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Earn a Passive Income Selling Mugs

 Make Money Online Selling Mugs On Etsy

 Make Money Online Selling Mugs On Etsy

The purpose of this guide is to show you just how easy it is to make money by selling mugs on the Etsy.com website. You will see examples of popular Etsy stores selling hundreds of mugs and then learn exactly how to do it yourself.

The great thing is that you don't need any design skills or even previous experience selling anything online. Just follow this simple guide and you could be making sales as quick as this week! Mugs are super popular, simple to design, and as we shall see, you can sell them without needing any inventory and without shipping anything! We show you a terrific 'print on demand' service that integrates with ETSY and takes care of everything for you!

The mugs themselves can be very simple. Many are just 'text only' mugs! We'll show you how to easily create popular original designs yourself (easier than you think!). Although they may look really basic, people go crazy for mugs with simple sayings and the low prices make them a real impulse buy too! The key is to create some text that connects with people. So it will either make them laugh or will make a great gift for a family member or friend.

You'll learn how to find great phrases and how to tweak them to convert them into your own unique designs. This is a very simple money making business! So let's get started.

 Why Are We Using Etsy?


Millions of Monthly Buyers - Etsy is a website that specializes in handmade, vintage and unique goods. According to SimilarWeb, approximately 175 MILLION people a month visit the site to look for unique products to purchase. 

They want products that no one else has. When they see mugs with unique text on them that either connects with them, makes them laugh or would make a great gift for someone they know, they will gladly buy! Easy & Cheap To List Products – Unlike other complicated eCommerce platforms like Amazon.com, it is incredibly easy and cheap to list your products on the ETSY website. 

They have a simple one page product listing that takes just minutes to fill out and it costs just 20¢ for each listing. This renews every 4 months or on every sale, and ETSY charges just 5% of the sale price (including shipping) for each sale you make. It's incredibly cheap when compared to other platforms.


Etsy 101:

Etsy allows the sale of 3 types of products...
  • Vintage items (item must be 20 years old or greater)
  • Craft supplies
  • Handmade items
Our MUGS will fall under the 3rd category "handmade items". It should be noted that with Etsy, the term 'handmade' doesn't need to mean literally handmade... It can include MANUFACTURED items as long as the design is unique and yours.
Etsy also allows you to "partner with a manufacturer" to create your 'hand-made' items. Such partners/manufacturers have the following requirements...
  • 3rd party manufacturers Must be approved by Etsy
  • That you use a 3rd party manufacturer must be disclosed in your listings
  • 3rd party manufacturers can only be used provided the design is yours!

In other words, Etsy lets you 'outsource' the manufacture of your goods but requires the DESIGN to be created by you. We will be revealing a terrific 'print on demand' manufacturer you can use to virtually automate your Etsy business. Also, in a later section on setting up your ETSY shop, we will show you what you need to do to get ETSY approval to use this manufacturer (simple stuff) .

Why Are We Selling Mugs On Etsy?

Mugs are low priced, easy to have made and are a product that not much can go wrong with. For example... Let's compare selling mugs to selling say, t-shirts...
First of all, with t-shirts, the text/image has to be much larger running into potential 'image resolution' issues...There are ways to enlarge images without loss of resolution but these are extra steps NOT NEEDED with mugs! The print area on a mug is much smaller than on a shirt and so text, clipart, etc. is much easier to add and still get a high quality solid finished mug print!
Also, with t-shirts, customers might get a size that doesn't fit, they might not like the material, etc. There are many reasons why they might want a refund and want to send back the item.Don't get me wrong...t-shirts on Etsy can be VERY LUCRATIVE!!!
However, with mugs, as long as the design looks good, it's a mug. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. There are few reasons why a customer would send one back! There are fewer customer questions on "sizes", "material", "styles" etc.
PLUS, mugs are cheaper than shirts!...As an impulse buy, people are just less likely to want to bother returning it!
The result is fewer customer issues, and the fewer customer issues you have, the easier it is for you to run your Etsy business! (and the quicker and cheaper you can scale it up!).
There's no need to re-invent the wheel here. People like and need mugs! We are just giving them a reason to buy our mugs by using designs that connect with people.

Popular Mug Shop Examples

Before we move on, let's take a look at some popular examples of mugs and Etsy mug stores so you can see the potential for yourself.
Lady Bee Boutique
Lady Bee Boutique

Do you see how simple this design is? At the time of writing this, 1654 people have favourited this listing and 1080 people have reviewed the seller's store!
Looking at the Lady Bee Boutique shop itself, we see that they sell "mugs only" and have 4,766 sales since 2010. I've monitored this shop and they're currently averaging ~ 60 sales a month - $300.00+ a month NET profit on virtual auto-pilot!

Mad Olive 
The Mad Olive Boutique has 180 listings. 7 of these listings are for 'tote bags' and all the rest are for MUGS! They've had 14,756 sales since 2014 – Currently averaging 186 sales a month! (close to $800/mo. Profit!). We break down the detailed costs for you later in the course.

Why Are We Selling Mugs On Etsy?

SOME HANDY TIPS! Notice how some shops have a custom mug offer? You should consider doing the same. Offering custom mugs at a premium price is a terrific way to boost your sales and profits! Etsy lets you insert links into your product descriptions and those links will be "live" (i.e. Clickable) as long as the links are on ETSY's site. Thus you can insert links to your custom mug offers (or other key listings) to keep buyers engaged with what you offer!
Also notice that many of the listings have a FAQs section where you can answer common questions. This is a terrific place to also promote your custom mug offers!
Another good place to promote a custom mug offer is in your Etsy "Shop Announcement"... (More on Etsy shop announcements later in this report).
Notice also how the listing descriptions & listing overviews, manage customer expectations regarding shipping by letting customers know that it takes a couple days to print their mug(s) before they ship.
This is smart to do and will tremendously reduce the amount of time you spend answering customer questions. You can learn lots by looking at other successful ETSY shops and listings in your niche!

Mug Country

Mug Country also sells only mugs and WOW...Look at those sales!! 13,540 sales since 2016! ~200+ sales/mo! (about $1,000.00 NET profit/mo!)

Mug Shop On Etsy

Aside: The above figures are likely LOW estimates because they were captured during the low sales summer period...These sales would explode at holiday times (Mother's day, Father's day, and especially Christmas!!).
We could go on and list even more mug stores that are selling hundreds or even thousands of mugs with simple designs. But we hope you get the point that this is a lucrative market with plenty of room for anyone to make some extra cash on virtual autopilot!
ANOTHER TIP: When looking at the above shops (and others) take notice of their "shop categories" (listed on the left side of their shops). This will give you ideas for creating your own categories in your own shop!
This is a 'set and forget' profit stream business: Remember that with this business model, you create your designs once but sell and resell them forever...! In other words, once you have your mug designs (see next section) and create your ETSY listings, your "PRINT ON DEMAND" service takes care of all manufacturing, printing and sales fulfillment FOR you!
There are no trips to the post office, no packaging, no shipping, no inventory, and no headaches!..Just a steadily growing virtually automated income straight into your bank account daily!


Finding The Winning Mugs Designs

The great thing about mug designs is that you can find popular quotes and phrases in hundreds of places that you can use right away! You can search for popular mugs and create your own version of the designs. You can also find phrases used on t-shirts or posters. Use your own brain power to create some designs that you find funny or that you would buy for someone. There really is an endless supply of designs you can find and use.
Some popular niches and markets to consider:
  • Family (mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents, children, step parents)
  • Work/Office (boss, coworkers, secretary)
  • Occupations (nurse, doctor, plumber, teacher, accountant, policemen, firemen, army)
  • Pets (dogs, cats)
  • Hobbies (fishing, camping, running, cycling, gym, knitting)
And when you find a popular quote/phrase, you can often use that same quote and just swap out the words for other niches!
For example:

Dear ____ Thank you for being my ____ If I had a different ____ then I would punch them in the face and go find you. Your Favorite.
 You can replace the ____ with mother, father, boss, teacher, brother, sister, doctor, uncle, auntie, grandad etc.

Another example:

The more people I meet, the more I love my ____
Replace the ____ with dog, cat, labrador, terrier, goldfish, parrot, turtle etc.  So just one quote can literally turn into dozens of different mug designs for you that you can use right away.

We can even modify sayings to make NEW ORIGINAL quotes! For example, I found a quote -

“Never underestimate the power of coffee, puppies, & naps"

I changed this to "ALL I NEED IS COFFEE, PUPPIES, & NAPS".

Let's go further...Let's go beyond “coffee”...



I Googled “quotes all I need is” and got a bunch more ideas...ONE RESULT was “All I Need Is God & Love"...So I combined it with other items to make it humorous..



Let's take a look at just some of the ways you can find designs to use.

3 Ways That Will Help You to Find the Perfect Designs

#1 – Etsy

Head over to Etsy.com and do a search for some mug designs.
Try searches like funny mug, novelty mug, mug gift, funny coffee mug, nurse mug and popular coffee mugs etc.

Then look at the results and find ones that have lots of reviews (Point to note, in Etsy the number of reviews are for the vendor NOT for that specific product.) You can click on various designs and see how many people have favorited each one. If you find ones with hundreds of favorites, then you can be pretty sure people like it and you could modify it to make your own original version/variation of it! If you don't want to change the wording, you could alternately add a clip-art graphic and/or change the font (more on this later) to make your mug unique!

Make sure you write down designs and quotes you like on a notepad file or on a piece of paper.
Also worth noting: You don't have to stick with mugs. You can search Etsy for funny t-shirt designs and find popular ones that have quotes on and you can use those on your mugs if they are suitable.

#2 – Pinterest

Pinterest is another great platform to find ideas. Whilst they have recently removed the ability to see how many times a pin has been saved, you can use it to get some ideas you personally like. Just repeat the same searches you used in Etsy and look at what designs you like. Add them to your list.

#3 - Google Images

Another place for inspiration is Google Images. Just do some searches and see what designs come up. For any design you like, click on it and see where it is being sold. Check out what else they are selling. Add ones you like onto your list.

Even in your day-to-day life, look at humorous signs or images and always be thinking to yourself 'would that go on a mug?'. You'll be amazed at just how many ideas you can come up with each day.
TV adverts, car bumper stickers, radio adverts, t-shirts people in the street are wearing, conversations you overhear, jokes, items you notice in stores. These are just some of the ways you can find ideas when not sat at your computer.

Ideally, you want to build a list of about 40 quotes/phrases you like so that you can hit the ground running when opening your Etsy store.

FIND OUT  How To Create Your Mug Designs


  1. Thank you for this Info its very helpful . 😊

  2. Want your coffee black with two sugars? This mug can make that much more likely to be remembered. Creamers or various coffees would be a perfect filler for this one. steampunk mugs

  3. i have mug makers, t-shirt maker and hat maker and all supplies for sale. My dad did all this for a business and have passed away and i want my mom to get the money for it.

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