How to Sell Art Prints on Etsy

by Michael McCarty
Founder, Tribeca Printworks

Etsy began in 2005 as a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of unique, handcrafted goods. The platform’s popularity has soared since, with an annual market revenue of $1.9 billion and 95 million active buyers. These numbers represent an exceptional opportunity to make extra money by selling prints on Etsy

Printing to order makes the venture more cost-effective since there’s no need to make a substantial upfront investment in inventory. You’ll be able to provide your customers with precisely what they want — high-quality prints of your amazing work in their preferred size and format.

The following steps review how to sell prints on Etsy and set your shop up for success.

1. Decide Which Items You Want to Sell

One of the primary benefits of retailing prints is the ability to profit multiple times from a single work. Yet, before you can start selling prints on Etsy, you have to decide which ones to list and what formats you’ll offer.

Do some market research.

Etsy has 7.5 million active sellers, which means finding your niche is essential. Questions to ask include:

  • Who are your potential customers, and what work will resonate with them? 
  • What are they searching for the most and ultimately buying? 
  • What are they searching for and not finding? 
  • What mediums are popular? 

The answers will provide some guidance on existing opportunities and underserved customer bases.

Ensure Your Work Meets Etsy Guidelines

The company has earned its reputation as the marketplace of choice for vintage and handmade goods, and it keeps a close watch over products to ensure the platform maintains that honor. Only sell prints on Etsy that are your original artwork or photos, and avoid posting interpretations of other artists’ work.

Choose Your Print Options

You can offer your potential customers many print mediums to set your work apart. Options include:

You’ll also need to decide on other features you’ll include for customers to customize their orders. For example, will you offer various frame styles, sizes and edge treatments? The choices available from your printing partner will help inform what options you can provide and the costs associated with them so you can price honestly and accurately.

2. Select a Reputable Printing Partner

When you set up an Etsy store and start selling, you’ll also be building your artistic reputation among its buyers. Protecting your good name means choosing a highly regarded printing partner. Some tips for identifying the best one for you include:

  • Look for a company with an established history. How many years of experience do they have? Do they provide examples of completed work? What do their customers say about working with them?
  • Select a partner with in-depth expertise. Does the company specialize in artwork and photo printing? Do they have a team of expert artists who understand your creative wants and needs?
  • Investigate additional support services. Does the printer offer extra support like art scanning and retouching to make your work shine at its best? Will they ship directly to your customers, or will you have to handle the logistics?
  • Choose a company that’s as passionate about quality as you are. Does the printer have a reputation for outstanding results? Are they using the latest technology to produce the best prints? Do they offer high-quality paper, frame and ink options to create a piece your customer can admire for a long time?
  • Opt for a partner who can meet your shop’s fulfillment needs. Do they make the ordering process as easy as possible and accept digital uploads? Is there a minimum order value or quantity? Do they handle framing in-house or outsource it? How quickly can they ship?

3. Develop Your Business Basics

There are several fundamental business factors to consider before you start selling prints on Etsy, including:

  • Branding your shop. Will you use your given name or a fictional one? Have you developed a logo to accompany your store, or will you create one? If you’ve already begun marketing your work or setting up social media, you’ll want to keep these details consistent.
  • Handling order issues. What will your store’s policies be for order cancellations or returns? Laws about accepting cancellations or returns may vary by jurisdiction, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with those upfront.
  • Marketing your work. How will you help buyers find you? You can depend on organic discovery or invest in self-promotion and paid advertising.

4. Set Up an Etsy Store

Building your Etsy storefront is the next step you’ll need to complete before selling on the platform. Fortunately, the platform simplifies that. You can set it up with credentials on the website or use your Google, Apple or Facebook accounts to sign up.

As part of this process, you’ll:

  • Name your shop, enter its location, and choose your currency and payment methods.
  • Decide how Etsy will pay you.
  • Provide billing information for costs like the one-time, $15 shop setup fee and listing expenses.
  • Write a compelling bio and “About” section that discloses any partners you work with to create the product.
  • Craft honest and transparent listings with high-quality photos.

The site completely guides you from opening to your first listing for a friction-free experience.

Start Selling Prints on Etsy With High-Quality Services From Tribeca Printworks

Tribeca Printworks is a full-service printing partner with extensive industry experience and expertise. We help artists like you maximize their works with design advice, customization options and fast turnaround times with no minimum order requirements. Our team offers framing in addition to our print-only services, all custom-built in our showroom for one-stop convenience.

Plus, we invest in only the finest raw materials for museum-quality prints, including pigment-based inks and archival-level mediums tested for up to a century of longevity. We also use market-leading equipment and technology to promote superior definition and outstanding results.

Let us help you profit from your work by requesting a free design consultation, or contact us online for more details.

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