6 Trending Categories To Avoid Selling On Etsy in 2024

etsy for beginners etsy tips and tricks Feb 14, 2024
6 Trending Categories To Avoid Selling On Etsy in 2024

When selling on Etsy, there are many different niches that you can tap into, and though the revenue for some categories may be tempting, there are some important considerations to be made to ensure your shop or products do not get taken down. So here are 6 trending niches to avoid selling on Etsy!


Trend 1 - Taylor Swift Printables

Within this category, you might encounter various quotes or lyrics associated with Taylor Swift. This is nothing against Taylor herself, but rather a recognition that these items could be subject to copyright protection. Similar to many other artists, Taylor Swift may have established restrictions and guidelines regarding the incorporation of her copyrighted lyrics onto merchandise.

So, in order to utilize Taylor Swift's lyrics on products such as t-shirts, mugs, or posters, obtaining permission typically requires a licensing agreement or a specific copyright license. Using copyrighted lyrics on merchandise without permission will fall under the reproduction and distribution rights of the copyright holder, which could potentially get you into trouble.


Trend 2 - K-Pop Niche

Much like other forms of digital art, utilizing certain images without proper rights may go against Etsy's policies and infringe upon intellectual property (IP) rights. Unless you have personally taken the photos and obtained consent from both the company and the idols to utilize their intellectual property, known as licensing, you’ll be dancing in illegal territories.

There are plenty of ways to delve into the K-Pop niche without using any copyrighted images. For example:

  • Creating fan-made merchandise (posters, stickers, clothing accessories) that feature original artwork and designs.
  • Creating custom K-pop art through commissions such as digital or traditional illustrations, paintings, or sculptures.

💡 Remember to avoid including copyrighted keywords within the products, product titles and product descriptions.


Trend 3 - Barbie Related Products

The Barbie logo, specifically featuring the word "Barbie" in a distinctive font can also be trademarked, and items featuring Barbie may be subject to intellectual property rights and copyright protection.

If you want to sell products with a Barbie-like aesthetic without infringing on any branding or copyright laws, you can focus on the themes and styles that can have remnants of Barbie. For example:

  • Pink-themed fashion accessories such as clothing, jewelry, bags and accessories in a similar style that is often associated with Barbie.
  • Doll-themed decor such as pillows, wall art and bedding with a dollhouse or pink-themed design.
  • Girly stationary with pink and doll-like Barbie-inspired designs on products such as notebooks, pens and stickers.


Trend 4 - One Piece Anime Category

With the recent rise in its popularity due to the live-action show on Netflix, there has also been a rise in demand for the One Piece Anime category. However, similar to what we’ve already discussed, there are intellectual property rights and copyright protection laws that need to be considered.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend creating products for a specific show or anime, there is still a lot of demand for the anime category in general. Use keyword research tools such as EverBee and eRank to see what type of products people are creating that are anime-inspired rather than being for a specific show.


Trend 5 - Disney Related Products

The Disney logo is protected by copyright and trademark laws. The Disney Company, officially known as the Walt Disney Company holds the copyright and trademark rights with this distinctive logo which often features the word Disney in a unique and recognizable font.

To use the Disney logo or any Disney-owned intellectual property, it is essential to obtain proper authorizations and licensing from the Walt Disney Company. You can submit requests here and once it’s approved, you can list your products on Etsy without any concerns or takedowns.


Trend 6 - Smiley Face Designs

Though they may not be one of the most trending niches currently, it’s important to be aware that both smiley face designs and the word ‘Smiley’ are subject to copyright and trademark complications.

Franklin Len's trademark in 1972 marked the beginning of the Smiley Company, protecting both the term and associated designs. So, incorporating terms like "Smiley" or smiley face designs with a close resemblance to the one protected by Len's trademark may result in legal challenges, especially if it leads to confusion in the marketplace or if infringement is suspected.


Extra Tips

As a reminder, whilst these trending niches can seem profitable initially, they also come with considerations in safeguarding your Etsy shop from potential suspensions. Here are some essential tips to keep your shop safe:

  • Ensure your product keywords and elements are copyright-free, even after checking with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Understand copyright and the vital importance of respecting intellectual property rights.
  • Always seek proper authorization and licensing when dealing with copyrighted content.
  • Keep a record and regularly review your products to ensure ongoing compliance with copyright rules.
  • The safest approach is to create original content. This will guarantee avoidance of any copyright issues.


Learn More

There are a lot of different shops selling these kinds of products, and they may not be caught yet. But if someone reports them or if Etsy finds them, they will be immediately removed and their shops can be suspended too.

So it’s best to avoid these types of categories so you never have to worry about having your products or shop taken down. If you want some ideas of safe and profitable digital product niches you could tap into, check out my list here.

Or, if you’d like to watch my YouTube video on everything we’ve discussed above for more visual explanations, you can do so below.

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