Etsy is the online marketplace for small sellers who offer everything from crocheted plant holders to handmade jewellery and vintage homeware. It's an independent alternative to eBay and an excellent place for creative teens to flex their entrepreneurial muscles and learn how to make money as a teen.
Our Youth Economy Report shows that a quarter of teens are already earning from selling things on online marketplaces, and 26% plan to be their own boss. “The future of work is rapidly changing," says Louise Hill, Co-founder and COO of GoHenry.
"Kids are growing up surrounded by people just like them, who are starting businesses from their bedrooms (95% of Esty sellers run their business from home), and making money thanks to the explosion in digital opportunities. Empowering children to earn money from a young age could have a lasting positive outcome on equality and job opportunities in the UK."
How to sell on Etsy
- Choose what to sell.
- Determine costings for what is being sold.
- Do market research to see if there is a market for the products.
- Set up an Etsy seller account under your name.
- List your products.
- Choose an account to get paid into.
- Fill out the security and about section.
Can kids sell on Etsy?
Kids between 13 and 17 can only sell on Etsy via a parent-registered account. A parent-registered account means a parent will be accountable for any account activity conducted by a child under 18. In addition, all financial information affiliated with the Etsy account, such as a credit card or a PayPal account, must belong to a parent or guardian. Kids must also disclose in their profile and "About" page that their parent oversees their Etsy account.
Teens aged 13-17
Teens between the ages of 13-17 are permitted to use Etsy's service, but teens who wish to sell on Etsy must:
- Use the About section of the shop to disclose all members of the shop, including the parent who owns the account.
- All financial information on the account must be under the parent's name.
- All billing information must belong to a parent who is responsible for the account.
- If using Etsy payments (the way you get paid on Etsy), a parent must register using their information.
- Under 18s cannot be listed as shop owners.
- The email address on the account must be registered with the parent.
- If your child's Etsy earnings are above £1,000 in a tax year, a parent, as the named Etsy account-holder, will need to register for Self Assessment as a self-employed person.
Kids under 13
Children under 13 are not allowed to use Etsy.
How to get started selling on Etsy as a kid (step-by-step)
- Choose what to sell. Running an Etsy shop is like selling products anywhere, your teen needs to find a gap in the market. This means getting them to brainstorm what they can sell and then researching how other people in their niche market are doing. 25 simple things kids can make and sell will help if they're stuck for ideas.
- Next, get your teen to determine their costings for what they will sell. Do they have the time to make things? Do they have the funds to set up a business if they buy materials?
- Once they have an idea, suggest they do market research to see who would buy their goods and if there is a market for them. For example, if it's handmade bracelets, who is their target audience, and how much are they likely to spend?
- When they are ready to start selling, set up an Etsy seller account under your name. To open an Etsy account, sign in and create an account. Then go to Etsy sell and follow the instructions.
- Once the shop is running, it's time to list your products. To create listings, your teen will be asked to add photos and details about the items sold, including shipping and processing time. Be sure to have good Etsy-worthy photographs that make your goods look attractive.
- Finally, choose an account to get paid into. This needs to be an account associated with the parent account name (i,e not your teen's account) and is where money from Etsy payments will be sent.
- Fill out the security and about section, and you are good to go. Don't forget kids must disclose on their "About" page that their parents oversee their Etsy account.
What your kids could sell on Etsy
In 2022 the best selling items on Etsy were:
- Paper & Party supplies
- Vintage Items
- Home & Living items
- Art & Collectibles
Under those categories your kids could make and sell:
- Handmade bracelets and necklaces
- Handmade cards
- Party bags
- Digital art
- Seasonal items (Valentine’s and Christmas)
- Personalised items
- Homework planners
- Chore charts
- Zero waste products
- Handmade accessories
- Personalised prints
- Pet supplies
How much money can you make on Etsy as a teen?
How much money your teen could make depends on how much work they put into making their shop successful. This includes the quality of the product, how much marketing effort they put in to promote their shop and what they are selling. Smaller Etsy sellers make a steady income of £20 – £30 a month, more if their product is niche or if they advertise their wares on social media channels. Be aware, however, that Etsy charges a transaction fee, they will charge you 6.5% of the sale price (including postage and packaging fees) when you make a sale, which can cut your profits.
What kids can learn from having an Etsy shop?
Earning a wage is empowering – and it's a great way to learn about the value of money. Having their own Etsy shop also teaches teens much about becoming financially independent. Firstly, they must learn to track their sales and all incoming money. Secondly, they need to look at their outgoings to work out pricing, being sure to factor in shipping, material costs and labour. This takes time and effort but teaches teens much about tracking their money.
Our data shows that Gen-Zers have a strong entrepreneurial streak – and they're far more likely than previous generations to come up with creative ways to make money. Running their own Etsy shop will show them the process of being an entrepreneur as they develop, organise, and run a business to generate profit.
Related: Entrepreneurship for kids
Taking on feedback and dealing with bad work days is part of running a business. Your teen will learn that only some people are friendly or will review goods favourably. Moreover, there will be days when items don't sell or are returned. Weathering these tricky periods builds resilience in your teen.
Related: Life skills for kids
If your child is keen to run their own business one day (and a quarter of teens are), they will need to understand how to market their goods, so people are (1) aware that they exist and (2) come to buy things. Etsy's excellent marketing guide for sellers will teach them how to grow a business and give them lifelong skills.
Running a business can be challenging. It's daily work that teens have to commit to simply because there is always something to do, whether it's processing sales, shipping goods, working out finances or merely working on marketing to sell more goods.
Career and life skills
One of the biggest benefits your child can learn from having an Etsy shop are career skills like networking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, and people skills. These skills will not only help them improve their business but also how they interact in all areas of life.
How GoHenry can help?
GoHenry also helps teens gain financial independence. With money from their Etsy shop, they’ll learn about money management, budgeting and tracking their spend, in a safe, secure way using the GoHenry teen debit card. The in-app Money Missions will also help teens to develop their money, saving and investing skills through a series of bite-sized, interactive games and quizzes designed to accelerate your child’s financial literacy.