How to Make Money from Print on Demand with Shopify?

Reading Time: 15 minutes

What is Print on Demand?

Print on Demand (PoD), or order fulfillment, is where products are printed and shipped immediately after an order has been placed.

It is not necessary to keep stock. Instead, you can work with a supplier to hold the inventory and send all orders.

First, choose a product from the suppliers catalog to get started with Print on Demand. Next, customize the product and add it your online store with a retail cost.

This guide will use Shopify to create our online store. It’s the easiest and best way to start. You can sign-up for a Shopify trial here, and then follow this guide.

Dropshipping is similar to print-on-demand if you are familiar with it.

Print on Demand is similar in many ways to dropshipping:

  • There is no need to purchase or keep any inventory
  • Your selling price is greater than the base product price
  • Your supplier ships and returns your orders
  • The supplier will never reveal themselves to the customer

Print on Demand is different from dropshipping in these ways:

  • Any product that you wish to customize can be done
  • It is more likely that you will find suppliers in North America or Europe.
  • Standard delivery times are significantly faster
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Let’s now look at the reasons why Print on Demand is such a great way for you to manage your online business.

Why should you print on demand?

Print on Demand’s greatest benefit is the ability to sell and test products without having to purchase inventory. This will greatly reduce your business’s costs.

You won’t be charged upfront for product or ad testing, so you have more money available to spend on product and ad testing.

This will allow you to quickly determine which adverts and products perform best.

Print on Demand offers lower risks and is a more risk-friendly business model. Your supplier keeps all inventory, and the product is made only after the customer has placed an order.

This allows you to quickly test new ideas, and pivot your business strategy as needed.

Print on Demand is a great business model because of the following reasons:

  • Before you commit to a business idea full-time, you can test it out.
  • Test new products in an existing business
  • You can make money from an existing audience you have created or a community that you already own
  • This is great for YouTubers, artists, and influencers because it allows you to do what you love while your supplier fulfills your orders.
  • It is possible to create unique products for niche customers. You can create original products for niche markets such as gaming, memes or sports.
  • It’s easy to quickly pick up the latest trends and make products based upon what’s in high demand.
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Print on Demand is an easy way to start an online business or source products.

This business model has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Print on Demand: The Pros

  • PoD is a method to create an online business that uses dropshipping, which means products and shipping are handled by third parties.
  • It is one of the easiest ways to start an online business or source products.
  • You can easily create designs for tees, phone cases, bags, pillows, and other items.
  • It is great for quickly creating new products.
  • Once you have a design you can quickly create and sell products.
  • It is easier to capitalize on the newest trends.
  • This is a great place to test new product ideas
  • Your print on demand supplier takes care of shipping and fulfillment.
  • After the sale, you are responsible only for customer service and marketing.
  • You can create designs with tools such as Placeit and Canva.
  • It doesn’t take much to design your own designs. You can also hire someone from Fiverr and have the design created for you.
  • Business running costs are lower because you don’t have to store or buy inventory.

Cons of Printing on Demand

  • You will make a higher profit margin if you buy in bulk. The cost per item is therefore higher than buying individually. A t-shirt that you sell for $30 may cost you $15. High sales volumes will make you more money with Print on Demand.
  • Shipping costs and shipping options are less easily controlled.
  • There is limited product customization. The supplier and the product are the only ones that can customize a product.
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Select Your Niche, Product, and Suppliers

You must choose a niche to start your Print on Demand business.

A niche market (or niche market) refers to a segment of the market that only appeals to a small number of people.

Shopify offers a great guide to help you find the right niche for your online business.

Monetize an existing community

You may have an existing niche of customers that you are able to sell to.

You can, for example, sell merchandise that is related to your brand and the content you create on YouTube.

Print on Demand can be used to monetize Instagram and TikTok accounts in the same manner.

You can sell activewear or clothing for fitness if you create content.

You can either use your most popular quotes to design your clothes brand or you can hire a designer.

You can choose a niche that is based on your interests

You can find a niche if you don’t have one already.

First, look at your interests and those of others.

Which brands are your favorites? What is it that makes these brands your favourite?

You can, for example, sell customized travel mugs or backpacks through Printify.

You can also sell stainless steel water bottles and phone cases that are biodegradable if you want to make your brand eco-friendly.

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It is possible to sell hoodies made of a mix of recycled polyester and organic cotton.

These are just a few niche ideas that Printify can help you start. We’ll be looking at two additional Print on Demand suppliers in the section “Choose a Supplier Print on Demand”.

Google Trends is a great way to find niche opportunities.

Google Trends can help you discover new product niches to add to your print-on-demand store.

If done correctly, this can be a powerful strategy for product research.

Before you start searching for something, scroll down to view the examples and see what’s hot.

This will help you to identify niches and interests that can be used for inspiration.

The screenshot below shows that both “American Football” (or “Fortnite”) are hot topics.

Keep track of these two interests and search for more.

These interests can be used to create products, but you must ensure that your products do not violate copyright.

You should not, for example, create products that use the name of a football club, the word Fortnite, or any characters from the game.

Instead, you should create products that are based on these interests.

You could make mugs or t-shirts that are related to American Football. Just search “American Football Mugs” for ideas.

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Mugs, travel mugs and wattle bottles featuring meme-style quotes are a great idea.

For more design inspiration, you can search Pinterest for “Football Mugs”.

Fortnite is an example of how online gaming can be a profitable niche.

You can make t-shirts and mugs with gaming inspired graphics.

Scroll down to Google Trends’ “Recently Trending” section for more product ideas.

The screenshot below shows that “XRP” and “Buffalo Bills are both currently in fashion.

This can be used to confirm that Cryptocurrency and American Football are both popular niches for building products.

These interest ideas should be added to your list. Also, note the niche or theme.

  • American Football (instead the name of the football teams)
  • Cryptocurrency is an alternative to the cryptocurrency name
  • Online Gaming (instead the game’s title)

You can expand your market by focusing on the niche that is driving the interest. This will help you avoid copyright penalties.

To see more trending interests, click on “More Trending Searches”.

Once you have compiled a list, go back on Google Trends to compare them all. This will allow you to determine their popularity and the related search terms.

Start comparing your interests by entering the name of your first passion into the search bar.

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The next step is to add the topics you’ve already noted. Google Trends allows you to compare up five topics at once.

Select a supplier of print-on-demand

Once you have some ideas for niches or products, it is time to look for suppliers.

The following criteria should be considered when choosing a Print on Demand supplier:

  • Which type of products do you want to make?
  • You want to ship your product to the following locations
  • The retail prices that you intend to sell the product

Here are some suppliers that offer Print on Demand. These PoD services are completely free and only cost you once your customer orders one of your products.

They can also be integrated with Shopify


Printful has a wide range of products that makes it a popular supplier for Print on Demand. The built-in mockup creator makes it easy to create new designs.

For a more personalized experience, you can add your logos, custom stickers and business cards to the unboxing experience.

Printful offers many printing options for clothing and apparel.

  • Direct to Garment (DTG printing) — Designs are printed directly on the material. Simple designs and text-based designs are best.
  • All-Over printing — Also known under the name sublimation. This printing process involves your design being printed on paper using dye ink, and then heat transferred onto the fabric. While Sublimation allows you to cover the entire garment with your design while DTG printing only covers a small area.
  • Embroidery — The designs are threaded throughout the product. Simple designs are best, with only a few colors. Text-based designs are also recommended. Accessories like beanies or hats, which traditionally use embroidery designs, may be better.
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Prices may be affected by additional customizations. Printful offers mugs and pillows, jewellery, beach towels, frames posters, and other accessories.


Lulu offers self-publishing print on request services for books.

You can select from a variety of book sizes, binding type, paper types, and cover finishes with the Lulu xPress App.

You can create these types of books with Lulu:

  • Print books
  • Photo books
  • Comic books
  • Magazines
  • Year books
  • Calendars
  • Ebooks

Lulu xPress doesn’t allow you to design books, but they do have downloadable templates that you can use. You can even use the pricing calculator to compare costs for different product combinations.

For bulk orders, you can also receive discounts


Printify, another Shopify supplier of print on demand, offers a selection of t-shirts and hoodies as well as water bottles, water bottles, leggings, and hats.

Printify’s international vendor network is a great advantage. It offers a wide variety of white label products that are unique and unobtainable elsewhere.

Printify offers over 200 products that you can customize and then sell, including:

  • Both men and women can wear clothing and underwear
  • Jewellry
  • Shoes
  • Face masks
  • Magnets, calendars and stickers
  • Pin buttons, watch bands and aprons. Dog tags, dog tags, scarfs.
  • Towels, towels and bath mats
  • Lamps, bowls and rugs, as well as Christmas tree skirts or stockings
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Printify can be used for free, but you can also opt for a monthly payment plan which gives you 20% off all their products and the ability to open more than five stores.

Printify’s free plan allows you to have 5 stores and unlimited product designs.

Printify Premium costs $29 per month and allows you to open 10 stores. All products are discounted up to 20%

This plan is ideal for those who want to expand their print-on-demand business, particularly because of the discounts.

Print on Demand Supplier Tips

You should order samples whenever you decide to print on demand.

The following are the benefits of ordering samples:

  • You can see the quality of the material firsthand
  • You can experience the delivery times and order processing yourself
  • Check out your design to see if it came out as you had hoped.
  • You can also take your product photos
  • After you’re done, you can give the samples away for free

For assistance on how to resolve any design issues, you can always contact your supplier’s customer service team.

Here are some guidelines for ordering samples from print-on-demand suppliers

Lulu xPress does not offer book samples, but you can contact their customer service department for more information.

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Shopify Store Setup

Go to Shopify. Enter your email address, and click Start a free trial. Next, follow the Shopify setup instructions:

  • Set up a password
  • Name your store
  • Click on Create your store
  • Answer or skip optional questions after the initial setup.
  • Register your details to get paid
  • Scroll down and click on Enter my store.

Now, you should be logged into your Shopify account. A banner will appear indicating that your account is currently on a free trial.

Next, you will need to select a Shopify plan.

Notice: Shopify plans are only charged after the 14-day free trial period has ended.

To view Shopify plans, click on the Select A Plan button. The next page will display three plans:

  • Basic Shopify — $29/month
  • Shopify — $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per Month

The $29 per monthly Basic Shopify plan will be most useful at this stage.

The Basic Shopify plan includes everything you need to sell online. It costs $29 and is a small investment to allow you to start your online shop and receive payments every day.

Select your Shopify plan, and decide if you want to make monthly or annual payments.

Next, choose a payment method (PayPal/Credit/Debit Card), and then enter your payment details.

You can use both your PayPal account and your credit card to make sure you don’t miss a payment.

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Even if you have multiple payment options, you will only be charged once. If the first fails, your second payment method may be used as a backup.

Your Shopify account is now ready to sell. Next, integrate your print on demand supplier app into your Shopify store.

Shopify: Connect your Print On Demand App

In this guide, we mentioned three suppliers of print on demand:

  • Printful
  • Lulu
  • Printify

All three integrate with Shopify, and I’ll show how you can do it below.

How to connect Printful with your Shopify account

These steps will allow you to connect Printerful to your Shopify account.

  1. Go to Apps on your Shopify dashboard.
  2. Next, click “Visit Shopify App Store”.
  3. Look for “Printful”
  4. Choose the Printful app.
  5. Next, click on “Add app”.
  6. Click “Install app” on the confirmation page.
  7. Register or log in to Printful on the next page.
  8. To confirm your connection to Printful to Shopify, click “Connect store”.

How to Start a Print-On-Demand Business

How to connect Lulu with your Shopify account

These steps will allow you to connect Lulu xPress to your Shopify Account.

  1. Go to Apps on your Shopify dashboard.
  2. Next, click “Visit Shopify App Store”.
  3. Look for “Lulu xPress”.
  4. Choose the Lulu xPress App.
  5. Next, click on “Add app”.
  6. Click “Install app” on the confirmation page.
  7. Next, sign up or log in to your Lulu xPress Account.
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How to connect Printify with your Shopify account

These steps will allow you to connect Printerify to your Storeify account.

  1. Go to Apps on your Shopify dashboard.
  2. Next, click “Visit Shopify App Store”.
  3. Look for “Printify”
  4. Choose the Printify app.
  5. Next, click on “Add app”.
  6. Click “Install app” on the confirmation page.
  7. Next, sign up or log in to your Printify account.

It is easy to connect your print on demand app with Shopify, as you can see.

After your store is connected and fully set up, you can begin looking for designers.

Later, I will show you how to customize your Shopify store quickly.

Find Designers

To start a print on demand business, you don’t need to be a full-time designer.

You have the option to create your own designs or hire a professional or friend to do it.

These sites will help you find designers for your products:

  • Fiverr
  • Behance
  • 99Designs
  • Upwork

Fiverr is my favorite way to find designers. Search for phrases such as “mug designs” and “t-shirt designs”.

No matter what your need is for a designer, these two phrases will get you to print on demand designers.

Here are some search results that will give you an idea of what to do.

  • T-shirt designs on Fiverr
  • Mug Designs on Fiverr
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Clear and specific instructions are essential when you outsource your design work.

Tell your designers what niche you are targeting, and tell them about the interests of your audience.

Make sure you know exactly what you want. Do you need a catchphrase that is text-based? Are you looking for bright, eye-catching graphics?

You could use the following ideas to design t-shirts that target the gaming market:

  • Text and Graphic — A silhouette of a PlayStation or Xbox controller with a brief quote below, above, or behind it. The outline of the controller can be either blue or green or a combination of both.
  • Graphic only — A Gameboy with graffiti or spray paint.
  • Text only — A brief quote in the same font used for popular games like Alien Invaders or Tetris.

Send any of your favorite designs to your designer. This will help them to understand what you are trying to achieve.

Send your designer photos of the product, fonts, games, or styles that you would like to be included in your design.

Your job as a designer is to provide as much information as possible to help them bring your ideas to life. Your designer will appreciate more information.

A designer who allows for revisions should be considered.

Fiverr allows designers to list how many revisions they are willing to make to your final design.

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There are three options: two revisions, five revisions, or unlimited revisions.

Here are some additional details you can pass on to your designer.

  • Make sure your designs can be printed
  • Design should have a transparent background
  • Designs should have a minimum of 300dpi (digital pixel per inch).

You can skip to the next step if you are interested in creating your own designs.

Make your own designs

If you are really creative you can either create your own designs or use a template.

How to make designs

You can use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or another free design software if you are skilled in graphic design.

To create your own print-on-demand designs, you don’t have to be a professional designer.

To create beautiful designs with pre-made templates, you can use design tools such as Canva or Placeit.


Canva allows you to create logos, posters and T-shirt designs.

Go to Canva to get started. Type in a keyword related to your product or niche.

You can, for example, type “t-shirt”, mug”, “phone case”, or “sticker”.

Select a template you like, modify it and then download it.

Canva’s greatest feature is the ability to mix and match templates to create a unique design.

Canva offers a free plan as well as a premium Canva Pro package for $12.99 per month and $119.99 per annum.

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The premium plan offers all the benefits of the free version, plus the following:

  • Use transparent backgrounds to download your images
  • 420,000+ Free Templates with New Designs Daily
  • 75+ million premium stock photos and videos, as well as audio and graphics, are available for free.
  • One-click Magic Resize
  • Upload your logos and fonts to create a brand kit
  • 100GB cloud storage
  • Schedule social media content for 7 platforms
  • Save your designs as templates to save for your team

The Canva Pro plan is my favorite, mainly because you can download all your images with transparent backgrounds.

Access to premium templates and designs is also available for $12.99 per month. This tool is a great resource for regular designers.


Placeit allows you to create your own designs such as logos, book covers and T-shirt designs.

This tool has a major advantage: you can create custom mockups (product pictures) for your online shop.

To get started , go to Placeit, and click on Designs. Type a keyword that is related to your niche in the search bar. For example, “gaming”.

You can also search for products by type, such as “t-shirt”, book or phone case.

Select a design you like, customize it and then download it.

Design ideas for Print on Demand: How to Find It

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You can use Google to find inspiration for your ideas.

Google is a great place to find design ideas for your print-on-demand business. Just search for your niche and product name. You could search for “football mugs” and “gaming T-shirts”.

You can create your own designs if you like any of the designs you have seen. However, you should keep your design unique and distinct from the original.

Make mockups

Mockups can be a great way for you to show your products, especially if it is not possible to take good photos.

Many print-on-demand suppliers will allow you to create a mockup of the product. This allows you to showcase it in person or with a themed background.

You can create mockups with Placeit, which offers thousands of mockup styles.

Placeit allows you to create photo and video mockups at $8 each.

These mockups of Placeit include:

  • Male and female models in various settings and poses (outside or indoors, sitting, exercising etc.).
  • For mockups, you have the option of using a transparent background or a background with a color.
  • Mockups of your product being placed on a desk or laid out alongside other similar products.
  • Some mockups can even be free

Mockupworld and Behance offer photoshop templates that you can manually edit if you are a good photographer.

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Shipping Times and Costs for Print-on-Demand

A shipping page should be created that outlines the shipping times of your products. Make sure to include the product time when listing shipping times.

You can get the average shipping time from your print-on-demand supplier to make it easier.

Printful Shipping Time: 2-5 Business Days for non-apparel items and 2-7 Business Days for apparel products.

Printify Shipping time: 2-7 days after the order submission date.

Lulu xPress shipping time: 3-5 business days.

When setting up your print-on-demand store, it is important to consider shipping costs.

Try to add shipping costs to your product’s retail price if you can. Try to add half the shipping cost to your product if you are unable or unwilling.

Surprise shipping charges can deter some buyers from purchasing online, according to studies. This can be avoided by including shipping costs in your retail price, and offering free shipping.

A t-shirt might have a $15 base price and shipping costs of $3.99. The total cost of the t-shirt would be $18.99. You could offer free shipping or sell it at $29.99 to make $11 profit.

You can sell the tee at $24.99 and make $6 profit, with no shipping charges.

Shipping costs are still payable by the customer, but they are included in the order price. This ensures that your customer does not have to pay an extra shipping cost at the last minute.

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Shipping costs are always paid by the customer, regardless of how they are presented.

  • Printful Shipping Page
  • Printify Shipping Page
  • Lulu Shipping Page
  • Lulu Project Pricing Calculator

You can offer free shipping promotions if you don’t intend to offer free shipping by default. You can, for example, create a discount code to offer free shipping on orders above $40

Customers will be more likely to purchase additional products in order to reach the free shipping threshold. This works well if the threshold price isn’t too high.

If you sell shirts at $29.99 or $30, customers will be more likely to spend more if they get free shipping when they spend $40.

Customers will feel that they are close to getting the discount, as $40 isn’t too far from $30. Customers may feel compelled to make an impulse purchase to reach the threshold.

It works in two ways.

  • Customers who meet the threshold will receive free shipping if they are eligible.
  • Customers will be motivated to reach the threshold if they see it as a little too difficult ($10 less than average product price).

Shopify Store can be given a custom domain name

When you sign up for a Shopify account, every store gets a default, free “” domain (for example “”).

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Although the “ domain is free, it doesn’t have a branding and appears less professional than a custom one.

Branded domain names can increase customer trust and give your shop a professional appearance.

Examples of custom domains include “” or “” instead of “”

This section will show you how to add a custom domain to your Shopify shop.

It is simple to buy a custom domain name for your Shopify store:

  • Click on the link to go to Online Store > Domains
  • Click “Buy a new domain” on the Domains page.
  • Enter your store name to see if there is a domain name available
  • If the domain you are looking for isn’t listed, try adding words such as “shop”, store, or “online” to your search terms and start again.
  • Click Buy once you have found a domain name.
  • If you don’t have one, add it.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Buy Domain.

Shopify allows you to change your primary domain

To modify your primary domain on Shopify, visit Online Store > Domains then click “Change primarydomain”.

Select your domain name and click Save in the popup.

Shopify Store Customization

It is easy to customize your Shopify store. To get started, you can either choose a premium or free theme from their theme shop.

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Install a theme in your Shopify store

Shopify offers two free themes: the Minimal and Debut.

Go to Online Store > Themes to add a theme for your Shopify store. Scroll down and click Explore free themes.

Shopify’s theme library will be opened. Select the theme that you like, choose a style and then click Add to the theme library.

After you are done click on Actions and then click Publish. Shopify will prompt you to confirm the action. Click on the blue Publish button.

Customizing your Shopify store

After your theme has been installed scroll up and click Customize.

Each Shopify theme can be broken down into sections, which makes theme customization simple.

Below are the sections that you will need to customize.

  • In the Header section, add your logo
  • You can add your images to any Image section.
  • Edit any Images with text sections and add your text and photos.
  • You are currently using Print-on-Demand, so delete the Our Store section.
  • Click on the Footer section to delete the Newsletter sign-up module.

To create eye-catching images for product images, banners or marketing images, use Canva or Placeit .

You can now customize Shopify to get started selling.

Shopify’s customization guide can be found here.

You can also hire our team to create your Shopify store.

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Once you are ready to open your store, click on the Disable password so that customers can see it.


For new entrepreneurs and anyone looking to try out new products before investing, print on demand is a great way to get inventory.

You can also publish your own books and start your own clothing shop, merchandise store, or art business.

Do you want to start your own print-on-demand business? Please leave a comment and tell us how it’s going. You can ask any questions.

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