Etsy is an amazing platform to sell both physical and digital products! If you are looking to sell physical products, definitely look into Etsy print on demand!
I started selling physical products on Etsy using print on demand shortly after opening my shop, and it has increased my sales dramatically!
No, you do not need to use fancy tools like Cricut to create physical products for your store. All you need is a computer and Internet, and you’re good to go!
In this guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know about Etsy print on demand. By the end, you will be able to get started, and even start making sales today!
If you would like, check out my Etsy shop, Blogging Gift Shop, to follow along as a model!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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What is Etsy Print on Demand?
Etsy print on demand basically means that you create the product’s design, and someone else (we’ll get to good fulfillment providers in a minute) prints and ships the product.
So, all you need to do is create the design (I recommend using Canva Pro), post the product on your Etsy shop, and wait for sales to roll in!
When an Etsy user purchases your product, you don’t need to do anything! Your print on demand service will then do all the heavy lifting- creating the product and shipping it to the buyer. All you have to do is… well, nothing!
Sound too good to be true? I thought so too at first. However, there truly is nothing to worry about- everything processes smoothly and I have yet to run into any issues!
How Does Payment Work with Etsy Print on Demand?
One thing to keep in mind when using print on demand services is that your profit will not come until later. This is because when an Etsy buyer makes a purchase, you technically pay for the print on demand product before you will get your actual profit from Etsy.
Let’s say an Etsy buyer purchases a t-shirt from your shop for $20. The notification will be sent to your print on demand provider, and they will begin creating the shirt shortly after. Let’s say your print on demand provider charges $10 as the base price for the shirt. This means the card attached to your file will get charged the $10 it costs to create the shirt.
So technically, you’re down $10 at this point. This is because sometimes Etsy’s payment to you is delayed (depending on your payment schedule). So when you eventually get paid your $20 earnings from Etsy, you will have made back your $10, plus an additional $10 profit.
So, make sure you have enough wiggle room in your bank balance to account for these charges! Yes, it is kind of annoying how the payment works, but you WILL make a profit- so definitely worth it in the end!
Additionally, make sure your products will give you a profit. More on this later!
Etsy Print on Demand Providers
I personally use two Etsy print on demand providers, though there are plenty more! The two I use are Printful and Printify. I find myself using Printful more often, though this is just a personal preference!
When you create an account with one of these providers (or a different one), there will be instructions that walk you through how to connect them to your Etsy shop. Etsy has already verified these partners, so connecting your shop is super easy!
Signing up is completely free, and you don’t get charged anything until someone makes a purchase (though you get this money back, plus some- read the above section about payment for more info!)
Other print on demand providers include: Redbubble, Society6, SunFrog, Zazzle, Printed Mint, etc. They should all have Etsy integration, but double-check before you get too crazy with designing!
What Products can I Create and Sell with Print on Demand?
With any Etsy print on demand provider, you can create and sell virtually anything you can imagine! Every print on demand website has different products, so you may wish to use multiple sites to get access to different types of products!
However, with the service I use the most (Printful), I am able to design and sell products like t-shirts, sweatshirts, backpacks, jewelry, face masks, posters, pillows, baby clothes, leggings, bathing suits, hats, beanies, tote bags, towels, stickers, blankets, coffee mugs, pet tags, bean bags, keychains, socks, iPhone cases, and more!
Different providers offer different products, including different prices. So, you may have to shop around to see which provider has the cheapest base price for the best quality/ratings!
Creating Print on Demand Products
Creating Etsy print on demand products is relatively simple, and the providers do a great job with walking you through how to do it. This example will be geared towards creating products on Printful, though the process is basically the same for other print on demand providers as well:
- Choose a product template. You might need to compare factors such as base price, sizes, color, and design. For this example, I am going to choose the first choice here because I want multiple t shirt colors.
2. Click on the product you want to design. You will see a LOT of design options here.
- Choose the colors you want to sell.
- Select “Choose File” to upload your design. I use Canva Pro to create my designs. Be sure to download image with a transparent background.
- You can find sizing requirements for each product by clicking “product info, pricing, & guidelines”
- Once you upload your file, you can play around with the sizing and location on the product. Printful will give you guidelines to show you the best spot to put it so it doesn’t get cut off during printing.
3. When you are satisfied with how your design looks, click continue. Here, you will be able to name your product template. This name is just for your use. Click save product template.
4. If you are ready to add the product to your Etsy shop, you can go ahead and click “add to store”. You will be notified if any colors or sizes are discontinued, and prompted to deselect the variations. Then select “proceed to mockups”
5. You will then have the option to select mockups for your product. That’s right- you don’t need to hire any models or a photographer! Print on demand services provide you with mockup images you can use in your store! Then select “proceed to details”.
6. Next, you will be able to enter your product title, description, tags, etc. MAKE SURE you follow these Etsy SEO guidelines which will help you get more sales! You will be able to edit these on your Etsy dashboard before the product is actually posted.
At the bottom, you will see an option for free shipping. 99% of the time, I offer my products with free shipping (and just add the cost of shipping into the overall product cost- more on this later). Buyers LOVE seeing “free shipping”, even if the product costs more because of it.
When you are ready, select “proceed to pricing”
Pricing your Etsy Print on Demand Products
The next step is to figure out your pricing for your print on demand products. This can be tricky, but once you figure out a system it gets easier. For example, I always price the same items the same- all t shirts (with the same base price) are priced the same.
If you are not providing free shipping, Printful will automatically calculate your profit. However, if you do provide free shipping, know that the shipping amount will be taken out of the profit amount.
To account of shipping, I always use the highest possible shipping amount (which can be found on the previous page we discussed in step 6). If you only account for the cheapest possible shipping price, you could end up owing money instead of making a profit.
This is where your math skills will need to shine. Play around with the numbers, and make sure that your profit includes enough to cover shipping, along with an actual profit that you will earn!
Additionally, make sure your products aren’t priced too high or no one will pay for them! I typically make about $5 profit per t-shirt, just as a rule of thumb.
Adding Print on Demand Products to Etsy Store
When you are happy with your pricing, you can select “submit to store”. Then, head over to your Etsy shop dashboard, and you will find the product in your drafts. It may take a few minutes for the product to show up.
You can go ahead and edit any details, then publish it when you are ready!
After that, all you need to do is wait for sales to roll in!
While you are waiting, you can always order samples of your products! With Printful, you get 3 samples per month. This means you get your product for just the base price of the product! You can use these samples to take pictures of for your shop, or just for your personal use!
Want more Etsy help?
I hope this Etsy print on demand guide has helped you! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
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