Right now, it seems as if the hot thing to sell online via Etsy and a Shopify store are stickers. It’s a low investment opportunity that could make you more than five figures a month if you play your cards right. Plus, you can have an active storefront operating in less than 24 hours.
If you’re thinking about selling stickers online or you’re just interested in other ways to make money online, then this guide may be of interest to you.
In today’s guide, I will talk about how you can make stickers and sell them online, as well as what you can potentially make. As in all my guides, everything I recommend is 100% honest.
How to Make Stickers to Sell
FIRST STEP: Starting with Design
The first step is selling stickers online relies upon the design process, and there are a few things you can do to get started in this regard. Of course, you will need unique stickers to sell, and this is where you can create your brand identity.
Before you start selling stickers, make sure that you have an idea that’s unique. Don’t use copyrights or copy an idea as this will only get you in legal trouble. As a general rule of thumb, I will look at Etsy or perform a Google image search to see if any stickers resemble a design I’m thinking about.
When it comes to designing, there are a few things you can do, including:
Designing your own sticker
Designing a sticker from scratch will take some time, but out of all the options I list, this will create the most unique piece. Even if you’re on a strict budget and don’t want to invest in a pricey piece of software such as Adobe Photoshop, you can always turn to Canva.com, GIMP or even ProCreate for a free piece of design software.
And, no, you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to thrive, if that’s what you’re thinking. Canva, for example, offers many template ideas, for example, which are simply stepping stones to help get your creative juices flowing. If you love it enough, you can upgrade to the Pro version, which offers many more options.
Buy your designs
If you don’t feel you have the creativity to create a sticker design from scratch, I get it. Thankfully, you can buy designs that are exclusive to you. The only downfall, however, is that you will have to pay for this premium.
There are great options I feel you can consider here. One being DesignHill, where you can submit a design idea and more than 20+ designers will submit their design to you, giving you the opportunity to pick out your favorites. It’s one of the pricier options, but it can yield some of the nicer results.
Another option, being Fiverr, is your cheapest option as you can work one-on-one with a designer, usually for less than $20. For instance, when I was writing this, there were more than 100+ highly-rated sticker designers willing to help you create a sticker design for less than $20, with some charging as little as $10.
Those two are my favorites, but you can consider the following options, as they have a ton of templates to browse through:
Think about sticker templates
And, lastly, another option you can consider includes sticker templates. I consider this to be an in-between the two mentioned. Picture it as someone who started the basics, but they are going to leave the rest of the design process up to you.
To find these sticker templates, again, I recommend you check out Canva.com, as they provide a ton of templates you can edit and reuse for resale. A quick Google search can yield many free sticker templates as well.
SECOND STEP: Selling Strategy and Printing the Stickers
After you get your designs in order and you know what kind of stickers you want to sell, you know need to figure out how you’re going to sell these stickers.
Are you going to sell just the digital file, which means people just buy the file off you and print the stickers at home?
Are you going to make your own stickers and then ship them out?
This is up to you to decide, but both strategies can work.
Creating a digital file
If you were to go the digital file route, then you could get started immediately, as all your buyers need is a file to download.
To do this, you use Canva or ProCreate, as mentioned if on a budget, and then save the file. Preferably, you should be working with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign, as these file types will produce the best results and will make your work look a lot more professional than a free version. However, CanvaPro allows you to save your files in a vector format, which is a huge plus.
The nice thing about a digital file is that once you’re done, you’re done. It’s one of the best ways to earn a passive income in the sticker world.
Printing at home
Yes, you can turn your house into a sticker-producing studio, however, it’s going to take a few hundred dollars as an initial investment. I would only recommend it if you don’t plan on having a lot of orders and plan on running the machine 100% of the day. Casual, at-home printers aren’t designed to make thousands of stickers at once. I’d like to see you reach this point sooner or later, but you shouldn’t have to worry about being this successful just yet.
What a lot of sticker creators like to do is create their sticker templates and then use a machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette. These machines can print out the stickers and then cut to size. And, aside from these printers, you will also need sticker vinyl paper to print on.
It’s going to take more work to print stickers from home, but the biggest perk is that you can print on demand whenever you have an order, which means you can keep your prices low and you don’t have to buy a ton at a time. The only downfall, however, is that when you do receive a lot of orders, the machine won’t be able to keep up. However, you can always add more machines if you truly want to print from home.
Use a professional sticker printer
This is usually your best option and will produce the nicest results. The only problem is that you will have to have inventory and be prepared to order stickers in the hundreds. This means you will have to invest much more than if you were to print at home. However, the quality is top-notch.
If you’re interested in uploading your design and ordering stickers online, some of the biggest names in the industry include Sticker Ninja, StickerAPP and Sticker Mule. I like these options because they use a thick, durable vinyl, and they have a wonderful reputation online. Vinyl is often your best choice as this is what most customers want. They need a sticker to stick to items such as a water bottle, laptop, etc.
Of course, there are other professional printers, but these are a few of my favorites just based on pricing and reputation. For 100 3-inch stickers, plan on spending about $85 plus shipping or about $1~ per sticker created on average.
Work with a local print shop
A lot of people often look for companies online to help with sticker production but often forget about the local print shops.
Like the print shops online, local companies are more than willing to help. Plus, it’s nice to work with someone face to face.
Every area is different as to how many print shops are available, so a quick search such as “print shop near me” should yield some decent results.
THIRD STEP: Determining Where to Sell
At this point, you have created your design and figured out how you’re going to get/make your stickers.
Now, it’s time to figure out where you’re going to sell these stickers. In the sticker world, people are focused on a few options.
You may be aware of Etsy, but if not, it’s a marketplace for both crafters and vintage items. Yes, you can sell stickers here as you’re “crafting” them.
This seems to be the most popular option, and it’s for a good reason. You can get started now and it’s extremely easy to use. But, like anything, there are downfalls. Etsy charges $0.20 for every listing and will take a 5% cut of your sale. This doesn’t include a payment fee of 3%.
Nonetheless, if you can account these fees into your prices, it’s one of the most popular options, but with popularity comes a lot of competition. Just be forewarned.
This is one of my favorite options, but it’s going to take some work as you will have to market yourself. You will have to create a domain and then set it up so that you have a virtual storefront on your own domain.
Shopify starts at $29 per month, but this is the only fee that you have to worry about. To me, this fee is well worth it as it makes selling on your own domain much easier if you were to program something from scratch.
This option gives you full control of the process, including the design of the store, and it makes you feel as if you’re running your own store, as you’re the boss. Best of all, if you’re on Etsy, you can integrate your Etsy listings with your Shopify storefront.
Redbubble works like Etsy, where you can set up your own virtual storefront and sell your sticker designs. The nice thing is that they don’t charge a listing fee like Etsy, but you will have to pay a royalty dependent on what you sell.
What makes Redbubble different is that you create the design and Redbubble does the rest. Yes, that means they print the sticker, ship it off and then pay you a royalty for your work. It’s one of the easiest ways to just design if that’s what you’re looking to get yourself into.
The biggest downfall, however, is that it doesn’t feel like you’re involved, as you can just upload a design and walk away. But hey, some people like the idea of not having to do much to make an income.
If you do choose Redbubble, most sticker sellers will make about $0.50 for every sticker sold.
FOURTH STEP: Determining the Price
In the sticker world, there’s not much profit to be made per piece, so if you’re looking to get rich, you will have to sell hundreds in a day. It’s possible, but it will take some time.
On average, stickers sell for about $2 to $4, and if you include shipping, which isn’t much, you’re profiting maybe $1 to $2 per sticker sold.
When you’re ready to price your stickers, take a look at your competition and see what they are doing. For example, on Etsy, the algorithm tends to favor free shipping listings, so it may make sense to mark it as a free shipping item. So, if a competitor is offering a similar dog sticker, let’s say, for $4, plus free shipping, are you going to undercut by $0.25? Or, are you happy being competitive and saying $4 as well?
Let’s not forget the costs of making the sticker. If you’re going to make them on your own, it’s probably going to cost you $0.25~ each, whereas using a third party will boost it to about $1.
So, doing the math, a purchased sticker ($1), plus shipping ($0.50), plus Etsy fees (5%), would mean you need to charge at least $1.75 to break even.
The math is simple, but only you can decide what’s best for your profit margins. I would say $3 is a starting point, but you can price it less. If you set your prices too high, there won’t be customers. If it’s too low, then you may be working for peanuts. Typically, most stickers are sold online retail for $2 to $5. Again, take a look at your competition to figure out what they are charging.
This guide should at least give you an idea as to how you can start selling stickers online and making a profit. If you do become successful or even see it as a lucrative side hustle, plan on making about $1 to $2 per sticker sold, profit. That means you will need to sell at least 50 a day to see a $100 profit. That’s a lot, as you can imagine. It’s not to say it can’t be done, however.
That’s going to wrap it up for now.
As always, I’m always open to your suggestions and additions, all of which you can add to the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!
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