Definitive Guide to Etsy Print on Demand

Definitive Guide to Etsy Print on Demand

The rising interest of customers in print-on-demand attracted the attention of Etsy sellers and consequently, a new business model emerged. 

This model has 5 sides. The manufacturer that produces and ships the item according to the print you want, Print-on-demand partners that bring you together with the manufacturers. The Etsy marketplace brings your customers together. Your Buyer and finally the Etsy seller, you.

So how to sell Etsy print-on-demand products? What are POD products? What are print-on-demand companies for Etsy? Read on to discover all that and more.

Table of Contents

What is print on demand?

You have hundreds of items such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags, accessories… and multiple customization options for your buyers. However, you do not have any products kept in inventory. 

Moreover, you do not require investment to prepare the order and ship it. You pay for it only when a customer orders it. Someone does it for you and accomplishes all fulfillment processes. This is Print On Demand (POD).

As you see, it is an easier way to bypass the time, investment, and risk associated with managing inventory by using POD services. You can go from creating to selling custom products at a lower price than manufacturing them on your own.

Statistics for print-on-demand (POD) industry

Global Digital Printing Market was valued at $25.7bn in 2019, and to reach $35.7bn by 2028, driven by the prompt adoption of digital printing systems in the food & beverage and textile industries and digital image technologies, and surge in demand for sustainable printing techniques.

Global Digital Printing Market

Rising interest in custom T-shirt printing: Generated revenue of $6.4bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $11.8bn by 2027. Europe accounted for 25% of market value and expects to witness significant demand with rising disposable income & spending on fashionable products.

Rising interest in custom T-shirt printing

Dropshipping: Print on demand market is expected to drive its growth as a result of increasing online e-commerce business models with no inventory. The global dropshipping market has reached $128.6bn in 2020 and is expected to hit a whopping $476.1bn by 2026

Pros and cons of selling print on demand

Pros and cons of selling print on demand


  • Generate items in a prompt way. If you completed the item’s mockup, you can create the product and list it for sale in minutes.
  • No need to worry about shipping. Fulfillment is out of your hands and into your POD companies. After the successful purchase, you are only responsible for offering exceptional customer service. 
  • More effortless to find reliable suppliers: Nearly all POD companies collaborate with global marketplaces and they do not want to be marked as unreliable. Thus, it is paramount to find trustable suppliers when it comes to dropshipping.
  • Low investment, lower risk. Since you are not holding any items in your stock physically, it is more straightforward to add or remove products or pivot your approach.


  • Decreased margins. Once you get an order you will pay the item manufacturer, POD company, and Etsy. That means your profit will be divided into others.
  • Less control over shipping. Shipping costs can get complicated, as it might vary for different print-on-demand products. You are not allowed to create a standout unboxing experience most of the time.
  • Limited products. Your ability to customize products depends on the vendor and the item. Hence, you must limit your creativity.
  • Require some graphic designing skills. If you are far away from using graphic tools, you may have some trouble. But, do not keep up because some online tools like PlaceIt, Canva or PicMonkey make this process super easy.

What are pod products?

What are pod products

When it comes to pod products you can generate, there are a bunch of alternatives. Furthermore, the item list updates constantly. So, there actually are a lot of various products you can print on, including:

  1. Unisex t-shirts
  2. Kids t-shirts
  3. Baseball Caps
  4. Mugs
  5. Socks
  6. All-over print hoodie
  7. Puzzles
  8. Stickers
  9. Posters
  10. Tote bags
  11. Phone CAses

Top 5 Etsy print on demand partners

There are numerous Etsy print-on-demand partners in online shopping. However, you will discover the top 5 companies here. You will find what they provide, their ins and outs, and what they do best.


Printify is a company that has had the largest network of print providers since 2015. It connects you with print providers in over 100 locations with many options of shipping time and price. You can choose the best for your business among them.

You can find many types of products over 300 such as fashion, home decor, accessories…

Etsy print on demand partners - Printify


  • Satisfactory customer service and merchant refund policy.
  • Worldwide delivery within 15 business days via USPS, FedEx, DPD, UPS, DHL, Royal Mail, and more.
  • Tailored solutions for students, established influencers, and creators.
  • No charge for the design library.
  • Payment via Paypal and credit cards.
  • Connection to Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, eBay, and more.


  • Long time production up to 7 business days.
  • You can't make personalized labeling and packaging as well.

What is best?

If you want to work with US, UK, and EU providers instead of China, it is a reasonable way for you. The shipping process is more reliable this way.


Printful works distinctly from Printify. It has a network of fulfillment centers across North America, Europe, and partner facilities in Japan and Australia.

They ship 80% of the products from where you buy. Thanks to it, the shipping price gets lower and supplies a good shipping time.

It is a good option for Amazon, Etsy, and popular marketplaces

Etsy print on demand partners - Printful

“Since 2013, Printful has been catering to 389K+ active customers, delivered 43.1M items, and sold $961M.”

It makes you able to personalize 314+ items to sell on Etsy, including clothes, backpacks, laptop cases, mousepads, hair accessories, keychains, flip flops, tumblers, notebooks & journals, posters, stickers, puzzles, and many more.


  • Worldwide delivery within 15 business days via USPS, FedEx, DPD, and DHL.
  • Custom packing slips, package inserts, labels, and packages.
  • Up to 30% off for bulk purchasing and 5%-9% monthly discounts for merchants who reach specific sales thresholds.
  • Payment with Paypal, credit cards, and Printful Wallet.
  • Direct integration with Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, Ecwid, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Square, BigCartel, Wish, Weebly, Magento, 3dcart, Storenvy, and more.
  • Dropshipping Subscription Fees: Free.


  • Production up to 7 days.

What is best?

You can connect with many sales channels with it.


Gelato is particularly famous for wall art prints, photo books, calendars, greeting cards, flyers, brochures, folders, letterheads, and roll-up banners since 2007

Its providers are in more than 33 countries such as the US, UK, NZ, Germany, India, China and Russia in more than 100 locations.

Etsy print on demand partners - Gelato


  • 5%-16% discounts based on your monthly sales.
  • Assisting guide customs, cross-border invoicing, tax, and vat issues.
  • Delivery within 4-15 business days to over 200 countries and territories 
  • Supports effortless personalization of products with options from a pre-set list.
  • Payment with Paypal, credit cards, and Gelato Wallets.
  • Integration with Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and more.
  • Dropshipping Subscription Fees: Free.


  • Production of  2-6 business days.
  • Lack a wide range of apparel.
  • No custom labels and packages.

What is best?

For stationery & business supplies it is reliable.


With the capacity of shipping more than 40K items in a day in the USA, CustomCat supplies you with 350 products in the diversity of clothes, housewares, and accessories…

They are not only good at printing but also good at art production for more than 20 years.

Etsy print on demand partners - CustomCat


  • International delivery within 1-4 weeks via OSM and UPS.
  • Discounts for high-volume sellers.
  • Processing time 1.5-3 days on average.
  • Pay with PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Payoneer.
  • Sync with Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and other platforms via an API.


  • No supporting packaging or labeling services.
  • Possible delay to non-US/EU regions.

What is best?

They supply all the sizes for clothes from XS to 4X.


Merchize has a huge facility in Vietnam. They can make direct-to-garment, cut & sew heat transfer sublimation, UV printing, and laser cutting.

It supplies easy management for marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, or Google Shopping and automatically syncs, fulfilling, and tracking shipments.

Etsy print on demand partners - Merchize


  • Delivery within 4-20 days.
  • SEO-optimized & fast pre-made storefronts with SSL certificates, powerful marketing tools, 2-day payouts, and customer support handling.
  • 20% discounts for sample products.
  • Payment with Paypal and Payoneer.
  • Integration with Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Google Shopping.


  • Production takes up to 10 days.
  • No custom packaging or labeling.
  • Dropshipping Subscription is not free. Fees: $6.99/month-$229/month.

What is best?

You are allowed to open your own online print-on-demand store besides selling on Etsy.

How does Etsy print-on-demand dropshipping work?

Selling print on demand on Etsy can is not as demanding as it seems. After you start an Etsy shop, all you need to do is select one of the print-on-demand companies for Etsy. In this example, we will cover selling with Printify, but you can choose any POD partner.

It is beneficial to indicate that print on demand is one of the best dropshipping methods. Since the companies you will work within this field want to establish their own brands globally, they must build trust with you as reliable suppliers.

So, let’s deep dive into the dropshipping process.

1. Create an Etsy Account and Set Up Details

After registering on Etsy with your e-mail address and name, you should click the “ Sell on Etsy” selection that you will find on the drop-down menu your name. Then, you should determine your account details that are consisted of:

  • Shop Preferences ( Language, country, currency)
  • Etsy Shop Name ( Bear in mind that, you can change your Etsy shop name later on)
  • List your item (It is not essential to create a specific product. You can delete it later)
  • Payment details
  • Set up billing
  • Determine your shop security (two-factor authentication)

🎉Congratulations! Now you can sell on Etsy. After starting your shop, you can design a logo and banners. Moreover, you can add shop owner details to be seen as a trustable seller.

2. Creating an account on Printify

At this step, you should navigate to to sign up with your mail address.

Now, you can follow the store setup checklist in order to be fully registered.

3. Connect Printify to your Etsy Store

It is time to sync your pod products with the Etsy shop. In order to achieve this, you should follow these steps:

a. Go to “My Stores” from your Printify Settings. Then tap the “Connect” button to start the sync.

b. Select “Etsy” from the marketplaces list.

c. You will be redirected to Etsy in order to give permission to Printify to connect your account. Click “Allow Access”. 

Keep in mind that you will be subject to Printify - Print on Demand Drop Shipping's privacy policy and Printify - Print on Demand Drop Shipping will have permission to do the following on your behalf:

  • Connect to your account and know your member name
  • Know your email address
  • Create and edit listings in your shop
  • Delete listings in your shop
  • See your inactive and expired listings
  • See your shipping addresses
  • See your sales and purchases
  • Update your sales and purchase info

d. Add a Print on Demand Partner to Etsy Listing

You must declare Etsy and announce to your customer that you work with Printify (or any other POD companies). Hence, you must provide your partner’s name, location, brief explanation and answer some question from listing items.

To generate a new production partner, enter the subsequent details about Printify:

  • Production partner – Printify
  • Location – United States of America
  • About production partner – A production partner
  • About your partnership:
    • Select – I don't have the technical ability to make it entirely by myself
    • Select – I design everything myself
    • Select – They do everything for me

4. Determine the Sales Price

This is one of the key factors that determine your competition with other Ety sellers. You should consider every detail when setting up your price. It is unquestionable fact that your main idea will be to earn money. 

However, acquiring a good conversion rate on Etsy is vital, primarily for beginners. In this part, EtsyHunt customers are lucky because they are able to compare competitors’ product prices thanks to Etsy Product Research Tool.

Etsy Product Research Tool

Let’s say, you will sell print-on-demand baseball caps on Etsy. You can just write the product name and compare the prices. 

💡Pro Tip: When determining the sales price, do not forget to consider Etsy fees. It is crucial to check how to calculate Etsy fees.

5. Publish

The last part is publishing. You should just click the “Publish” button. Now, you are a print-on-demand Etsy Seller. 

Final Words

One of the most effortless and customer-satisfying dropshipping methods is print-on-demand products. When you combine these products with Etsy, a business model with many advantages emerges. 

What you need to do is to choose one of the successful print-on-demand companies for Etsy, to determine the pod product you will sell, offer a competitive price, and highlight your creativity. After completing these steps, it is inevitable to earn money by selling Etsy print-on-demand items.

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