Q & A: How to Make Money Selling Printables on Etsy


Over the past 12 years, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of cool people making money online through a lot of cool means. One of my favorite avenues to explore is passive income or opportunities that allow you to do the work once and earn from them perpetually. Day or night, at work or on vacation, money is coming in without you needing to complete tasks or ship packages. It’s pretty much hands-off.

One of the passive income opportunities gaining steam over the past few years has been selling printables on Etsy. You create the file. Upload it to Etsy. As sales come in, the file is automatically delivered to buyers so they can download and print from their homes.

If this sounds like something you would like to learn more about, you are in luck!

Julie Berninger from Gold City Ventures is stopping by today to answer a few questions for us about her journey to selling printables on Etsy.

How did you get your start selling digital downloads on Etsy?

I host Fire Drill podcast and bring on guests who have achieved financial independence in a cool or creative way. I had one guest, Laura Smith, who made six figures selling printables. She was able to quit her engineering job and sell printables full-time! I decided to give it a try myself after being inspired by her story.

What made you choose Etsy as your selling platform?

I’m familiar with Etsy as a buyer and love that it has minimal start-up costs for new sellers. You pay 20 cents per listing and that’s it. No monthly fee like you see on other selling platforms.

What costs are involved with an Etsy printables business?

Etsy charges 20 cents per listing and then a transaction fee. Since these products are digital, the profit margins are still huge since there is little production cost and the same product can be downloaded thousands of times.

Beyond Etsy, I typically pay for beautiful fonts and graphics from Creative Market to make my printables stand out. You can definitely use free fonts and graphics and that is what I used starting out. I made my first printables on Canva which is free. Now, I make my printables on Photoshop but you don’t have to pay for an expensive Adobe license. Canva or free sites like iPiccy are fine.

How did you decide what products to sell?

I had been attending many bachelorette parties and knew that girls typically brought games and other doodads to the events. I decided to make bachelorette party scavenger hunts and they were a hit! I’ve made over 1,000 sales so far and only work on this side hustle a few weeks per year.

How do you decide how to price your items?

I started out pricing around $4 per printable and have moved my best sellers to $7. I looked at what my competitors were doing and priced accordingly starting out. I also considered what would be the max I would pay for a printable game. For my bundles, I charge just under $10.

How do you protect your downloads?

I don’t watermark my images or brand my products as I think that will decrease sales. I think many new sellers worry about someone stealing their images. I place my images on a background in my listing so they can’t be easily downloaded. You can report to Etsy if you believe someone has stolen your images. I think this is rare.

How has your Etsy download business changed over time?

Yes, I’ve moved towards bundles of my best selling printables because I realized that customers like bundles. I also pay for advertising now and a 30-cent cost per click out of a $10 bundle leaves me more profit than a 30-cent cost per click out of a $5 printable.

What programs and/or software do you use to help run your Etsy business?

I love Canva! Lately, I’ve been using the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software. I also just got an iPad pro and have been fooling around with Procreate which is an app that allows you to turn doodles into clipart.

What tips do you have for someone just getting started?

Just do it! Etsy printables are really passive products because once you create a best seller, you can just leave the product up there with minimal maintenance and continue to bring in sales. It’s also a really fun way to get your creative juices flowing!

More tactically, I would encourage someone to use free sites such as Craft Count and eRank to search for niches that seem to be selling well.

Would you like to learn more about selling printables on Etsy? Download Julie’s free Seasonal Products Secrets ebook!

Inside the ebook, you’ll find 12 months of ideas for best-selling printables that you could create and sell on Etsy.

With the holidays coming up, I can definitely see how people would be shopping for seasonal printables such as gift tags, shopping checklists, greeting cards, wall art, and more!

This ebook had me brainstorming about all the printables I could make.

Grab your free copy of her ebook here.

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