Start A Print-On-Demand Business 2024 Boost Sales

No need to read unbiased guides on how to start a print-on-demand business.

I’m an avid eCommerce entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience. I’ve run multiple successful print-on-demand businesses. And will show you the exact blueprint to scale your TENFOLD.

This detailed guide will help you avoid the mistakes I made. And ensure MAXIMUM success.

I’ll cover what a print-on-demand business is. The pros and cons. My strategy for starting such a business and tips to help you scale FASTER.

Are you excited? Let’s go…

Start a Print-On-Demand Business

What Is A Print-On-Demand Business?

What Is a Print-on-Demand Business

Print-on-demand is a very SIMPLE business model.

An eCommerce store/provider produces items when a customer orders. This could be anything: home decor, books, apparel, footwear, and SO MUCH MORE.

The best part…

You don’t have to worry about upfront printing, inventory costs. And other associated costs. Plus, you tend to pick up industry trends MUCH FASTER. (much more on these later!)

Oh, before I forget,  you’ll need to partner with print-on-demand companies. They’ll handle everything, including sorting, packaging, and delivery. You just need a KILLER marketing strategy. You’ll enjoy HUGE profit margins.

You can use print-on-demand services for?

Print-on-demand services have TONS of uses. These include:

  • Start a Merch business. Merch is where ALL the money’s at. Especially if you are a YouTuber, Social Media Personality, or Influencer. Did you know that Mr. Beast makes over $40 million from his merch business?? Well, now you do!
  • Bring your business idea to life (and see how the market receives it). This has been my hack since the BC days. Listen, I’m not the type of eCom-preneur who will spend thousands of dollars on launching a new product. POD services help me test a product’s potential to scale. Without stocking expensive inventory in my own store.
  • Start an authentic product line. Yes, it’s easy to find a HIGH-SELLING item and stock it in your own online store. EVERYONE IS DOING THAT THESE DAYS! But print-on-demand service helps you bring your unique designs to the online marketplace.

So, it’s your call to make.

Just remember to give it your all. Stick around to find out how to launch your print-on-demand store the RIGHT WAY.

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Benefits Of Print-On-Demand Business

Benefits of Print-on-Demand Business

The print-on-demand business has TONS of benefits.

I’ll explain…

Easy to Start

You don’t need to wrestle a lion to get started here! In fact, you don’t even have to be a computer wizard.

Print-on-demand sites are EASY to use. Just sign up. Pick an item you want to design. Create designs. And start marketing. 

Once you get an order, the POD company does ALL the donkey work. And you get to keep the profits. Pretty awesome, right?

Plus, you get easy-to-follow guides that make life much EASIER. I’ll break this stuff down in the starting a print-on-demand business section.

No Inventory Costs

No Inventory Costs

That alone makes it much CHEAPER than any other business out there, IMO. 

Think about it for a second… 

You only stock an item once a customer places an order. That automatically eliminates those EXPENSIVE warehouse costs. This is perfect for any cash-strapped entrepreneur, HANDS DOWN!

Also, it’s a no-brainer since you won’t lose sleep over dead stock. EVER.

Just stock what you need. Start selling. Restock. The cycle continues. There’s no way you can go wrong with this!

Wide Product Range

Print on demand business model does NOT tie you to one product. That’s the beauty of it.

I’ll tell you my story.

My friend introduced me to this business model a few years ago. Of course, I outsourced the designs…you prolly know I don’t like designing. (if you’ve been reading my blogs).

I was selling custom products, especially t-shirts. And the profits were GREAT. But my sales exploded when I tapped into other products.

At that time, fitness was HUGE. So, I started selling custom yoga pants and gym apparel. I soon ditched that for wall art. And that was one of my BEST business decisions.

Wide Product Range

I was raking in thousands of profits from orders by new homeowners. Realtors all over the region.

Little to no fulfillment costs

Like I said before, print-on-demand companies handle almost EVERYTHING. That includes order processing, the actual printing, and shipping.

This helps lower shipping costs. As opposed to handling everything ALONE.

Well, here’s the other side of the coin…

What are the disadvantages?

No control over shipping

I know I said you stand to get lower shipping costs. But that’s not ALWAYS the case.

Shipping costs can get very messy at times. Especially if your orders are from a foreign country. Also, you don’t get to customize your shipping packages to your desired outcome.

This might lower customer satisfaction if done poorly. Limit your potential to scale in the competitive marketplace.

Relatively Low-Profit Margins

Get this – this model involves on-demand printing and customization. That increases the overall price-per-unit compared to bulk sales.

Also, individual purchases further increase the profit margins. Hence, makes the entire business unprofitable if you have little to no sales.

Don’t worry…

With GOOD sales channels, you can run an EXTREMELY profitable print business.

Zero control on print quality

Zero control on print quality

Since you aren’t handling inventory DIRECTLY. It’s hard to deliver high-quality products if you work with UNRELIABLE POD services.

Here’s my advice…

Ask your print-on-demand supplier to ship you a sample. That will give you an insight into the overall quality and shipping experience.

Again, it ensures customers will be happy with their custom products. And you’ll scale your pod store to six figures and beyond.

NOTE. Every business has its share of disadvantages. For this case, the pros outweigh the cons. Making it a PROFITABLE business venture.

Start A Print-On-Demand Business

Here’s my detailed guide for starting a print-on-demand online business:

1. Define Your Niche

Define Your Niche

I’ve been advocating for ALL e-commerce entrepreneurs to pick a niche. And stick to it. Being a jack of all trades is the FASTEST way to epic failure.

Honestly, I don’t know how else to say this. That’s just facts. With a well-defined niche, you get minimal competition. Reduced spending on paid advertising. Better profits!

I really struggled with picking a niche when starting. Everything looked blissful. Until I came across Neil Patel’s blog on picking a niche.

Here are three things I took home (it boils down to lower competition):

  • Picking a niche makes marketing much EASIER (because of little to no competition)
  • Easy to scale when the competition is low
  • EASIER to make lots of cash due to lack of competition

I can go on and on, but you get the picture…

So, how do I find my niche market?


I’d advise you to go after your interests. That way, you are more attached and motivated to scale it to greater heights.

Like I said, I started with t-shirts since I’m more of a fashion ninja myself. Then, when I got into fitness, I started designing yoga pants. Going after what I like has worked MIRACLES.

Don’t focus too much on finding a PROFITABLE niche (even though that is still a valid option). But what you love. So, you will be making money doing what you are passionate about!


  • Use Google Trends to your advantage. Gives you insight into what people are searching for. And gives you countless product ideas to start selling online.
  • Find inspirations from popular online marketplaces. Analyze what people are really buying on each platform in the pod category. Such eCommerce marketplaces include Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.
  • Examine social media feeds. Identify what’s trending on X, TikTok, or Instagram. You can also join our Facebook group. We give products to what products are trending.

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As the best China sourcing agent, we help you find factories, get competitive prices, follow up production, ensure quality and deliver products to the door.

2. Choose What Products to Sell

Choose What Products to Sell

I know most people don’t like cracking their skulls open to find unique POD products. So, the cop-out is ALWAYS to design and sell t-shirts (I’m guilty, to some extent).

Don’t worry! I have been in the game for decades – I know what sells. Here are some cool products to choose for your pod business:

  • Tote bags
  • Die-cut stickers
  • Coffee mugs
  • Hoodies
  • Phone cases
  • Home Decor Items

TIP. Keep your ideal customers in mind. So, you don’t get lost in the never-ending cycle of picking products nobody wants. That’s demoralizing!

I ALWAYS visit eCommerce platforms to check on what sells.

For example…

  • Amazon – their product category shows what’s popular, top rated, etc
  • Etsy – good for finding product and design inspirations
  • eBay – find what’s trending

That’s it!!

Now, let’s bring those crazy designs to life.

3. Develop Your Designs

Develop Your Designs

Allow me to reiterate…

You don’t need to be SUPER TALENTED to create custom products. Anyone that tells you otherwise…just ignore them!

With that said, you can start designing your print-on-demand products today. Just take a pen and paper. Draw inspirations from Pinterest or Behance. And come up with Christian Dior typa stuff.

Alternatively, you can use sites such as PiktoChart. Or Design Wizard to spark your creativity.

Personally, I’m not that GREAT at design. So, I sought help from freelance platforms for less than $500. Just remember to choose a freelancer with the best ratings if you don’t wanna get SCREWED.

My favorite freelance platforms to find print-on-demand designers include:

  • Upwork – the world’s LARGEST freelance platform. It’s free to sign up, and you can get the BEST designers in seconds.
  • Fiverr – my no.1 go to the site. I’ve worked with dozens of designers who’ve EXCEEDED my expectations
  • Dribbble – find top-tier graphic designers at affordable rates

EXPERT ADVICE. Share your designs on social media to get customer feedback.

Is the reception great? YES! Do customers like them and are willing to give away their money? YES. Picasso, let’s go and build an online store.

4. Set Up Your Online Store

There are two approaches to this:

Build your own print-on-demand website

This is my favorite.

However, it’s demanding and tiresome. The rewards are MASSIVE, too.

You get to have full control of your store’s appearance and overall buyer experience. Also, it portrays you as an authentic seller. Give you a competitive advantage.

I’ve used Shopify to build my eCommerce websites. They have tons of automation tools and features that make the entire process a breeze.

Set Up Your Online Store

Again, you’ll need to invest hundreds of dollars into marketing. To boost your website’s traffic and skyrocket your sales.

Open a store on Popular Marketplaces.

This is good for cash-strapped entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to set aside loads of cash for marketing. That’s because these sites have millions of buyers ready to purchase what you are selling.

Some of these websites are:

  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • eBay

Just a few clicks and BAM – start selling custom products today!

The catch?

Subscription fees, transaction fees, shipping fees, listing fees, etc.

I hate these fees, tbh!

5. Pick the RIGHT supplier

I want to help you, honestly. So, here’s an overview of your business trajectory without a supplier:

Pick the RIGHT supplier

I’m serious…

Your life as a print-on-demand business depends on your supplier. And not just any supplier, a RELIABLE one.

The last thing you want is to have a supplier who suddenly loses his phone. When a customer places an order.

I’ll not even go further into what could possibly go wrong with a QUACK.

A good supplier who ensures top-notch products. 24/7 communication. And SUPER FAST delivery. You’ll attract customers and retain them. Ensuring repeated, profitable sales.

My best print providers in the POD market are:

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • Lulu Xpress
  • SPOD
  • Teelaunch
  • CustomCat

Check out reviews from other sellers saying about every seller. Pay attention to their services. Communication. And prices.

Alternatively, reach out to us as Leeline Sourcing. We will help you deliver TOP QUALITY print-on-demand products to your customers.

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Do not hesitate to contact Leeline Sourcing at any time regarding your shipments from China.

6. Identify the Right Sales Channel

Identify the Right Sales Channel

Now to the most important part…

Where do you sell your products?

Your online store. I’ve talked about creating your online store through Shopify. That’s your main office if you go down this rabbit hole. That’s where customers interact with your products. And make the purchases.

Invest in a good-looking online store for MAXIMUM results.

Sell on an eCommerce platform. I’ve mentioned the websites three times. I’ll do it again. Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. Sign up for a merchant account and list your items. They have existing customers that are RESTLESS in finding unique POD products.

Just brace yourself for the competition!

Practice MultiChannel Selling. Who said you can’t have an online store and sell on Amazon? I have integrated my stores with top eCommerce platforms and enjoy high profits.

Did you know? Sellers who’ve integrated their stores with eCommerce platforms enjoy 12% increased sales.

Lastly, sell on social media. Tiktok and Instagram are a good place to sell your POD products online. It’s much HARDER in the beginning. But it’s totally rewarding if you produce unique products.

7. Create a Smart Pricing Strategy

Create a Smart Pricing Strategy

Three things you need to consider when setting a price:

  • Location of your customers. Are they in the same country? Do they live abroad? This will help you identify shipping costs. Take into consideration other factors such as delivery time. Which might affect the prices of your products.
  • Average prices for similar products? You don’t want to set too high or too low prices. You are still a newbie, and you need to attract customers. Compare prices and come up with a favorable price.

BONUS TIP. Remember to cover your costs. Don’t worry too much about making a loss. But making the customer happy, ALWAYS.

8. Market the Hell Out of Your Store

Market the Hell Out of Your Store

Now, let’s make our store popular in every corner of the world.

I’m pumped; please show me how.


Let me make this clear first: there’s no BEST way to market your product. Every technique works wonders when done correctly.

Here’s a few tricks of the trade to get your print-on-demand business out there:

Influencer Marketing

This has helped me to popularize my business in a huge way. I just approach influential personalities and make them an offer they can’t refuse. Clearly define my goals. Watch my sales explode.

Email Marketing

Building an email list is the DAUNTING part for any business.

You can start by offering promotional items for the exchange of email addresses.

Don’t just sit pretty after getting that email address. Constantly send your customers relevant and engaging newsletters. And new product launches.

Content Marketing

Involves creating blog posts and guides that connect with your audience.

Hire a freelance writer to help you generate SEO blog posts. That boosts your store’s ranking on Google. Thus improving your overall sales margins.

Tips For Print-On-Demand Business

Tips for print-on-demand business

Print-on-demand can be very challenging at first. You can get screwed. The quality might be off. Delayed shipping. A lot of things can go wrong.

Follow my best practices to stay ahead of your game:

Ask for samples

Quality should be your No.1 priority when starting a print-on-demand business.

I was naive when starting to sell custom products.. 

Rant incoming…

I set up my store. Paid a designer. And sought the cheapest supplier I could find at that time.

The result?


I just kept getting 1-star reviews. All of them complain about this or that. If it wasn’t the quality. It is the quantity. Took me months to realize I was working with a BAD supplier. Had to close down and strategize😭.

Ensure you ALWAYS ask for samples. To get first-hand experience of the supplier’s services and delivery.

This will also help you get quality product photos to upload on social media.

Pick a niche and be the BEST

I emphasized this in the last section.

You won’t go far without picking a target market. You want to clearly define your brand to establish yourself as a trusted authority.

For instance, if you pick the fitness niche:

  1. Open social media pages for your brand and create fitness-related content
  2. Offer promo items to build an email list for fitness enthusiasts
  3. Run social media ads specifically for your target audience

See – this might be tiresome, but it’s strictly for your fitness audience. It’s A LOT CHEAPER than marketing a bunch of products from different niches.

Plus, it gives you time to plan that vacati…err…brainstorm income-generating activities.

Prioritize mockups to show off your designs

Prioritize mockups to show off your designs

Don’t get me wrong, models are GREAT.

I’m just saying that mockups are a good alternative.

Here’s why:

  • Cost-effective. I can’t remember the last time I paid a model or photographer for a shoot. I just fire up my laptop and get some crazy mockups for less than $8!
  • Flexibility. Mockups help me keep up with industry trends. I can just change the color or image with a few clicks. I’d need to book an entire photo shoot session if working with models.
  • Time efficiency. I prioritize my time. Shooting product photos just takes too much time. From the actual shoot to editing to uploading. Count me out, please!

I use Placeit to create compelling mockups for my print-on-demand items. You get HIGH-QUALITY mockups for less than 8 dollars. 

8. Dollars.

Pretty cool, aye?

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Ensure seamless Shipping Options

Ensure seamless Shipping Options

Shipping is a CRUCIAL factor when starting a POD business.

You need to ensure customers get their goods on time. Share potential delays in advance.

That brings me back to partnering with RELIABLE print-on-demand services.

Be open about your shipping times (which should be between 2 – 4 working days). Shipping charges. And address any other shipping questions ON TIME.

If you plan to offer free shipping. Ensure to price your items CORRECTLY to avoid low profit margins.

People Also Ask about Start a Print-On-Demand Business

1. What is the best print-on-demand product to sell?

The best print-on-demand products to sell include:
Water bottles
Stickers, just to mention a few.
These products will ensure you ensure consistent PROFITABLE sales.

2. Where can I find customers for my print-on-demand business?

Finding customers can be very daunting. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Influencer marketing
Email marketing 
eCommerce marketplaces – such as Amazon or Etsy
Content marketing – boost your site’s ranking through blog posts, guides, etc

3. Is starting a print-on-demand business a good idea?

Yes, 100%.
It’s a pretty solid income stream if done the right way. Also, you need to put in the work to ensure MAXIMUM returns.

4. Where do I find suppliers for my print-on-demand business?

There are a lot of places to find suppliers for your POD business. These include:
Attending trade shows and expos
Online platforms such as Printful and Prinitify
Direct outreach – finding suppliers online and contacting them DIRECTLY. Leeline Sourcing can be your best choice.

5. Can you sell print on demand on Amazon?

You can sign up for Amazon’s Merch On Demand. Create. And sell your designs on their platform.

What’s Next

Woah…that was a lot to take in!

I hope that I’ve answered all your burning questions about starting a POD business.


You cannot succeed as a print-on-demand seller without proper marketing. So, ensure you are selling your business EVERYWHERE. From social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, you name it!

If you follow this guide step-by-step, nobody can beat you. Simple!

Not sure you can do it alone? Want help launching your print-on-demand business? No problem! Leeline Sourcing has your back! Contact us today, and our team will be in touch.

We’ll help you build a PROFITABLE print-on-demand business from the ground up. Share proven success strategies. And help your scale to six figures and beyond.

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Article by:

Sharline Shaw

Hey I'm Sharline, the founder of Leeline Sourcing. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, we help 2000+ clients import from China,Alibaba,1688 to Amazon FBA or shopify. If you have any questions about sourcing , pls feel free to contact us.