Monetize your creative juices by selling your own branded products using print on demand (POD).
POD is a dropshipping type of ecommerce business model. You design the graphics, add products you want to print them on (mugs, towels, t-shirts, etc) to your website. Once a customer places an order, the POD service produces the product and sends it to the customer.
I like the print on demand dropshipping method better than using a wholesaler like AliExpress. You have more control over the product and have more opportunities to create a brand.
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If already have a core product, you can easily add additional revenue with print on demand. For example, if you are selling parrot toys to bird lovers you can quickly add POD products to your ecommerce store. Maybe t-shirts with bird quotes/photos/graphics to entice your target customer to spend more.
By the time you’ve read this post, you’ll know the rules of printing on demand, what items are selling the most, and which websites can help you start your own Print on Demand store.
How Does Print on Demand Services Work?
There are many POD businesses out there but just like in every other business, there are good ones and bad ones. Good POD companies offer high-quality service by providing their client, i.e., you, with top-tier printed products that are made of the finest materials.
- Dropshipping: POD companies have a dropshipping service that lets you place an order for a product, and they’ll send the item to your customer for you (order fulfillment).
- Branding: The best print on demand services will do the work for you but let you hold the exclusive rights to the item’s branding.
- Templates: Easily see how your images will look on the item you want to print on with drag and drop templates. Here’s a mockup design generator that you can try, to see how your prints look on different kinds of items.
- Designing: A good POD company will have the skill to help you design excellent merchandise that your customers would want to buy.
What to Look For In an Ecommerce POD Company
I already mentioned that there are a few bad eggs when it comes to print on demand companies. When looking for a POD service, you shouldn’t settle for less, which is why I compiled this list of criteria:
- Good Quality: It’s crucial that you’re sure that these products are durable, machine-wash safe (where need be) and pass off as original products.
- White Label Shipping: This is when a particular company makes the product but brands it as if another company did.
- Fixed Prices and Shipping Charges: A reputable POD service doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the cost of their services and shipping charges.
- Fast Turnaround: You don’t want to end up contracting a POD service that takes days to process a single request.
- Liberty to Set Profit Margins: This is simple; the POD Company should let you set your profit margin on the final product with your print on it.
- Ask For Payment after a Sale: Although this is an essential requirement for POD companies, some of them still manage to ruin it up by asking for payment before a customer makes a sale.
- No Minimum Order Requirements: Make sure that they’re ready to ship out a single t-shirt if need be.
One of the benefits of contracting an on-demand printing service is that it lets you put your design and creativity skills to good use.
Numerous artists are interested in promoting their work on products, and they’re turning towards POD services because it’s feasible.
Top Selling Print on Demand Product Ideas
When it comes to print on demand, most people just think T-shirts – but its so much more than that. Popular print on demand products includes mugs, drawstring bags, canvas prints, notebooks, towels, hoodies, decals, and more. Check list below for more ideas.
This comes second on the list of popularity among POD services. However, we don’t just mean regular ‘World’s Best Dad’ mugs but crafty and imaginative mugs that people would want to buy. Mugs are a specialty in today’s world, considering that so many people avidly drink coffee and tea now.
Many people have a habit of keeping separate mugs at work and home, and since a mug is a reflection of one’s personality, they often like to get one that expresses their tastes. Printing customized mugs will make a good addition to your collection of items.
We all know that screen-printing is largely available at a number of print on demand businesses but they lack all the style that one looks for in trendy clothing. However, with advanced printing technology, sublimated printing is gaining popularity.
This is all the rage in POD products since these have the graphics printed ‘into’ the fabric instead of just onto it. These look much trendier since they allow you to sell clothing with prints all over the items and not only one logo.
Drawstring bags are quite a staple nowadays for their versatility and usefulness. They can hold a variety of items from a gym kit to school books, so most teenagers usually have one. They’re usually made from a synthetic material such as polyester, making it fairly easy to print on than other materials.
You can add crafty designs, motivational text or fandom-oriented art on a drawstring bad to make it all the more valuable for people who fall into the target population. Millennials who have a passion for themed merchandise are always willing to pay the extra dollar for it if it expresses them in a way that generic items can’t.
These are slowly gaining popularity as an affordable way to decorate a space without the need for expensive oil paintings. They work well at replicating the look of an actual painting and make a great gift. Recently, millennials are showing a taste for canvas prints that show off their favorite pop-culture reference.
Fine Art Prints
One of the greatest benefits of being an artist with a POD business is creating amazing fine art prints that capture your work in a piece of interior décor. Nowadays, homeowners are interested in decorating their homes with fine art prints but prints at the usual Homestore are excessively generic and overpriced. You can provide an affordable and unique solution through fine art prints that add a pleasant aesthetic to any home.
Baseball T-shirts are a closet staple because of the deep contrast between its sleeves and torso. Baseball players would commonly use these undershirts with their uniform. You can add your own art or logo to the t-shirt to make it an original. The comfortable design of these shirts makes them great for all types of activities, especially sporting ones.
Everyone loves hoodies because they’re comfortable, warm and give a laid-back appearance that looks great in any season. The best part is that people prefer getting hoodies with prints that express them and what they like. Nowadays, people are choosing comfort over everything else, so clothes that feel good is just as good looking as well. You can add your designs and creative prints onto a hoodie and make it an original product of your business.
You may not have thought of beach towels as a good POD product but they’re actually an important part of any business lineup that offers on-demand printed products. They’re particularly popular among fitness enthusiasts because of the large numbers of people who have gym memberships. You can add artistic or motivational prints onto a towel and make it look all the more attractive.
Everyone has a phone nowadays. Since the smartphones of today lack the ‘zing’ factor and colorfulness of phones and their accessories of the early 2000s, most people turn to mobile covers to personalize their bland phones. Additionally, they add a layer of protection to save them from cracks.
You can use your creative skills to get on-demand printed products with your designs on them. There’s a large market of people who don’t like overly generic phone covers and instead prefer to pay the extra buck and get something original.
You know the old subject notebook that you used in middle school all the way to college. While some students prefer to get the ordinary perforated sheet-notebook off the shelf, there’s a whole market of kids who would much rather like notebooks that have their favorite characters, art or quotes on them. You can leverage the love for themed notebooks by adding your own collection to your ecommerce store.
Some people take interior décor seriously, but it doesn’t mean that they prefer designer-only items to accentuate the features of their home. No, they just have a taste for little things that express them better than products you can find just about anywhere.
You can cater to these needs by producing niche throw pillow covers that have comforting art or words on them. Not only will these have a soothing effect on the buyer, but also it gives an all-new way for you to recycle creative designs.
Stickers / Wall Decals
Whether you’re making them as reminders or something that people can decorate their belongings with, everyone has a love for stickers. If you or your outsourced artist have any sticker designing skills, this is a profitable POD product that your customer will love.
Cute characters are all the rage nowadays, but animated images of everyday items look good too. You can try your hand at designing these to see how well it works out. Since these are small items, to begin with, you can send samples to customers with their purchase. Once the audience grows a taste for the stickers, they can buy them.
These bad boys are common these days because they help phone users get a better grip on their phone. Unlike rings that you can fold down, these stay in place and allow you to wrap your fingers around it to get a better hold of your phone.
Although they have a small surface area for printing, they do work well for some creative ideas. You can choose to add a print to it or maybe an emoji face, depending on what phone users are interested in these days.
These are pretty much all-rounder items that your customer will use for almost anything. While some will prefer it to hold small items in their bags, others would like to carry pens or makeup in it.
Girls have an interest in collecting makeup pouches that are fashionable and expressive rather than dull and uninteresting. Adding designs, graphics and quotes to pouches will make them attractive for a specific target demographic. You can use the same pouch but add different prints on them, effectively making them two separate products; a makeup bag and a pencil pouch.
Best Print On Demand Sites
This online marketplace is gaining a lot of popularity among fandoms for having quite the stash of merchandise. You can create a profitable reputation here if you have experience in creating fandom-targeted items that have pop culture references. For more sites like Redbubble, keep reading.
Printify is known among businesses as the original print on demand ecommerce because of their range of products. Browse through categories like men’s, women’s, and kids clothing that you can customize with logos and prints.
This is becoming a common print on demand service among ecommerce businesses. At an affordable price, you can have merchandise generated through Amazon. The costs include those for materials, customer service, and various other resources. They produce a variety of merchandise like T-shirts, sweatshirts, pullovers, and even popsocket grips.
This online business gives designers and creatives the opportunity to make products that have their art on them. These items can then be sold to the artists own customer base. Here, you can let your creativity flow as you design cards, invitations, clothing items, accessories, home décor, electronic device add-ons and much more. This is definitely for people who have a distinct art profile and know how to work with an array of items, such as event décor. Honestly, I prefer other options, that focus more on selling on your own site.
At Printful, you can get custom products on a variety of items that can be a part of your store. Choose to put your designs on items like backpacks, posters, mugs, swimsuits, hats, phone cases and best of all, even leggings. Nothing makes girls happier than artistic prints on leggings. Printful integrates with all the popular platforms like WordPress, Shopify and BigCommerce.
Gooten is another on-demand dropship platform that offers integrated business solutions as well. Whether you sell through Shopify, Etsy or Amazon, they have personalized formats that make it easier to understand. Of course, you are also met with a dazzling array of customizable products to choose from. This includes wall art, apparel, and even certain kids’ items.
The name says it all; TeeSpring initially started out as a business to sell personalized t-shirts but their catalog has plenty of other items as well. So now, you can look through items like tote bags, accessories, mugs, home décor, and even socks. They have an easy to use design feature that lets even beginners try their hands at making cool merchandise.
Society 6 is for creatives who love designing things around a personal aesthetic. Most of the items you can sell through Society 6 are related to interior décors, such as tapestries murals, and canvas prints. You can design phone cases and skins, and stationery too. Whether you specialize in graphic design, fine art or photography, there’s a way to get your work printed on merchandise.
Spreadshirt makes it easy for self-expressing artists to create products and sell them online. They have quite the collection of items- even water bottles- but since they’re based in Germany, you’ll have to give their customer service a pilot test to see how well they integrate with your needs.
It’s quite the marketplace for fans as well as creators; so you’re bound to find a customer base. You can design almost any kind of t-shirt, mugs, hats and notebooks with this website. In case you’re looking to cater to parents as well, you can rely upon Design by Humans to let you design baby apparel too.
If you have a Shopify site, then Merchify is the software you need. All you have to do is install the software and use it to design your items. Once you’ve created new products, you can publish the design onto your Shopify site. From there, once your customer places an order, Merchify will produce the item and ship it directly.
Many artists prefer Fine Art America to publish their work in the form of canvas and framed custom products. Even if you’re not an artist but still want to try making your own merchandise, there is still a plethora of items. You can choose from throw pillow covers, t-shirts, phone cases and tote bags. Not to mention, they have an amazing community that will help you create a fan base.
CG Pro Prints are the experts that mostly cater to photographers and graphic designers. This is because of their specialty that mainly includes canvas, metal and fine art prints.
Heat Press Fun provides all the tools you need to get started in the printing business. They offer printing services that allow you to print on all kinds of products. You can then sell these products to consumers. As printing businesses become more competitive companies look to bring printing in-house to gain more control over quality and production times.
Tips for Selling POD Products Online
Finding a Designer
To start a POD business, it isn’t necessary that you have designing and creative experience that’s needed.
But, you do need an artist who can do it for you.
You can even opt for freelance artists through websites like Fiverr. There are also websites where you can find designs, and offer to buy them. Of course, there’s always an option to meet an artist in real life who can create your designs for you. Before you start selling online, I’ve put together a few POD tips for you:
- Once you get a design mock up you like, order samples from a few providers. See which produced your graphic the best.
- Don’t rush to add more products to your lineup. Instead, focus on each one and see how well your customers like it.
- Productively work on distinct and unique prints to provide them.
- Stay with the trends that people talk about. News events and popular happenings gain momentum quickly and people want to show off their support for a particular side. You should keep in touch with the happenings and create designs according to these events.
- Market your product. Whether you prefer having a hilarious twitter account, an aesthetic Instagram or hiring an influencer to promote your products on Snapchat, pick a campaign and stick with it.
- Be prepared to offer customer support. Even though you are dropping these products, customers will need support from you. Be upfront with the shipping policy.
Whatever online store platform you’re using for your brand, it’s crucial that you seamlessly integrate it with your POD and dropshipping service. Shopify sites are quite popular among retail business owners because of its benefits and convenient framework. Shopify works great for POD. But there are many ecommerce platforms available for print on demand businesses.
Is Starting A Print On Demand Store Right For You?
SO no matter what niche you choose, you can probably add some print on demand products to your offering. You’ll be able to have additional revenue without worrying so much about inventory, shipping, and fulfillment.
As a stand-alone business, I like it better than dropshipping completely generic products. Having your own branded products is just a better marketing strategy.
Have a question? Drop a comment, Ill be around today.