I have several friends who sell stickers on Etsy and it is a FANTASTIC business model that allows them to support their families and even pay employees to help out. I’ve asked them to share tips on how to make money selling stickers on Etsy so YOU can learn to do the same thing.

This is a fantastic side hustle idea and one that you can start in a weekend with minimal equipment.

You might look at Etsy and think this is a saturated market. How could you ever stand out selling stickers?

The truth is there are a variety of sticker types, sizes, styles, and other ways to make your stickers stand out. There is still a lot of opportunity. In fact, people are still starting and growing new Etsy sticker shops right now.

If you want to learn how to create stickers and make money selling them on Etsy then this is the guide for you.

Why Sell Stickers On Etsy? 

Whenever I mention my full-time Etsy sticker seller friends, people have a lot of questions. How much do they make? Is it hard to get started?

People want to know, WHY should I sell stickers on Etsy?

What makes it one of the best business models on Etsy?

Stickers are one of the best selling items on Etsy. Stickers shops are routinely at the top of the “Top Seller” lists. Even small sticker shops can have hundreds of orders per day.

Stickers are small items and sell at a smaller price point but that means people tend to buy more.

The best part is once you find customers they are more likely to become repeat buyers. This is one reason why a sticker business is so amazing – you are creating a consumable product people buy again and again!

But why sell specifically on Etsy? Here are some reasons why sticker shops succeed on Etsy:

  • Large Existing Customer Base – Etsy already has millions of customers who regularly buy from various Etsy shops. When you start a sticker shop on Etsy you are immediately in front of a large customer base who already buys stickers. You can’t find that large customer base quickly anywhere else which gives Etsy an advantage.
  • Easy Selling Options – Etsy has made selling online so easy and gives sellers many options within the platform. Starting an Etsy shop takes 10 minutes and they give you a variety of amazing tools in exchange for the seller fees they collect. It’s a fantastic way to get started.
  • Your Own Storefront – Etsy gives you a fully designed shop with lots of ability to control your listings and how your product looks.

Related Etsy guides that can help you:

That all sounds good, right?

But… how to make money selling stickers on Etsy?

Let’s walk through how to sell stickers on Etsy and how much money you can make doing it.

How To Make Stickers To Sell On Etsy  

First, let’s look at the actual process of how to make stickers for selling on Etsy.

Making stickers is not a complicated process but if you plan to make your own you’ll need to plan on practicing a bit. If you plan to outsource that part you can skip down to the sections where I talk about outsourcing your sticker creation.

Let’s look at each part of the sticker process and I’ll share how you can DIY or how you can outsource to save more time and still make money.

Designing, printing and shipping at home will save you money but it will cost you time. You can better control your inventory and fulfill orders faster if you are doing everything yourself at home.

Outsourcing your sticker process at any point will cut into your profits but it will also make the business more passive.

The steps for making stickers to sell on Etsy are:

  1. Designing stickers
  2. Printing stickers
  3. Cutting stickers
  4. Packaging stickers
  5. Shipping Stickers
  6. Etsy shop management & customer service

Let’s look at each part of this process.

Designing Stickers To Sell On Etsy

Designing stickers is often the fun part for most sellers. It’s what they think about and start doing before they think about how to make money selling stickers on Etsy.

Most of my sticker shop owner friends started by making stickers for their own use. They wanted to create designs they loved.

Design is the first step in making stickers to sell.

Designing Stickers Yourself

Luckily you don’t have to be an artist or even that creative to do this!

You can make stickers out of many things you don’t design yourself:

The best sticker shops tend to focus on a specific type of sticker or design. This niche helps the sticker shop stand out and gain traction with customers.

Etsy sticker shop niche ideas include:

  • Planner stickers
  • Budget stickers
  • Pet portrait stickers
  • Funny stickers
  • Inspirational quote stickers
  • Meme stickers
  • Location stickers
  • Spiritual stickers
  • Political stickers
  • Seasonal stickers
  • Labeling stickers
  • Customized stickers

You can create the sticker designs in an online design platform like Canva. If you want to draw your own designs from scratch then you’ll need supplies like the Apple iPad and Apple Pencil and the design program ProCreate.

Outsourcing Sticker Design

If being creative is not your thing then you can also outsource the sticker design process.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Outsource the entire design process to an artist
  2. Buy a sticker template and make minimal changes

You can choose which best fits your style and budget.

Printing Stickers To Sell On Etsy

Printing your stickers is the next step after they have been designed. Again, this is a process you can do yourself or outsource.

You’ll want to be clear on what type of stickers you are creating because this will determine the type of paper used to print your stickers. You might be printing on paper or on vinyl. Paper won’t be waterproof and vinyl are thicker and shinier.

If you aren’t sure about which to use for your type of sticker then you should do some research before printing.

Printing Stickers Yourself

Printing stickers yourself will be all about the supplies you use. You will likely need to do some research and even some testing before you decide on your final product.

For this step you’ll need to get your paper, printer, and ink. Each of these has many different options available so you will pick the best option for the type of stickers you want to make.

Sticker Paper:

  • Paper
  • Vinyl

Printer:

  • Inkjet Printer – Cheaper and more accessible but not great for printing saturated images because they use lots of ink
  • Laserjet Printer – More expensive but better printing quality and less ink used for the quality level

Outsourcing Sticker Printing

You can also outsource the printing of your stickers by sending your sticker design to a company that prints and cuts your stickers.

These sticker printing services take your design and manufacture a bulk order of your stickers. They specialize in printing stickers so you will have guaranteed quality and consistency among your printed stickers.

how to make money selling stickers on etsy - outsource your sticker printing

Here are some of the companies that will print stickers for you:

  • Sticker Ninja (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $86 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
  • Sticker Mule (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $83 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
  • GotPrint (Example offer: printing on 60lb paper and gloss labels with UV coating for $41.90 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)

You can also print directly from some design programs like Canva. Just remember this is a more expensive option.

Cutting Stickers To Sell On Etsy

The next step is cutting out your stickers so they can be used as stickers.

Cutting Stickers Yourself

There are many different cutting tools available and you can even do it by hand with scissors if you wanted to (you don’t).

The two most popular cutting machines for stickers are:

These are commonly used by sticker sellers. I’ve found most professional sticker shop sellers use Silohouette machines but Cricut works just as well.

There are thousands of useful tutorials online to help you learn how to use either machine or troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

Outsourcing Sticker Cutting

This step of outsourcing is generally the same step as printing your stickers because these companies both print and cut the stickers to send the final product to you for selling.

Here are some of the companies that will cut stickers for you:

  • Sticker Ninja (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $86 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
  • Sticker Mule (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $83 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
  • GotPrint (Example offer: printing on 60lb paper and gloss labels with UV coating for $41.90 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)

You can also have stickers printed and cut directly from some design programs like Canva.

Creating Your Etsy Sticker Shop

Once you have your stickers designed, printed, and cut out then it is time to work on your Etsy shop.

If you don’t already have a shop this video will walk you through the process of getting started.

How To Start An Etsy Shop For Beginners

Getting started is very easy!

Once you have your shop set up you can work on adding more listings to your shop.

You will also want to add:

  • an about section sharing your shop’s creation story and details
  • a logo for your shop icon
  • a photo and profile for your account

All of that gives your shop credibility and makes it more likely someone will buy from you while you have few sales.

You can continue to work on your Etsy shop and tweak your shop and listings to increase sales conversions.

Learn more: How To Get Sales on Etsy For New Sellers In 2021

Packaging Stickers To Sell On Etsy

You’ve got the stickers, the shop, and finally a sale! Now it’s time package your stickers to send our to customers.

Packaging is an incredibly important part of your business.

The right packaging will accomplish many things:

  • branding your business
  • protecting your stickers from damage
  • delighting your customers with the experience

Everyone has had the experience of receiving a damaged order. It’s not fun and negatively reflects on the business. That’s why you should aim to provide good packaging that protects your stickers.

Packaging Basics

You have a few options to send out your stickers safely:

  • rigid mailers
  • bubble mailers
  • tissue paper (extra protection)
  • cello bags (extra protection)

You can opt to use a regular envelope but will risk having damaged items. It’s better to provide customer service upfront by sending items in the best packaging available. It might cost a bit more but you can raise prices and avoid bad reviews.

Packaging Extras

Etsy sellers are known for going above and beyond with their packaging. Many include little extras with orders to create a good relationship and encourage repeat buyers.

Here are some of the extras you can include:

  • business cards with your shop name and a discount code
  • extra stickers as a bonus
  • little positive message or affirmation
  • free download of a digital product (or digital sticker set)

All of those will delight customers and make them more likely to come back for future purchases.

Shipping Stickers To Sell On Etsy

The final step of the process is of course sending your stickers to customers.

You can generate shipping labels right within Etsy or use something like Pirate Ship or just go to the post office for a manual process.

If you are printing more than a dozen labels a day at home for orders then you’ll likely want to get a printer that prints labels in bulk.

Once you print your sticker order labels you are ready to send your package into the world. Congrats!

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Stickers On Etsy? 

The question you really want to know is likely how much money can you make selling stickers on Etsy? How much do sticker shops really make?

The most accurate answer is of course, it depends. It will depend on the quality of supplies you use, how you price your stickers, how many orders you get, etc.

But you want real numbers!

So here are a few examples of how much money people make selling stickers on Etsy:

  • My friend Shay Budgets made nearly $30,000 in a year by selling budget planner stickers part-time on Etsy
  • Mama and Money said she made $2,681.75 in sales in her first two weeks (wow, right?!)

Clearly this can be a legitimate side hustle!

How Much Does It Cost To Make Stickers ?

Those sticker shop income numbers sound great, but you probably want to know about the expenses as well. It’s important to consider both the revenue and what you will spend to make money.

Again, your costs will vary. It will depend on if you plan to make stickers yourself or outsource the printing.

It will depend on what supplies you buy, your equipment, etc. You might keep costs super low and be like my mentee who was gifted a cutting machine to start (she inspired this guide!) or you might find one on a resale site.

Sticker Supplies

If you plan to make your own, you’ll need to spend more on startup supplies. Here are the basic items you will need to get started with a sticker business:

Depending on how much of this list you need to buy you’ll spend anywhere from $400 to $2,000 to get started. This can be even cheaper if you already have many of the items.

If you outsource the design process then you won’t need the design software or drawing tools.

If you outsource the printing and cutting then you won’t need the printer or sticker paper or cutting machine.

This is a great business to customize based on how much you want to spend with your money and your time.

Etsy Fees

The final thing you’ll need to consider with expenses are the Etsy fees.

You’ll hear grumbles about Etsy fees if you join any Etsy facebook groups, but in reality the fees are quite reasonable for what Etsy offers.

Here are the fees you’ll want to be aware of for selling on etsy:

  • Listing fees: Etsy charged $0.20 for every listing you publish whether it sells or not.
  • Transaction fees: Etsy charges 5% of your sales prices every time you make a sale.
  • Shipping fees: This can vary and depends on how you organize your shipping. You can purchase labels through Etsy or not.

Those are the fees Etsy will take from you for selling on their platform.

Taxes

Once you start earning money you need to start setting aside money for taxes.

You will likely need to pay a variety of taxes depending on location:

  • federal taxes
  • state taxes
  • state business taxes
  • sales taxes

This is something that varies state by state so do not rely on random groups and message boards for advice in this area. Contact a local small business CPA and get real advice so you don’t get in trouble down the road.

Tips For Success On Etsy

I’ve been selling on Etsy for a few years and I’m lucky to know multiple full time Etsy sellers.

Here are some tips for success on Etsy:

  • Add more products: Often I see new sellers try to give up before they’ve attempted enough products. Your first sticker listing probably won’t be your best seller. You’ll need to keep trying, experiment with new styles, and add more products. The products you have on Etsy the more people will see you.
  • Focus on what works: If you see something selling well then double down on it! At first it might not be your passion or ideal product but the market openings are important since it’s competitive to sell on Etsy.
  • Sell bundles and sticker packs: Buyers on Etsy love bundles! If you have a few stickers that sell well or match in style then add them together in a bundle listing where you sell a pack for a higher price point. This is popular on Etsy and it also helps you earn more money per order when you will pay the same amount for shipping and packaging anyway.

Those are just a few tips to help you be more successful on Etsy with your sticker shop.

Final Thoughts On Making Money Selling Stickers On Etsy

I hope this ultimate guide on selling stickers on Etsy helps you get started and make a lot of money!

This is an incredible side hustle and I’ve seen at least 5 friends go from side hustle to full time Etsy sticker seller.The potential is there even if the sticker market on Etsy is competitive.

Whether you decide to do it all yourself or outsource some of your work I hope you find the perfect sticker niche that leads to much success.

I’m cheering for you!