How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

One of the first challenges you’ll face as a designer or aspiring online retailer is how to find print on demand suppliers for your products. Print on demand (POD) products are only printed when they are ordered – so design now, produce as required.


How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

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This is the first article in a five-part series where I’m inviting you to peek over my shoulder as I build my own online store, including:

  1. How to find print on demand suppliers for your products (you’re here now).
  2. Creating designs for your print on demand products that produce a high-quality result, including how to use free programs like Canva (coming soon).
  3. How to choose the right retail platform to sell your print on demand products (coming soon).
  4. Developing a range of print on demand products that people want to buy (coming soon).
  5. How to create a marketing plan for your print on demand shop to build sales and customer loyalty (coming soon).

Make sure you sign up to the mailing list to get an update when each new article is published.

Getting started with print on demand and drop shipping

Creating designs for your print on demand products is relatively easy (more on that later in the series). But most of us are not in the position to create the actual products ourselves.

There are numerous options to choose from. So many so that it can be difficult to know where to start.

If you want to order a single product for your own use or to give as a gift, most suppliers will work well for you. But if you want to integrate products automatically into your online shop with delivery via drop shipping, the selection process gets a little more detailed.

Drop shipping means the producer of your product will also deliver it to the recipient. Combined with print on demand, this can mean a huge reduction in costs because you don’t need to purchase and store inventory.

HOW DOES PRINT ON DEMAND AND DROP SHIPPING WORK?

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

If you want to find print on demand suppliers for your products, there is no substitute for research. Check out a few different print on demand suppliers and search for independent reviews to ensure they have a good reputation, quality products and great service.

You can start researching with a few of my favorite print on demand suppliers for your products. I’ll keep adding to the list as I test others, so make sure you are on the mailing list to receive updates.


PRINTIFY

Printify is more a facilitator than producer, but that means access to a huge range of products from suppliers all over the world.

The Printify website is very easy to use. Sign up, browse the catalogue and choose an item you like from the clothing, accessories or Home & Living categories, select a supplier, then start designing.

The design process is really easy. Just upload your artwork, then choose a mock up image, add description and you’re ready to start selling in your store.

Important facts:

  • Integrates with ShopifyEtsy and WooCommerce, so your orders pretty much run on autopilot.
  • It's free to have an account, but if you start selling a lot, consider upgrading to a paid premium plan ($29 / mo) which gets you a 20% discount on all products.


How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Product range available from Printify

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Designing a product with Printify

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Choosing mockups and enterting product description with Printify

PRINTFUL

If you are looking for a good place to start with print on demand suppliers for your products, Printful is one of the best. Printful offers a full in-house service covering printing, packaging and shipping, and products are produced in the USA or Europe.

Printful doesn’t have the product range of Printify, but it covers the main categories of Clothing, Accessories and Home & Living. As they produce everything in house, they also have a great reputation for consistent quality and service.

After you sign up and create an account, the drag and drop mockup generator makes creating your products a breeze. 

Important facts:

  • Integrates with ShopifyEtsy and WooCommerce and most other marketplaces but check factors such as ease of installation, products pushed to store and order import comparisons.
  • It's free to have an account and you only pay for products when they are ordered.
How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Product range available from Printful

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Printful drag and drop design process

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Mockups of a Printful design


ART OF WHERE

Located in Montreal Canada, Art of Where produces all items in its local studio. There is a great range of products including clothing, pillow cases, scarves, accessories, device cases, books, cards, bags, wall art and fabric.

There is a Design Lab where you create products. You select a product, upload your artwork and the app will check your resolution is high enough for printing and guide you through the process of placing your design. You can then save your product to generate images and start selling on your own store, or create a store on their website and earn 25% commission on all sales.

The design guidelines page has detailed information to help you create and optimize your artwork for printing.

Important facts:

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Product range from Art of Where

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Art of Where Design Lab

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Mockup of product designed in Art of Where Design Lab


PRINTED MINT

If you’re looking for products that are a little less ‘generic’, the Printed Mint range is definitely worth checking out. The impressive product range including a huge number of items across the clothing and household categories.

But beauty comes at a price. Printed Mint doesn’t offer direct integration with any shopping platforms. This means that while you can design and ship with them, any orders you take will have to be manually added to their system for processing.

They do make it easy to create your design with templates to get the sizing right.

Is it worth it? Take a look at their product range and decide for yourself. Personally, I wonder how easy it is if you are selling large quantities, but for one-off orders they are definitely right up there on my list. I particularly like their foil print options.

Important facts:

  • No integration. You can upload orders or enter them manually.
  • It's free to have an account and you only pay for products when they are ordered.
How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Printed Mint Product Range

How to find print on demand suppliers for your products

Printed Mint foil printing


Common mistakes to avoid when choosing print on demand suppliers for your products


1. Not ordering samples

Print quality can vary according to your design and the surface it is being printed on. A small investment in ordering a sample could be the difference between happy and unhappy customers in the future.


2. Choosing suppliers solely on price

Price is important, but so is quality, delivery speed and service.


3. Not factoring in shopping platform integration

Not all print on demand suppliers offer fully integration with shopping platforms like Shopify and Etsy. Always check this before getting too heavily invested with a supplier.


4. Not having a back up option

Products can be discontinued with print on demand suppliers. If you create a product and find that it is selling well, make sure you investigate alternative options so you are not caught out if your supplier decides to stop offering it.


5. Not considering shipping options

Always check where your supplier will ship to on your behalf, how they ship the products for you and whether you have custom branding on the packaging.


Print on demand series

This is the first article in a five-part series where I’m inviting you to peek over my shoulder as I build my own online store, including:

  1. How to find print on demand suppliers for your products (you’re here now).
  2. Creating designs for your print on demand products that produce a high-quality result, including how to use free programs like Canva (coming soon).
  3. How to choose the right retail platform to sell your print on demand products (coming soon).
  4. Developing a range of print on demand products that people want to buy (coming soon).
  5. How to create a marketing plan for your print on demand shop to build sales and customer loyalty (coming soon).

Make sure you sign up to the mailing list to get an update when each new article is published.


For more about how to find print on demand suppliers for your products: 

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