What Digital Products You Can And Can’t Sell on Etsy

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In this article, we cover what digital products you can and can’t sell on Etsy according to Etsy’s seller policy.

Disclaimer: Etsy policies might change over time, so please follow the links in this article to find the latest Etsy policies.


Key Takeaways

  • You can sell digital products that you have handmade by yourself, with a production partner, or with the aid of AI tools that do not infringe on someone’s copyright.
  • If you own the IP (intellectual property), you can sell it on Etsy.
  • You can’t sell, for example, items that glorify hate.

What Digital Products You Can Sell on Etsy

There are three main product categories that you can sell on Etsy:

  • Vintage
  • Handmade
  • Craft Supply

According to Etsy’s seller policy, everything that is sold on Etsy must be handmade, vintage, or a craft supply. Handmade is the thing that applies to digital product creators.

Etsy has luckily clarified what is considered handmade in Etsy and how it should be applied when listing items to their marketplace.

“Everything listed as handmade must be made and/or designed by you, the seller” – Etsy

“All handmade items are made or designed by you. If you work with a production partner, you must disclose that production partner in your relevant listings.” – Etsy

“makers must be creating their items with their own hands (or tools).” – Etsy

All of the above point to the fact that the digital product, or any other type of product you create, must be handmade by you or with the help of tools. Still emphasizing that it’s you who created the product.

If you had a production partner (tangible) that you created the product with, there’s a specific section in the listing where you can disclose this information.

When it comes to selling AI-generated art on Etsy, AI models can be considered advanced software tools designed to assist humans with a wide range of tasks, from natural language processing to image production and more.

AI, in this regard, is not a production partner but a tool you’ve used to create the AI art that you are selling as a digital product.

Related: Best digital products to sell on Etsy.

What Digital Products You Can’t Sell on Etsy

Prohibited items, services, and IP (you don’t own) you can’t sell on Etsy:

  • Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, and Medical Drugs.
  • Animal Products and Human Remains.
  • Dangerous Items: Hazardous Materials, Recalled Items, and Weapons.
  • Hate Items: Items that Promote, Support, or Glorify Hatred.
  • Illegal Items, Items Promoting Illegal Activity, and Highly Regulated Items.
  • Internationally Regulated Items.
  • Nudity and Mature Content.
  • Violent Items: Items that Promote, Support, or Glorify Violence.
  • Services, but there are exceptions.
  • IP (intellectual property) of other artists, businesses, creators, or companies.
  • NFTs (you can’t buy or sell NFTs on Etsy)

While you are selling digital products, if those products have the above implemented on them, the listing can be taken down if seen as inappropriate.

For example, selling a digital product like printable wall art featuring a Nazi symbol is not allowed to be sold on Etsy.

Intellectual Property

While you see a lot of artwork (in the form of digital products) that features Mickey Mouse, anime characters, or fonts that mimic Coca-Cola, etc., it’s all illegal as the products infringe the intellectual property of the mentioned companies and IPs.

However, there can be a case where these sellers have obtained permission from the IP owner to sell the products on Etsy, but that’s highly unlikely.

Etsy has set up a report form for these cases, but given the size of Etsy and the number of listings, it’s impossible to control everything that is published on their platforms.

Feature image credits.

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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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