Dropshipping is a popular ecommerce business model that allows you to sell products online without having to purchase or store any inventory upfront.
With dropshipping, you act as a middleman between the manufacturer and the consumer, and you only need to place an order with the manufacturer after an order comes in from the consumer.
There are a few ways to do dropshipping. One popular method is known as print on demand.
Today, we will be taking a look at Printify, a popular print-on-demand platform. We’ll discuss how it works, explore its features, and take a look at its plans and pricing.
What Is Print on Demand?
Print on demand is a form of white label dropshipping. Essentially, you create a brand logo or slogan which can be printed on products such as t-shirts, caps, accessories, mugs, books, and more.
You then connect with a manufacturer/print provider who will supply all of those physical products for you and print your logo on the product.
Print on demand platforms make this easy by giving you a list of print providers you can choose from.
You will usually pay the supplier for the cost of the item and the shipping.
The way you make a profit is by adding a markup to the price that the supplier charges you when selling the product to consumers.
Pros and Cons of Print On Demand
Why use print on demand as your dropshipping method? Before we review Printify, let’s go over why you would want to use print on demand and some of its pros and cons.
First, the pros:
- You don’t have to purchase any inventory upfront. This means that you can get started with minimal investment.
- You do not need to store any inventory.
- You don’t need to do any printing yourself.
- Shipping and handling are taken care of for you.
- When you use an online print on demand platform, payments and billing are usually taken care of for you as well. This means that unlike regular dropshipping, you don’t have to place a separate order with the manufacturer.
- Unlike regular dropshipping, you can sell products that are entirely unique and which nobody else is selling.
- You can have the product packaged so that it appears to be sent by you.
- You can use the print on demand platform to create your online store.
Of course, everything has its cons as well, and print on demand dropshipping is no different:
- You have to create designs that are unique and gather interest. If you are not a good designer yourself, you will need to outsource this work.
- Your profit margin will depend on how much of a markup you put on your products, which in turn will depend on how popular your designs are.
- Not having control over the handling and shipping can be a con as well, as you will have to rely on the print on demand platform to be reliable. This is why it is important to choose your print on demand platform carefully.
Printify is a print on demand site that is free to join. Once you sign up, you can choose from their selection of products, upload your custom logo, and start selling.
They claim to have over 250,000 merchants and 30,000 products on their site. They also claim that they have over 90 print providers that they work with and that they generate over 3 million mockups every month.
How Printify Works
As mentioned, Printify is free to join. After choosing items that you want your logo to be printed on, you can upload your logos and designs.
Before you start selling, you can purchase a sample product to be sent to your own address so that you can see the product for yourself.
This gives you a chance to get a feel for the quality of the material and whether your logo was printed on the item the way you like.
It also allows you to vet for different print providers until you find one that you like the best.
If you like how the product came out, you can add it to your online stores and start accepting orders.
Printify integrates with different platforms and sales channels, such as WooCommerce and Etsy.
All of the payments will be handled by Printify.
Kinds of Products Available on Printify
There are thousands of products available on Printify, with many products being available in different colors or styles. Following are just some of the main product categories you can sell using Printify:
- Long sleeved shirts
- Tank tops
- Swimwear and bikinis
- Baby bibs
- Baby bodysuits
- Tote bags
- Duffle bags
- Accessory pouches
- Phone cases
- Wall decals
- Wall clocks
- Shower curtains
- Shower towels
- Beach towels
- Shower mats
- Duvet covers
- Stainless steel water bottles
- Pillow cases
- Pet beds
Choosing a Print Provider
As mentioned, there are over 90 print providers available on Printify. Each print provider may have different shipping options and rates, depending on where they are located.
They may also work with different items or use different printing and engraving methods for products.
Paying for Your Products
Every item on Printify will have a retail price. It is up to you to decide how much of a markup you want to add to the retail price when selling an item on your store.
When a customer makes a purchase, they will be charged for the purchase (that money will go to you).
However, your credit card or Paypal account will be charged as well for the retail price of the item and for the shipping fees.
Getting a Sample
It is important that you get a sample of the product first before you add it to your store.
This is because although you can use a digital mockup generator to see how your product will appear, the reality is that the final physical product may appear differently than what you saw in the mockup generator.
This is because the mockup generator may not be entirely accurate. In addition, different print providers may use different printing methods, which can impact the appearance of the final product.
The digital files that you upload can also affect the way your product appears.
You will have to pay the full retail price for the sample product, as well as shipping. No discounts are available, but you can get $29 in sample credits when you sign up for Printify Premium.
You can not set prices for shipping. Shipping rates are set by the print provider, and they will be based on the item being shipped and the location of the customer.
As far as shipping times, Printify says that most items will be shipped out within 2-7 days after an order is submitted.
However, how long shipping will take will again depend on the print provider and the location of the customer.
While you don’t have direct control over shipping rates and times, you can browse shipping rates and times of all print providers and choose to work with the ones you like best.
Printify has a designer and mockup generator tool that you can use to upload logos.
First, choose a product that you would like to sell. Under each product, you will see the retail price (as well as the discounted price for Printify Premium users).
After choosing a product, you will be able to choose a print provider.
For each print provider, you will see information such as shipping rates, estimated production times, where on the item they can print your design, available colors, and more.
The mockup generator itself is fairly easy to use. For new users, you can play around with the sample designs provided by Printify until you get the hang of it.
When you upload a design, you can modify its length, width, position, etc. You can preview your final design in different colors.
Once you are satisfied with the design, you can add it to your store. You can create a description and choose a picture.
You can then set prices for the product. Different prices can be set for different sizes and colors.
Your profit margin will be automatically calculated and displayed for you, which can help you choose the right price.
Packaging and Branding
Since Printify is a white-label service, their name will not appear anywhere on the final product or shipping label.
There will be no way for your customers to know that you are using Printify.
You do not have control over the kind of package, box, or bag that the item will be shipped in.
This will depend entirely on the print provider (whose information will also not appear on the label).
You also can not insert a private note into the package.
What you can do, however, is update your store settings so that the shipping label on the package has your store name or company name.
This way, it will appear to customers as if the product was shipped directly from you.
Refunds, Replacements and Cancellations
Once an order is sent to the print provider, orders can no longer be canceled and you can not get a refund.
If a customer received a product that was different than what they ordered or was faulty, they can get a replacement.
If the replacement had issues as well, a refund may be issued, but it will be in the form of credit on the Printify site.
Related: Printify vs. Customcat
Designing a Logo or Image
You can design your own logo or image by using software such as Photoshop or GIMP and then upload it to your online store.
However, there are other options if you are not great at designing. You can purchase designs or images.
For example, you can purchase stock photos at Shutterstock (make sure that you have full rights to the image).
You can also hire a freelancer to design a logo or image for you. Sites such as Fiverr are useful marketplaces for this.
There are certain logos and images that you can not use on Printify. This includes things such as copyrighted material and illegal or inappropriate content.
Printify has apps for integrating with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy. There is also a custom API that you can use to connect it with your own ecommerce store.
Besides becoming a merchant on Printify, you can also become an affiliate. This means that all you will have to do is promote products; you won’t have to bother with creating a design and uploading it.
However, your revenue will also be a lot less. You will only earn five percent from each sale that you make.
Printify Customer Service
Printify has 24/7 customer support. There are two ways to reach their team: by using the contact form on their website or by sending them an email.
There is also a comprehensive help center with a lot of information and answers to many common questions.
In addition, Printify has a number of guides available to help you with your print on demand business.
For example, there are guides on how to sell on Etsy, how to sell stickers using Printify, how to sell embroidered products, and how to be a better designer.
There are three pricing options for Printify.
The basic plan is free to use. It includes all of the basic features, such as the mockup generator, unlimited designs, five stores, integrations with WooCommerce, Etsy, and Shopify, and 24/7 customer support.
The premium plan is $29/month. It allows you to create up to 10 stores. It also allows you to use the custom order import feature and get up to a 20 percent discount on products.
There is also custom pricing available for enterprise stores. This is useful if you have a lot of orders and specific needs, such as custom integrations or unlimited stores.
With custom pricing, you can get early access to new features, custom APIs, and an account manager.
Tips for Making Money With Print On Demand
Regardless of whether you are using Printful or any other print on demand platform, there will always be ways you can maximize your success.
Following are some tips on how to get more sales and increase your profits.
Choose the Right Markup
One of the most common challenges that print on demand sellers face is making a satisfactory profit.
Remember that you have to pay for the base price of the product, as well as any fulfillment or shipping fees. Choosing the right markup is crucial for achieving a good profit.
Let’s take a t-shirt as an example.
Let’s say the retail price of the t-shirt is $8 and shipping fees are $2. This brings the total base price to $10.
You can offer free shipping and simply add the price of shipping to your markup.
If you are paying a base price of $10 and selling the t-shirt to consumers for $20, you will be making a $10 profit per sale. In other words, you will have a 50 percent profit margin.
However, you won’t always be able to add such a high markup. It will depend entirely on how popular your logo is and how many sales you are getting.
If your markup is too high and you are a new seller without a lot of reviews, you may find it hard to attract customers.
Printify recommends that you aim for a profit margin of 30 percent, but every business will be different.
Developing a Style Vs Following the Trend
It’s a good idea to develop a style that you follow with your designs. This way, you can attract more fans and repeat customers.
Another way to look at it is to choose a particular niche instead of being too broad.
The reality is that certain generic designs will always be popular; there will always be a demand for them.
However, if you go that route, there will be nothing to set yourself apart from other sellers and you may have trouble attracting customers.
The same goes for following a new trend or fad. It’s a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, you can tap into the trend in order to get sales. On the other hand, you won’t be unique and you won’t be able to establish a brand.
You can’t expect to simply set up a store and watch the sales roll in. As with any business, you will need to market yourself until you become successful.
This starts with developing your brand. Set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
Consider using paid advertising to advertise your products. Your ROI will depend on the conversion rate of your ad campaigns and the profit margin you make per sale.
Wrapping It Up
Print on demand isn’t going to make you rich overnight.
However, it is a solid way to sell products online without ever having to store any inventory or purchase stock up front.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Benjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.