Why make stickers?
I think we can all agree on one thing: custom stickers are fun. Fun to collect as children, fun to use on our cars and accessories as adults, and fun to give away. And to receive.
But besides the collectibles, the face stickers, the pet stickers, the football club stickers we plaster around in our homes and belongings — how do we get real-life use and value from stickers?
By selling them, obviously. We know that's why you're here.
Whether setting up a sticker shop on Etsy, selling office supplies, or simply using stickers as a brand-booster of sorts, you'll find the humble-looking sticker to be a popular item with the potential for some truly stellar ROI.
Other uses for stickers
It's useful to remember, too, that stickers are a five-star marketing device. Handed out to potential customers, delivered with product packages, distributed in giveaways, or used as an extra touch to your wrapping game, stickers can be the thing that sets you apart from the pack.
In fact, play your cards right and your clients will be literally sticking your brand to their cars, laptops, water flasks, and whatnot. Just ask Apple.
How to make stickers
Now, making stickers ain't hard, but you should know what you're doing and yeah, definitely pay attention to a few pesky details.
Step 1 - Blueprint your sticker
First up — design. If you want to print a sticker, you probably have a good idea of what you want it to look like. You may even have your art or company logo readily available in image format. But can you convert that into a proper printable design?
For that, you've basically got two options:
- Design from scratch: Use Adobe Illustrator to put together your design. Better yet, use Studio — our online, download-free, and money-free design tool.
Use a template: Inspiration not abundant? We blame the weather. Regardless, Studio has a vast array of design templates for you to use and abuse at will.
And well, yes, there is that third option — hire a fancy graphic designer to put together your nifty, shiny design. Or a non-fancy, underpaid, overworked, doomed-to-poverty designer.
Sorry, that got a little existential.
Bonus tip: Design with the times
Here's a little extra idea for selling stickers: Tap into recent events, upcoming holidays, or even pop culture moments for some guaranteed best-sellers.
Even if you only plan to use your custom stickers for brand recognition, adding holiday themes for a little variety in that stickery mix is always something your customers will appreciate.
Step 2 - Decide on printing — home or online?
Ah, yes, the old question.
Printing at home
Depending on what kind of printer you have at home or in your office or shop, you may want to consider printing and preparing your stickers yourself.
Pros: It's cheaper for small quantities and you get your stickers right away.
Cons: Your stickers won't last as long, quality will be inferior, and you risk depleting your every-dwindling patience supplies in case your printer acts up.
And trust us, your printer will act up.
For most cases, and especially if you're looking to print quality stickers in large quantities to sell, you may find printing online is the best option.
Pros: You save time, save money on larger orders, and — of course — get great quality and versatility (hey, that's what we do for a living!).
Cons: We may not be fully impartial here, but we can't really think of any cons to online printing. Unless you spent a ton of money on a deluxe printer that you won't get to use. Sorry.
Step 3 - Pricing your stickers
Whether sold online, at events, or in your physical store, stickers usually cost something around $2-6. The material (vinyl quality), sticker type (static clings, anyone?), and size are all factors to account for. Plus, of course, how much you paid to get them made in the first place
A good best practice when selling stickers is to create progressive discounts — larger purchases get lower per-sticker prices.
Step 4 - Where will you sell your stickers?
Your shiny new stickers are ready to be passed on to happy purchasers everywhere! Time to choose the venue for your sticky commercial activities.
Etsy is a favorite for individual designers who are just dipping their toes in the world of e-commerce, but it's also a great marketplace in its own right. Check out our guide on how to get started with Etsy — it might be just the thing for you.
Look for stickers on eBay and you get over 2 million results. And while that could seem discouraging at first glance, it shouldn't be. Find a good niche for your stickers, provide top-notch customer support and delivery times, and you just may find yourself in eBay's TopRated Seller Program — a recipe for success.
As vast a territory as the rainforest itself, it can be just as hard to find your bit of sunlight on Amazon. Getting ahead of the competition will mean a lot of work with SEO, listings, and ad campaigns, but make it to the top and you'll find the world's biggest online marketplace brings the rewards of a true El Dorado.
Amazon can be a fantastic choice if you need another company to take care of fulfillment for you, or if you intend to sell with print-on-demand.
Your own website
You might already be doing this if you already have your own online shop; if not, it's always an option to consider as your custom sticker business begins to gain steam.
Besides advantages such as fewer fees (or none), selling on your own website is also seen by many as a mark of success in business and will set you apart as a confirmed merchant of sticker happiness.
Finally, keep in mind none of the above options are mutually exclusive. You can get started with just one and end up selling on as many platforms as you can profitably manage.
Step 5 - Keep making them stickers!
The final step is… keep at it. Create new designs on a regular basis to give previous customers something new to look forward to, as well as to expand your reach and tap into other sticker niches.
Finally, don't let initial inconveniences or setbacks discourage you. Keep what works, ditch what doesn't. Be patient, work hard on your designs, allow time to bring you the desired results — and then, be sure, the results will come.