Etsy is a sales platform for many artists and creators that make their own products and want to share their skills with the world. But while products like homemade soaps and candles abound, many are actually turning to digital products to generate income as well. Things like printables, for example, are among some of the most popular digital products on Etsy.
But what about more modern digital products like NFTs? Can you sell NFTs on Etsy? Can you buy them? If you’re interested in these ever-popular digital collectibles, let’s dive deeper into what NFTs really are and whether or not there’s space for them on your Etsy page to increase your store’s reach or if you can buy them online should you be a customer that frequents Etsy for their favorite products often.
What is an NFT?
NFTs can be a confusing concept for new users, especially since they’re so heavily rooted in cryptocurrency technology. The term NFT stands for non-fungible token (fungible means that something can be replaced by an identical item), and it refers to modern digital items that exist on the blockchain (a public, decentralized ledger that tracks transactions and records them for all to see). Because this concept can be difficult to see without an example, let’s take a look at a classic NFT: CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties is a platform where you can buy, breed, and sell collectible kitties. All of these kitties are virtual and no two kitties are the same. This makes them non-fungible, and they’re hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. In contrast, a great example of a fungible token is Bitcoin. All Bitcoins are the same, and one can easily be replaced by another.
Put simply, an NFT is a digital collectible that is entirely unique and cannot be replaced by another item of its kind because they all have different inherent values. This is what makes them so valuable for those who are interested in cryptocurrency and the various collectibles currently on the market. But while we understand NFTs, we have to understand whether or not NFTs can be bought and sold on a platform like Etsy, where other digital products are also being bought and sold.
Can I Buy and Sell an NFT on Etsy?
The most important thing to understand about NFTs is that they’re often sold in specialized marketplaces. Let’s continue with the above example using CryptoKitties. While CryptoKitties can be bought and sold, they aren’t going to be bought and sold anywhere else. CryptoKitties are designed to be bought and sold specifically on that platform.
The problem with NFTs is that they are only going to be sold in specialized marketplaces. Unlike printables such as worksheets, you can’t just upload them anywhere for sale and engage in these transactions if the platform doesn’t support blockchain technology. As such, NFTs cannot be bought and sold on Etsy. In fact, either trying to sell NFTs directly on the platform (for which the transaction has to take place off the platform in order to be a viable sale) or NFTs that are alongside certain products (which still might violate the seller TOS if there are extra fees involved for the buyer) can be against the rules.
Put simply, if there’s any promise of buying an NFT as is or if there’s an NFT associated with a product listing that you have to receive via other platforms or avenues, it’s best to avoid these types of listings altogether or avoid trying to sell NFTs on Etsy.
What If I Buy a NFT From a Listing?
Things happen, and there are those who might not know enough about NFTs to make an educated purchase when they see NFTs listed on Etsy. But what happens if you buy an NFT from an online listing on Etsy? What do you do? Let’s walk through a couple of the main considerations you will need to make if you accidentally purchase an NFT through this platform.
- Reach out to the seller as soon as possible. If something has happened to your transaction and you have a seller who might not have known the TOS and tried to find a unique workaround, they might be willing to work with you to figure out a solution. That being said, it’s always best to report these listings when you see them so as to ensure that no others end up buying into products that they don’t fully understand or that they might be scammed by.
- Report the issue to Etsy and see what they might be able to do about the situation. The help that they offer might be limited, but it’s always a good idea to reach out to see what the next steps might be.
As it goes with any investment, including NFTs, be very cautious about what you decide to buy and do extensive research so that you’re not losing any money along the way.
What If I Have a Dispute or Want to Report My Order Regarding an NFT?
As we touched on earlier, you can’t purchase an NFT on Etsy. Unfortunately, this opens you up to severe problems. Transactions that take place away from the Etsy platform are out of Etsy’s reach. This means that if you respond to a listing and you go off-platform to buy an NFT from someone, Etsy can’t do anything to help you get your money back or rectify the situation. They may be able to remove the listing, but they can’t do anything beyond this.
NFTs can be an exciting concept. However, like most cryptocurrency assets, there are a lot of risks that come with these types of collectibles, especially when they’re so new and few may know enough about them to make a confident purchase. Whether you’re looking to purchase an NFT on Etsy, you’re looking to sell NFTs on your Etsy store page, or you’ve already purchased or tried to purchase an NFT from a seller on Etsy, use the guide above to learn more about NFTs and how they relate to Etsy.