Starting a print on demand business in 2020

Print on Demand is when you sell your own custom designs on various different types of products. Print on demand products include t-shirts, hoodies, books, and many other items.

Lets go through different types of print on demand options that you can choose including High risk, Moderate risk and low risk Print on demand.

Low risk Print-on-demand has no upfront costs, nor does it have any marketing costs, if you are a beginner, you will find this option a great starting ground

In short, low risk Print-on-demand sites do not need you to do the marketing nor do you have to pay upfront for the material, shipping, or refunds


Read completely to know what might suit you best.

  1. High Risk Print on demand
    • Pros :
      • High Profit Margins
      • Higher Control over customer acquisition and data
      • Best option to build a personal brand
      • Option for White Label Shipping, (Your own logo on the shipping bills, Packaging and T-shirt)
    • Cons :
      • The artist will have to create own designs and Ads for Marketing, Will also need to handle marketing and marketing costs, will also have to pay upfront for Material, printing and shipping. and will need to handle customer service and refunds
    • Shopify + Printify
    • Shopify + Printful
    • Ecommerce Platform + Print-on-demand provider
  2. Moderate Risk Print on demand
    • Pros :
      • Adjustable Profit margins,
      • Shipping handled by POD Provider
      • Customer Service and Refunds Handled by POD Provider
    • Cons :
      • The artist will have to create own designs and Ads for Marketing, and promote
    • Society6.com
    • Teespring.com
    • Zazzle.com
    • Bonfire.com
    • Etsy.com*
  3. Low Risk Print on demand
    • Pros :
      1. Shipping handled by POD Provider
      2. Customer Service and Refunds Handled by POD Provider
      3. Marketing and promotion Handled by POD Provider
    • Cons :
      • Low Profit margins/royalties
    • Redbubble.com
    • Teepublic.com
    • Merch by Amazon

*Etsy.com is an Exception as it falls under low-risk and moderate risk. Read more here


1. Low Risk Print-On-demand

Example, Redbubble.com, Teepublic.com and Merch By amazon

Here’s exactly how Redbubble, Teepublic or any other low risk POD providers work, from a seller or designers point of view:

  • You sign-up for a Redbubble or Teepublic account and upload your artwork.
  • You decide what products to list that artwork on – including deciding on the colours, position etc.
  • You give your design a title, a description, and include as many relevant tags (keywords) as possible.
  • You publish your product: it is then available for sale on Redbubble or Teepublic.

What Happens next?

  • A customer searches for their favourite thing on Redbubble or Teepublic, and sees your design.
  • A bonus feature that these low-risk POD services have is, when you search for a design on google, these show up on the top, and they are also advertised whenever you browse the internet by redbubble, so you don’t have to do a thing in terms of marketing
  • The customer likes your design, so purchases your design on a T-Shirt (for example).
  • Redbubble or Teepublic prints your artwork onto the T-Shirt and ships it to the customer. Redbubble or Teepublic credits your account with a royalty (a percentage of the sale price) – and once a month Redbubble or Teepublic pays out your royalties to your Paypal or bank account.

You create and upload – customers buy – and Redbubble or Teepublic does the rest (and you collect your royalties every month). Simple isn’t it?

Do You Have To Promote Your Store To Make Sales?

Whilst it is helpful and advisable for artists to promote their store and designs, that isn’t a necessary step to generating sales.

That’s because Redbubble and Teepublic already has organic traffic from search engines, and has an audience that regularly searches on Redbubble and Teepublic directly to find products they are interested in.

If you want to know how Teepublic.com works Click here

And If you want to know how Redbubble.com works Click here


2. Moderate Risk Print-On-demand

Example: Society6.com, Teespring.com, Zazzle.com and Bonfire.com.

This works similar to The Low Risk POD as described in the section above, but without the organic traffic and marketing part, your designs wont show up in google or in any ads whenever you are on the internet

So what additional step do you have to take to get sales on Moderate Risk POD sites?

  • You sign-up for a Teespring or society6 account and upload your artwork.
  • You decide what products to list that artwork on – including deciding on the colours, position etc.
  • You give your design a title, a description, and include as many relevant tags (keywords) as possible.

Next..

You Market Either by influencer marketing on Instagram, Tiktok or facebook, or you directly start with Facebook Ads and start an advertisement campaign for your t-shirt Designs

Learn about Facebook Marketing in step by step explanations here

What happens next if your marketing campaign is successful?

  • A customer sees your design.
  • The customer likes your design, so purchases it design on a T-Shirt (for example).
  • Teespring or Society6 prints your artwork onto the T-Shirt and ships it to the customer. Teespring or Society6 credits your account with a royalty (a percentage of the sale price) – and once a month Teespring or Society6 pays out your royalties to your Paypal or bank account.

3. High Risk Print-On-demand

Examples : Printful, Printify, Gooten, etc paired with Shopify, Woocommerce, Wix or any other Website Building Platforms

Why choose this if it is high risk? If your end goal is to build a personal brand and start your own clothing line, This is the way to go

These Services offer white label shipping, which means, you get to add your own logo on the shipping invoice and bills, as well as create custom packaging and get your logo on the T-shirt as well

But this method has a lot of upfront costs, which makes this great for experienced designers.

Our advice is to try out designs on Low and Moderate Risk POD services, and check which designs sell the most. you can then take those designs and put it on your own store and set your own prices and create your own ads

How it works?

  1. Build and Connect Your online store (Shopify, Woocommerce store)
    • Connect your online store with Printful or Printify and add your products
  2. Market your Design
    1. Create Ads and market through Facebook Ads or Contact Instagram Influencers to sponsor your T-shirt or Ad on their website.
  3. Alex from USA Sees your Ad
    • Alex Sees the ad and buys something on your store
  4. Printful fulfillment center
    • Your order is automatically imported to Printful or printify for fulfillment, since you have already connected the store
  5. You pay for the printing and shipping Upfront to Printful or Printify
    • In this Method of Print on demand, it basically works like Dropshipping, where you have to pay Upfront for the and send it directly to the customer
  6. Your product
    • We ship the finished product to Alex, all under your brand

Click Here to learn how to set up a Shopify store


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