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How to Sell AI Art on Etsy – A Complete Guide

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Do Market and Competition Research

Before selling AI art on Etsy, you should do extensive market research. While you might be tempted to sell AI art that you like, you should remember that you are not the customer, but it’s someone else.

You need to find a market segment that wants to buy AI art, and then your job is to create that type of AI art for your customers.

Best ways to do market research:

  • Get a paid Etsy market research tool (AluraMarmaleadEtsyHuntSale Samurai, etc.) and study what sells the most on Etsy.
  • Use Google Trends to find trending topics that could be turned into AI art.
  • Search what is currently selling the most on Amazon, Etsy, Redbubble, Creative Market, Creative Fabrica, or any other marketplace where you want to sell your products.
  • In Etsy: analyze what your competitors are selling, how they sell, and to whom they are selling.
  • In Etsy: analyze the bestseller products, star seller stores, and try to find Etsy’s pick badges from products (Sale Samurai saves you a massive amount of time doing this).

Check out: How to do market research on Etsy

Competition Research

You can study your competitors by visiting websites that sell AI art products you intend to sell. Good sites are EtsyCreative MarketGumroad DiscoverCreative Fabrica, Artstation, and any other marketplace you can think of that fits what you are selling.

Things to note when doing competitor research:

  • How many sales the competitor has made?
  • When was the business or store established?
  • Product images, videos, and overall branding.
  • Product title and product description.
  • Product pricing.
  • Product design and layout, including color choices, font choice, vibe, and tone of voice.
  • File delivery, including format, sizes, and features.
  • Customer service.
  • Customer feedback.
  • Who do they sell AI art to (business, consumer)?

Create Your Product

Only after doing extensive market research can you start creating your AI art product. It would be a waste of time to generate amazing AI art without market demand.

Best ways to make sure you are creating and selling the best possible AI art product:

Types of AI Art Products to Create and Sell on Etsy

  • Sublimation tumbler designs
  • Sublimation designs
  • Downloadable t-shirt designs
  • Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, or Leonardo AI prompts (while not art, still a way to make money with the AI art knowledge you have)
  • Stickers
  • AI art files: PNG, JPEG, SVG, AI, etc.
  • Downloadable sticker designs
  • Downloadable seamless patterns
  • Stock images
  • Poster art
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Custom AI art (character, pet, the customer)
  • Coloring books or just coloring pages
  • Tattoo designs
  • Printable wall art
  • Icons, logo ideas, and graphical elements
  • Reference packs for artists
  • TV frame art
  • Various print-on-demand products with AI art on it

It’s suggested that you create a lot of products (40+) for your store to make it look professional, give customers options, and make it look like you’ve been a seller for a while already.

Set Up Your Etsy Store

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Etsy will give you a step-by-step guide on how to set up a store on Etsy.

Go to Etsy to set up your store. You will get a step by step guidance to set up your store, but before you set up your store, make sure you have your product ready and a credit card in hand.

One way to make your store stand out is to name your store according to what you are mainly selling. If you are specialized in selling sublimation designs, call your store according to that specialty. When customers see that your store is specialized in a specific product category, they feel like they are in the right place.

You can always change the store name later on if you want to pivot and sell something else entirely.

At the last stages of setting up your store, you will create a new listing (costs $0.20), set up payments, and billing (so Etsy can charge for the listing you make during the setup process).

AI art-specific product instructions

Etsy seller policies clearly define that if the product was made with a production partner (AI art generator), you must disclose that production partner in your relevant listings.

Etsy requires sellers to disclose how their work was done and provide evidence of this manipulation if requested.

Optimize your listings

Etsy has over 7.5M active sellers on its platform, serving roughly 96M buyers, so you need to optimize your listings to get visibility on Etsy. Etsy as well as being a marketplace, can also act as a search engine for customers.

By optimizing your listings, you are essentially doing Etsy SEO (search engine optimization), the goal being that you will get organic traffic to your Etsy store.

Optimize the following aspects of your AI art listing:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Product images (best mockups from Placeit)
  • Price
  • Offering
  • Branding
  • Colors and aesthetics
  • Font
  • Perceived value
  • Relevant tags

Delivering the AI art files (digital download)

If you deliver the AI art as a digital download, Etsy’s 20MB digital download file size limit won’t be enough. You need to use something like Dropbox or Google Drive to deliver the file to the customer.

You can create a PDF file with the link to the digital download, so the customer is essentially buying a link to the digital product.

Check out: How to deliver digital products

Pricing your product

You can either price your product based on the market average, price it below the competition (race to the bottom, plus you lose profits), or charge a premium and differentiate your offering as the best in the marketplace.

The standard advice is to price like your competitors, but how do you then differentiate yourself from the competition?

When charging a premium, you increase perceived value, you become an outlier, you increase profits, and you can run ads (Etsy ads, offsite ads, social media ads, etc.) profitably as your product isn’t a low-ticket item anymore.

Ways you can price your AI art product:

  • Value-Based Pricing Strategy (recommended)
  • Competition-Based Pricing Strategy
  • Cost-Based Pricing Strategy
  • Brand-Based Pricing Strategy (recommended)
  • Offer-Based Pricing Strategy
  • Option-Based Pricing Strategy

Check out: How to price digital downloads

Promote Your Etsy Store

While Etsy SEO is one way to get your store more visitors and potential customers, Etsy ads, social media, and a website are also recommended ways to promote your store.

Etsy Ads

While selling low-ticket items (if you go that route) with paid ads is rarely profitable, using Etsy ads isn’t always to get profitable but to get initial customers, feedback, and reviews. Spending as little as $1-5 per day can make a huge difference in sales and perceived store value.

Customer reviews, feedback, and sales figures

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Image showing an example store with rave reviews, huge sales, and how it all creates a higher perceived value for your store. Image credits.

Customer reviews and sales figures show other potential customers that your store’s product selection is good for some, so they might also be good for them.

If possible, try to get customer feedback to study what you could do better. With feedback, you can improve your products and thus make more sales.

The more sales your store has, the more enticing it is for the customer to buy specifically from you.

Discounts

To celebrate your new store launch (if that’s the stage you are at), you can create a limited-time store launch offer for all of your products, for example, offering -60% off store-wide. The idea is to get sales, reviews, and feedback.

If you have a store and want to pivot into AI art, create a promotion that celebrates a new product category launch.

Holidays are also an excellent time to offer discounts and promote your store.

Examples of holidays and events when it’s a good time to use discounts:

  • Black Friday
  • 4th of July
  • Spring, summer, fall, and winter sale
  • Thanksgiving sale
  • Beginning and end of school sale
  • Christmas sale
  • Cyber Monday

Social Media

Social media tends to be the place to market your Etsy store and products. Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are some of the best platforms for promotion.

If you don’t already have an account on those platforms, consider creating one, especially on Pinterest, and remember that creating content consistently is the key to building an audience on any platform.

Don’t forget to align the content you create with the products you sell.

Check out: How to sell digital products on Pinterest

Website

If you have a website, you can embed Etsy products on your website or link directly to your Etsy store. You need a lot of traffic to sell digital downloads on your website, and the best way to get that is through Google SEO (search engine optimization).

Tips on How to Increase AI Art Sales on Etsy

To increase AI art sales on Etsy, you can increase the price of your product, or get multiple different status and sales-increasing badges from Etsy.

Bestseller badge

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Image showing the bestseller badge given to an item that has had high sales volume over the past 6 months. Image credits.

A bestseller badge is given when your item has had a high sales volume over the past six months. If your products excel within a specific category compared to other sellers, Etsy will automatically award your listing with a “Bestseller” badge. Getting the best seller badge can increase your Etsy sales significantly.

The “Best Seller” badge symbolizes achievement and can significantly boost traffic to your shop. Additionally, it can be advantageous in terms of competition, as potential buyers are often more inclined to purchase from shops displaying this prestigious badge.

Star seller badge

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A star seller badge will be given to you automatically if you get 5-star reviews consistently, quickly reply to customers, etc.

Star Sellers maintain an exceptional record for delivering exceptional customer experiences, consistently garnering 5-star reviews (over 95% of all the reviews have to be 5 stars), ensuring on-time order shipments, and responding promptly to all incoming messages.

The star seller badge acts as a guarantee for the customer as they can somewhat trust you as a seller when they see you have such a badge.

Etsy’s Pick

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Image showing what Etsy’s pick badge looks like. Image credits.

If you can get the “Selected by Etsy’s style and trend editors.” notification icon for your product, it can also make your product stand out and increase your sales and the overall perception of your store.

Increase value, price, and make a better offer

To increase sales on Etsy, you can increase the price while simultaneously increasing the value of your product. Your product must be worth the price you are asking, but there’s no limit to what price you ask. The price is only limited to the value you provide.

Example:

  • Seller #1: Sells 20,000 sublimation tumbler designs for $9.99
  • Seller #2: Sells 1,000 sublimation tumbler designs (STDs for easier reading), a mini-course on how to create STDs, a marketing plan on how to sell STDs, a one-off done-for-you (DFY) STD, unlimited prompt idea guide for creating STDs for $199

It’s not that you can’t charge a premium or a 10x (compared to the average market price) price for your product, but to do so, you have to increase the product’s actual and perceived value significantly.

It’s essentially a matter of effort, time, and work put into your product. Also, remember that when you charge a significantly higher price (10x, 20x than what is the average market price), your product is instantly seen as an outlier, a premium offer, something that is clearly different from what is currently on offer.

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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