Best Print on Demand Websites: The Ultimate Guide

Best Print on Demand Websites image

If you’re not a part of the “print on demand” movement yet, you’re missing out on a good opportunity to earn by exhibiting your art online. A study by Credence Research shows that the custom t-shirt printing market is expected to cross USD $10 Billion by 2025.

Print on demand or POD as it’s also known, is a unique way of selling products where printing is done on per order basis and in small quantities. Print on demand websites allow artists to showcase their art and consumers to buy customized and personalized products.

Unlike apparel companies and publishing houses where printing is done in bulk, print on demand websites are based on customers’ needs. There’s no bulk buying and selling; customers order what they like, and the personalized and printed products are delivered at their doorstep.

Some of the best-selling print on demand products include:

  • Mugs
  • Mobile cases and covers
  • Diaries and notepads
  • Cushion covers
  • Home décor
  • T-shirts
  • Bags
  • Hoodies
  • Pens

In this guide, we’ll discuss the print on demand revolution in detail, how it can benefit artists and customers, and list the best print on demand websites in 2019. We’ll also provide you with some mind-blowing tips on how to sell more t-shirts.

How do print on demand websites work for an artist and a customer?

For an artist

You can upload your best designs on the print on demand websites. You will get paid for whichever art has been used (the payment process may vary across different print on demand websites). Not only this, but your art also gets noticed by people all over the world. Most sites do not ask you to pay anything upfront to showcase your art.

 

For a customer

Customers can buy custom-made products. There are many customers out there who don’t prefer big brands; they want something unique and touching. The best print on demand websites allow customers to explore virtual galleries filled with intriguing designs and artwork by independent artists.

 

Factors you should consider before choosing the best print on demand websites

Before we look at the reviews of the best print on demand websites, let’s look at some important factors you need to consider to make an informed choice:

 

Can you sell on their marketplace?

If you don’t have a website or audience, popular print on demand websites can help you reach prospective customers and create an identity. You can leverage the marketplace’s traffic to sell your designs and earn profits.

 

Can you integrate with your website?

If you already have a website, you can use Shopify or WooCommerce integration to leverage the print on demand websites without losing out on your website customers.

 

How many products can you sell?

Many print on demand websites allow artists to sell different types of products such as mugs, keychains, notebooks, apparel, and a lot more. The more the product variety, the higher the chances of your designs being sold.

What are the profit margins?

Almost all print on demand websites have different pricing and profit structure for artists. Some print on demand websites work on fixed royalties while the others allow artists to set their own prices. It would be a good idea to work with a print on demand website which allows you to set your own prices and comes with a lower actual product cost for better profit margins.

How long will it take to get your earnings in your account?

This one’s a no-brainer. Like the pricing structure, almost all print on demand websites have different payment methods and timelines. Some websites can even take up to 2 months to credit your earnings in your account. So, choose wisely, and make sure the print of demand website you choose provides multiple payment methods.

 

Best print on demand websites – Our top 10 picks

Choosing the right print on demand online store to sell your artwork can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the concept. There is a variety of print on demand websites and marketplaces to sell your designs online. To make the task easy for you, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best print on demand websites. If you’re ready to start selling your artwork, this list will come in handy to make a smart choice and earn extra money.

Printful on demand screenshot

Printful is a print on demand fulfilment company. It not only provides artists and designers with a platform to sell their designs, but also takes care of production, packaging, and shipment of the final product. However, the product catalog at Printful is not as wide as its competitors.

How Printful works

  • Activate your Printful account.
  • Create a new order from the Printful dashboard and upload your design.
  • Set the size the canvas and upload the printable file of the same size.
  • Place your order or store the design on your connected e-commerce platform.

What to expect

You don’t need to pay any upfront costs to sell your designs on Printful. Put simply, you sign up for a free account, design your products, and sell them on your platform for free. Printful makes money when you make a sale. At Printful, you’ll find a variety of t-shirts from different brands, made of different materials. However, you may not find products such as coasters, cushion covers, etc.

Profit margins

Printful allows you to set your own price and view your profits.

Profit Margin = Selling Price (Set by the seller) – Actual Price of the Product

Pros and Cons

Pros
High-quality products
Superior-quality printing capabilities
No minimum order requirement
No monthly fees or upfront charges
Transparent shipping prices
Helpful customer support
Mockup generator for easy designs
Cons
Limited products
Redbubble print on demand screenshot

Redbubble is another popular print on demand marketplace for talented, independent artists. If you’ve ever used Amazon’s Merch, you’ll have an idea of how Redbubble works. However, unlike Merch, Redbubble unconventional artists and younger talent. On Redbubble, you can sell a plethora of products such as mugs, t-shirts, phone covers, and cases, etc.

Due to high-demand and print volume, orders are printed and dispatched every 24-48 hours.

How Redbubble works

  • Create a free account.
  • Create and upload your latest artwork.
  • Set the pricing.
  • When a customer buys your product, the transaction is handled by Redbubble. They also print and deliver the product.

What to expect

Redbubble will pay you for your sales on the 15th of every month. It doesn’t matter if you’ve sold 1 or 10 items, you’ll get your earnings every month. You can choose to be paid directly to your bank account (applicable for sellers in the UK, US, and Australia) or through PayPal.

Profit margins

The selling price is the combination of the actual price of the product and the profit margin you decide to add.

Selling Price = Profit Margin (Set by the seller) + Actual Price of the Product

For instance, if you’re in the U.S. and want to sell a t-shirt in US dollars, the actual price of the product would be USD $30 and you set a 10% markup (USD $3), then the retail price would be USD $33.

Pro tip

The best and easiest way to sell your designs on Redbubble is to upload them at 13500 x 11462 pixels (dimensions of a king size duvet cover). Learn more about dimensions and formats at Redbubble.

Pros and Cons

Pros
High traffic volume every month
Easy selling process
A wide variety of products to sell without any limitations
Lower competition using the in-site search
In-house analytics and option to integrate your Google Analytics account
Cons
Earnings are smaller
Base price may vary during payment checkout
Cost variation across different types of materials
Teespring print on demand screenshot

Teespring is a print on demand website which allows artists to bring their designs to life by creating beautiful customized products for the buyers. You don’t need to worry about anything; they handle everything from production, execution, to customer service. Even though the website name is suggestive of t-shirts, they’re not the only products available on the website; you can design mugs, mobile cases, blankets, backpacks, leggings, and a lot more.

US-based orders typically take 2-5 business days to get delivered with fast shipping, and 10-12 business days with standard shipping. International delivery can take 10-15 business days. Learn more about Teespring shipping timelines.

How Teespring works

  • Create an account.
  • Click “Start designing,” and design your first product.
  • Use Teespring’s Marketing Tools, Boosted Network, and Partnership Integrations to improve sales.
  • Once you get an order, Teespring will fulfil it.
  • Your profits will be added to your “Payout section.”

What to expect

Teespring will prompt you to set a sales goal. For instance, your goal is to sell 80 t-shirts. However, it does not mean that Teespring will only sell 80 t-shirts with your design. They’ll print your campaign as long as you sell enough to make profits. The campaigns can last from 3 days to 21 days.

Profit margins

The profit margin calculation for selling on Teespring is very simple. You set the selling price of the product, and the difference between the selling price and the actual cost of the product is your profit.

Profit Margin = Selling Price (Set by the seller) – Actual Price of the Product

For instance, if you set the selling price of a mobile case at $15, and the actual price of the product is $7, your profit margin would be $8. The more quantity you sell, the lower will the actual price of the product.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Option to promote your designs on social media
Easy selling process
Order production and execution by Teespring
Good profit margins
A wide range of products for designing
Cons
Limited space on the products for designing
Lack of marketing support
Time-based sales campaigns
spreadshirt print on demand screenshot

Spreadshirt is a print on demand website which allows independent designers to showcase their unique designs and sell them to customers. Each time your design is sold, you’ll receive a commission from the website. While many other print on demand websites only allow you to sell specific products with your designs, Spreadshirt allows you to sell your design directly. It is the buyers who will choose the product.

How Spreadshirt works

There are two ways of maximizing your profits using Spreadshirt. You can sell your design on the Spreadshirt marketplace or create your own shop referred to as Spreadshop.

Spreadshirt marketplace vs. Spreadshop

In the case of the Spreadshirt marketplace, you sell your designs and customer choose the products they want to put your designs on. Whereas, in the case of the Spreadshop, you get to choose the products that’ll carry your designs and sell them on your exclusive shop.

The benefit of Spreadshirt marketplace – you get lots of free traffic with Spreadshirt’s marketing efforts. And, the benefit of Spreadshop – set your profit margins and make more profit.

What to expect

Spreadshirt has more than 100 exclusive products for customers to purchase. There are different shipping options available, and each option comes with a different pricing structure based on the location.

Profit margins

As a Spreadshirt shop owner, you can earn up to 20% (affiliate commission) of the retail price which comprises the actual price of the product and the print price.

Sellers who sell a minimum of 11 products within a 2-week campaign time are rewarded with a “bonus” known as “Volume Commission.” Each month comes with 2 campaign periods – 1st to 15th, and 16th – month end.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the commission structure:

Number of items soldVolume Commission
0-10No bonus
11-502.5%
51-1005%
101-25010%
251-50025%
501-100035%
1000 and more40%

 

All marketplace sales, shop sales, and Volume Commissions are settled once a month. For instance, you’ll receive your earnings from your June sales by the end of July. To receive a monthly payout, you need a minimum of $10 earnings in your account. If you don’t meet this requirement, you’ll have to wait until you hit the $10 mark. You can get the money credited to your US bank account or PayPal account.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Create an individual store that matches the theme of your website
High-quality printing
Great profit margins and bonus rewards
Cons
Earnings are not settled until you earn at least $10
Society 6 print on demand screenshot

Society6 is a decent platform which allows artists such as painters, doodlers, sketching artists, etc., to earn money from their stunning artwork. From pillow covers to phone cases, the website sells a variety of products. However, the products are not decorated with any designs; Society6 allows customers to do so. The artist community on Society6 is very active, and the best performing artwork category is “Art Prints.”

We found something really interesting on Society6 which we did not find anywhere else – the Curator or Affiliate Program. Artists can now earn up to 10% commission for recommending other artists and promoting their work.

How Society6 works

  • Create a free account on Society6.
  • Upload your artwork by carefully following the instructions provided on the website.
  • Set the price.
  • When a customer purchases your design, Society6 team will produce it, package the product, and ship it.

Learn more about selling on Society6>

What to expect

Once you’ve uploaded your artwork, you need to promote it to get the word out to customers. Make sure you connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to share your designs directly on your social media pages. Share your shop link with everyone you know to gain maximum traction.

Profit margins

As an artist, you can only set the pricing for framed art prints, stretched canvases, and art prints. The remaining products come with predefined royalties for artists and cannot be changed.

Once a product is bought and shipped to the customers, you’ll have to wait for at least 30-days for transactions to clear and expect the money to hit your account on the 1st of the next month. So, for instance, if Society6 ships a t-shirt with your design on 15th January, the 30-days grace period will end on 15th February, and you’ll receive your earnings on 1st March.

Pros and Cons

Pros
You retain the rights of your artwork
Easy to use
Unlimited design uploads
Good for earning some extra money
Cons
Earnings take a lot of time to hit your account
Not an ideal full-time job
Fixed royalties for most of the products
Threadless print on demand screenshot

Threadless is a print on demand website based on voting. Every year, thousands of artists join the Threadless network and compete with each other to win customer votes. Only when an artist ranks high after voting, they can sell their designs on the website. It takes almost 1-2 business days before your artwork is made live for community voting.

Threadless screenshot image

How Threadless works

  • Create an account on Threadless.
  • Name your shop by setting up a subdomain for free. (Eg., myshop.threadless.com)
  • Upload your artwork for voting.
threadless image screenshot 2
  • Sell different products such as mugs, pillow covers, t-shirts, notebooks, and more.
  • Set your pricing using a simple pricing tool.
  • Once a customer purchases a product with your design, Threadless will take care of production, execution, and shipment of the product.

What to expect

Each artist can own an Artist Shop on Threadless. These shops are customizable and can be decorated on the basis of your requirements. The products are shipped across the world. The only important tip we came across while testing Threadless is that artists should avoid text-art designs with jargons and cheesy lines at any cost. Such phrases never win Threadless competitions.

Profit margins

You can set the prices of all your products. The profit margin calculation is simple and straightforward. Your profit is the price of the product you set minus the actual price of the product.

Profit Margin = Selling Price (Set by the seller) – Actual Price of the Product

You will receive all your earnings through PayPal. Cleared transactions from the previous month will be paid in the first week of the following month. For instance, payments cleared in March will be credited to your PayPal account in the first week of April.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Minimum investment
Access to a fully functional ecommerce store with any technical knowledge
Create your Artist shop and customize the storefront
Sell over 100 types of products
Set your own prices without any fixed royalties
Cons
Artist shops which are product pages do not rank of search engines easily
No promotion of your artwork by Threadless unless you pay them
Teepublic print on demand screenshot

TeePublic is yet another print on demand website which allows independent artists to sell their designs on apparel and several other products. If you don’t have designs to sell, you can become a part of the TeePublic Partner Program, create useful content using TeePublic’s design catalog and come up with a storefront containing your brand name and existing TeePublic artwork.

How TeePublic works

  • Create a free account on TeePublic.
  • Produce your finest quality artwork and prepare it for digital printing.
  • Upload the design and customize it to suit TeePublic products.
  • Your design will be on sale for the following 72 hours.

What to expect

All your products will have 2 standard prices on TeePublic: a discounted selling price for the initial 72 hours and a regular price for the remaining selling time.

Profit margins

When you upload a new design, the selling price will be discounted for the first 72 hours. Nevertheless, TeePublic provides artists with great prices and commissions.

teepublic screenshot 2

See all commission rates>

In the case of the affiliate program, TeePublic provides affiliate partners with 31% commission. For promoting existing TeePublic designs, affiliates earn 11% commission.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy to use
TeePublic designs show quickly in Google search results
Provides artists with marketing support
Cons
Low royalties
Low selling prices of products
Design by humans screenshot

Design by Humans is a full-fledged community of artists, designers, gamers, and YouTubers. If you’re into oversized prints and all-over designs, Designs by Human can be your go-to print on demand website. You can sell graphic tees, wall prints, phone cases, etc. The store currently has over 2000 unique designs by independent artists. As an artist, you own a storefront on Designs by Human where you can showcase your designs.

How Design by Humans works

  • Create a free account on Design by Humans.
  • Upload your artwork.
  • Once approved, the website will provide you with a storefront to sell your designs on products.
  • Design by Humans will take care of production, execution, shipping, and post-delivery customer service.

Start selling on Design by Humans>

What to expect

You can take part in daily t-shirt design contests and earn up to $1000 and 6 free t-shirts. The contents are usually built on themes; however, you can take part in free theme contests too. The winning designs are available for 24 hours and sold at a discounted price. The Design by Humans community is currently supporting thousands of artists every year.

Profit margins

design by humans pricing table

Artists are paid via PayPal on the 1st of every month for the sales that were cleared 2 months back. Check the payment schedule>

Also, sales and discounts do not affect the royalties of the artists.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy to use
The voting process helps in promoting the best designs
Great exposure for artists
Chance to win up to $1000 in contests
Cons
Low royalties
Each contests has different themes
Zazzle screenshot print on demand

If there’s one print on demand website which is winning the customization game, it has to be Zazzle. On Zazzle, you can create more than 1300 products and customize them to produce unique designs. The Zazzle marketplace allows artists to sell their artwork and set their royalties accordingly. We were stunned to know that Zazzle receives over 30 millions website visits every month.

How Zazzle works

  • Create a free account on Zazzle.
  • Open a free designer store and name it as you like.
  • Upload your artwork and designs onto products.
  • Once a customer orders a product designed by you, Zazzle will take care of production, execution, shipping, and post-delivery customer service.

What to expect

Since Zazzle has partnered with a variety of brands and manufacturers, they ship products every 24 hours. Each product comes with at least one customization option. View product list>

Profit margins

You can set your own royalty between 5% and 99% over and above Zazzle’s actual product prices. If a customer further customizes your design and ends up paying an even higher price, you’ll earn more. By becoming a Zazzle Associate and promoting their designs, you can earn 15% of the selling price per product and extra volume bonus.

Selling Price = Royalty margin + Actual Price of the Product


Earnings of each month require 30 days for clearance before earning accrual takes place. Once the earnings are cleared, they’re sent to the artists within the following 15 days. For instance, earnings from January will be cleared in February and credited in March.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy to use
Product printing takes place every 24 hours
Artists can set their own royalties
Artists earn more when buyers further customize their designs
Cons
Platform is very competitive for product creators and artists
SunFrog shirt printing screenshot

If you don’t like to indulge in complicated registration procedures, SunFrog can be a good option for you. The print on demand website focusses in apparel, especially t-shirts. So, as an artist, if you’re planning to grow a career in apparel designs, SunFrog can be your best bet. At SunFrog, you can also design mugs, posters, notebooks, etc.

How SunFrog works

There are 2 ways to earn on SunFrog – sell your designs and products or market designs by other artists by adding your seller ID.

  • Register on SunFrog and set up a free account:
SunFrog how to setup image
  • Once you set up an account, you’ll find this dashboard on your screen.
SunFrog how to set up image 2

Using the dashboard, you can create designs, upload them, and start selling them on SunFrog products, or share the designs of existing artists and earn commission. However, make sure you add your seller ID so that the website knows that you’re getting the customers.

SunFrog seller Id image
  • If a customer purchases your design, SunFrog will take care of production, execution, shipment, and post-delivery customer service.
  • You can set the prices of your own products.

What to expect

  • Build a collection of designs by other artists you like and promote them on your social media pages by adding your Seller ID.
  • Style your profile page.
  • Track the progress of your designs with real-time reports and tracking.
  • Track the progress of your social media campaigns using Pixel tracking.

Profit margins

SunFrog will pay with 15% commission if someone purchases a product using the URL containing your Seller ID, and 10% commission when your own design sells.

SunFrog payout image

Pros and Cons

Pros
Artists designs are never removed from the website, even if they’re not selling
Greater emphasis on unique art
Unlimited campaigns with SunFrog Affiliate Program
No need to spend extra dollars on Facebook campaigns
Cons
Low profit margins

How to sell more designs quickly – 4 useful tips

Let’s look at some useful tips on how to sell more quickly.

1) Focus on a specific niche

It’s always a good idea to target a specific audience to sell more designs. Creating designs for a specific niche is known to work best for artists.

2) Start a blog

The most efficient way of increasing organic traffic is creating a blog aimed at a specific audience and eventually diverting them to your print on demand website storefront. Make sure you perform thorough research and find suitable SEO keywords to build traffic.

3) Leverage social media

Find your prospective customers where they are active the most and share your designs. Use can use Facebook ads and Instagram ads to sell more t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, etc.

4) Don’t ignore User-Generated Content (UGC)

The best way to communicate with customers is to indulge in real conversations. Sharing User-Generated Content is one of the most effective ways to sell more designs easily. You can request existing customers to rate your designs and provide their feedback or share a picture of them wearing a t-shirt with your design on your social media pages.   Prospective customers are quickly influenced by existing customers. User-Generated photos are 5x more likely to convert customers vs. no UGC.

Conclusion

As you can see in the guide to the best print on demand websites, there are a plethora of options available. However if we had to choose out the list, we'd say Printful is our favorite. 

Whether you’re an artist or an affiliate, you can join hands with a print on demand website to sell your artwork and generate profits. A winner design can change your fortune and help you establish a great reputation in the print on demand industry.

The best thing about working with print on demand websites is that you don’t need to worry about production, execution, shipment, and post-delivery customer support. You simply need to upload your designs, set up your store, and earn profits as your designs sell. So, if you want to turn your hobby into a full-time business, then using a print on demand website such as the ones listed above should greatly help.

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