Print on Demand sites pay you royalties when products are sold that contain designs you create.
The best part is you do not have to deal with any inventory or customer service. It can be a completely passive model because the POD companies handle the printing and shipping.
All you do is upload your designs and add them to products. Your royalties depend on the price you set.
Some programs such as Merch by Amazon, only sell a few products.
Others like RedBubble and Zazzle allow you to place your images on a larger list of different designs such as hats, mugs, tote bags and more.
Setting Your Prices
Some PODs allow you to set a fixed price for your royalty, others let you select a percentage.
For example, on RedBubble, if you set your percentage to 15% on T-shirts then you will earn a 15% royalty on any style of T-shirt that is sold.
Do You Need a Website or Audience to Earn?
No, you don’t.
Most POD sites have their own marketplaces so your designs can be found when visitors use their search engines.
To capitalize on those organic sales, you want to figure out what type of designs their visitors like. Not all designs convert well on every marketplace.
However, if you want long-term success and income stability, it’s always best to draw your own traffic to your merchandise.
If you get into Merch (by invitation only), you can capitalize on Amazon’s billions of visitors per month, and your designs can be found without any marketing due to their sheer volume or organic searches every month.
I earned over $100,000 in royalties my first two years on Merch By Amazon. (No paid advertising – all free Amazon traffic)
As great as those earnings may sound, I try not to get too complacent or comfortable because it does get harder to earn as more competition enters the space.
Had I joined MBA a year or two later, it would have been much more difficult to accomplish that in 2 years.
Nevertheless, in 2021, I’m still averaging 2K-3K in royalties per month, and I only devote about 1-3 hours to MBA each month.
I thoroughly enjoy this business. It’s a GREAT and very rewarding income supplement, but never something I’d want to rely on.
Since I started Merch By Amazon, I’ve expanded my income portfolio by building niche shops outside of Amazon. I share more on this podcast episode.
My Keys to Success…
- Spending time improving my design skills
- Creativity with a variety of niches
- Trial and error! (You can’t learn if you don’t upload and test.)
- Using original concepts/ideas and expanding the same idea to multiple topics and niches
Download My Guide
I put together a getting-started guide that will help you learn the basics. It also includes a list of evergreen niches you can target.
Need More Help and Action Steps?
There’s also a very detailed, online guide you can follow with actionable advice and steps for finding profitable keywords.
Ready to Learn?
Enroll in my courses and learn the basics of print on demand, Photoshop, keyword research and so much more.
Lawrence Wilson says
HI Lisa. I signed up for the free book, but didn’t get the download. Loving the Youtube channel.
Do you know which POD sites other than Zazzle work on a royalty-only basis? Meaning, on Zazzle, my understanding is that if your item sells, it’s Zazzle’s sale (not yours) & Z pays you a royalty. Whereas, with most other sites, it seems like the company handles printing, fulfillment, returns etc., but it’s considered *your* sale so *you* have to handle the sales tax reporting, know where you have nexus, etc.
I know this seems like a small thing but I used to sell a bit on Amazon FBA & the sales tax responsibility turned a little side hustle into a big headache for me – even with godaddy bookkeeping.
So I only want to do POD with companies that pay me a royalty on *their* sale (of my design), rather than taking a percentage of “my” sale. Hope that makes sense, thanks!
For most POD sites, they work like Zazzle. Merch By Amazon, Spreadshirt, TeePublic, Designs By Humans, Society6, etc. All of them pay royalties and they pay you a commission.
durgalakshmi g says
I did not get the ebook
Gonna send it to your email on file.
I just created a store at redbubble after reading your article though I don’t have a laptop to install some of the softwares required, I’ve tried to use my phone instead. Please do check out my store http://www.redbubble.com/people/chimelah
Would mean a lot to me.
I need it
Emmanuel Louis says
Congratulations on your online success. I just read about your courses on how to success in the POD business. Question for you.
You mention the bundle as all somebody needs in order to succeed in the business. On the other hand you mention the Bootcamp class a another class.
Could you say someting about that
Thank you for answering
That was an old article so the Merch site isn’t available anymore. The Bundle is the current and relevant offer. Although I would hold off buying for now as many of the POD sites are pausing things due to the virus.
Thanks for your valuable post.
Is it okay if I sell my same t-shirt design on many different platforms such as: Teespring, Redbubble & Merch?
You sure can!
Ellice Johnson says
As always, this is invaluable information that you are sharing!
I’ve had the most success with Society6 and Redbubble. Those sites are some of the best that also get a ton of traffic. I started getting more sales after I started writing blogs about art posted to those sites though. In my blogs I show off all the products that can be printed from the design. It works well because if the viewer isn’t interested in buying the design as an art print, they might be interested in buying the design on a t-shirt or tote bag etc. Its a great way to get additional traffic to your work that will continuously get visitors. You can take a look at one of my blogs to give you an example. https://smartworkdesigns.com/mermaid-wall-art-decor#more-693
Don, your art is BAAAAAD! (In a good way, of course) I can see why you do well on Redbubble. That’s the kind of art that sells really well there. Good for you!!
Can I get the free guide too ? I also signed up but when I check email (even in spam folder too) there was nothing sent to me. Could you resend it to me please. Thanks
No problem, I’ll send to the email you have used for this comment.
Hi Lisa, I would like to download the free guide, but I’ve been filling out my name and email address several times, but I don’t see the link to verify it. I have Hotmail and checked my spam and junk folder and I haven’t seen it at all. I’ve tried several times. Is the link working? Thanks in Advance! Joy B.
Hmmmmm… strange. I will email you the book to your email you used here. Sorry about that. Email providers can be tricky. It has nothing to do with the link, it’s a delivery issue with the email provider and Hotmail.
I don’t receive the free ebook on my gmail.i tried to check the spam,is not to be found.. please how can you help me out Lisa?
Email me your email address using the contact form here and I’ll send it.
Mitchell Allen says
This is cool. I’m always thinking, “I should put that on a tee-shirt…”
Maybe this will help me learn which times I should listen to myself.