Print-on-demand is an excellent business model that allows sellers to design and sell custom products without ever needing to hold inventory. With print-on-demand, you can sell everything from mugs to t-shirts and phone cases without worrying about inventory.
This article will look at what is print on demand, the benefits of this model, what service providers connect to Etsy, and how you connect your print-on-demand shop.
What is a Print-on-Demand Service?
A print-on-demand service is a fulfillment service that allows you to create and sell custom designs on white-label products without holding physical inventory. It works similarly to dropshipping, although with a few key differences.
With Print on demand, business owners can sell various products that are from a manufacturer, making it an affordable way to operate your shop.
Benefits of Using POD Services
- There's no risk of unwanted stock. When you use print-on-demand services, you no longer have to worry about staying with inventory that's yet to be bought.
- Less time is spent on the manual aspect of running a store. The service provider deals with everything from manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. This time can be spent coming up with new designs for your store.
- No upfront costs. With a POD service, you no longer have to deal with the costs usually associated with buying product materials. The only costs you may incur are for subscriptions to design apps, although this is optional.
- Scalability. Another benefit of using POD is that you can quickly scale up your business when the time comes. When the sales increase, you can scale up the production and fulfillment process without investing more cash in equipment or inventory.
Print-on-Demand Services that Connect to Etsy
Printify is also another popular Print-on-demand service provider that's also Etsy-approved.
Unlike other companies, Printify doesn't manufacture its products.
They instead work with independent print providers, which gives their catalog the widest variety of products on the market (over 900 different products currently) and allows them to have multiple suppliers offering the same product (giving sellers using the platform even more choice).
- Printify offers many products and adds new ones each week to its catalog.
- Printify allows you to choose which provider you'd like to use based on the product offerings, shipping costs, price, production costs, and production time.
- Their Etsy integration is easy to set up and manage. Once you've integrated your Etsy shop into your Printify account, any orders received are quickly processed.
Printed Mint is an incredible service provider with incredible product offerings. With so many great products, m sellers can find items they wouldn't otherwise find with other providers. Printed Mint offers sellers their products to packaged in cellophane with a bow at the top. The package is then surrounded with crinkle paper and put into a box with a branded sticker.
Some pros of using Printed Mint include excellent customer service, varied product offerings, and outstanding print quality.
However, Printed Mint doesn't automatically process orders as they come in.
When an order comes in, you'll need to go in manually to authorize the charge, choose the shipping speed, and finalize the order.
Printful is the first company on the list, and you may have seen the youtube videos all raving about this company thanks to its services. This is because Printful does all of its manufacturing and printing, with fulfillment centers across the United States, Mexico, and Europe. This results in high-quality prints.
Some of the pros of using Printful include the following:
- They offer excellent print quality. This is especially important to avoid customers being unsatisfied.
- No order minimums. This makes it perfect for first-time store owners.
- Easy-to-use Etsy integration making it perfect for first-timers.
- Offers assistance to store owners who need help with design and photography
- Printful offers a wide range of products to choose from. Their catalog features offer over 300 products, all from different categories.
- Their shipping is considered the best among sellers.
Another POD fulfillment company on the list is Gooten. If you're looking for a company that offers fun and exciting products such as acrylic prints, baby seat covers, and body pillows, look no further.
Gooten works with many providers worldwide, however, with a twist. When an order comes in, they route it to a provider that makes the most sense based on the customer's location. This makes the shipping times incredibly fast.
Features of Gooten include :
- Gooten works with over 30 manufacturing partners across the globe.
- Responsive customer service
- Offers a product catalog that's not easy to find elsewhere
- Etsy integration is easy. Once you sync all your products for automatic fulfillment, it becomes plug and play
- Automatic order and delivery tracking
- Education tools for beginners
- Fast delivery times
- Mock generator to see your items in real-time, plus access to other designs
Art of Where
Art of where is a print-on-demand partner that's not as popular as the others on the list; however, it still offers several benefits.
With a unique line of products, sellers can choose from several items to sell within a few clicks.
Pros of Art of where
- The product selection is unique and comprises items you won't easily find with other providers.
- All of the products are made by them, thus minimizing the ambiguity that usually comes with large corporations.
- They easily integrate with Esty and link your products to their platform.
Teelaunch may have the word tee in it. However, this company deals in a LOT more than tees, including the often sought-after Print-On-Demand Metal Signs. Offering a great range of products, Teelaunch is a great place for sellers specializing in apparel for both men and women. Teelaunch has numerous facilities worldwide, making it easy to ship items to your customers regardless of location.
Pros of Tee launch
- Great customer service
- Fast shipping times around the world
- Wide selection of products
- A convenient mock-up generator
- Supports various payment methods
Who will benefit the most from using Teelaunch?
Sellers who are looking for some out-of-the-box products compared to other suppliers.
Despite not being as well known as some of the providers on this list, Shirtly is a fantastic source of products for your Etsy store. Shirtly produces shirts, among several other things, at competitive pricing. Some products sellers can sell include stickers, shirts, and posters.
The company has various fulfillment centers worldwide, making it easy to get products to customers across the globe. Sellers can utilize their mock-up generator functionality to see what products will look like in real-time. This is beneficial when creating products that you're unfamiliar with.
Some of the features of Shirtly include:
- No minimum order or monthly fees
- A state-of-the-art printing facility
- An extensive product catalog that has a lot of items to choose from
- In-built IP protection
Who can benefit from using Shirtly?
While all Etsy sellers can benefit from Shirtly, sellers specializing in apparel will benefit the most.
How to Choose Your Print-on-Demand Service Partner
There are numerous companies available that offer Print-on-demand services. Deciding which company to go with can feel daunting. However, not every company will integrate with Etsy and offer what your business needs. Here are a couple of points to consider when choosing a POD partner:
The Products Available
Ensure your POD partner offers an extensive product selection to avoid being boxed in. The products should also be high quality to meet your customers' expectations. You can ask the supplier for a sample before settling to ensure you know what the quality looks like.
Great customer service
When looking at the various service partner, ensure that the one you go with offers seamless customer service. In case of issues with the products or anything else, you're able to reach them easily without any problems. Additionally, ask around and look at forums to see what people with experience with them have to say.
Shipping is another area that sellers need to be cautious and diligent on. Your customers will expect fast and prompt delivery. If your shipping partner is lacking, this will reflect poorly on you as a seller.
For sellers on Etsy, look for service providers who offer seamless integration between them and Etsy. Decide whether you are okay with having to input the orders every time manually or you prefer one that is one click and done.
Based on our experiences with a variety of different print-on-demand services, we typically recommend Printify as the go-to service for people starting their print-on-demand journey.
They have a broader selection of products than virtually all of the other options discussed on this list (applying your designs to a variety of product types is an excellent way to increase visits and sales) and we've found their customer service to be extremely helpful, in the rare case that we need to resolve an issue with one of our orders.
Finding a print-on-demand partner usually involves a lot of trial and error. You may need to order a few samples, make a few listings to see what it looks like, and do some fine-tuning. However, try as much as possible to have fun with it and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Especially if it's your first time, hang in there, trying out new things, and sooner rather than later, you'll be a pro at it.