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What Not to Sell on Etsy - 5 Products to Avoid

Before devising a strategy for getting an online business off the ground on one of the most popular online marketplace platforms, discover the reselling policy. Learning what not to sell on Etsy is as important as learning what are the best-selling products. This is a unique space where craft and vintage items reign supreme. But, there are five products you should not list in your inventory. Here's what they are.

A man and woman packaging a product together
Become a top seller on this platform, which has 95 million active buyers

Why Should You Research What Not to Sell on Etsy Before Creating a Store?

Without being in tune with Etsy's policy, you run the risk of inadvertently listing something prohibited, which can lead to severe consequences such as getting banned or suspended. The reputation as a trustworthy online seller would be ruined within the community. Resellers can expect to be viewed as scammers by the multi-vendor marketplace platform and the buyers. 

This perception not only affects the current store but can also hinder your ability to sell goods in the future. Conducting proper research ensures that your store remains in good standing.

Woman looking at a laptop and thinking
Make an effort to learn all the intricacies of Etsy's policy

#1 Alcohol, Tobacco, and Medical Drugs

The resale of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter as well as prescription medical drugs is strictly prohibited, aligning with the platform's commitment to fostering a legal and safe online marketplace platform. Etsy's rules are designed to foster a welcoming and compliant space for users to purchase creative things without the risk associated with controlled substances.

Of course, there are some exceptions that are not viewed as detrimental to the platform's policy. Items such as baked goods with alcohol, tobacco pipes, hookahs, and empty beer brewing kits are allowed to be sold. These don't infringe on any regulations.

#2 Mass-Produced Items if They Don’t Fall In the Vintage Category

Mass-produced items that cannot be placed in the vintage category should not be sold. In case they are at least 20 years old, they can qualify for the "Vintage category." In this way, the marketplace remains a place where buyers seek artisanal objects rather than being saturated with widely available goods. 

Sellers looking to get more sales on Etsy and have their offerings listed among the best-selling items on Etsy should focus on crafting unique products. In case crafting is not your thing, you can source online genuine vintage goods.

Here is a video with additional details on reselling on Etsy and what's allowed and what isn't.

#3 Certain Animal Products and Animals

Individuals looking to start reselling on Etsy should be mindful of this policy and avoid listing items that involve the sale of live animals or products derived from endangered species. Goods that are banned include:

  • Anything made from cat or dog parts,
  • Ivory or bones from animals that produce ivory,
  • Anything created using threatened or endangered animal species.

Focus on items that do not exploit animals, so you can build a reputable and responsible presence on the platform. Contribute to a marketplace that values sustainability and ethical sourcing.

What Are Exceptions to This Rule?

While this online selling platform prohibits the sale of certain animal products, there are exceptions for items that don't go against ethical practices. Items such as accessories with non-ivory animal antlers and bones, textiles made from animal hair, and leather goods are allowed. This counts if their production adheres to ethical sourcing guidelines.

These exceptions are made with consideration for traditional crafts and the use of animal by-products that might otherwise go to waste. Non-ivory animal bones and antlers can be utilized in a variety of crafts and decorations, offering a sustainable option for sellers. Leather goods, when sourced responsibly, provide durable and high-quality products that appeal to a wide audience.

A leather bag
Textiles made from animal hair are allowed to be sold!

#4 Unauthorized or Counterfeit Goods

Founding an e-commerce business on the foundation of counterfeit goods is a serious violation that can tarnish your reputation. All online selling platforms stay vigilant in enforcing policies against the listing of counterfeit goods, which include knock-offs of brand-name products

Such practices infringe on the intellectual property rights of the original creators and brands. Resellers must prove that their goods are authentic. Otherwise, they need to have permission or a license to sell branded or copyrighted merchandise.

#5 Spell Castings or Reiki

The sudden inundation of spell-casting and tarot reading videos in the Internet realm has gained momentum. Individuals are trying to sell reiki services, spell castings, and tarot readings on numerous platforms. 

However, Etsy has prohibited the sale of intangible services. All transactions must involve physical or digital goods that buyers can evaluate and receive. Make sure that your inventory is filled with physical or digital goods.

Reiki crystals
It's prohibited to list any reiki crystals promising healing or restoration

What Can You Sell on Etsy?

Listings that are allowed include handmade goods - customer jewelry, artwork, home decor, and clothing. Vintage items offer a treasure trove of retro fashion, collectibles, and antiques. Craft supplies such as tools, beads, and yarn are welcomed on the sire. This diversity offers creative entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their passions and talents. It's vital to provide customers with unique and one-of-a-kids products that are not sold in retail stores.

Subscribe for a Crossposting Tool to Become a Top Reseller 

Sell big and don't lose time and mind listing on numerous sites. The secret is to use multichannel listing software that can connect platforms such as Etsy, Vinted, Shopify, and Depop. A posted listing will appear to millions of buyers simultaneously. 

Apart from reaching numerous customers, the crossposting software allows you to use additional features. "Sell similar" and "auto-delisting" features of selling software have been seen to work the best. We recommend investing in the best cross-listing software, Zipsale. Begin a journey to success.

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