What type of paintings sell best on Etsy? Make Real Money

If you wanted to know what type of paintings sell best on Etsy, then they are watercolors of pets and animals in the sub $50 price range with an average size of 8×10 inches. With dogs being the most popular.

What type of paintings sell best on Etsy

The sales figures, customer ratings and popularity were monitored over the first 4 months of the year and the results are roughly always the same.

Additionally, watercolors of whales, orcas, dolphins and birds are also very popular with an average of 3000+ customer reviews as a proxy for sales.

Noting that not each sale will receive a customer review, so the numbers sold will most likely be 3 to 4 times higher.

Between $50-$100 per painting, the sales are approximately half those in the sub $50 range with an average of 1500 reviews as a proxy for sales.

Paintings over $100 sell about half as much as the $50-$100 range, with most generating under 1000 reviews as a proxy for sales.

What type of paintings sell best on Etsy
What type of paintings sell best on Etsy? It’s watercolors of pets and animals!
Note: dollars quoted in the image are AUD not USD for illustration purposes.
Sales figures quoted are for world wide sales.

When I first started selling paintings and prints on Etsy, I wanted to know what type of paintings sell best on Etsy. It was the same type of analysis I usually did on eBay.

That is, I would look at all the sold items in the search box and then see what sold best.

Easy right? Wrong.

So how did I do this?

Etsy does not provide an easy way to research sold items and it actually takes a fair amount of research based on individual sellers, keywords and Etsy stores.

If you do not care about selling paintings and want to know just what sells in general on Etsy then the quickest and simplest thing you can do is just go on the Etsy.com landing page and scroll down a little.

You will see a section called Popular Right Now. See the image below, I have circled the heading.

Etsy Landing Page Popular Right Now
Etsy Landing Page – Popular Right Now

This will give you a quick snapshot as to what is selling right now on Etsy and it does not seem to be promoted products. Below is a sample of what a promoted listing looks like.

Advert on Etsy
How to spot a promoted listing on Etsy

If you wish to drill down by popular category and then item type then you will need to click on the ‘See more’ for each category.

Alternatively, if you have a specific category and because you are on my Art blog I will assume you are looking to sell your own art, paintings or artsy things; then you will need to keep reading.

Why bother reading on if you have the answer?

There’s that old saying ” Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”

There will come a time when you will want to know what else sells on Etsy and you will most likely not have a simple answer from a Google result.

Likewise the answer I have just provided you my become outdated as trends in retail and online sales change over the years. This will require you to do some of your own research.

Additionally, you may want to search for sales numbers or trends on a specific art niche.

How to perform a Detailed Search for popular items on Etsy

First you have to look at all the categories and listings related to paintings and do manual research and calculations based on location, reviews, painting type etc.

Find and select/edit any criteria or filters that applies to you, such as where you wish to ship to if you want to restrict where you want your sales to happen.

Etsy search side bar
Etsy search side bar

Etsy will auto-refresh the search results as you change each criteria.

Then you have to wash out all the listings that are promoted (Ads) which can be very tricky as they look like normal listings.

Advert on Etsy
How to spot a promoted listing on Etsy

And then you see the little Bestseller tag below the listing. Which for some reason does not appear on all listings!

What type of paintings sell best on Etsy by Best Seller tag
Good old Etsy Bestseller tag that appears below the seller

That is pretty much it! You will be shown sample art from popular sellers within your selected category and within your applied filters.

What you should do next is study the quality of art being sold, the sizes available for sale and see if they are worth the effort.

It was and still is, way easier on a platform like eBay but since we want to sell on Etsy we need to learn how to research other items we wish to sell.

Is it Worth it to Sell Paintings on Etsy?

Whether or not it’s worth it to sell paintings on Etsy depends on various factors, including your goals, the nature of your artwork, your pricing strategy, and how much effort you’re willing to invest in marketing and customer service.

In my experience, here are some pros and cons to consider to help you determine if it is worth selling paintings on Etsy:

Pros:

Exposure

Etsy has millions of visitors each month, giving artists a chance to expose their work to a broad audience they might not reach through other means.

Platform Ease

Setting up a shop on Etsy is relatively straightforward, and there’s a lot of online help and community support available.

Trust

Customers often trust buying from Etsy because of its established reputation and secure payment methods.

Shipping Integration

Etsy offers integrated shipping solutions that can simplify the logistics of sending paintings to customers.

Cons:

Fees

Like most online platforms, Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees. Over time, these can add up, especially if you’re selling high-ticket items like paintings. On the flip side how much would it cost for you to get eyeballs on your own website? In my opinion, fees are worth it.

Competition

There are thousands of artists on Etsy, making it potentially challenging to stand out unless you have a distinctive style or niche.

Potential for Undervaluation

There’s a perception by some that Etsy is a place for bargains, which might push artists to price their works lower than they might in a gallery setting.

Marketing Responsibility

While Etsy provides the platform which has lots of the eyeballs I mentioned earlier, you’re still largely responsible for driving traffic to your store. \

This might require learning about SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, and possibly even paid advertising.

Tips if You Decide to Sell on Etsy:

  1. Photography: High-quality photos of your paintings are essential. Invest time in learning how to photograph your work properly or hire someone who can.
  2. Description: Be thorough in your descriptions, including size, materials used, and any other relevant details.
  3. Branding: Make your shop memorable with a consistent theme, shop banner, and compelling story.
  4. Pricing: Research other artists on Etsy with a similar style and experience level to help set your prices. Don’t undervalue your work, but be competitive.
  5. Promotion: Utilize social media, email newsletters, and other marketing techniques to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

Selling paintings on Etsy can be worth it if you’re willing to invest the time and effort into creating a standout store, marketing it, and providing top-notch customer service.

It might be a good idea to start on Etsy and, as you build a reputation and client base, consider other avenues or even your website.

What type of Art Sells Best on Etsy

The great thing about selling art on Etsy is that you can go beyond selling paintings and sell any kind of art on Etsy.

But to stop you from wasting your time, you can follow the same steps as I have shown for paintings and search for the broader category of art in general.

To save you some time, I have gone through the steps above and found that the type of art that sells best on Etsy can vary depending on current trends, seasonality, and demographics of the shoppers.

Based on past trends and general observations, the following types of art have been popular on Etsy:

Personalized Art

Custom portraits, name signs, and other personalized artworks that cater to individual preferences tend to sell well.

This includes family portraits, pet portraits, and house portraits.

Printable Art

Digital downloads that customers can purchase, download, and print at home are popular because they offer instant gratification and eliminate shipping costs.

Jewellery

While not “art” in the traditional sense, handcrafted jewellery, especially unique and personalized pieces, are perennial best-sellers on Etsy.

Home Decor

Art pieces that serve a dual purpose, such as decorative and functional items, often do well. This can include wall hangings, ceramics, sculptures, and hand-painted furniture.

Stationery and Paper Goods

Handmade greeting cards, planners, journals, and other paper goods are in demand, especially during holiday seasons.

Stickers and Decals

With the rise of personal planners, bullet journals, and customizing personal items like laptops, stickers, and decals have found a niche market.

Illustrations and Art Prints

Unique artworks, whether they are reproductions of original paintings or digital illustrations, are sought after by many Etsy shoppers.

Embroidery and Textile Art

Modern embroidery designs, hand-stitched pieces, and other textile arts have seen a resurgence in popularity.

Enamel Pins

These collectibles, which can feature a variety of artistic designs, have been trendy, especially among younger shoppers.

Pop Culture and Fan Art

Artworks that tap into popular movies, TV shows, books, and other cultural phenomena can garner a lot of interest, although sellers should be cautious about copyright restrictions.

Remember, success on Etsy isn’t solely determined by the type of art but also by the quality of the work, presentation, customer service, marketing, and understanding your target audience.

It’s also important to keep an eye on emerging trends and adjust product lines accordingly. As with any business, understanding and connecting with your customer base is one of the single most important things to remember when aiming to make sales in art.

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