Choosing the Best Print on Demand Platform for Your Business

Choosing the Best Print on Demand Platform for Your Business

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Etsy and Print on Demand
  3. Marketplace Definitions: Etsy, Cafe Press, Zazzle, Spoonflower
  4. Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy a. Pros b. Cons
  5. Pros and Cons of Selling on Cafe Press, Zazzle, and Spoonflower a. Pros b. Cons
  6. Choosing the Right Marketplace for Your Business
  7. Getting Started with Etsy a. Creating an Etsy Account b. Setting Up Your Shop c. Choosing Print on Demand Provider d. Uploading Designs and Products e. Setting Prices and Listing Products
  8. Marketing Strategies for Etsy and Print on Demand Marketplaces a. Optimizing Product Listings b. Promoting Products on Social Media c. Utilizing Etsy Advertising d. Collaborating with Influencers and Bloggers
  9. Managing Orders, Shipping, and Customer Service a. Fulfilling Orders with Print on Demand Providers b. Handling Returns and Refunds c. Providing Excellent Customer Service
  10. Growing Your Business on Etsy and Print on Demand Marketplaces a. Expanding Product Range b. Analyzing Sales Data and Making Improvements
  11. Conclusion

The Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy and Print on Demand Marketplaces

Etsy, Cafe Press, Zazzle, and Spoonflower are all popular marketplaces for selling print on demand products. Each platform has its own unique features and benefits, as well as potential drawbacks. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of selling on these platforms and provide insights on choosing the right marketplace for your business.

Pros of Selling on Etsy Etsy is a well-established marketplace that focuses on handmade, vintage, and unique items. It has a large and dedicated customer base that actively seeks out one-of-a-kind products. Some of the advantages of selling on Etsy include:

  1. Access to a built-in audience: Etsy attracts millions of shoppers who are specifically looking for handmade and unique items. This provides sellers with a ready-made customer base.

  2. Seller control: Unlike other marketplaces where the platform manages customer relationships, on Etsy, sellers have control over customer interactions, including communication, refunds, and customer service.

  3. Customization options: Etsy allows sellers to customize their shop's appearance, showcasing their brand and creative style. This helps in building a unique identity and standing out from competitors.

  4. Lower fees: Compared to other e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy has relatively low fees for listing and selling products. This makes it an attractive option for sellers who are just starting out.

  5. Customer communication: Etsy provides sellers with the ability to collect customer information and communicate directly with them through email marketing. This helps in nurturing customer relationships and maximizing sales opportunities.

Cons of Selling on Etsy While Etsy offers numerous advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

  1. Increased competition: With its popularity, Etsy has become a highly competitive marketplace. Standing out from the crowd can be challenging, especially in saturated niches.

  2. Limited control over customer base: Although sellers can build customer relationships on Etsy, it is important to remember that the platform ultimately owns the customer information. Building a separate customer base and capturing customer data can be more difficult compared to having your own online store.

  3. Fee structure: While Etsy's fees are relatively lower compared to other platforms, they can still add up, especially when considering listing fees, transaction fees, and additional advertising costs. Sellers need to carefully analyze their pricing strategy to ensure profitability.

  4. Restrictions on product types: Etsy has specific policies and guidelines on what can be sold on the platform. Certain types of products or designs may be prohibited or require approval, limiting creative freedom to some extent.

  5. Dependent on the Etsy algorithm: Etsy uses an algorithm that determines the visibility of products in search results. Understanding and optimizing for this algorithm is crucial for driving traffic and sales.

It is important for sellers to weigh these pros and cons and evaluate how well Etsy aligns with their business goals. While Etsy may be a great platform for some, others may find better success in other marketplaces like Cafe Press, Zazzle, or Spoonflower.

(Continued in the article...)


  • Etsy is a handcrafted vintage supply marketplace that allows sellers to manage their own products, refunds, and customer service.
  • Cafe Press, Zazzle, and Spoonflower are commission marketplaces where sellers load their designs onto products provided by the marketplace.
  • Pros of selling on Etsy include access to a built-in audience, seller control, customization options, lower fees, and customer communication.
  • Cons of selling on Etsy include increased competition, limited control over customer base, fee structure, restrictions on product types, and dependence on the Etsy algorithm.
  • Each marketplace has its own pros and cons, and sellers should choose based on their specific business goals and requirements.


Q: Can I sell both on Etsy and Cafe Press or other print on demand marketplaces? A: Yes, you can sell on multiple marketplaces simultaneously. However, it requires managing various platforms and optimizing your designs and product listings for each one.

Q: Are there any restrictions on what I can sell on Etsy? A: Yes, Etsy has guidelines on acceptable products, and some categories may require approval or have restrictions. It is important to familiarize yourself with Etsy's policies before listing products.

Q: How can I stand out from the competition on Etsy? A: To stand out, focus on creating unique and high-quality products, optimizing your product listings with relevant keywords, and utilizing effective marketing strategies such as social media promotion and Etsy advertising.

Q: Can I build my own brand and capture customer information on Cafe Press, Zazzle, or Spoonflower? A: No, these marketplaces do not provide direct access to customer information. They consider the customers as their own, and you will not be able to capture email addresses or build your own customer base on these platforms.

I am a ETSY merchant, I am opening several ETSY stores. I use Etsyshop to find ETSY stores and track competitor stores. Etsyshop really helped me a lot, I also subscribe to Etsyshop's service, I hope more people can like Etsyshop! — Ecomvy

Join Etsyshop to find the ETSY store & products

To make it happen in 3 seconds.

Sign Up
App rating
ETSY Store
Trusted Customers
No complicated
No difficulty
Free trial
Browse More Content