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Create An Etsy Print On Demand Store for Passive Income

Free way to make money passively on Etsy

In this post we’ll take a look at a free way to make money passively by opening an Etsy print on demand store. This method for making money online only takes a short time to set up and can provide a source of passive income. This is suitable for anybody as it requires no financial investment, skills or experience.

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What Is A Print On Demand Store?

A print on demand (POD) store is an online store that enables customers to purchase custom-printed products such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, posters, and more. The store does not stock any physical products, but instead works with a fulfillment partner that specializes in printing and shipping items on demand.

When an order is placed, the store sends the customer’s order details to the fulfillment partner, who then prints the item and ships it to the customer. The store never has to touch the product, so there’s no inventory to manage. This makes it a great option for businesses who don’t have the resources to store and manage physical inventory.

The customer experience is simple: they browse the store, choose the item they want, customize it as needed, and then add it to their cart. When they check out, they pay for the item and provide shipping information. The store then sends the order details to the fulfillment partner, who prints the item and ships it directly to the customer. This whole process can take as little as a few days, depending on the shipping method chosen.

Print on demand stores offer an efficient and cost-effective way for businesses to offer custom-printed products to their customers without the hassle of managing physical inventory.

Discover the 10 key benefits of a print on demand business

Starting Your Etsy Print On Demand Store

We are going to look at how to connect a print on demand platform like Printful to an Etsy store and use trending products to boost your sales. All of this is free and once set up can be left on autopilot to generate passive income. It is a simple method that anybody can use as a free way to make money on the side.


What Is Etsy?

Etsy is a global online marketplace for selling unique, vintage, handmade and custom products and gifts, as well as digital products. It is free to set up an Etsy store, but there may be fees involved for selling an item which will be explained below.

We recommend registering for an Etsy account and setting up your store front first. You can use a free design tool like Canva to create logos and branding for your store.

Etsy print on demand store

Which Etsy Print On Demand Partners To Use?

When looking for quality Etsy print on demand partners, Printful is a one of the most popular, allowing easy integration to Etsy and other e-commerce marketplaces. They have a wide range of products to choose from such as clothing and gifts. You will just apply your designs to these which we will discuss further below.

You are not responsible for manufacturing or shipping the products, Printful does all this for you. There are no initial costs as you are only charged for the product when your customer purchases it.

First register a free account on Printful and complete all required registration information. Now you can choose a product template and add your designs ready to import to your Etsy store.

Printful integrates with lots of other eCommerce platforms including eBay, Shopify and more. However integrating and selling through Etsy is easier to set up for beginners.

Create a Printful print on demand store
Create a Printful print on demand store

Adding Designs To Your Products

Firstly you do not require any design skills to create custom graphics for your products. Free images and graphics can be found on sites like Pixabay and Unsplash. These are free to use for commercial purposes so you can use them on your products or other purposes such as websites and marketing. Or you can create your own using a free content creation tool like Canva. The choice is yours.

There is a way you can capitalize on the latest trending topics to help boost your sales. Use Google Trends to discover the highest trending searches from the past 30 days. You can view worldwide searches or narrow down to your own country. Select one of these topics and find an image related to it. You can always edit these images in Canva to create unique designs.

Once you are happy with your design, go back to Printful and apply this onto a product. There is a wide range of clothing and gifts including t-shirts, hoodies, caps, bags, mugs, water bottles and more.

Connect Your Etsy & Printful Accounts

Now you have your product designs ready to sell you just need to connect your Printful account to your Etsy store. You can then import products directly from Printful to your Etsy store. This will automatically populate your item description, prices etc. You are able to review and amend this before publishing.

Printful provides a step by step instruction on how to do this from your account. Sign up to Printful here.

Selling Your Printful Products On Etsy

As your accounts are connected, any orders received through Etsy are automatically fulfilled by Printful.

You are in control of pricing your items. Before publishing a listing you can review the product cost and shipping from Printful – this is what it costs you to order the product. Don’t forget to adjust your prices to factor in any selling fees for selling through Etsy (see below).

How to make free money from a print on demand store
How to make free money from a print on demand store

Etsy Fees For Selling

There are Etsy fees for selling on the platform, but these are only applicable when you make a sale and are automatically deducted from the sale. As the fees will be deducted from final sales it means it’s effectively a free way to make money.

A standard selling fee of 6.5% applies to each sale. Plus payment processing fees which vary by payment method you accept. Etsy Payments is 3% + $0.25.

There may be additional payment processing or currency conversion fees depending on the payment methods used and country. Again these only apply if you make a sale.

The only fee you will incur upfront is a small $0.20 listing fee per item to list a product in your Etsy store. Listings last for 4 months and can be set to automatically renew if you wish.

There are no fees for using Printful, you only pay for the product when you receive an order. The product costs are displayed on the product page. You never order stock upfront so you don’t require money to start.

Is It Possible To Make Free Money With An Etsy Print On Demand Store?

Your profit is the remaining balance after sales less product costs and fees. It is a free way to make money passively.

For example, say a t-shirt costs $10 on Printful which you sell in your Etsy store for $20.

After a sale, Etsy charges you 6.5% + $0.20 on the total sale value. That’s $1.50 altogether in selling fees.

If the transaction completed through Etsy Payments then this is 3.5% + $0.25 which is a total of $0.95 on a $20 sale.

So selling and payment fees total $2.45. Add on the product cost of $10 and that’s $12.45. Subtract these costs from your sale price of $20.

That’s $20 – $12.45 = $7.55 profit per item.

And don’t forget that these fees only apply when you make a sale. There is nothing to pay upfront. You receive payment from your customer first before ordering any items. That’s a great benefit to this business model in that anybody without access to funds can start their own profitable e-commerce business. It’s a great free way to make money online.

Conclusion: Starting An Etsy Print On Demand Store

If you are looking for a free way to make money passively online then an Etsy print on demand store is a good choice. The print on demand partner does all the hard work for you. This means no manufacturing or shipping, saving both time and money. You only order products once you’ve made a sale.

By using a global online marketplace like Etsy you can easily reach millions of customers across the world. Etsy Print on demand partners like Printful offer seamless integration to online stores and are free to set up. All orders through your Etsy store sync to your Printful account, which they fulfil for you.

This is a great way for any individual to start their own e-commerce business for free. It provides a free way to make money passively online.

How to Start an Online T Shirt Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Interested in creating more online income streams? Looking for an additional free way to make money? Check out our blog posts for more essential reading including;

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