Etsy Beginner Tutorial — Print on Demand — Part 1— Production Partners

This article is part of a series:


I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to waste time. I’ve always had the “let’s just start now, and we’ll see later how it goes” -type of attitude.

While this approach works for some things, it doesn’t work for everything.

I’ve wanted to start an Etsy shop for a long time, however I didn’t know anything about Etsy and how it works.

And… one of the most important reasons why I didn’t start yet is the following:

Putting items on Etsy costs you money!

That’s right — Etsy charges you $0.20 for each item that you list for sale on

“You will be charged a listing fee for creating OR renewing a listing on Etsy, whether or not the listed item sells.”

So before we move on — if you still need to open your Etsy shop, you can do it via this link. Here, you will get 40 FREE listings, which will save you a couple bucks 🙂 listings expire after four months, and after the 4th month it needs to be renewed — manually or automatically — and it will again cost you 20 cents.

Etsy Auto renewal option

For 1 listing this ain’t so bad, but I have 1000+ designs. Imagine I’d upload all of them, that would cost me +200 dollars… and more!

More info about the fees on Etsy’s website: Fees & Payments Policy (Effective from 1st December 2022) — Our House Rules | Etsy

Without understanding Etsy or knowing how it works… just starting to upload designs didn’t seem smart.

So I did some research, and here is the first important thing you need to know:

Connect your Etsy Shop with a Production partner

You can fulfill your own orders on Etsy, but why put in the work if you can have it done for you?

What is a production partner a.k.a. Supplier?

Simply explained:

Customer places order → Supplier detects the order → Supplier prints item → Supplier does packaging → Supplier ships to customer + adds tracking number for customer.

Important sidenote here: Usually you have to pay the supplier immediately, as soon as they start fulfilling an order. This means you’ll need to have some money up front, or a credit card connected to your “supplier’s account”.

You pay the supplier for the item, they print, package and ship it to your customer. Awesome, right?

Best production partners for Print on Demand

There are a few production partners out there, I’ve listed the most common ones and wrote some pro’s and con’s — but feel free to do your own research!

  1. This is the biggest one, I’m using this already for my Amazon shop. It’s very simple to use, great support and a lot of documentation is provided on it.

2. This is basically a “middle man”, meaning you can choose from different subcontractors. This is good because if 1 company goes out of stock, Printify re-routes the order to another partner, who can fulfil it instead.

3. The power here is jewellery: They have awesome necklaces, earrings, bracelets etc. that you can customize, which is pretty cool.

Gearbubble example

4. Awkward styles: It’s a new one, has a very good quality AND insanely good pricing in comparison to the others.

Awkward Styles

My choice:

For now, I’m going with Printful because I’m used to the interface. Also, all my designs are already there, my Amazon shop is already connected to it, the quality is good, great & fast support… etc. And it’s free to start. A few reasons to use Printful.

My Printful Dashboard

However, you can have multiple production partners connected to Etsy, so just pick one! In the below screenshot, you can see I have currently connected 2:

Printful is my main one, so I’ll focus on this for the upcoming articles.

However, in the future I’ll definitely test with Awkward Styles as well, because they have really good prices and amazing quality: A t-shirt there costs $9.70 vs $12.95 on Printful.

That’s a big difference. So why not give it a try?

Upcoming article:

Getting Started with Etsy, Print on Demand — Part 2: Research Tools

It’s not very smart to just RANDOMLY start designing and uploading stuff…

In this article I go over the best Etsy research tools on how you can find the best designs!

Go to next article: Etsy Beginner Tutorial — Print on Demand — Part 2 — RESEARCH!

P.S. Have you read my previous articles about Print on Demand yet?


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Did you know? I also write about different passive income streams like Print on Demand, YouTube Automation, investing tips, healthy habits and just keeping yourself motivated to keep going every day!

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Michiel Schuer


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