7 Reasons Print On Demand Etsy Side Hustle Is For You

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Are you thinking about starting a print on demand side hustle on Etsy? Or maybe you’re searching for side hustle ideas? Here are 7 reasons why I think this Etsy side hustle works!

A few years ago, I never knew what print on demand was. My mom always talked about setting up a t-shirt printing business but no one around me knew you could build a t-shirt side hustle on Etsy – without holding any stock!

In this article, I’ll be sharing 7 reasons why I believe print on demand side hustle works wonders on Etsy and is suitable for anyone with a busy schedule. I’ve also included a step-by-step guide down below on how you can start today by just sparing a few minutes of your time.

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link!

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Print On Demand Side Hustle: Why It Works

1. You only set up your designs for sale once

A good side hustle is one that allows you to earn passively. Why do I love earning passively? It’s because just like you, I only have XX amount of energy in a day and can’t always be working.

Our energy levels is usually completely drained out after 6PM, making it difficult to put great focus to anything past dinner.

Print on demand is passive because you only have to make your designs, upload them and sync products to your store ONLY ONCE. Then let it run, make more designs in your free time while your old listings bring in sales for you.

If you’re not like me and prefer active income instead, try freelancing, becoming a virtual assistant or just selling lemonade after your working hours. Learn the difference between active income and passive income.

Quick Tip: A shower always makes you feel better even when you feel like you can’t move anymore. So take a shower and then start hustling or go straight to bed, no pressure but not always!

Here’s a video on how you can use Printify for your print on demand Etsy side hustle.

How To Start Selling Print On Demand On Etsy Using Printify

2. Designing is easy whether you do it yourself or outsource

Your designs will either sell or not sell. Either way, they’re not printed until someone likes it enough to purchase it (hence why they’re also eco-friendly!).

Whether you have a niche or you don’t, making designs should not take a lot of time. The best designs are sometimes minimal and just involves typography.

You can make professional designs just by using Canva, you don’t even need fancy tools like Photoshop.

It’s best to learn designing on your own but if time is not on your side, consider outsourcing your designs on Fiverr or 99designs. You can also purchase READY TO BE USED art elements and graphics from sites like Envato Elements or Creative Fabrica.

Quick Tip: Make some research on the best designs for your niche. Don’t do something entirely new, replicate and innovate.

3. Make sales and extra income in your sleep

When we say print on demand on Etsy is a passive business and a good side hustle, it means that you can make a sale even when you’re sleeping or when you’re making dinner for your kids.

It’s one of the best side hustles for single moms too because you’ll never know when you’re available and if you can commit XX amount of hours per day doing something.

I’m currently building my online business so I can spend more time with my kids later on while still earning. No full-time job or boss to tell me what I can or can’t do!

I travelled Europe for a month and did zero work while my online business and side hustle brings in money for me!
I travelled Europe for a month and did zero work while my online business brings in money for me!

Quick Tip: You will need to put in the work first and it’ll take a lot of hours to be successful. But just know, it’ll pay off one day!

4. You don’t need to do a lot of tasks

The struggles of building an online business or side hustle has sort of lessened and evolved. Corporations used to be greedy reaping all profits but the growth of the internet has allowed for greater profit-sharing systems, ensuring survival of smaller parties like you and me.

As an example, dropshipping sytems would never have existed if dropshippers could not make profit. Manufacturers would have a hard time marketing their products without actual real people helping them promote.

Print on demand works similar to dropshipping – you get a cut for designing and promoting a product. That’s the only thing you have to do that allows manufacturers to sell their otherwise plain t-shirts, tote bags and notebooks etc.

Companies no longer need in-house designers to make designs and products that may not even sell since they’re tapping into your original ideas. You also don’t need to go through the troubles of setting up a costly t-shirt printing business.

Simple for you and for them, right?

5. Super low costs of trial compared to other businesses

There are great costs of trial to traditional business models. Imagine starting your own everyday tote bag business which requires bulk printing and a hefty investment ahead of sales.

Apart from the operational knowledge, you will also need to know the best marketing techniques to make sales and grow revenue.

Just like you and I, not many people are willing to sacrifice their life savings to invest into a business when they have big commitments. Even if you’re young and have zero obligations, think hard before going down the entrepreneurial journey filled with risk-taking.

Print on demand allows you to test and trial as it requires almost zero investment and doesn’t require you to know every aspect of the business. It’s the perfect business model for new creative online entrepreneurs starting from ground zero.

The only thing you’ll invest in are your designs and small fees for listing them. Once a sale is made, you’ll only pay for the cost of products sold. Almost no losses otherwise.

Test something new, move on! As straightforward as that!

Selling notebooks for print on demand Etsy side hustle
Imagine all these simple-looking notebooks are sold in stores and you can design the same ones!

6. An online side hustle that’s scalable to be a real business

Sometimes you’ve got to think long term! Always start something after picturing yourself in 3-5-10 years time, where will it get you?

Not every business model can be scaled for higher revenue. Competition will catch up and other products become trendy, who knows? 

If you’re operating a lemonade stand, the only way to scale is to hire more people to man your additional lemonade booths – you can’t be operating 10 booths at 10 different locations at one time. This also involves training and trust that they’ll do a good job without your supervision.

With print on demand, you don’t need 10 new hires to handle your new stores. You may just need one person to manage your orders – and if you wish to delegate.

Since designs can be outsourced and you can do all the uploading, you can effectively manage 10 different stores by yourself from the comfort of your own home – if you do it full-time.

The experience you’ve gained from your first print on demand Etsy store will help you get faster success in your nine newer stores. Choose a different popular niche for each of your store, earn a full time income from home and keep all that profit to yourself.

7. Print on demand fulfillments that are tested for quality

Most businesses outsource some parts of their operation. If you’re a company selling printed t-shirts, you would need reputable partners to supply your plain shirts, printing ink, equipment etc.

All supplies won’t come from the same company and you’ll have to deal with a few parties to find a good trustable one that works for your brand. You may end up getting cheated on and its common due to lack of transparency.

When starting out, you will not want to get yourself into all of that, right?

Working with Printify and Printful are your best solutions for print on demand on Etsy. They are two big brands in this industry with so many walk-through guides and reviews you can find on YouTube. If you want more options, I’ve listed best fulfillments for Etsy integration here.

Understand better the key differences between Printify and Printful and how to compare their prices. Both have great customer service, promising standards for their prints and fast shipping to keep your customers happy!

Why Everyone Should Start Print On Demand Etsy Side Hustle
You can sell your own embroidered tote bags with print on demand using Etsy!

37 Products To Sell In Your Print On Demand Etsy Store

  1. Tote bags
  2. Tumblers
  3. Phone cases
  4. Posters
  5. Leggings
  6. Jewelry
  7. Bags
  8. Dresses
  9. Tie dye
  10. Candles
  11. Dog clothes
  12. Doormats
  13. Rugs
  14. Hoodies
  15. Home décor
  16. Pet products
  17. Socks
  18. Pajamas
  19. Shoes
  20. Yoga mats
  21. Blankets
  22. Baby clothes
  23. Wrapping papers
  24. Keychains
  25. Watches
  26. Puzzles
  27. Stationery
  28. Stickers
  29. Athletic wear
  30. Canvas
  31. Hats
  32. Journals
  33. T-shirts
  34. Greeting cards
  35. Art prints
  36. Pillows
  37. Mugs

How To Start A Print On Demand Etsy Side Hustle

  1. Choose a niche for your designs
    • Niching down is great to attract the right audience with your print on demand products
    • Some examples would be designs consisting food, patterns or even motivating short quotes to start the day
    • Focus on your chosen niche for the next 100 designs!
  2. Do research on best selling and trendy designs
    • Before making any designs, find out what’s working in the market
    • Identify the product you want to create using my POD product guides
    • A quick trick is to Google, search for them on Etsy or use Merch Informer
  3. Make your own designs or outsource
    • You can make your own designs if you have the skills and time for it using tools like Canva
    • If you don’t have both, consider outsourcing to designers on sites like FiverrUpwork or 99designs
    • Some important things to know are design file sizes and printing layout (if any)
  4. Sign up for an account with any print on demand fulfillment websites
  5. Upload designs to products
    • Uploading designs to supplier’s products is super easy and you should be able to do this once an account is created
    • Position the design correctly when uploading as the actual product will look the same as what you see online
  6. Set a suitable profit margin for each product
    • On most sites, you should be able to set a selling price once you’ve done uploading the design
    • A suitable margin should be 40%-50% depending on the platform you’re selling on and any fees you’ll incur on each sale
    • This excludes shipping charges to customers!
  7. Sync them to your ecommerce store
    • You would need to integrate your ecommerce store e.g. Etsy or Shopify before you’re able to sell so do that first
    • Sync the ready product to your store to start selling them publicly
  8. Start selling and repeat!
    • Repeat the process and you’ll get some sales with time!
    • Increase your chances of success by uploading more quality designs and using professional mockup tools like Placeit
    • Consider bringing in traffic to your store with ads (if you’re not selling on a marketplace)

9 Ways To Ensure Your Print On Demand Etsy Side Hustle Is Profitable

  1. Use white-label fulfillments that integrates to Etsy for FREE
  2. Set selling price to be at least 60%-70% more compared to cost price of product
  3. Identify the fees of selling your designed products on Etsy
  4. Calculate expected profit based on fees beforehand
  5. Learn how to use Etsy advertisements for greater sales
  6. Conduct keyword research using SEO tools like Sale Samurai or Marmalead
  7. Improve click-through-rate of your listings by making them visually appealing
  8. Provide relevant frequently asked questions (FAQs) in description of each product listing
  9. Ensure you’re replying to customers’ enquiries within 24 hours

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much can you realistically make with print on demand?

Realistically, you can make at least $100 to $1000 with print on demand every month. This depends on how many designs you’ve uploaded, where you sell your designs on and if you’re scaling your business the right way. Selling your designs on multiple platforms increases your chance of sale.

Is print on demand profitable?

Print on demand is profitable for beginners and experienced sellers. Profitability is hugely dependent on how you price your products and types of costs involved. To get a sizeable profit and account for advertisement expenses, sellers markup at least 50%-60% from cost price.

Is selling print on demand on Etsy worth it?

Selling print on demand on Etsy is worth it for those looking to do it full-time or part-time. Sales can come in at any time of the day even when you’re busy doing something else. However, you will need to consider fees of selling on Etsy and price appropriately to ensure profitability.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a graphic designer or an amateur designer using Canva, you can build your side hustle with print on demand on Etsy. It is one of the best side hustles for anyone starting out an online business and a good alternative to dropshipping.

By using Etsy for print on demand, you skip the headache of setting up your own standalone ecommerce website and spending on Facebook Ads just to generate sales.

Etsy is the only platform you need to test your products and with some good SEO practice, you’ll generate organic traffic to your store in no time. It’s super easy to set up your print on demand business today.

Here are 7 reasons why you should start your own print on demand Etsy side hustle today:

  1. You only set up your designs for sale once
  2. Designing is easy whether you do it yourself or outsource
  3. Make sales and extra income in your sleep
  4. You don’t need to do a lot of tasks
  5. Super low costs of trial compared to other businesses
  6. An online side hustle that’s scalable to be a real business
  7. Print on demand fulfillments that are tested for quality

Check out my featured posts for print on demand:

Photo by Thirdman

Abby B.

Hey there! Abby here - the founder of Passive Marketeer and also the main writer on the site. My love for ecommerce and online marketing was something I found through my 9-5 sales job. It was mind boggling at first that we're able to make an income online passively in today's world! If you're still feeling that way, know that you're not alone.

That's why, I decided to help others by sharing findings through my own research on today's ecommerce world. When I'm not writing, I'm either running my online biz, traveling, cooking or gardening.

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