Drop shipping is easy when you integrate Printful with Etsy!
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Printful and contains affiliate links; however, all opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
For years, I wanted to sell physical products with designs I have created myself, but I lacked the technology. I don’t have a fancy cutting machine. Nor the money or space to maintain an inventory.
That changed when the pandemic hit and we found ourselves with two kids learning virtually. We bought an iPad so they wouldn’t need to fight over my computer and I was finally able to purchase the Procreate app, which I had been eyeing for nearly a year.
Armed with a tablet, a stylus, and design app, I actually found myself doodling more than I was writing for my blog. Something about being stuck at home with three kids, our worlds turned upside down for a year, did something to my brain and motivation when it came to writing.
What I lacked in being able to put into 300+ words I could draw instead. And as I was doodling, I was researching ways to share and sell what I was working on with the rest of the world. That is when I learned about Printful.
WHAT IS PRINTFUL?
Printful is one of the leading print-on-demand (POD) companies out there. You can use it for personal use or to start your own business with no upfront fees or inventory!
They have fulfillment locations and partner sites located around the globe, making them an ideal option for anyone to begin their own POD gig, or are interested in widening their customer base, such as the UK.
What stood out to me was that I could create my own brand once I signed up with Printful. As a white-label partner, they can attach my brand’s name to the products I sell, not theirs. For a fee, they will also store cards or other branded goodies should you wish to include those in your shipments. Other POD companies weren’t really offering that.
I began my Etsy shop with the intention of selling shirts. But Printful offers a wide range of other products they can customize for you to sell. With over 300 products in their catalogue, you’re sure to find something you like!
In addition to clothes, Printful can put your creations on hats, mugs, stickers, and notebooks.
They even embroider, for you lucky people with the software to create .EXP files!
Printful partners with a variety of online shops, including Etsy. One of the reasons why I went with Etsy was because I already had an account and it was a brand I used and trusted.
Once you have created your Printful account, your next step is to set one up in Etsy and open a store, if you haven’t already. I recommend getting your store set up before uploading products to it. I used Canva to create a store banner and you can use it to create a logo as well! Having your storefront set up as much as possible will help your credibility with potential customers.
Before you can begin selling, you’ll need to connect your store to Printful. It was as simple as approving some permissions so the two can “talk” to each other.
A few helpful tutorials got me started. I highly recommend reading and watching tutorials on how to make the best of integrating and listing your products.
While it’s free to set up Printful and Etsy accounts, there is a $0.20 fee to list your work on Etsy. This was the cheapest option for me, as some of the other companies Printful integrates with had monthly fees. I just couldn’t justify spending money every month when I wasn’t sure how successful I’d be. But I could swing 20 cents every few months.
With Etsy, you listings are good for three months. You have the option to have them automatically renewed or renew them manually. I choose to renew manually because I can assess how well an item is doing before deciding whether or not to keep it in my shop.
Buying samples also costs money, but if you’re happy with what comes in the mail you can take your own photos and upload them to your store to help entice customers. Printful lets you purchase the products at cost, making them less expensive. You could skip this entirely, but it’s nice to see and feel the quality yourself.
Personally, I find Printful’s print quality of shirts to be one of the best!
Printful will upload your product’s info to Etsy as a draft. You’ll need to enter a bit of information in your Etsy store’s back end before you’re ready to sell:
This is a MUST. Your customers need know who is making your product and what roles everyone plays.
Printful will import information about the product being printed on. It’s up to you whether you add more to entice patrons to buy or describe your design. Doing so helps customers find you, though.
Think of these as Key Words. Etsy lets you add up to 13 tags to describe your product and help people find it.
This is optional, but it will also help people find what they’re looking for.
TIPS FOR MAKING SALES
- Promote Promote Promote! No one can buy when they don’t know it exists. When I put a new product up for sale, I share it to Twitter. When I’ve worn my products, I’ve shared via Instagram with a link.
- Link up! Anywhere you can link your store, do so. Your Facebook profile. Your Instagram profile. I’ve even come across a post or two on social media asking for small businesses to support, and I’ll add it there if I think my store is a good fit.
- I’ve also opted to allow Etsy to share my products via SEO ads. They take a bigger cut (advertising fee) if someone buys it, but it’s how I made my first sale!
- Put time into the tags and descriptions. Like blogging, SEO is super important on Etsy as well.
- Upload photos of the products you order yourself onto your listing. This lets visitors get a better sense of print quality and how an item might be used.
At the end of the day I’ve been happy with my experience with the Printful and Etsy integration. When I have questions, Printful has responded quickly, and they’ve even walked me though the process of changing an order for someone.
And you can’t beat having someone else help with the printing and shipping, giving you more time to create and share those products with the world (including the UK)!
Already an Etsy store owner? Learn how to Grow Your Etsy store with Printful!