May 10, 2024

If you're looking to launch an online company or to add additional sources of revenue to an existing one, printing on demand offers a low-cost as well as high-income opportunity to offer an array of new products that customers will enjoy.

Making physical items featuring your original designs can be a lucrative and fun opportunity to showcase your talents to a specific audience. However, setting an operation which includes the sourcing of blank items and transferring your design, storage of goods and then shipping them across the world is a huge undertaking for any new business.

That's where print on demand (POD) comes in.

It's a simple option to offer custom items and you don't have to perform any manufacturing tasks.

What exactly is printing on demand?

Print on demand stores work with a third-party company (a printer or manufacturer of print-on-demand or printer) to personalize white-labeled (brand-free) items. Print manufacturers send their artwork digitally. This artwork is then printed on phone cases and water bottles, as well as stickers, and more.

printing a design on a t-shirt

These manufacturers will also manage the packaging, delivery along with shipping extra charges. Many print services will wrap your items with your company's logo in the packaging as well.

A store that prints on demand serves as an intermediary that connects the consumer to the printing company. The printer prints the items in the order they're purchased, one at a time, so there's no stock.

Successful print on demand stores specialize in a niche. They design unique and distinctive styles that attract certain audiences and build their brand as a leading expert in the field. If you've got solid design skills and a passion for a specific topic it is possible to create an online business that prints on demand that is less risky than if you created and stored your stock yourself.

RollStore product page

Photo (c) https://rollstore.se/

Strategies to utilize print on demand to make money

There are four different ways to make money from the print-on-demand business model, and three of them involve minimal risk or expense from your end.

Create new revenue for an existing business

It is possible that you already have a firm, or even several. They could be online either offline or online. By utilizing a print on demand approach, you could boost your earnings by offering the introduction of a brand new line of customized items.

Consider, for instance, that you run an online company that sells cosmetics. Your brand is established, a loyal customer base, and a variety of items. Using print on demand, you can launch an assortment of t-shirts, hats, and various other types of apparel featuring the name of your business or other designs that will attract the customers you serve.

You can then use these products as upsells, gifts ideas and bonus items for people who spend an amount, as well as part of their regular shopping experience.

Because these items are produced when they are necessary, you won't require this to generate a ton of momentum in order to become profitable. This might just be a small addition to the core of your business however, any growth will be an increase.

Start a new print on demand company

It's also necessary to go through the product creation phase, but design development is primarily designing new products and finding basic materials for the designs to be able to work on.

Sell print on demand services to other businesses

Many businesses like to create customized items. They may provide them to their employees. They also give them away to suppliers and vendors. Some prefer offering them to their customers, just like the examples of the first and second in this list.

The B2B market of printing on demand is its own unique business, because companies typically order more quantities and have very different needs as well as expectations from individual customers.

You'll need a fair amount of capital to start this method, but you can decide to become a print on demand manufacturer your own and accept orders from online stores or companies that otherwise need personalized merchandise.

T-shirts are by far the most simple items to produce using print on demand. You'll need screen printing equipment (at the very minimum) or perhaps equipment to use direct-to-garment printing as well as other methods. In addition, you'll need learn when and how to apply each method.

blank t-shirt with the text "your design here"

If you're looking to print on different materials, you'll need things such as laser printers.

It's an expensive and labor-intensive venture starting out, which is not the ideal choice if you're just starting your very first business.

Provide white labeled merchandise

The last one is least feasible and the hardest to establish. In this case, you'd compete with other suppliers of blank merchandise. Your inventory would be available. There's a need to store, print, customize, and ship items that are requested by a print on demand service.

While it's one of the most expensive of the business models, this angle does have more stability as it's not as vulnerable to market trends.

Let's get clear about some things. So far it might seem that there's no drawbacks for adding print-on-demand to your business or maybe creating a brand new one. There are some points to consider in addition to the many points in favor.


Let's look at the positives first.

Very little beginning investment

You only sell something when someone orders it. And you aren't managing every aspect of the product's production or the shipping process. You're just facilitating the order.

This means that there aren't many upfront costs standing in your option of making use of the printing process to earn revenues, other than beginning and making it happen. There is no need for an enterprise loan, purchase a lot of equipment, or design any physical products. Create your own online store, create relationships with a printing business and then begin selling.

There is no inventory management, storage or even storage with minimal effort

It's not necessary to keep inventory or need a place for it to be stored. It means it's not just that there's little upfront investment required and there are no ongoing cost for storage.

warehouse with shelves full of products

Scaling this business simply requires more and bigger orders. There won't be any (or all) staff to handle the business as well. Everything happens in your office.

Of course, you'll require investment in labor to facilitate marketing strategies, offer customer support, and oversee your presence on the internet.

Ability to sell wherever the provider can deliver

Most print providers can ship virtually anywhere around the globe. You aren't limited to local shoppers, regions, or even nations. This means that within your niche, you can sell to anyone, anywhere.

Huge product variety

We'll discuss this more in a bit however, there's an array of items that you can offer through the print-on-demand services. It's about more than T-shirts and mugs even though they're a pretty good place to start.

custom-designed phone case with bright colors


However, there are certain disadvantages of printing on demand business which you should be aware of prior to you dive in. These are the most important ones:

The customer service team is available to assist you

The print provider may be doing the work in creating the items, however you're the one who interacts with the customer. That means you do need to set up a customer service system.

If customers have questions, they'll call you. If they're unhappy or concerns, they'll talk to you.

The reviews that they post will be about you. It's not the type of company you could create to operate in autopilot. You will need to serve your clients, take care of the telephone, respond to messages and emails, reply to live chat when it is available, and deal with any problems that may arise.

Fulfillment delays

Since each item is custom-made printing on demand, orders aren't able to be shipped the exact the day they're ordered. In a time when people begin to unreasonablely, demand instant, same-day, and 1-day shipping options, this isn't possible using print-on-demand.

After the design has been sent to the printing firm either by you or your customer, the printing company has to complete the completion process. Every single item needs time to be produced.

While this doesn't mean months, it's also not possible to be done in one day. So customers ordering print on demand items must be advised that the order will not be delivered until tomorrow.

business owner applying a shipping label to a box

Increased responsibility and blame

If something goes wrong in the quality control process, it'll be your fault. In the end, this is how the client will view the situation. If the product is sent and the quality is not great, even if that's the print provider's fault customers will place the blame on you.

It's the reason you should ensure that you choose the right company with in order to complete your orders. Your reputation is not theirs, at stake to your customer.

Less control over the unboxing Experience

Though most printing companies are likely to use packaging that represents the brand they represent, they're not as likely to create an experience like the one certain companies use in order to make their experience memorable enough for people to discuss via social media.

Let's first clear the most obvious things out of the way.


Naturally, you could print T-shirts. However, you could also print on demand for dresses shirts, polo tops, sweatshirts, short sleeve, long sleeve tanks, as well as basically any other top or shirt that you could imagine.

You can also wear different kinds of clothes too including shorts, pants, hats, socks, and many more. You can wear all these in women's, men's, or unisex styles and also for toddlers, infants, as well as kids.

They are probably not going to happen, but you could get away with flip flops and things similar to them.

Alongside apparel, you may utilize printing on demand to design a huge range of custom products by using

  • Mugs
  • Phone covers
  • Tote bags in a variety of styles
  • Backpacks
  • Posters
  • Coasters
  • Bottles of water
  • Rugs and mats
  • Wall art
  • Towels
  • Pillows
  • Ornaments
  • Notepads and stationary
  • Pens and pencils
backpack customized with a tropical print

How to start an online business that prints on demand

Let's go to the heart of it. If you want to create your own shop using the print-on-demand model Here's the steps you'll need to know.

By the way If you have a business and want to include print-on-demand products You can bypass the two first actions below. The remainder will be applicable to your.

1. Choose your niche

Prior to constructing your store, it is important ensure that there is an established market and demand for your product idea.

The most sought-after areas for print on demand products are:

  • Animals
  • Social activism
  • Humor and memes
  • B2B
  • Hobbies
  • The holidays

However, there's also an unending number of subgenres, genres and categories. If you're hoping to earn more money with the print-on-demand company, then you must aim for a more popular area. If you're just interested in it as a way to earn income, however you're more excited about a niche that may not be as popular, but attracts passionate followers like you Choose whatever you'd like!

2. Find out what's hot online

Google Trends search bar

3. Decide on the products you want to offer

When you've chosen the audience you'd like to focus on in terms of what kind of art you'll show then the next thing to do is to decide on the merchandise that you'd like to offer. Clothing? Merchandise? Something else?

Utilize the products list from earlier, decide the ones you'd like to start with, and start. There is always the option of adding more in the future. Just make sure the print company you select to collaborate with provides the items you wish to sell.

4. Obtain artwork designs

For existing businesses wanting to add print on demand as another line of products, you may decide to use branded imagery like logos, taglines, certain products you sell, or various other graphics your audience will appreciate.

You can also allow customers to design their own logos and make truly custom items. Businesses both new and established can create this.

drawing logos with a pencil

For new businesses it is necessary to build the designs that you could use for your website and then sell. How do you acquire these graphics? There are a variety of alternatives.

The first step is to hire it out. Make use of sites such as Upwork or Fiverr to hire a graphic designer and have them create the design you'll sell. If you're lacking graphic design expertise or would like to have more possibilities than that you're able to create This is an excellent way to go.

The second alternative, if you plan to create innovative graphic designs, is to hire someone to complete the work on your behalf.

Your third choice, if you have the ability or desire to start learning them you can do it yourself.

If you choose this option graphic design has a skillset all its own. The less you know, the more you'll need to master.

Considerations for Graphic Design

Here are a few graphic design tips to consider when you start working on your designs.

group choosing design colors for a brand

The overarching principle is that the work you produce should be simple to interpret. Confusing, cluttered, and busy designs that are hard to decipher don't sell as well (unless that's your niche). To help you understand this, consider aspects of design such as the following:

  • Colors. The right mixture of colors that complement each other (not too numerous!). The color must also look good on the color of the product it will be printed on.
  • Fonts. The words you choose to use to be simple to comprehend, so pick one that's not too dense. Also, you should consider the size of font depending on the item the design is going on. In this case, for instance, you could prefer the font to be smaller on the phone case as opposed to T-shirts.
  • Accessibility. Be sure that your design is suitable for people with visual limitations. It is important to consider aspects like color contrast and visibility.
  • Spacing. Use an appropriate amount of "white space" that is empty space surrounding graphic elements. It helps them stand out and be easier to consume.
  • Printing requirements. The printer who you're dealing with will probably have specific requirements to each item. Many have templates that are available to download and work with, but make sure that you're following their requirements regarding the bleed of your document, color mode, dimensions, etc.
  • Hierarchy. If you have a design that has multiple elements, you need to think about which ones you want to place emphasis on. Which ones are most important? You can then set those apart using spacing, size, color and bold fonts.

Pro Tip:Many printers, at most for certain types of merchandise, charge lower fees for designs with only one or two shades. If you are able to create an effective design that requires fewer colors, you'll be able to make more profit.

It is necessary to invest (both financially and with your time) in design software. Canva, Pixlr, and Photoshop are all common choices.

Photoshop is the highest-end of the three but has a much greater learning time.

After you've designed your ideas then you'll need to make mockups. Print on demand companies will mock up your designs on their product automatically. It is useful, however it is still possible to create your own or alter the mockups so that you can put them into different situations (various backgrounds and use cases) for your marketing material. It is also useful to test how your design looks across different applications.

Printful mockup generator

You can also hire contractors to assist you in mockups if Photoshop isn't your style.

One last design consideration

If you're not displaying your own creative designs photographs, artwork or images on your products, then it's critical to make sure the artwork you create is compliant with any copyrights or trademarks.

Fan art based on licensed characters, the text of books, copyrighted quotes, as well as images downloaded from the internet are just some of the examples which cannot be sold for profits without permission from the creator. Images you purchase on stock photo websites may not be able to resell legally, either, when you don't have the proper license.

Take the time to study laws governing intellectual property and speak with an attorney.

5. Start an online store

If you're already running a company, it's likely that you already have an online store. In this case you'll need to add print on demand products or other services to your existing shop. If you're starting your own business, you'll need to start fresh.

provides all the functionality that you require for your product pages, the checkout process, marketing products and management, SKUs tax and financial conformity, as well as the other tools you'll require to manage your online business.

Use product images

Your fulfillment provider could have photos of their goods that you can utilize as a basis to create mockups. If you have some artistic skills then you could incorporate your design on these pictures, or contract someone to take care of this on your behalf.

Printify product selection

In addition, many print companies can mock-up the designs you design for their merchandise in a matter of minutes. However, these are fairly limited so the background or case of use may not appeal to the people you target.

Another alternative is to purchase some product samples from your partner. It will let you examine their product's quality, delivery procedure, as well as turnaround time. If all goes well, you'll have products they can shoot in the settings that suit your market's requirements best. In addition, your own photos will almost certainly be non-copyrighted and safe for put on your website.

You may one day opt to have photos taken of real people wearing the products you have created. It is also possible to show images of your different designs. Then, you can show empty products that customers could purchase with these designs. However, this will be far less effective.

photographer taking product photos

If your customers are allowed to design their own artwork, then you'll want to display the unfinished products more prominently.

What are the best places to sell your products online?

And this isn't to say you shouldn't still make use of these sites. If you're interested in the wider reach offered by these websites, we generally advise taking advantage of Woo and online marketplaces, not solely the traditional marketplaces. It is important to have at least one platform you are able to manage and control all of the content.

6. Find a good supplier

When you've decided on the product you'd like to create then you need to choose the right fulfillment service. Select a company that can:

  • The products you want to sell
  • The right printing options to achieve your dream -Some methods could limit your options regarding colours or designs.
  • Pricing that lets you turn a profit
  • Costs of shipping that are affordable
  • Rapid fulfillment and quick turnaround as well as deliveries that are completed according to time
  • International impact (if this is important for you)
  • Printing environmentally friendly and shipping
  • Excellent customer service for both you and your customers

Quality isn't limited to the product itself, but the quality of printing, as well. And some print providers will give you more options, such as sublimation printing. This is a form of printing that lets you print designs over all of the item and not just a pre-set area.

Choose which factors are the most important to you and select a printer which is compatible with your ideals and requirements. Be sure to read reviews online to find the right partner to be satisfied with.

Here are some fulfillment partners that can work into your print-on-demand store:

CustomCat print on demand site
Advanced Notifications extension

7. Determine your pricing

The next step is determine what to charge. As mentioned earlier, one of the best things about print-on-demand printing is that your expenses are very simple to predict. That means predictable profit margins.

Print companies have a retail price for their white labeled merchandise, and probably a charge to install and print your artwork onto their products. Along with shipping prices That's it!

This way, you'll have an idea of your price per unit.

All you have to do is decide what amount of money you'd like to earn from every item and then balance your expectations against the amount you believe the customers are willing to pay. Importantly not to make a decision beforehand that "customers won't pay this much" for your items.

In the case of custom products, people tend to spend more. In certain instances, such as the fandom of art, humor that is creative or issues they're passionate about, they'll be willing to pay more, because there is the emotional aspect of this purchase that far outweighs the price.

To give a basic illustration, think of Darth Vader on a mug with the caption, "The caffeine is strong for you."

The price will be higher for that than they will get for the typical coffee mug. This product is unique to them. Don't undervalue your print on demand products. And the great thing with online stores is that you are able to adjust your prices later.

8. Get started with marketing and begin measuring the performance

The last thing to do is marketing and measuring your results. This is a area of study on its own.

Once you've created your initial branding and product and products, you'll have to spend a large portion of the rest of your time as the store's owner on marketing activities. Marketing is a continuous procedure, not something you have to check off that you must complete and then move on.

Which are the top sellers? What's not doing well? What is your price? Its artwork? The product itself? Are you able to provide the correct shipping options?

Are you attracting an appropriate group? Are you able to spread the word? Does your email audience know about your print on demand products? Do you want to bundle these products along with other products, or even make these a gift for some purchase?

Start selling your own designs using print-on-demand

Print on demand offers an incredible opportunity for designers to sell their designs for almost every product you can imagine such as notebooks, T-shirts phones, stickers, notebooks, and more -- without the hassle of making a huge investment dealing with inventory, trying manage shipping costs, or even managing the fulfillment.

For success, you must make the effort familiar with your customer base as well as sell products that can solve their issues, and locate the best fulfillment provider to run your business. provides everything you need for a gorgeous, effective print on demand shop that integrates seamlessly with your fulfillment provider.

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