If you have the creative juices flowing, making print on demand products your canvas will help you monetize your talent.
Put a dash of your creativity in almost everything you store on a shelf or cabinet. You can showcase your aesthetic taste, best of all, you can earn a living out of it!
However, handling everything yourself, from design to production, to logistics can leave you exhausted with a huge pile of products taking over your storage space.
Turning to print on demand services can eliminate the problem for you. It can bypass the time you take to work on tedious inventory and huge startup investments. With print-on-demand services, you can sell your designs minus all the hassle.
Speaking of hassle, having a website template to work with also takes more hassle out.
But Really, What Is Print On Demand All About?
Print on demand is the practice of working with a supplier to customize everyday products you design and sell them (mostly online) on a per-order basis. This eliminates the need for storage because you don’t have to buy in bulk.
You also won’t need a big startup investment because you only print what you need and pay for them AFTER they’re sold. Another great thing about working print on demand companies is, after selling a product, your supplier will take care of everything else, from printing down to shipping.
This way you can focus more on making more designs and less on worrying about inventory.
Speaking of less worry, to think about less matters later you can start choosing color schemes that go in line with your brand.
There are a lot of ways you can utilize print on demand companies and their services. Here are some of them.
• Testing ground for a business idea.
• If you’re a cartoonist, social media influencer, or Youtube vlogger, you can use print on demand services to monetize your audience by offering them your merchandise.
• If you’re a hobbyist, you can design apparel for others passionate about your hobby.
• If you like to make personalized souvenirs for events.
• If you simply want to see your designs on everyday items and make money from it.
However, there are always two sides to a coin. Everything comes with pros and cons.
Pros Of Print On Demand
• Can quickly create products as long as you have the designs ready.
• You won’t worry about forking out a lot for the investment.
• The risk is lower because you don’t have to worry about buying in bulk and not being able to sell them. It gives you more room to test ideas minus all the heavy cost.
• The supplier takes care not just of printing but also of shipping the orders. After getting the payment, all you have left to do is update the customer on the progress of his order.
Cons Of Print On Demand
• Higher cost per item which means thinner profit margins.
• Limited control on logistics especially if you want your customers to get an amazing unboxing experience.
• Limited customization because you’ll be dependent on the supplier’s available product sizes and printing techniques.
Print On Demand Sites And Services
Now if you’ve weighed both sides of the coin and decide to move forward with print on demand, here are some sites and services you can consider. You also have to know about eCommerce web basics.
This is not an exhaustive list of print on demand companies, but just a few of the best ones so you don’t get overwhelmed with your choices.
Printful is one of the most widely known print on demand services. What’s great about it is they have a large selection of print on demand products and user-friendly mockup generators. It also takes care of one of the cons we talked about earlier.
Printful allows you to incorporate your branding by adding inserts, notes, or stickers to the packages.
For apparel items, Printful offers a couple of printing techniques: Cut and Sew, Direct Ink to Garment, and Embroidery.
Aside from wearables, they also have pillows, posters, mugs, towels, and more.
Just keep in mind that the more customization you request, the more you have to pay for it.
To work with Printful, you need an online store. Here’s where you can get started.
To make things easier you can learn to know how to choose a good template to work with.
You can check this article one out to find color schemes that go in line with your brand.
You just have to connect Printful to your online store, and it will fill your site with print on demand products with your designs on it.
Customers can simply pick from the items and designs available and place their order. Printful takes care of the rest until it reaches the customer’s doorstep.
To keep you updated, the print on demand company will provide a notification with the tracking number when the item gets shipped so you can keep your customer posted on progress.
Printify is a print of demand service which mostly offers hoodies and shirts. However, what’s great about it is its international vendor partner allows them to offer rare white-label items like clocks, shoes, and jewelry. Printify even takes pride in having 200 print on demand products you can choose from.
Here’s how to make choosing products easier.
Though it’s free to use, they also offer a premium subscription for $29 per month which gets you 20% off on all their products. You’ll find this helpful especially when you have large orders.
Like Printful, Printify offers to handle order fulfillment, as well as billing so you can keep working on creating more designs.
Zazzle has a remarkable customization capacity, claiming to create more than 1,300 items you can customize. It’s also quite popular having almost 30 million site visitors every month.
Among other things, Zazzle prints shirts, tote bags, mugs, invitations, business cards, even baby pacifiers!
To work with this print on demand company, you have to create an account. You can choose between the Designer, Maker, or Affiliate account. Each of the 3 comes having different tools that are helpful with the account type you choose.
A designer account allows you to upload a design and select a print on demand product you want to get printed; they will then post it for sales for you.
A Maker account can manufacture the product and let Zazzle post it for sale. But the downside is you’ll be handling the shipping.
Lastly, the Affiliate account allows you to earn a commission when you sell a product, basically implying you do not design things yourself.
One good thing about Redbubble is it has a huge consumer base. With this print on demand site, you can print shirts, notebooks, postcards, stickers, and even duvet covers!
To get started with Redbubble, you have to make an account. You can then open your Redbubble shop and post your designs there.
Another great thing with this print on demand services is, they have a global third-party shipper, so you’ll have a wider client scope.
Now that you have your print-on-demand services and sites to choose from, what do you do next?
Here are some tips moving forward.
1. Order sample products
Check the product’s quality yourself. It’s your brand on the line after all.
When you work with print-on-demand services, sometimes, your design doesn’t get fully reflected on the final product. This can disappoint both you and your customer.
By ordering samples, you’ll get to fix the in-betweens and maintain a good relationship with your supplier. Best of all, your customer gets what he expects, increasing his chance of ordering again from you.
Printful for instance offers a 20% sample discount or free shipping.
By getting samples, you just don’t get quality assurance, but also photos you can post on your online store.
2. Strategize shipping for your print on demand products
In most cases, you won’t be handling shipping yourself. Still, it offers complexities you have to take care of too.
The shipping time you state should include printing time which ranges from 2-4 days. It’s better to be upfront with the shipping time than get an inbox flooding with complaints and customers not wanting to buy anything from you ever again.
You can outline the shipping period on a shipping or FAQ page to keep customers in the loop.
3. Focus on a niche
One niche builds authority. By sticking to a defined audience, you’ll be the go-to site of people interested in the niche you chose.
It can even help you determine in-demand items to sell.
If you choose cycling, you’ll have a lot of cycling enthusiasts checking your merchandise. They’ll always think about you when they need something and directly go to your shop.
On the other hand, if you jump from one niche to another, you won’t have an established market which can make sales go down.
I guess you’re now ready to monetize your designs.
Always communicate your requests well with the supplier. Tell them how you want the product to look, ask them how many days it takes for them to print and ship several products, and so on.
By being as transparent as you can, you don’t only get to build a strong relationship with the print on demand service provider of your choice, they might even offer you bigger discounts!
I’ll also add some web design ideas you can check out.
If you choose to work with a print on demand service, you’ll keep your mind stress free, and ready to unleash more of your creativity.