In the online world, artists aren’t limited to just commission work and Fiverr gigs, there are many different ways to start making money online with your own art. One of them is by selling art prints on Etsy.
That’s what this article will be covering: How to sell art prints on Etsy without printing them yourselves.
What Type of Art Sells Best on Etsy?
Before you get started with selling on Etsy, you should figure out what kind of art you want to offer.
You can do this by looking at Etsy’s current best-sellers and drawing inspiration from them.
Etsy buyers really love customized artwork. Among the Etsy best-sellers, you’ll find lots of personalized art pieces, especially for couples and dogs.
Creatively is heavily rewarded on platforms like Etsy. If you come up with something new and original, you can get a lot of sales and quickly become a best-seller.
However, if you start copying others, you’ll likely end up at the bottom of the pile.
How To Print Your Etsy Art Using Print On Demand Suppliers
You can stick to customized digital art as an Etsy or you can venture out into the world of print on demand.
Print on demand allows you to offer your art prints on canvasses, posters, mugs, t-shirts and so much more.
You can do this by using a print on demand supplier which will print your design for you and ship it to your customer.
These print on demand suppliers are free to use. You only pay once someone actually makes a purchase within your shop so you know exactly how much profit you will get to keep in the end.
This means you can start selling your art without risk or prior investment on your end!
Print on demand apps can be integrated into Etsy as a production partner, this is a super simple and technical-free process that I’ll explain in the step-by-step below.
How To Sell Art Prints on Etsy: Step-By-Step
2. Sign up to a print on demand service (Printful)
3. Follow these steps to integrate Etsy with Printful (must already have a Printful login)
4. Once Etsy is integrated with Printful you can start adding your art to products. Head on over to stores in your Printful dashboard and select “Add product”.
5. You’ll be redirected to the catalog, select the product you want to print on and upload your design. Here you can also pick the different sizes you want to sell on Etsy. Click proceed to media once you’re done.
6. Here you can pick the mockups you want to use. I prefer to use the transparent mockups because I add my own mockups using placeit afterwards.
7. Next click on proceed to details. Here you can customize the product title and description. You can leave this as is if you prefer to edit this on Etsy or you can customize everything now.
8. Next click on proceed to pricing. Select the price you want to sell the product for and click on submit to store.
9. Printful will upload everything into your Etsy shop for you and that’s it! You now have a listing live on Etsy and are ready to sell! Super quick and easy to use (way easier than the built-in listing method on Etsy!)
Once someone orders a product from you, you will receive an email from Etsy. You will also receive an email from Printful (this might take a couple of hours) where they will inform you that your order will be automatically fulfilled and send to your customer. You don’t have to do anything!
So Etsy receives the order, sends all the details to Printful and they print and send the package to your customer.
Selling Art on Etsy FAQ
Which is the best print on demand supplier for selling art prints on Etsy?
Your two best options for selling art prints on Etsy with a POD service are Printful and Printify.
I have used both and they both have their pros and cons. Printful does everything in-house, this makes the support a lot better, they have amazing print-quality and they have multiple warehouses around the world making international shipping easy and inexpensive.
Printify lets you pick a particular supplier to do the job for you (nothing is in-house). These suppliers are often based in the US making international shipping really expensive. You don’t have direct communication with the actual supplier making support a pain.
If you want to save money and ship to US only, Printify is a really good option. For everything else, I would opt for Printful.
Can I check the quality of the print before it gets send out?
Unfortunately, you cannot check the quality for individual prints yourself when using a print on demand supplier. You will have to trust that they send a good print to your customer.
However, you can order samples and send them to your own address prior to using a print on demand supplier.
I can say though that these print on demand companies always quality check before sending out a product. They even check whether the print files you insert are good enough and will contact you if they aren’t.
Does Printful or Etsy own my designs?
No they do not. Your designs are 100% yours and printful or Etsy can’t claim them or use them for their own monetary goals.
What size should my art be that I upload to Printful?
I always use .AI or .DPS vector files for my art on Etsy. This way, you will never run into pixel issues. If for some reason, my design is too small for the artwork, the employees at prihtful can resize the artwork themselves.
However, for photographers and other artists that don’t work with vector files you’ll have to make sure your image is at least 150 DPI but preferably 300DPI.
When uploading a product, Printful lets you know how good the quality will be.
Can people make a living on Etsy selling their art?
Certainly! Some sellers use Etsy as a way to make some extra money on the side, other sellers are doing it full time.
Can I make a good profit with print on demand?
I have to be honest, Print on Demand services aren’t cheap. But as an Etsy seller you aren’t out to sell cheap crap. Cheap buyers are never your audience when selling art.
Is Etsy the only place where I can sell prints of my art?
Definitely not! You can make money with your art on multiple marketplaces, not just Etsy. There’s popular print on demand marketplaces such as Redbubble and teespring where you can open a store and sell your products for a profit and you can even sell your art on Amazon through MerchByAmazon.
There’s many options for you to pick from.
However, Etsy is your best bet for higher profits.
Redbubble, teespring and Merchbyamazon are generally very cheap services and there’s a lot of competition. If you want to sell your art, you’ll have to do it cheap.
With Etsy, because it’s a whole lot more than just print on demand and you’re using your own external suppliers, there is a lot more room for you to make a profit.
Do I have to be an artist to sell on Etsy?
No. You don’t have to be an artist to sell on Etsy. But it definitely helps.
There are many sellers on Etsy that focus on selling fan art or capitalise on emotions through the use of quotes.
There are also sellers that hire designers from platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork to design certain pieces for them.
It’s definitely possible to sell art on Etsy even if you aren’t an artist.
Can I copy others’ designs on Etsy?
No you cannot. Whenever someone uploads a design online, they own the copyright to that design.
You can take inspiration (and I encourage you to do so) but you cannot blatantly copy someone else’s design.
Is it safe to sell on Etsy?
It’s generally very safe to sell on Etsy, however, just like other online marketplaces you might run into a couple of unreasonable buyers. That’s just part of running a business.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand how print on demand works and how it integrates with Etsy so you can start selling your art prints online without printing them at home yourself.
With print on demand your Etsy artwork shop you can start without any worries or prior investment.
Definitely check out what other Etsy sellers are doing by taking a look at the best-sellers and drawing inspiration from them.
Do not copy! Be creative and come up with something new.
You don’t need to completely reinvent the wheel though. Every day new sellers come on Etsy with a new spin on the personalized “couple” or “dog” art and find success.