The One Thing You Should Never Do When Selling on Etsy

(Last Updated On: May 1, 2023)

Etsy is a great platform that enables creative people to showcase their unique talents to potential customers.

Whether you’re a jewelry designer, a painter, or a crafter, Etsy is the ideal platform to reach a broader audience.

However, with millions of sellers competing for buyers’ attention, there are certain things you should never do on Etsy.

In this article, I’ll be exploring the biggest no-no on Etsy: stealing other people’s designs.

Why Are Some People Stealing Designs on Etsy?

Stealing Someone Else's Designs on Etsy

There’s no denying that Etsy is a bustling marketplace, with over 4 million active sellers and 80 million active buyers.

In fact, Etsy is the largest marketplace for handmade products online.

With so many people competing for attention, you need an extra effort to stand out from the crowd.

This way, you can create a successful store.

Just imagine: you hit the jackpot and your listings get attention, generating tons of sales. But what happens next is not fantasy, but a harsh reality: many sellers will start copying you and your designs.

And sometimes, people will resort even to stealing your designs to get ahead of you.

To start off, it’s essential to understand that stealing someone’s intellectual property on Etsy is not just wrong, but it’s also taking their livelihood away. Etsy sellers rely on their designs and creative work to make a living and any form of theft has serious financial implications for them.

It is also important to note that stealing someone’s design isn’t just morally wrong; it’s also illegal.

Intellectual property laws exist to protect the rights of creative people, and if you’re caught stealing someone’s design, you could face legal action. Not only will you be forced to take down your listing, but you could also be fined or sued for damages.

However, legal consequences are not the only issue; ethical ones must also be considered.

By stealing the design of any Etsy seller, you are telling them that their hard work and creativity are not worth anything. You’re telling them that their time, effort, and talent were wasted and that you can do a better job with their ideas than they can.

This kind of behavior is disrespectful. It’s important to remember that when you steal their design, you’re not just taking their work, you’re also taking a piece of their identity.

How to Avoid Stealing Someone Else’s Designs on Etsy

Firstly, do your research. Before you start to design something new, take a look at Etsy and see if anyone else is selling a similar product.

If you find something similar, don’t copy it – use it as an inspiration and be creative enough to come up with your own unique spin on the design that reflects your style.

It’s also important, to be honest with yourself about your abilities. As a creative person, I know how hard it can be to find inspiration. That is why I take a look at platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, or Etsy to find something interesting to me.

This is OK because there is no shape in seeking inspiration from others, as long as you are not stealing their work.

Another way to avoid stealing someone’s design is to collaborate with other artists. By working together, you can combine your unique talents and create something truly special. Plus, collaborating with others can help you expand your network and build relationships with other creative people.


Stealing someone’s design is a major no-no on Etsy; not only is it illegal, but it’s also unethical and disrespectful. I understand that many people are disregarding the rules and ethical principles seem to mean nothing to them.

In my opinion, when you sell on Etsy, you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling a piece of yourself, your creativity, your time, and your effort.

By stealing a design, you’re robbing others of their identity, creativity, and income.

So, let’s all do our part to create a positive and respectful community on Etsy by celebrating each other’s unique talents and creating our own original designs.

BONUS FOR YOU: Unleash your potential as a print-on-demand entrepreneur with this free guide – download now!

Recommended Tools for Etsy

Alura – The all-in-one platform for selling on Etsy. Start with a free account and explore all the features you need to start, run, and grow your Etsy shop. Try the free plan.

Kittl – A fantastic place with highly professional templates, that can be edited and used for print-on-demand. In my opinion, it is a go-to place for any person, who wants to make money with print-on-demand on Etsy. Try Kittl for free.

Another of my favorites is Creative Fabrica. They have millions of cheap graphics that can elevate your t-shirt design.

If you are serious about selling your designs on t-shirts, mugs, and other products, you must list them on the biggest marketplaces, such as Etsy. To do so, you must connect your store with a fulfillment company, two of the best being Printful and Printify.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, NechEmpire may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

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