So you decided to start a print-on-demand t-shirt business.
One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the print-on-demand fulfillment company.
You should take this decision very seriously because it can make or break or business. Can you imagine ordering a t-shirt online and getting a low quality product? You’d never buy from that vendor again, right? Well, your customers think the same way, and it only takes one mistake to lose them.
So which print-on-demand company should you go with?
3 questions that you should consider
Okay, so before we start talking about different print-on-demand fulfillment companies, let’s make sure that you have the most important business questions answered.
– Who are your customers? You need to know who exactly you are selling to. What is their gender? What is their age? What are their interests? You need to know these things before you start selling t-shirts.
– How will you reach your customers? It’s not enough to only know who your customers are, you also need to know where they hang out online, and how can you reach them. How will you get sales otherwise?
– Does the math work? You need to know how much you pay for your products, how much you charge for them, and what is the profit per t-shirt sold. It’s easy to get carried away with creative things like t-shirt concepts and lose track of the practicality of it all. The math needs to make sense!
Make sure that you have these three basic business questions answered because they are the key to running a profitable print-on-demand business (or any business, for that matter!).
Why do you need a print-on-demand t-shirt fulfillment company?
You might be wondering why do you need to use a print-on-demand fulfillment company at all when there are sites like RedBubble?
Well, you can go with marketplaces like RedBubble, and you can make decent money with it, but if you want to establish a more serious brand and open your own online store, you will need to use a fulfillment company.
With a fulfillment company, you will be handling all the front end, which means you’ll be managing your website, taking orders, and handling payments, meanwhile they will be handling all the back-end, meaning printing t-shirts and shipping them to customers.
This model is basically drop-shipping for t-shirts and works really well because there is almost no upfront investment required.
Top 3 print-on-demand fulfillment companies
When it comes to print-on-demand fulfillment companies your best bet is going with the well-known, established ones:
– Printify. Printify is a print-on-demand fulfillment company that is used by over 50,000 merchants worldwide. You pick products, add them to your store, sell them, and then Printify handles the rest. You can learn more about their t-shirt fulfillment on this page. They also have integrations with Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce.
– Printful. Printful is a print-on-demand fulfillment company that sells everything from phone cases to coffee mugs to apparel. It has integrations with a bunch of ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCartel, SquareSpace, and more.
– Print Aura. Print Aura is a print-on-demand fulfillment company that sells a variety of products ranging from aprons to t-shirts to hats. You can also sell your art prints. It has integrations with the biggest ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy.
These three companies are professional, reliable, and affordable. I suggest you to take a closer look at each one and decide what works best for you. You can also use Google to find customer reviews for these companies.
Should you expand beyond t-shirts?
As you research these print-on-demand fulfillment companies, you’ll see that there are a lot of product options besides t-shirts, and you will probably start wondering whether you should start selling things like phone cases, mugs, hoodies, etc.
I’d recommend you to start with t-shirts and expand to other products later. You see, it’s much easier to establish your brand selling one product, and then move beyond it, than to establish your brand while selling a wide variety of products. Start small… Then expand.
You probably started your print-on-demand t-shirt business because you are an artistic person. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for sketching cool designs, right? And it’s true, there’s a lot of creativity involved, because ultimately everything revolves around the t-shirt concepts.
However, it’s important to understand that you are running a business, and therefore you need to be able to handle the business side of things.
You need to combine artistic skill with entrepreneurial prowess. Can you both produce t-shirt concepts that make people go “Wow” and run a profitable business? Well, if you want to make money, you’ll have to learn.
And yes, it will be hard work, but the results will be well worth it!