How to Make Money with Print on Demand Websites

If you’re a creative person, you can make passive income by selling your designs on Print on Demand (POD) websites that allow you to upload your artworks and then have them printed on various kind of merchandises. You don’t need be a graphic designer or illustrator to do this although knowing how to churn out designs with Illustrator or Photoshop help tremendously. You can be creative in coming up with catchy phrases as well, not necessarily in graphic forms.

I’ve tried selling my designs via POD websites as well as printing them for sale on my own. After trying out both, I decided I’m going to stick to POD websites because they basically take care of everything. Although we make lesser as compared to selling the merchandises on our own, the hassle of sourcing for reliable suppliers and printers, then having to promote the items is just too much work for a seemingly lazy person like myself. I rather focus on doing what I love which is the idea generation and designing part.

The benefits of Selling on POD Websites

  • Passive income: You can build passive income gradually because POD websites take care of almost everything. All you need to do is to upload your artwork, write some attractive description and start sharing them. They’ll take care of the order processing, printing and shipping them out.
  • No inventory: You don’t need to keep inventory because you’re only selling your artworks in digital formats. You only need a computer and Internet.
  • Not constraint by locations: You can practically be anywhere in the world and still be making money from POD websites. You don’t need to be stationed at certain location. As mentioned earlier, all you need is Internet to upload your artworks.
  • Free tools and resources: POD websites are free to use. On top of that, there are also plenty of free or really affordable design resources online that you can use. Freepik and Vecteezy are my favourite. I also enjoy browsing through DeviantArt to get ideas.

Print on Demand Websites You Can Explore

The following websites are ranked in the order from the ones I’m most familiar with.

Zazzle

Zazzle is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive print-on-demand website. You can practically find anything from apparels to household items, stationery to food items and they’re adding new categories from time to time.

I joined Zazzle in July 2013 and became a basic Pro-designer late November 2014 where I get a badge that says ZPRO on my Zazzle profile. Basically, it means that I’ve made 100 bucks with Zazzle. The “crowning” came a little late as I was already making 500 bucks. It may not be a lot of money but it’s revenue that I otherwise wouldn’t get anyway. To date, my monthly income from Zazzle average about $50 – $100. Pretty good side income since I haven’t done much on the site for 4 years now. I believe I could bring it up to about $500 if I spend more time on it.

Spreadshirt

I joined Spreadshirt at the same time I signed up for Zazzle. They don’t have as much products as Zazzle does but the revenue I generate from here is pretty decent too. They pay you on a quarterly basis. I make an average of $20 to $25 bucks here. You could actually make more if you upload more designs. When it comes to POD, sometimes it’s really about the quantity. I have only about 85 really basic designs in the marketplace.

Red Bubble

I signed up for an account back in December 2014 but I didn’t upload any of my designs! Gosh, the potential earnings that I’ve lost for almost 2 years.

Uploading your designs to Red Bubble is pretty straightforward like Zazzle. In fact, I think it’s even better. When you upload your design, it will list out a bunch of items that you could potentially add your designs into. All you need to do is just to adjust your design to fit every items. If you don’t think it should be on that particular item, you can just disable it.

Cafepress

I have only made a few dollars from here even though I’ve been here since I started Zazzle and Spreadshirt. In comparison with the other two, I earned the least here. That’s why I don’t really focus on uploading my latest designs to Cafepress. On top of that, I feel their navigation a little complicated. It took me quite a while to upload my designs.

Teespring

Teespring only print T-shirts and operate based on campaigns. You can start like a campaign to sell your designs and set your goals. For example, if you want to sell 10 T-shirts in the span of 10 days, you’ll get paid if more than 10 customers reserve the T-shirts.

No luck with Teespring even though I tried it a couple of times. I came across this platform because I stumbled upon my design being posted on it. But I think you should give it a try as it’s really simple to set up. Get Busy Living blogger, Benny Hsu, got pretty successful selling his T-shirts here.

All right, so there, the top POD websites you can sell your designs. Bookmark this post as I’ll be updating it once I have more to write about each of them.