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How to make money with print on demand? [A guide to success]

How to make money with print on demand

Do you want to make money with print on demand business?

Print on demand is a business model that allows you to sell your designs directly to customers without having to store any inventory.

Once a customer makes a purchase, the order is sent to a fulfilment company who prints and ships the item directly to the customer.

This is an excellent way for artists and designers of all kinds to make money online and work from home.

You can start making money with print on demand in just 5 minutes!

All you need is an internet connection and some great design skills. No experience necessary!

Anyone can do this, even if they don’t have their own website or blog yet. It’s so easy that anyone can get started today! Just read here now for more information about how it works!

Read here now for more information about how print on demand works and how you can start making money with it today!

Note – This post may contain affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy

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Table Of Contents
  1. How to make money with print on demand
  2. What is print on demand business?
  3. How do you make profit with print on demand?
  4. How much money can you make with a print on demand business?
  5. Who is print on demand business best for?
  6. What are the start up costs for print on demand business?
  7. What if you are a beginner – how to make money with print on demand?
  8. How do you start a print on demand business?
  9. How to price your print on demand products?
  10. How To Market Print on Demand Products
  11. Total NO – NO for designs for your print on demand stores
  12. Total YES-YES for designs for your print on demand stores
  13. Which third party websites can I use to sell print on demand products?
  14. What is the best print on demand site?
  15. Pros of using print on demand sites
  16. Cons of using print on demand sites
  17. FAQ – How to make money with print on demand
  18. How to make money with print on demand
  19. How to make money with print on demand

What is print on demand business?

A print on demand tshirt with a design on the right on a laptop. Graphic for a blog post on How to make money with print on demand

Print on demand is a way of selling your individual designs imprinted on items (anything from t-shirts to toys with your designs imprinted on them) without having to worry about printing, manufacturing, and shipping.

Once you make a sale, the order is sent to a fulfillment company that prints and ships the item directly to the customer.

Print on demand is an excellent way for artists and designers of all kinds to make money online and work from home.

How do you make profit with print on demand?

The profit margins on print-on-demand items are generally lower than other types of products, but with proper marketing and targeting the right market, you can still make a healthy profit.

Let’s say, your printing partner (the one who prints, manufactures, and ships) charges you $9 for it and you sell your design on anything (like, T-shirts, mugs, etc) for $25.

Your profit with print-on-demand business is $16. This is an ultra simple explanation on how you make profit with print on demand business online.

How much money can you make with a print on demand business?

There is no limit to how much you can make with a print-on-demand business. The sky is the limit!

Michael Essex started out his print-on-demand business a few years back and now earns between $9,000 – $15,000 monthly. Here is a graph of his journey

make money selling print on demand t shirts with michael essex and his chart showing his profit.

You can also check out this YouTube video to understand the money you make with print on demand business

Who is print on demand business best for?

Print on demand is best for

  • Artists
  • Crafters
  • Designers
  • Printers
  • T-Shirt Designers
  • Illustrators
  • and, anyone who is inspired to create an online business for themselves

What are the start up costs for print on demand business?

There are two ways to go about establishing a Print on Demand store.

Third Party Marketplace:

The first approach is to establish a Print on Demand business using a third-party marketplace.

The major advantage of this is that it does not cost anything to get started. Just open the store and start generating revenue.

This costs nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Print on demand store on your website

The second way is to open a print-on-demand store on your website. This is definitely expensive because you’re creating a brand.

Your costs include hosting, domain name, cost of owning a store (like Shopify), using tools like placeit, and more.

In short, you will easily be spending at least $300-700 on starting your own print-on-demand store.

What if you are a beginner – how to make money with print on demand?

Well, instead of starting your own print-on-demand store, start by licensing your designs to established websites that have an audience base already.

It’s more difficult and time-consuming to begin a website or business than it is to join an already successful large marketplace or platform to sell your products.

So, instead of building a brand, focus on licensing your designs with platforms like Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, Teepublic, and more.

Customers trust these websites and selling your designs will be easier than setting up your own store. As the designer, you will get royalties for every sale which is easy money.

Besides this, you can also use print-on-demand stores like Printify. We will go over them in a bit.

How do you start a print on demand business?

Step 1: Research market and target client

Your first step is to research your target market and clientele. Are you targeting fashion lovers? Pet owners? Tech geeks?

Once you know your target market, it will be easier to create designs that appeal to them and find the most suitable printing partner. You can also use this information to help determine what type of merch to produce.

Step 2: Finding a suitable printing partner to license your designs with:

The best way to start a print-on-demand business is by finding a quality printing partner. There are many online printing companies that offer quality print-on-demand services.

Once you find a good printing partner, the next step is to create quality designs that will sell and research the target market.

The best way to find a quality printing partner is by reading reviews and comparing prices.

Step 3: Creating designs:

Once you’ve found a quality printing partner, it’s time to create designs that will sell.

You can either design yourself or outsource the design work to a freelancer. If you decide to outsource your designs, make sure you pick a reliable partner.

If you’re doing it yourself, you can use Canva. Canva is a web graphic design software that allows you to create professional designs for free.

It also has a paid version which is affordable and makes designing much easier (for example, downloading in high-resolution PNG formats with transparent backgrounds)

It’s best to have around 20 different designs on your store when it opens, as this indicates to potential customers that you’re a serious business with a large selection.

If not designs, you can also look into

  • Slogans
  • Witty lines
  • Calligraphy etc

Step 4: Create Mock-up for your designs

Once you have your designs ready, you’ll need to create a mock-up of your products on people (if they are clothing).

A mock-up is simply a digital representation of how your design will look on a product.

Mock-ups are important as they give customers an idea of how the finished product will look and increase the chances of them making a purchase.

You can use PlaceIt to get started. PlaceIt is a subscription-based website that allows you to upload your designs onto T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other apparel with people in real-world settings.

Note: If you are using a third party website, check it they provide you with mockups. Most of them do which makes this extremely simple.

Step 4: Plan your marketing strategy

No matter how great your designs are, if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place, you will not sell any products.

Your marketing strategy should include a mix of online and offline marketing tactics.

Some of the most effective online marketing tactics include social media promotion, email marketing, and search engine optimization.

You can also include advertising on websites, blogs, podcasts and collaborating with influencers (especially micro-influencers).

Step 5: Sell your designs

Once you have created quality prints and a marketing strategy in place, it’s time to sell!

Also – make sure to follow up with customers after each purchase.

It is also a good idea to keep a record of customers so you can market to them again in the future.

Step 6: Providing the best after sale services in your print on demand business

One of the most important things you can do to increase sales and customer loyalty is to provide excellent after-sale services.

This means responding to customer queries and complaints promptly, shipping products on time, and providing quality products.

A professional online presence is essential to any company, and responding quickly to emails should be a priority.

Make sure you have an email address dedicated for inquiries with “customer” or similar in the name so your customers don’t get lost among all emails.

You can also have a chat with us option right on the website to make everything easier.

How to price your print on demand products?

You can set the price of your merch based on how much you’d like to make from each sale and considering your costs (for designing and working with the printing business)

Generally, you want to price your products at a point where you’re making a profit after factoring in all costs, and also considering how much your competitors are selling similar products for.

You can also offer discounts to increase sales (but make sure you still earn a profit from each sale!).

How To Market Print on Demand Products

To market your print-on-demand shirts or other items, you’ll need to be active on social media and perform SEO on your store.

Social Media Marketing:

Social media marketing is a good way to keep your brand visible and promote new items.

The most important thing for social media marketing is consistency.

Make sure you post regularly about how awesome your products are and how your customers loved the products.

Facebook:

Create a Facebook page for your business and make sure you post regularly.

If you don’t like how the Facebook algorithm works (limiting how many of your friends see your posts), look into establishing an email newsletter or promoting your products on other social media sites, such as Instagram.

You can also tap into the potential of Facebook Ads.

Also read: How to get clients from Facebook Groups (Grow your freelancing career NOW!)

Pinterest:

Create quality graphics that show how products are made and how they look. Pinterest is an excellent platform to market your business.

You can make use of Pinterest’s organic reach as well as paid ads.

Learn how to use Pinterest organically here.

Also read: How to make money on Pinterest – EARN UPTO $250+/day

Instagram:

Instagram is a great platform to show how your products look on real people. You can also use hashtags to reach a larger audience.

You can make use of reels to show your products to real people, stories to share testimonials, and feed to show offers, new products, and more.

Make sure to use Instagram ads to reach more people.

Also read: How to sell feet pics on instagram? – Sell fast NOW.

Learn how to use Instagram step by step here.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Make sure your store’s website is optimised for search engines. This will help customers find your products when they are searching for related terms.

You can do this yourself or use a professional SEO service.

You can also look into using Google ads to reach more people.

SEO is FREE traffic and conversions and who better to learn it from than Mike. He has websites with over 100k traffic each month and have helped blogger millions of hit. Learn how to use SEO step by step here.

Email Marketing:

Email marketing is still a very effective way to reach your customers.

Make sure you have an opt-in form on your website and send regular emails about new products, discounts, and how your products can make their lives better.

Kate Doster in the go-to to learn email marketing. She has made over $100k in launches and helped many other do that as well. Learn how to use email marketing step by step here with her FREE workshop.

Collaborating with Influencers:

Collaborating with influencers can help you reach a new audience.

Micro-influencers have a following of between 2,000 and 50,000 people and are more likely to promote your products in an authentic way.

You can collaborate with them by offering them free products in exchange for promotion or by paying them to promote your products.

Total NO – NO for designs for your print on demand stores

Do not use copyrighted work, characters, elements and tag lines

Basically, avoid using fan art

Do not use copyrighted material or well known characters and elements that are distinctive from copyright.

And also avoid using taglines, hashtags, emojis that are associated with a brand.

While fanart may appear to be a good idea since there are millions of raving fans eager to buy, you may find yourself in a very tenacious situation and in many cases, a legal battle.

Do not copy off the internet as

It will be very easy to track, and you may end up being penalized for copyright infringement.

When in doubt, play it safe and create your own designs that reflect your unique personality and style.

If you’re not confident in your design abilities, hire a professional designer to help you out.

With print on demand, there are so many options for how you want to run your business – so many templates, software programs, and services that make it easy to turn your creations into real products.

Stop trying to be different or original right from start (but don’t copy)

It is natural to want to create something original and different but as a beginner in print on demand, it is better to start with simple designs.

Creating your own unique designs takes a lot of time and effort in the start, as you may not be aware of what your audience wants

In a few months or a year, you will learn about the business, audience and will automatically be able to create better designs.

Total YES-YES for designs for your print on demand stores

Create more designs each month to increase your chances of selling more products

In order to make money with print on demand, you need to have a solid collection of designs to be able to offer customers a variety of choices.

Creating new designs each month will help you stay relevant and prompt customers to buy.

You can use online design tools to help you create new designs or hire a professional designer to help you out.

Remember, the more designs you have, the more products you can create and sell. So, get creative and start churning out those amazing designs today!

List your designs with as many websites as possible to

List your designs on many websites to increase your chances of being seen by customers.

There are so many different print-on-demand websites that you can list your designs on.

But how do you decide which websites are the best? The answer is simple – List them all! Don’t limit yourself to only a few websites when there are so many more to choose from.

Listing your designs on them all will increase your chances of being seen by a larger audience, thus increasing the chance of making more money.

And remember to update your listings often with new designs because how else would customers know that you have new products for sale.

Work on your refund and return policy

If the client makes a mistake or is dissatisfied with the item, you must choose how to respond.

Your options are:

No refund or return, full refund or full return, store credits, or partial refund

When you first start out, it is suggested that you go with the option of no refunds because each time a refund happens, your profits are decreased.

However, if you want to be more flexible and still make money on these types of transactions, then go with providing either a partial refund or store credits.

Which third party websites can I use to sell print on demand products?

a table with white tshirt, shoes and a camera. Graphic for a blog post on How to make money with print on demand

Now that you have the perfect product, it’s time to start selling! But where should you sell your products?

Here are a few websites that you can list your products on:

Redbubble:

Screenshot of rebubble site where you can sell print on demand products for money online.

Redbubble was founded in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. Today, they connect over 700,000 artists and designers across the planet with millions of passionate fans.

It is one of the best marketplace for artists and designers where they can sell their prints, merchandise, and more.

Teepublic:

Screenshot of teepublic site where you can sell print on demand products for money online.

Another marketplaces for artists and designers, but with a focus on t-shirts and other clothing items.

Merch by Amazon

Merch by amazon - one of the best print on demand stores to sell on demand print products

Simply upload your artwork, choose a product type and color, and add a product description.

They will create a product page on Amazon and when customers buy your product, they’ll handle production, shipping, and customer service — all with no upfront costs.

Also read: Amazon Direct Ship Freebies 2021 – Detailed Guide 101

Printify

Printify - one of the best print on demand stores to sell on demand print products

Printify is a transparent print-on-demand network to help merchants make more money in a simple and easy way.

Printful

can you make money with printful - printful website front page screenshot

With over 1 million products sold every month, Printful turns your ideas into premium products

Printful is an on-demand printing and fulfillment company that helps people turn their ideas into brands and products.

Whether you wish to create your own online brand or gift, someone, a personalized t-shirt, they can help you get it done.

Whenever someone—you or your customer—makes a purchase, they’ll automatically receive the order, fulfill, and ship it.

Teelaunch

front page of teelaunch - how much money do you need to start a print on demand business

Teelaunch is a little different. Teelaunch doesn’t have a storefront.

In order to upload designed products and receive orders, you need a Shopify account or an Etsy account.

CustomCat

customcat - a place to start your own print on demand product

Custom Cat works similar to Teelaunch. You upload your designs, choose products, connect them to your store and then CustomCat takes care of fulfillment.

Zazzle

zazzle - make money with print on demand products

Zazzle is a marketplace that allows you to create customized goods based on your designs and sell them.

There are thousands of items for print-on-demand businesses to utilize and sell through Zazzle.

The interface of the seller platform isn’t particularly intuitive or pleasant. To add to that, you have a huge number of items to put your designs on.

Spreadshirt

spreadshirt - Is print-on-demand business still profitable?

A global platform for personalized clothing and accessories, they are the go-to place for anyone looking to realize their creative ideas on quality fabrics.

T-shirts, sweaters, bags, aprons, and a lot more can easily be personalized with images and custom text.

Spoonflower

spoonflower - print on demand webiste

The Spoonflower community has grown to over 3.3 million creatives who use the Marketplace of more than one million designs to express their personal style and power their entrepreneurial spirit. 

Fine Art America

Fine Art America is the world’s largest art marketplace and print-on-demand technology company.

They’ve been helping artists sell wall art, home decor, apparel, and other products since 2006 and are home to hundreds of thousands of artists, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and iconic brands.

You can also look into the following print on demand stores

  • Sun Frog
  • Society6
  • Cafepress

For creating your own store

Etsy

Etsy is a wonderful website that helps you create your own store to sell your products.

The best thing about etsy is how easy it is to get started! Just sign-up and start listing your designs.

Find out more about selling on Etsy and Etsy business ideas.

Also read: 21 Top Etsy Shop Ideas For 2022 (Sells like hot cakes!)

Ebay

Ebay is a great website to sell your products on, especially if you’re looking for a larger audience.

Just like Etsy, it’s easy to get started, and listing your products is simple.

Learn how to sell on Ebay.

eBay is a great way to sell your designs online and make money. Learn how to use eBay here.

Also read: Best things to sell on eBay for profit that will quickly sell

Shopify

Shopify is a great platform that helps you create your own online store.

What’s great about Shopify is that you can use it to sell products on other websites, such as eBay and Etsy, or you can sell your products through your very own online store.

Find out how to create a Shopify store.

Also read: Sell candles in 2021 – Ultimate Guide on making money selling candles from home

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a great way to sell your products on Amazon.

With Amazon FBA, you send your products to an Amazon warehouse and they take care of the rest – shipping, handling, and customer service.

Learn how to use Amazon FBA to increase your sales.

Amazon FBA is a great way to sell your designs online and make money. Learn how to use Amazon FBA here.

OfferUp that

OfferUp is a website that helps you sell your products locally.

What’s great about OfferUp is that it’s easy to use and you can sell a variety of products, such as clothing, accessories, furniture and more.

Learn how to sell on OfferUp.

Create your own e-commerce website

If you’re looking for a more professional way to sell your products, set up your own e-commerce website.

However, be prepared for how much work is involved with setting up and maintaining a website.

Here’s how to start an e-commerce business from scratch.

What is the best print on demand site?

Before you decide which print on demand site to use, make sure

  • It allows you to sell your design elsewhere as well. Basically, no exclusive agreement with them
  • The print on demand site should have enough and more traffic but more importantly, they should have your target audience
  • The store has all product option you want your designs printed on
  • The quality of the product should be to your satisfaction.
  • The shipping costs aren’t too high as compared to other
  • The payment options covers the most used ones.
  • Overall costs of selling on that platform is not high so you can take more profits home

Pros of using print on demand sites

  • You don’t have to worry about equipment or hardware required for printing the products
  • You don’t have to worry about how you are going to store your inventory
  • No need for warehousing space because the print on demand store will store your product for you
  • No need to hire or manage any warehouse staff
  • Your designs can be printed and shipped anywhere in the world. This means that you can sell all over the world
  • You can set your own prices for your products

Cons of using print on demand sites

  • Sometimes, the quality of print on demand products is not as good as you would like it to be
  • Print on demand sites usually have a commission that they take from your sales, so your profits are slightly lower than if you were to sell the products yourself. This is fair because they are handling everything for you except for designs.
  • The print on demand process can take a little bit longer – from the time a customer orders to the time the product is shipped and delivered to their doorstep. This is often the downside of print on demand sites
  • You don’t have control over how your designs are printed or how long it takes to ship an order because these things are all handled by the print on demand site you use.

FAQ – How to make money with print on demand

Is print on demand profitable 2021?

Yes, print on demand is still profitable in 2022 and beyond because people like to buy items with unique design.

Can you really make money with Print on Demand?

Yes, you can make money with Print on demand. Like I said, start out with licensing your design

How much money does Print on Demand make?

You can expect to make a few hundred dollars in the beginning but once you start implementing marketing initiatives you can make over $3000 to $15000 a month and more.

How to make money with print on demand

It’s the perfect business model for artists and designers of all kinds who want to work from home or need a way to sell their designs without having to store any inventory.

There are plenty of options available, but it can be difficult to choose which one will best suit your needs as an artist or designer.

Make sure you do your research before committing because there are many pros and cons associated with each service that may not seem obvious at first glance.

Find out how much time, effort, cost, and expertise you’re willing to put in when deciding how this option will help you achieve your goals!

How to make money with print on demand