Selling Products Passively is Now Possible on Etsy!

I’ve been using Printful for years to create and drop-ship the things I design, like prints, mugs, posters, etc.  But I had to either use Printful to fulfill orders in my Shopify shop, or to manually enter my Etsy shop orders. Well, not anymore! Selling products passively is now possible on Etsy!

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It was just announced that Printful now fully integrates with Etsy. That means that, once you have the listings all set up, orders for items like prints and posters (framed or not), canvases, mugs, leggings, t-shirts, hats,  pillows, totes, socks, dresses, skirts, beach blankets and phone cases (with new items being added all the time) can now be sold 100% passively!

Selling Products Passively is Now Possible on Etsy!

Here’s how it works:

  • You first sign up for your free Printful and Etsy (<–use that Etsy link to get your first 40 listings free if you don’t have a shop yet!) accounts if you haven’t already.
  • Then, in Printful, you connect your Etsy shop
  • Once connected you can sync your existing listings and/or create new Etsy listings in Printful by uploading your images and choosing which products to them them on
  • Your listings are marked as drafts until you choose otherwise, but once live, they are there in your shop, ready to sell!
  • I then go in and make sure all of my titles, descriptions and tags are accurate and SEO friendly
  • Then when someone orders from your Etsy shop, Printful makes the product for you, and ships it using your name and address, as well as a custom shipping sticker (you have to create and upload the stickers)

How amazing is that? True passive income from Etsy!

So what are some things to consider when using Printful  to sell on Etsy?

While Etsy might send traffic to your store, the majority of that responsibility is still on you. Very few Etsy shop owners are able to get set up their stores and watch the sales coming flooding in. Use things like social media, Pinterest, and possibly even Google ads to drive traffic to your shop.

Even though Printful  offers mockups of their products with your designs on them, to really stand out in the crowded Etsy market, it’s best to use your own photographs and/or mockups (I like betting my mockups from CreativeMarket). One nice thing about Printful is that they do offer 20% off sample items with free shipping (and you can order up to 5 samples per month.)

You’ll need to set up a credit card or “wallet” with Printful  in order for them to process your Etsy orders passively.

While I love almost everything about Printful  (their products are high-quality, their software is amazing and easy to use, they have all kinds of tutorials and videos, explaining just about every aspect of using them as drop-shippers, etc.) I will say that, in the past I’ve had a couple of problems: More than once they’d send out duplicate products to the same customer, which is not the worst problem to have, but it doesn’t look terribly professional. And sometimes their shipping times take much longer than they promise on their website — especially around the holidays! So be mindful of that, and make sure your customers know that shipping times are not guaranteed.

And just because you CAN sell all the things that Printful has to offer, doesn’t mean you should. Keeping your Etsy shop niched still seems to be the best way to succeed there. So selling socks and phone cases in the same shop may seem disjointed and odd to shoppers. It also may feel overwhelming to add ALL THE THINGS, anyway. So you might want to start with just prints, or t-shirts, or whatever fills your niche, and grow your product like steadily from there.

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5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Michelle

    August 31, 2017

    If i were to use Printful, Printful would be required to remit sales tax for sales to California, and I would be required to remit sales tax for sales to New Jersey. Is it possible to set this sales tax up properly with Etsy? It’s not currently possible with Storenvy, even though it’s possible to integrate a Storevny store with Printful. 🙁

  2. Reply

    Diogo

    February 9, 2018

    Hi,

    That integration between Etsy and Printful really makes me so happy and eager to start my own store there. The idea fo me handling deliveries, printing, returns, etc. really scared me and held me away from Etsy. One question, though. I know Etsy allows more than one shop per user. Is it possible to have each shop integrated with a different printer? Say, one shop sells several products and is integrated with Printful. The other shop, because it sells stickers and greeting cards (not available by Printful), is integrated with another print website. Is that possible? Thanks! Love your website, tips and works 😉

    • Reply

      Jules Tillman

      February 9, 2018

      Hello!

      You could certainly have the two different Etsy shops (just make sure to follow Etsy’s rules about that, of course!) BUT… if the products are somewhat similar and would “go together” in one shop, you could have them all in one shop (which I find much easier — especially when it comes to marketing!) Because you can actually have more than one POD for one Etsy shop! I currently do this myself, and it’s really easy (plus I sell my own original art, which I fulfill myself). In your shop dashboard in Printful, you simply click “ignore” on any product you don’t want Printful to fulfill. Easy peasy!

      I hope this helped!

      With gratitude,
      Jules

      • Reply

        Diogo

        February 9, 2018

        Hi Jules,

        Thanks for a quick reply, wasn’t expecting that.
        The themes of both products would be different, even if both are about animals and drawings/paintings, one would focus only on one type of animal and would focus on stickers and greeting cards, while the other would englobe almost the whole of animal kingdom and more diverse products.
        I had no idea one could integrate two print on demand websites with the same shop. That would be a huge help for me (still need to study more about etsy, seo and pods before creating shops).

        That helped so much!
        Thanks so much,
        Diogo Veríssimo

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