Can You Make Money with Print on Demand

Print On Demand also known as ‘POD’ is a business that has been around for a while now. However, over the past few years, it has experienced exponential growth. T-shirts are known to be the most common type of merchandise in this business, however, it can also include mugs, books, jewelry, bags, or even phone cases among other items. With a few steps, you can easily create your online store and start making passive income with print on demand.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on Demand (POD) is an online business that enables you to sell your designs printed on merchandise (t-shirts, mug, sweatshirts hats, and bags) in small quantities; per order basis with the help of an e-commerce printer of goods.

As the seller, you are only required to create the designs, put a price tag on the items, and upload them to your eCommerce store. Your partner; the one offering the printing services will then be responsible for printing and shipping all orders directly to your clients.

It is somehow similar to drop shipping but easier. With this business, you do not need stock on inventory or worry about shipping.

Can you make money with Print on Demand?

You most definitely can make money with print on demand. However, if you are looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. This is not it. Making money with print on demand requires you to put in the extra effort in terms of creating unique designs and marketing.

For Example, you get a blank t-shirt and pay $8 to have your design on it. You then list it on your website at $20. When you get a client, your printing partner fulfills the order at the initial price of $8 then the remaining $12 is your profit.


There are several factors you have to consider before starting on this venture. Here are a few ways in which you can start making money with print on demand;

Creating an Ecommerce Site

Choose your service provider

At first glance, the majority of these print on demand services look the same. You, therefore, need to have a clear vision of your business to be able to select one that will suit your needs.  Things to consider include retail price, shipping, and the type of merchandise you’ll be working with.

Some known print on demand service providers include;

a)     Printful

This is a popular choice due to its diversity in products (t-shirts, pillows, calendars, mugs, towels, aprons, etc.), brands, and printing techniques (embroidery, direct to garment or cut and sew) on cloth items. It also allows for customized shipment whereby you can add custom notes to your clients. Making the client feel appreciated is in itself a good marketing strategy.

b)     Gooten

Gooten is similar to Printful in that it offers services for a wide range of products. They have a diverse list of international vendors that print their products. It is therefore likely to find that their products are cheaper and the shipping costs cheaper as well.

With the help of their highly skilled image editor, you will be provided with an accurate picture of what your final product will look like.

c)     Lulu Xpress

If you are looking to branch away from the t-shirt and hoodie prints, this is a good option for you. Lulu Xpress is known for helping you print your book products (books and eBooks). With already available downloadable templates, the designing process is a smooth flow.

d)     Printify

Yet another good option for those looking to work with diverse products. The diversity of this service provider is impressive, boasting with over 200 products available for print on demand. These include items such as jewelry, water bottles, shoes not to forget the usual t-shirt and hoodies.

Printify is available for free thought the paid version of this site offers you more advantages such as discounted prices and cheaper shipping.

e)     Teespring

This is among the most competitive companies. Teespring offer print on demand services to a wide range of products (décor, t-shirts, mugs, calendars, hoodies, and pillows). Their interface is easy to use whereby you can browse for a variety of products based on interests, age, or even location.

Like many other sites with similar services, Teespring does offer drop shipping services to your customers’ location.

Decide on your business niche

When going into business, it is always advisable to go into something that you are passionate about or that you are quite knowledgeable on. Decide on what ideas you like best, this will make your work easy in the long run and help you stand out among your competitors.

The print-on-demand market may however be quite dynamic at times. Therefore, if you are into trends and can be sure of quick production, you can choose to curve out a niche from whatever is trending.

When creating designs, you should strive to be very creative. Give potential clients a reason to choose your products over any other. If you decide to go into the t-shirt printing, make sure your slogans are catchy and witty.

If you are an artist looking to print your art. There are several sites online that will be helpful with the editing example; Canva. Utilize these to make sure you get the best graphic representation for your artwork. If you are not good at doing editing, you can always hire a freelance graphic designer to help you with that.

Make money with print-on-demand on your site

You already have your designs in place and have yourself a service provider. The next logical step is to get yourself a platform to showcase the products you are offering. Many entrepreneurs starting on this venture usually start selling on their social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook before they can fully develop their eCommerce stores.

Having your eCommerce store hosted on a platform is going to be an integral aspect of your business. This is because it will provide a smooth process of making and fulfilling orders. Examples of such great platforms include Ecwid and Shopify. After creating an online store, then you can have it linked to a service provider of your choice, for instance, Printify. All your orders will then be automatically submitted to the print on demand service provider for them to be fulfilled.

Another option is to create a website with a platform such as WordPress. With this in place, you will only then need to install eCommerce plugins on your site.  If you want to make money with print on demand, then take your time establishing your eCommerce store. A store with an easy to use interface is crucial to the success of your business. Nobody likes a complicated and disorganized store, especially when shopping online. Start Selling

Start Selling

Upload your first product on your eCommerce store. With everything inset, you are ready to start making money with your print on demand business.

With online stores, your clients will decide to purchase or not to purchase based on the product description and presentation.  As the seller, you need to upload good quality photos that attract the clients. Alongside this, a detailed description of the product goes a long way in helping the client get what is best for them.

Ensure to include accurate sizes of the products, colors, fabric information, etc. Since print on demand products are based on slogans and art; give your clients the story behind the art or the slogan. This makes the products more likable.

Lastly, do not forget to market your products. Tell friends to tell their friends. Market on your social media platforms.


  • You have full control of your business.
  • The customers you get are yours hence you can build a relationship with them by building an email list.
  • The profit margins are larger for sales made.
  • You have more options for print service providers.


  • It is expensive and time-consuming to set up and run an eCommerce store
  • You start marketing your products from scratch hence it can be tedious
  • You have little to no organic traffic hence you have to build towards that
  •  It is more technical and tasking than any other option

List your products on Global Marketplaces

This is a great option for those looking to make money from print on demand without having to do all the work of creating a site and marketing.

This is a straightforward option of making money with print on demand. You will first need to select a print on demand service provider then you can list your products on already established eCommerce stores such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy.

The main advantage of this option is that the sites already have huge organic traffic hence making sales is faster. If you are a beginner testing out the waters of print on demand. This is a good way to go about making money with print on demand with no startup cost. You only need to create a seller account. The rest is fully automated on most sites.


  • Ready market
  • Easy marketing
  • No startup costs


  • A certain percentage of the sale is cut as hosting fees
  • Seller does not own the customer
  • Orders are paid for upfront

Uploading Designs on Print on Demand Platforms

Yet another simple option to make passive income with print on demand. This option is great for someone only interested in creating designs. The market for this is very saturated and competitive hence as a designer, you will need to ensure your designs are top-notch and offer a variety of options.

With this option, you are only required to create a design then upload it on such a platform. Whenever your design sells, you are paid a royalty fee. To get you started, you need to create an account on a print on demand platform then you can start uploading designs.

Popular print on demand marketplaces include; Teespring, Society6, Zazzle, and Redbubble amongst others.

The advantage of using this option is that it is 100% passive income. You are at no point required to deal with the clients and require no startup costs. The disadvantage is that the market is very saturated, as such there are very strict rules on content. With the saturation of the market, there is also a lot of stealing of content and designs

How to make the most from Print on Demand Business

•       Get into a specific niche. Having a specific target market is a guaranteed way to convert views into sales.

•       Be active on social media. People spend most of their time online. Create a website, start writing a blog. Be keen on keywords to drive traffic to your site.

•       Communicate effectively with your clients. An effective two-way conversation is a sure way to get yourself a loyal following hence creating a community in the long run. This can be done by asking for reviews from your clients after they purchase a product. You can also ask for their opinion about a design you are working on. Get your followers involved.

•       Have special days where you offer discounted prices for your products. Offer gift vouchers to your clients, this will encourage them to purchase more.

•       Increase your visibility by running ads. This will help to market your business to many people who might turn to be customers. You can run ads on sites where people spend the most time such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube videos. 

In Conclusion

You now have a better understanding of how you can make money with print on demand. The method you choose to start with your business is very crucial however, you cannot learn without starting from somewhere.

There is no limit to the money you can make with selling your custom designs. It all depends on how well you market your products, the quality of the products, and how reliable you are. The best thing about print on demand business is that it can be run throughout the year; unless the items you are selling are seasonal. Even so, you can capitalize on that seasonality by making unique items that will be on demand.