What to Sell Right Now on Etsy

Reading time: 10 minutes

Do you want to know what crafty things you could sell on Etsy right now to make a pile of money? I’m Pam Duthie, and I am both an Etsy seller myself as well as an Etsy U Instructor, and I have just found a product idea that is blowing up right now and is poised to make a load of money with very little work or investment from you!

First, I’m going to talk you through my thought process: how I spotted this product idea, and what I would do if I wanted to create and list this on Etsy. If you happen to be on the hunt for that next big product, you’re really going to want to stick around.

Any of us who have been following trends on Etsy know how, back in the spring, handmade surgical-style cloth masks absolutely exploded on the platform. New shops sprung up out of nowhere, current shops changed course, and lots of sellers were able to make hundreds of thousands of sales because they jumped on a single trending thing. They got in early – and on something that there hadn’t been much of a demand for before, and that quite suddenly there was a massive, practically insatiable demand for.

That is the Golden Ticket for makers, alright: to find a product and jump on it before everybody else so that amidst the millions of Etsy sellers and products, we’re able to rank and get our product seen by loads of eyes.

Consequently, I was having a mull over this, thinking about the things that I’ve been hearing from Etsy about the trends for this year, and about what we’ve been seeing in eRank – in the Trend Buzz, keyword data, and in the Etsy Trend reports about what’s likely to be hot this Christmas.

Masks are still big, but that wave’s passed us by. What else are people searching for? I had a quick look in eRank’s Trend Buzz. This tells us what search terms are popular right now, along with that term’s history of searches over the past 15 months.

Shoppers are searching for self-care and pampering, especially bath and beauty products. And they’re also searching for craft kits – activities that you can do with other people (like those kids of yours who are at home more and more these days).

Now that appeared to me to be an interesting idea to look into. Because it’s not that difficult to make bath and beauty kits. I had another quick look in eRank’s Trend Buzz, this time drilling down in the Bath & Beauty category.

And one that stood out for me was lip gloss. Ranked 9th in the category, that’s big, with a good number of searches: people are definitely looking for lip gloss.

Let’s face it, most people here in Scotland where I am, and in all of Great Britain, the EU, and more and more in North America, we’re working from home. And actually, don’t tell anyone, but in my live stream last week I was sitting in my pajama bottoms and only dressed properly from the waist up.

Most people these days, what they’re needing are items to help them look good for their Zoom meetings and FaceTime visiting. Face products, hair products, maybe a few accessories like scrunchies or fun earrings. In view of this, this many searches for lip gloss totally make sense: pop on a bit of gloss before your Zoom meeting and it looks less like you’ve just rolled out of bed.

And then I thought, well, making cosmetics has its own issues … but how about, let’s see if lip gloss kits are a thing. So I took the term lip gloss kit and I had a look in eRank’s Keyword Explorer and wow I am glad I did!

It’s not often you see a term that has more searches than it has competition! This has really good Average Monthly Searches. And if we have a look at the line graph on the right, we see this keyword’s only really existed this year – it’s the line in red. (Had there been searches in 2019, we’d also see a blue line here.)

This means people have only been looking for this item this year, so it’s pretty new. And look at that Competition: it is really pretty remarkably low. Based on what I see here, I am sure if someone opened a shop and had some reasonable products, they would be able to rank for “lip gloss kit” no problem at all.

Next step I want to do in my product research is pop over to Etsy and see what these items actually look like.

When I put lip gloss kit in Etsy’s search bar, sure enough there’s not that many results for this. And even better, when I properly dive into these results, it’s not just a case of there not being many. Quite a lot of the results are not for lip gloss kits at all! In fact, there are so few actual kits, Etsy is filling out the page with some lip glosses and other random stuff. More validation that if you were to list a lip gloss kit then there’s every chance that you would rank highly for it.

Next, let’s have a quick look at the prices for these kits. They seem to range from about 20 quid to about 50 quid ($27-$67 USD). When we’re doing our research, if we can come in under 20 quid for a kit (tip: eRank’s Profit Calculator is super handy for this), then that’s likely to be profitable.

Next, I went looking online for some recipes and tutorials for how to make lip gloss. I had actually dabbled in this a bit: awhile ago, I made a kind of lip balm. I followed some tutorials and I made mine by melting down kids’ wax crayons with some coconut oil and some colorings and whatnot and wound up in the end with some cute little lip balms. That said, if you’re going by recipes you find online, be sure to research whether the ingredients are safe both to inhale and to ingest! Some people say brand-name kids’ crayons are completely safe, while as many others say they absolutely are not safe at all. When I made mine, I knew that sure, maybe not the best quality ingredients but boy was it easy and a ton of fun! You literally just melt down some crayons in the colors you want, bung in some coconut oil, some flavoring, add essential oils if you want, and then pour them off into tubes: that’s it!

However much fun it was though, I wouldn’t make them that way if I planned to sell them. So for our purposes here, I went online to find some proper, professional tutorials, and there were plenty. (Wikihow alone had four.) What I advise is to find a range of tutorials, and then get yourself some quality food-grade ingredients from reputable suppliers, and then try out some different quantities, some different combinations. All the tutorials are pretty similar, so you just have to play around with the ratios and see if you can arrive at an end product that you like. If everything you’re putting in is healthy and good for your lips, and you keep everything free of contaminants, then it’ll be a good product.

Now at this point if you’re seriously considering this as something you’d like to try selling on Etsy, then identifying your target market is a good place to go from here. If we just list them as lip gloss kit, that’s absolutely fine. As we’ve seen, it’s actually a pretty good niche product at the moment. But think about the type of people you’ll be wanting to market to. For instance, you could make lip gloss kits for people to do with their kids, so you would want cute stickers, funny packaging, little plastic tubs for kids to mix up all the different colors in, lots of other fun-ness. Or, depending on what else you have in your shop, you could also look at the organic recycled niche. You know: the more high-end luxury vegan sort of product, which is also quite popular just now. Look at what that would require: posh packaging, possibly going plastic-free with little glass bottles and containers and mini wooden spoons for stirrers. There are loads of appealing products out there.

You can even do a bit of research into the science of color theory. And consider your enclosed instructions. If you’re marketing it as a craft for kids, you might include notes on how to mix colors to create new ones. Reference a bit of the science of it so that you hit that parent-pleasing instructional aspect of the activity.

Or you could choose to offer a whole range of kits, lines that run the gamut from ones to do with kids, to ones to do with bridesmaids, at hen parties, kits for making gifts for men, or for groups to make and sell at fundraisers – there are really a lot of options. Just be very sure that you do your due diligence in thoroughly researching your materials for safety.

Next, you need to assess costs. Based on the wikihow tutorials for making beeswax lip gloss, I just did a quick calculation. I factored in what you’d need to make about 15 lip glosses per kit, which I think sounds like a nice-sized kit. Now obviously the costs I arrived at are not what you’d have if you were to do this on a big enough scale to buy in bulk, in which case you could do a lot better, profit-wise. For my cost calculations, I was looking at the better-quality glass bottles and jars and pigments and essential oils– Oh, and another tip! To cut costs on those expensive essential oils, rather than including an entire bottle of essential oil in your kit, you can decant a quality oil – sweet almond for instance – in the amount the person will need, and just add to that a few drops of the essential oil. That way, you could give them two or three bottles of it and your essential oil costs will be pennies per kit.

For the raw materials, plus the mixing containers and utensils, the product packaging, and the shipping materials, the total I got was coming in under 14 quid ($18.60 USD). With kits currently priced from 20 quid to about 50 quid ($27-$67 USD) on Etsy now, I reckon you could be selling these higher-end kits for 25-30 quid absolutely no bother, and possibly for more if you branded and marketed the product well.

There you have it: one possibility to make some money pretty simply and without much outlay. If you buy the materials via Amazon Prime, you can get them the next day, write yourself some tutorial instructions to enclose, take some pretty pictures, and get a listing up in two days’ time.

As a related line, you could also make up some little pdfs: take photographs of yourself that show step by step how you make these lip glosses, then you could also sell those as tutorials in your Etsy shop.

And if you find a nice bulk seller and you’re buying a load of bottles, note that people are still buying up lots of bottles on Etsy: customers are wanting them just now for purse-sized hand sanitizers, for instance, and Etsy sellers for their own product lines. So if you are bulk buying these materials, you can also be selling the raw materials in smaller amounts for people.

See? There’s so much you could do just from that one simple light bulb idea of a lip gloss kit!

I hope this helps give you an idea of how to research a product offering and turn it into something to sell right now on Etsy. If you’re not wanting to get into the bath and body category, have a look at the categories that you do want to get into, and have a look at eRank’s Trend Buzz and click on what’s hot to generate some new ideas. Try combining keywords or adding a word to keywords, as we did here when we added “kit” to a promising keyword, and see if there’s an opportunity there. And if you have questions or experiences to share, feel free to post them in our Facebook group. Hope to see you there!

Pam Duthie

Etsy U Instructor