If you’ve heard about Etsy or are already a Seller on the e-commerce platform, then you have probably heard about print-on-demand and are now thinking of going into that business model.
But wait, which network should you use that integrates with Etsy for your printed goods? Lucky for you, you’ve landed in the right spot because Sale Samurai is going to tell you everything you need to know and why you should be:
Print-on-demand is a business process that allows a print provider network to automatically fulfill orders placed by your customers on your store without you having to hold inventory. Printify is one of the best print-on-demand integrations for Etsy shops.
Print-on-demand can be a game-changer for Etsy Sellers, especially if you are looking to save time, money, and grow your bottom line. Still, it can be difficult and oftentimes confusing to get started even on a platform as easy as Printify. Read below to find out more about print-on-demand, whether or not it’s the right decision for you, and why you should be using Printify with Etsy.
Before we get into what print provider network you should integrate with Etsy we have to first talk about why you should actually use a print provider to sell your products.
Keep in mind that you actually have to sell items that require printing on them for this article to make sense.
Ok, so the best way we can go about explaining why you should use a print provider is to give you a scenario:
Let’s say you sell mugs, t-shirts, or stickers on Etsy with customer graphics, designs, and slogans.
You could, potentially, contact a manufacturer that you then buy wholesale products from with your design, have it shipped to you, and then store it in your house or office until your customers start buying from you. At which point you would pack and ship your customers’ items.
Simple right? Well yeah but what if we could make it a thousand times easier?
Imagine scenario number two:
You create an amazing design, a motivational quote, or a funny slogan. You then upload your designs to a website that has hundreds of products and will connect you to print providers around your location. Then every time a customer makes an order, your wholesale providers will automatically complete the order and ship it directly to your customer!
Let’s break down why scenario two is so much better for small businesses and creatives on Etsy:
Let’s simplify this as much as possible. Here are the benefits of using a print provider vs. taking care of everything yourself:
|Print Provider||No Print Provider|
|Upfront Cost||No upfront cost to you; pay only when a sale has been made||Have to purchase products in advance often in large quantities|
|Inventory||Hold no inventory ever||You are responsible for getting and storing all of your own inventory|
|Product Variation||Hundreds of products to add your unique designs to||Limited to what you buy upfront|
|Fulfilling Orders||You never have to touch an order||Process and fulfill all orders or hire someone to do so|
|Shipping||Never deal with shipping again||It’s up to you or someone you hire to package all orders|
|Time||Save tons of time by avoiding unnecessary tasks||Spend most of your time taking care of inventory, order fulfillment, or employee management|
|Support||Most print provider networks (including Printify) offer 24/7 Merchant Support||Good luck getting an issue resolved with large wholesalers|
It’s clear to see that if you value your time, money, energy, and resources that going with a print provider is a much better way to do business on Etsy when you sell custom t-shirts, hoodies, and other products.
Printify is a print-on-demand network that helps Etsy Sellers save time and money by allowing you to upload custom designs on hundreds of products, connecting you with print providers in whatever location best suits you.
Printify integrates seamlessly with your Etsy shop and acts as a virtual “middle-man” by notifying print providers when your customers place a specific order. The providers will then process, fulfill, package, and ship your order directly to your customer.
You never have to touch a single piece of inventory or pay for it upfront ever again!
Here are a few of the benefits that Printify has:
If you’re going to go the Etsy print-on-demand route, then Printify is one of the best integrations you could use!
So you’ve made up your mind and now want to set up an account with Printify. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to integrate Etsy and Printify:
That’s all you have to do to connect Etsy with Printify. Now comes the fun part; designing and adding products.
It seems like a lot of steps but the truth is, Printify has an extremely easy-to-use interface and with our detailed guide you should have no trouble setting up your entire Etsy shop in a few hours.
You’ll notice that Printify will show you dozens of print providers that will print and ship your products for you but how do you know which one to chose?
The choice may seem daunting because of the many options but it really boils down to these three things:
1. Price and Location
Ultimately you are running a business so price and profit should be high on your list of considerations.
Compare the various price-points of print providers and choose one that works with your budget and margins. Consider also their location and the location of your current and future customers.
The farther the provider from your audience, the costlier the shipping will be and if you offer free shipping then you will end up covering those costs.
Some providers are much busier than others and often have poor communication so make sure to check their ranking on Printify as this will give a good indication of how available they are.
Shoppers on Etsy are often looking for high-quality goods so just because a provider has low printing costs doesn’t mean they are the best option for you.
Pro tip: Order your designs in advance from a number of providers and test out their quality yourself.
Printify is free to use when you start, and a free account will allow you to operate 5 stores with unlimited product designs!
So really all you need is an idea, a design or artwork, and an Etsy shop.
One of the things Etsy Sellers who use a print provider struggle with, especially when they are using the provider for the first time, is that they get overwhelmed by the sheer number of products.
Most Etsy Sellers will go in with an idea for say a t-shirt brand but once they see the hundreds of available products, Sellers tend to pivot and explore new products.
In our opinion, this is a big mistake.
Diversifying and offering a wide range of products is a great idea but only when you have a proven concept with recurring sales.
Start niche then expand into other areas because that’s what successful Etsy shops do!
So, if you sell anime phone cases then sell anime phone cases, not anime mugs also. Once you figure out your niche and audience then you can start building a digital infrastructure of other products on Etsy that your print provider can easily fulfill.
Here’s one thing to consider:
If you know who it is you want to sell to, it will give you a better understanding of what products to sell with your custom designs and artworks.
Think about it, if you are targeting a low-budget audience you probably don’t want to sell luxury duffel bags or expensive leggings.
This is just good general business advice. Know your audience well and sell accordingly.
Believe it or not, stickers are HUGE right now and Etsy shops selling stickers are doing quite well especially when they use print providers through networks like Printify.
Stickers do well for a number of reasons including the fact that they are affordable, easy to ship, and you are literally selling your art in a very social format!
People love handing stickers to one another and they usually get put on cars, laptops, or on lamp posts so you get a bunch of free marketing as long as you can brand yourself properly.
The best way to make money selling stickers on Etsy is to do something original!
Large, tiny, quirky, cute, funny, beautiful, artsy, and cool designs go a long way. Stand out from the crowd and with the right SEO, you could do extremely well, selling stickers on Etsy.
Pro tip: Sell packs vs. individual stickers so that it not only seems like a great deal but the price to shipping rate ratio seems right for customers.
There you have it! A detailed guide on using Printify and print providers to sell custom and personalized products on Etsy. By now you have probably figured out that the print-on-demand industry is on the rise and taking advantage of it on Etsy is a major win! While getting started is simple, growing and expanding a business can be complicated at times. Lucky for you we are here to help! Contact us today to find out how we can grow your business exponentially!