Getting your small business off the ground can be challenging, especially if you’re new to entrepreneurship and business in general. One of the best places to start is Etsy, where you can launch and grow your small business while offering unique and quality products to consumers.
If you want to sell print on demand with Etsy, however, there are some important things you should know before diving in headfirst. This guide will walk you through everything, from choosing the right product category to establishing your credibility and engaging with customers who visit your shop. Let’s get started!
1. Etsy overview
In order to sell print on demand with Etsy, you first need a good grasp of what it is. If you’re new to the website, here’s a very quick primer:
Etsy was founded in 2005. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York and is privately owned. It had 39.4 million active buyers and 5.23 million active sellers as of Q2, 2021. It’s an online marketplace that allows independent artists and crafters from around the world to showcase their work and sell items directly to customers. The website allows its users to list their creations in two main categories, Handmade and Vintage.
These cater respectively to unique one-off or limited production items and antiques and collectibles. Items in these categories must meet a set of criteria set by Etsy before they can be listed for sale, such as being handmade by the seller or under a certain value.
2. Print on demand products to sell on Etsy
If you haven’t thought about what print on demand products you should sell on Etsy, here is some suggestions:
2.1 Phone cases
Phone cases are an ideal product if you’re new to selling on Etsy. These products come in a variety of prices, but you can usually find great deals on bulk orders. Plus, custom phone cases are fun and easy ways to put your brand’s design aesthetic front and center.
2.2 Tote bags
Tote bags are among one of the most popular items you can sell on Etsy, and for good reason. Not only are they easily customizable to accommodate various designs, but they’re also relatively inexpensive compared to other products.
New, unworn socks are one of those items that some people are always looking for – and some are always trying to get rid of. Offering more varieties is ideal. But remember, if there’s an odd size or style you’d be willing to trade or sell, others will probably be interested as well.
2.4 Face masks
Facemasks are all the rage lately. People like them because they’re easy and affordable. And, according to Instagram, you can charge $10-15 for a single mask – so they’re an ideal product if you want to start selling print on demand with Etsy and aren’t sure where to start.
2.5 Flip Flops
While it might seem like a funny idea, Flip Flops are often in high demand. Flip flops are a great summer option as they’re casual and comfortable. They come in multiple colors and can be worn casually at home or outdoors.
The ultimate clothing item for print on demand is a tee. It’s simple, ubiquitous, and easy to produce in a variety of styles and colors. Print on demand tees work great if you want an economical way to sell merchandise. You can even go from design concept through production in as little as two weeks.
2.7 Coffee mugs
Coffee mugs make great gifts because they’re practical and easy to package and ship. They also last a long time, so your customers can enjoy them well beyond Christmas or their birthday. Consider adding seasonal designs if you’re planning ahead, like Halloween mugs in October or Christmas mugs in November.
2.8 Water bottles
If you have a super clean design, water bottles can be a great item to sell on Etsy. There are tons of water bottle designs that will work perfectly for print on demand shops. Plus, people tend to buy them as gifts or stocking stuffers throughout the year – which makes water bottles all the more attractive!
3. Tips to sell print on demand with Etsy
Here is some valuable tips you can implement if you want to sell print on demand with Etsy.
3.1 Be creative with packaging
Packaging can be a great way to add a personal touch and attract your customers. Try making a unique design out of paper, or printing a picture or quote that fits in with your brand. You can even put your product in a homemade bag, wrapping it up so it looks extra special!
Packaging costs money, but remember – people are willing to pay more when they feel like they’re getting something special. In fact, Packaging Innovation Group Inc., found that 80% of consumers say they would pay more for attractive packaging. That’s probably because we’re all drawn to shiny things.
3.2 Leverage Etsy ads
Sellers on Etsy can now advertise their listings in search results, across all of Etsy. Ads will appear above organic results and include featured elements like title, price, thumbnail image and more. Advertisers will be charged per click (CPC) or impression (CPM), depending how they choose to run their ads.
Paid ads are what make selling print on demand with Etsy feasible because it doesn’t rely solely on organic traffic. You can target potential customers based on where they live or what other websites they like to visit. Basically, you’re trying to get in front of people who would be interested in your product regardless of how well it ranks organically.
3.3 Promote on social media
It’s easy to become trapped in your own world, so it’s important to branch out and promote your products on social media. Your customers are likely on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. How can you get them interested in what you have? Try boosting certain posts or creating ads that target people who will be interested in your product.
Social media is a great way to reach a wide audience, including potential customers who aren’t actively searching for your product. Make sure you’re representing yourself professionally and accurately on all your profiles. This will help boost your credibility and keep you from looking like a rookie.
3.4 Offer competitive shipping
There are some sellers that can afford high shipping costs because they’re offering products that people will pay a premium for. Don’t be one of those sellers, though! If you’re planning to sell print on demand with Etsy, keep your shipping costs as low as possible or you’ll lose out.
However, it is important that your customers feel like they are getting a good deal and having access to competitive shipping (not necessarily free). A bigger package, free upgraded shipping or getting orders out quickly can go a long way in making sure customers feel like they are getting more than just something printed off.
3.5 Use automation
Automation is a huge part of selling print on demand with Etsy. Shop owners can use tools that create product listings, send emails and monitor their orders. Automating a business is a great way to free up time so shop owners can focus on what’s most important — building meaningful relationships with customers. Automation also takes care of mundane tasks, giving an entrepreneur more time to do what they love.
3.6 Provide excellent customer service
Communication is key in any relationship. And when your potential customers are separated from you by an ocean (or at least a continent), it’s even more important. Keep in mind that communication is two-way. Not only do you need to communicate effectively, but also be sure that you’re listening carefully. If your customer has questions or concerns, listen to them carefully and address them quickly.
That said, remember that communication can take time depending on where they live, so try not to fret if it takes them longer than expected to get back to you! You can use an email autoresponder tool for communication management.
3.7 Don’t forget to optimize product listings
Search engine optimization or SEO is one of the best ways you can make sure your business thrives. SEO means getting more traffic to your page, which means more potential customers. For any online business, it’s important that you get search engines to send people directly when someone searches for keywords related to what you sell.
To do that, there are a few steps you can take to optimize your site in an organic manner. First, write good content and product descriptions! Make sure each post is accurate, well researched and has enough keywords so it helps people who may need information right away.
Also, don’t forget to include high-quality images. High-quality images of your products sell more items than low-quality ones. Be sure that each of your listings contains at least one image and that it provides a clear, professional view of what you’re selling.
3.8 Build your email list
If you’re selling print on demand with Etsy, it’s going to be tough going if you have a small customer base. It’s much easier to sell items when you have a group of loyal fans that are already following your social media accounts and shopping from your website.
Without a list, it will be tough to get people engaged in your business. Consider starting an email list or even adding an opt-in box (like MailChimp) on your site so that customers can sign up. You can also send them newsletters or other types of information about what’s going on in your world.
4. Best integrations for print on demand with Etsy
In order to assist you to sell print on demand with Etsy, we’ve compiled a list of the best integrations that you can use.
Podorder is the best integration for print on demand with Etsy. With just a few clicks you can set your listing up so that each product is printed when an order comes in. This means there is no more wasted inventory, since no products are produced until they have been purchased. Podorder connects businesses that produce screen printed products like posters, shirts and stickers directly to customers using Etsy.
We like Printful because they specialize in everything you need to sell your products, including printing and drop shipping. Not only can you use their system without needing to know anything about web design or programming, but they also provide tutorials that walk you through each step of setting up your business.
Printful has been around since early 2012, though it wasn’t until 2014 that it was brought over to North America. It’s now become one of the largest print on demand dropshipping companies in existence, shipping thousands of orders per day. They handle their own fulfillment and product printing, which means you don’t have to do any of that work yourself if you don’t want to.
This allows their sellers more time and energy to focus on other aspects of their business. They also allow automatic inventory management through their API (programming interface) so you can seamlessly integrate your Printful account into existing systems.
Printify is an affordable solution for print on demand with Etsy. It’s also fully integrated with Etsy, so you can list your digital designs in minutes. Once someone buys your product, Printify will handle all of the printing and shipping (via USPS or UPS). You don’t even have to worry about setting up a shipping cost – it’s built into their pricing model!
And while most services charge you by item, Printify charges based on quantity. So if you’re not making any money off of volume items like stickers or postcards – great news! You’ll pay less than what it would cost at places like VistaPrint.
Teelaunch was founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Steve Walker. Their goal was simple – create a print on demand solution that would be accessible, affordable and easy to use. The company’s first product focused solely on selling artwork. But over time they’ve evolved into an all-inclusive POD platform that serves multiple market segments.
They have a wide range of template options available, giving you more flexibility when making your listing. The templates are designed so they match any theme or branding guidelines set by Etsy’s policies. That way, not only will you have a good integration between Teelaunch and Etsy, but also between both platforms and other popular eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay as well!
Redbubble was founded in 2004 by Martin Hosking and Patricia Smith, both former Apple employees. It is one of our favorite websites for print on demand on Etsy because it’s easy to use and has such a large variety of designs.
The best thing about Redbubble is that you don’t have to create a new shop – you can simply integrate your new Redbubble account into your existing Etsy store. This makes it super easy if you already have an established online presence, since all of your branding will be consistent across both sites. This integration is even more valuable if you’re an artist or crafter who wants better control over your pricing and distribution options.
5. Wrapping Up
Print on demand has grown in popularity with consumers and business owners alike, but many people don’t know how to sell print on demand with Etsy – the most popular marketplace to do so. Hopefully, this guide has helped beginners sell print on demand with Etsy by walking you through the process of choosing items, picking the right integration company, etc. And, happy selling!
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