the only products that can make a killing!

Starting an Etsy dropshipping business is a smart move if you want to sell products without the hassle of managing stock.

Your own Etsy shop lets you showcase your products to thousands of shoppers who are eager to discover new stuff.

And dropshipping supplies handle inventory and shopping, so you can focus on building your brand and marketing your snazzy products.

Let’s talk about how easy it is to start an Etsy dropshipping business and if it’s the right option for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Dropshipping is a low-cost business idea where you can pick your platform, decide what you’ll offer, and market your products without dealing with other business management.
  • Etsy dropshipping is a great way to start a business with affordable fees but a few important rules to follow.
  • Etsy requires sellers to abide by their rules, including not selling products you don’t help design- putting a crimp on some dropshippers’ plans.
  • You can seamlessly integrate your Etsy dropshipping with your own ecommerce site, expanding your reach and giving you greater control over your business.
  • Explore other platforms for dropshipping, like Shopify, Amazon, or WooCommerce, if you want to know other options.

What is Dropshipping?

Mini Dropshipping Boxes Sitting In Mini Shopping Cart On Desk

Dropshipping is a business approach that’s gaining a lot of attention these days. In this model, you sell products, but you don’t keep them in stock yourself.

When someone buys from you, your supplier ships the product straight to the customer. It’s like being the middleman but without the hassle of storing and managing inventory.

Interested in diving deeper into the world of dropshipping?

The Drop Ship Lifestyle free webinar is a fantastic resource that covers the A to Z of starting your own dropshipping business, offering valuable insights and actionable tips.

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Etsy Dropshipping 

Setting Up Shop 

etsy shop page

Setting up an Etsy dropshipping shop comes with its own rules, mainly because Etsy specializes in handmade, vintage, and craft supplies.

Etsy doesn’t have specific rules against dropshipping, but because it’s mainly handmade or craft stuff, you may need to be specific on how you dropship here.

Your first option is to open an Etsy store where you outsource the production of your goods to a third party. This is a good way to avoid the hassle of making items yourself, but there’s a catch.

Etsy requires that Etsy shop members be involved in designing the items you sell in your Etsy dropshipping store.

So, you can’t just pick a product and have someone else make it; you need to add your personal touch.

The second option is to source products from Etsy sellers and then feature them on your ecommerce site instead of your Etsy dropshipping shop.

This gives you more control over your Etsy dropshipping business, but there’s one important rule: you can’t buy products from Etsy merchants and then resell them on Etsy.

Costs & Fees

Running an Etsy dropshipping business involves more than curating a collection of handmade goods and setting up your Etsy storefront with dropship products. 

Like similar business models, Etsy works by charging sellers various fees that can impact your online sales:

  • Product listings: sellers pay a $0.20 Etsy listing fee
  • Transaction fee: 6.5% on the total price of the item
  • International sales for your Etsy products or global currency conversion fees are charged for products sold outside your home country. 

Seller Rules

Etsy has rules for sellers to open up shop and get products listed. Here are some of the seller rules:

First, the products you sell in your Etsy dropshipping shop must be vintage or handmade items or crafts supplies.

If you’re selling vintage, the item has to be at least 20 years old- no exceptions.

Etsy also expects you to be the creator or designer of whatever dropshipping Etsy products you’re selling. So, only buying from other Etsy users to resell in your own store is a no-go. 

If you’re working with someone else to create your items, you must mention that in your listings. Just make sure your partner isn’t another Etsy seller or a place that sells ready-made items.

Lastly, if you’re selling craft supplies, you have some flexibility. You can get these items from third-party sellers if they’re commercial, vintage, or handmade. 

But be cautious about using AliExpress; it’s not recommended for Etsy dropshipping, even if Etsy doesn’t officially say so.

Popular Dropshipping Products  

wedding decor

Here are some top-selling dropship Etsy products that Etsy merchants are raving about:

  • Wedding Accessories 
  • Insulated Mugs (Kitchen and Dining)
  • Rope Leashes (Pet Supplies) 
  • Face Rollers (Beauty and Personal Care) 

Pros Of Dropshipping On Etsy

Accessible Customers

Perhaps the most significant advantage of dropshipping on Etsy is access to a huge customer base that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

With over 60 million buyers on the platform, you can easily get your inventory in front of people interested in buying from sellers like you.

Plus, Etsy strongly focuses on supporting small businesses, meaning customers are more likely to trust you if you sell on the platform.

Not Many Dropshippers on Etsy

Unlike other marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, Etsy has a relatively small number of Etsy dropshipping competitors.

This creates an opportunity to stand out among your competitors and make a name for yourself.

Low Listing Costs

Etsy’s listing fees are relatively low compared to other selling platforms, making it more affordable to start a dropshipping business.

It only costs $0.20 to list one item for four months, and if your item sells, Etsy charges a transaction fee of 6.5%.

Cons Of Dropshipping On Etsy

Geared For A Different Market

person making handmade soap

Etsy is primarily known as a platform for handmade and vintage goods.

It has a specific target market that appreciates items that are unique, high-quality, and one-of-a-kind.

Dropshipping products, on the other hand, may not fit this market to a T. Most dropshipped products are mass-produced, making them less appealing to the Etsy audience.

Etsy Selling Rules

Etsy has strict rules and guidelines for sellers, including dropshipping:

  • Firstly, sellers must disclose that they’re working with a third-party seller or manufacturer.
  • Secondly, sellers must ensure that their products comply with Etsy’s policies, such as intellectual property laws, fair trade items, and prohibited items.

Activities that Etsy doesn’t allow include:

  • Offering products from sellers who have no connection to your business.
  • Selling fair trade items that you didn’t create or design.
  • Rebranding commercial items under your own brand.

If you don’t comply with these rules, it can lead to your shop being suspended or taken down.

Fees

The listing fee isn’t much but can add up and become more than starting your own site if you offer enough products.

When you start your own site, you may have a monthly fee, but you often don’t pay transaction fees or international selling fees like Etsy has,

These costs can quickly add up and take a bite out of your profit margins.

No Wholesale Options

Etsy discontinued its wholesale program, limiting dropshipping opportunities on the platform.

As a result, sellers must source products from alternative suppliers and ensure they meet Etsy’s strict product requirements.

Other Platforms For Dropshipping

Shopify

Shopify side hustle app homepage

When comparing Shopify dropshipping to how Etsy works, Shopify stands out as a better store for dropshipping.

It’s designed for online stores and comes with all the bells and whistles, like advanced plugins, strong security features, and multiple payment options.

It even lets you connect to social media, email, and other sales channels with a click.

I’ve been very satisfied with our Shopify store and recommend it. So, if you’re on the fence, take it from me- a Shopify store is worth a look.

Take a more in-depth look into how it compares to Etsy in my Shopify VS Etsy review article.

Amazon

Amazon is not only one of the biggest online retail giants but also a platform to sell craft supplies, handmade goods, and antique items.

Amazon has an excellent dropshipping program, which allows sellers to sell without worrying about storage and logistics.

With an Amazon seller account, you can list your products and manage orders from the Fulfilled by Amazon program.

This program handles packing, shipping, and customer support.

Moreover, Amazon provides a basket of tools to manage your online store and track your income and product sales.

WIX

WIX is an excellent choice if you are looking for an affordable and user-friendly platform.

It’s a cloud-based website builder that provides you with drag-and-drop templates to design your website.

With WIX, you can integrate Shopify within minutes, set up a blog, and customize your website to attract customers.

They also have a mobile app to manage your online store and provide real-time customer support.

WooCommerce

woocommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress websites that makes it possible to get sales.

It’s a free-to-use, powerful e-commerce platform that allows you to create your own brand with an online shop and manage orders and products.

With WooCommerce, you can sell digital and physical products with multiple payment options.

It also comes with several themes and plugins that you can use to make your online store stand out.

Dropshipping Suppliers

Dropshipping suppliers will mainly help you to sell craft supplies on Etsy, but you can also use them to sell other products on other platforms like Shopify.

When it comes to dropshipping, finding the right dropshipping Etsy suppliers is crucial for success.

Here are the most popular dropshipping suppliers you can work with:

Alibaba

Alibaba is a popular platform that many people use for dropshipping, and it’s easy to see why. It’s like a massive online marketplace where you can find products at wholesale prices.

Whether looking for baby clothes, kitchen gadgets, or even electronics, you’ll find a supplier on Alibaba that offers what you need.

The platform is user-friendly, so even if you’re new to the whole dropshipping scene, you can navigate it without much hassle.

Wholesale2B

Wholesale2B is a dropshipping supplier that offers a range of products from various manufacturers and wholesalers.

The platform integrates with popular marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Shopify, making it easy for dropshippers to list products and manage orders.

One of the unique features of Wholesale2B is that it offers a push-to-market feature that enables dropshippers to list products in online stores easily.

Salehoo

salehoo

Salehoo is a popular directory that connects you with dropshipping suppliers and wholesalers directly.

The platform provides a list of trusted suppliers and manufacturers that offer high-quality products at competitive prices.

It also offers its users a comprehensive training program on starting a successful business, making it an excellent resource for new entrepreneurs.

A downside is that Salehoo charges a membership fee of $67 per year, but the benefits of using the platform far outweigh the cost.

FAQs

Does Etsy allow dropshipping businesses? 

Etsy does allow dropshipping, but Etsy dropshipping comes with a set of guidelines you’ll need to follow closely.

The key to a successful dropshipping venture on Etsy is understanding those rules and sticking to them in your Etsy listing.

The platform is open to sellers who offer vintage or handmade items or craft supply items.

So, if your products fit into one of these categories, you’re good to go with Etsy dropshipping.

If you play by Etsy’s playbook, you can set up a dropshipping business that thrives on the platform.

Is dropshipping profitable on Etsy?

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Dropshipping on Etsy can be a money-maker, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal.

If you’ve got a solid business plan and offer items that Etsy shoppers are eager to buy, you’re off to a good start.

Pricing is key, too- you’ll need to factor in Etsy’s fees and still make sure you’re turning a profit.

But here’s the thing: if you’re looking for a quick way to make money or are more accustomed to traditional dropshipping, Etsy might not be your best bet. 

I recommend Shopify more for dropshipping because it has no restrictions on what dropshipping products you can offer.

Is it better to dropship on Shopify or Etsy?

Should you go for the limitless customization and global reach of Shopify?

Or does the built-in, niche audience of Etsy sound more appealing for your unique, handmade goods?

Here are a few notes on how they compare:

Shopify:

  • Flexibility: Complete control over your online store’s design, features, and functionalities.
  • Scalability: Easily adapt as your business grows, offering various apps and integrations.
  • Global Reach: Sell to anyone, anywhere, without limitations.
  • Costs: Monthly fees plus additional costs for apps and premium themes.
  • Learning Curve: User-friendly but may require some time to master.
  • Product Offerings: No limits on what products you can sell- including dropshipping products

Etsy Storefront:

  • Built-in Audience: A dedicated customer base looking for unique, handmade, and vintage items.
  • Ease of Use: Straightforward setup, great for beginners.
  • Limited Control: Fewer customization options compared to Shopify.
  • Fees: Listing fees, transaction fees, global currency conversions, and payment processing fees can add up.
  • Niche Focus: Best for handmade, vintage, or craft supplies
  • Strict Dropshipping Rules: Your dropshipped products must be designed by you and made by a third party- not a typical dropshipping business model.

How do I connect my dropshipping business on Etsy to Shopify?

So you’re looking to get the best of both worlds, huh? That’s a smart move!

Here’s how to make it happen:

  • Step 1: Have both a Shopify store and an Etsy shop up and running.
  • Step 2: Head to the Shopify App Store and search for “Etsy” to find integration apps.
  • Step 3: Install the Etsy integration app of your choice.
  • Step 4: Follow the setup steps in the app, which usually include linking your Etsy account and choosing which products to sync.
  • Step 5: Configure how orders and inventory will be managed between the platforms.

Final Thoughts

how to make quick money in one day Funny surprised woman employee sitting at workplace with laptop and peeking out of dollar banknotes, looking with amazed big eye, shocked by high salary. indoor studio shot isolated, blue background

Etsy is this special corner of the internet where people hunt for unique, handmade, and vintage items.

It’s a different ball game from other platforms, and yes, there are some challenges to dropship products.

But if you’ve got the right products and approach, you can make money on Etsy and make a name for yourself in dropshipping.

Etsy dropshipping has its quirks, but it also has a lot of untapped potential for you to make $1000+ per month on special and unique products.

Dropshipping could be the perfect fit for your business, and it’s worth a closer look!