8 of the best print-on-demand products to sell this year
With customers craving more and more personalization on their purchases, smart sellers are turning to print on demand as a risk-free way of building businesses that satisfy this new kind of demand.
Gone are the days of having to invest in brand new inventory to offer custom products. And gone are the days of worrying whether or not that inventory will actually sell. Print on demand offers a low barrier to entry into a space that was previously off limits to most.
So, how can you get your start with print on demand? What print-on-demand products should you consider selling?
A quick refresher: what is print on demand?
Print on demand—POD for short—is a fast-growing dropshipping model that turns over billions of dollars worldwide.
Under this model, you don’t have to worry about carrying any physical goods. Rather, you work with a print-on-demand service, which connects you with third-party suppliers.
All you have to do is pick blank merchandise, create a custom design, and forward any future orders to your POD supplier. Your supplier will then print and ship orders on your behalf—some will even allow you to white-label their products.
POD offers a number of benefits:
Avoid physical stock. Eliminate storage costs, labor fees, and the headache of managing a larger set of inventory.
Adapt to fluctuating demand. Minimize the risk of having too much or too little inventory, and only produce items when the demand actually exists.
Dodge supply chain nightmares. Global supply chains have experienced massive disruption in recent years. POD limits your exposure to these problems by providing access to multiple suppliers in various regions. If one supplier is unable to fulfill orders, another might be able to.
Reduce stock damage and theft. By reducing the amount of inventory on hand, you don’t have to personally monitor for damaged, spoiled, or even stolen products.
Reduce packaging costs. Working with a platform like Printify means you can offer lower packaging and postage costs than if you were to manage everything yourself. This will make your product more competitive.
Improve cash flow. Manufacturing customized products on your own can be a costly venture, requiring lots of time, money, and number crunching. But with POD, everything is already set up—requiring minimal upfront capital to get started.
Get started right away. POD platforms like Printify make it easy to create your first products. Simply choose from a catalog of existing POD products, build your design, and start selling through your Wix eCommerce site.
8 products to start your POD journey
The best POD products tend to be trendy, fashionable, and (for practical purposes) lightweight. That said, there are various print on demand niches that you can explore, spanning everything from pet goods to astrology.
Here are some of the most popular print-on-demand items, based on data by Printify.
We aren't supposed to have emotional attachments to inanimate objects but many of us have just that when it comes to our mugs.
Research from Heinz Cup found that 60% of us have an unnaturally close relationship to our mugs with almost four in 10 people saying they wouldn't want anyone else sharing it. It's easy to see how selling the right customizable mug can translate into big sales.
LemonMerch has a seemingly endless library of merchandise, spanning everything from hoodies to bento boxes. Drinkware is a natural fit. The brand collaborated with TikTok influencer AnnaRileyOk to design the mug featured above, which is offered in various colors.
Few POD products offer as much opportunity for originality (and sales) as the classic t-shirt. The global custom t-shirt market alone is expected to cross $10 billion in the next three years.
You can customize t-shirts with original artwork, logos, graphic prints, and slogans. Retailer fur face & co. offers personalized apparel and accessories for “fur face lovers.” The unisex tee above is available in various colors and designs; shoppers can select the exact cat or dog breed that they want to feature on their shirts.
Note: if you’re reprinting an existing design, you’ll want to read up on intellectual property and ensure that you’re not accidentally infringing on another party’s IP. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
Read Also: How to start a t-shirt business
03. Tote bags
Tote bags are one of the top POD products in 2022. Not too long ago, tote bags were mostly regarded as eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags. But today, the tote bag is used for far more than just grocery shopping. It is, in and of itself, a fashion statement.
For brands, tote bags are a blank slate. Whether you want to sport your logo or a playful design on the canvas, tote bags offer a great branding opportunity (read: free marketing). They’re also functional—serving as a durable, reusable accessory to match any casual outfit.
The29Line sells a number of tote bags in collaboration with various bands, venues, events, and organizations. These totes are sold as limited-edition products, available on demand—at zero cost to 29 partners.
We spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping. It’s no wonder why our pillows are so personal to us. Aside from serving as good practical gifts, customized pillows are the perfect gift for weddings and baby showers—or for kids who want to express their individuality.
NoSmallDreamsShop specifically appeals to Hmong and k-pop lovers. Its BTS-inspired pillow features an illustration of Jungkook, the youngest member of the South Korean band that has become a global sensation.
05. Phone cases
It's a horrible thing to admit, but we can't live without our phones. This makes it ever-more important to safeguard our phones from the elements while also satiating our desire to make our phones look stylish.
Fortunately, the latest printing techniques support bright and crisp colors and enable a variety of imaginative designs. With the flexibility of POD, you can also offer the same design across a variety of different phone types and sizes.
OJM—short for Old Jewish Men—puts a humorous spin on the traditional phone case. With a design that’s very fitting of its name, the brand caters to various iPhone users, starting with iPhone 7 owners.
06. Paper lunch bags
For decades, lunch boxes have been plastic. But environmentally conscious customers are looking for alternatives and one of these is paper lunch bags.
Made with certified 100% eco-paper material, these lunch bags can be personalized to become the perfect accessory for any eco-conscious customer. There is relatively little competition in this product niche, making it an opportune time for new sellers to jump in.
07. All-over print clothing
POD opens the door to more vibrant, all-over clothing. Rather than having one simple print on the front or back of a hoodie, you can explore an all-encompassing print.
Granted, because these types of prints require more color and (often) more intricate designs, the cost per unit will be higher than your average graphic tee.
Nevertheless, this trend could win you some fans. And if you’re an artist at heart, print on demand can be your ticket to making money as an artist online.
Case in point: artist, entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker—Melissa A. Mitchell—spreads cheer through her bold, lively POD apparel. Her clothing mirrors her love for abstract art, which has earned her quite the following since she first ventured into the art world.
Despite the dizzying array of choices available out there for sneakers, it's still often difficult to discover those unique pairs of kicks that express who we are.
Customized POD sneakers are especially in demand as we head into the summer, offering that specialized choice that many of us are looking for to stand out from the crowd.
While many industries are struggling right now, print on demand continues to grow year over year. The reason for this continued growth says much about the times we live in. Customers spend much more time online and less time physically in stores.
The business world is changing too, with more sales being transacted online and greater opportunities for individuals to create successful eCommerce enterprises. Get your start in print on demand today with the help of Printify’s integration with Wix eCommerce.
Content Marketing Specialist, Printify
Ucha is a content marketing specialist at Printify, a Wix partner. He enjoys creating educational articles for merchants and bringing value to those who want to start their online business from scratch.