Hustle Ideas

How To Sell On Etsy From South Africa

Can a South African sell on Etsy? A very big yes! In fact Etsy has a specific market for products from South Africa because South African arts and crafts are unique, and very popular throughout the world, especially among those who have at one time or the other visited South Africa for business or pleasure.

Where there is demand, somebody has to provide the supply; it would therefore be silly not to take advantage of the demand for South African handcrafted items, through which you could even build a brand, not just make money for your immediate use.

Etsy is a global marketplace; but it is also website to find nice gift items made locally. Let us now discuss how to sell on Etsy. 

How To Sell On Etsy From South Africa

Of course the first thing to do is to create a product! There are so many items that you could possibly put on the Etsy marketplace; South African beads (necklaces and bracelets) are some of the most popular products; they are popular locally, as well as among women across the globe. Other popular items are earrings, straw hats, and knitted items such as sweaters and caps.

Handmade leather items are also very popular; tourists buy them all the time when they come visiting South Africa. Leather wallets, purses, and small hand bags are some items that are marketable items. To make them even more marketable; such items could be branded with popular names which would make them attractive personalized gift items.

Name branded bags, wallets, purses, tea cups and knitted sweaters are not the only items that can be sold on Etsy; the website is also a popular place to sell art work such as paintings and drawings, some of which can be shipped to the buyers or downloaded after payment. They can then be framed and hung on the walls, or even made into wall paper.

After creating the products; follow these steps to sell them globally on etsy, from your base in South Africa.

Selling On Etsy From South Africa –Step 1

Create an account with etsy. In our case we had to go to, click the sign in button, and then when the page popped up we clicked on the small button on the top right hand that says ‘Register.’ The registration page is very simple; it only needs your common details.

You may also decide to register with your google account, facebook account, or apple account; and you can do so by just clicking on any of the icons, after which you may be required to login. Etsy will then retrieve your information from there, and create an account for you.

Selling On Etsy From South Africa- Step 2:

Creating your etsy shop and putting up your creations for sale. You can just click on ‘Your Shop,’ and then click on ‘add a listing.’ If this is not your first time you should click on ‘Shop Manager,’ and then on ‘add a listing.’  

Then you have to add a description to the listing you have created, and then add a photo. Please note that this is crucial because Etsy as a website depends on visual content.

Selling On Etsy From South Africa Step 3

Use great pictures to sell your items. You may consult with a professional photographer, although some high-end mobile phones can deliver high quality digital images as well. Please use contrasting colours: dark or black backgrounds for white or light coloured items; and white backgrounds for dark coloured items.

You can also use glass as your background in order to produce a reflective display. It may still be necessary to do a bit of photo editing after taking the snap shots.

Please take a look at the items on display on the Etsy website’ front page. Your goal should be to outdo what has been done by your competitors; to create images that look better than what others have done. This is key to success on Etsy.

Selling On Etsy From South Africa –Step 4

Aside from social media you can also use a blog as a sales funnel; and then when your items have become quite popular etsy will start to feature them so that random people going through the site can find them for purchase.

Etsy Print On Demand South Africa

Etsy’s print on demand service has become quite popular in south Africa. Even though this has a much broader meaning, “print on demand” usually means fashion item which are produced in partnership between Etsy creators and the company itself.

The clothes are already with the company. They are sewn with a variety of styles, and in a variety of colours.

However, they are plain. Etsy creators will provide the finishing touches which are the designs. By designs we mean the graphic illustrations, pictures or patterns that appear on the clothes. This is what makes each listed item different, and this is also the main competitive edge that sellers have over each other.

As with other Etsy services, each seller opens a “shop” which is a digital space where the seller can display their goods. Of course, bringing eyes to the shop is the duty of the seller; this is where the social media muscle of each seller will come into being. However, sellers have many different methods through which they get their products seen. 

What to Avoid When Selling On Etsy From South Africa

Low quality items: Please ensure that your products are of the highest possible quality. This will give your etsy shop, and the whole of South Africa a good name.

Typo Errors and Bad Spellings on product descriptions: bad spellings and bad grammar on product descriptions can be very bad for business because they can put customers off. Besides, they can have some other negative meanings where the potential customer is from.

Poor Quality Pictures: Pictures are key to selling on etsy and elsewhere on the internet. You could therefore take some time to work on your photography skills before you start promoting your work, or just ensure that you work with a very good photographer or graphic designer to produce enhanced images. Poor pictures will not make sales on etsy.

High Prices: as a seller from South Africa please note that buyers on Etsy are not tourists. Please ensure that your prices are fair, and at the same time that they reflect good quality. You can browse around the website to look at the prices of similar items. Your prices do not have to match other sellers; just ensure that it is not too far higher either.

Further Reading:


It is very important to ensure that your products are of very high quality. This will help you get good reviews and avoid bad ones which can ruin your reputation early on. Whether you believe it or not, people actually pay attention to reviews and ratings on almost every e-commerce website.

As a South African you can receive your payments from Etsy Payments which deposits the money directly into your bank account, or through Paypal which is also quite popular.

Please note that you may not make any sales without marketing; there are so many sellers on etsy, and you have to make the effort to get people to see your stuff.

Do you have experience with this company? We welcome Etsy South Africa reviews in the comments section below.

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