How to Sell Print-on-Demand Face Masks on Etsy

12 min read

Success, in any business, is simply preparation meeting the right opportunities. The same philosophy applies to the print on demand business. To become a successful POD seller, you need to be a great opportunist.

The good kind!

The goal is to sell products that people are buying at the moment. And right now, that product is the face mask.

The last couple of months have been hard on the whole world. The COVID-19 pandemic took a great toll on nations and individuals alike. Several businesses were affected one way or another.

But it was not all doomsday. It also presented opportunities for POD sellers to make great sales from the sales of face masks.

You see, a face mask is a hot selling product at the moment. Many shoppers right now are really concerned about buying items that can keep their families safe in these times.

Moreover, with more ease on lockdown and prospective resumption of activities, face masks are going to become a form of pass for entering different places. I know I have the seen “No Face Mask, No Entry!” sign in more than one place.

Also, we are fast approaching the Q4. There is sure to be a surge in the demand for face masks across major eCommerce sites like Etsy and Amazon. So, the product would be sold pretty well.

Buyers are turning to Etsy in their thousands, in search of handmade fabric face covers and masks. This makes Etsy the perfect place to open up your face mask sale online shop.

Face Masks have been in high demand for the last couple of months. Check out the search stats for “face mask” as a keyword on Google Trends.

Source: Google Trends

Crazy, right?

And while it looks as though the search for face masks is reducing, the market craze of the Q4 is enough to get it skyrocketing again.

Throughout April, “Face Mask” was the most searched word on Etsy.

The CEO of Etsy disclosed that just between the 4th to the 6th of April, 2020, buyers searched for masks on Etsy for an average of about 9 times per second! That’s almost more than 2 million searches in within 3 days.

Source: https://blog.etsy.com/news/2020/mobilizing-our-community-in-times-of-need/

I have listed about 2,000 face mask products on my Etsy account in a month. I have sold more than 150 masks so far. More sales to come!

No doubt, this product is by far selling than any other print on demand product at the moment. So, if you want to catch the last wave of massive face mask sale on Etsy, you might want to start putting up your products on Etsy now.

But before you close this tab and run off to your Etsy dashboard, I’ve provided some very useful and doable tips for you on how to sell print on demand face masks on Etsy.

From creative face mask ideas to step-by-step sales procedures, I’ve explained some key details that you must know before zooming off to put up a face mask product for sale on Etsy.

You’re welcome! 😇

Selling Face Masks on Etsy – What you need to know before getting started

Handmade fabric masks are not a replacement for medical face masks. They are basically for buyers who are looking to keep themselves and their families safe when outdoors. When the COVID-19 pandemic got to its peak, medical-grade face masks became very scarce for those who need them.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that going out to get potatoes at the grocery store is not important. It sure is, if you’re hungry. But it’s not as important as the guys who are locked up in the hospitals all day trying to find a way to fix this situation.

So, with the majority of buyers going for handmade fabric face masks, the healthcare providers and frontline workers can have enough to go round.

Before you list face masks as a product on Etsy, there are some things that you should know and some best practices that you must follow.

Here are some DOs and DON’Ts you need to know.

  • DON’T make medical assertions

When putting up your face mask product, ensure that you stir clear of any form of medical assertions or health claims. Etsy has prohibited sellers from making statements that suggest that their product can heal, prevent, or treat any form of a medical condition, viruses, or diseases.

Regardless of your belief, never make medical claims about your product.

  • DON’T use ‘medical’ or other related terms

If you want to sell face masks on Etsy, certain words must not be found anywhere on your listing – product title, product description, tags, or listing photos.

Some of these terms include:

COVID-19, coronavirus, COVID, virus, bacteria, antibacterial, prevention, flu protection, influenza, pathogen, antimicrobial properties, CDC, FDA, or other official compliance.

Also, avoid making comparisons to N95 masks.

If you fail to comply with these, you might get flagged by Etsy or shoppers, your listing can be removed from the platform. And if you get flagged multiple times, you run a risk of getting suspended from the platform. That’s something that you cannot afford to happen.

  • DO state your product features

Describe your products properly using the right adjectives. This will help your potential buyers understand the kind of product you’re putting up for sale before they make their purchase.

If your product is lightweight, you must state it. This way, buyers in search of light-weighted face covers can know that your product is what they’re looking for.

Highlighting features like your product being adjustable, washable, soft, reversible, or having multiple layers can be an eye-catcher for many Etsy shoppers.

  • DO list your product under the right category

To ensure that shoppers find these products easily, Etsy has added a new category where POD sellers can list their face mask products.

Etsy has created a category for Face Masks & Coverings and Face Mask Patterns under the Bath & Beauty Category and the Personal Care subcategory.

So, when adding your listings, be sure to add these categories. Categorizing your products as Face Shields might it harder for shoppers to find.

Selling Face Masks on Etsy – Getting Started

When we were all prepping for 2020, no one made plans for having a new clothing item. But love it or hate it, face masks are here to stay.

With global health organizations recommending the use of face masks were going out in public, it seems we might still be wearing face masks for a while.

In some countries, wearing face masks is not a recommendation. It is more of a compulsory thing. All I’m trying to say is that the market is trendy, and it’s not too late to jump on it.

First things first, the face masks that is to be used by the public are fabric face masks. This to ensure that the medical face masks are reserved for those who actually need it (the medical practitioners and the frontline workers).

The CDC has recommended that all face masks should have a snug fit that allows it to sit comfortably on the face. It must also come with ear loops or rope ties to keep it secure and from falling off.

Face masks are expected to have multiple layers of fabric but must not restrict breathing in any way. It must also be able to be washed and machine dried without losing its form.

With all of these in check, you’re ready to get started!

Face Mask Ideas

Primarily, face masks are not fashion accessories. But they do spend a long time on our faces and take a lot of face space while worn. So, we can as well as have them long as cool as our jeans and shirts. They are not your typical wardrobe essentials, yet every outfit in 2020 remains incomplete without a face mask.

Don’t be surprised to see buyers towards more fashionable face masks rather than plain old white face masks. They might not be your first-choice fashion accessory, but a cool face mask has a way of complementing your outfit while keeping you safe.

Call it killing two birds with one mask. 😋

Here are some cool face mask design ideas that would attract more customers and sales for your print on demand business.

  • Funny Designs

Many best-selling face mask designs carry funny jokes and images. Humor is a mood changer. The surge in the demand for face masks on Etsy has led to POD sellers digging into their creative sides to produce some crafty and charming designs. Whatever you do, try to create clever and humorous designs about anything.

For instance, you can create designs about the quarantine or social distancing related jokes. A white face mask with an inscription written in small font saying “If you can read this, it means you’re too close!” will do pretty well in the market than a plain mask with the same color.

So, whether you’re using clever texts or making faces, the idea is to get creative! I bet a face mask with the Joker mouth painting will sell pretty well.

You can also have design with funny faces and emojis. A lot of buyers seem to fancy face masks with crazy mouth drawings on them. People love to have a good laugh once in a while. You can take advantage of this and make good money while you are at it.

  • Funny Designs about Professions

People still have to wear face masks to work. You can take advantage of that and create some cool niche-based designs. I prefer selling masks to professional niches. This is because the market is more compact and easier to target. There are fewer competitors there also; making it easier to sell your products.

Try making funny engineer masks, or witty lawyer face masks for a targeted audience.

  • Animal Inspired Designs

If there is one thing that humans love, it’s their pets. Dogs and cats top the list of the most domesticated animals in recent times.

Consider making animal-inspired face mask designs for breeders and animal lovers. For whatever reason, shoppers can seem to scroll past cute cat snout or dog nose printed on a face mask. Try adding this to your store. The shoppers will go crazy!

You can also try out animal prints. Tiger, zebra and leopard prints are becoming quite popular on Etsy these days.

  • Floral Print Designs

Chic floral prints work well on anything. From sneakers to face masks, floral prints are always trending.

People love nature. They always look for ways to connect with nature, flowers, and everything in between. This is why floral prints can never go out of fashion. At least, for a while. As a print on demand seller, floral designs are a must-have in your store.

  •  Camo Designs

Do you love to have military camouflage patterns? Or you just fancy the feel of camo print? Well, so do a thousand other people!

Try making cool camouflage prints on face masks. You would be selling to a defined audience who are searching for a specific type of item.

When it comes to creativity, there are no bounds. You can also choose to play with textiles and fabrics if you have the flare for a more dashing approach.

Tie and dye face masks are now becoming more common these days. People love colors and cool fabrics. Using tie and dye fabrics to create face masks is a very innovative way to get people to buy it even more.

For this, buyers are not making a purchase for lack of face masks. Rather, they are buying into your creativity.

You can also tilt towards some African print fabrics for a more elegant yet cultural approach. There are buyers who would not just be able to scroll past such a display.

So, as I said, there are no bounds. Get creative with it!

How to Sell Face Masks on Etsy

Yeah! This is the step-by-step guide I was talking about.

The process of listing face masks on your Etsy store is just like any other print-on-demand product. However, it requires that you pay closer attention to the earlier mentioned regulations to avoid being on the bad side of the platform.

Here’s all you need to know:

  • Create a Product Design

When it comes to selling print on demand products, getting a fascinating design is the bulk of the job. Great product design is what attracts buyers and improve sales.

To create product design, you can either get it done yourself or hire a designer to get it done for you.

If you are doing it yourself, design tools like Canva are your best bet for creating remarkable designs without breaking a sweat. Other design tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator require training and mastery.

But with basic design knowledge, you can easily use Canva to create simple designs for your product mockups. It is as simple as drag and drop.

If you will be needing a lot of designs, I would recommend that you hire a graphic designer for a faster result. You can find cheap design services on onlinejobs.ph. If you can also give the designer access to your Canva so that he can work faster with the available templates on the site.

You can generate mockup images for your products. These are the images that you would be using for your product listing on Etsy.

You need to know that some designs would perform better than others. When you find out that one of your designs is driving great sales, you might need to incorporate it into other products in your store.

I personally like taking a selling idea or design and putting it in other products. When it comes to selling face masks, you can add the same design to multiple colors of face masks. This will reduce the cost of getting another design done.

You can get your selling design on a white or black face masks if they are not on it yet. From my stats, I think black face masks are selling better than the white face masks.

And for obvious reasons too. Black tends to accommodate more dirt without becoming obviously dirty or being in need of a wash. Also, most people tend to go for black as a more neutral color that can fit into any outfit combo.

So, try this idea. It works pretty well for me.

  • Upload Product

Nobody would buy a product that is not out in the market. Right? So, upload your product on Etsy and on a supplier’s website to get sales running in. Websites such as Gearbubble and Printful are great suppliers of print on demand products.

When uploading your product on Etsy, try to use the best keywords for your product title, tags, and description. These would all influence your SEO and boost your visibility on Etsy.

If you don’t understand how Etsy SEO works, you’re in luck! Here’s the Etsy Basic SEO Guide, just for you!

You can automate the process of product upload by using the PODTurbo system. All you need to do is pay for your subscription and connect it to your Etsy account. You’re good to go!

  • Fulfilling Order

Once customers begin to place their orders, you would have to place it on the supplier’s website also. If you feel that this process might be time-consuming, try automating it with PODTurbo.

Apart from taking care of your product upload stress, PODTurbo can also come in handy for placing orders automatically, without your interference. All you got to do is sit back and count your profits.

How much you can make from selling print-on-demand face masks

A few months ago, Etsy CEO, Josh Silverman, revealed that the company has been “selling hundreds of thousands of fabricface masks every day.”  He described the overwhelming demand for the product this way:

“It’s as though you woke up and it was suddenly Cyber Monday and everyone was looking for only one product”

Source: https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/etsy-coronavirus-face-mask-sales

Etsy is the home of face masks! And the good thing is that the shoppers know this.

So, what should you expect as a seller of face masks on Etsy? Let’s see.

If you create a product with a base cost of $6.95 and $4.95 shipping cost from Gearbubble, you can sell it on Etsy for around $14.95 to $19.95 plus a $4.95 shipping fee. So, technically, you would gain a $10 profit off every sale made. Sweet!

I have made around $3,285 so far in a month from selling print on demand face masks on Etsy. This leaves me with a profit of about $1,500.

And do you know what the best part is? People are still going to buy more face masks, especially in Q4. From October to December, the demand for face masks will rise every much more as many people would not just want to buy for themselves, they’d also want to use it as a gift.

During this period, people would be going out a lot. So, they might need to use more masks than in the last couple of months. If you have not yet listed face masks in your Etsy store, it’s not too late.


When it comes to making sales on Etsy, the idea is to follow the trend. While there are several marketing strategies that you can put in place, nothing beats the simple act of ride on the wave of trends.

Face masks will be around for a while. And as long as they are made mandatory for public outings, they would remain in high demand. The Q4 is fast approaching and face mask sales are likely to increase. You must be ready.

Listing your face masks as a product on Etsy requires that you pay attention to details. Before putting up a face mask product for sale, ensure that it complies with the Etsy Handmade Policy.

Also, check out the Etsy Seller’s Handbook for more information on compliance and regulations.

Till next time, stay safe, stay productive!

—Bank “Face Mask Seller” K.

Further Readings:

Leave a Comment