This is for Print on Demand – Hey, everyone, so today, I’m gonna answer one of the most common questions that I get asked, and it is this… Sarah, there are so many websites to start a print on demand store with, CafePress, Shopify, Etsy, Redbubble, Teespring, Spreadshirt, what’s the best?
Like, take this question here.
What do I recommend, Teespring, Redbubble or Etsy? And to me, honestly, that’s like asking, what’s better, are cats better or are dogs better? Well, for me in life, there are two things that always make me really happy.
The first thing that always really makes my day is everybody who takes a moment out of their very busy day to give this video a like, and to subscribe to my channel. But seriously, your support means so much, so thank you. But after my very kind viewers and subscribers, the other thing that always makes my day is anytime I get to see or play with dogs.
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Yep, I’m definitely a dog person. So obviously for me getting a dog is the right choice. But just because a dog would be right for me, doesn’t mean that a cat wouldn’t be the right choice for you.
And it’s the same here, as you’ll see, I don’t recommend either Teespring, or Redbubble or Etsy. All three can be good choices, but they are just different. So in this video, I’m gonna give you my top five print on demand websites to start a store on. And I’m also going to explain their pros and cons so that you can choose the right one for you. And explain why I chose the website that I did and why it was right for me.
Alrighty, so let’s move on to the first website I recommend, and that is Redbubble. And by the way, congratulations to all of you subscribers out there that took action and opened a Redbubble store and started making passive income, that is awesome. So what is Redbubble?
Well, Redbubble is a giant online print on demand marketplace, which also has its own print on demand factory. Every single product that you see listed here has been designed just by a random normal person like you or I.
And if we come and search for funny T-shirts, all of these T-shirt designs were uploaded just by average normal people from their houses who are selling these and making money.
And now, there are many print on demand marketplaces like this, of course, such as Spreadshirt, which I talked about in my last video, or CafePress.
And while these are great, the reason why Redbubble is my favorite of these print on demand marketplaces, is because it is the biggest. Every month millions of people come to Redbubble. In any industry, we would therefore call Redbubble a destination website.
And all the traffic has literally paid off, because look, they’ve made over $200 million in the last year selling products on behalf of print on demand sellers, which is why comments like these from my viewers saying that they’re now making money from Redbubble is genuinely a regular occurrence on my channel. Redbubble is also a nice website for people to start their first print on demand store, because it’s really easy.
On Redbubble, there is only one thing that you need to focus on and that is uploading designs. All other aspects of running a business are handled for you. You don’t need to create a store so that customers can come and buy your T-shirt. Redbubble has done that for you by creating this online marketplace.
You don’t have to research and find a print on demand factory to produce products that customers order, ’cause Redbubble has created the print on demand factory themselves and taken care of order production and fulfillment for you.
You don’t need to sign up and register to a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe to be able to accept payments because Redbubble’s website accepts credit cards for you. And importantly, you don’t have to advertise products yourself because remember, tens of millions of people are already visiting Redbubble each year, as it’s already popular and well known, which is how it made over $200 million last year. Because Redbubble handles most of the aspects of running a business for you, it means that you get to just focus your effort on learning one new skill, and that is creating product designs that people want to buy.
And for many people I know that the thought of having to learn how to create products that people want to buy and to have to learn how to market them, and have to learn how to create a store is kind of overwhelming and so, with Redbubble, while it’s less profitable than some of the other websites on the list.
It does simplify the process of starting a print on demand store. And of course, once you’ve uploaded your designs and someone has come and bought them, Redbubble’s print on demand factory will print your design onto the product, package it up and ship it out to them. And as you’ll see, unlike some websites on this list then, Redbubble doubles as both a website to sell your products on and the actual factory that prints and ships the products to the customers.
Another pro is that it’s 100% free to sell on there. Redbubble collects the money that the customer paid, removes their production and shipping fees and pays out the difference to you as a commission, usually between 10 to 20% profits.
So if you are strapped for cash and you find the idea of setting up your own store overwhelming, then Redbubble can be a fantastic option to consider. However, as you will see, if you’re willing to put in a bit more work, then you can go from making side hustle money to quit your job type money.
But first of all, if you are enjoying this training and you would like even more free training on setting up a print on demand website, then be sure to download my free ebook. “The 6 Steps That 6 figure Online Stores Follow to Make Over $10,000 a Month.” And you’ll find a link to download that ebook in the video description below. But anyway onto website number two.
And that is, Etsy.
See, while Redbubble is a nice way to make some extra passive side hustle cash each month. With Etsy, you can legitimately replace your day job. So what is Etsy?
Well, it’s like eBay, but for bespoke goods, which probably sounds funny in my New Zealand accent. So, another words, it’s for handmade crafted goods. And it is huge, and it is massively growing each year. It’s in the top 100 websites in the world and it is visited by hundreds of millions of people each year.
Now compare that to Redbubble, right? Because sure, Redbubble, it gets a lot of visitors, but this is nothing compared to Etsy. And that is shown in the sales numbers too, because sure, Redbubble, they made $200 million last year selling products, whereas on Etsy though, billions of dollars of products were sold on there.
Which is why instead of an extra few hundred dollars a month, Etsy can earn you an extra few thousand dollars a month. There’s just more people buying. Now, Etsy does have a rule that all products you sell must either be craft supplies, vintage or handmade. Well, obviously with print on demand, we don’t make our products by hand, but by Etsy’s rules, print on demand products still count because it was you that typed out that slogan, which you then uploaded to your print on demand company. A strange definition there, Etsy, but, hey, we ain’t gonna complain.
Here is an Etsy print on demand store that I’ve highlighted before, Smash Transit, they’ve made over 20,000 plus sales. However, while this is awesome, it was definitely a lot more work for Smash Transit to set up this store on Etsy compared to if they’d set it up on Redbubble.
Because you see, remember how Redbubble was both a print on demand marketplace that you could sell the products that you designed on. And also the print on demand factory that manufactured each item that the customer bought. Well, on Etsy, you don’t get that. All you get is the online marketplace part. You can list your T-shirts that you want to sell like Smash Transit did, but Etsy can’t make them for you. They don’t have a print on demand factory. So then, what do print on demand Etsy stores like Smash Transit do?
What they do is they look for an external print on demand service that integrates with Etsy.
And Smash Transit chose to use one of my favorite external print on demand services Printful, which is very similar to another service that I showed in my last video that I also use, Printify.
During COVID, as my longtime subscribers know, Printful struggled, but now they’re back to fast shipping times and they’ve been shipping out my items within two to 10 business days, including DTG clothing, like T-shirt, so that has been awesome.
So, here is what Smash Transit did, they registered for a free Printful account and went through the catalog or print on demand items that Printful makes. And they pick which ones they wanted to sell and once they have chosen their product. And for them, they chose to sell the Bella Canvas 3001 T-shirt that Printful produces. They came and uploaded the picture that they wanted to sell onto it.
And they selected which of the color variations of the T-shirts that they wanted to sell in their store. Printful then saved a digital copy of this T-shirt for them in their computer database.
They then went and used the Printful Etsy integration to add the products that they had created with Printful into to their Etsy store. And so now when someone comes and buys a T-shirt from Smash Transit on Etsy, Printful’s print on demand factory sees the order come through, prints the design onto the T-shirt, packages the T-shirt up and ships it out to the customer.
So as you can see, even though it’s not difficult to create a print on demand store on Etsy, compared to Redbubble, there is definitely a bit more set up required. It pays off though, because some of you eagle eyed people out there may have noticed that Smash Transit are charging $29.50 for their T-shirts and over $40 for their sweatshirts.
Now compare that to Redbubble, where T-shirts are selling for $18 or $19. Why such a big difference? Well, it’s because Etsy market themselves as a handmade marketplace, find something you love, support independent creators, they really play this up. So customers are willing to pay more for what they perceive to be a premium product. So, shh, no one tells Etsy customers that most of the products on Etsy are just mass produced in a print on demand factory, shh. But there is another reason why some of my viewers out there might not want to sell on Etsy and that is the fees. Here is the deal.
When a customer buys a T-shirt from Smash Transit, they don’t immediately get that $29.50 if they pay with Etsy Payments. It takes time for that money to clear, just a few days at most, it’s just payment logistics. You can’t get the money that the customer paid immediately. Yet Printful require that you pay them $12.95 plus shipping for the T-shirt the customer bought immediately. Etsy also has a 20 cent item listing fee that you have to pay upfront too to sell items on the website.
And this is fine of course, as long as you have to 200 or $300 on a debit card or a credit card to pay for these fees, I personally use a credit card in situations like this, why? Well, because customer’s payments clear well before payments are due for credit cards, which usually give you four to five weeks to pay them off, so I never get charged interest. But of course, some people don’t have access to a credit card or startup money.
So for those people, I’d recommend that they choose a 100% free website, such as Redbubble, Spreadshirt or CafePress. But now, onto website number three. But before I do that though, if you’ve got any questions then you should be sure to come along to my Instagram Hangout at 8:00 PM Eastern USA time tonight as in the day that this video goes live, I regularly host Q&A Hangouts on my Instagram page, so if you haven’t followed me, go ahead and do so now so that you don’t miss out on any of them. But anyway, back to the video.
Alright, website, number three, Teespring. Now I’m gonna be upfront about this, Teespring for many, is kind of a trap. Sarah, I’ve put up T-shirts on Teespring and no one is finding them or buying them, what’s going on? Well, I’ll tell you what’s going on. See, on the surface Teespring looks identical to Redbubble, it’s a big print on demand marketplace that people can upload their designs onto.
If we search for funny T-shirts, all the T-shirt designs that we can see here were uploaded by users like you and I and just like Redbubble, Teespring produce and manufacture all products sold in house in their own print on demand factory, so you don’t have to connect an external service like you do if you open a store on Etsy. And just like with Redbubble, there are no upfront costs. When someone buys a product from you, Teespring collects the money the customer paid, removes their fees and pays the profit to you as a commission, and their commission rates are much higher than Redbubble’s. Look at how much profit you make from an $18 T-shirt. Redbubble would give you about 10% for this. So, surely Teespring is the same, if not better than red bubble, right? Well, check this out.
Teespring has a little clause here, the Trust Score clause. See, on Redbubble, if you come to the search bar and search for funny T-shirts, Redbubble will show you all of the funny T-shirts that all of their users have ever uploaded, but Teespring doesn’t do this. Instead, Teespring only shows you the T-shirts from sellers that have developed what’s called a trust score, which you achieve by advertising and marketing products yourself through things like social media traffic, and paid ads, and making sales.
And that’s why these users couldn’t find their products when they searched for them. They hadn’t marketed the products themselves, and so they hadn’t made any sales, and so thus, had no trust score.
And so unless you have a plan on how you’re gonna do that, starting a Teespring store is like opening up a store in the middle of a desert. No one will ever find your T-shirts because Teespring won’t ever show them to anybody. Now, this alone does not make Teespring bad, it just means you’re gonna have to approach it with a different strategy.
Here is the type of person that I usually recommend consider Teespring. I recommend it to people who have, or are building a social media following on say Facebook or Instagram, and they want a free way to make money with it. So you take Engineer Memes. Over time, Engineer Memes built up a big following of over 800,000 followers on Facebook for free, by reposting funny pictures for engineers. Now, in some of their picture descriptions, they post a URL to their Teespring store. People click on this and they come and they buy their products.
And in fact, they’re top selling design, Trust me, I’m an Engineer, has sold over $200,000. So in my opinion, you should consider Teespring if you have a social media following like this, and you need a free way to monetize it. However, if you do have some startup money set aside, you should consider my fourth website. And that website is Shopify.
Yep, as my subscribers know, I don’t use a third party marketplace, I use Shopify, which I’ve installed on my own private URL. When you sell in a private store, as you’ll see, it comes with the advantage that it by far has the highest profit potential. Plus it also allows you to have the highest quality control, which is probably why it’s the most popular option amongst my subscribers too.
But it also has the most work involved. So what is Shopify?
Well, it’s a website that allows you to make your own private store on your own domain and it’s one of the most trusted eCommerce platforms with the biggest development team behind it being the second biggest company in Canada. So, here’s an example of a print on demand store that I set up, Brewed Treats.
I don’t like to reveal the actual products I sell because I want to protect my IPs from being copied. But I have set up an example website to show you how a print on demand Shopify store works. And this website is set up on its own domain name, not an external website like Etsy or Teespring. And inside the admin area, what I did was I connected it to my two favorite external print on demand services, Printful and another one I talked about in my last video Printify.
And well, I mean, it’s just like connecting these external print on demand services to an Etsy store. So take Printful, now that I’ve connected it to my Shopify store, all I have to do is go and create my product inside of Printful, which then stores a digital copy of the T-shirt inside of its computers.
And I can then push that T-shirt to my store and list it for sale, so that when customers come and they buy this, Printful’s warehouse will see the order, print the design onto the T-shirt, package the T-shirt up, and ship it out to the customer. It’s just like Smash Transit’s business model, except instead of selling on Etsy, I’m selling through my own private website. Oh, and just an explanation too, I had this user here ask, why you would either connect an external store like Shopify or Etsy to Printful.
Why not just sell using Printful? Well it’s because Printful are only a print on demand factory. They have no ability to open a store or sell products through their website. If I had a Printful account, but I had no Shopify store, then I would have products to sell, but no store to sell them in.
And if I just had a Shopify store, then I would have a store to sell products in, but no products to sell in it. So I need both.
But running this is definitely not free. You have to pay Shopify monthly subscription fees to use their platform. And just like with Smash Transit and Etsy, if a customer pays me money, I don’t get it immediately. So the customer pays me money on Monday. Well, I might not get that payment until Wednesday.
However, having your own store on your own private domain instead of a third party marketplace means that you have a much higher profit potential. So for example, if you come to Teespring, check this out.
When we scroll down the page, you’ll see that Teespring recommended other engineering T-shirt and hoodies, which are not the ones made by Engineer Memes. And if I come to Etsy and scroll down the page, we’ll see that Etsy is also advertising different products that are not Smash Transit’s.
And there is nothing that they can do about it. Whereas if we scroll down my store product page, guess what we will see? We’ll see more products sure, but they’re all mine, because I’m not sharing the space with any of my competitors.
So in my opinion, if you have both the startup money to create your own store and you have your own traffic strategy, like I do, which these days is primarily Google SEO traffic, which I talk about in this video here, then you’re gonna make a lot more money opening up your own store on a private domain name instead of Teespring or Etsy.
But it definitely has the most setup involved. So if you’d like some help, my premium eCommerce training course, The Ecomm Clubhouse focuses on setting up a store on Shopify.
If you’re interested in seeing if it’s right for you, I’ll have a link to it in the video description below. And with that, we’ve come to website number five. Merch by Amazon.
So you know how Etsy is in the top 100 websites in the world, well, Amazon is in the top 20 and it’s the biggest eCommerce website by far, So, you know, if you open up a print on demand store on here, there are lots of preexisting customers and buyers to take advantage of.
So no marketing required just like Redbubble. And just like Redbubble, Amazon actually has its own print on demand factory. Yep, Amazon has its own print on demand service, which of course is called Merch by Amazon. It’s absolutely free to register. Just like with Redbubble, once you’ve registered, you come and choose which of their products that you want to sell.
And once you’ve done that, you then upload either a slogan or a piece of artwork that you’ve created. Amazon’s computers will then create and store a digital copy of your product in their database. And you can choose what colors you want your product to be in and set a price for it. And just like Redbubble, Amazon charge you nothing. They simply collect the money the customer paid, remove their production and shipping fees. And then they pay the profit to you in the form of a commission.
So it’s a good website to start a store or business on if you have no startup money, because there are no startup costs or fees. Then once you have submitted your design and it has been approved, Amazon will create a listing for it.
And this T-shirt here was actually created with the Merch by Amazon program and using Jungle Scout, We can see that this has been a big seller each month. This T-shirt is sitting here making its creator passive money from the tens of millions of people that come to Amazon each day looking for products, who find this T-shirt and buy it. So, selling on here has many of the same advantages as Redbubble.
So if this interests you, you should definitely check out Merch by Amazon. But there is one very big difference between the two, because while red bubble will immediately let you create an account and start selling, Merch by Amazon makes you submit an application.
And I definitely recommend going to Google and looking up articles on how to write out a great application to increase your chances of getting accepted.
Some of our viewers have done this and had success. Others haven’t been so lucky. But in the end you can only find out by trying and applying, so what do you have to lose.
If Merch by Amazon interests you, take action and apply now. Thank you for watching, I hope this video helped you. And if you’d like to learn even more about creating T-shirts that customers love and buy, then you should be sure to watch my video, 10 Tips to Create T-shirts That Sell.
So go ahead, watch my next video and I’ll see you over there.
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