Is Selling Printables On Etsy Profitable? | Top Seller True Stories That Prove Its Possible

May 13, 2024

Selling printables on Etsy is profitable in 2024 for many digital product sellers. However, a small portion of sellers on Etsy earn most of the profits. 

The majority 76% of Etsy stores that are approximately 1 year old make less than 2 sales per day, while 36% make less than 1 sale per day, according to a recent study by SalesDoe. Considering that the average printable on Etsy sells for between $3 to $8, according to the Etsy training program Growing Your Craft, new Etsy printable sellers are lucky to generate a few hundred dollars a month in revenue. 

The SalesDoe study reveals that most Etsy stores’ sales peak at around 3 years, with the average 3 year old store generating approximately 144 sales per month on Etsy. When considering the typical price range for Etsy printables, that’s around $432 to $1,152 in revenue before considering selling costs. 

The main costs associated with selling printables on Etsy include:

  • Etsy account set-up fee: $15 one-time fee (charged to some new shops starting in 2024)  

  • Etsy listing fee: $0.20 per listing (valid for four months)
  • Etsy transaction fee: 6.5% of the sale price
  • Etsy advertising fee: 12% (sellers with over $10K in annual sales) to 15% (sellers with less than $10K in annual sales) of sales price
  • Graphic design tool: $59.99/month for Adobe Creative Cloud subscription with access to Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat

Etsy sellers with poor performance can experience negative profit margins if they can't cover these costs. For example, one Etsy seller on Reddit reports making just one sale in 3 months. Another expresses frustration when listing fees are charged because they aren't making sales so they are losing money. 

While there are Etsy sellers that are unprofitable selling printables, many Etsy printables sellers are profitable. An Etsy printables seller on Reddit claims to make $900 per month in passive income while another claims they generate enough profit from Etsy printables to pay their car payment, their monthly grocery bill for a family of 4, and an extravagant family vacation. 

Another online business model that many find more profitable than selling printables on Etsy is local lead generation. Local lead generation entails creating websites that attract customers for local service businesses and selling those leads to actual local service businesses for $500 to $3,000 a month. Local lead generation can generate profits of up to 90% because website costs are generally low. 

In the following article, we look at the profit potential of selling printables on Etsy by looking at the performance of some of the top Etsy printables sellers. We also discuss factors that can increase your Etsy printables profits, including which kind of printables are most profitable on Etsy.

3 Top Etsy Sellers Prove That Selling Printables on Etsy Is Profitable

Rachel Jimenez is the owner of Prosperous Printables, an Etsy store specializing in printable planner and seasonal templates . Also a Star Seller, Prosperous Printables operates from California and has made over 42,000 sales on the platform so far. 

In a Business Insider feature, we learn that Rachel makes an average monthly earning of $9,500. As an Etsy entrepreneur, she gets ideas for her digital products by checking out Facebook groups and Google Trends. So Etsy business owners. “Tomorrow's best-selling item may relate to a trend or product that hasn't been created yet,” she says.

Rachel also shares that patience and persistence play important roles in this line of business. “It took me more than nine months to make my first 100 sales on Etsy,” she shares. “Now I can make that many sales in as little as a day.”

Julie Berninger is the owner of The Swag Elephant, a shop that sells printables, planners, Canva templates, and other digital products. A former bachelorette party supplies seller, Julie eventually decided to sell printables to generate a more passive income. Today, she makes over $1,000 per month from selling easy-to-make printables on her Etsy store. 

Julie is also the co-founder of Gold City Ventures, an e printables course where she teaches students how to start their own businesses from scratch. With their program, learners get to earn from a fun, profitable side hustle creating printables they can “sell again and again with little action from you.” Her company has since earned over $1 million in revenue, according to a report by the Business Insider.    

Based in Massachusetts, US, Julie also maintains the lifestyle blog Millennial Boss and her personal finance podcast FIRE Drill.

Stephanie Sanders is the owner of My Porch Prints. Her Etsy shop focuses on the niche junk journal printable files. Also based in the United States, Stephanie began exploring Etsy printables after having health issues and needing "a hobby I could do from a chair."

My Porch Prints has, so far, gained over 651,000 sales, over 86,000 reviews, and a Star Seller ranking on Etsy. Today, she runs the business with daughter Kyra (designer) and husband Ben (customer service, marketer). She also maintains the My Porch Prints channel on YouTube where she has over 36,000 subscribers and 395 videos. The company also has a private Facebook group with over 15,000 members. She is also an author of children's stories, having written the Villains School books. 

Although we can’t find specific information about Stephanie’s earnings online, the size of her overall sales and online following shows she’s a successful Etsy business owner.

What Are The Factors That Increase Profits In Selling Printables On Etsy?

  • Appropriate product descriptions. Your product descriptions can help customers decide to buy your printables. So when writing one, make sure it includes useful information - not just a bunch of keywords. Also, write in a tone consistent with your branding.
  • Competitive pricing. Pricing your printables too expensively may make people think twice about buying. Similarly, pricing them too cheap may lead customers to devalue your offerings. Do your research and check out competitor listings to learn the best price range for your products.
  • Use free and paid marketing tools. Always promote your printable products. Take time to use available tools on various social media channels, depending on which ones your target market is most active. You can also consider investing in paid advertising sources such as Facebook and Google Ads, or even internally through Etsy Ads.
  • Responsive customer support. Running an Etsy printables business requires more than selling high quality digital downloads. You also need to be prompt and professional when responding to customer inquiries. Converting casual buyers into repeat customers can be easier when they have a positive experience interacting with you.

4 Awesome Reasons Selling Printables On Etsy Is Profitable

1. Etsy Has 97.3 Million Active Buyers Worldwide

The Etsy platform has over 97.3 million active shoppers worldwide and gets around 500 million visits per month on average. By selling printables on Etsy, you get to tap a huge number of potential buyers.

Generally, this market allows newbie sellers to make at least $400 a month while established stores make $4,000 or more a month selling digital printables on Etsy.

2. Selling Printables on Etsy Eliminates Shipping Costs

Selling printable on Etsy removes the constant need to physically ship parcels to your buyers’ addresses. According to a 2023 report by ShipBob, 21% of buyers experience package delays. Meanwhile, 21% of sellers claim “supply chain disruptions are regularly impacting shipping operations.”

Since you are selling digital file products, you automatically do away with the hassles of packing, shipping, and tracking items with every sale. You also don’t have to deal with lost and delayed packages. Instead, customers get instant access to their purchases via digital download. 

3. Creating and Selling Printables on Etsy Only Costs $0.20 to $14.99 to Start

Selling printables on Etsy can be profitable because it only requires a low overhead startup cost. As such, it can be a good business idea to pursue for those with budget limitations. If you have design skills, you can use free tools such as Canva to access templates, design types, graphics, and tools. With that, you will only need to a few Etsy fees, such as the $0.20 listing fee and the 6.5% fee for every sale you make. Alternatively, you may also want to invest in paid software to create better, unique printable designs.

In a YouTube video, Lindsay Ashworth of A Touch of LA shares that she uses two Adobe products to design her digital printables: Adobe Photoshop ($9.99 per month) and Adobe Acrobat ($12.99 per month). “You absolutely don't have to get both programs,” she points out. “I personally would just start out with one and see if you can progress into the other.” The Adobe Creative Cloud app is also available for a free 7-day trial.

For those with a budget to spare, Canva Pro ($14.99 per month or $111.99 when paid annually) offers a wide range of features that will make it easier and faster to create printables from scratch, even for inexperienced designers.

4. Selling Digital Printables on Etsy Involves No Inventory Risks

Selling printables on Etsy does not require you to maintain any inventory. You can immediately start making money selling printables as soon as your digital product goes live on the platform. You won’t need to deal with the usual woes that come with managing and keeping physical stocks of your products. As a result, running a business and tracking your sales become much simpler. You can focus more on creating and selling more printable designs to boost your Etsy profits better.

In comparison, ecommerce sellers who use inventory warehousing services spend an average of $8.22 per square foot of warehouse space, according to You get to save on these potential expenses and thereby earn more profits as you sell printables on Etsy.

Can You Make A Profit By Selling Printables On Etsy?

Yes, you can make a profit by selling printables on Etsy if you can pick a low competition but high demand niche. This allows you to target a profitable market where you can focus your efforts and make the most of your Etsy business.

To illustrate, a quick Etsy search on “printables” will yield a result of over 5.8 million listings. However, typing “printable children activity sheets” brings only around 6,100 results. Your goal is to find low competition but high demand niches and sub niches. This will help increase your chances of selling profitable printables on Etsy.

How To Create Profitable Printables To Sell On Etsy?

  • Pick a niche and look up what’s trending out there. Find out which printable products sell the most in the niche you want to target. Try to add your own unique spin by solving existing problems. Take inspiration from top sellers before designing your evergreen and seasonal printables. Doing this makes it possible for you to attract attention from potential buyers, even as a newbie Etsy seller. As a result, you can boost your profits as an Etsy printables seller.
  • Use available templates. Tools like Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Publisher) and Canva offer users access to various templates. These pre-made templates allow you to create printables fast and easy. Tweak the designs and features according to the preference of your target demographic.
  • Create designs from scratch. If you have graphic design experience, you can create your own printables using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and others. This can require more time than using templates, but can be a good way to stand out and create unique designs.
  • Hire an expert. For those without the time or skills to create printables, hiring professionals can be an option. Just be ready to give clear, specific instructions so they can design quality printables you can sell on Etsy. You can find freelance professionals on platforms such as Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Upwork, and others. On Fiverr, graphic designer rates usually range from $5 to $45, depending on the complexity of the project. 
  • Offer bundled listings. Bundle your best sellers to earn profits faster. People are likely to buy when you bundle similar products together and offer them at a discounted rate. For example, you can offer two $5 printables for $8 instead of $10.
  • Sell personalized printables. People are willing to spend more for the option of customizing your printables. For example, you can allow customers to add their own quotes to your printable wall art.
  • Create variations of your best selling printables. Take note of which printables are selling best among your buyers and offer variations. You can create new products with similar themes or offer existing best similar products in new colors and designs.
  • Optimize your Etsy store. You may have the best printables out there but that won’t mean anything if a potential customer can’t find them on the platform. Besides, you’re competing with thousands of sellers. Observe Etsy SEO and Google SEO practices to boost your online presence.

What Kind Of Printables Are Profitable To Sell On Etsy?

Educational printables

  • activity sheets 
  • classroom decorations
  • coloring pages for kids or adults
  • educational games and worksheets for children
  • homeschooling materials
  • organizational printables

Event printables

  • event planners
  • invitation cards for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, etc
  • party banners
  • seasonal printables

Planners and organizers

  • budget planners
  • calendars
  • chore charts
  • daily, weekly, and monthly planners
  • digital planners
  • fitness trackers
  • meal planners
  • to-do lists

Printable wall art

  • cartoon illustrations
  • digital paintings
  • inspirational quotes
  • photography

Stickers and labels

  • customizable labels
  • journal and planner stickers
  • product labels

Sewing patterns

  • crochet patterns
  • embroidery patterns
  • knitting patterns

How Much Profit Can You Make by Selling Printables on Etsy?

The profit you can make by selling printables on Etsy can range from $10,000 to $15,000 per year. For the most part, how much money you make selling printables will depend on your niche, your product’s price point, and the marketing strategies you implement. You’ll also have to update your existing designs, as needed, and create new ones to continue making money on Etsy.

What Are Etsy Printables?

Etsy printables are digital products that are sold online through the Etsy platform. Customers buy these downloadable products to print at home or through a print shop of their preference. On average, printables cost around $5 to $10 on Etsy. Sellers get to keep the profit after Etsy fees are deducted.

These printables can range from artworks (printable wall art, stickers), planners (daily planner, finance trackers), charts (chore charts, meal charts), educational materials (activity sheets, coloring pages, posters, workbooks), cards for special occasions (baby shower invitations, wedding invitations) and other similar products. 

4 Major Reasons Others Claim Selling Printables on Etsy Is Not Profitable

1. Selling Printables on Etsy May Cost at Least $197 in Startup Training

In addition to Etsy fees and professional designer costs, there are also other necessary expenses before you can make money online selling printables.

You may have to invest in online courses to learn graphic design or printables business management skills. As an example, Suzi Whitford’s Printable By Numbers will cost students $197. The expenses further go up if you’re also paying for graphic design software subscriptions ($120 to $264 per year) and Etsy ads (average of 20¢ to 50¢ per click).

All expenses considered, selling printables on Etsy may not be as profitable for everyone, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t make thousands of sales each month.

2. Selling Printables on Etsy Can Involve $7 Per Design in Ad Costs and Outsourcing

Selling printables on Etsy requires certain fees that may cut into your profit. A sample computation using CraftyBase’s free Etsy Seller Fee Calculator tool shows us that a $10 printable may mean paying $0.80 for listing and transaction fees. If you’re using Etsy Payments, a $0.55 processing fee is another requirement. Hiring a designer for an estimated $5 each for the printable design will leave you with a profit of only $3.60.

3. Selling Printables on Etsy Fights 5.8 Million Other Sellers

Selling printables on Etsy has tight competition since there are over 5.8 million printable listings on the platform. The low barrier to entry increases the number of sellers each year. Anyone can create and sell printables without being a professional designer. As such, beginners in the printables business may struggle to make Etsy profitable for them.

4. Selling Printables on Etsy Requires 20 to 40 Hours of Work Per Week

Selling printables on Etsy is not a get-rich-quick business model. In fact, generating consistent profit requires 20 to 40 hours of work per week. You’ll have to observe market trends and study your competitors. As needed, you should also be ready to create new designs and update existing ones.

Managing your Etsy store will also require effort. You’ll have to optimize your listings by writing clear yet engaging product descriptions. Promoting your printables using various marketing strategies will also consume much of your time. Also, you’ll need to devote attention to customer inquiries. Addressing issues promptly and handling requests, if any, are important to build your brand and reputation as an Etsy seller.

Final Verdict: Is Selling Printables On Etsy Profitable?

Yes, selling printables on Etsy is profitable if you create quality designs, target a low competition yet high-demand niche, and implement effective marketing tactics. Of course, you also need to establish your brand’s reputation and expand your offerings as you identify which work best for your business model. 

Digital downloads and teaching online courses

Successful Etsy printable business owners, like the ones mentioned earlier, not only make money on Etsy with digital downloads. They also earn extra income by teaching paid online courses to interested students. 

There are now over 7 million Etsy sellers and experts anticipate the numbers to grow in the years to come. However, it is also worth noting that not all sellers manage to succeed on the platform. In fact, around 74% of all Etsy shops eventually end up failing, according to former Etsy seller growth manager Jennie Smith.

Why Starting a Local Lead Gen Biz Is More Profitable Than Selling Printables on Etsy

While selling printables on Etsy can be potentially profitable, it also comes with several challenges. While starting this type of business is relatively straightforward, the competitive market and smaller payout per sale can make it difficult for beginners to start earning significant profits. Overall, I’d personally recommend local lead generation as a better business model.   

As a printables seller, you need to spend hours creating designs all the time. Plus you are competing with more than 7 million sellers. Monthly earnings are also unpredictable since it all boils down to the number of printables you sell. With lead generation, you will build only need to build a keyword-focused website, rank it to #1 spot in local search engine results, and then offer it for rent to local businesses. As such, you are only competing with 10 to 15 local businesses in the same niche. It’s just way less saturated, plus income is also more consistent. Willing clients will pay you month after month for bringing them traffic and leads. 

Local lead generation

I’ve seen this work as I’ve personally built lead gen websites over the years. This tree care site, for example, makes me $2,000 a month. I’ve also scaled operations by building several lead gen sites and now I earn about $52,000 monthly. It’s obviously a far more profitable business model than selling printables on Etsy. For those interested in learning how to build a scalable, profitable passive income stream, I teach a lead generation coaching program.

Follow Me
Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}