Beyond Tangible: 7 Reasons Why Digital Products are the Smart Choice for Etsy Beginners

Kevin Kwok
3 min readMay 7, 2023
Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Primarily known for its handmade and vintage goods, Etsy’s unique selling proposition has created its own niche, garnered a community of buyers and sellers as well as set apart itself from other e-commerce platforms. However, in the past few years, digital products have risen in popularity and are selling very well on the platform. Etsy provides a platform for digital creators and creative minds to monetize their work and widen their audience reach by taking advantage of Etsy’s huge organic traffic of buyers. These digital products include everything from printable artwork and SVGs to resume templates and digital business planners. Having sold on Etsy for almost 3 years, here are some of the reasons why digital products are the better choice for beginner sellers:

1. No Inventory

Digital products do not take up physical space in your house to store, which immediately lowers the overall cost for product management. There is no need to worry about inventory and clutter when you are selling digital items as your files are stored in Etsy’s database when you list your items.

2. Higher Profit Margin

When you are selling digital products, your profit margin automatically increases as it has very little to no upfront cost to create one. Material costs, production and manufacturing costs, shipping fee, and Etsy’s fee often take up a significant chunk of the revenue when you sell a physical product. This, however, is not the case with digital downloads as you will only have to worry about the Etsy fees (and perhaps, a couple of software subscription fees) when calculating your overall costs per product.

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

3. Easy to Craft from Your Existing Skills

Digital products are relatively easy to learn to make from your existing skills. For example, daily planners and budgeting planners can be quickly created as long as you know the basics of Canva, while digital artwork can be created if you know basic typography or have an understanding in basic graphic design principles.

4. Instant Delivery

Customers will instantly (or a couple minutes at most) receive their products as they are automatically delivered via email from Etsy, in contrary to physical goods where the fastest time the customers will get their hands on their purchased products is typically around 12–24 hours.

5. Low/No Upfront Cost

You can learn how to create and list digital products for sale with practically no costs upfront, as there are already a tons of tutorial videos and articles freely available on the internet that teach you how to get started.

6. Create Once, Sell Continuously

Physical goods need to be reproduced once they are sold, which takes time and resources off of the sellers. Once you have your listing available for sale, digital products will continuously generate you money for as long as Etsy is running. This is typically what people would like to call “passive income”.

7. Very Low Maintenance Required

Digital products require little to no maintenance. Once they are up for sale, customers can purchase your products anytime anywhere without you needing to attend the customers every time they purchase from your store as Etsy handles the whole transaction process. Customer requests often only happen when they are experiencing troubles with accessing the download link or have not yet received a confirmation email from Etsy, which you can solve quickly by sending the files yourself.

All of the points I mentioned are based on my personal experience selling exclusively digital items for the past 2 and a half years. I would like to say that given all the benefits with practically no downside, it’s definitely worth giving digital products a shot.

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