Sell Custom Products and Make More Money with Print-on-Demand (2023) – | Transform your financial management with Ottilie Blog Details Blog

Sell Custom Products and Make More Money with Print-on-Demand (2023)

Whether you're an artist, a writer, a designer, or a business owner, selling physical products can be a great way to make money from your work.  You can put your own unique spin on everyday items like t-shirts, posters, backpacks, and books and then sell them online. But if you do things the old-fashioned way and buy and store your own products, you may end up with a lot of items that don't sell.  The print-on-demand (POD) market is expected to grow at a rate of 26.1% per year until 2030.  Print-on-demand services make it easier to avoid the time, money, and risk that come with managing inventory. They also make it possible to make custom products at a fraction of the cost of making them yourself.  This guide will give you an overview of the world of print-on-demand, including tips on how to start your own print-on-demand business and how to start selling custom products most effectively.

What does "print on demand" (POD) mean, and how does it work?

  print-on-demand   A "print on demand" business is one where you work with a supplier of "white-label" products, like baseball caps or tote bags, to customize them and sell them per order under your own brand and with your own designs.  With print-on-demand, you don't pay for the cost of the product until after you've sold it. This means you don't have to buy in bulk or keep any stock on hand. Because of this, it is still a popular way to run a business in the world of eCommerce.  Plus, when you use print-on-demand services, your supplier takes care of everything after the sale, from digital printing to order fulfillment and shipping.  Once you've set everything up, it only takes a few clicks to fill an order after you've made a sale. This is one of the best things about print on demand.   
The print on-demand industry shows no signs of slowing down. There’s ongoing demand for unique products and personalization options for today’s consumers. Print-on-demand services allows any size business to provide customized products at a fair price.  Kaitlin Cremmins, Marketing Director at Long Island Screen Printing 
  You can use services that let you print on demand to: 
  • Try out a business idea or a new line of products for an existing business without taking the risks of buying inventory. It's also a great way to make extra money. 
  • Use the audience you've built to make money (print on demand is a great way to do this if you're a YouTuber or cartoonist who would rather spend your time creating than taking orders).  
  • Make unique products for a small group of customers (e.g., t-shirts for people who are super passionate about long-distance running)
  • Print-on-demand t-shirts, books, shoes, bags, wall art, phone cases, clocks, laptop skins, mugs, and other items as needed or in small batches. 
  • Since you don't have to pay for the cost of goods upfront with print-on-demand, you can test out different ads to see which designs and products do best. If you get a lot of orders, you can spend more on ads and make your ads more interesting.

What are the pros and cons of print-on-demand for your online store?

Dropshipping is a way to run a business where the products and shipping are taken care of by a third party. This can be done with print-on-demand. It's one of the easiest ways to find products or start an online business, but before you jump in, you should know the pros and cons.   
Shopify’s print-on-demand resources allow anyone to get something up and running and into testing mode in no time.  Chris Vaccarino, founder of Fanjoy


  • Quickly make products. Once you have the design, it only takes a few minutes to make the product and put it up for sale. 
  • The shipping of orders is taken care of. Shipping and fulfillment are now out of your hands and in your supplier's. After the sale, you're only responsible for customer service.  
  • Low risk, low investment. Since you're not physically holding any inventory, it's easier to add or remove products, test ideas, or change your approach. 


  • Less profit. Your costs per item will be higher than when you buy in bulk, which makes sense. 
  • Shipping would have less control. Shipping costs can be hard to figure out for print-on-demand products because they might be different for each one. You also don't have many choices if you want to make an unboxing experience that stands out. 
  • Not many products. Whether or not you can change how a product looks depends on the seller and the product. Depending on which print-on-demand companies you want to work with, you'll have to weigh base costs, customization options, and available sizes when choosing a vendor. 

The Best print-on-demand services for creating custom products

At first glance, many print-on-demand services might look pretty similar. However, you'll need to choose carefully based on the products you want to make, where you want to ship them, and the prices you want to charge for them, among other things. As the number of people who use print-on-demand has grown, so has the number of companies that offer it.  For example, if the base price of one product is low, it might seem like the obvious choice, until you realize that it would take 21 business days for customers to get it with your cheapest shipping option.  When looking at print-on-demand companies, it's very important to do your research. You can trust Google and other review sites. If you choose the wrong print-on-demand company, it could cost you money and slow the growth of your brand.  To help you, we've put together a quick list of some of the most popular print-on-demand sites that cover a wide range of needs. All of these services are free to set up, and you only pay for them when someone buys something from your Shopify store.  Let's look at some of the best sites for print-on-demand.

1. Printful

Printful is a popular choice among print-on-demand sites because it has a large selection of high-quality products and brands (Gildan, American Apparel, etc.), mockup generators that are easy to use, and options for adding your own branding to the unboxing experience.  Printful has a number of printing methods you should know about, especially for clothing items: 
  • Direct to Garment is best for simpler designs that are printed directly on clothes (i.e., witty t-shirts). Because of this, you can only print on certain parts of the product. 
  • Cut and stitch are sometimes called "print all over." The piece of clothing is cut, the print is put on it, and then it is put back together so that the print goes all the way across the piece. Even though the base costs may be higher, you can make a higher-quality product that could sell for more. This is not the same as "sublimation printing," which is a less accurate but cheaper way to print all over something. 
  • Embroidery is probably the most difficult way to print because the end result is a threaded design that looks 3D. This works best for simple designs with only a few colors, as well as for things like hats. 
I use Printful [for my online store]. They’re amazing because you don’t have to put a lot of money into it upfront. I get an order in the store, they will print my design on a shirt and they’ll ship it out. I’d go insane if I had to ship everything myself.  Liz Bertorelli, founder of Passionfruit 
  You should also think about how the price changes when you add more customizations. For example, if you want to print on the sleeve or the inside label, you will usually have to pay a small fee on top of the base cost.  Printful sells more than just clothes. They have mugs, bedding, pillows, posters in frames, beach towels, aprons, and more.    

2. Lulu Direct

Lulu is a self-publishing platform that gives you many of the tools you need to print and sell your own books and ebooks. It is one of the most well-known print-on-demand services.  Lulu Direct is its print-on-demand service, and it lets you build your own book by choosing from a wide range of book sizes, binding types, and page/print quality.  Even though Lulu Xpress doesn't have a built-in editor to help you make your book, you can download templates to get started. It even has a clear pricing calculator to help you figure out how much your project will cost, including shipping.  If you want to buy a lot of them, you can also get a discount.    

3. Gooten

Gooten is a lot like Printful in that it has a wide range of customizable products. Some of these products, like calendars and dog beds, are unique to Gooten.  Gooten uses an international network of vendors and dropshippers to print its products. This means that there is a lot more variation in the quality of the prints and how quickly they ship for each item. But that probably also means that the prices of goods and shipping will go down.  The image editor on Gooten is easy to use and gives you a good idea of what your finished product will look like.     

4. Printify

Printify is another service that lets you print what you want when you want it. It has the usual range of t-shirts and hoodies. Printify is unique because it has a network of international vendors that lets it offer white-label products like jewelry, clocks, shoes, and water bottles that you might not find elsewhere. In fact, you can print on more than 200 items with this platform.  Printify is free to use, but you can pay $29 a month for a premium subscription that gives you 20% off all products. This is a good option if you want to grow your business and make more money in the future.  

When you're not a designer but still want to make designs

Design is a key part of making print-on-demand products that sell well. But you don't have to be a designer full-time to find unique designs. Recent polls show that almost 32% of shop owners hire other people to design their stores.  There are many ways to order designs or make your own, as long as you know a few key ideas that will help you work with designers well.  The first and most important step is to get your design file ready. You should tell designers that your design is for printing when you work with them. This means that it should be saved with a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). The size of the image you upload should match the size of the area where it will be printed on the product.  Keep in mind that the print specs will change depending on the printing method. If you're not sure what to do, just send the designer the print specs for the product so they know what's going on.  Most of the time, you will upload a PNG or PSD file. Remember that if you use a transparent background, the color of the t-shirt will be your background color.    

Where to look for designers and ideas for designs?

In the best case, you are a designer or know a designer with whom you can work well. But don't get down on yourself if you don't know how to design. That's why people hire outside help.  You can find designers to work with on Behance or 99designs. If you give them clear instructions, they can make designs that you can use. Here's how to give a design project more clarity and background: 
  • Tell them what you know about them. Tell them why you're making it and who it's for. It can help if you show them your website. 
  • Make it clear what you want. Use your initial pitch and any revisions you get (you should get at least one or two) to make sure everyone knows what you want, and try to give feedback at every step. 
  • Give examples to help people get ideas. Give them something to base the design on, or show them work you liked from the past. 
You should be able to find a designer who can make your idea come to life. Finding out what you want to design in the first place is the hardest part.  This will depend on who you want to buy the product from. You can get design ideas from: 
  • Pinterest 
  • Facebook pages 
  • Subreddits 
  • Wherever your potential customers hang out online 
To come up with ideas that are worth pursuing, you can look for content, messaging, or styles that already work with your target audience. Just make sure you don't copy someone else's work.  You can also put your ideas to the test on social media. If you want to use the Internet as a focus group, try these: 
  • Post on Facebook to your own network or to groups; 
  • Use the Poll and Question stickers on Instagram to get feedback; 
  • Share a sketch of your idea for a design with a relevant subreddit.

Advice on how to get started with print on demand

Using a print-on-demand service might be easier than keeping track of your own inventory, but there are some things to think about that are unique to this method. Most of these problems can be solved in creative ways, which is good news.  Here are some of the best tips to help you with print on demand.

1. Always ask for a sample

When you use print-on-demand services to sell online, you must make sure of the quality of the products.  You want to make sure your physical product looks and feels the way you planned. The best way to do this is to be your own customer, so you can see and feel what it's like to get your products. Some services, like Printful, offer a sample discount of up to 20% off or free shipping, so be sure to take advantage of that if it's available.  Samples are good to have on hand not only to make sure the quality of the product, but also to take your own product photos for your website and social media profiles.

2. Have a plan for shipping

Even if you don't ship the products yourself, you still have to deal with shipping times, and costs, and make sure customers have the right expectations. The best print-on-demand companies will be clear about shipping and let you know ahead of time about any possible delays.  When it comes to shipping, you'll want to make sure you take into account the time it takes to print. No matter how long it takes to ship, you should add anywhere from two to four days, or even more, for production.  Always be clear about how long shipping will take, or your support inbox will be full of questions about shipping. On your FAQ page, explain what to expect, or think about making a separate Shipping page to tell customers about shipping.   If you can, try to add some or all of your shipping costs to the price you charge customers. Year after year, studies show that adding shipping costs at checkout that customers didn't expect can make them decide not to buy. Free shipping also helps a number of your other marketing strategies: 
  • Even if you can only offer it in certain areas, free shipping is still a great way to boost sales because it gives customers another reason to buy. 
  • Conditional free shipping, like "Get free shipping when you spend $30 or more," encourages customers to add more to their carts to reach the threshold. This usually helps you get a better total shipping rate by shipping everything together. 
  • Free shipping can be used to explain why you have to wait longer. Many people are willing to wait a little longer for an order if it means they can save money on shipping.

3. Make mockups of your products to show them off

Models can help you take great photos of your products, but mockups are also a good option and will stand out on your product pages.  Many print-on-demand services can help you make your own mockups that show your products on a person or as a flatly. But you can also bring your products to life with other services and a lot of free mockup templates.  Customers will buy your products based on these mock-ups, so they can pay to go the extra mile. Place It is a mockup generator that is easy to use and lets you make photo and video mockups for $8 each. Or, if you know how to use Photoshop or other photo editing programs, you can look for templates on Mockup World or Behance.    

4. Find your specialty and build an audience

With print-on-demand products, your profit margins will be a little bit smaller, so you'll need to be strategic about how you position your brand. Having a clearly defined audience (like dog owners) can actually help you get customers for less money and make the most money possible because you'll be able to target them more accurately.  Having a niche makes it easier to build a following that can be used as an asset. Here are some marketing strategies you can use right away: 
  • Start an Instagram account and make or collect content for the people you want to reach.  
  • Spend $10 on Facebook ads to test your products with the people you want to buy them from.  
  • Get visitors' email addresses so you can keep marketing to them for free. 
If you want to build a long-term business, whether you use print-on-demand or not, you must grow your audience.

5. Open an online store of your own

If you want to get into print-on-demand, you'll find different places where you can sell your own designs. For example, if you set up a store on RedBubble or Zazzle, you can use their POD services. Etsy, eBay, and Amazon are also places where people sell custom-made goods.  There are some good things about these markets: Amazon has 300 million active customer accounts around the world, which means more people will see your products. Etsy has more than 80 million buyers who use it. Zazzle has a good name, and since it began in 2005, it has listed hundreds of millions of products.  Marketplaces give people a lot of choices and make it easy to find what they want. But they don't let you be in charge of your shopping experience. This gives you a unique startup opportunity.  When you use an eCommerce platform like Shopify to build a branded storefront, you can control the experience: how your store looks and feels, how people interact with you, and how they find your brand. It also works with the best POD services so that everything can be done from a single dashboard. Not to mention that you'll pay less in fees if you own your own store.  Shoppers who aren't loyal to Etsy or Amazon might enjoy learning about your brand and looking around your site. Your email list, remarketing ads, and social media profiles make it easier to stay in touch with them and build a relationship that goes beyond the marketplace. Having your own website can also be a great way to spread the word about your brand.

Design, Test, Sell, and Grow

Print-on-demand services are a good place for new business owners or anyone who wants to try out an idea before putting money into it. There are thousands of "white label" products that you can brand as your own, and you can pair them with a wide range of designs.  Some combinations will always sell better than others, but it's easy to use the same basic design for more than one product.  If your business idea works and you start making a lot of sales, you can always switch from print-on-demand to holding your own inventory, or you can keep using these services while finding new ways to grow your audience.  The best thing about the print-on-demand model is that it gives your business flexibility and gives you more time to work on growth.

FAQ: Print on Demand

How should you best use print on demand?

If you want to start a print-on-demand business, you should start by picking a market niche and the products you want to sell. Then start working on your designs and website. Then, look for a print-on-demand service and add the products to your store so you can start selling them. Once you start promoting your website, you'll start getting orders, and your print provider will take care of filling them. Get started! 

How much can you earn with print-on-demand?

How much money you make with your print-on-demand business depends on your target market, what they want, how much demand there is for your products, and the time of year. To figure out how much you can make, you'll need to look at the sale price, the fees your print provider charges, and the number of orders. Print-on-demand lets you sell things with a low amount of risk. 

Can print-on-demand be done for free?

You can sell a lot of different things with print-on-demand. T-shirts, caps, mugs, wall prints and posters, drawstring and cloth bags, hoodies, towels, phone covers, notebooks, cushion covers, sweatshirts, and leggings are all popular print-on-demand items. You can technically do print on demand for free, but you'll probably need to spend some money on marketing and ads to start getting results. Get started for free! 

How do you set the price for print-on-demand items?  

How well you market your brand will have a big impact on how much you charge for print-on-demand items. Look at what the market is charging as a starting point when setting prices for your products. You can charge more for print-on-demand items that can be customized. If you don't want to take that risk, you can price your products like your competitors if you want to reach a bigger market and make money. 

What are the best companies that print on demand?  

There are a lot of print-on-demand companies, but here are some of the most popular ones: 
  1. Printful
  2. Lulu Direct
  3. Gooten
  4. Printify

Start to build your project with

Get free online marketing tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Please Wait

Thank you for sign up!

No charge. Unsubscribe anytime.

Comment Policy

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. Off-topic comments and spam will be removed.

129 Responses

  1. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and
    exposure! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

  2. Exceptional post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more
    on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

  3. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  4. Ahaa, its pleasant discussion on the topic of this paragraph here at this web site, I have read all that, so now me also commenting
    at this place.

  5. OMG! This is amazing. Ireally appreciate it~ May I show true love
    on a secret only I KNOW and if you want to really findout?
    You really have to believe mme and have faith and I will show how to learn SNS marketing Once again I want
    to show my appreciation and may all the blessing
    goes to you now!.

  6. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  7. The IMF’s additional conservative estimate suggests that
    if female labor force participation prices reached that
    of men by 2035 it would add 7 % to South Korean GDP.

    Check out my blog; 밤알바

  8. Asked about this, Shamsul said initially there could possibly have been some brokers
    who took benefit oof workers’ ignorance.

    Also visit my blog post; site

  9. buy amoxicillin online no prescription: [url=]amoxicillin 1000 mg capsule[/url] where can i get amoxicillin

  10. [url=]thecanadianpharmacy[/url] legit canadian pharmacy online

  11. [url=]canadian pharmacy ltd[/url] best rated canadian pharmacy

  12. [url=]best online canadian pharmacy[/url] canadian pharmacy ltd

  13. [url=]trusted canadian pharmacy[/url] reputable canadian pharmacy

  14. how to buy amoxycillin: [url=]amoxicillin online without prescription[/url] amoxicillin online pharmacy

  15. zithromax capsules australia [url=]zithromax 500 mg for sale[/url] zithromax 500 price

  16. ivermectin lotion cost [url=]ivermectin 3 mg tabs[/url] ivermectin 12 mg

  17. buy perscription drugs [url=]canadian pharmacy india[/url] foi wesley chapel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *