The competition is fierce in the sticker market, and many would-be entrepreneurs fail because they lack knowledge and experience.
This guide will help you avoid typical pitfalls as you launch your successful sticker business!
Sticker-making is a straightforward and fun method to make extra cash.
It’s an excellent venture for the young or financially inexperienced entrepreneur because of the low initial investment and short learning curve.
If you’ve spent any time on Etsy at all, you’ll know that stickers are a great way to capitalize on the platform’s popularity with printables.
(our company designs tons of different sticker types – we’re buying them all the time!)
This post will cover the basics of starting a sticker business, including how to design your own stickers, get them produced, and find a market for them after they are finished.
Alright, let’s get going on learning how to produce commercial sticker products.
How To Build A Sticker Business
Plan, Plan, Plan
Starting a sticker business requires more than just coming up with a design and printing it out on sticker paper.
It might start off as a side venture, but it could turn into your full-time business.
Once you’ve decided on a name (one that hasn’t already been taken, of course), you’ll need to assess your financial standing.
The more money you have to put into sticker supplies, the more stickers you can make and sell.
For example, you need to make at least $500 to cover your expenses of $500 in sticker sheets and other materials.
Related Reading: Top Sticker Companies – Find Your Partner Compay Here.
Decide What Type of Stickers To Sell
You can sell digital stickers, stickers you print and cut yourself, or physical stickers using a print-on-demand service.
All of these options come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, which are:
- Excellent profit margins
- You can keep reselling designs.
- You won’t have to deal with physical packaging and shipping.
- It turns away buyers who prefer physical stickers.
- More suitable for digital files, planners, and trackers. Customers will have to exert effort into printing the designs themselves.
Physical Stickers That You Produce Yourself
- Everything from the packaging to shipping is within your control.
- Selling physical stickers is more likely to gain bestseller status.
- More customers are generally more interested in physical sticker sets.
- Not the best profit margins
- Pretty labor intensive
- You will need more equipment (especially if you’ll print stickers and cut them yourself)
Stickers With A POD Service
- Orders are packed and shipped for you.
- You take care of the design end. The service takes care of the rest.
- Lowest profit margins
- You have very little say over how your products are presented to your customers.
Printing stickers presents several options for cuts and textures.
If you tick these boxes in advance, you can save time and money in the long run.
Kiss cuts and die cuts are the most common types of sticker cuts.
To create kiss-cut stickers, only the top sticker layer is removed, leaving the paper backing intact.
A border and the backing remain after the sticker has been peeled off.
Using this method of cutting, you may create sticker sheets with a wide variety of designs.
When a sticker and its backing are cut at the same time to the same shape, this is called a die-cut sticker.
It could be as straightforward as a rectangle or circle or as intricate as an octagram.
Depending on the surface they’re printed on, stickers can take on a wide variety of looks and textures.
Examples include bold images looking better on holographic stickers and fine detail looking better on a matte surface.
Examples of the most sought-after finishes are:
- Vinyl stickers
You may want to try out different finishes before you settle on the ones that you’re going to sell.
Gather Your Materials and Equipment
For Digital Stickers
It’s remarkably simple to make your own digital stickers.
Plus, the returns are phenomenal.
Make them once, and you can sell them over and over again without worrying about shipping costs.
They are very popular among those who use them to beautify anything from digital planners and trackers to client welcome packages.
All you need is a tablet/ computer and some design software like Canva.
For Physical Stickers With POD Service
Custom stickers are ones that you create but have someone else handle the tedious printing and, in most circumstances, shipping.
While the profit margins are lower than they would be if you manufactured and printed the stickers yourself, POD allows you to run a business with minimal involvement from you.
Again, all you need is a computer and some designing software like Procreate, Canva Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI, and Corel Painter.
You may get stickers produced in bulk and shipped to you by collaborating with a printer like Sticker Mule.
As a one-stop sticker shop, they can print anything from personalized stickers to labels to mailers to tape.
Additionally, they provide free online proofs and free worldwide shipping.
You’ll still be responsible for fulfilling customer orders, as a printing partner like Sticker mule only produces your stickers.
Suppose you wish to run your business in this way.
In that case, that’s fantastic, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to handle things like stock orders, packing orders, printing shipping labels, communicating with post offices or shipping couriers, processing refunds, and much more.
It’s fantastic if you want to take charge of those aspects of your business, but keep in mind that doing so requires a significant investment of time.
Sticker printing with a printer requires both time and money in advance because of the need to order in bulk.
Using a drop shipper like Printful, you can print a single sticker at a time and wait to buy a bulk quantity until a buyer places an order.
Working with a drop shipper is more conducive to the launch of new sticker businesses.
You may also save money by buying stickers in bulk and keeping them on hand at home to send out as needed.
At Sticker Mule, you can buy 10,000 kiss-cut stickers for $1,225, and you get a $10 free credit to spend on custom stickers if you click the button below.
For Physical Stickers You Make Yourself
While this approach is more labor-intensive than using print-on-demand technology, it gives you full control over your venture’s creative direction and, in certain cases, even better profit margins.
You’ll require the following:
- Your chosen sticker paper
- Ipad, tablet, or drawing tablet + design software
- Silhouette Cameo or Cricut
- Inkjet Printer
- Packaging materials
Related Reading: Things To Sell On Etsy – Get The List Here.
The more creative you get with your stickers, the more likely there are to get very popular.
Stickers with creative designs are very popular.
Sticker design is a great place to let your imagination run wild, so sketch some unique designs that people will want to buy.
If your drawing skills aren’t up to par, don’t fret; originality is what matters most!
Sticker sheets can be made using images found online, which can then be combined, altered, colored in digitally, and printed.
With Canva, you have access to hundreds of pictures for use in creating customized stickers.
Popular sticker categories on Etsy include:
- Original and famous characters
- Hobbies and activities
- Cartoons, comics, movies, and anime
- Car stickers
- Phrases and quotes
- Celebration stickers
- Gift stickers
- Logo stickers
- Planner stickers
- Custom printed stickers
It’s easy to avoid plagiarism if you just add your own spin to familiar ideas, so feel free to do so with anything that interests you.
You can even hire someone else to do the drawing for you if that’s not your thing.
You may also purchase ready-made sticker designs from websites like Creative Market, Etsy, Vista Create, The Craft Bundles, and Creative Fabrica.
Keep in mind that unless you are ready to pay more for creative designs, you will most likely receive a stock sticker that is also being offered elsewhere online.
Once you have your designs, it’s time to get printing and cutting!
Choose Where To Sell Your Stickers
In order to make a profit once your stickers are done, you’ll need to find a place to sell them.
Sticker businesses can benefit greatly from the implementation of an eCommerce solution.
The days of renting a storefront in a strip mall or local market are long gone.
Your own website, social media accounts, and online marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon are all excellent places to sell your stickers online.
In comparison to the expense of creating, hosting, and promoting a website of your own, the fees charged by these marketplaces for listing and selling things are relatively low.
Etsy started as an online venue for folks to sell their handmade arts and crafts online, but the community has since grown to include merchants of all kinds of one-of-a-kind items (including sticker sellers).
Sticker businesses can open an Etsy shop in a special part of the site dedicated to sticker retailers.
Artists now have a global audience to sell their creations to, thanks to Amazon Handmade.
No mass-produced items are permitted on Amazon Handmade; everything shown must be manufactured or modified by hand.
So, it’s a fantastic spot to launch your sticker business’s web store.
Sticker You is a marketplace where users can buy and trade custom stickers.
The Sticker You Store is linked to both the Sticker You website and the Sticker You retail store, and it provides a perfect venue for sticker businesses to sell their items.
Redbubble is a platform where artists can sell their creations to be printed on a variety of products to be ordered by customers online.
A royalty is subsequently given to the artist for each instance of their work being used.
Sticker designers may concentrate on their work and have their creations sold on Redbubble without having to worry about producing physical copies of their stickers.
While eBay originally functioned as an online auction platform, it has since evolved into a global online marketplace where users can buy and sell virtually everything, even stickers.
Sticker companies can confidently list their items on eBay thanks to the site’s established reputation.
If you don’t want to use an e-commerce platform like Amazon or eBay as a location for your own sticker shop, you may create a storefront utilizing a platform like Shopify.
By opening up shop in the world of digital stickers, you may manage all areas of your company, from marketing and promotion to the day-to-day running of the business.
Set Your Prices
Figure out a strategy for setting prices that will work.
The going rate for stickers can be found by looking at what other businesses are charging.
But don’t try to undersell your products!
This serves no one’s interests.
Be sure to add in overhead expenses like labor and materials, as well as transportation and packaging.
Selling sticker packs might raise your average sale size.
Incentives like “buy X, get 1 free” might also help you increase your sales.
Choose A Shipping Method
Affordable and dependable shipping is crucial to the success of sticker shops.
Stickers should be shipped in sturdy packaging with a mailing label for a more polished presentation.
Learn about your options and select the service that best suits your needs.
There are a number of things to think about while choosing a carrier, including:
- Shipping costs
- Extra fees
- Shipping speed
- Package tracking
- Customer service
The cost of shipping must be clearly stated on your website.
Customers need quick and simple access to this information.
You can opt to offer free delivery, flat-priced shipping, or a variable shipping rate.
Of course, folks are more likely to buy something if it comes with free shipping.
Nine out of ten consumers place the greatest weight on free shipping when deciding where to shop online.
However, you should know that shipping costs money and is never actually free.
Raise the sticker price to account for the additional cost of shipping.
Stickers can be an excellent candidate for flat-rate delivery, which is ideal for items of comparable size and weight.
If the actual shipping costs are more than the flat rate, you will take a loss.
Products of varying dimensions, weights, and volumes typically require a custom shipping quote.
While it may take some time to figure out, this is the fairest option to have buyers pay for shipping.
How much effort and risk you put into determining delivery prices is entirely up to you.
Multiple shipping methods can be combined for your convenience.
Write a Return Policy
It’s good customer service to allow customers to return items if they change their minds.
A return is preferable to a bad review from an unhappy consumer.
Determine a reasonable time frame for returns and who will cover the costs of returning the item.
Publish your return policy and include a link to it on the individual product sites.
Market Your Stickers
Start marketing your business as soon as you have ten to fifteen designs ready to go.
Unless you advertise, no one will know about your business.
In order to start selling stickers online, you’ll need to put in a lot of marketing effort.
What you can do is as follows:
Use High-Quality Photos
Increasing your online visibility begins with enhancing your online store.
Share perfect images of your sticker creations.
Images are the key to success in any industry.
Include measurements and materials used in making the stickers in your description.
Including alt tags for your images can boost your site’s search engine optimization.
Leverage Social Media
It’s important to research the social media platforms that your intended audience regularly uses.
Spending energy and resources on social media platforms that your intended audience doesn’t care about would be wasteful.
Post images of your sticker creations on social media.
You could also film and upload footage of your sticker-making process to YouTube if you do it all by yourself.
Maintain a consistent publishing schedule and always include a link to your store.
You may also send free samples of your stickers to influencers with the request that they use them in their content.
These need not be very famous people; instead, try contacting micro-influencers who your demographic already follows.
Start a Blog
Think about starting a blog where you can write about your sticker business, as high-quality content is a proven way to attract new customers.
Create helpful articles about your journey to becoming a business owner, your plans for the future of your business, and other relevant details.
Post about the people behind the business on your blog.
Tell your audience about the production process for your stickers.
Discuss the seasonality of your stickers, upcoming holidays, or recent events, or write about your favorite stickers and the best customer feedback.
Increase your blog’s appeal by integrating visual elements like photos and graphics.
Put pictures of people applying stickers to various items to give your viewers inspiration.
Maintain a consistent posting schedule of once per week to twice per month. Don’t come off as too pushy, either.
Obviously, you want your target audience to know that you offer stickers, but don’t be pushy about it.
Make sure your writing is useful and instructive.
Use search engine optimization (SEO) and social media to market and promote your blog posts.
If writing is not in your wheelhouse, a content writer can help you out by ghostwriting your blog posts.
Plus, they can help boost your blog’s search engine results page placement.
Here is our guide on how to start a blog from scratch.
Give Away Stickers From Time to Time
Get creative and print out some attractive stickers with your company details and hand them out for free anywhere you can.
Add free branded stickers to each order. Most people enjoy both free stuff and stickers.
People will advertise for you for free if you give them stickers that they like.
Related Reading: Small Business Ideas For Teens – Explore Them Here.
Tips For Running a Sticker Business
Establish a Budget
It’s important to set financial goals before launching a business.
For example, you might need to put aside funds to buy expensive sticker equipment or pay for production outsourcing.
Supplies like vinyl material, printing equipment, outsourced costs like cut stickers, and advertising are just a few of the major items that will need to be covered.
Estimate the monthly profit you require and divide that sum by the expected number of sticker purchases to get a sense of the business’s financial viability.
Establishing a successful business is a very satisfying accomplishment.
You can better gauge your progress toward your goal of making a living selling stickers if you keep track of your earnings as you go.
Use Pay Per Click Ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a sort of performance-based marketing in which you pay only when an ad viewer clicks on your ad to visit your website or landing page.
PPC advertising has the potential to be an excellent traffic driver if implemented properly.
The purpose of your pay-per-click strategy is to boost site traffic and help your business expand.
In addition, you may immediately adjust the campaign to improve its effectiveness if it is not meeting your goals.
Build an Email List
The more engaged your customers are, the more likely you are to sell stickers online.
One of the most efficient ways to begin building your list is to offer free (or discounted) content in exchange for the consumer’s email address.
Customers who don’t buy immediately have a 19% chance of becoming repeat buyers if they provide you with their email addresses.
This opens the door for future marketing campaigns, product announcements, and timely messages.
Offer Options and Adopt Seasonal Trends
Stickers make great memorabilia for any kind of collector.
Customers can take their time searching through the different options because there are so many out there.
Sticker sales can be boosted by providing customers with a variety of options, such as many color schemes for the same design.
Plus, having a large selection of stickers for customers to choose from can give your shop a more professional appearance.
Keep up with the latest sticker trends and holiday happenings.
Your chances of making a transaction will improve if you market throughout holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, weddings, birthdays, etc.
Open a Business Bank Account
A business bank account will provide legitimacy to your small sticker business.
Having a business bank account will help you keep your personal finances separate.
It ensures the safety of the company and its continued compliance with the law.
To help you get through the lean times and stock up on supplies before you start making a profit, you can open a business credit card account.
Keep Tabs on Your Competition
Make sure you’re catering to your intended market and offering something they really need.
You can obtain better ideas from researching the competitors, but you shouldn’t just mimic what they’re doing.
If you want to know what the current sticker trends are or if your sticker prices are competitive, you should regularly check who you’re up against.
Related Reading: Things To Make and Sell – Unlock New Insights Here.
Stickers may be your best bet if you want to turn a quick profit from your handmade goods.
Stickers are a low-risk way to test the waters of the market. If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea, try to focus on something that makes you happy.
Don’t worry about other people’s design preferences. Focus on yours!
Make use of bold hues and quirky typefaces in your sticker design.
You can be as abstract and imaginative as you like when designing.
Selling stickers need time and work, but they are a fantastic way to generate passive revenue online.