The Ultimate Guide on How to Make and Sell Stickers
Sticker business has boundless possibilities. This is primarily due to the high demand in the market. According to eRank, in 2021, stickers were among October’s Top 20 popular items on Etsy (after the advent calendar and Halloween decor). You can make stickers to sell on Etsy or other platforms and earn good money without having skills in art and design. So, why is it beneficial, what to start with, and how to make your own stickers to sell?
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How much money can you make selling stickers?
The first option regarding how to make money selling stickers is to cooperate with a fulfillment company. Then you do not have to make serious initial investments, and in the future, you can decrease production and operating costs, which maximizes your income. The second option is to create goods on your own, which reduces the expenses as well.
According to our estimates, you can receive $200-800 monthly in this area (as the secondary job) and more than $10 thousand (as the main source of income). Bloggers' experience shows that you can make big money selling stickers (about 30 thousand dollars), working part-time in your boutique on Etsy! Let’s take a look at factors that may affect your profits.
In general, your income will depend on:
- Prime costs. Be sure to consider the price of the stickers, the store's commission, stationery costs, delivery, and packaging costs.
- Outsourcing costs. If you choose to work with a POD partner such as Sticker Mule or Sticker Ninja, you will have to spend around $1 per unit of goods.
- Price tag. Typically, the price of a sticker ranges from $2 to $6, but you can make sure by analyzing the competitors and the catalog in any online marketplace.
- The volume of orders. Everything is simple here: the higher the indicator, the richer your company is, and, therefore, more prospects for development.
Let's say you are an illustrator and dream of designing unique products. We recommend setting a price range of $3-$5 so that the unit production does not exceed $0.50 (including delivery costs, stationery, etc.). Then your profit margin will be $2.5-4.5 per item. The lack of skills will not hinder either, as you can use a template in photoshop and start working with a POD company.
In pricing, two more significant factors matter — type and material. It is unprofitable to set $3 for a car product — the price tag can be raised to $10-15 and higher. Just like making vinyl stickers is unprofitable for the same price as paper. But first things first.
4 types of stickers that are profitable to sell
The logo plays an essential role in improving brand awareness. If you are planning to perform commercial orders, it is better to produce individual logo stickers. Products printed on paper or stickers are popular. They are used for company vehicles, advertisements in shop windows, doors of shopping centers, indoors, and on the floor of sales areas. The mini-sticker can contain company logos and contacts, while the larger one can provide information on promotions, discounts, and new collections.
Another option is three-dimensional logos used as souvenirs. Companies present them to their regular and potential clients and business partners, placing them on household and office appliances, medical and industrial equipment, and furniture. A volumetric image is achieved with a special polymer resin.
- Tip: When designing stickers, find the balance between the restrained corporate style and attractiveness considering the customer's wishes. Products must be memorable and create good associations with a brand.
It is a self-adhesive sticker with a specific image and/or inscription on one side, e.g., a product packaging label. It can be easily attached to any surface, including shop windows, furniture, car windows, crockery, and stationery. With a transparent background, the stickers look aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive. It affects the "viewers" as intended, allowing them to focus on the picture or text.
Transparent stickers can withstand temperature variations and are resistant to mechanical damage, which makes them valuable. The absence of borders and a colored background make them easy to produce. They are printed using digital or other technology that allows the processing of non-absorbent materials.
- Tip: Be responsible in choosing a color palette to avoid difficulties with gradients and white colors, and think over the design. Remember that the cost of the product depends on the complexity of the figure cutting.
In printing on demand, bumper stickers are in high demand among motorists. They are attached to the rear and front bumper of the vehicle, whether it is a truck, car, or off-road vehicle. Such products can perform several functions: decorate cars, warn and inform other road users and pedestrians, protect the surface from damage, or mask minor defects.
Sticker bombing is a design trend where a variety of stickers and inscriptions are attached to a car. If you decide to set up a print-on-demand business, producing themed stickers for different car brands will make you recognizable in your target market.
- Tip: Study the secret meanings of all the signs, symbols, and inscriptions that are popular among motorists in advance before you begin production.
It is one of the most common types of stickers. In 2020, the market was valued at almost $178 million and is expected to reach more than $257 million by 2026. The point is that these products look unusual, as they are already cut out and glued to a single base, which covers the adhesive layer. This way, the base matches the shape and size of the product perfectly.
It is advantageous to create customized die cut-stickers, allowing customers to choose their preferred format. There are many options: from simple geometric shapes to trademarks, brand symbols, animal images, food, hobbies, etc.
- Tip: Pay attention to the method of making a die-cut sticker when working according to the print-on-demand model. There is an alternative to Die-Cutting: a method suitable for small editions of non-standard shaped products — Laser Cutting.
What to choose: paper or vinyl stickers?
For a beginner in printing on demand, paper stickers production will become an incentive to develop the store. Why? As a rule, paper stickers are made from matte or glossy paper, which does not require many expenses (especially in comparison with vinyl). Usually, they are created on the guillotine that cuts them in size. Paper products are printed quickly, even in large volumes, and attached to any surface. Cons are low resistance to moisture, damage, and wear. Paper is suitable for manufacturing small products (A3, A4) of standard shape (square, rectangle).
In printing on demand, vinyl stickers are valued for their versatility. They withstand any weather conditions since they are resistant to moisture, durable, tear-resistant, and elastic. Thanks to the last characteristics, they can be fixed on the surfaces of complex forms, not only on straight and smooth ones. All this causes their high demand in the market.
PVC resins and plasticizers are used as raw materials (to impart elasticity), stabilizers (to give the ability to absorb UV rays), and various pigments. It is easy to create vinyl stickers of any shape, size, style, and transparency without worrying about durability. Unlike paper, vinyl can be laminated, providing high moisture resistance.
Create your own design or buy a ready design for stickers
How to create your own stickers without artistic skills and access to designer tools? To create unique products, it is enough to track and analyze design trends in the target market. Take a look at large marketplaces and see what the audience chooses: inscriptions, images, shapes, and product sizes. It is helpful to explore the platform where you are going to sell. For example, Redbubble in the thematic categories of stickers. Collect all your favorite options and create your clipart on a platform like Canva.
But what if it's a customized production, such as a corporate print-on-demand die-cut sticker? Then you need to communicate with your customers, allowing them to send sketches and express their wishes.
There is a simple alternative: to purchase a ready-made design from professionals. It is profitable if you want to design your own stickers to sell in a highly competitive market where you are a beginner. For example, make stickers only for off-road vehicles or thermal stickers. In general, it all depends on your skills in design, financial opportunities, and plans.
Printing and cutting stickers or choosing a fulfillment print-on-demand company?
Choosing your own production, you need to be ready for significant investment. You will need equipment (laser or inkjet printer), software for drawing, cutting tools, sticker material, and ink. Add here the rent for the premises, utilities, software license, staff salaries, the price of packaging and delivery, and the maintenance costs of the online shop. It comes out to an impressive amount.
Often, at the stage of proceeds calculations, startups change course and outsource the production of stickers to printing-on-demand companies. By simply connecting your online shop to a POD application (or creating an account on the platform), you can get rid of the responsibility for purchasing materials, making goods, and even packaging and delivery. This is the main benefit of print-on-demand fulfillment services. However, you should remember that such companies lay down their rules, which will affect your budget.
Where to sell print-on-demand stickers online?
Any marketplace where exclusivity and a non-standard creative approach are of great value is suitable for selling individual items. For instance, it is profitable to sell custom print-on-demand stickers with Etsy, Handmade by Amazon, Society6, or Artsy. You can develop your own online store to scale faster and attract the audience with loyalty programs. At the same time, pay attention to the commissions of the platform and its other rules not to stay in the red.
Collaboration with POD partners gives you complete freedom: you can entrust the printing to world-famous service providers guaranteeing speed and quality. The list of the best print-on-demand companies for stickers includes GotPrint, Sticker Ninja, and Sticker Mule. The previously mentioned Redbubble also deserves attention, as it performs all the tasks from production to delivery, which will benefit your business.
So, selling stickers is a profitable business. Another advantage is that it is available for beginners, compared to other businesses. Especially if you plan to sell stickers online through the eCommerce platforms (Etsy, Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce) and integrate with POD services. This model is suitable for startups aiming to reduce costs, reach the target market faster, and scale in the future.