I dropshipped on Etsy before (as an experiment only), and I am confident I can provide you with some important details about Etsy dropshipping.
In this article, I will discuss:
- Etsy’s dropshipping policy
- Best items to dropship on Etsy
- Pros and cons Etsy dropshipping
- Etsy is a marketplace for artists and designers
- You can dropship on Etsy with no issues if you abide by the rules
- Etsy is much more financially reasonable than building a Shopify store
In the end, I hope that this write-up is enough to provide you with the clarity you need about Etsy dropshipping! Let us start!
What is Etsy’s Policy on Dropshipping?
Etsy’s policy on dropshipping is clear: you must be the designer for the product. Etsy is fine with sellers who work with production partners. Below is an excerpt of what Etsy says about this, which you can find on Etsy’s Seller Policy Page.
As you can see, you must disclose in your product listing that you work with production partners. You can do this by checking a box in the product listing (before publication). This box indicates that you are working with a production partner.
Etsy will then give you options of what company you are working with. In my experience, Printify and Printful are in that selection. Once you publish your product, the product description automatically has an area stipulating that the product comes from Printify or (Printful).
One gray area here is the image or video. On item number three, Etsy says that you must use your photographs and that artistic renderings are not allowed. If you are selling via print-on-demand, it may be a problem, since all mock-ups are artistic renderings. Despite this, I have never heard of anyone being banned because of the use of product mock-ups from print-on-demand companies.
Best Etsy Dropshipping Suppliers
There are many dropshipping suppliers you can work with to succeed in Etsy dropshipping. The best ones that I recommend are:
- Shop 3D
1. Printify – best for print-on-demand
Printify is what I recommend if you want to sell a lot of product types, especially if you want to penetrate a particular niche. With Printify, you can sell mugs, shirts, bags, phone cases, canvas prints, wall art, and many more.
- Etsy Integration – you can integrate Printify directly with your Etsy store. You will create the product on Printify, and all it takes is to click a button to import that product to your Etsy store.
- International Providers – Printify works with many print providers worldwide. They currently have more than 80 suppliers, with printing facilities in more than 110 countries.
- Lots of Products – there are more than 900 products to choose from in Printify. It is up to you to choose a specific product niche or combine multiple product types and apply the same designs to them.
- The platform is easy to use, and it is free
- It has a design and mock-up tool
- More than 900 products to choose from
- Direct integration with Etsy
The only thing I do not like about Printify is the lack of mock-ups. They want you to use a third-party app for this, PlaceIt, which can set you back around $70 per year.
Printify is 100% free to use. However, you have the option to upgrade your account and pay $24.999 monthly. This premium account can give you as much as a 20% discount on the capital cost of the products you sell.
2. Shop 3D – best for 3D printing
Shop3D is a company that does 3D printing, such as toys and caricature figures. You can upload your designs, and then they will print this design and send the item to your customer. If you have not heard of 3D printing, please take the time to view a GIF here on Wikipedia.
- Integration – the Shop3D platform integrates with WooCommerce and Etsy. They will guide you on how to do this with their application programming interface or API.
- Material Availability – most 3D printers use plastic. Shop3D offers a variety of printing materials like silver, bronze, brass, and many more. Because of this, you can create jewelry designs and ask them to 3D print them for you.
- There is a direct integration with Etsy
- They offer white-label services
- You can brand your products
- The services are a tad expensive
- You must pay a subscription to have access to many products
The barrier to entry for 3D printing is high. Although Shop3D has many products to offer, it would help if you learned how to make 3D printing plans. If you do, you can guarantee that the products you sell on Etsy are truly unique.
3. CJDropshipping – best for jewelry
Last on our list is CJDropshipping, a dropship supplier platform that primarily allows you to import products from AliExpress to your Etsy store.
Do not dropship mass-produced products on Etsy. Instead, use the print-on-demand service of CJDropshipping. What I recommend that you sell from CJ is jewelry. They have many types of jewelry that they will engrave and personalize for you.
- Product Sourcing – sometimes, there are products you want to sell but they are not in CJ. In this case, you can file a request ticket. One of them will look for a supplier and if they can find one, you can dropship that item on Etsy. CJ will take care of dealing with the supplier, even if your business is not wholesale.
- Warehouses – although CJ sells AliExpress products, it has warehouses in several locations like the US, the UK, Germany, etc. CJ has its inventory, which means you can choose to sell items that are already physically located in the same place as your target market. The result is faster shipping.
- The application is free to use
- They offer print-on-demand on many affordable items
- You can ask them to source products for you
- Shipping can take a while if you choose a supplier from China
CJDropshipping is completely free to use. The integration application is free, and you do not need to pay fees for membership or anything like that. The only real challenge I see here is the speed of shipping.
We have an article that will provide you with a list of the 11 best suppliers for dropshipping on Etsy. I suggest you go through this list so you can choose the best supplier that fits your business model or niche.
Pros and Cons of Dropshipping on Etsy
Pros of Dropshipping on Etsy
1. Etsy has high-end customers
Etsy is a marketplace for handmade goods. As you know, handcrafted goods are more expensive than mass-manufactured ones because they are labor-intensive to make. Consumers on Etsy know this, and it is why Etsy only attracts customers who have a lot of money to spare.
These people, or customers, are looking for something special, and they are willing to shell out a big sum to buy unique items. You will also notice that these customers are patient—they do not mind waiting. They understand that the process of art can take a while.
All in all, I can say that Etsy customers have a better disposition than customers of giant sites like Amazon. The kind of clients you will get on Etsy are “elite” and they have reasonable demands and expectations.
2. Etsy supports artists
The founders of Etsy built this site to serve an undervalued market and underserved sellers—artists. As a designer, you finally have a place where you can sell your art without having to compete against big brands and manufacturers.
Etsy allows you to reach out to a community of people who appreciate art. The challenge, however, is that whatever you do, there certainly will be copycats in the marketplace.
If this happens, you must file a report on Etsy. They have a portal where you can lodge a complaint and Etsy will take action in your favor if you win.
3. Etsy allows international selling
I will not spend a lot of time in this area, but I can tell you that Etsy does not limit you from shipping your goods to many countries. It is far better to sell on Etsy than TikTok.
On TikTok, you can only sell your products in the same region where your TikTok account belongs. Etsy, on the other hand, makes it possible for you to choose where you want to ship and for how much.
Etsy has a shipping policy, and I suggest you read it. Like any other marketplace, they want to ensure that you keep your commitment when it comes to shipping.
4. Etsy integrates with many platforms
One thing I like about Etsy is that it is not an exclusive platform. Many software programs integrate with it, making it easier for you to manage your business.
- Printify, Printful, Gelato, and other print-on-demand providers
- Accounting programs
- Shipping carriers
In addition to these things, you can even integrate e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce with Etsy. It is a great option for sellers who have their Shopify store and also want to sell on Etsy.
If you integrate your Shopify store with Etsy, all your Shopify items or products will directly display in your Etsy shop. Any update you make in our store, like deleting a product or changing a price, will also reflect in your Etsy shop. In essence, it is like having two shops at the same time, but you are managing only one database.
Cons of Dropshipping on Etsy
1. Etsy charges a listing fee
Every item you list on Etsy has a listing fee of $0.2 for every four months (as of the time of this writing). If you sold a product and it is still in stock, Etsy will automatically renew that listing and you will pay $0.20 again.
All listings that never made a sale will auto-renew every four months. This fee may be a deal breaker for many people, but I think it is reasonable. If you have 100 products, you will pay $20 to Etsy every four months.
I can say that $20 is not bad. Compared to Shopify, you will spend around $29 each month for your store subscription, and you do not even get free traffic and marketing for that money
2. The Etsy community can be vindictive; they police other sellers
Etsy sellers are artists, and they hate it when you go in there and dropship mass-manufactured products. They also have a vendetta against copycats.
These sellers will report you. I cannot blame them—they are hard workers who spend time and effort to create unique products. As such, I strongly do not recommend Etsy if you only plan to copy other people’s designs.
If you are not an artist, my suggestion is you buy designs and templates from graphic arts websites. You can also use the free designs offered in print-on-demand platforms.
3. Etsy has strict selling guidelines for dropshippers
Do not treat Etsy as your common marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Dropshiping on Etsy is fine, but you must comply with their policies.
Here are some important things to remember:
- You must mention that you work with a production partner
- You must not dropship mass-manufacture items
- You must not sell any item that encourages hate, violence, sex, etc.
- You must not resell items found on other websites
Etsy’s rules are clear. Do not attempt to wing it or circumvent these rules. The other Etsy sellers—and even the buyers—may report you and you will lose your account.
Best Products to Dropship on Etsy
The best products to dropship are those that are rare. On Etsy, you want to attack impulsive buying; a product that does this is something like art that resonates with the consumer. In addition, you also want the item to be particularly useful.
Here is a quick list of items I recommend that you sell on Etsy:
- Shirts – sell t-shirts with prints that have a strong message about a particular demographic. Most of the successful sellers of shirts on Etsy target mothers, fathers, etc.
- Interest-based niches – if you dropship on Etsy, it would be a good idea if your products target a particular interest. For example, it is fine to sell multiple print-on-demand product types, but all of them must have something to do with zodiac signs, astronomy, cats, dogs, etc. This approach tells people that for anything related to dogs, your store is the go-to store for this niche.
- Artistic Items – since Etsy’s customers love art, it makes sense to sell art and art supplies. What I suggest is a kit, like a sculpture that comes with paints and brushes where the buyer would paint the product himself.
Jewelry is another item I would recommend, but this is a niche that has deep saturation. You also need a good copy to be able to convince your store visitor and explain why your jewelry is superior to the other listings on Etsy.
FAQ: Is Dropshipping Allowed on Etsy
Does Etsy ban dropshippers?
On some occasions, yes, Etsy bans dropshippers. These dropshippers are those who sell mass-manufactured products that add little to no personalization and artistic value. If you designed the product yourself, you should be good.
How to use Etsy for dropshipping?
Can you dropship on Etsy 2023?
Yes, you can still dropship on Etsy in 2023. In my opinion, Etsy will not disallow dropshipping on its platform, as dropshippers make contributions to Etsy’s revenue.
Can I dropship Etsy products on Shopify?
Yes, you can do this. If what you want to do is move your Etsy products to a Shopify store, you can download your product data from Etsy as a CSV file and upload it to your Shopify store.
Summary: Is Dropshipping Allowed on Etsy?
The next step is to determine what niche you want to penetrate. Etsy is a big marketplace, and I highly suggest that you create a store that offers not unique products, but also one that resonates with your audience.
In addition, I encourage you to try our platform, Dropship.IO, to analyze Shopify stores and check what winning products you can sell. Register now and enjoy all our services for free for 7 days!