After a few years of cementing our status as the best Design platform for Merch sellers, here at Vexels we thought it was a good time to address both new and experienced sellers with a series of blog posts on selling t-shirts online, as well as other products, as the Print-on-demand business keeps growing and changing at a fast pace.
A lot of people come to us looking for t-shirt designs, and we understand there are still many who are just getting started and don’t know much about the biz. This is the perfect article for them.
There are a bunch of sellers who are selling well into the 4-digit range who have grown their business using our graphics as well, and for them, future posts will surely be more helpful.
To kick things off, in this article we’ll start from the very start and answer what Print-on-demand is and how to start your print-on-demand business.
What is Print-on-demand? 👕
Print-on-demand (POD) is a printing technology and business model in which Products like t-shirts and pillows are printed and shipped when the printing company receives the order. This allows for custom amounts, ranging from single items to large volumes of products.
Why is it a good way to start an Online Business? 👕
The Print-on-demand business has few and low-entry level barriers, with all of the major POD platforms being free to use, and Designs being easier to get than any time before.
Also, you can be on as many platforms as you want, further expanding your revenue channels.
What is the best Print-on-demand site? 👕
There are plenty of print-on-demand platforms to choose from, all of which have different characteristics that make them unique.
Let’s quickly check upon a few of the biggest ones and let you decide:
This is the largest and most popular POD platform, where you sell directly to the Amazon community.
MBA is a much more keyword-driven platform, where designs are more geared towards quotes, funny jokes, and popular products.
Signing up may take a few days, weeks, or even months since they manually review every application to the program.
The Australian-based platform is highly popular for its awesome designs and extended product portfolio, which far surpasses that of Merch by Amazon.
In this platform, artistic designs and illustrations are preferred.
Signing up is free and you can start uploading products right away.
The German company is really big in Europe and it’s only getting larger.
They allow users to sell on their Marketplace as well as create custom orders for their own business platforms.
Another big print-on-demand platform with printing facilities both in Europe and North America, they are a great option if you are choosing to run your own online business on platforms like Shopify, or marketplaces like Etsy.
If you’re not much of a designer or illustrator, we’d recommend you going with Merch by Amazon.
If you have a knack for the Graphic Arts, maybe platforms like Redbubble and Spreadshirt can yield bigger royalties per product and more variety.
All in all, you can take part in any and all the print-on-demand platforms you wish.
Is Print-on-demand still profitable?
There was never a doubt Print-on-demand is a profitable business, and reliable sources confirm this business isn’t going away anytime soon.
It’s important to note that POD isn’t a “make money online fast” fad, and many people churn out due to frustration or realizing it wasn’t an easy job to begin with.
For most Merchers, POD takes time, and while detrimental to some people, it has proven to be a solid way of making a living outside the 9-to-5.
Royalty margins tend to be really low at first, in order to help your products make sales, but once you gain authority, your prices can go as high as your selling data allows you.
All in all, POD is a profitable business, when handled correctly!
Quick Tip: if you don’t have much experience with T-shirt Design, you can try out our T-shirt Design Templates straight from our T-shirt Maker. Give it a go, it’s free!
Launch Vexels T-shirt Maker here 🔥
Is Print-on-demand Dropshipping? 👕
Although very similar, Print-on-demand is not the same as Dropshipping, here are some of the main differences:
- In POD, you must have the design yourself and supply it to the manufacturer platform
- In Dropshipping, you pick products that are already created from a manufacturer or a marketplace
In Dropshipping, you have a store of your own where you offer products from third-party suppliers, and you rely on their fulfillment and shipping services to get the product to your customers. In this model you don’t take part in anything related to the product itself, you just have the store and market it. Also, in this model, you have to usually build your audience from zero.
In POD, you have the entire creative power over your products (your designs), and usually you automatically start selling on an already-established platform (like Amazon or Redbubble). This also makes you dependent on whether the platform has products or not available at the moment; considering the sheer size of them, this isn’t usually a concern.
Which one is for you? That’s entirely up to you!
If you like designing t-shirts yourself, then POD is the way to go. If you are a power Marketer and have your ways of building audiences and websites, then the Dropshipping path might be the right for you.
Let us know what you decide!
Does Amazon do Print-on-demand? 👕
This is a very popular question, and the answer is Yes!
Back in 2015, Amazon launched the Merch by Amazon program, which started with a handful of apparel products.
Today, they’re the largest platform with the biggest audience out there, and year after year they expand into new markets and products.
Vexels’ t-shirt designs are made specifically for this market, with transparent PNGs ready to be uploaded for t-shirts and other MBA products.
I’m from [your-country], can I sell on PODs?
Print-on-demand is a business that’s booming in multiple parts of the globe, especially in the US and Germany, with many other printing companies based in India, Canada, Australia, and the UK all taking part in the POD business.
In short, yes!
How do I start?
Don’t overthink it: pick a platform and go with it!
Like we mentioned earlier, POD is a business with really low entry-level requirements and considerably low risk: you are not required to maintain a printing facility, and you don’t have to take care of anything else other than doing your research for designs, create them and upload them.
Don’t be fooled by how easy it seems, as doing research and good design usually takes time.
Fortunately enough, there are platforms and services that are meant to help you save time and money with your Designs for POD. Like Vexels ✨
Are you considering starting a POD business? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see to help you out!