With Christmas season approaching quickly, we are about to begin seeing the yearly spike in demand that happens every year during the holidays. Many stores, Etsy stores included, are flooded with people trying to order Christmas gifts for their loved ones. This can quickly become overwhelming, especially for smaller Etsy stores that may not have the infrastructure needed to handle this high demand. That is where third party print farms, like Slant 3D, become very useful. Here, at Print Farm Beta, we have hundreds of machines that are ready to help you keep up with the massive influx of orders that you will receive during the busiest times of the year. In this guide we will show you, step by step, how you can integrate your Etsy store with Slant 3D production, so that you no longer have to worry about keeping up with spikes in demand.
Step 1: Get a Quote
The first step to having Slant 3D support your Etsy store is getting a quote through our online Quoting Form. Fill out the necessary information and upload a 3D file of whatever product you are looking to have produced. Make sure to mention that you are requesting this for your Etsy store and provide us with a rough estimate of how many units per month you will need. This will allow our account engineers to evaluate the kind of quantities your are dealing with, as well as, how often shipping will occur. They will then be able to come up with a set price for how much it will cost to produce each unit. This price will reflect how much it will cost for our print on demand model, so whenever an order comes in, we will print it and ship it out to your customer within 24-48 hours, depending on the size and complexity of your product. If you have any custom packaging or inserts that you like to use, those can be utilized as well. We would just need you to send us the packaging/inserts and we will make sure to get them into the production line for any of your orders. This does increase cost so, again, make sure to include that in your quote request.
The alternative to that would be just a standard production model, where you want to build up an inventory and handle shipping yourself. In that case, you would just need to let us know, "Hey, I need (X) amount of this product." and we can print them all in one go and then ship them to you. However, most Etsy stores that we partner with prefer the print on demand model because there is no cash outlay until someone actually orders one of your products.
Step 2: Order a Sample
Once you have a quote that you are happy with, the next step will be to order a sample. This will allow you to make sure that we are meeting the standard of expectations for your store, and allow us to make sure that we know what those standards are. Some people want purely functional parts, they don't really care about the resolution, surface finish, or any other aesthetic qualities. They just want a part with high functionality that can be printed quickly and for a low cost. Other people have exceptionally high resolution parts that need to have a smooth surface finish and might need a little bit more post processing, such as sanding, painting, etc. So, ordering a sample ensures that we have a quality control checklist to reference so that we can make sure we are maintaining the level of quality that you provide to your customers. Make sure to allow a couple weeks for this process to take place, as there can be a lot of back and forth of sending a sample, making any adjustments that are needed, and then sending an updated version.
Step 3: Integrate Your Store
After we determine the expectations for your product and you are satisfied with the quality we are producing, we can then move on to getting your Etsy store integrated into our system. If you only have around 1-10 predetermined products that you offer, you can just send us those products and we will implement them into the system and you're good to go. On the other hand, if you offer custom products, such as custom cookie cutters, keychains, or things of that nature, we will need to set you up with a Google Drive folder where you can upload those custom files. Our automated system will then pull those files as they come in and get them into production. This provides you with an easy way to upload custom files to our system, and allows us to have access to those files as the orders come through.
Step 4: Set up ShipStation
You will then need to set up a ShipStation account and provide us with user access. A ShipStation account will cost around $25/month and will allow us to purchase shipping labels through your preferred billing method so that you are able to manage your budget. It will also notify our automated system whenever an order comes in, so that it can find the necessary file, send it to one of our machines and begin printing. This provides a very streamlined production process with limited human error. At the end of each month, you will be billed for the number of items that were shipped through your Etsy store multiplied by the per unit price agreed upon during the quoting process.
So hopefully this guide gives you a good idea about how easy it is to get your Etsy store integrated with Slant 3D and how beneficial it can be to have a manufacturing backend. By allowing us to handle the production side of your business, you will free up a lot of time and effort that can be spent on more important things, like marketing your store, interacting with customers, and developing new products. So make sure to check out our website to learn a little bit more about Slant 3D and see if we are a good fit for any needs that you may have. Also, make sure to check out our Youtube video that goes over this same information in a little more detail.