You can sell products in Etsy’s Handmade category without ever making, touching, or shipping the items, and now it’s even easier thanks to an integration with Shapeways, a company that manufactures and ships 3-D printed items on behalf of third-party designers.
Designers can now sync their Shapeways printed items to their Etsy shop. This enables the shop owner to automatically push their orders to Shapeways, which then makes the item and ships directly to customers.
Etsy customers receive their orders in a standard Shapeways-branded box, but sellers can choose instead to have orders sent to their own address so they can repackage the products with their own branded packaging before sending items to buyers.
Shapeways will be offering the service to new and current customers at no charge with the start of the launch. The new Etsy E-commerce Integration also gives Shapeways’ members the opportunity to set up Etsy shops.
It may come as a surprise to some people that an item they purchased on Etsy may never have touched the sellers’ hands, but back in October 2013, Etsy broadened its Handmade category to allow sellers to use employees and manufacturing partners.
Shapeways has over 1 million creators and has printed over 10 million products. “Unlike desktop printers or makerspaces, the Shapeways platform offers services from their own factories and global supply chain network. Shapeways gives small to midsize businesses and everyday creators access to the most innovative technology and industrial-quality materials.”
You can learn more about the Shapeways integration with Etsy on this page, where it explains: “When an order is placed through Etsy, your card on file with Shapeways is charged for the base price of the model (plus shipping and applicable taxes). The customer will be charged the retail price (what you sell the product for on Etsy). Etsy will then distribute funds to your bank account based on their pay period.”