I accidentally sold some personalized products on Etsy and this is what happened…

6 min read

The personalized print-on-demand product is one of the top-selling products on Etsy.

If you go to Etsy’s site, you’ll see that there are so many products you can personalize with your name or a cartoon character you want.

I’m selling print on demand products on Etsy but I actually don’t have a personalized product in my shop.

But, I know that some of my friends are selling this kind of product and most of them say that it takes lots of time to communicate with their customers.

So I decided not to sell it, but I just *accidentally* sold some personalized products to one of my customers.

How’d it go?

Well, this new experience was amazing! The results from selling this kind of product was simply awesome!

It *might* change my mind about selling these kinds of personalized products on Etsy.

I’m going to share this story with you in this blog post.


What’s a personalized product?

Let’s first start with what a personalized product is.

A personalized product is basically the product that you can let your customers add some text or images to so it looks how they want it to.

For example, if you’re selling a coffee mug with quotes related to Mother’s Day, you may add a space on the coffee mug for your customer to add his or her name on it.

Like this:

People can add a child’s name to the personalized box in Etsy’s option before placing an order.

And it’s not only text either. We can let people customize images on the product too. Check the product below:

For this product, people can customize the style of the characters on the products. This seller provides many options for people to choose from to create their own style.

People can even choose hairstyles, clothes, and drinks for their characters.

(Damn… this seller is extremely diligent!)

When there is an order, this seller will start creating the design based on what the customer wants. They then send the design to a supplier to making a real product and ship it to the customer.


Do personalized products sell really well on Etsy?

I know there are so many people who have been selling a ton of personalized print-on-demand products on Etsy.

Most of them make over six figures a year selling personalized coffee mugs on Etsy.

I’m not surprised by this at all, because I see that most of the top-selling products on Etsy are personalized products.

If you go to Etsy and search for something like “mother’s day mug”, you’ll see that most of the top products in the search results are personalized products.

As you can see from the screenshot above, 7 of the 12 products are personalized coffee mugs. People can customize the product with the name or style they want.

Let’s try another example. I’ll search on Etsy using the keyword “birthday mug”. This is what I found:

Again, 7 out of 12 products are personalized products. I checked the sale stats of many shops and found that most of them have sold over 2,000 units, and one of them has had over 16,000 units sold.

That’s incredible!

I think the nature of Etsy’s users like unique items, so that’s why the personalized products are selling really well here.


Here’s my story…

Well, I know that people can make lots of money selling personalized mugs, but I also know that it’s time-consuming.

They have to receive the order information from their prospective customer, create the design based on what they want, submit the design for approval, and if not approved, revise the design; if approved, place an order on the supplier’s website.

This is not including the communication between the seller and the prospective customer. Some customers might be easy to deal with but some people are not easy to talk to.

It might require many revisions before making an order.

Anyway, it’s worth the time if we see how much they can make from selling personalized products. If you have time and like talking with people, then this’ll be great for you.

But it’s not what I want. I’m easy to lose my temper when I have to talk to demanding customers. That’s why I don’t have any customized products in my shop.

A few days ago, there was one customer who ordered eight coffee mugs from my shop, and she asked me to create new two designs (based on the old one I have) for her and she will place more orders.

Because she placed an order with eight coffee mugs before and the new design she wanted was not complicated, I accepted her proposal and created two new designs she wanted.

At first, she told me to change one text on the design.

“Easy peasy,” I think to myself.

So I asked my designer to do it for me. (I couldn’t do it myself because I didn’t know the font my designer used.)

Then I use these two new designs to create two coffee mugs in Gearbubble and create two products in my Etsy Shop.

I sent the link to the products to my customer and thought the job to be done. Now I just needed to wait for my customer to place an order.

But that didn’t happen…

She asked whether I can add a flower to the design...

“FLOWER!? That’s not what we discussed!”  I thought.

I told her, “Okay, please wait a few days. I’ll ask my team to add a flower for you.”

(I have to talk politely because she is a good customer; she ordered 8 mugs from me before.)

I asked my designer to revise the design. He found a good flower on a stock photo website and added it to the designs.

Okay, this time I created new products on Gearbubble to get a product mockup.

I didn’t create them on Etsy this time because she may not like it and I would have lost another $0.40 listing fee.

I just sent the mockup images to my customer.

“Hello, are these the designs you want?” I asked her.

“Wow! You make them so quick BUT…#@%$%#$%@#[email protected]@” – She told me they were good but she still needed some customizations and was willing to pay more.

“No worries. I’ll edit the designs for you,” I told her.

“You’re so kind! I’m not in hurry. I’m going to order more from you,” she told me.

“Please don’t, thank you,” I just thought to myself again.

Anyways, after several revisions, she was okay with the designs and placed another order with 10 coffee mugs.

So she ordered 18 coffee mugs from me in total and I charged her $335.82.

The production cost and Etsy’s fees were around $163.8, so I made $172.02 in profit from just one order.

Not bad. It’s a pretty nice profit you can make from one customer.

It seems like a person who likes personalized products is willing to place a big order and wait a bit longer for creating a unique product.


Conclusion

I understand now why the sellers who are selling personalized products are willing to work all day and all night for their customers.

They can also make lots of money from one order and it seems like if the customers are satisfied with the product, they will go back and spend more.

Anyway, I think it’s still not the perfect fit for my own style, even though I just made some good money from it. I don’t like dealing with customers, simple as that. If I decide to pursue this, I need to hire someone to handle this for me.

It might be a good idea. I’ll think about it and keep you updated 🙂

—Bank K.

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