Business Idea: How to Start Selling on Etsy with No Money and No Physical Products to Sell

I have been the clueless kid on the block who had no idea how to start my first business with little or no capital. Everybody seems hustling on their work or their own business while I don’t. I felt so stuck with no progress at all especially during at this time of pandemic.

Does this image resonate well with you? You are not alone! Just like me ,a lot of people at this point in time actually do.If you’re a student, young ones on their 20’s or anyone who feels stuck just like me , this is actually something you can do too. If the story seems familiar, read on below.

To tell you more about my story, I have canceled a lot of plans including moving abroad. The work that was waiting for me in the city had been canceled. There wasn’t a remote arrangement in place.The work also requires me to maintain some equipment. When the lock down started, there was no way I can travel and report for work. It was first time in my life when the job choices are limited.

I had this idea of starting a business but it had never happened. My time and talents had been fully committed to working for other people. I had the misconception of starting an online business requires capital which I apparently had no access to.

Etsy is one of those eCommerce platform I always fancy. It popular and the first site people go to in order to look for some gift ideas. So what are the cost of selling on Etsy?

Here’s an excerpt from Etsy:

Joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free. There are three basic selling fees: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. There’s also an advertising fee for sales that come from Offsite Ads.It costs $0.20 USD to publish a listing to the marketplace. For more info regarding fees, you could read more here:

It seems low enough to actually sign up and start listing.But if you are from outside America and coming from developing countries, these small costs on the exchange rate could add up. I’m giving you a signup link using my code so you could setup your store absolutely free. You could listing up to 40 without paying the listing fee. On top of that, you are helping because I also get free 40 listing without a charge.

By using my link to sign up, you could setup your store absolutely free. You could create listing up to 40 for free avoiding 0.20$ charge.

On top of that, you are helping me too because I also list 40 of my products without the listing charge. You could even replicate this method to add more listings on your shop later on.

To signup, click any of this link: or this

Setting up a store in Etsy, I had different aspects to consider. Who will manufacture my products? How much would it cost to ship? How will the products get to the customer? How long will it take? And many more.

By selling instant downloadable digital products you don’t have to worry about these aspects and instead, you could focus on creating. These may be photos or digital copies of your artworks. People are looking for some designs and illustrations for their personal projects such as creating posters, mugs, shirts and more.But, I don’t know anything about graphic designs? There are many free tools you could use like Gimp, Canva, Inkscape and more. You could even sell a simple text from a famous quote for example.

In running this type business, your biggest investment would be your your time and effort.

As an example you could visit one of my stores on this link: DesignHustlerCo .

My Etsy storefront

I have recently made this to sell some of our photos that we took that I think would look great on posters. I have also listed made my digital illustrations that I took as a hobby. After purchasing them, you could just download and print them. Or send them to your local print shops. Just as easy! You can even use them for personal projects such as wall arts, shirts, posters etc.

Some of my favorite artworks
Fashion digital art

I had no prior experience in creating digital illustrations like these. I have only recently learned how to use Affinity Designer for half a year which I have used to make these.You could learn them too. These are some of my arts that are already listed on my Etsy Store

(If you could buy some of digital products, I would be really grateful.The fund that will be generated thru this store will be used to fund our small business and to maintain this website. More artworks will be coming soon!)

If you find this article helpful, please let me know by leaving a comment below! Follow me in my social media in the links located at the bottom of this page.

My Story

The story behind StateIt Tee on Redbubble, my Print-on-Demand business.

I don’t consider myself as an artist. Maybe not just yet… My story began when everything started crashing. Just before the pandemic, I traveled abroad for a change,took a course and lived as a freelancer.

So here it goes…

I was the typical IT guy for a couple of years for a startup company. It was a safe job, I found a lot of time in my hands and the pay was decent to pay the bills and then leave some money for leisure. The supervisor doesn’t need to tell us what to do, we could sit down, play or watch movies and work when a monitor alert us. After fixing a bug, we could just sit back again.

However I lost human touch. My working hours are irregular.We are working when everyone’s home, on weekends, holidays and wee hours. We are often left at work alone.

Marina Bay Laser and Light Show taken with my Nikon D3200 camera

Getting to Singapore, a new chapter.

I started getting calls for interviews.At one point, I booked a ticket and packed my stuff. For so long, I was wondering why I have remained in my comfort zone. I attended interviews here and there but I learned that there were foreign quota requirements which made it extremely hard for foreigners to get hired in city state country.

Afterward, I opted for a course that comes with paid internship. Along with the studies, I started freelancing and part-time jobs. That was how I got introduced to several freelancing gigs available out there. For someone who has been working full time for several years, this was something new.

After almost a year in Singapore, I decided to get home to be with my loved ones.I accepted the fact that Singapore wasn’t for me.Me and my partner have decided to be together in Finland.He needed to flew back ,then the lock down happened. Our travel plans got canceled and processing visa isn’t possible with the border shutting down everywhere.

Thru youtube, I discovered that you could actually sell artwork. I wasn’t good at drawing, not even a decent doodle. I didn’t have a background as a graphic designer. I worked as an IT but I know a lot about tools and software. I started teaching myself how to make art with the use of the software. Now I’m using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Affinity Designer. Art eventually became my outlet. 

My first very output using a design software

This was the first artwork I made published on this Redbubble shop. It doesn’t look like a creation from someone of adult age but it looks like childish scribbles after all. But hell yeah, I was proud of this. My first masterpiece!

My artwork has been slowly improving bit by bit. I had been continuously studying artworks posted in Behance and Pinterest. I didn’t know I had a hidden talent in art. ( wink*) I took Engineering in college, my art and drawing classes had failed miserably. I often got the lowest marks. Art creation can be learned after all. I’m still lacking in many ways, but eventually, it can be improved.

And the good news? Yes, I made my sale.

I created this blog to write articles regarding my ideas and thoughts on the Print-on-Demand business and stuff. Thank you for reading! I hoped you enjoyed my story. Please support my shop and check my artworks, click on the “Shop” button to check out my works.

Thank you for reading!