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How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy? Ultimate Guide & Tips

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Content leader Updated: September 01, 2023


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If you have a passion for both digital creation and business, selling digital downloads on Etsy is a brilliant idea.

Etsy is a popular online buyer and seller community and allows you to sell downloaded items as digital files, such as stickers, prints, planners, or other printable documents. Furthermore, you will gain a lot of benefits when trading on this great platform.

You have your own digital product and are ready to join the buying and selling community. Let start to learn about how to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy successfully now.

Why should you sell digital products on Etsy?

If you create a product around your expertise, it will be awesome because you can become an authority figure. Besides, you absolutely can make money with products made by yourself. With this great business idea, there’s no limit to you. On the contrary, you can sell a product over and over again. Especially, you can even make money while you sleep, as downloads are usually sent immediately.

So, you really are interested in this. At this time, choose a suitable and ideal place to sell your digital products. Why Etsy?

Why should you sell digital products on Etsy?
Why should you sell digital products on Etsy?

Etsy is a place of many inspiring and successful stories. Also, Etsy offers digital sellers many advantages over other platforms. First of all, digital sellers are not promoted utilization of other platforms because they make money from every sale on Etsy. Therefore, they can focus entirely on sales and try their best instead of having to run through different platforms to increase sales. Secondly, the Etsy team is extremely enthusiastic and supportive as they allow you to join groups with other sellers. This helps you post on the discussion board and promote items. It is believed that Etsy’s sellers do not need to compete; instead, they are team players, helping each other, promoting each other’s products without an offer. More than anyone else, we all know how this drives sales.

How to sell digital downloads on Etsy?

Sell digital downloads on Etsy step-by-step

Etsy is a great platform for you to earn a good income with digital products. However, what you need to do is take a few steps to get ahead of your competition and increase sales. Here is a quick guide you can follow to do this.

Step 1: Do market research

Do market research
Do market research

Basically, you need to find out what’s going on in the market. Then get used to what’s there and how it moves. Answer some essential questions like: Are people looking for products like yours? What is the difference between your product and your competitors? How much are customers willing to pay for your product?

When you find answers to such questions, you have done an essential part of market research. This is a good and thorough preparation before you invest the resources and time to create the products.

People say: “To know oneself is true progress.” Therefore, take the time to review your competitors so you can learn from them and make a difference between you and them to impress your customers. Find out how much their listings cost? Do they have any customizations available? What is special about their product?

Besides, take the time to read reviews and search for clues about what buyers love. To do this, you can target your audience and talk to them to find out more. Or else, you can poll people through social networking groups like Facebook. The more you know about the audience, the more likely you are to sell.

Everyone loves attractive deals. Therefore, take advantage of the information you get to create amazing offers that no one can ignore.

Step 2: Create the digital product and Set pricing

To accurately price a digital download, you need to pay attention to some information about the creation process. It includes what you need to create a digital product, how long it took you to create it, and the size of the product.

One thing you need to remember is that the product you create needs to be profitable. Therefore, to price your product, don’t forget to include your time, documents, and fees you need to pay Etsy to list and sell. Also, a tip for pricing good products is to compare your prices with competitors. However, make sure your price is not too low. Highlight the special and different points in your product and charge what makes it truly valuable. In case you need a discount, look for ways to cut costs by changing suppliers or buying in bulk.

Step 3: Set up your Etsy shop

Set up your Etsy shop
Set up your Etsy shop

If you want to sell digital downloads on Etsy, of course, you need to create a store there. Go to How to Start an Etsy Shop That Actually Gains Profit in 2020 to follow the detailed steps with illustrations to easily set up a store on Etsy. Remember to complete your profile correctly and engaging. It would be great if you tell a little bit about your story in the About section. Customers love stories and maybe that’s what makes them remember you.

Step 4: Add your digital products

After the tutorial linked in the previous section, make sure you understand how to create an Etsy shop easily and successfully. Remember to take advantage of strong and detailed keywords to list items. Also, create interesting and compelling product descriptions that make people want to buy and answer some of their customers’ possible questions.

Don’t forget to use your imagination when creating your list and choose the image that best represents the product to make it stand out. You can only upload up to five digital files and the maximum size of each file is 20MB.

Step 5: Market your products

Market your products
Market your products

After listing your product list, you need to start marketing products. Don’t assume you simply post your product and people will find it and buy it. That very rarely happens. Therefore, make sure to tell people about your digital products.

In addition, you need to perform continuous work to market your item. One of the effective ways for you to spread the word to people is to create social accounts for your store. Be creative to introduce your product to your audience. Using images behind the scenes process is also a cool way. Or create a time-lapse video to show the process from start to finish. Also, telling interesting stories about you, about your products and brands will inspire people and interest them.

One important thing to remember is always focusing on building relationships. Be enthusiastic to answer customers’ questions and respond to comments. In particular, you should not spam your audience.

Step 6: Get reviews

As a smart shop owner, you certainly care about your customers and what they think about your products. In particular, good reviews can help you improve sales and build trust with customers. People indeed want to hear from other buyers’ feelings before deciding to buy the product for the first time. Therefore, reviews which are also called social proof will confirm that your product is awesome.

To receive reviews, it’s highly recommended that you should provide amazing customer support. Be sure to use polite and professional terms in your interactions and make the product fit your description. Especially, delivering products on time is also an important factor to get a good review.

Follow up with your clients and make sure everything is satisfactory by emailing them. Remember to ask for a review in your note. Or else, you can ask directly. Ask simple questions as they help you get more reviews.

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What to consider when selling digital products on Etsy?

1. Storage

You certainly will have lots of digital files to create products for sale. Therefore, you’d better buy a hard drive for your computer to avoid having those files slow down your computer and corrode its memory. Best Buy is a pretty good place to buy a hard drive for only $ 79 for 1 TB. Depending on your needs, you decide what type of hard drive to buy. Make sure its capacity matches your productivity and helps you feel more comfortable.

2. Dropbox


In addition to the hard drive for storage, you’ll need a storage service large enough to help you upload files that are too big on your Etsy store. Dropbox can be an ideal option for sharing your files with anyone on any device. With Dropbox, you get 2GB of free cloud storage, and you can subscribe monthly if you need more space. However, with only 2GB you have enough to get started.

3. What digital products to sell on Etsy?

You can sell many types of digital products on Etsy. Here are some popular items that you can refer to:

  • Editable Flyers

  • Birthday invitations

  • Clipart

  • Wedding invitation

  • Gift Tags

  • Coloring Pages

  • Photography

  • Printable Artwork

Printable Artwork
Printable Artwork
  • Party Decorations

  • Collage Sheets

  • Printable Wine Labels

  • Stationery Items

  • Printable Stickers

Printable Stickers
Printable Stickers
  • Scrapbooking Papers

  • Patterns

  • Boxes & Packaging

  • Printable Planners

4. Avoid infringement notification or get your store closed

There are many stores on Etsy that have been notified of violations or ordered to close because they are selling branded items without permission such as Disney items. They use the word Disney on the description, on the design, and even on the title. This is a taboo unless you have a license to use it. It will be very costly if you are found violating an intellectual property (IP). Even worse, you will have to close your Etsy store.

If you are wondering if you have inadvertently used certain phrases that infringe certain intellectual property or a trademark. Go to the uspto.gov/trademarks search system to make sure everything is legal.

5. Search Results

Usually the time it takes for a listing you publish to appear in search results can take just a few minutes. However, sometimes it takes 24 hours to get indexed into search results.

6. Display your design

An example of a mock-up
An example of a mock-up

To display your design, you will need to get a “mock-up”. The Creative Market is a great place for you to find several different mockups for your design. All sorts of different amazing mockups will be available for you to choose from to create artwork, wedding invitations, fonts, and more.

7. The type of file you can upload to Etsy

As mentioned above, you are allowed to upload up to five digital files to Etsy. The file types that Etsy currently supports for you to upload are:

  • Audio: .mp3, .mpeg

  • Photos: .png, .gif, .jpeg, .bmp, .tiff, .pdf

  • Text: .txt

8. Automatic message

Automatic message
Automatic message

Customers will feel your store is attentive if they receive a thank you message on your digital file section. This will build a good relationship between you and your customers. Besides, you can add some instructions on how to download digital files and ask for reviews.

To add auto messages, you can do the following: Go to Settings and tap on the Info & Appearance section. Then, click Message to buyers for digital downloads to set up the message.

Tips for success and other questions when selling digital products on Etsy

Customer service

One of the key tips to help you sell digital products successfully is customer service. Selling digital downloads saves you in terms of delivery and storage space, so you need to put more effort into customer service to be truly successful. Sarah - a pattern seller, has found that: “Sometimes customers need more step-by-step instruction, especially if they are new to sewing. So I might not spend much time with order management, but I spend a lot of time helping people remotely.” Therefore, Sarah spent time writing more detailed and in-depth blogs on how to do it. This is like providing more dedicated customer service and saving her time answering the same questions through Convo.

Or if you do not have enough time to write shared blogs, you just need to improve the time to respond to customer questions. For example, usually, the seller will take no more than 24 hours to respond, you can do it more quickly within 1 hour or several minutes. Surely this will make customers feel welcome and ready for the next purchase in your store.



As a sophisticated shop owner, you certainly understand the importance of photography in selling. Any listing on Etsy needs to be equipped with amazing photography to inspire customers. However, for digital goods, making sure that customers understand exactly what they buy has certain challenges. Sarah Norwood is a shop owner named Ohhh Lulu and Ohhh Lulu Sews that sells downloadable digital lingerie and hand-crafted lingerie. She is always trying to convey the aesthetics and let customers know what they can create through each picture in her list. Sarah says: “I always try to create a mood with my photos. So even if there’s just a picture of the pattern itself, I try to give it a romantic feeling or style it in so that people can really picture themselves using it. ”

To minimize the number of confused customers who thought they were buying the finished product and not a sample, Sarah added a stylized photo of the sample itself. This works quite well and the number of such clients is significantly reduced. Also, you can emphasize in your tags and titles that it’s a digital download.


The next tip is pricing everything accurately. The biggest mistake sellers often make is to underestimate their products and price it too low. Customers will probably feel that the service is not good enough and will find a higher-priced place that deserves better service.

So how to price digital products right? As an art seller, she started thinking about how much she had to pay to create a product including printing, packaging, and shipping it. She also considers the time she spends on each design and what she will consider to be a reasonable profit to reach $10.80 for the sets and $5.40 for single prints. Then, expenses such as the Etsy fee are also charged by her to settle on a final price. Jenny said: “I feel like my customers have been pleased with the price they quite paying. Many have come back and said it was so efficient and it cost them less than if they had purchased a print and had to wait for it to arrive in the mail.”

Maybe you’re the one who is selling two types of handmade and digital products at the same time on Etsy. Perhaps a major concern for you will be whether selling digital downloads will take away from selling other products on Etsy. However, Sarah - who is doing the same thing said that it was unwarranted. “I was nervous to start selling sewing patterns because I didn’t want to take away from my lingerie sales, but I found that there are two different markets,” Sarah says. “The people who want to make their lingerie are not the same people who are going to buy made-to-order lingerie.”


In a nutshell, this is Ultimate Guide & Tips about How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy. If you create a brainchild around your expertise, don’t hesitate to bring it up to Etsy to sell. It will help you earn a lasting income and spread your product more widely. I do hope what you have in this article will be used successfully.

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Mike is a content writer at Avada, with a love for video games, gadgets, and software. He has been writing about the industry now for over 7 years. He likes to keep up-to-date with the latest software releases. He's also an avid reader, and he enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. When he's not working, you can usually find him playing video games or exploring new outdoor activities.

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