New to selling print on demand on Etsy? Here’s a 101 checklist guide to help you get started (free copy!)

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If you’re new to selling print on demand on Etsy, don’t worry – the process is easier than you think, and you can earn big when you follow simple guidelines.

But first, what is print on demand? Print on demand (POD for short) has revolutionized the way entrepreneurs bring their creative designs to life. With POD, you can design products, and a partner company, like CustomHappy, prints and ships the products to your customers, saving you time and effort.

Etsy is mostly known as a selling platform for homemade goods so some people may wonder, “Are you allowed to sell print on demand on Etsy?” But you absolutely are! And print on demand on Etsy is profitable, too!

If you’re considering selling print on demand merchandise on Etsy, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started. (You’ll also find a free, downloadable Etsy 101 Guide at the end.)

Let’s dive in…

Step 1 for selling print on demand for Etsy: Open your Etsy shop

To start selling print on demand on Etsy, you can sign up for an Etsy account here (use this link to get 40 free listings).

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

If you already have an account, log in. Then…

Set up your Etsy shop

  • Click on “Sell on Etsy” to begin setting up your shop.
  • Choose your shop language, country, and currency.
  • Name your shop (pick a name that reflects your business and is easy to remember).
  • Add a shop logo/banner (use visuals that represent your brand).

Fill out your shop’s policies

Define your shop’s policies for things like…

  • shipping
  • returns
  • exchanges
  • and cancellations

How long, on average, does it take your shop’s items to ship from your supplier? Do you allow returns or exchanges? If so, do they have to occur within a certain timeframe? Are customers allowed to cancel their orders once they make them? 

Having clear, transparent policies helps with selling print on demand on Etsy because it builds trust with customers. Plus, it lets customers know what to expect upfront. 

Add shop sections

Organize your products into sections (categories). For example, you might have “mugs,” “coasters,” “pillow cases,” and more, depending on what you plan to sell. Shop sections help customers navigate your store more easily.

Set up payment methods

Choose how you want to get paid (e.g., PayPal, Etsy Payments). Follow Etsy’s prompts to set up your payment methods.

Create your shop Profile and About section 

Here’s an example of an about section that I use when selling print on demand on Etsy: 

I love creating unique gifts and I love the idea of sharing fun creations on Etsy with you. I like to make all kinds of different products and heartily welcome personalization requests. They’re my favorite because then I know they’re absolutely perfect for you.

NOTE: If you have multiple Etsy shops, you need to include the names of your other Etsy shops in your About section. For example…

I am also on Etsy under these usernames: [Etsy shop name] and [Etsy shop name].

Step 2 for selling print on demand for Etsy: Create designs for your product listings

Your Etsy business thrives on design creation. Every new design you create is a chance for shoppers to discover your shop and buy from you. To maximize your chances of success, I like to use a “throw spaghetti at the wall” approach. With this method, you create a variety of designs in a variety of niches to see what resonates with your audience.

When it comes to your designs, simplicity is key. I recommend focusing on text-based designs using a single, easy-to-read black font. This approach tends to have the broadest appeal, making it easier to attract customers.

To create your designs, you can use a free tool like Canva.

How to use Canva to create designs for your Etsy products 

Go to and click Custom size. Put 2000X200 into the spaces and click Create new design.

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

From here, you can click on the Text box on the left, choose your font, and add your unique message to the blank square. Canva is super easy to use and you can do all kinds of advanced things with it as well, like change the color scheme and add images, elements, and borders.

I don’t necessarily recommend doing that, though, because, as I said before simplicity is key. Simple designs sell. For example, “World’s okayest drummer” – you don’t need to get any more complicated than that.

So don’t try and reinvent the wheel when you’re selling print on demand on Etsy. You’ll expend more time and energy than is needed to achieve great results.

For design inspiration tips, check out the blog posts below. These posts will help you create best selling print on demand products on Etsy: 

Your ultimate list of AI-generated prompts for new POD design ideas

How to use your favorite news source to get design ideas to sell on Etsy and Amazon

Not feeling especially creative? Here’s a list of strategies to come up with new design ideas (updated)

Turn current trends into fantastic, new design ideas for your ecommerce store

Creating new design ideas – A compilation of effective strategies

Step 3 for selling print on demand for Etsy: Add titles and tags to your Etsy listings

After creating your designs, you need to list them for sale on Etsy. As part of the listing process, you need to add keyword-rich titles and tags to your product listings.

I recommend filling out your listing’s entire title with tags and separating them by commas. Using a tool like EpicPodTool can give you title and tag ideas that are highly searched for with low competition.

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

Here are some keyword dos and don’ts:

  • Do make your tags the same as your title and if you have extra room, add more keywords to the tag section.
  • Do not keyword stuff with low-quality seed keywords that aren’t descriptive, for example, “cute mug for her.” Instead, use more descriptive phrases like “drummer gift” or “drummer mug for him.” The word drummer is a lot more descriptive than cute and will help the listing get in front of the right eyeballs.

Step 4 for selling print on demand for Etsy: Add Etsy production partners

Adding an Etsy print on demand partner lets Etsy know that you have a print on demand shop. So you want to make sure all your listings have “Custom Happy” or the warehouse you’re using for your Etsy production partner.

To add a production partner, follow these instructions from Etsy:

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

You can use my settings for CustomHappy. Here’s what I add:

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

Step 5 for selling print on demand for Etsy: Make a goal to create more listings

After you create your first listing, keep adding more! Here are some tips:

  • Set yourself a goal of adding at least 500-1k good quality listings in your shop.
  • Check your pricing to ensure you’re making a profit with your products (my free Etsy Profit Calculator can help with this).
  • Focus on low-hanging niches (niches with low competition but high search volumes).
  • Don’t give up! Many LHS members make their first sale within the first few months of using my course when they keep their designs simple.
  • Don’t forget to have fun! The more you love what you sell, the more other people will too.

Also, for tons of great niche ideas and design inspiration, use my Masterlist to come up with hundreds of new products in no time.

Download your Etsy 101 Guide

If you want to receive your guide, sign up here. You won’t need to put in your credit card details on the next page (unless you’d like to sign up for other offers on that page). This is just an easy way for us to get you your guide in as smooth a way as possible. Enjoy! :)

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

I hope you find this post useful! If you have any other tips or advice about how to start selling print on demand on Etsy, please leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it with your friends and followers. 

Here's a guide to selling print on demand on Etsy

BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

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