How to start your own Print on Demand shop

If you want to set up your business online shop, start selling your own brand merchandising, start your digital brand from scratch, or simply sell some designs to make some money, this is the post for you.

What is Print on-demand?

Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash

Print-on-demand is an example of drop shipping that has gained popularity in the last couple of years.

It is simple and risk-free. A supplier customises white-label products based on a design, which are then sold on a per-order basis under your own brand, or no brand at all.

As a seller, you submit your design, you set the price including the profits you want, and the platform takes care of everything else, including payment, fulfilment and shipping. So there is no need to invest in advance, buy in bulk nor hold any inventory.

Services offer a huge variety of products, including hats, towels, t-shirts, sweatshirts, face masks, posters, cups, bags, aprons and more.

Amazon has released its own version called Merch, but with a limited type of products (mostly t-shirts and sweatshirts).

Print-on-demand services

Print-on-demand platforms (eCommerce store required)

The most popular platform is Printful. It has the widest selection of products and brands, it’s very easy to use and connect with the most popular shops such as Etsy, Shopify, Amazon and -more importantly if you run your own shop/blog- WooCommerce.

For instance, you can start selling your craft products in Etsy in no-time by following these steps.

  1. Log in to your Printful account
  2. Go to “Connect an e-commerce platform” and select Etsy
  3. Press “Connect your Etsy store”
  4. You’ll be directed to Etsy, asking to authorize our app’s access to your store. Press “Allow Access”
  5. Connect your existing Printful account
  6. That’s it! Now you can start adding or syncing products

You can also watch this tutorial on how to set up your Etsy + Printful integration.

Just bear in mind that Etsy has its own associated fees to publish products, but they are very low. You will be charged a listing fee of $0.20 USD for each item that you list for sale.

Another alternative is Printify, which also gives you the option to select the provider for each product, and it can also be easily connected with Etsy and other shops.

Printify also offers some products that Printful doesn’t, so you can use both and complements your inventory.

Print-on-demand platform and marketplace (no store required)

Both alternatives above require a store where you can connect the platform to. What if you just want to sell some designs you did or found somewhere? What about printing some stuff only for you?

If you want to just submit designs and sell them to make some money without moving from your place, RedBubble is your best choice. They are a print-on-demand platform and marketplace same time, eliminating the need for a third-party eCommerce platform to run your online store.

So the steps in this case are 100% free and simple.

  1. Create your RedBubble account
  2. Upload your design (use high definition images, better PNG format to have transparent background)
  3. Select the products you want, adjust your design and set price and profits

All platforms also offer good tools, so you can incorporate text, images, and clipart onto your products. You can use any images, illustrations, or designs you get from other design sites or software and combine them all onto your product with our drag-and-drop tools. 

An alternative to Redbubble is Teespring.

Where to get Free images for your designs?

There are many websites online where can get royalty-free images and licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means that are free even for commercial use.

If you have great ideas but you are not able to draw, you can hire excellent and cheap freelancers on Fiverr. You can get hand made drawing and illustrations for as cheap as 5 USD.

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