How to Start a Print on Demand Business on Etsy in 8 Steps

Learn how to start a print on demand business on Etsy and discover how to set up your shop, choose the right products, and maximize your sales.

min read

Have you ever dreamed of turning your creative ideas into a thriving online business without the headache of inventory management, shipping logistics, or upfront costs?

Imagine earning extra income with minimal effort – sounds enticing, right?

If your answer is Yes – then a POD business is exactly what you need.

Whether you want to make some side income or build a full-fledged business, we’ll show you how to start a Print-on-Demand business on Etsy in eight easy steps.

Let’s join forces and turn your creativity into profit!

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Showcase your E-commerce products like big brands, without costing a fortune

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What Is a Print on Demand Business?

A POD business represents a budget-friendly way for creators to bring their custom products to life!

What types of products could they be?

They are typically:

  • Clothing Items – T-shirts, hoodies, socks, etc.
  • Accessories – bags, scarves, hats.
  • Home and Office Supplies – mouse pads, mugs, notebooks, etc.
  • Outdoor and Recreational Gear – beach towels, umbrellas, picnic blankets.
  • Stationery Items – pens and pencils, sticky notes, notepads, planners.
  • Promotional Items – keychains, magnets, badges – you name it!

With a POD business, designs are digitally printed on-demand (only when an order is placed), allowing for customization and flexibility.

How Does a Print on Demand Business Work?

The POD business model involves third-party suppliers, known as print-on-demand services, that manage the entire order fulfillment process from printing to shipping.

Wondering how does a POD business work?

Let’s break down the process step-by-step.

  1. The process starts with the customer, who places an order.
  2. Once the order is placed, it goes to your online store, which is the platform where customers make their purchases – in this case, Etsy.
  3. After the order is received by your store, it is forwarded to the POD company or supplier.
  4. The POD supplier receives the order and deals with printing the custom design on the chosen item.
  5. Once the artwork is printed, the item is ready.
  6. The POD supplier then packs the printed item. They handle all the logistics involved in getting the product ready for shipping.
  7. The final step involves the supplier shipping the packaged item directly to the customer. 
  8. The customer receives the printed and packaged item they ordered from your store.

How to Start a Print-On-Demand Business on Etsy in 8 Steps?

We are confident that we have piqued your interest in starting your own POD business.

Keep reading as we guide you through the eight simple steps on how to start a POD business on Etsy.

Step 1: Create an Etsy Account

First things first!

To set up a shop on Etsy, you need to create an Etsy account.

Here you need to:

  • Set your shop location and currency,
  • Choose a shop name,
  • Create a listing,
  • Set a payment method and a billing method for your Etsy fees.

Step 2: Open an Etsy Shop

Visit and select Get started.


Here you have some questions to answer.

You need to:

  • Select your shop language, country, and currency.
  • Choose your shop name – Make sure to come up with a catchy brand name. (Don’t bother too much, as it can be changed later.)
  • Set up your billing – Connect your bank account to your Etsy shop so that you can receive payments.

Once your shop is open, you can manage it on the Etsy Seller app.

Step 3: Choose Your Niche

Etsy offers a wide range of categories, from accessories to toys.


We recommend that you carefully consider and choose a specific niche or topic to focus on when starting a POD business.

Here’s a helpful checklist to assess if you’re heading in the right direction:

  • It is a profitable niche with high demand.
  • You can stand out among other creative individuals.
  • It correlates with your personal preferences.
  • You know your target market.
  • It aligns with your skills and experience.

Reading comments can also provide valuable insights into people’s expectations and requirements, helping you make informed decisions.

This approach will help you:

  • Reduce competition,
  • Tailor your products to a specific audience.
  • Build a strong brand identity.

📌 Note

To stand out even more, avoid broad categories like “gardeners” or “book lovers.”

Instead, narrow your focus to “urban gardeners” or “comic book readers” for better results.

Step 4: Pick the Right Products

Your goal is to create a wide collection of products that fits well with a selected niche.

However, you can start with a few products and introduce new and relevant ones gradually over time to keep your offerings fresh and engaging.

For example, If you choose the pet niche – what products will you focus on?

These could be either pet-specific or pet-related products:

  • T-shirts, hoodies, or any other clothing items with pet designs on them,
  • Mugs with pet designs,
  • Dog balls with customized names on them, 
  • Customized dog leach,
  • Dog’s bed with a name, and so on.

To ensure you pick the right products, browse through Etsy to see which types of POD items are in high demand.

Study your competitors’ best-selling products, pricing, designs, and customer reviews to understand what works well and identify opportunities for your unique products.

Pro tip 💡

Step into the free Dynamic Mockups library and customize the most common products – T-shirts, hoodies, wall art, and tote bags – but expect much more!


Step 5: Create a Design

Time to focus on a fun part – expressing your creativity!

Your design is the heart of your product, distinguishing it in a competitive market.

Always create high-quality designs and be mindful of dimensions, as you don’t want your design to be cut off during the printing process.

A great way to achieve this is to use mockups to display your designs in a realistic and attractive way.

Pro tip 💡

For 100 designs on T-shirts, hoodies, and mugs in 3 different colors, you would have to create 900 mockup variations manually on other platforms since all of them offer just one color and one design asset at a time.

However, with Dynamic Mockups, you can add multiple colors and multiple design assets and create as many mockups as you want.

With a simple Mockup Editor interface, you can create flawless designs in seconds!

⚡ Sync Mockups Directly to Etsy – New feature is live! Push mockups directly to Etsy and save your time by avoiding the manual download and upload process.

Step 6: Stock Your Shop

After completing the steps above, you are now ready to start adding products (aka listing) to your Etsy shop.

Now it’s the right moment to figure out how to make your items stand out and attract buyers.

Here are some suggestions for enhancing your listings:

  • Go for short and sweet titles.
  • Provide accurate item descriptions.
  • Use high-quality, appealing product images.
  • Set competitive prices.
  • Clearly outline purchasing details, including shipping timelines, rates, and available options, to provide transparency and build customer trust.

Check out the example below:


Another aspect you shouldn’t overlook is keywords! Incorporate them into your:

  • Product titles,
  • Descriptions, and
  • Etsy tags.

Check the example:


Valentine’s Day Gift” is the keyword that will improve the visibility of your items and help potential customers find your products more easily.

Step 7: Marketing and Promotion

Effective marketing is key to attracting new customers and ensuring your products stand out in a competitive market.

Focus on marketing strategies such as:

  • Social media,
  • Email, and
  • Influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing may be the best option in this modern time – partner with influencers in your niche to promote your products.

You can do this through:

🌟 Giveaways,

🌟 Sponsored posts, or

🌟 Reviews.

Encourage customers to share photos of their purchases on social media (UGC) and feature these on your own platforms.

​​Promotional Campaigns can work too, so don’t hesitate to go for occasional:

  • Discounts,
  • Giveaways,
  • Buy one, get one free deal,
  • Free shipping.

Step 8: Start Selling

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the final destination! 

Your products are now live and available for customers to purchase.

Make sure you:

  • Keep a close eye on your shop, 
  • Interact with customers and 
  • Adjust your strategies based on feedback and sales performance.

With your unique designs and the right marketing efforts, your Etsy print-on-demand business is poised for success.

Happy selling!

📌 Note 

Selling on Etsy is quite cost-effective.

It only costs USD 0.20 to publish a listing on the marketplace, and each listing remains active for four months or until the item is sold, whichever comes first.

When an item is sold, a 6.5% transaction fee is applied to the total sale price, which includes the price of the item as well as the postage price you set.

Wrapping It Up

An immense number of successful businesses begin with a single idea and a dream.

Starting your POD business on Etsy with your unique creations will reach a global audience, turning your passion into profit.

So, take the plunge, stay driven by inspiration, and witness your Etsy store thrive!

How Can Dynamic Mockups Assist in Starting a POD Business on Etsy?

Dynamic Mockups is an automated mockup generator tool for POD businesses that allows you to create a large number of mockup variations without increasing costs while increasing efficiency.

So, what do you need to create product mockups effortlessly?

Bulk Creation Feature: Easily upload multiple designs and color combinations at once, streamline the process and save you valuable time.

Native Photoshop Support: Upload your own custom-designed Photoshop templates to use as mockups. Create multiple mockups in bulk and tailor them to suit your specific requirements.

Free Mockup Library: Download a wide range of free library mockups covering various categories such as T-shirts, hoodies, wall art, pillows, blankets, tote bags, phone cases, etc.

Design Library: Store all your designs in one place. This simplifies the process of adding designs to mockups by eliminating the need to re-upload.

Add files from your local files, or connect your GoogleDrive, DopBox, and OneDrive to transfer designs to Dynamic Mockups seamlessly.

Editing Features: A variety of editing options to fully customize your mockups and designs. Instantly see the changes you make to all the combinations without having to apply them manually.

The world eagerly awaits your creativity, so let’s work together to bring your vision to life!

Dynamic Mockups waits for you – you are just a click away!

Start creating for Free!

Showcase your E-commerce products like big brands, without costing a fortune

Sign up today
No credit card required

Keep Learning

11 Tips to Start a Print-on-Demand Business

5 Tips To Create Product Mockups Easily

How to Fully Automate Your Print-on-Demand Business

Create realistic Mockups on the fly

Showcase your E-commerce products like big brands, without costing a fortune.

No credit card required

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