It’s a question we always get asked: “Where should I sell my t-shirts?” Here are our top five websites to get started with print-on-demand.
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When it comes to print-on-demand, the website you choose to list and sell your items is a big deal.
This choice will affect a number of things, from store management to fulfilment methods and even your potential earnings.
To help you make a right decision, here are our top 5 websites to earn money with print-on-demand.
Let’s dive in.
Redbubble is an online marketplace where anyone can list and sell their own custom products.
On RedBubble, you don’t need to package and ship customer orders. Thankfully, RedBubble has its own production team that fulfills every order placed on their site.
After a customer purchases, say, a t-shirt, RedBubble is immediately notified. They then start the fulfilment process, which involves:
- Printing your custom design onto the custom merchandise
- Packaging the order
- Shipping the order to the customer’s address
As you can see, being a seller on RedBubble is pretty hands-off. You don’t have to waste time shipping orders from home, and you don’t need to purchase your inventory. This allows you to just focus on creating top-selling designs.
How you get paid is also very straightforward.
When RedBubble fulfills your order, they deduct a certain amount from the sale. This amount is to cover the cost of your merch, fulfilment and selling fees.
What’s remaining (profit) is then transferred to your bank account in the form of a commission. As of right now, RedBubble rewards you with a 20% commission for each sale.
Another perk to being a seller on RedBubble is that you don’t need to market your store.
You see, RedBubble is what you’d refer to as a “destination” site. Destination sites attract visitors who already have a definitive goal prior to landing on the site.
For example, when most people visit Amazon, they already have an idea of what they want to purchase. So, they simply type into the search bar to find what they are looking for. RedBubble works the same way, the only difference being they specialise in selling custom merchandise.
Because these sites are widely popular, they already attract a vast amount of visitors. Because of this advantage, you don’t need to acquire customers through methods like paid advertising. RedBubble already attracts a very large audience you can leverage from the get-go.
Most sellers on RedBubble make money through organic traffic. This is traffic who naturally find your listing through the search results.
Therefore, ranking high in the search results, is a matter of how well you optimize your listing for specific search keywords. For example, if you sold a t-shirt targeted at engineers, “funny engineer t-shirt” may be considered a good keyword to rank for.
Best of all, you can get started on RedBubble for free. Once you sign up, you can immediately start to list and sell your own custom products.
To learn more about RedBubble, check out our tutorial video that shows you how to get started with RedBubble using your phone.
Etsy is another online marketplace where you can buy and sell goods. Here, the focus is to sell handmade goods (custom products fall under this bracket), rather than normal retail goods.
Each year, selling on here is becoming more and more lucrative. In 2019 alone, they had a buying population of over 45 million people.
Etsy is also considered a destination site. Visitors do a search, then the search results display the listings that rank (from highest to lowest) for the keyword typed into the search bar.
However, unlike RedBubble, Etsy isn’t fortunate enough to have its own production team. As an alternative, you can integrate your Etsy shop with a production company app like Printful. Printful is a print-on-demand service that can print custom designs and have them fulfilled on your behalf. Once integrated with your shop, when someone purchases your product, Printful’s production team is notified to start the fulfilment process.
However, there is a slight catch. As a new seller, you won’t receive any earned funds until days after a transaction. Despite this, Printful still requires that you pay a fulfillment fee before they start the fulfillment process. This means that, while you wait for these funds to be received, those charges will have to be an out-of-pocket expense. To tide you over this period, we recommend having a minimum of $300 on a debit or credit card.
Recommend article: 5 Etsy print-on-demand stores that made over $100,000
TeeSpring almost shares the same features as RedBubble. It’s free, you don’t need a credit card, and they own their own production company.
The only difference is that TeeSpring doesn’t reward you with organic traffic. Instead, you’re the one responsible for driving visitors to your store.
This means that, in addition to creating your own designs, you need to find a method of driving traffic to your store. This might be through paid social ads, social media marketing or even search engine optimization (SEO).
Take the above as a clear example. Their store is dedicated to engineers. To drive traffic to their store, they made a Facebook page that regularly posts funny memes targeted at engineers. Over time, they have built a large following which they can now market their t-shirts to.
So, if you’re considering TeeSpring, it’s worth thinking about how you aim to drive visitors to your store. While creating a niche page on social media, there are other methods which are just as effective.
Recommended article: 5 best print-on-demand t-shirts sold on TeeSpring
If you have money to invest, then this could be an ideal option.
Shopify is an online platform that allows you to build your own ecommerce website.
The biggest benefit of having your own online store (as opposed to being a third-party seller) is that you have complete control of the buyer experience.
- You can create your own domain and website.
- You can choose your designs and product images
- You can make repeat purchases through email marketing
- You can up-sell and cross-sell customers to other products in your store
- You can set your own prices
- And can you take home all the profits!
One other benefit is that, just like Etsy, Shopify integrates with Printful where the exact same fulfilment process is carried out each time an order is placed.
While building your own store evidently requires more effort than signing up to an online marketplace, the long-term rewards are worth it. (Plus, if you’re smart, you can also list and sell your own designs on other websites to make even more sales!)
However, there is a cost to creating a website. A domain will cost you $14/year, while Shopify charges you $29/month to host your website. This is relatively affordable, and practically pays for itself once your store starts to generate consistent sales.
If you want to learn more about creating your own print-on-demand store on Shopify, we highly recommend you watch this video Sarah created.
5) Merch by Amazon.
So, we’ve all heard of Amazon. But did you also know they have a print-on-demand website?
Merch by Amazon works a lot like RedBubble and TeeSpring. When you list a t-shirt and someone places an order, Amazon will print, package and ship it out to the customer. This whole process happens at their production warehouse.
Because Amazon attracts millions of visitors per day, you don’t have to market your own products outside of Amazon. You can solely profit from their organic traffic alone.
Although there aren’t any fees to get started, you first need to submit an application before you’re eligible to sell.
Once accepted, creating and uploading products on here is easy. All you need to do is upload a piece of artwork onto their app. Then customise the features of your product, such as the size, price, product title and description. Then, list it for sale on their site!
The process of getting paid is similar to RedBubble. After Amazon deduct all of their fees, the remaining profit is paid out as a commission to your bank account. Again, this is a great way to get started if you’re strapped for cash.
Recommend article: 5 free ways to make money online even if you’re broke
The Bottom Line
In today’s world, starting a print-on-demand store has never been easier.
There are free online marketplaces like RedBubble or Etsy where you can sign up for free and sell your own custom products.
Or, if you want more control over your online store, you can opt for websites like Shopify that allow you to create your own store.
Regardless of age, experience, location, or financial circumstances, anyone can start a print-on-demand business.