Following are my reviews of print on demand selling platforms I have tried.
It is by no means exhaustive, but I will continue to share my findings as I explore further. For now, these are most of the print on demand platforms that I have used myself since I began my research in August/September 2018. Feel free to leave a comment below regarding your own experience with these or other platforms. I would love to hear from you.
Print on Demand Selling Platforms
RedBubble is one of my very favorite platforms for designing, and was where I first discovered a passion for designing for clothing, dresses, skirts, and leggings in particular. All of your artwork is placed on multiple products as soon as you upload your file. From there, you can edit each product individually with a platform that allows you to scale your artwork and also enable repeating patterns on each product separately. This makes it easy to enable the maximum possible number of products for each design, thereby increasing your chances of making a sale.
At least in theory.
With over 600,000 other artists on the platform, you’ll need to do some fierce marketing in order to stand out. RedBubble does offer a number of opportunities for social sharing, and they also run a continuous promotion on throw pillows, stickers, and notebooks. Another nice feature is that you can easily connect your RedBubble profile with Google Analytics so that you can test out your design and marketing efforts.
The platform also makes it easy to enable and disable designs on all products from the portfolio management section. Maybe your latest design doesn’t work quite as well as you initially thought on ALL of the products. You can easily disable or enable individual products from the portfolio management dashboard. Or maybe you’re on the fence about a design’s share worthiness. You can quickly set the design to private, if you want to reconsider without undoing all of your work entirely.
Best of all, you can set your own price on all products and the artist dashboard makes this, and other administrative tasks fairly simple to complete. I definitely recommend this platform to anyone interested in print on demand, hobbyists and entrepreneurs alike.
**I wrote this post well before being offered any compensation, however, this post does, as of the most recent update, contain affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. See my Affiliate Disclosure.Buy 2 pillows get 15% off (no coupon required)
Society 6 This platform makes it extremely easy to add your designs to multiple products at once, which is something to appreciate for sure. You can also determine the markup on posters, framed art prints, and canvases, but all other products pay out only 10% commission to the artist.
Also, base prices on the items where the artist can set the profit margin are rather high, so you’ll have to limit your markup in order to stay within a competitive price range. Overall, I feel that Society 6 provides little more than the illusion of control in this area.
Still, it was one of the first print on demand sites I discovered, and where I first fell in love with designing for home decor products, particularly curtains.
Because of the lack of tools offered to control branding and profit margins, Society6 is more of a product design tool and marketplace than it is a place for artists to create their own shops.
However, like Redbubble, it is home to upwards of 600,000 artists all competing for the traffic generated by the platform’s general marketing efforts, which, for good or ill are effective in one obvious way: If I google “MissPIXATX + designs or + insert product here”, Society6 listings of my products dominate the top search results. This leaves me to wonder what room there is for my own marketing efforts in the future.
TeeChip was the first print on demand site I discovered that offered the option to design for jewelry, and boy do I ever enjoy designing for jewelry!
Either someone has a personal vendetta against this company and a lot of free time, or TeeChip has done a very poor job with customer service. A quick Google search and you will see what I mean. I have yet to sell anything on this platform, so I cannot speak to the validity of any claims from either Teechip, or its former customers. Use at your own risk for now, and if you have a recent experience you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!
A Note About Print on Demand Marketplaces
Some of the selling platforms offer the option to list your products and/or your designs for sale in their marketplaces. When customers order through this option, you will receive a commission, typically from 10% to 20% of the purchase price. You benefit by not having to drive your own traffic to your merchandise.
If you are going to spend time doing your own marketing, or if you are fortunate enough to already have a large audience, you will definitely want to create your own shop, in addition to any marketplace listings. A shop generally allows you more control over branding and profit margins at the very least. In most cases, you can select both options, just be sure to focus your own marketing efforts on driving traffic to the option where your earning potential is the highest. I have listed my Spreadshirt sites below as an example so you can see how shops and marketplace options differ.
Spreadshirt offers a marketplace option where you can sell your design only, allowing customers to edit and arrange your design on various products as they wish. As an example, here is my Spreadshirt Design Marketplace.
You can also set up your own shop on Spreadshirt, where your products are sold with your designs arranged to your specifications and cannot be altered. You can view an example of that here.
Art of Where
Art of Where integrates with major e-commerce platforms such as Etsy, Woocommerce, and BigCommerce, just to name three. Their product design tool is one of my favorites so far, and can be used freely without any set up. They also have a marketplace option, but since setting up with them just a couple days ago, I have not been able to figure out how to actually view my items in their marketplace. I was able to easily integrate with Etsy once I had set up a shop there, but this platform is still too new for me to have done a thorough analysis. Feel free to check it out for yourselves and let me know how it goes!
I only discovered this book AFTER I went about the process of slowly learning and integrating the wealth of information it contains on my own. The author issues a warning about being sure to get enough sleep because this can be a very exciting path that can keep you up all hours, and he is not joking! Reading this book will not only get and keep you excited, but it may save you some valuable time! Merch and the World Of Print On Demand: Going Beyond Merch By Amazon Resources Into Global MultiPOD Multi Channel Distribution
Storenvy & Printful
Storenvy is another platform that offers a differentiated artist shop and marketplace, except that your profit is the same regardless of where a customer makes the purchase. To set up both or either, you’ll need to first sign up with Printful. They offer a freely available design tool and handle all drop shipping. You can include your own branding in the packaging at no extra cost, though they do offer some services at a premium. UPDATE: While I have not had particular success with the Storenvy options, I’m glad I gave it a shot because I was able to easily integrate Printful with my Woo Commerce and Etsy shops. This makes it very easy to add my designs to all kinds of products and easily upload them to Woo commerce and Etsy. I encourage you to check it out if you are planning on selling any print on demand products.
The base prices for the wide variety of products offered seem fairly fair and you are free to mark up as you wish. Integrating the Printful design app with the Storenvy shop was also straightforward, though I did experience some confusion about the marketplace vs. the shop because, when visiting the Storenvy marketplace I kept seeing a link asking me if i wanted to create a shop when I had already done so. Apparently, the link remains even if you already have a shop, so don’t let that confuse you as it did me.
You have the option of paying Storenvy a six percent fee to the marketplace to cover admin costs of the store, or you can leave this option set to default and the customer will pay a nominal fee of anywhere from $.99 to $3.99, based on their total purchase price when they check out. You can connect your Storenvy shop to Google Analytics and they also offer several other marketing options at a premium. You can also sign up for one of three plans, but to start, I recommend choosing the hobbyist plan, which is free.
Cafe Press & Zazzle
Cafe Press and Zazzle – I’m lumping these two together for the simple fact that I discovered them around the same time, well before Society 6 and RedBubble. Cafe Press, I found “clunky”, and the same goes for Zazzle. And this was before I ever know there were better options. BUT…I have revisited Cafe Press since an it appears that we can make jewelry there now. Moreover, it looks as though they have made some thoughtful updates recently…Check it out for yourself and drop me a line about it!
I hope you have found this list of places where you can print on demand informative. To connect with me, leave me a note in the comments section below.
Need some help setting up your eCommerce shop? Add your details below and I’ll send you a three step action plan to jump start your progress. It’s completely free, no obligation, no spam, no salesmen will visit your home.