Sourcing Your Digital Stock: Commercial Clipart

In this article, we go into what you need to do to source quality stock, where you can find it and how to make sure you’re not eating into your potential profit when doing so! If you've not yet chosen your graphic design software, then we recommend you do this first!

When creating digital items it is always a good idea to have a list of stockists within reach. Essentially, you will want to use quality fonts/clipart and guarantee that you can display them correctly - so accessing high-quality graphics/fonts and mock-up designs is important.

Clipart Stockists

Websites we recommend include:

Note: It is crucial that you check the guidelines with each seller when purchasing/downloading from them. Just because one image is free to use and share does not mean that all images they sell are. With each download you should be able to see a note file, giving you instructions on what you must/must not do. However, if a download does not provide this then you cannot assume there isn’t one. Instead, return to the sellers' profile and read their terms and conditions. Failing this, go straight to the terms and conditions on the website - they will be sure to have a section on infringement and how you can go about using items correctly and safely.

Buyers and Sellers alike can easily report any Copyright Infringement on ETSY so it is important to know your ground and what rules you have to follow to ensure you’re not at risk of losing your shop.

Creating Physical Items from Digital Stock

If you’re creating digital designs that have a physical end product then you’ll need to follow the above instructions first. If you’re planning on printing out designs and then shipping them to a customer it’s important to get the content correct, as well as ensuring the expenses don’t eat into any profit.

Once you have your desired clipart, font or files you’ll need to source:

  • quality paper,
  • ink (depending on your printer),
  • a printer,
  • packaging
  • stationery

You may find it easier, and less expensive, to order these products online using the likes of eBay and Amazon (make sure to always read the reviews!). However, if you decide to have your items printed out-of-house you may find it is cheaper to have a local print shop do this for you. Simply type ‘local printers near me’ into Google and get in contact with them!

I still use a local printer when it comes to certain design prints and my ‘thank you’ style business cards. Doing this ensures that my items are of high quality. There is absolutely no point in cutting corners when it comes to having your designs printed, so if you cannot afford or do not want to purchase a high tech printer then using a local printing shop is the best step to take. Cutting corners leads to bad quality, which leads to returns/refunds and losses.

Or, perhaps, you might find that using a drop-shipping company can help you cut out the middle-man. The negative to this is the creating purpose cuts you out, so you're not always able to add thank you cards or invoices to a complete order like you would do if you made it at home.

Do: Use high-quality materials and source outside help.

Don’t: Risk cutting corners and end up making a loss.

Do note: For ETSY to allow you to sell your products on its marketplace it is essential that you follow the rules they provide. So when sourcing stock it’s so important that you don’t go against any of their recommendations.

Suggested Read: 5 Common Mistakes Etsy Sellers Can Make

That's it! How we recommend you always sensibly source your stock before selling any within your shop. Any other tips? Let us know in the comments!

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