When it comes to running an Etsy store, you may have heard about the convenience and scalability of print-on-demand services. However, what if you also want to sell physical products, such as handmade crafts or vintage finds? The good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two. In this blog post, we’ll explore whether your new Etsy shop can have physical products and print-on-demand items all in one place.
Let’s start with, what is print-on-demand?
To answer the question, let’s first understand what print-on-demand (POD) means. Essentially, POD is a service model where you can upload your own designs to a platform, and the platform takes care of printing and shipping the products whenever a customer places an order. Examples of POD items include t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and posters.
Now, the Etsy marketplace allows sellers to offer both physical and digital products, so it’s natural to wonder if POD falls under the latter category. The good news is that it doesn’t. Essentially, POD is a form of manufacturing or production, which is considered a physical product even if the printing is outsourced elsewhere. Therefore, you can indeed have POD items in your Etsy shop alongside your handmade or vintage products.
If you want to learn more about the different print-on-demand sites, you can check out my blog post here! I also have a *free* mini-course on the top 10 print-on-demand companies as you start doing your research.
Why have POD and handmade products in your own Etsy shop?
Having both physical and POD products in your Etsy shop has many advantages. The main one is that it allows you to offer a wider range of items to customers, which gives them more options when shopping with you. Additionally, since the products are fulfilled by the POD service, you don’t need to worry about stock levels or shipping delays. This means that once an order is placed, all you have to do is wait for the product to be shipped out!
Shipping costs depend greatly on the product, so you will want to make sure that your shipping costs are clear.
Another benefit of having a combination of handmade and POD items in your shop is that it helps diversify your income stream. By offering multiple types of products, you can attract different kinds of shoppers and increase your sales volume over time.
What kind of income stream can you have with Etsy?
There are a few different income streams available through Etsy. The first is via physical sales, which is the money you make when customers purchase your handmade or vintage items. Print-on-demand products also generate income, but in this case, it comes from both sales and royalty fees that occur each time an item is purchased. Lastly, you can have a passive income stream if customers sign up for your subscription boxes or product bundles.
Are there any disadvantages for Etsy sellers to mix the two in their own shop?
Yes, there are a few potential disadvantages to having physical and POD products in one Etsy shop. For example, having too many items can make it difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for. Additionally, depending on the platform or partner you use for your POD services, you may not have full control over pricing and shipping costs.
It’s also important to note that some customers might be discouraged from buying handmade items if they don’t feel that your shop is reliable enough due to the presence of POD items. Therefore, it’s important that you create a strong brand identity and maintain good customer service when selling both types of products on Etsy.
Being clear and upfront with your buyers will build repeat business and a successful shop. As long as you are providing quality products at competitive prices, you will be successful.
So how is it different in your Etsy store?
There are some guidelines to keep in mind. For example, if you’re using a POD service, make sure that you disclose this in your item listing. Etsy requires sellers to be transparent about who is fulfilling the orders, so customers know what to expect.
You can find this in the core detail section. As seen in the picture below, you will want to fill in the following details on Etsy:
- Another company or person made the product
- It is a finished product
- It was made to order
- Add in the production partner (the POD provider who is printing your product)
Also, be mindful of shipping times, as POD items may take longer to arrive than handmade ones. When you integrate your POD provider with your Etsy shop, it will automatically fill in the shipping profile which you can then use for that listing.
From the eye of a customer
Another consideration is branding and messaging. If your shop offers both handmade goods and POD products, you may want to distinguish between the two types of items in your branding or marketing. This could mean using different product photos, descriptions, or packaging. Using social media is a great way to show your own brand, custom products, and marketing materials.
Think about how you can communicate the value of your handmade items alongside the convenience of your POD ones. Using the product categories in your Etsy shop can also make it really easy for your customers to identify which type of product they are looking for.
Of course, the decision to offer POD products alongside physical ones will depend on your business goals and resources. If you’re looking to expand your offerings without having to invest in equipment or supplies, POD can be a great option. Just keep in mind that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and that your customers may have different preferences and expectations.
What about Etsy ads for your products?
Yes, you can use Etsy Ads for both physical and print-on-demand products. However, it’s important to know that not all POD providers are compatible with Etsy Ads, so make sure to check with your provider before setting up campaigns. If they don’t offer integration, you will need to manually create campaigns using the keywords relevant to each product listing.
Additionally, consider creating a separate campaign for your handmade items (if applicable) since these may have different features or benefits than your POD products. This way, customers who are looking specifically for handmade items won’t be shown ads featuring only POD products and vice versa.
Let’s wrap it up!
In summary, it is completely possible to offer both physical products and print-on-demand items in your Etsy store. By understanding the guidelines for disclosing and branding your offerings, you can create a cohesive and diverse product lineup that appeals to a wider audience. Ultimately, what matters most is finding the balance between your resources, your brand, and your customers’ needs.
If you are looking to get started with your own POD shop, check out this post where we will talk about the tools that you will need!