There are so many beautiful photos and prints out there just waiting to be displayed on your wall!
Ordering prints on Etsy.com has become incredibly popular for this purpose. Even more than that, customers have been getting printed business cards, greeting cards resumes, and much more!
Does Etsy print for you on-demand?
Etsy sellers and shop owners work with printing partners that have a good history with Etsy.com, such as Printify. While Etsy themselves doesn’t pay for printing – you do – there are sites out there who often work with Etsy sellers to make their prints.
There are many different printing manufacturers that you can partner with as an Etsy seller that Etsy will approve.
Let’s check them out!
Table of Contents
How to Use Etsy as a Print-On-Demand Store
Although Etsy, as a website, does not provide printing services, buyers are constantly using it for their print and photo needs!
Whether that is for T-shirts, mugs, planners, business cards or for hundreds of other print ideas, Etsy sellers have begun to take over the market for these amazing items and designs:
How to Get Your Items Printed:
If you are a customer and looking to get something printed on Etsy, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of stores to choose from!
The general process of getting something printed through the Etsy shop of your choice is to order a size (ex. 8×11, or 6×9) or material for printing (i.e., mugs, T-shirts, bookmarks, etc.) first.
Depending on each shop, their prices will vary.
Then, once you’ve done that, you can contact the seller and upload your photo, quote, or sometimes even personal information (in the case with Business cards) to be printed through their shop.
Once you’ve sent that information along, the shop will then order your desired prints from their manufacturer – a third party that is approved by Etsy.
Finally, either the seller or the third-party manufacturer will ship those items to you in the allotted amount of time you requested!
It’s that easy!
Printing is Not Done Through Etsy.com
Many people believe that Etsy shops print directly through Etsy.com.
This is not the case.
In fact, Sellers decide who they want to work with and then ask Etsy for approval of that manufacturer. Once they are given the “okay” from Etsy, those shops can start printing bigger and better items in bulk for their customers.
These are usually on-demand printing companies, which means that they print and ship items once an order is placed.
While this has the potential to delay an order, usually Etsy shops will let you know your estimated time of arrival (ETA) for your items.
1. Who Are the Most Popular Print-on-Demand Partners for Etsy?
As of January 2020, there are three specific sites that I found who often work with Etsy sellers:
This is not the end-all-be-all list of sites that you can work with, but they do advertise to Etsy sellers on all three of these sites (see references below).
These are incredibly popular manufacturers who print in each of the many areas you might be looking for as an Etsy seller!
Printful has a huge range of printing options for sellers who are looking to implement them as their third-party company for their Etsy shop.
On top of paper and photo prints, Printful will print on apparel for men, women, and children. They also work with accessories and home products such as hats, mugs, pillows, and tote bags.
Printful does not require a subscription package to use all their features and only require you pay either “on-demand” or “in bulk” for your items.
Furthermore, Printful’s “Mockup Generator” lets you try out and test how your product will look, which allows you to have references to post to your buyers in order to get an idea of what they will be paying for if they shop with you!
They also work with eCommerce platforms other than Etsy, such as Amazon, Shopify, and eBay.
This gives Etsy sellers plenty of options to offer to their customers and buyers.
Printify is one of the more popular sites that work with Etsy.com and other eCommerce sites like Shopify and eBay.
They offer a wide array of products from men, women, and children’s apparel to home goods such as mugs and pillows. They also offer accessories like tote bags, jewelry, and phone cases!
The standard version of printing subscriptions is totally free, and you are able to use a “Mockup Generator” like many other sites for free.
Printify also offers a “Printify Premium” package that will lower the costs of your orders if you buy them with a subscription to the site. The cost for Premium is $29.00 per month.
Like the other companies on our list, Gooten offers all apparel options, household items, and accessories for print-on-demand!
This site is really great at explaining pricing, sizes, and shipping to their customers to help you understand what exactly you are paying for.
However, Gooten does NOT offer a mockup generator to see what your product will look like before you order it.
They do offer a guide to using your own design software to use if you do end up ordering something, but you don’t get to try it out until you start an account.
2. What Types of Products Can you Sell as Print-on-Demand on Etsy?
Like we mentioned before, with the different companies, there are nearly hundreds of different options for selling Print-on-Demand products on Etsy.com!
Some of the more popular products include:
- Apparel – Men, women, and children apparel are always looking for cute quotes or cartoons to be printed on them.
- Accessories – This encompasses items like tote bags, hats, ties, scarves, laptop cases, phone cases, and more.
- Home Goods – This would be in regards to pillows, mugs, photos, prints on canvas, blankets, stickers, beach towels, bean bag chairs, and more.
This is only touching the surface of what you can print-on-demand through sites like Printful, Printify, and Gooten!
There are an endless number of products being sold on Etsy.com, so if you’re interested in figuring out where your shop fits in, do your research!
3. How Big is the Cut for the Print-on-Demand Partners?
A print on demand product can range through many different prices.
For example, we designed and checked pricing on customizable tote bags for each site. Then we tested the mockup generator to see how easy their interface was to use!
Check out our estimates for Printful, Printify, and Gooten:
Price per Tote Bag
When it came to pricing your item, there were a few differences that we noticed for a medium-sized tote bag:
|Site||Size Options||Prices (Starting at:)||Shipping Price (Starting at:)|
|Printful||15×15||$16.95||Requires Address to Calculate Shipping|
Of the three of these sites, the most useful one in determining a solid price was Gooten, who showed each size, price, and shipping information for all three options. Printful and Printify did not make it easy to generate the proper numbers.
When it comes to pricing itself, Printify seems the clear winner – however, their products were not as good-looking as the other two sites.
Mockup Generator Efficiency
When it comes to ranking the Mockup Generators, we have to remember that Gooten does NOT offer this software feature.
However, Printful and Printify do have similar mockup generator programs for you to use!
They are incredibly simple and easy to use, allowing you to preview your product before you buy it.
4. Can I Do it as a 100% White-Label?
A White-Label item is something mass-produced by one company and then re-marketed to many other businesses or corporations that turn them into their own brand for sale.
Each site allows you to choose from 100+ different blank or “white-label” items that you can repurpose for your shop.
While this doesn’t make them very “unique,” designs you create yourself or allow customers to create themselves will add that Pop! to your products.
This also means that you are able to use these products without fear of copyright. However, if the design you put on the product is not your own, you can be subject to copyright infringement and get banned from sites like Etsy.com.
There are plenty of ways to customize and make a lot of these items your own, so why not go for it!
If you have further legal questions, each site will have its own different rules and methods of going about business, so do your research first!
5. Does it Work Like Dropshipping?
All on-demand printing is like dropshipping in the way that you, the seller, do not have these products in bulk.
Rather, you get orders for each product with the customer’s vision in mind and then create that product on these sites. Finally, the company finishes the product and ships it directly to the customer.
This is a great method for Etsy sellers who cannot keep their products in bulk at their homes or in storage units as they usually work from home or rented office spaces.
6. Should I Print Myself or Use the Print-on-Demand Option?
In the end, it is up to you whether you would like to print yourself or use On-demand printing.
Printing yourself means that you will have a lot of experience with making and shipping products to your customers, usually working out of your own office space or at home. While this is a great way to learn the ins-and-outs of your business, it may be too time-consuming or take up too much space for one person.
However, if you print-on-demand, you are basically delegating that part of your business to a third-party. That leaves you free to create designs or market your business while someone else handles the making and shipping of your product.
Everything boils down to you, your business, and whether or not it is a full-time gig for you. If it is, try it!
If not, try using a print-on-demand service.