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The Ultimate Guide to Print on Demand Products


In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, one model has significantly changed how businesses operate and deliver products to their customers: the Print on Demand model. Print on demand products, as the term suggests, are items that are printed only when an order is made. This approach eliminates the need for inventory, making it an attractive business model for both startups and established businesses.

Print on demand products range widely from clothing like t-shirts and hoodies to other consumer items such as mugs, posters, and phone cases. Virtually any product that can be printed upon can be sold under this business model. These items are typically customized and can offer a high degree of personalization, making them a hit with consumers who desire unique and personalized products.

Over the past few years, print on demand products have seen a substantial rise in the e-commerce industry. This growth is due to several factors, including advances in printing technology, a rise in online shopping, and the increasing consumer demand for personalized and unique items. The ease of setting up a print on demand business, coupled with its low upfront costs, has also made it an accessible and popular choice for many entrepreneurs.

The explosion of print on demand products in the e-commerce industry has paved the way for new opportunities and challenges. In this guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about print on demand products – from understanding what they are, popular product ideas, how to get started, to the future prospects of this booming industry. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a new business or an existing business owner exploring new avenues, this guide provides the ultimate walkthrough of print on demand products.

print on demand products

Table of Contents

Understanding Print on Demand Products

Print on demand products refer to items that are manufactured and printed only when a customer places an order. Instead of pre-printing and stocking a large inventory of items, print on demand allows businesses to offer a wide range of products without the financial risk or storage hassle of unsold stock. The products are often customizable, allowing for a high degree of personalization based on customer preferences.

Advantages of Print on Demand Products

There are several advantages to the print on demand model:

  1. Low Startup Costs: Since you’re not maintaining an inventory or purchasing stock upfront, the initial investment required is significantly lower than traditional retail models.
  2. No Inventory Management: Without physical stock to manage, you’re free from concerns about storage space or unsold goods.
  3. Customization: The ability to offer personalized designs gives businesses a competitive edge and meets customer demand for unique, bespoke products.
  4. Product Variety: With print on demand, you can offer a wide range of products without the financial risk.

Disadvantages of Print on Demand Products

However, like any business model, there are also some drawbacks:

  1. Lower Profit Margins: As you pay for each product individually, typically the cost per unit is higher, resulting in lower profit margins than bulk-produced items.
  2. Limited Control Over Production and Shipping: Since the production and shipping are often handled by the supplier, you have less control over these aspects of your business.
  3. Product Quality: Quality control can be an issue as you’re not physically present to inspect the products.

Popular Print on Demand Products

Print on demand products are vast and varied. Here are some examples of popular print on demand products currently thriving in the market:

  1. Apparel: This category includes t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and sweatshirts. Apparel is popular due to its high degree of customizability.
  2. Accessories: Bags, phone cases, and jewelry are examples of accessories that can be offered as print on demand products.
  3. Home and Living: This category includes products like mugs, pillows, posters, and wall art.
  4. Stationery: Notebooks, greeting cards, and stickers are popular choices in the print on demand market.

By understanding the ins and outs of print on demand products, entrepreneurs can navigate the challenges and capitalize on the benefits this business model provides.

Mainstream Print on Demand Product Ideas

1. T-Shirts

    • Explanation and Use Cases: T-shirts have always been a staple item in print on demand catalogs. Their appeal lies in their universal demand and the ease with which they can be customized. Businesses, charities, bands, artists, and even individuals order custom t-shirts for various reasons. They might be used to promote a brand, for fundraising, as merchandise, or simply for personal style.
    • Design Tips: The key to successful t-shirt design lies in understanding your target audience. The design should resonate with them and represent something they identify with. Keep designs simple and visually engaging. Use high-quality images and ensure your design is centered and sized appropriately for the t-shirt. Keep in mind that different t-shirt colors might require adjustments to the design colors for visibility and aesthetic appeal.
    • Where to Find: Platforms like Printful, TeeLaunch, Pixels, Printify, and Gooten provide comprehensive print-on-demand services for t-shirts. These platforms allow you to upload your designs, print them on various t-shirt models, and handle the shipping process.
    • Further Reading: For further information on creating and selling print on demand t-shirts, you can refer to the numerous resources available online. Some of the popular ones include the Shopify blog which has a comprehensive guide on how to start a t-shirt business, and the Printful blog, which offers various articles on designing and selling t-shirts.

By diving into t-shirt creation as a start, you’ll gain first-hand experience on how to handle design, production, and marketing for print on demand products.

2. Hoodies

  • Explanation and Use Cases: Hoodies, like t-shirts, are a popular choice for print on demand due to their widespread use and appeal to a broad audience. They are versatile, comfortable, and cater to a year-round market. Businesses often use branded hoodies for promotional events or merchandise, while individuals might purchase custom hoodies for personal use or as unique gifts.
  • Design Tips: Designing for hoodies is similar to t-shirts, but you have more space to work with due to the larger surface area. This extra space allows for larger and more complex designs. As with t-shirts, it’s crucial to consider your target audience and create designs that will resonate with them. Use high-resolution images to ensure the final product is clear and sharp. Remember to consider the hoodie color when selecting your design colors for optimal contrast and visibility.
  • Where to Find: Many of the same platforms that offer print on demand t-shirts also provide hoodie printing services. Some popular options include Printful, Printify, and Gooten.
  • Further Reading: To gain more insights into the process of creating and selling print on demand hoodies, look into resources like the Printful blog, which provides articles on hoodie design tips and trends. Other resources such as the Printify guide on how to sell custom hoodies also offer valuable information.

Creating custom hoodies can be a great way to expand your print on demand product range, reaching more customers and increasing your potential revenue.

3. Mugs

  • Explanation and Use Cases: Mugs are a universally loved product, making them an excellent choice for print on demand. They are used in homes, offices, and are often given as gifts. Personalized mugs can be used to commemorate special occasions, promote businesses or events, or simply reflect personal interests or humor.
  • Design Tips: The design for mugs should be concise and impactful due to the limited surface area. Given that mugs are often viewed from a close distance, the resolution of images and sharpness of text are crucial. Remember, the design needs to wrap around the mug or be pleasingly symmetrical. You can choose to design on one side (right or left-handed) or wrap the design around the whole mug.
  • Where to Find: Numerous print-on-demand platforms offer mug printing services. Some of the popular ones include Printful, Printify, and Gooten.
  • Further Reading: For more insights and tips on designing and selling print on demand mugs, check out resources like the Printful and Printify blogs, which offer various articles and guides on the topic.

Print on demand mugs can offer a fun and functional addition to your product lineup. They are a fantastic way to cater to customers looking for personalized gift options or unique home and office items.


  • Explanation and Use Cases: Posters are another popular print on demand product. They cater to a wide audience, including individuals seeking to personalize their living or workspace, businesses promoting events or products, and fans of various entertainment mediums. With the ability to print anything from motivational quotes to intricate art pieces, the possibilities are virtually limitless.
  • Design Tips: The key to successful poster design lies in creating a visual impact. Your design should be clear, engaging, and, when necessary, informative. Ensure that any text used is legible from a distance, and the colors are well-balanced and visually appealing. Keep in mind the various sizes posters can be printed in and make sure your design scales well.
  • Where to Find: Many print-on-demand platforms offer poster printing services. Notable ones include Printful, Printify, and Gooten.
  • Further Reading: To deepen your understanding of creating and selling print on demand posters, you can explore resources such as the Printful blog, which provides articles on poster design and marketing strategies.

Adding posters to your print on demand portfolio can help you tap into a market that values creative expression and personal touch. From minimalist designs to complex art forms, posters offer an extensive range for creators to explore and customers to choose from.

5. Phone Cases

  • Explanation and Use Cases: In the age of smartphones, phone cases have become an essential accessory for many. Customized phone cases serve not only as protective gear but also as a means of personal expression. Businesses often use them for branding or promotional activities, while individuals might choose custom cases to showcase their personal style or fandom.
  • Design Tips: Designing for phone cases can be challenging due to the small surface area and the need to accommodate the camera and other phone features. However, a well-designed phone case can be eye-catching and unique. Make sure your design is high-resolution to ensure clarity, and remember that simpler designs often work best on smaller surfaces.
  • Where to Find: Several print-on-demand platforms offer phone case printing services. Some of the popular ones include Printful, Printify, and Gooten.
  • Further Reading: For more insights and tips on designing and selling print on demand phone cases, resources like the Printful and Printify blogs provide valuable information.

Adding phone cases to your print on demand products can help you tap into the vast market of smartphone users looking for unique and personalized accessories. It’s a great way to diversify your product offering and cater to a tech-savvy audience.

6. Bags

  • Explanation and Use Cases: Bags, be it tote bags, drawstring bags, or backpacks, are a versatile addition to any print on demand product range. They serve both a functional and fashion purpose. Businesses might order custom bags for promotional giveaways or for selling as merchandise, while individuals can use them as a way to express their personal style or beliefs.
  • Design Tips: When designing for bags, remember that your design should be clear and visible even from a distance. Also, consider the type of bag you’re designing for. For instance, a design that works on a tote bag might not look as good on a backpack due to differences in shape and size. Keep your design simple yet impactful, and remember to choose colors that stand out on the bag’s material.
  • Where to Find: Several print-on-demand platforms offer bag printing services. Some of the popular ones include Printful, Printify, and Gooten.
  • Further Reading: For more insights and tips on designing and selling print on demand bags, you can refer to resources like the Printful and Printify blogs. These offer a wealth of information on bag design trends, marketing strategies, and more.

Offering bags as a part of your print on demand product line can be a great way to appeal to a wide range of customers. They’re functional, fashionable, and offer ample space for creative and eye-catching designs.

7. Pillows

  • Explanation and Use Cases: Customized pillows are a sought-after item in the print-on-demand world. They are a great way to add personality and flair to a home or office. From businesses looking for branded interior décor to individuals seeking unique and personal designs, there’s a significant demand for custom pillows. They also make great personalized gifts for various occasions.
  • Design Tips: When designing for pillows, consider the environment where they might be placed. The design should complement typical home décor themes. You can choose to create a design for the full pillow or keep it central. Like with all print-on-demand designs, ensure your images are high-resolution to prevent blurriness or pixelation.
  • Where to Find: Print-on-demand platforms like Printful, Printify, and Gooten offer pillow printing services.
  • Further Reading: For further insights into creating and selling print-on-demand pillows, resources like the Printful and Printify blogs offer numerous articles that can guide you.

By including pillows in your print-on-demand product range, you can cater to customers looking for unique home décor items or thoughtful, personalized gifts. The opportunities for creativity and personal expression are immense.

Getting Started with Print on Demand Products

  1. Factors to Consider When Choosing the Type of Print on Demand Products to Sell
    • Market Demand: Understand what products are in demand in your target market. Research and analyze trends to know what your potential customers might be interested in.
    • Product Quality: The quality of the product plays a significant role in customer satisfaction and repeat business. Always ensure that your supplier provides high-quality products that match your brand’s standards.
    • Profit Margin: Consider the cost of the product and the potential selling price to calculate your profit margin. Certain products may have a higher profit margin than others.
    • Design Compatibility: Your designs should be compatible with the products you choose. Consider the size, shape, and material of the product and how your design would look on it.
    • Shipping and Fulfillment: Some products are heavier or bulkier than others, which can affect shipping costs and logistics.
  2. Overview of Reliable Print on Demand Product Suppliers
    • Printful: Printful offers a wide range of products and integrates with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy. They handle fulfillment and shipping, allowing you to focus on your designs and marketing.
    • Printify: Printify also provides a vast product catalog and integrates with various eCommerce platforms. They offer a mockup generator tool to visualize your designs on their products.
    • Gooten: Gooten is known for its comprehensive product offering and robust integration capabilities. They offer competitive pricing and have multiple print providers to ensure product quality.
    • TeeLaunch: Specializing in apparel, TeeLaunch provides various options for print on demand t-shirts, hoodies, and more. They also integrate well with major eCommerce platforms.
    • Pixels: Pixels is ideal for artists and photographers looking to sell their work on a variety of products. They offer a wide range of products, from apparel to home décor.

Starting a print-on-demand business can be a rewarding venture. By considering the right factors and choosing reliable suppliers, you can establish a successful business selling print on demand products that your customers will love.

Creating Your Print on Demand Products

  1. Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Your Print on Demand Products
    • Define Your Audience: Understand who your target audience is. What do they like? What resonates with them? This will guide the creative direction of your designs.
    • Conceptualize Your Design: Brainstorm ideas for your designs. Create sketches and drafts before finalizing the design.
    • Use Design Software: Use professional design software to create your final design. Programs like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or free alternatives like GIMP or Canva can be used.
    • Consider Product Specifications: Make sure your design aligns with the product’s specifications. This includes size, resolution, and format requirements.
    • Test Your Design: Use mockup generators provided by your print on demand service to visualize your design on the product. This will give you an idea of how the final product will look.
  2. Tips for Creating Unique and Appealing Designs for Your Print on Demand Products
    • Understand Trends: Stay up-to-date with current design trends. However, don’t solely rely on trends, as they can quickly change.
    • Keep It Simple: Simplicity often works best in design. A clean, uncomplicated design can be more visually appealing.
    • Consistent Branding: Keep your branding consistent across all products. This helps increase brand recognition.
    • Feedback is Key: Get feedback on your designs from others. They might spot something you missed or provide suggestions to improve the design.
  3. Introduction to Various Design Software and Tools for Creating Print on Demand Products
    • Adobe Illustrator: This is a professional vector graphics editor ideal for creating designs that need to be scaled.
    • Adobe Photoshop: Photoshop is great for photo editing and creating complex designs.
    • Canva: Canva is an online design tool with an intuitive interface. It’s great for beginners and offers a range of templates.
    • GIMP: GIMP is a free and open-source image editor, offering a good starting point for beginners.
    • Placeit: Placeit provides easy-to-use tools to create mockups of your products, which can be helpful for testing and marketing your designs.

Designing your print on demand products is a creative and rewarding process. With the right approach and the help of powerful design tools, you can create unique products that stand out in the market.

Selling Your Print on Demand Products

  1. How to Market and Sell Your Print on Demand Products Effectively
    • Identify Your Target Market: Understand who your customers are and what they want. This can help you create marketing messages that resonate with them.
    • Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Your USP differentiates you from your competitors. It could be unique designs, high-quality products, or excellent customer service.
    • Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to showcase your products and connect with your audience.
    • Invest in SEO: Optimize your online store for search engines to increase organic traffic. Use keywords related to print on demand and your specific products.
    • Run Promotions: Regular sales or promotional offers can attract new customers and encourage repeat business.
  2. Strategies for Setting Competitive Prices for Your Print on Demand Products
    • Cost-Based Pricing: Calculate the total cost of producing and delivering the product, then add your desired profit margin.
    • Competitive Pricing: Look at what your competitors charge for similar products. You can choose to match their prices or set yours slightly higher or lower, depending on your brand positioning.
    • Value-Based Pricing: Determine how much value your customers perceive in your product and set your prices accordingly.
  3. Essential Tips for Promoting Print on Demand Products on Various Online Platforms
    • Facebook and Instagram Ads: These platforms offer targeted advertising, allowing you to reach a specific audience likely to be interested in your products.
    • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send regular updates, promotional offers, and new design announcements.
    • Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand to promote your products to their followers.
    • Content Marketing: Create relevant and engaging content (like blogs, how-to guides, or customer stories) that can attract potential customers to your website.

Selling your print on demand products requires a solid marketing strategy. By understanding your target market, setting competitive prices, and leveraging various online platforms, you can effectively promote your products and attract more customers.

Customer Service in Print on Demand Business

  1. The Importance of Customer Service When Selling Print on Demand Products
    • Building Trust: Good customer service helps build trust with your customers, making them more likely to purchase from you again and recommend your products to others.
    • Resolving Issues: Problems can arise with any business, but how you handle them can make a significant difference. Prompt and effective customer service can turn a negative situation into a positive experience.
    • Improving Retention: Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers. High-quality customer service can lead to improved customer retention.
  2. Common Customer Concerns When Buying Print on Demand Products and How to Address Them
    • Product Quality: Ensure that your products are of high quality by choosing reliable suppliers. Offer clear and accurate product descriptions and images.
    • Shipping Times: Clearly communicate shipping times and costs. If there are any delays, let your customers know as soon as possible.
    • Returns and Refunds: Have a clear and fair returns and refund policy. Ensure this policy is easy to find and understand.
    • Design Issues: Address concerns about the design’s look and quality by providing mockups and detailed product descriptions. Be ready to answer any questions about your designs.
  3. Strategies for Enhancing Customer Experience When Buying Your Print on Demand Products
    • Easy Navigation: Make your website or online store easy to navigate, with clear product categories and a straightforward checkout process.
    • Responsive Support: Provide responsive and helpful customer support. Offer multiple channels for communication, such as email, phone, and social media.
    • Personalized Experience: Personalization can enhance the customer experience. This could involve personalized product recommendations or email marketing.
    • Feedback Loop: Encourage customer feedback and make improvements based on their suggestions. This shows customers that you value their input and are dedicated to providing a better experience.

Excellent customer service is crucial to the success of your print on demand business. By addressing common customer concerns and continually striving to enhance the customer experience, you can build strong relationships with your customers and foster long-term business success.

The Future of Print on Demand Products

  1. Emerging Trends in the Print on Demand Products Industry
    • Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Products: With the increasing awareness about the environment, more customers are seeking out eco-friendly products. This is a trend that’s likely to continue, and print on demand businesses can adapt by offering sustainable options.
    • Personalization and Customization: Consumers increasingly value unique, personalized items. Print on demand businesses that offer a high degree of customization will have a competitive edge.
    • On-Demand Production for Larger Retailers: Larger retail brands are beginning to see the benefits of on-demand production, reducing overstock and waste. This trend may lead to increased opportunities for print on demand services.
  2. How Technology is Shaping the Future of Print on Demand Products
    • AI and Machine Learning: AI can help print on demand businesses forecast trends, optimize pricing, and personalize customer experiences. Additionally, machine learning can aid in design processes, creating designs based on user preferences and trends.
    • 3D Printing: This technology could potentially revolutionize the print on demand industry by enabling the creation of a wider range of products, including jewelry, toys, and home décor items.
    • Augmented Reality (AR): AR can improve the online shopping experience by allowing customers to visualize products in their own space before purchasing. This can be especially beneficial for home décor or apparel items.
  3. Predictions for the Print on Demand Products Industry in the Next Five Years
    • Growth of the Market: The print on demand industry is expected to continue growing, driven by the rise of e-commerce and consumer demand for personalized products.
    • Integration with Social Media Platforms: As social media platforms continue to integrate more e-commerce features, there will be more opportunities for print on demand businesses to sell directly through these channels.
    • More Advanced Printing Technologies: Improvements in printing technologies will lead to better quality products, faster production times, and potentially lower costs.

The future of print on demand products is exciting and dynamic. By staying ahead of emerging trends and technological advancements, businesses can position themselves for success in the coming years.


Recap of Key Points About Print on Demand Products

    • Understanding Print on Demand Products: Print on demand is a business model that allows you to sell custom items without holding inventory. Instead, products are created as orders come in and are shipped directly to the customer from the supplier.
    • Product Ideas: There are a plethora of print on demand product ideas to choose from, including T-Shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, phone cases, bags, and pillows. The best choice depends on your target audience and your brand’s unique selling proposition.
    • Designing and Selling Your Products: Effective design and marketing are key to success in the print on demand industry. Use appropriate design tools and leverage online platforms for marketing and selling your products.
    • Customer Service: Customer service is a critical aspect of any successful print on demand business. Addressing common customer concerns and providing an enhanced shopping experience can lead to repeat business and referrals.
    • Future Trends: The print on demand industry is evolving with technological advancements and changing consumer trends. Stay updated with these changes to keep your business competitive.

Encouragement for Entrepreneurs to Explore the Potential of Print on Demand Products

The print on demand industry presents a compelling opportunity for entrepreneurs. With relatively low startup costs, the flexibility to create unique, custom designs, and the convenience of drop shipping, it’s an attractive model for launching an online business.
As with any business venture, success in the print on demand industry requires research, planning, and a customer-focused approach. By understanding the market, creating appealing designs, marketing effectively, and providing exceptional customer service, you can build a successful print on demand business.
The future of the industry is promising, with technological advancements opening up new possibilities. Entrepreneurs who keep abreast of these changes and adapt accordingly can position themselves for success in the ever-evolving world of print on demand products. The journey may be challenging, but the potential rewards make it a worthwhile venture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sells well print on demand?

The best-selling print on demand products tend to be clothing items such as T-shirts and hoodies, home decor items like posters and mugs, and accessories including phone cases and bags. The key to success is creating unique, high-quality designs that appeal to a specific target audience.

Is print on demand profitable?

Print on demand can be a profitable business model, but it depends on several factors including your product selection, design quality, marketing efforts, and the pricing structure you implement. Because the print-on-demand model eliminates the need for inventory, upfront costs can be quite low which increases the potential for profit.

What is a print on demand item?

A print on demand item is a product that is produced and shipped only after a customer places an order. This means you can sell products without having to maintain inventory. Examples of print on demand items include T-shirts, mugs, posters, phone cases, and more.

How to make profit with print on demand?

Profit in print on demand comes from the difference between the cost of producing and shipping a product and the price at which you sell it. Therefore, selecting cost-effective suppliers, setting appropriate prices, creating attractive designs, and effectively marketing your products are crucial to profitability.

How do I start print on demand?

Starting a print on demand business involves several steps: identify your niche market, create or source appealing designs, select a reliable print-on-demand supplier, set up an online store, and implement effective marketing strategies to attract and retain customers.

How do I sell designs for print on demand?

To sell designs for print on demand, you'll first need to create or acquire designs that are in line with your brand and appealing to your target audience. Then, choose a print on demand service, upload your designs, decide on which products you want your designs to be printed on, and set up your online store. Promote your products through various marketing channels to attract customers and make sales.


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