If you’re thinking of joining the eCommerce industry, selling print-on-demand (POD) products is one of the best ways to start. What are the benefits, you ask?
With print on demand, you only have to upload your designs or artwork to the POD site (the provider’s platform), choose the products that you want to sell using your designs, and market them to your network or use paid ads. Some POD companies have options to integrate your eCommerce stores from platforms, such as Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and Wix eCommerce. The integration process is often straightforward, so you’ll get the hang of it quickly, even as a beginner.
You don’t have to maintain an inventory, and there’s plenty of product options to choose from and sell on your online store. When the order comes in, the print on demand company that you choose will handle the fulfillment and the shipping to the end customers.
When it comes to how much you’ll earn, which we know is quite important, you have control over it as well. Each POD company has base costs for printing the product, plus the shipping fees. Considering these, you can set the retail price based on the profit margin that you want. Whatever’s left after paying the fulfillment costs is yours.
Now, it can be overwhelming to decide which products to sell. You might be thinking of printed t-shirts, but the market for that has become saturated already. You’ll have to face tough competition in that niche. Alternatively, you can turn to other unique print on demand products to kick off your eCommerce business.
Let’s explore some more uncommon ideas for the best print on demand products you can consider when you want to start your eCommerce business.
Table of Contents
- Pet Products
- Shower Curtains
- Throw Pillows
- Phone Cases
- Tote Bags
- Drawstring Bags
- Cosmetic Bags
- Coffee Mugs
- Bath Mats
- Duvet Covers
- Yoga Mats
- How to Choose the Best Print on Demand Products
- What to Consider When Choosing the Right Company for Print on Demand Products
- How to Run a Successful Print on Demand Business
- What Can You Print on Demand Summary
The coronavirus pandemic has made face masks a necessity—and fashionable. There are two types of face coverings you can sell: face masks and neck gaiters. They’re made of washable and reusable fabrics, usually polyester and cotton. The base cost starts at $14 and you can sell them up to around $20.
Some POD companies you can use for print on demand masks are:
We’ve recently written a review on the best POD service providers for face masks, which you can check out here. We picked Redbubble among the four companies we reviewed as our top choice, given that you don’t have to spend a single cent to start selling there.
People want to add their personality and individuality to jewelry that they wear or give to others, so pendants are also in-demand. Research shows that the online jewelry market is experiencing tremendous growth, driven by online marketing trends, including the use of social media. The base cost starts at $5 and you can sell them up to around $35.
Some POD services that make print on demand pendants are:
3. Pet Products
There’s a huge demand for pet products, and this holiday season, pet-related gifts are on the top of people’s shopping list. In 2019 alone, people spent $95.7 billion on pet products, and that’s expected to grow to $99 billion this year. The base cost varies per product type.
The top-selling print on demand pet products include:
- ID tags
- Food and water bowls
Some POD services you can use for print on demand pet products are:
Leggings became a trend because they’re comfortable for working out or just hanging out around the house. Leggings have gone beyond plain colors—print designs prevent them from being boring! Printing cost starts at $18, and you can sell them for up to $60.
Here are the POD services for print on demand leggings:
5. Shower Curtains
Customized shower curtains add more personality and individuality to home designs. Many consumers love shower curtains with designs to complete their dream bathroom or feature their own artwork. The base cost of a shower curtain is around $35. You can sell them for around $50, even up to $75.
You can check out the following POD services for print on demand shower curtains:
Doormats are a necessity, both indoors and outdoors as they filter dirt off the shoes of someone coming home. The base cost of print on demand doormats ranges from $12 to $20. The selling price can be around $35.
Here are some POD services for print on demand doormats:
7. Throw Pillows
Throw pillows can also be profitable since they’re a popular home décor for the bedroom, living room, and lounge area. You can sell the throw pillow cover only or with the inner pillow too. The base cost of print on demand throw pillows ranges from $9 to $17. You can sell them for $25 to $40.
Some POD services for print on demand throw pillows are as follows:
8. Phone Cases
Almost everyone has a phone today, and phone cases aren’t just protection for your device. They’ve become a fashion statement too. That said, it’s not surprising that phone cases are best-sellers. The base cost is between $8 and $15 and the selling price can be between $20 and $30.
Some POD services you can check out for print on demand phone cases are:
9. Tote Bags
Tote bags are another best-seller. They’re particularly easy to customize and can appeal to different types of shoppers. Canvas tote bags became popular as people become more conscious of using reusable bags for shopping. Printing costs range from $10 to $25. You can sell them for around $35.
You can get print on demand tote bags from the following companies:
10. Drawstring Bags
Drawstring bags are trending POD products, especially for those looking for reusable bags. Adding these to your store, along with tote bags, will give your customers more options. It costs $12 to $27 to print. You can sell them for around $30 to $35.
Here are some POD services for print on demand drawstring bags:
11. Cosmetic Bags
When you sell cosmetic bags or pouches, you can cover multiple niche markets, such as travel and accessories, in addition to the cosmetics market. They’re practical for consumers, and you can create several variations in your store. The base cost ranges from $6 to $12 on average, and you can sell them for $12 to $15.
You can check the following service providers for print on demand cosmetic pouches:
Print on demand neckties are trending products these days and many merchants have fun designing them. If you’re looking for creative additions to your store, ties are the way to go. It costs an average of $11 to print. You can sell them for $20 to $30.
These are the POD service providers you can turn to for print on demand ties:
There’s always a demand for scarves, especially for people who often travel to colder regions. They’re also a fashion accessory for many consumers, so you don’t have to worry about getting interest in it. The base cost starts at $10 and the selling price ranges from $20 to $35.
You can have your print on demand scarves printed by the following POD services:
14. Coffee Mugs
Almost 50% of Americans aged 18 to 24 and 70% of seniors are coffee drinkers. Coffee mugs are always a perfect gift for these demographics, so you don’t have to worry about getting demand for coffee mugs. They’ve proven to be best-sellers and base cost starts at only $3.75. You can sell them for $10 to $15.
Some POD services you can try for print on demand coffee mugs are:
Bath towels don’t have to be plain and boring! Bath towels are trending print on demand products and can appeal to a range of shoppers. They’re a home essential, so there’s always a demand for them. Beach towels and dish and tea towels are also popular. The base cost of fulfillment starts at $20. You can sell them for $25 to $40.
Here are some POD services to check out for print on demand towels:
16. Bath Mats
Bath mats are another home essential. You can design them to match bath towels and shower curtains, which will be a great bundle to offer. The base cost ranges from $12 to $25, and you can sell them for $20 to $40.
Here are a few POD services that fulfill print on demand bath mats:
17. Duvet Covers
A duvet is a protective cover for the comforter. There’s a lot of flexibility in designing them, whether you love quotes, patterns, or abstract designs. Duvet covers are perfect to partner with pillowcases. The base cost ranges from $35 to $70. The selling price can be around $95 to $120.
You can check the following POD services for customized print on demand duvet covers:
18. Yoga Mats
Yoga is one of the top trending fitness workouts. The US alone is expected to have 55 million yoga participants this 2020. But yoga mats are not limited to yoga use. In short, there’s a huge market for yoga mats, not to mention that they’re a versatile material with plenty of design opportunities. The base cost starts at $42, and you can sell them for around $80.
Here are some POD services that create print on demand yoga mats:
There’s always a market for office supplies and stationery, and journals have been a trending print on demand product in recent years. One thing to note, though, is you have to extend your creativity as the competition for journals is quite stiff. The base cost starts at $7.50. You can sell them from $15 to $20.
You can check the following POD service providers for print on demand journals:
You might commonly see them among athletes, but visors have become popular to regular consumers too as a fashionable and practical item when going outdoors. Printing cost starts at $16 and the selling price can be $21 to $25.
You can find print on demand visors from the following POD service providers:
Customized shoes are top sellers too. From sneakers to canvas boots to running shoes and high heels, you have a variety to design and offer. A report says that custom shoes account for 25% of all footwear sold online. The base cost starts at around $30, and you can sell them for around $50 to $70.
Here’s where you can get print on demand shoes:
How to Choose the Best Print on Demand Products
Choosing the right print on demand products to sell is key to the success of your eCommerce business. The competition in the eCommerce industry is stiff, so you need to stand out and position yourself as a reputable brand. Picking a niche will help increase your visibility and allow you to target a specific audience segment.
So, how do you unlock the right print on demand product niche for you? Here are some tips:
Brainstorm on potential products to sell
Think about the interests and hobbies you have, your professional experience, what products you actually buy and use, and what products you want to own yourself.
Study the trends for print on demand products.
While your passion matters, it’s also important that the product you’re considering to sell still has enough interest so that you’ll earn good profits. Study the trends and see if there’s a demand for the product niche you want. No demand means no profits! Check the best-seller list in Amazon, Shopify, and other marketplaces to get an idea.
Create a customer avatar
Targeting a general audience will make you end up with no customer at all. So, you need to create the ideal customer to market so that you can streamline your marketing strategies, messaging, and designs. Consider their age range, gender, occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, and personalities.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Company for Print on Demand Product
Aside from choosing the print on demand product niches you want to start with for your eCommerce store, it’s also crucial to pick the right print on demand company to fulfill your products. Here are some things to consider when choosing a printing partner:
How is the quality of their products?
You need to ensure that the POD service provider you pick produces high-quality products that your customers will like. You can check feedback and reviews about them online and through social proof. Shopify app reviews are one of the best places to start. You can also look for the details of their return rate—lower return rates mean customers are mostly satisfied with the products they received.
Do they have a wide product range?
While you may want to start with one product first, the natural way of business is to grow and expand. So, choosing a printing partner that has a wide range of products to offer is a good thing. Also, if you want to offer bundles, such as pillows and duvet covers, or shower curtains and bath mats, it’s best to get them from the same POD company.
What is their pricing structure?
Some printing companies will charge you upfront with the base cost of the product before they begin with the fulfillment. Some will only charge you once the products have been shipped or as soon as they receive the payment from the end customer. Choose what works best for you.
How fast is their shipping?
As soon as your customers get their orders, the more they’re satisfied with your store. Some companies can prepare the order for shipping within two days, while others take four to five days.
Do they offer personalization options?
Many customers love customizing the products they will order, so it’s best to partner with a printing company that can provide that option. Some POD services also allow end customers to upload their own designs.
Do they allow eCommerce platform integrations?
Some POD companies can be integrated with your online store from Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce and so on. Others allow you to sell through their site only. Choose which one you prefer.
Is there 24/7 customer service?
Most POD companies don’t handle the end customer service for you, but they should have 24/7 merchant support available to help you.
Where are their fulfillment centers located?
It’s best to choose a POD company with fulfillment centers near you or your target market. This affects how fast the products can reach your customers. For example, if you’re selling in the US, it’s best to work with a US-based POD company.
How to Run a Successful Print on Demand Business
Running a business, in general, is no easy feat. But by taking the right steps, you can make yours a successful one. Here are some tips on how to succeed in your POD business.
Commit time and effort
POD business is not as simple as setting your online storefront and waiting for success to come immediately. You also need to dedicate time to creating designs, marketing your products, and handling customer service. There’s no shortcut or overnight miracle here.
Avoid selling generic designs
With tough competition, you need to stand out and make your brand recognizable. Generic designs won’t cut it. Instead, you need to be a little more creative and focus on a niche.
Create your own store policies
If you’re not careful, your customers could return the products for just any reason. So, make sure that you’ve clearly written what your customers can expect in terms of shipping, returns, privacy, and so on. You may also have to include important disclaimers.
Gather reviews from customers
Most customers will only checkout their carts after reading reviews online. So, make sure that you build relationships with your customers and ask them to leave feedback on your store. Reach out to your customers and ask them how the products were. That will help build your reputation and convince more customers to complete their purchases.
Make sure everything is ready before you spend on paid ads
Paid ads can help you reach more audience and drive more traffic to your site. But doing it prematurely, when your store is not fully ready, can deter customers. You’ll end up losing money instead of gaining customers.
Seek help when necessary
You might be tempted to be a one-man team, but it’s not always easy to run a business alone. You may be good at designs, but are you also experienced in marketing? Consider hiring a marketing assistant who can help you drive more sales.
What Can You Print on Demand Summary
Joining the growing eCommerce industry, even without experience, is easier with print on demand products. When you sign up with a POD service, fulfillment and shipment of the products will be taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about keeping an inventory, producing the actual products yourself, packaging them, and shipping them to customers.
Instead, you can focus on managing your store, promoting your products to reach your target market, and building your relationships with your customers.
Choosing the right product is key to successful print on demand stores, so you have to think about it thoroughly. Consider the list above to help find the right products to sell and sign up for a POD service.
We have put together reviews of some of the best POD companies to help you get started: