Are you an artist looking to sell art prints on Etsy? Regardless if you have any experience in using the e-commerce platform, it’s easy for anyone to start selling digital art prints. Even if you’re not an artist yourself!
Did you know that you don’t necessarily need to produce the prints? You don’t need to manage orders manually nor do you have to make the products to fulfill each order. You only have to create the art prints and set the products to sell.
There are two common ways to do this on Etsy:
- Print On Demand
- Digital Downloads
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Why it’s Easy to Sell Art Prints on Etsy
Before we skip to the good part, let’s take a moment to understand why it is best to sell digital art prints on Etsy compared to selling them on social media or other e-commerce. Here are the best reasons I believe in:
- Marketplace for unique products – Etsy is the platform for artists and craft-makers with unique products. If you’re making something different than the mainstream, Etsy is the place to market them. Its huge fanbase means that it will be easier to find customers already accustomed to your niche.
- Automation of orders – It can be difficult to manage orders manually when selling items on social media like Instagram, TikTok or Twitter. While they may work great in getting your brand exposed and unless you have a customer service department, these social media apps are not a platform for sales automation – a.k.a getting money in your sleep. Stay tuned to learn how Etsy allows you to do just that!
- Support – Etsy offers great support for their sellers with a dedicated seller handbook to educate newbies, a well-curated help center and a responsive contact support. Not to forget their very own Etsy Community Space to get to know other sellers.
Print On Demand
If you’re new here, I am a big fan of print on demand. With just one artwork, you’re able to sell multiple products from t-shirts, caps, tumblers, tote bags and even leggings.
It is possible to sell art prints on Etsy using Print On Demand fulfillment like Printify and Printful. Both integrate well with Etsy and with just a few clicks, your design is ready to be sold on physical products and displayed at your very own Etsy shop.
If you’re keen to sell art prints for the purpose of interior decoration, you can choose the art frame product available on both Printify and Printful. It’s also good to branch out by placing the same designs on different products and see what looks best – completely up to you.
How to start?
- Sign up for an Etsy account
- Sign up for Printify or Printful and integrate it to your Etsy shop
- Create designs on Canva (super friendly for design noobs!)
- Download these designs to your computer
- Sign in to Printify or Printful
- Upload your designs to print on demand products
- Sync the products to your Etsy shop with details and prices
- Start selling!
If you make a sale on Etsy, your Printify/Printful dashboard will be notified and they will handle the product delivery for you. Super easy!
Benefits of Print On Demand on Etsy
- Relatively easy to start as a seller – anyone can do it if they’re up to learning it
- You don’t handle printing and delivery – fulfillment companies do it for you
- Straightforward pricing – you can price your product well at a certain range as long as it covers production costs, it won’t be “too cheap”
- Good product quality – Printify and Printful are well known for their product quality and there are reviews for you to compare before choosing a physical product
- Ready to be used – your customers will receive a physical product that’s ready to be used
I love how Etsy allows sales for digital downloads and actually makes it easy for sellers to sell them as well. The process of listing a digital product on Etsy is easy and smooth – once you mark a listing as a digital download, there won’t be any “Delivery” section to fill up. Truly one headache off.
Your customers will also understand the no refund, no exchanges, no cancellations policy you have for digital downloads. Once payment is made, it is yours to keep. Of course, it helps to provide good service to your customers and potential buyers. Quick response time and helping them if they have any issues with their downloads will go a long way as an Etsy seller. Good reviews bring in recurrent sales!
You can be selling any of these cool digital products on Etsy – wall prints, clipart, digital planners, children workbooks and even Canva templates. Please do not use Canva’s ready made templates or make minor tweaks of it for your product sales. This is against Canva’s terms and conditions of use. Your templates should be original and designed from scratch by you.
How to start?
- Sign up for an Etsy account
- Create digital product on Canva
- If you’re selling a Canva template, you would need a Canva Pro account to share the design for others to “use as a template”
- If you’re selling a digital product that only needs to be downloaded as a PDF without any editing, a normal Canva account works great
- Share the products
- Canva template – get the link and embed into a PDF you’ve made (the PDF that you’ll be uploading to the Etsy listing)
- Digital product – download the design as PDF or PNG
- Upload your product photo, video with details and prices
- Attach the product or PDF containing the product link to the listing
- Click “Publish” and start selling!
As Etsy identifies it as a digital download, no product shipments are required once you make a sale. Your customers will receive the PDF that you have uploaded to the listing for their immediate download a.k.a instant downloads for them!
Benefits of Digital Product on Etsy
- Super easy to start as a newbie – this depends on the kind of digital product you will be selling e.g. printables are very easy to make
- Low cost of production – allows you to price competitively and make a lot of money as your sales increase. Almost zero extra cost with each sale!
- Highly scalable online business – with the right products and pricing
- Your customers decide how to use – they can print or use it digitally to their needs
- No refunds, exchanges or cancellations – YAY?!?
Verdict: Print On Demand vs Digital Product on Etsy
Personally, I believe in taking baby steps in anything you do. A big leap is not sustainable for anyone unless you have a team of people sharing the workload with you. Chances are you’re a solopreneur, a single mom, someone looking to start a side hustle and grow it over time to eventually perhaps quit your 9-5 in a year or two. I want you to do things at a sustainable pace, get out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself but not too thin.
That said, if it’s your first time selling on Etsy or first time using Canva and first time hearing of print on demand, take a step back to reassess. Recalibrate your thoughts to not stress yourself.
What can I do this month to get sales next month?
How many hours do I have out of my full-time job to do this?
What’s my confidence level to learn Etsy and everything else as fast as possible?
Okay, here’s the tip to get started.
- Open an Etsy account and don’t do anything else with it
- Head on to Canva to design something – start with something easy, an art print for the sake of this post, choose poster size
- Go back to Etsy, list your first digital art print product – you need at least 1 product to open your shop
- There’s a tiny fee of $0.20 for each listing you create
- Set up your payment details
- Done! Your shop is now open
Congrats! You have successfully opened an Etsy shop. It’s only onward and upward from here. Repeat the steps you’ve made to create the designs and figure it out from there. Throughout my journey as an Etsy seller, I’ve made tons of research on YouTube, other blog posts and even on my own playing around with my shop’s dashboard.
As you can see, I highly recommend that you start selling digital downloads via Etsy as a beginner. I know it seems daunting and we all tend to worry too much but it’s pretty easy to start a shop. Print on demand can be your second business model on Etsy as you slowly get used to the e-commerce platform. For the sake of your mental peace, you don’t have to rush everything. I trust that you will do well in this new journey of yours.
With any business, consistency is important. While you may start as a newbie (everyone did!) and maybe not with the best products or with the most SEO-friendly keywords, consistency and doing it repeatedly will make you better. Continue to list products in your Etsy shop and don’t stop with just 10 digital products. Aim for more with greater quality! Do research to know what you can do better each time, learn along the way and find out what works for you.