I’m sure you’ve looked up a product before and found that the first couple of Google results were dominated by Etsy shops. Etsy is growing bigger every day and that’s great because Etsy makes it super easy for anyone to start their own eCommerce store.
I often get asked the following question “Can you dropship on Etsy”?
Which is why I’ve decided to write down this article, to inform those who are wondering on Etsy’s dropshipping policy.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace platform where any entrepreneurial mind can start their own little online store. The platform is similar to ‘businesses’ that sell on eBay but has a more classy feel to it. And of course, no second hand goods.
The products mainly sold on Etsy are art, crafts, jewellery, vintage, and more. Many of the products are personizable.
Starting an Etsy seller account is completely free. However, you do need to pay a very small fee of $0.20 per product that you upload, which is completely fair in my book.
Etsy also takes a 5% transaction fee for each and every product you sell through their platform.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is the act of selling goods that don’t you don’t store or ship yourself. Once a drop shipper sells a product on their own store, they then buy the product from their supplier and that supplier will then take care of shipping the product to the original customer.
The seller gets a profit, the supplier gets a profit and the customer gets the product they wanted.
This makes dropshipping one of the easiest business models to get into online. You don’t need to put down a large investment, you don’t have to take any risks and you can sell an abundance of products that you otherwise couldn’t.
Are You Allowed To Dropship on Etsy?
The short answer is no. Etsy does not allow dropshipping in the way that I’ve just explained it. This is considered reselling and not allowed within Etsy’s policies.
Here’s Etsy’s policy on reselling:
“Reselling” is selling an item that you, the seller, did not make or design. Etsy’s marketplace includes handmade items, vintage items, and craft supplies. Reselling is only allowed in the vintage and craft supplies categories.”
Basically, Etsy doesn’t allow you to sell items that you didn’t design or manufacture yourself.
So if you’re going to try to dropship from AliExpress to Etsy, your account will get suspended.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t dropship on Etsy at all.
There are still many variants of dropshipping where YOU design the product.
This is called Print on Demand dropshipping.
Print on demand is a form of dropshipping where you (the seller) upload your own designs and add them to products from a suppliers catalog.
Once someone purchases the product from your Etsy shop, your print on demand supplier will take care of designing the product and sending it to your customer.
This way, you’re still dropshipping on Etsy, but you’re doing so legally.
While you don’t manufacture the product, you are the one who designed it. Meaning Etsy will allow this form of dropshipping.
Of course, all of this information is subject to change. If Etsy at any one point chooses they don’t want print on demand on their platform, they can do so. But I don’t think they will any time soon.
Print on Demand Examples
Here are some common examples of Etsy shops using print on demand services:
Personalised couple art is very popular on Etsy. These types of mugs can be found on Printful.
Personalized bracelets also sell very well on Etsy. These can again be customized and delivered to the client with Printful.
As you can see you don’t need to be an amazing designer to become a seller on Etsy. While that helps, you can also go other routes such as adding customizable text on bracelets, t-shirts, and so on.
The possibilities are infinite, you just gotta be a little creative and not copy others!
Print on Demand Dropshipping Suppliers For Etsy
The easiest and most popular option for print on demand dropshipping with Etsy is Printful.
Printful offers a wide range of products that they print in-house. They have warehouses around the globe to offer some of the fastest shipping you will experience with print on demand.
They are a bit pricier than most of their competitors, but they will make up for it in print quality, delivery times and customer service.
Printful has an easy integration with Etsy.
Printify is another print on demand option for Etsy that’s very popular. Printify and Printful are close competitors and both have their pros and cons.
Printify is a marketplace print on demand company, this means they have multiple printing companies available for you to choose from.
Products are often cheaper on Printify than on Printful.
However, international shipping tends to be more expensive on Printify which can drive up costs.
Printify also has an easy integration with Etsy.
Gooten is an up and coming print on demand service that just like Printify, outsources their printing to different suppliers.
Gooten is cheaper than Printful, takes longer to ship and the print quality is not as good but they make up for it with a refreshing catalog of products.
Some examples : luggage tags, can coolers, puzzles, car seat covers, and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Products Can You Sell With Print on Demand?
The product options for print on demand are limitless to be honest. POD has become very popular and many companies have jumped on this business model.
While the most popular items are t-shirts, mugs and so on, you will find print on demand suppliers that sell car seat covers, bed sheet covers, rugs, just about anything you can imagine with a print on it.
Can You Dropship From AliExpress to Etsy?
Dropshipping from AliExpress to Etsy is considered reselling and not illegal according to Etsy’s dropshipping policy. If you wish to start dropshipping on Etsy, I can only recommend you do so with Print on Demand dropshipping.
Which is Better For Selling: Shopify or Etsy?
Both Shopify and Etsy, while similar in nature, are very different platforms. Etsy makes “starting a business” far easier than Shopify does. With Shopify, you have to do everything yourself while with Etsy, the platform basically promotes the products for you.
In the short term, and for beginners or side businesses, Etsy is the perfect option.
In the long term, and for those who truly want their own business, Shopify the the better option.
Many sellers also use both at the same time.
Etsy is a great platform to get started with online business or to make some extra money on the side. If you don’t want to create hand-made products in your own house, you can always dropship on Etsy by using a print on demand supplier.
Dropshipping is allowed on Etsy, as long as you design the products yourself like you would with print on demand dropshipping.
This is the only way to legally dropship on Etsy, any other form is not allowed and should be avoided.