How to Dropship on Etsy the Right Way With Print on Demand

How to Dropship on Etsy the Right Way With Print on Demand

Learning how to dropship on Etsy using Print on Demand (POD) is a fantastic way to tap into their massive marketplace of over 90 million active buyers. 

Set aside your arts and crafts supplies – we’ll walk you through the easiest way to sell unique, personalized products without making the items yourself or managing inventory. 

This article will show you how to set up a successful Etsy store with POD, ensuring your products align with Etsy’s custom-made theme and stand out from the competition.

Key Takeaways

  • It is possible to dropship Etsy products sourced through POD.
  • Etsy dropshipping with POD offers low startup costs, access to a large customer base, and lets you design unique products for a niche market.
  • High competition, strict product regulations, and limited scalability due to reliance on POD services can challenge your Etsy dropshipping businesses.
  • Printify makes dropshipping with Etsy easy and profitable. We’ve reduced common POD challenges by offering a wide range of customizable products, partnering with vetted Print Providers, and providing easy-to-use tools.

What Is Dropshipping?

A smiling woman holding a cardboard package.

Dropshipping is a retail method that lets you sell products without keeping them in stock. Basically, you’re the middleman, connecting customers with products and keeping the profit.  

Here’s how it works:

  1. You create an online store: This is your storefront where customers browse and buy your products.
  2. You pick a dropshipping supplier: They’ll warehouse, package, and ship products directly to your customers.
  3. Someone buys your stuff: Congrats! A customer places an order on your store.
  4. The order goes to the dropshipper: You forward the order details to your supplier.
  5. You keep the profits: The dropshipper fulfills the order, and you pocket the difference between your selling price and the supplier’s cost.


Find out more about how to start a dropshipping business on our blog.

Can You Dropship on Etsy?

A man packaging his Etsy order.

While the marketplace is known for vintage or handmade items, you can dropship on Etsy through Print on Demand. However, common dropshipping items, like electronics from platforms like AliExpress, are not permissible. 

However, POD items are considered handmade because they are designed by the seller, fitting within Etsy’s product categories.

Explore. While you learn how to set up dropshipping on Etsy, get familiar with their policies. Find out what you can and can’t sell on their platform and avoid policy violations and blocked accounts:

How to Dropship on Etsy With Print on Demand

Create an Etsy Account and Store

To start dropshipping on Etsy, you first need to create an Etsy Seller account following these steps: 

  • Create an Etsy account. Go to Etsy, and click on Sign in to set up a buyer account.
  • Create an Etsy seller account. Look for the option Sell on Etsy in the upper-right corner menu, and follow the steps.
  • Complete onboarding. Navigate to the Shop Manager and follow the steps, including creating a mockup product to complete the registration process – you can delete this product later.
  • Open your shop. Once onboarding is complete, click Open your shop to activate it.

Tip. If you need further guidance, check out our step-by-step guides to walk you through the process:

Research What Products to Sell

An Etsy seller researching what dropshipping products to sell on her shop.

Choosing the right products is essential for gaining traffic and making sales on Etsy. Explore these research strategies specifically tailored for dropshipping on Etsy with Printify:

  • Etsy niche research. Analyze your chosen niche within the Etsy marketplace by identifying popular products, pricing strategies, and marketing approaches used by successful sellers.
  • Printify bestsellers. Explore Printify’s Catalog of best-selling products and look for popular items that align with your chosen niche.
  • Trending topics. Utilize Google Trends to identify popular keywords related to your niche. These keywords can be transformed into high-demand POD products.
  • POD discovery platforms. Multiple websites specialize in POD trends and product research, often featuring updated lists of top-selling POD items and partnering with platforms like Printify. Some examples include:
  • Customer connection. Engaging with your target audience through reviews and feedback is crucial for continuous improvement. Understanding what dropshipping products resonate with them can help guide your product selection.

Check out these best-selling POD product categories and items that can help you launch your successful Etsy dropshipping business:

Important. Don’t waste time looking for Etsy dropshipping suppliers on AliExpress and similar platforms, as mass-produced items are not allowed on Etsy.

Establish Your Niche

A smiling man sitting in front of a laptop.

A niche is a specialized market segment with unique interests and needs. Finding your niche is key to success when dropshipping with POD on Etsy, as it helps you narrow down the target audience. 

Etsy thrives on handmade and unique items, so standing out with niche-specific designs is necessary for capturing attention and attracting a dedicated customer base.

Targeting a niche allows you to:

  • Craft unique products. Cater to a specific audience with designs that resonate with their interests.
  • Attract targeted customers. Attract buyers actively searching for niche-related products.
  • Reduce competition. Stand out in a crowded marketplace by focusing on a defined market segment.


To find the perfect niche for your Etsy dropshipping journey, check out our guide – What is a Niche?

Create a Printify Account and Connect With Etsy

Printify is a popular choice for Etsy sellers due to its seamless integration. Setting up an account and connecting it to your Etsy store is easy:

  • Create or sign in to your Printify account.
  • Go to Manage my stores.
  • Click Connect and choose Etsy – select Add a new store for additional shops.
  • Log in to your Etsy account and grant Printify access.
  • Verify the email address that matches your Etsy shop connection.

Now you can:

  • Publish products to your online storefront from Printify.
  • Manage all orders within Printify.
  • Leverage Printify’s automated shipping rates.


Learn more about Etsy Print on Demand and our Etsy integration.

Design Your Custom Products

Printify’s Product Creator is a powerful tool that helps you design and visualize your dropshipping products in a realistic setting before selling them on your Etsy store. 

Here’s a quick rundown of its features and how to start customizing products.


  • AI Image Generator and a Pattern Creator. 
  • Multiple editing tools include image cropping, fit and fill, scaling and positioning, a magnifier, and a dedicated toolbar for flipping and duplicating.
  • Background-removal feature. 
  • Text Editor with multiple fonts, languages, and emojis. 
  • Improved layer alignment.
  • Free Graphics Library and templates.
  • Low-resolution image enhancement.

Start designing following these steps:

  • Choose a product. Select an item from our Catalog and click Start designing.
  • Apply your design. Either upload an existing image or create a new one.
  • Adjust design. Resize, reposition, and align your design using the side panel.
  • Choose product colors. Select color variants and sizes for your product.
  • Preview the mockup. View mockups in RGB (vibrant) and CMYK (realistic) color modes.
      • Upload a custom background image (limited availability).
      • Download mockups from the preview.
  • Save product. Connect your own eCommerce site to Printify to sell your items.


See more about the Product Creator on our YouTube channel.

Publish Your Product Listings

After creating your products, select the listings you want to show on Etsy and click Publish. Then, you’ll have to edit them on Etsy and fill in specific fields that will help to make your products appear in the search results. 

Pay attention to the following sections: 

  • Upload up to ten high-quality Photos showcasing your product from various angles. 
  • Add relevant keywords in the alt text and follow Etsy’s size guidelines. 
  • Consider adding a short, engaging Video demonstrating your product’s features (optional but recommended).
  • Write short but keyword-rich Product Titles. However, avoid keyword stuffing and prioritize readability.
  • Use the Etsy search bar to find popular keywords that fit your products’ primary Categories. Utilize Etsy’s subcategories for further refinement and discoverability.
  • Create clear and informative Descriptions using short paragraphs and bullet points. Weave in relevant keywords (both short and long-tail) to enhance search rankings.
  • Expand your discoverability by utilizing the Tags section to include additional keywords and highlight unique product features not covered elsewhere in your listing. 

Indicate Printify as Your Production Partner

To align your business with Etsy’s dropshipping rules, it’s mandatory to disclose the product creation methods and Printify as your production partner for each listing.  Products are either handmade or handmade with production assistance.

So, when using Printify for sourcing products to your Etsy store, you’ll need to manually edit Etsy listings:

  • Edit a published Etsy listing.
  • In Core Details, change Who made it? to Another company or person.
  • Create a new production partner, which you can choose not to display in the listings:
    • Name: Printify
    • Location: United States of America
    • About: Production partners
  • Save the production partner.
  • Save the changes to your listing.

Important. Remember to repeat this for all future Etsy listings.


See our Printify and Etsy Partnership section in our Help Center.

Pros of Dropshipping on Etsy

A woman laughing in front of a colorful background wall.

Dropshipping with POD on Etsy offers several advantages for aspiring entrepreneurs, making it an attractive option for launching a business. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key benefits.

Ideal for Unique Niches and Custom-Designed Products

Etsy focuses on customized and handmade products. POD allows you to cater to niche markets by designing unique products that resonate with particular Etsy buyers. 

You’re not limited to generic products – create custom t-shirts with funny slogans for gamers, tote bags with inspirational quotes for yoga lovers, or fair trade items. Designing personalized products sets your shop apart and attracts Etsy’s customers seeking distinctive items.

Access an Established Customer Base

Etsy boasts a massive user base of over 90 million buyers globally, many actively searching for handcrafted and unique products. Launching an Etsy storefront will give you immediate access to this established marketplace, eliminating the need to build brand awareness from scratch

Etsy’s built-in search functionality and targeted advertising options can help your products reach potential customers who are already interested in what you offer.

Beginner-Friendly With Low Startup Costs

Unlike traditional retail models that require purchasing and managing inventory, dropshipping with POD on Etsy is significantly more accessible. You don’t need a large upfront investment in stock or warehouse space. 

With POD, you only pay for the product when a customer makes a purchase. This minimizes risk and allows you to experiment with different product ideas without financial commitment. It’s a fantastic way to test the waters of eCommerce and learn the ropes before potentially scaling up your dropshipping business.

Provides Flexibility

Dropshipping Etsy products gives you the flexibility to manage your online store from anywhere. There’s no need for a physical storefront or managing inventory logistics, freeing up your time to focus on creative aspects like product design, marketing, and customer service.

Remember. While you learn how to start dropshipping on Etsy, don’t forget to check out Printify Integration for Your Etsy Store.

Cons of Dropshipping on Etsy

A concerned-looking woman working on her laptop.

While dropshipping with POD offers a compelling entry point for Etsy sellers, there are also some challenges to consider.

High Competition

Etsy is a popular platform for both established businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. The marketplace is saturated with Etsy merchants offering similar POD products, making it crucial to stand out from the crowd.

To succeed, you’ll need to create unique designs, identify a specific niche, and implement effective marketing strategies to attract customers to your shop.

Rigid Rules and Regulations

Etsy has clear guidelines regarding product types, production methods, and seller conduct. Unlike traditional dropshipping, you can’t sell mass-produced items or generic merchandise.

Your products must align with Etsy’s focus on handmade goods and vintage items. This means you’ll need to ensure your POD service provider offers high-quality printing and uses materials that comply with Etsy’s standards. 

Additionally, Etsy requires sellers to be transparent – you must disclose your POD dropshipping supplier as your production partner for each listing. Familiarizing yourself with Etsy’s policies and staying compliant is essential to avoid account suspension or product removal.

Low Scalability

While dropshipping offers low startup costs, scaling your eCommerce business significantly on Etsy can be challenging. Since you’re relying on a third party for production and fulfillment, your profit margins might be lower than in a business model where you manage your inventory. 

Additionally, POD service pricing structures often favor larger order quantities, so you might not see significant cost reductions as your sales volume increases. 

If you envision significant future growth for your dropshipping business, you might need to consider transitioning to a different fulfillment model at some point.


Here are some additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Profit margins. POD service fees and product pricing can affect your profit margins. Carefully research competition and market trends and factor in all costs when determining competitive prices.
  • Limited control over production and shipping. While most reputable POD services offer great service, issues may arise relating to product quality, turnaround times, and shipping. Building a strong relationship with your POD provider and closely monitoring customer feedback can help mitigate these risks.

The benefits of dropshipping with POD on Etsy outweigh these challenges, remaining a viable option for many entrepreneurs. By carefully considering the pros and cons, developing a strong brand identity, and implementing effective marketing strategies, you can establish a successful eCommerce site and build a loyal customer base.


If you decide to dropship products with other platforms, take a look at some Etsy alternatives and the best dropshipping websites.

Why Dropship on Etsy With Printify?

Choosing Printify for your Etsy dropshipping business offers numerous advantages, making it a popular method for selling items. Here’s a breakdown of some key benefits.

No Risk

Unlike traditional inventory-based businesses, you don’t need to invest in bulk stock with Printify. You’ll only pay for the products when a customer orders from your Etsy shop, minimizing financial risk. You’re also free to test different product ideas at no cost.

900+ Products

Our Catalog features a vast product range from reliable suppliers, allowing you to cater to a wide range of customer preferences. You can easily adapt your product offerings from classic t-shirts and mugs to phone cases, tote bags, and even wall art.

Simplified Fulfillment

Once you receive an order on Etsy, our Print Partners will handle the printing, packaging, and shipping process. This frees you up to focus on marketing your shop, designing new products, and providing excellent customer service.

Global Printing and Shipping

Our trusted Print Partners ensure fast delivery to your Etsy buyers no matter their location. This can be a significant advantage if you plan to target international markets with your dropshipping business.

Free Suite of Design Tools

We provide beginner-friendly design tools that allow you to easily create mockups and customize your products. Even if you don’t have graphic design experience, these tools empower you to bring your creative vision to life.

Branding Options

Printify integrates seamlessly with Etsy’s gift messaging feature, allowing customers to include personalized messages with their orders. This adds a thoughtful touch and can enhance the customer experience, potentially leading to repeat business.


Learn more about setting up Etsy gift messages with Printify on our Help Center.

Make It Happen Today!

Printify allows you to streamline your Etsy dropshipping business so you can focus on building your brand. Sign up for Printify and become an Etsy dropshipper in no time.

FAQ: Starting an Etsy Dropshipping Business

Yes, but with limitations. Etsy only allows dropshipping through POD services. Traditional dropshipping that involves reselling mass-produced items is not permitted, as Etsy prioritizes handmade goods and vintage items.

No, dropshipping from AliExpress or similar eCommerce platforms that sell generic products or rebranding commercial items is against Etsy’s policies. Their focus is on unique and handcrafted items.

Dropshipping from Amazon to Etsy is usually not allowed. Etsy requires all products to be handmade or designed by the seller, which excludes most items found on Amazon.

When you receive a sale on your own online store, Etsy forwards the order details to the connected POD service. They’ll handle printing, packaging, and shipping the product directly to your customer. 

Unlike traditional Etsy shops, where you might set your own shipping rates and options, POD services typically have their own pre-set shipping options and costs.


Dropshipping on Etsy using Print on Demand can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you’ve followed our guide closely. 

By adhering to Etsy’s guidelines and leveraging platforms like Printify, you can create a thriving dropshipping business that capitalizes on the platform’s vast market of buyers looking for unique products.

Transform your ideas into reality by choosing to dropship products with Printify’s awesome features and Etsy’s massive customer base. Start your journey and sell products today!

Make It Happen Today!

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