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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.

4. Offer Personalization

Personalization is getting ever more popular, with a 66% increase in searches for personalizable products on Etsy in 2018. How can you increase your conversion rate by tapping into this customize-crazy niche?

We’ve got you.

It’s simple to integrate this awesome feature with your Printful products on Etsy. Just make sure the switch in the personalization section of your Etsy listing is “on”; and watch the personalized orders appear, ready for editing, in your Printful dashboard.


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.

Pro tip: Offer personalization for as many of your products as you feasibly can; new customers will seek you out and love you for it.

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. Anne Garrison

    Hi Printful. I have two Etsy shops, one open and another opening soon. Both carry art prints. I would be interested in using Printful to fulfill print orders as well as take advantage of the other products you offer to expand my line. However I don’t see an 11×14 size listed. It’s a very common print size and used by many Etsy sellers. I really don’t want to alter all of my art though. Is it possible this size will be added anytime soon?

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hi Anne! We’re planning on expanding our poster sizes, but I’m not sure if we’re specifically planning on adding a 11×14 size. Our main focus will be on adding metric sizes.

      Feel free to leave a request here!

  2. Teo

    I used to have an Etsy store and traffic was 0. Something else that really bothered me was when I was reading how copy cats are stealing original ideas and making their own versions. That’s my biggest turn off about Etsy. I’ll stick with my own website.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Good point. There are definitely arguments to sticking with your own store instead of a marketplace. Whatever works for your business and your needs!

  3. veronika frederick

    I just connected Etsy and Printful
    My question is this, The customer for isntance buys a Printful listing product, how it that product paid for and how do I receive my profit of that sell?
    Had no sales yet but I want to be prepared.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Basically, there are two transactions that take place when a customer places an order:

      1. Your customer pays you
      2. You pay Printful for the product and fulfillment

      You can take a look at the Printful’s product pricing here – prices include fulfillment. Then you set your prices (what your customers pay you) and whatever is left over is your profit.

      1. Ivan Wainewright

        Hi Nora, does that mean that there is no “full end-to-end integration”? i.e. As the designer, I must always pay you myself when a customer buys on Etsy? Seems a shame that the Etsy payment can’t automatically feed through to you – one of the great things about Printful’s standard service is that I don’t need to get involved at all with any purchases!



        1. Nora Inveiss Post author

          Hi Ivan!

          Etsy’s payments work the same as our other platforms. We don’t charge your end customer – you have a separate payment processor on your store to charge your customers. And then we charge you once the order comes through on your Printful dashboard.

          Hope this helps!

  4. Mc

    I just register to sell on Etsy by sync with printful. The first day I was close my account immediately. Is there anyone got a problem like me? They send me the based on inconsistencies we have a reason to believe that your business presents a significant risk to the market place… then they close my account just 1 day. I upload about 20 design within one day becasue I already have a stock of design that I keep it for long time ago. Is there any limited to upload to etsy per 1 day?

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hey Mc, that’s strange! It’s hard to tell why your account was closed without seeing what Etsy wrote. I’d reply to them and ask for more clarification if something is unclear to you. There’s no product upload limit, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  5. AJ

    Thanks for the article. I have just launched a shopify store with printful but I’m going to use etsy as well to get my vegan shirts in front of as many people as possible.

  6. Robin

    Hi Nora,

    I already have an etsy shop and I am in the process of adding a section of for printful mugs. My question is if someone buys one of my own products that I ship from and buys a mug from printful how does that affect the shipping? Other than the obvious of separate deliveries to the customer.

    1. Nora Inveiss Post author

      Hi Robin!

      You set the shipping rate for each product when you list it. So if a customer orders a Printful product and a non-Printful product, Etsy calculates the shipping set for both products. And then yes, they’re shipped and fulfilled separately.

  7. belhout nasreddine

    hi printful Support Team
    I opened an Etsy shop integrate with printful fulfilm. About a week ago, I received a request to 2 order buy shirts and after a while the buyer canceled the payment
    Now I have a other order but I do not see any process of starting the shirt printing, it seems that the process will be canceled shortly
    Which is the problem knowing that I’ve connected the etsy store correctly with printful , What do I do when I find a purchase order?
    Do I leave the process order done automatically or manually?

    1. Giedrė Šulčinskaitė

      Hi there! The fulfillment process of your order will start automatically once the order is paid. If “Waiting for fulfillment” appears next to your order, it means we’ll start fulfilling it as soon as possible. Our average fulfillment time is 3 business days but keep in mind that the estimated fulfillment timeframe is 2-7 business days. Feel free to contact our support team if you have any other questions.

  8. Causa

    Nooby Questions:

    I just bought an item from my own Etsy shop (woehoe, my first sale 🙂

    I live in Europe but I noticed, when buying on Etsy that I was charged 9.45 $ for shipping from the usa. I thought Printful automaticaly shipped from Europe when the buyer lived in Europe. Not sure if I need to change a printful setting or an Etsy setting to correct that.

    Tx in advance


    Hi Printful Team👋
    I have a question about how Printful handles payments received in etsy.
    Do I have to have a Paypal balance to pay for Printful products or a Printful product charge is deducted from each payment I receive at etsy?

    1. Giedrė Kronberga

      Hi! Your customer pays you for the order, we then charge you for the fulfillment, and what’s left is yours! 🙂

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