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A Complete Guide to Selling Print-on-Demand Products on eBay with Printful [2023]

A Complete Guide to Selling Print-on-Demand Products on eBay with Printful [2023]
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

11 min read

Almost 30 years ago, the first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. 

Now, the platform has roughly 1.6B product listings featuring categories from electronics to jewelry.

Today we’ll review everything you need to know about selling print-on-demand products on eBay with Printful. 

After reading this blog, you’ll know:

  • If eBay’s the right fit for your business 

  • How to set up your eBay store and connect it to Printful

  • Best products to sell 

  • How to get sales

  • Answers to other essential questions like payments, fees, and taxes

Now, let’s dive into the eBay print-on-demand world.

Is eBay right for your print-on-demand business?

Choosing the right platform to build your business impacts your ability to make a profit. When deciding if eBay’s a good fit for your store, the key things to consider are: 

  • Is there a demand for your products?

  • What’s your competition?

  • What sets you apart from others?

Let’s look at eBay’s pros and cons to understand this marketplace better.

Pros

Let’s start with the positives.

Since its launch 28 years ago, eBay’s earned a reputation as a trusted and reliable marketplace. And by the end of last year, eBay had 138M active buyers worldwide. 

The platform’s established customer base is one of its biggest advantages.

Customers on eBay are protected against scams and bad service, and the people know that. eBay Money Back Guarantee covers most transactions. 

As a third-party mediator, eBay makes customers feel safe going out on a limb and buying from someone they don’t know.

The user-friendly platform is easy to navigate and set up, making it accessible to all sellers.

To increase visibility and drive more traffic to your listings, you can use upgrades that let you:

  • Use more than 12 photos

  • Tag a listing in more than one category

  • List on other international eBay sites

  • . . . and more

Note that these extras come at an additional fee. Also, you can check out eBay’s Promoted Listings page.

eBay protects you, its seller, by removing negative or neutral feedback when something out of your control happens (e.g., weather or carrier delays or when the item arrives late but tracking shows you shipped on time).

To learn more, read eBay’s seller protection guidelines

Cons

Now, let’s look at the negative aspects of eBay.

1. Fees 

The cost of selling with eBay will vary, depending on what categories your item is listed in and your product’s final price.

There are two base fees: a listing insertion fee ($0.35) and a final value fee (12.9% for most items, plus $0.3 per order). 

You get 250 free listings monthly, and you only need to pay the insertion fee of $0.35 if you exceed listing limits.

The final value fee is 12.9% of the sale price (for most items) plus $0.3 per order. It’s calculated based on the sale amount, including the item’s cost and shipping, sales tax, and other applicable fees.

Read this helpful article to navigate eBay’s fees better. 

Free shipping’s highly valued (sometimes even expected) by customers, and eBay sellers are encouraged to include the shipping costs in their product’s final price. 

Our Complete Guide to Shipping Pricing covers how to do that and offers three alternative strategies. 

While free shipping is an attractive benefit for your potential customer, you should avoid offering it for heavier items like our Denim Jacket or Embroidered Blanket.

You can only personalize your listings according to eBay templates, which some sellers find annoying.

If the pros outweigh the cons and you’ve decided eBay’s the place for you, let’s move on to setting up your store.  

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How to make an eBay store and connect it to Printful (step-by-step) 

As we said in the pros section, eBay is easy to use. Still, a step-by-step process can be helpful, so let’s go over everything you need to do to connect eBay and Printful. 

If your store’s already up and running, skip this section and go straight to our product recommendations.

Sign up to Printful using your Facebook or Gmail accounts, email address, or Apple ID. 

Printful sign up page

Source: Printful

When you sign up for eBay, select the Business account and fill out the details.

eBay's sign up page

Source: eBay

To set up your account, select your business type:

business type set up on ebay

Source: eBay

Then, fill out your Seller account information:

seller account information on ebay

Source: eBay

After that, fill out your bank account details:

bank account details on ebay

Source: eBay

Finally, review all information and confirm.

PayPal does not process payments on eBay anymore, so you can’t use a PayPal account to receive payments. Your payouts will be deposited in the account you provided when setting up your eBay account.

If you want the receive your payouts to a different account, go to Payments Payout settings Manage. A new window will open and you’ll be able to add other payment options.

Tax obligations might differ depending on where you live so we advise you to consult a tax specialist for your specific situation. 

To navigate taxes in the US and Europe, turn to eBay tax guide: it explains your obligations in great detail and has handy FAQ sections.

Log in to your Printful account. In the Dashboard, click Stores > Choose platform > find eBay and press Connect.

platforms and marketplaces on printful dashboard

Source: Printful

You’ll be taken to a page with a step-by-step guide and a video tutorial. Press Connect to eBay.
  step-by-step instruction to connect eBay store and Printful

Source: Printful

Next, sign in with your eBay account and click Agree. You’ll return to Printful’s connect page, where you’ll need to fill in the information on Step 2. 

We’ve filled in all the necessary settings, so you can skip steps 3 to 7 by clicking Continue. All done here—you’ve connected eBay to Printful! 

After you’ve dealt with the hardest part, the taxes, it’s time to design products. Yay!

Click Add products if you’re on the Dashboard:

screenshit of a window that let's you add products to store from Printful dashboard

Source: Printful

Or, if you’re browsing products through our catalog, press Add to store:

women's custom t-shirt on Printful catalog

Source: Printful

Then, choose the fulfillment technique, select the sizes you want to offer, and add your design. 

Make sure to follow our print file guidelines and embroidery file guidelines to get your product to turn out the way you imagined.

When you’re satisfied with your design, press Proceed to mockups and choose the image you want as your product photo.

Mockup Generator view with 9 mockups

Source: Printful

After you’ve chosen your mockup, press Proceed to details. The product title and description will be imported from our catalog automatically, and you can personalize them to your liking. Here you can also add or remove the size guide.

customizable product details for eBay listings

Source: Printful

 Shipping information on the bottom contains Printful’s default shipping costs (taken from our Shipping page).

shipping costs varying depending on the destination

Source: Printful

Next, press Proceed to pricing. You’ll see Printful’s price for the product and set your own by adding the profit you want to make. After you set your desired profit, the retail price will adjust automatically.

pricing view with Printful and retail price

Source: Printful

Note that eBay charges a final value fee (12.9% for most items), and you should set your price accordingly.

After you’ve set your price, press Edit quantities, and you’ll see the list of products you’re about to publish on your store:

preview of a window before products get pushed to the store

Source: Printful 

At last, click Submit to store to create the listings. 

Here’s what you’ll see after creating the listing:

preview of the window people see after publishing a listing

Source: Printful

Well done—your eBay print-on-demand store is set up and connected to Printful. Now, let’s move on to the best products to sell on eBay.

Due to eBay sometimes being unable to verify an account’s business or registration information, some users receive an account suspension after creating a new eBay account and pushing Printful products to the platform. 

 

There’s no reason to worry, though: it’s a rather common problem that’s not difficult to solve. If it happens to you, head to our Help Center and follow the steps described. In case you have additional questions, reach out to our support team.

Best print-on-demand products to sell on eBay

With Printful, you can customize 339 products and have them printed or embroidered. 

One of the main advantages of on-demand production is that you can experiment with products and designs without paying for them. By testing different products (and keeping your eBay shop fresh), you can find what your audience likes the most. Then, you can invest your time and money into products that actually work. 

Now, let’s look at the best custom products to sell on eBay and some examples to get you inspired. 

Tech accessories

Let’s start with some data: roughly 16B mobile phones and 310M PCs were shipped globally last year alone. 

Purchasing new devices is a costly (and rather rare) investment, but accessories give accustomed tech a new feel without breaking the bank. 

In our tech accessories category, you’ll find phone cases, laptop sleeves, mouse pads, and earphone cases. The market is massive—take advantage of it!

Hoodies and sweatshirts

In most people’s wardrobes, hoodies and sweatshirts are casual wear staples. With a wide range of designs, colors, and materials, you’re sure to find the perfect hoodie or sweatshirt to sell on eBay.

Wall art

With Printful, you can sell custom canvas prints, paper posters, and metal prints. The wall art comes in various sizes, and you can choose to frame the paper or canvas prints.

Learn more: Your Ultimate Guide to Canvas vs. Metal Prints

Before designing, check out the competition for each product because the difference is enormous:

  • 10K+ results for metal prints

  • 1.1M+ results for canvas prints

  • 1.6M+ results for paper posters

By choosing a product with lesser competition, you make it easier for yourself to stand out and build a solid customer base.

Depending on your niche, design decor with photos, artwork, movie quotes, or inspirational sayings. 

Embroidered apparel

Embroidered apparel’s a customer favorite, combining the practicality and premium feel of a durable design. 

From hats and shirts to jackets and tote bags, you can offer a wide range of products with custom embroidery. Make sure to add at least a few.

Eco-friendly products

Sustainability’s becoming increasingly important for consumers. And according to research, one-third of consumers are willing to spend more for a sustainable product.

With this in mind, our catalog has a dedicated eco-friendly section. From staples like t-shirts, jackets, and bags to aprons, scrunchies, and swimwear, this section has an offering that’ll appeal to your sustainably-minded customers.

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How to get sales on eBay

Now that you know the best products to customize, let’s break down how to rank and sell them. In other words, what are eBay listing best practices?

Key things you must do to craft a good title:

  • Use relevant keywords

  • Organize the keywords in an easy-to-read way  

  • Avoid using acronyms and writing in all caps

ebay title

An example of a good title. Source: eBay

We strongly recommend providing as many item specifics as possible (e.g., size, color, style). It makes your listings more searchable and increases your chances of making a sale. 

ebay product specifics

Source: eBay

All of the specifics you see on the left help customers filter out the products they want to see. With roughly 1.6B listing on eBay, having accurate and detailed item specifics is a must.  

According to eBay’s research, listings with better photo quality are up to 5% more likely to sell. And that makes sense: since a customer can’t touch products before making a purchase online, photos of the product are the next best thing.

You don’t need fancy equipment: generate true-to-life mockups of your products in our Design Maker

If you want to take photos yourself, check out these photo tips from eBay.  

A good description helps your listings appear higher in the eBay search (boosts your eBay SEO), provides important product details, and answers potential questions in advance. Ultimately, it helps buyers decide whether to buy your product and what to expect if they do. 

Some tips for writing descriptions to get your listing to rank:

  • Make the description easy to read (use bullet points, short sentences, and separate sections with headings)

  • Use all the keywords you want to rank for at least once (to find your keywords, use tools like Keyword generator, Keyword tool dominator, or Keyword Tool)

  • Keep it short and to the point

Setting the right price determines the likelihood of a casual browser becoming a paying customer. The price you set shows your customer the value you place on your product.

Striking the balance between what you want to make and what your customers are willing to pay is the key. 

Don’t play any guessing games, here’s what we recommend:

  • Use the eBay research tool to see the price of similar items sold in the past 90 days

  • Include shipping in your price

  • Account for all of your costs (subscriptions, fees, etc.)


Learn more: How to Price Your Print-On-Demand Products

For an additional fee, eBay allows you to enhance your listing by adding a subtitle, bolding your text, and more.

Listing boosters enhance your listings (make them more eye-catching), increase your visibility (put your listings in front of more people), and can help you sell faster. 

Check out this guide to promoted listings, to decide if it’s the right tactic. You’ll find detailed descriptions of promoted listings offering, their pros and cons, and how to set them up.

Over to you

The hardest part is starting, so find an actionable step you can take today and go from there—you’ve got this!  

Experiment with different products, invest time in your listings, and find what works best for you. Remember, success on eBay requires patience, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt. 

We wish you the best of luck on your eBay print-on-demand store and are here to support you. 

Also, we’d love to hear from you: if you have any questions or feedback, leave a comment down below. 

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By Karlina Rozkalne on Feb 16, 2023

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.