How To Start Your Etsy Sticker Shop

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

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Are you looking to start an Etsy sticker shop? If so, this blog post will help get you started and answer any questions you may have about the process. This article teaches readers how to create a successful Etsy sticker shop by giving them tips on what they need to do before making their first sale. It also includes ways for readers to bring in more business and reach out to niche markets for sales. The sticker market is huge, so let's get you some traffic!

Starting your Etsy sticker shop is easy to do when you follow this guide on designing, printing, and selling stickers on your own sticker shop. Read on to find out more.

starting your new etsy sticker shop is turning to a blank page

Why should you sell stickers?

When I first started selling stickers, I didn't know if people would buy them from me or not. I had a lot of questions, such as:

  • Will people want to buy my stickers?
  • How much should I charge for each sticker?
  • Can I do clear paper stickers?
  • How will selling stickers make money?

I ended up testing the market and it turned out that there was a huge demand for my unique stickers on Etsy. In my first year, I pulled in a few thousand dollars. It's not much compared to some businesses – but a few thousand dollars means a few hundred stickers. Plus, I can put my designs on Redbubble, too!

Ultimately, you'll need to decide why you want to sell stickers: what sticker niche you want to start selling in, who you want to sell to, and how much you want to make. Do you want to specialize, like in circle stickers or bumper stickers? This will guide you as you start a sticker business. You can also read our equipment guide here.

Should you sell stickers on Etsy?

I've sold stickers on Etsy for a few years now and it's been a great experience. I love that I can design, print, package, and ship the stickers to my customers from home! Some people might not be comfortable with handling all of it, and instead, prefer to use a print-on-demand shop. I like to keep stuff in house – it helps with quality control, nets me more profit, and keeps my customers happy.

If you think Etsy is where you want to get started, then use this link to get a few free listing fees!

Should you sell stickers online in other marketplaces?

Etsy is great because it has a lot of organic traffic, but other marketplaces might be good for your products, too. In fact, it's entirely possible to sell stickers on multiple platforms. I've sold stickers with Facebook, Amazon, Redbubble, and TeePublic with success as well! So if you're having trouble getting sales on Etsy, it's okay to branch out into other marketplaces online.

Keep in mind though, that any time you're selling online, your SEO (search engine optimization) is going to be key in making sales. If your customers can't find your die cut stickers, they're just going to buy from someone else.

How do I get started selling stickers?

The first step is to decide whether or not you're going to design your own stickers or pay someone to do it. After all, you'll need some actual designs ready to go in order to open your Etsy shop.

Designing your own stickers

If you want to design your own stickers, I recommend following this guide on how to make sticker designs from scratch. It's been a great asset for me as I make my own art.

Designing your own stickers takes time and patience – a bit of talent helps, too. But nothing is innate, and you can easily gain sticker design skills through perseverance and hard work. The same is true when you're ready to begin creating stickers.

If you're making sticker sheets, you'll need to create several designs for a single item. The benefit of this is that you can charge more for a single sticker sheet than you can for a single design. But, it takes a lot more time. So consider what type of end products you want to make before you start designs.

Printing your stickers in your home

If you're going to print stickers in your home, you'll need good quality sticker paper. You can use Avery or OnlineLabels for sticker paper – I prefer OnlineLabels. Many people will also use Amazon to find sticker paper, but I think that there are some quality issues there. Stickers are usually made of polyester or vinyl, but vinyl stickers are, by far, the most popular.

You'll also need a printer and a cutter. For a printer, be sure to get one that's compatible with the paper you're using. Both inkjet and laser printers require special coatings on paper in order for the ink to set properly.

For a cutter, you'll be looking at at least a $100 investment. You can pick up an older model Cricut Explore Air or Air 2 for a decent price. Stay away from anything older than that, as you won't be able to import your own designs.

Learn to cut on cheap paper before you start cutting your good sticker paper. Trust me.

Paying someone else for printing stickers

Many folks who start out end up paying Sticker Mule or even other Etsy sticker shops to produce their sticker designs. It can be hard to have access to the equipment, or even to gain all of the skills necessary. It can be easier to outsource to Sticker Mule, Sticker App, or other popular producers.

Keep in mind that you'll make less money selling stickers if you're paying someone else to produce them. But, you may be able to produce more stickers faster, or grow your business in a way that suits you better.

Mailing your vinyl stickers

It can be so exciting when you make your first sticker sale. Then, you realize that you don't know how to mail them! But relax: they're easy to mail. You can really just use an envelope and a stamp.

If you're on Etsy, you can buy a stamp through the “letter mail / flat” option on their shipping labels. This way offers tracking. If you don't like giving Etsy any more money than you have to, you can also use a place like to purchase tracking shipping labels for your envelopes and stamps.

Selling stickers doesn't have to be hard. Most vinyl stickers will fit in an A6 envelope. Some sellers add tissue paper to their packages, and most of us will also include a business card. If you're looking for inspiration, check out TikTok or even support a few Etsy sticker shops by making a purchase and seeing how they do things.

Now that we've gone through the whole process, let's zoom in on the specifics of having an Etsy shop.

How do I create a listing for stickers on Etsy?

You can create a listing on Etsy for your sticker business like you do any other item. Navigate to your shop manager page and click “Add A New Listing” then just fill out the details.

I tend to always copy from existing listings within my sticker business, but you can't do that if it's your first. So, you'll need to search for your category of stickers using the keywords “sticker” and selecting the correct category. I usually choose car decals or laptop decals depending on my mood and which sticker designs are being sold.

Images are key in Etsy listings. When you click on a listing in Etsy's search results, look at the actual images – not just the title or price. You can use these listings as inspiration for creating your own images and descriptions.

Don't directly copy – everyone hates plagiarism. But certainly, write down what's good and not from a few competitors and then incorporate your insights into your own listings.

How does selling stickers on Etsy work?

Every listing lasts for 4 months and costs $0.20 to create. So if you try to sell something for a year, you're out $0.60 total. I usually let my listings naturally expire, so one design gets 4 months of selling time. If it doesn't sell, then I don't renew it. Why waste the money?

This is true whether you're selling bumper stickers, sticker sheets, or even promotional stickers. Every listing is $0.20. If you have an inventory greater than 1 item, then the listing will renew for every item purchased. So if you have 10 in stock and sell 3, you'll be charged $0.60 on top of your other fees, and will have 7 in stock remaining.

A note on pricing stickers on Etsy

The money that you make from stickers is going to be in volume: volume sold and number of designs. This means that your pricing will likely be uniform.

Unfortunately for us, Etsy doesn't provide a good way for us to rework prices easily on variations of stickers. For example, if you have two sizes of sticker per listing, changing the prices is going to be hard to do when you have 300 active listings.

So think about moving your prices up or down based on percentages or specific values, like $0.25 at a time, and just accept that you might prioritize one type of pricing. It's hard to manage that many listings.

What if I can't sell stickers at all?

Keep trying. It may take a while for you to best understand how to tackle selling stickers on Etsy. You have to let your sticker business flourish by printing stickers and selling fun sticker designs that appeal to your audience. It takes time, and patience, and trial and error.

There are a lot of stickers on Etsy. To start selling stickers, your Etsy shop will really need to stand out. It could be your sticker designs or it could be your marketing, but something has to set your sticker business above the rest.

Ways To Maximize Selling Stickers On Etsy

If your average product price is $2-5, then your average order value is also going to be low. You need to understand how to make money selling stickers: increase that order value. Making money selling stickers is about getting those impulse purchases maximized by your consumers. There are tons of ways to do this, including:

  • Great sticker marketing
  • Sticker packs and bundles
  • Custom stickers and design fees
  • One sticker add on
  • Gloss labels, holographic stickers, and other upsells
  • Selling sticker templates or mockups
  • Selling custom stickers, printed logo stickers, or other finished products
  • Unique, stand out stickers that cost more or have better profit margins
  • Sets and sheets of planner stickers
  • Thank you stickers or small round stickers for generic purposes

How much money selling stickers can I make?

How much money you can make is really just dependent on how well you can market your own products. Stickers are pretty cost effective, so it's really just about the creative market and exactly what you can do to stand out. Your Etsy sticker business will flourish with good quality materials like durable vinyl, a great cutting machine, and as many stickers as you have the time and energy to create.

Stick to just stickers, and you'll be able to specialize your own store. Yes, there's a bit of a learning curve, but it's worth it to optimize your online store.

Should I use a graphic designer or printing companies?

Not unless you can afford them. Both designers and printers are expensive, and your Etsy store can feature “completely handmade” if you're making your finished product by hand. It's less sexy to a consumer when it just comes from a print shop.

Anyone can sell stickers on Etsy. Your Etsy store can be bright and whimsical, conservative, or somewhere in between. Best of all, it only takes one sticker for you to begin to sell stickers on Etsy.

What about Etsy Ads?

Don't start using Etsy ads until you've optimized your stickers' titles, tags, and images. Stickers that aren't optimized won't do well with ads. Save your money and focus on individual stickers and their success before you begin to worry too much about spending ads on your stickers. Ads will ruin your profit margins if you're only selling cheaper stickers, anyway.

If you're curious, here's a guide on how to start running ads for your Etsy store. Hopefully, it will help sticker makers like you save money as they begin designing stickers and sticker products. It's so exciting to start selling stickers, so take the leap – you won't regret it.

Are you ready to start a sticker business? Download the ultimate guide to your sticker business right here.

How To Start Your Etsy Sticker Shop

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