How to Sell Digital Designs on Etsy with Print-on-Demand Drop Shipping

Are you an artist or designer looking for a way to sell digital designs in your own online store? Do you have designs that you made on Canva, Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, or any digital design app that you are proud of? Do you want to start selling and sharing them with people? Have you considered using print-on-demand dropshipping to limit the risk when starting up?

In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of setting up your own Etsy shop and using print-on-demand drop shipping to sell digital designs in a no-risk, no-money up-front way. It can be a great way to make passive income with your designs at no risk to you. We’ll provide information on the different print-on-demand services available, and show you how to create and upload your designs. So let’s get started!

What is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand drop shipping is a process where you print your designs on demand and ship them directly to your customers from the print-on-demand service provider. This eliminates the need for you to maintain an inventory of products and allows you to sell your designs online without having to worry about shipping or fulfillment.

There are many print-on-demand drop shipping services available, so good and some bad. A couple we recommend using are Printful and Printed Mint. Both are easy-to-use print-on-demand service that integrates easily with Etsy. With Printful and Printed Mint, you can print your designs on a variety of products, including t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and more products than I can even list here!

Grab our list of the top 10 print-on-demand companies we recommend and their pros and cons at the end of this article. It’s a helpful guide to choosing the right company to partner with.

How to Sell Digital Designs on Printful (or the POD of your choice)

  1. To get started, you will first need to create an account with Printful. Once you have created your account, you can then connect your Etsy shop (see the “setting up your Etsy shop” section below if you have not created an account yet) by going to the “Integrations” tab and selecting Etsy.
  2. Now that you have print-on-demand drop shipping set up, it’s time to start creating and uploading your designs. Printful has a design editor that you can use to create your designs, or you can upload your own designs.
  3. Once you have created or uploaded your designs, you can then add them to products in your Printful account. To do this, go to the “Products” tab and select the product you want to add your design to. Then, click “Add design” and select the design you want to add.
  4. Now that your designs are added to products, you can start selling them in your Etsy shop! To do this, go back to your Etsy shop and go to the “Listings” page. On this page, you will see all of the products in your shop. To add a product, click “Add product” and select the product you want to add from Printful.
  5. Enter all of the information for your product, including the price, shipping info, and description. Be sure to upload good-quality photos of your products so that potential customers can see what they are buying.
  6. Once you have added all of the products you want to sell, you are ready to start selling your print-on-demand designs on Etsy!

***Check out this blog post for a list of our top 4 print-on-demand companies to work with***

Setting Up Your Etsy Shop

  1. Head to Etsy and sign up for an account. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your shop. Once you’re logged in, click Sell on Etsy on the left-hand side of the screen.
  2. Etsy will guide you through a series of steps to set up your shop. You’ll need to come up with a name for your shop and fill out your shop preferences, choose the payment methods you want to offer, and set up billing.
  3. You’ll also need to create at least one listing before you can open your Etsy shop. To do this, click Listings on the left-hand side of the screen and then click Add a listing.
  4. Etsy will guide you through the process of creating a listing. You’ll need to choose a listing type, add photos, select a category and subcategory for your listing, set the price, quantity, shipping details, and more. This will be much easier to do once you have created at least one product in your Print-on-Demand company of choice.
  5. Once you have created your first listing, you can then open your Etsy shop by clicking Open Your Shop on the right-hand side of the screen.
  6. You are now ready to start selling your print-on-demand designs on Etsy!

Pushing Products to Your Etsy Shop

Once you have your Etsy shop created and have integrated it with a print provider, you can push products directly to your Etsy shop. This eliminates the initial step of filling out many of the basic components as the print-on-demand company will do this for you.

To push a product, simply create a product on the POD website, and click on submit to store. This will create a new listing on Etsy under drafts. When you click on the draft, you will be able to view the product and finalize any changes to the listing.

What happens when you get an order on Etsy?

print-on-demand companies handle your orders for you to sell digital designs

When somebody buys something from your Etsy shop, the print-on-demand drop shipping company will print the product and send it to them. You don’t have to worry about anything – just sit back and watch the sales come in!

Some print-on-demand companies require you to manually approve the order (like Printed Mint), so be sure to check ahead of time. Your print provider should make it pretty clear what the purchasing process looks like.

Once your customer has received their order, I like to send a quick message asking them to leave a review for my shop. 

Adding Products

Once you get the hang of selling your digital designs through print-on-demand companies, you can start adding more and more products to your shop. I tend to stick mainly to Printful and Printed Mint for my products, but if you find that another POD offers a product you want to add, go for it!

Etsy really values shops that are continually adding new listings to their shop. Try things like using the same design on multiple products to get the most out of your artwork.

How do fees work on Etsy?

You will be charged a fee when you create a listing on Etsy. This fee covers the cost of creating the listing and allows you to sell your product for up to four months.

The fee for each listing is $0.20 USD, and if your product sells, you will also be charged a 3.5% transaction fee of the total sale price.

For example, if you sell a product for $15.00 USD, you will be charged a $0.20 USD listing fee and a $0.525 USD transaction fee ($15.00 x 0.035 = $0.525).

You can check out Etsy’s pricing page for more information.

Etsy also offers promoted listings, which allow you to pay a fee to have your listing appear higher in search results.

How do you sell digital designs on customized products?

Customizable products are so simple with a print-on-demand company. If you are wanting to sell digital designs on personalized mugs, ornaments, notebooks, etc., then you can use a POD. Be sure that you turn off automatic approval for the order on the POD. You will want to manually approve the order so that you can upload the correct file with the custom design.


There you have it! These are the steps you need to take to sell digital designs on Etsy and create a passive income stream for yourself!

Starting my Etsy shop has been one of the best decisions of my life and has allowed me the freedom to stop working full-time. Now I get to spend that extra time how I want! I hope you find great success too!

Grab our FREE downloadable list below and see the pros and cons of our top 10 print-on-demand companies!

⬇️ Check out this video below where I do an interview with Ryan Hogue about all things Etsy, Procreate and print-on-demand! ⬇️

If you want a more in-depth walkthrough that will have your Etsy shop up and running in a matter of hours, take a look at our “Procreate to Product” course below and enjoy a special limited-time offer!

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    Procreate to Product – Special Limited Time Offer

    If you want a more in-depth walkthrough that takes you step-by-step, my course “Procreate to Product” walks you through the entire setup process and will have you up and running with a fully optimized Etsy shop, your first product listing, and a detailed overview of the top 4 print-on-demand companies I personally work with and recommend. You can have your shop up and running within a matter of hours, ready to sell your digital designs!

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