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selling printul on etsy
Ecommerce platform guide

How to Sell Printful Products on Etsy

By Reading Time: 6 minutes

Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. This application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.

Welcome to the crafter’s paradise, we’ve just launched our direct integration with Etsy!

Etsy opens doors for existing stores who want to reach a new audience, and it’s also great for all you ecommerce newbies who want to open shop in an established marketplace full of potential buyers. Or maybe you already have an Etsy shop and want to expand your offering with print products. Whatever the reason, it’s possible to make it happen with Printful.

This blog post covers the basics of how to integrate Etsy and Printful. We’ll give you some ideas to figure out whether Etsy is the right platform for you, and go over some tips on how to make sales and get your products into the hands of Etsy shoppers.

An Introduction to Etsy

Etsy connects artists with customers around the world. The focus of this platform is selling handmade goods, vintage stuff, and craft supplies. So it’s a great place for consumers looking for unique products that aren’t available in big-name retail stores.

Etsy has grown astronomically since it was founded in 2005. Statista reports that more than 1.75 million sellers sold goods through Etsy last year, and 28.6 million buyers had bought something.

Besides, with famous German marketplace DaWanda closing, and Etsy welcoming its sellers to the platform, these numbers are likely to get even higher. Etsy can also expect an increase in registered users as it’s the closest alternative to DaWanda.

In 2013, Etsy expanded its definition of “handmade” and started allowing sellers to offer products made by outside manufacturers, but there are a couple of caveats:

  • The outside manufacturer must meet Etsy’s standards
  • Sellers must create the designs for their products
  • Sellers need to prove their involvement in the creative process
  • Sellers must be transparent about their products and how they’re made

So, products that are printed by Printful can be sold on Etsy as handmade items.

Is Etsy right for you?

Selling on Etsy gives you access to a new audience of people looking for unique, custom products. However, you need to consider whether the extra effort and fees are worth your time.

Your products and price

Would your products stand out on Etsy? Competition is stiff – there are a ton of other sellers that could be offering similar items as you. If your designs stand out and are unique from what’s already there, then great. If not, what makes you different? What’s your value proposition and why should customers choose you over the competition?

Also take a look at the average price of products that are similar to yours. What are they selling at? Can your prices compete? This is Etsy’s guide to pricing strategy, which goes over their recommendations.

Tip: You can sometimes get away with selling at a higher price point on Etsy, as customers can reasonably expect to pay more for a handmade item.

Your audience

Who are your customers? Is your target audience likely to shop on Etsy? Identify your niche and who you sell to, and figure out if Etsy is a good place to reach them.

Etsy fees

Setting up your store on Etsy is free and there are no monthly or membership costs, but there are still some fees to running the store. Sellers need to pay fees for creating and updating their listings, for checkout, etc. Take a look here for Etsy’s pricing structure.

Note: As of July 16th, Etsy’s transaction fee increased from 3.5% to 5%. This change also applies to the cost of shipping. All other fees, including listing fees, remain the same.

Setting Up Your Etsy Shop

The first thing you need to do is register an Etsy account, which is free. Once your account is set up, you can click Sell on Etsy to open your shop. Etsy walks you through the process here. The steps are as follows:

  1. Set up the preferences of your Etsy store – language, country, currency.
  2. Name your store – it’s possible to change this later.
  3. Connect to Printful – check out instructions here.
  4. Add and sync products – our product generator automatically creates products and their mockups when you upload your design. Choose your prices, edit the description texts, and publish your products.
  5. Set up billing, shipping, and taxes – enter your credit card information and billing address, create shipping prices and apply tax for your orders.
  6. That’s it! You are now an Etsy store owner. Congrats!

How to get sales on Etsy

If you do go the Etsy route and open your shop, you’ll have to work hard to get sales going and build a brand on this platform. These are some tips to help you get started.

Product photos and descriptions

We’ve written about this before. Regardless of your platform, you need professional photos that clearly show your products and descriptions that creatively and accurately describe what your customers need to know.

When people search for products on Etsy, the product photos are what they notice first. So it’s key to use photos that stand out. Use a photo that’s visually striking, with your product and design at the focus.

Etsy product listing

Write product descriptions with keywords in mind. Think of which words your customers are most likely going to use when searching for products like yours. And come up with a list of keywords you want to be associated with.

Make your products searchable

Make your products easily found on Etsy. As mentioned above, using keywords in your description is a good place to start, but there’s more you can do to get your products in front of potential buyers.

1. Tags

Tags help people discover your products in search. You have 13 tags to use per product, so think carefully. What are the main aspects of your products that customers should know about, and what are they most likely going to use to search for you? You also have 13 tags to use for the material of your products, so it’s another chance for buyers to find you.

Etsy tags

2. Product titles

Add keywords in your product titles as well as the descriptions – this helps customers see specifically what you have to offer. Keep the more important words near the beginning of your title, as longer titles get cut off.

3. Product categories

Choosing your product categories helps your products pop up on broader searches, so narrow down all applicable categories.

Etsy categories

The bottom line is to always keep your customers in mind. Which keywords would they most likely use? What information is most helpful for them? And be creative – use different keywords for different products. This both attracts people in different audiences, and it helps you identify what works and what doesn’t.

Monitor your Etsy stats

The Etsy Stats Tool is an excellent resource to see where your traffic is coming from and the top keywords you’re being searched for across different platforms. Use this information to better understand what’s working, where you need to improve, and how to do it.

Interact with your fans and customers

The great thing about Etsy is the opportunity to connect and interact with your customers. Be personal, reply to messages, and show your personality. When possible, ask for your fans to leave reviews of your store. This goes a long way to build your store’s credibility and show other potential customers that you already have fans that like what you do.

Sell the right amount of products

Not only does it make your store look more thorough and professional, but having a lot of products also helps your store in terms of search. The more products (with keywords and categories) you have listed, the more likely you are to be found.

Plus, the more products a potential customer has to browse, the more likely they are to find something they love and want to buy.

There isn’t a specific number to aim for. It depends on how many products you have and want to sell. And you don’t have to add your products all at once. Start with what you have, and build your selections as you go.

The Etsy Verdict

Selling your products on Etsy can be a profitable way to get your products to more people who are looking to buy unique items. You just have to consider the extra time and expenses it takes to open an Etsy shop.

And remember to keep experimenting with keywords and marketing tactics. Don’t be discouraged if your sales start out low, it could just be that you haven’t found the ideal sales strategy.

Have you opened a shop on Etsy? Share your experiences in the comments!

Nora covers all things ecommerce for the Printful blog. She appreciates good dad jokes, new books, freshly baked cookies, and evening jogs.

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  1. AhmedBoual

    Hello, Please I want to know that can i sell my digital art on Etsy platform like business card, logo , with PSD,VECTOR and PNG file without shipping them to the buyer .
    Thanks in advance

  2. Pablo

    I just open Etsy account but cant get it to connect with printful, it always say Im trying to connect with other account (You are signed in as ibxed3ky.) that not my printful account. any help

    Thanks.

  3. Faraz

    Do we need any approval from etsy for selling printful products on etsy using new integration ? I would love to try some physical goods on my digital store.

      1. lakond

        Thanks so much for sharing this information! I have one question, can anyone around the world outside the US can use the integration and selling printful product on etsy? I little bit scared cuz I have a vintage shop on etsy and I don’t wan’t any issue that can be banned from Etsy. Thanks.

        1. Nora Inveiss Post author

          Yes, you can use the Etsy/Printful integration if you’re outside the US. We recommend listing Printful as a production partner.

          PS, sorry about the delayed reply!

  4. Benjamin Thomas

    I have a question regarding this:

    “5. Set up billing, shipping, and taxes – enter your credit card information and billing address, create shipping prices and apply tax for your orders.”

    So, the Printful integration does not take care of this shipping automatically e.g. as an Etsy shop owner, I would need to set up shipping fees & destinations for each product individually? If so, this would be rather a headache.

    I’m familiar with the Prinful integration with WordPress/Woocommerce and there the Printful plugin takes care of all the shipping fees and ordering procedure. The plugin automatically figures out the fees to the customer destination considering size/weight of the product and customers choose choose only the shipping option/speed.

    Thanks for your tip!
    Ben

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hey Ben! Good news – this isn’t as complicated as you might think. We don’t offer live rates, but our Printful flat rates automatically applied. Check out this tutorial for instructions on how it works.

  5. Cynthia

    Hi there! I already have an etsy shop, but I am looking to add some additional items from printful. I could have items from printful, that you all would ship for me, and items that I am creating and shipping myself all in one store. Is that correct? Or would I need to have 2 stores, one with just items from printful and one of my personally handmade items. Thank you!

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hi Cynthia! You can have one store with Printful items and non-Printful items. You can mark your handmade items as “ignored” on your Printful dashboard.

  6. James McLean

    I’ve been using Easy and Printiful together for the last few years and have accumulated over 140 sales. Not enough to retire on, but definitely growing.

    I have experimented with pricing a lot and so far the formula that seems to be working is free shipping – which is just rolled up into the overall price. But the shipping options from Printful are far less then the options I have out of Canada.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Thanks for your feedback, James! And congrats on your Etsy store! Free shipping is definitely the way to go if you can make it work with your margins. But you’re right that it’s trickier with international options.

  7. Anna

    How do I send my buyers a link to a t-shirt I integrated to my etsy store? I’m trying to get them to see that particular t-shirt.
    Thanks for all your help,

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hi Anna, I’m not sure I understand your question! Once you push products to your Etsy store through Printful and publish the draft through Etsy, you should be able to send a link from your Etsy store. Hope this helps!

  8. Ten Thousand Unicorns

    I just launched a Printful shop on Etsy this week! I have tried other PoD platforms as well, and I like the control I have over my designs, brand, and pricing with Printful. I sell Halloween & Party Masks and art on Etsy, and now I have a line of Costume/Party wear in the same shop! Printful has done wonders for my brand!

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