Top 10 Etsy Side Hustles to make extra money in Canada

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    We could all use a little more cash so why not use your creative talents with an Etsy side hustle? With your design skills, you can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the time you choose to invest.

    At last count, 90 million people shopped on Etsy, with one in 10 of them living in Canada. That means that millions of people are within a short mailing distance from you. 

    Across the globe, Etsy generated $2.5 billion in revenue in 2022; you can expect it to grow to $2.77 billion in 2023. And you can tap into some of that cash flow with side hustles that make money.

    Before you dig out that paint kit, you need to fully understand the costs related to running your side gig. After all, if payment and delivery fees goggle up all your earnings, you’ll only lose money.

    However, you will discover great potential in these top 10 Etsy side hustles that draw on your creative talents. Etsy outlines fees include 27 cents per listing, plus a 6.5% transaction charge. It also charges 3 to 4%, plus 25 cents per payment, depending on which platform you choose.

    Now, let’s take a look at 10 ways to get into Etsy and earn some fun money.

    How does an Etsy side hustle work?

    To get started, set up an account with your name and email address. It costs nothing to set up your Etsy shop. Start by describing your products, choosing your language, your country and the currency you’ll use for sales. You’ll also provide a link to your bank account.

    Next, take some fabulous pictures of the items you wish to sell: an overview and closeups. From this point on, all your transactions will come with fees: listings, sales and shipping.

    Naturally, shipping small items costs less than big, clunky folk art creations. For a package up to 30 grams, Canada Post charges $1.07 (or 92 cents if you buy stamps in books of 10).

    Fees go up to $1.30 for 50 g; $1.94 for 100 g; $3.19 for 200 g. After that, you pay $4.44 for 300 g; and $5.09 up to 400 g. Beyond that point, you need to use a parcel service. If you want to add insurance, tack on $2.20 to $2.25 for every $100 of value of the item. That rate applies within Canada or the U.S.

    Make sure you factor these costs into each sale so you arise from this exercise earning more than you pay!

    Image courtesy of Alex Chambers via Unsplash.com

    1. Jewelry as an Etsy side hustle

    Etsy gained much of its fame by hosting an incredible array of jewelry makers. Shoppers would seek something truly unique, then tell their friends to look there as well.

    Thanks to the site’s design, you don’t have to invest in a storefront and overhead costs to showcase your jewelry. However, Etsy’s rules dictate that you must create the pieces yourself.

    This online platform does not welcome or support reselling jewelry. Instead, it sets the bar high so shoppers connect directly with the artists.

    Bracelets and chains cost less to ship due to their light weight. Remember to calculate postage of $1.07, insurance worth $2.20 and any cost for a box, labels and wrapping. It adds up quickly.

    Image courtesy of Jess Bailey via Unsplash.com

    Etsy shoppers love to download fun art prints, pretty list templates and other designers that brighten their days. Sure, they could use a blank sheet or a plain calendar, but this makes for more fun.

    Thanks to design sites like Canva, you can turn your ideas into magnificent presentations within minutes. Simply log in and create a free account, then begin to play around.

    Within minutes, you can take a base template of a worksheet or sticker and turn it into a work of art. Even better, you don’t have to pay for materials; Etsy shoppers just download what you’ve produced.

    Once the buyer agrees to purchase your design, you don’t even have to ship it, saving one of your costs!

    Image courtesy of James Lacy via Unsplash.com

    3. Dog treats as a tasty Etsy side hustle

    Clearly, people get obsessed with their pets and splurge to indulge them. If you have a passion for pets, you can tap into this market by baking up goodies for barkers.

    The recipes are fairly simple with a few ingredients. However, the magic comes with how you shape the treats and package them up for sale. 

    Image courtesy of Rifqi Ali Ridho via Unsplash.com

    4. Use your Etsy side hustle to sell original artwork

    Everyone has a unique sense of style, seeking out fresh and authentic talent to spruce up homes and offices. That is where your skills come in.

    Take those sketches and paintings then frame them to sell via your Etsy side hustle. Once fans discover you, you develop a following that leads to more sales. 

    All you really need is paper, paint or markers, plus a dash of panache.

    Image courtesy of Casey Chae via Unsplash.com

    5. Party-themed games as an Etsy side hustle

    You’ve seen bridesmaids out for an evening of fun or a pre-wedding party filled with games. Where do those ideas arise from? Creative people who tap into this market.

    Wedding planning takes longer than ever before as people celebrate various milestones along the journey. By providing games, sashes or sassy T-shirts for the occasion, you drum up some fun times – and some serious cash.

    Image courtesy of Ralph Kayden via Unsplash.com

    6. Outdoor decor 

    Recent years have made most people appreciate the gift of nature. As a result, they have invested in patios, gazebos and other outdoor structures. 

    Now, those spaces need decorations to match the outside setting. Thankfully, you can gather up pine cones, twigs, leaves and other goodies to set the mood.

    For people living in cities, you bring them a little taste of country life. And that builds a good business for you.

    Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer via Pixabay.com

    7. Gifts and toys for kids for an Etsy side hustle

    Not every child wants to play with Lego or Barbie. This opens the door for you to provide wooden puzzles or other items designed for small hands and curious minds.

    Some creative kids seek out a snuggly friend that stands out from the crowd. And their parents know that Etsy carries endless options for them to entertain their little ones.

    You have also discovered a place to sell that children’s book you wrote or have always wanted to write. Get the story out of your head and onto a page – then out into the world!

    Image courtesy of Kevin Grieve via Unsplash.com

    8. Gifts under $30 can fuel an Etsy side hustle

    With everyone watching their budgets these days, where can you find a gift that reflects the recipient’s true personality? From the artists on Etsy, of course.

    The online shops have become a de-facto stop when surfing for the right present at a low cost. Thanks to Etsy’s ‘sales flags’ on marked-down items, shoppers can peruse items within their budgets.

    This also clears out small projects you created as tests or items you created in bulk at a lower rate. It helps you hook new customers as they find you then return to browse for more.

    Image courtesy of Micheile Henderson via Unsplash.com

    9. Eco-friendly items

    As more people aim to reduce their carbon footprint, they seek to support entrepreneurs who also use their resources wisely. That creates a market for natural soaps, cleaning supplies and other handmade items.

    If you provide anything made of wood, beeswax, cotton or hemp, you fit the bill for this type of shopper. Etsy also provides a platform to talk about how you make your goods and how pure the process unfolds.

    Take the opportunity to revel in shoppers’ curiosity and reel them in. Once they get to know your brand, they’ll return for more.

    Image courtesy of Katarzyna Kos via Unsplash.com

    10. Vintage items more than 20 years old

    This marks the only exception to Etsy’s policy on only selling items you create. If you have good-quality vintage clothing, you can connect with people searching for those items.

    Dig out those 1970s sunglasses, 1980s concert T-shirts and 1990s slip dresses. When you list them, make sure to put the right descriptors in the title to really catch people’s interest. 

    This way, you can clean out some of the clutter you don’t want anymore, while making others’ dreams come true. It truly turns out as a win-win situation.

    In conclusion

    We all have talents or goods we can sell on Etsy as a side hustle. Stop limiting your imagination and start thinking about how you can boost your income on this site. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards. 

    Of course, you could always sign up for paid surveys to bolster your income. But showing your creative self serves as a rewarding way to achieve the same goal.

    Just go into the experience with your eyes wide open about costs. Now that you understand the fees facing you, you can set up your account and price for success.

    FAQs about Etsy side hustles

    How to sell on Etsy Canada? 

    To get started, set up an account with your name and email address. Start by describing your products, choosing your language, your country and the currency you’ll use for sales. You’ll also provide a link to your bank account.
    Next, take some fabulous pictures of the items you wish to sell: an overview and closeups. From this point on, all your transactions will come with fees: listings, sales and shipping.
    Naturally, shipping small items costs less than big, clunky folk art creations. For a package up to 30 grams, Canada Post charges $1.07 (or 92 cents if you buy stamps in books of 10).
    Fees go up to $1.30 for 50 g; $1.94 for 100 g; $3.19 for 200 g. After that, you pay $4.44 for 300 g; and $5.09 up to 400 g. Beyond that point, you need to use a parcel service. If you want to add insurance, tack on $2.20 to $2.25 for every $100 of value of the item. That rate applies within Canada or the U.S.
    Make sure you factor these costs into each sale so you arise from this exercise earning more than you pay!

    How much does it cost to sell on Etsy Canada? 

    Setting up your account costs nothing. However, once you start posting items, all your transactions come with fees: listings, sales and shipping.
    Etsy charges 27 cents per listing, plus a 6.5% transaction charge. It also charges 3 to 4%, plus 25 cents per payment, depending on which platform you choose.
    Shipping charges depend on the weight of the item you’re selling and how far it travels. 
    Naturally, shipping small items costs less than big, clunky folk art creations. For a package up to 30 grams, Canada Post charges a minimum 92 cents. Fees go up to $1.30 for 50 g; $1.94 for 100 g; $3.19 for 200 g. 
    After that, you pay $4.44 for 300 g; and $5.09 up to 400 g. Beyond that point, you need to use a parcel service. If you want to add insurance, tack on $2.20 to $2.25 for every $100 of value of the item. That rate applies within Canada or the U.S.

    Do you have to pay taxes on Etsy sales in Canada? 

    Etsy collects taxes from Canadian buyers by following the laws of each province. For sales within Canada, the GST or HST will apply at checkout if not added to the initial price.
    The same rule applies for QST in Quebec, RST in Manitoba and PST in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Sellers must keep track of these additional taxes and report them when filing income taxes each spring.
    Additionally, those with an Etsy side hustle must track their total income from this source and deduct business expenses. Come tax time, you have to pay taxes on the difference, plus the sales taxes you’ve collected.

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    Passionate about personal finances, Houda Zaoui is a content writer at Hardbacon. She chooses her credit cards using Hardbacon's credit card comparison tool, and when traveling, Houda uses Hardbacon's hotel room comparator to save money. Finally, she uses Hardbacon's mobile app to manage her finances from one central location.