How To Start Print On Demand Business?

If you're looking for information on how to start print on demand business, there are three essential parts that you need to have in place.

This includes:

  • That platform you'll sell on (Eg. Etsy, Shopify, etc.). We will focus on Etsy.
  • Product research and choosing your POD partner (Eg. Printify, Printful, etc.)
  • Designing and listing your products

In this Etsy print on demand tutorial, I'll guide you through the exact steps you need to take to create a profitable POD business from scratch.

Is Print on Demand Easy?

Print on demand is a relatively easy business model to start and operate. All you need to do is create the designs and listings for products, such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and phone cases.

And, you don't have to handle the manufacturing, shipping, or printing yourself.

Instead, the manufacturing partner or your POD provider like Printful and Printify you're associated with take care of all the work.

This allows you to focus on creating amazing designs and new listings, while they handle the production and fulfillment.

One can say - POD business model in "passive income".

And, that passive nature of print on demand makes it an attractive side business.

Although you have to put in some upfront work, the products you create can continue to sell year after year without requiring much additional effort.

This scalability sets print on demand apart from traditional manufacturing, where you would be limited by how many products you could create in a day.

With print on demand, you can create thousands of listings and handle a high volume of orders without being overwhelmed.

Is A Print On Demand Business Profitable Business?

Yes, a Print On Demand business has the potential to be profitable. The key to success lies in finding the right product category, marketing it, and the pricing strategy - that will resonate with your audience.

There are several platforms you can consider for selling your print on demand products.

Amazon Merch, Etsy integrated with Printify, and Redbubble are three popular options.

In terms of profitability, t-shirts and hoodies tend to be the most popular product in the print on demand industry. This can increase your chances of making sales.

But, an important point to note here is - being a popular product category also attracts competition with it.

So, in the POD business, if you aspire to become profitable, you'll need to distinguish yourself in terms of designs, marketing strategies, pricing, and customer service.

Conducting thorough research to identify trending niches and products with high demand but low competition is important before launching any product designs.

More importantly, choosing the right platform to launch your business and your POD provider can determine your brand loyalty in the long term.

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Can I Start a Print on Demand Business with No Money?

Starting a print on demand business without any money may be challenging, but it's not impossible.

But, keep in mind, that once you receive customer orders - you'll need some capital to fulfill them.

And, while there are costs involved, such as design tools and research tools, there are also free alternatives available.

How To Start Your POD Business - Step By Step

These are the exact steps you need to take to create a thriving print on demand business from scratch.

Choosing The Right Print On Demand Sites

The first step is to decide where you want to open your online store.

Amazon Merch is a huge e-commerce platform with a lot of traffic, making it an excellent place to make sales. However, getting accepted onto Amazon Merch can be challenging due to its exclusive application process.

Etsy, on the other hand, allows you to sell a variety of products and can be integrated with print manufacturers like Printify for a more passive experience.

Redbubble is another platform that offers name recognition and takes care of customer service and other tasks, allowing you to focus on creating designs.

Pro Tip: Diversifying your presence across multiple platforms can increase your chances of making sales.

Each platform attracts different customers, so by listing your products on multiple sites, you can reach a wider audience. This strategy also helps you discover which platforms perform best for your specific products.

Etsy Print On Demand Partners

Let's review the top supplier and processing partner for your online store. Whether you're interested in unique products, affordable pricing, or quick shipping, this list covers everything.

WC Fulfillment

WC Fulfillment is a POD company that offers wide range of high-quality products. Starting from unique POD things like watches, skateboards for wall decor, to common merch like hoodies - they offer it all.

WC Fulfillment is known well for their competitive pricing and affordable shipping costs - which makes them easier to sell.

However, it's worth noting that some users have reported issues with their customer service, and they ship from China, which may result in longer delivery times.

My Easy Monogram

My Easy Monogram is your supplier ff you're looking for unique print-on-demand metal signs. They specialize in customizable metal signs available in different colors and finishes - and the quality of their designs is top-notch.

However, drawbacks include - you cannot create your own designs and have to choose from their repository of premade designs. Additionally, one could find their selection limited.

Please note - right not this is only available for Shopify stores.


Printify is one of the best print-on-demand company that offers an extensive selection of products

What makes Printify special is their vast network of suppliers worldwide. This allows you to find suppliers based in specific regions, making it easier to cater to different markets. They have a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices.

However, some users have reported higher shipping costs for certain items. Additionally, due to the large number of suppliers, customer support may sometimes be challenging.

Overall, Printify is a popular choice for Etsy sellers - especially beginners, looking for a diverse range of print-on-demand products.

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Tee-Launch Print on Demand

Tee-Launch offers a unique selection of products that you won't find elsewhere.

Selling necklaces or Apple watch bands? You'll get those on Tee-Launch.

What about baby swaddle blankets and sports balls? Yepp, they are available on Tee-Launch.

One of the significant advantages of Tee-Launch is that their products are fulfilled in the United States, ensuring quicker shipping times for customers.

While they have received some negative feedback regarding customer service during busy times, their product quality and selection make them a compelling choice for Etsy sellers.


ShineOn offers print-on-demand jewelry. If you are looking to sell highly customizable jewelry items - Shine On is a top notch supplier. They also offer message card items, engravable watches, and dog tags.

While their jewelry may not be high-end luxury items, they are of good quality and reasonably priced. Shine On is known for its excellent customer support and quick response times.

Pillow Profits

Pillow Profits offers, as their name suggests, an extensive catalog of products, ranging from shoes and car accessories to blankets and bedding.

They provide a wide variety of high-quality products at competitive prices. While they are based in China, which may result in longer shipping times, their product selection and affordable pricing make them a popular choice among Etsy sellers.

It's important to note that Pillow Profits requires a monthly subscription fee of $29, which may be a factor to consider when deciding on a print-on-demand partner.


Don't like Printify or Printful for their limited print area? We have a solution for you.

Subliminator specialize in all-over printed items, including T-shirts, leggings, hoodies, and more. Their print quality is exceptional.

Subliminator is also known for its responsive customer support and the inclusion of shipping costs in their product prices - voila!

But, remember, their standard shipping may take longer due to their China-based operations. So, you may want to opt for their express shipping option for faster delivery.

Choosing The Right Design Tools - Canva for Print On Demand

Designing amazing products is the key to success when it comes to POD business.

For design software, platforms like Canva and Krita offer free options that can help you create professional-looking designs.

Canva is known for its simplicity and ease of use, while Krita provides more advanced features and templates.

Both platforms have in-build elements and assets, such as fonts and graphics, that you can use without having to purchase additional resources.

However, investing in a paid design tool can improve the quality of your designs plus increase your productivity.

Choosing The Right Product Research Tools

But, before you unleash your creativity and spend resources on designing your products - another important aspect of the POD business is conducting thorough product research before launching them.

If no one is searching for what you are selling you are bound to make no sales.

There are free methods available, such as monitoring Google Trends and staying updated with your niche - by watching videos, and following chats in communities like Facebook groups, Reddit, or Quora.

But, remember, these methods require time and effort.

So, investing in research tools like Merch Informer, Sale Samurai, eRank can save you time and help you make more informed decisions.

These tools provide data on product trends, competition levels, and keyword optimization, allowing you to identify profitable niches and optimize your listings for better visibility.

FAQ - Frequently Asked questions

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Print On Demand Business?

The cost to start a print on demand business can vary depending on whether you are a beginner or an advanced seller.

For beginners, it is possible to start a print on demand business entirely for free. The essential steps, such as niche research, creating merch quotes and designs, checking for trademark protection, and uploading to print on demand websites like Printful or Printify, can all be done without spending any money.

Additionally, research tools like EtsyHunt and Alura can be used for free too.

However, if you want to take your print on demand business to the next level and have some money to invest in paid tools, there are options available. For example, Alura is a tool that helps with in-depth niche research and shop analysis to help you find low competition high volume niches, with inbuilt email automation for Etsy. This can help you quickly scale up your store bringing in higher monthly revenue.

Final Thoughts

While starting a print on demand business with no money may be challenging, leveraging free resources and gradually investing in tools can help you build a successful business over time.

And, if you aspire to launch a profitable Print on Demand business - be sure to choose the right platforms, conduct thorough product research, and learn the marketing strategies to reach a massive audience that will be interested in your product.

Further Resources We Recommend

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