Etsy hasnt always allowed people to sell print-on-demand products on their marketplace, but now they do, it is worth learning how to sell print on demand on Etsy so you can get a piece of the action.
Summary of Etsy Benefits
Print on demand sellers fall into two categories when it comes to Etsy. They either love it or hate it.
I’ve sold on Etsy for years. Here is a summary of the benefits of the platform.
- Etsy is an online global marketplace with millions of active buyers.
- Buyers trust the brand and that helps your store be seen as trustworthy
- Opening a store is free
- Fees are low (check out this article to understand what it actually costs to sell on Etsy)
- They advertise on your behalf
- Etsy takes the hassle out of selling as they handle the payment processing and sales tax submissions on your behalf.
This blog post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link on our site, we may receive a commission. The affiliate commission does not affect the price you pay and does not affect your purchase.
What Is Print on Demand?
Print on demand is a technology that allows eCommerce shops to print and ship products only when an order is placed, rather than printing products in bulk and keeping inventory on hand.
This eliminates the need for large minimum order quantities, making it possible for businesses to print customized products or small runs of products.
Etsy Print On Demand – Steps by Step Guide
Before You Start
Before you open your store there are a few things you will need so it’s worth having them ready.
You will need to give your store a name. Whilst it is simple to change your store name, ideally, you shouldn’t need to if you have given it some thought before you open your store.
I recommend a non-niche-specific name unless you are certain that there is demand and that you have designs that will sell in your chosen niche.
Top Tip: You should sell products that people want to buy not products you want to sell. They may not be the same thing.
Your First Product
To open a shop, Etsy requires you to list a product. Whilst the product can be deleted at a later date, there is no point wasting a listing so I recommend having one ready.
You will need some images (at least one) and some basic product details to hand so you can complete the store opening process.
Top Tip: I found that a simple product like a mug (that has no variations of size or color) is the simplest and quickest type of product to add whilst going through the store creation process. If you chose t-shirts for example you will have to manually add variations and colors.
Warning: Do not try and shortcut the first product details by using an image from google as a placeholder just to complete the process. I have seen shops permanently suspended and the store owner banned from Etsy for doing this.
Create An Etsy Account
Before you can open an Etsy store you need an Etsy account. If you have previously purchased an item from Etsy you may already have an account.
If so, you can skip the following steps and jump straight to Create An Esty Store
Go to Etsy.com and click Sign In
On the window that pops up, click Register and follow the instructions.
You’ll be asked to create an account and populate your profile with your personal details.
You will have the option to upload a profile picture and add some text ‘about me’.
How To Sell Print On Demand On Etsy: Step by Step Guide
Now you have created an account and given some thought to your store name. Let’s get started on opening your Etsy business.
Create An Etsy Store
Click this link to open your shop and get 40 Free Listings
Click Open a Shop Today and follow the simple instructions
Enter your Store Name
Stock Your Shop with your first item. Add product images and then populate the Listing Details.
You will need to add variants (sizes and colors) pricing and shipping information.
All of this can be updated later or deleted if required.
You can preview the product or click Save and Continue to move to the next stage.
To set up how you will get paid, follow the simple instructions to enter your banking information so that Etsy can pay you when you make a sale.
Once you have completed these steps, you’re ready to optimize your POD Etsy store.
To ensure your Etsy Shop looks trustworthy it is important to have a shop icon ( logo image) and a banner.
Whilst the banner isn’t mandatory it does help with the overall look and feel of your shop.
When in your shop dashboard, in the bottom left of the screen you will see your shop name with a pencil icon next to it.
Click it and you will be taken to your shop. On this page click Edit Shop and will be able to upload your shop icon and shop banner.
The required dimensions are shown below. You can easily create these images in apps like Canva which is a great tool and comes in really handy in any print on demand business.
Shop icon needs to be 500 x 500px in size and can be PNG or JPG format.
Shop Banner: There are two sizes of shop banner to choose from
- Mini 1600 x 213px
- Big 1600px x 400px
Etsy Store Settings
To ensure that you are seen as a trustworthy business owner it is important to complete a number a few more steps.
In your shop Dashboard, click on Settings on the left-hand menu and complete the following sections:
- Info & Appearance
- About Your Shop – add a profile for any people (including yourself) that work in your store AND populate the Shop Story giving some friendly information about your shop
Rearrange your shop – Set this to enabled. This means you can rearrange your shop so that the products show in an order you determine and Etsy doesn’t list your most recent items first.
Custom Order Requests – I set this to On as I am happy to have customers approach me with custom order requests. You can always say no if the request is too complicated to fulfill.
Offer Gift Wrapping & Offer Gift Message – As you are planning on selling using print on demand products I recommend turning these settings off as it is not possible to offer these through POD partner.
Sold Listings – Turn this setting off. Having this on lets anyone see the items that you have sold. You don’t want your competition copying your best sellers so it’s good to have this off.
Etsy places great importance on shops having their policies set up so that Etsy customers can purchase from the Etsy Shop knowing its policies like whether returns or exchanges are offered.
How you set your policies is up to you. I offer refunds (I have to by law) and exchanges and I also offer cancellations if I am notified within 12 hours of the order being placed.
As you will be using a POD partner to fulfill your orders you need to add your chosen partner/s as a Production Partner to your store.
Clicking Settings and Production Partners brings up a page where you can add the company, where they are located along with some information on why you use them.
Top Tip: Turn off the setting Show This Production Partners Name To Buyers, as this hides it from your competition.
Choose & Integrate a Print On Demand Partner
Using a print on demand partner that integrates with Etsy means that order automatically flow from your shop to the print on demand partner and fulfillment notifications and tracking information is passed the other way. This removes so much manual work for you.
Now your shop is ready you need to choose a print on demand partner. This is an important step.
You can use more than one print partner in your store, but moving designs from one supplier to another is a very manual process.
There are many POD suppliers that integrate with Etsy, so many in fact we wrote an article about the best ones to choose. THE BEST ETSY PRINT ON DEMAND COMPANIES
Once you have chosen your print partner, sign up on their website and follow their instructions to integrate with your newly created shop.
Create & Design Your Etsy Listing
You create the product on the POD partner’s site and then publish it to your store. To do that you need designs.
Keep reading for ideas on how to create and how to find inspiration. You don’t need to be a graphic designer but you do need to create unique designs.
Etsy – If you’re looking for design inspiration, Etsy is a great place to start. With millions of products available, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. Plus, you can browse by category to find exactly what you’re looking for. From there, you can contact the seller to get more information about the product or ask for customizations.
Amazon – Like Etsy, Amazon is a marketplace full of creative people selling unique products. But Amazon isn’t just limited to physical products—you can also find digital products like e-books and graphic design assets. And if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can get free two-day shipping on eligible items!
Fashion Stores – One of the best ways to find inspiration for your next project is to take a walk through your local fashion shops. Not only will you get ideas for colors and patterns, but you’ll also see how different designers put their own spin on current trends. Plus, it’s always fun to window shop!
Google Images – When you need ideas in a pinch, Google Images is always there for you. Just enter a keyword or phrase into the search bar and you’ll get millions of results in seconds. You can even filter your results by usage rights so that you only see images that are available for commercial use.
Pinterest – If visual inspiration is what you’re after, look no further than Pinterest. This site is full of creative people sharing their work with the world. And since it’s organized by topic, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re working on a floral design, just search for “flower arrangements” and you’ll get tons of beautiful results.
I use two key tools for creating designs Canva and Creative Market. Canva makes it really easy to create designs and I think their Canva Pro subscription is worth it. You get access to millions of design elements and fonts to use to create the designs for your custom products.
Creative Fabrica doesn’t provide the application to create the designs as Canva does but it provides hundreds of thousands of fonts and design elements that you can use to create designs for your print on demand business on etsy. Check out our Creative Fabrica review to understand more.
Top Tip: Do not use ready-made designs from places like Creative Fabrica as it is against Etsy Policies. You must have created the design yourself.
Top Tips For A Successful Etsy Shop
Here are a few tips to increase your chances of being successful on Etsy.
Learn Etsy SEO
As Etsy has millions of customers who visit the marketplace. To make the most of the platform, you need to learn Etsy search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps your products be found by more customers and therefore it’s key to the success of your print on demand Etsy store.
Stick To The Marketplace Rules & Read Etsy Seller Handbook
When you sell on a marketplace you have to stick to the rules and policies of the marketplace otherwise you can have your store shut down. I recommend getting familiar with the Etsy Seller Handbook as it explains the do’s and don’ts and has lots of useful information about Etsy.
Do Not Copy Designs or Infringe Copyright
Looking around Etsy you will see many top-selling designs and it is very tempting to copy them to get in on the action. Doing this is illegal and can get your store shut down for good.
Whenever you are creating designs that use quotes, saying or it’s important to check that you aren’t accidentally infringing copyright. It’s useful to check using sites like TMHunt where you can check if a phrase has been trademarked.
When you publish a product from a POD supplier’s site, they publish mockups to your Etsy product.
Most POD supplier-provided apparel mockups are plain and whilst they show the product and design, they do not help you stand out or make a connection with your customers.
I recommend either buying some mockups from Etsy or using a service like Placeit. This will enable you to stand out from the competition and show what your product looks like on a person, in a setting that matches the niche.
Whether you’re new or experienced in eCommerce print on demand is a great business model for getting started online.
Etsy is a marketplace with millions of customers looking to buy unique items for themselves or gifts for others. This makes it a great place to start your online business and sell quality products.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping involves selling products without carrying any inventory. Dropshippers partner with suppliers who ship products directly to customers on behalf of the online store. This approach has several advantages.
First, it’s relatively easy to start since there’s no need to invest in inventory.
Second, it’s a flexible model that can be adapted as your business grows.
And third, it allows you to focus on marketing and customer service since you don’t have to worry about fulfilling orders. For these reasons, dropshipping is a great option for anyone interested in starting an eCommerce business.
What Print-On-Demand products can I sell?
Is Etsy Print-On-Demand Easy?
Whilst Etsy provides a platform that makes it easier to set up a shop than building your own website would be, making sales on Etsy can take time.
Competition is increasing day by day and it can take time to learn how best to optimize your products and use the right SEO to ensure your products are found.
Can you make money selling prints on Etsy?
Yes you can. I have made thousands of dollars of profit selling POD products on Etsy. It isn’t as easy as YouTube fake gurus will have you believe. But there is money to be made with very little upfront investment.
Why I Sell Print On Demand in my Etsy shop
I sell print on demand on Etsy because it is a great way to make money from home.
I don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping, and I can use print on demand suppliers like Printful or Printify to fulfill and ship orders. Plus,