Master the Art of Etsy Print on Demand with Pricing & Printing Partners

Master the Art of Etsy Print on Demand with Pricing & Printing Partners

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Choosing a Print-On-Demand Partner
    1. Overview of Print-On-Demand Partners
    2. My Personal Recommendation: Printify
    3. Printing Methods and Product Selection
  3. Managing Customer Expectations
    1. Communicating Printing Methods to Customers
    2. Shipping Profiles and Delivery Times
  4. Pricing Strategy for Print-On-Demand Products
    1. Understanding Profit Margins
    2. Building in Capacity for Discounts
    3. Factoring in Off-Site Ads and Fees
    4. Use of Profit Calculators
    5. Evaluating Pricing for Different Product Types
  5. Homework: Planning your Print-On-Demand Shop

Choosing the Right Print-On-Demand Partner

When starting a print-on-demand business, selecting the right printing partner is of utmost importance. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming for new sellers to navigate through the various providers and product options. In this section, we will discuss the different print-on-demand partners available and their key features to help you make an informed decision.

Overview of Print-On-Demand Partners

There are several popular print-on-demand partners in the market, each with their own unique offerings. Some of the well-known providers include Printify, Printful, Guten, Awkward Styles, Shine On, and Tea Launch. While each of these partners has its own strengths and product selections, it is important to choose a partner that aligns with your specific needs and requirements.

My Personal Recommendation: Printify

After trying out several options, my personal recommendation for a print-on-demand partner is Printify. Printify stands out for its wide network of printing options and high-quality products. They have an extensive catalog of products, including apparel, accessories, jewelry, and more.

Beyond their product selection, Printify also excels in customer service. They offer various support options, including a chat function and a robust help section, ensuring that sellers receive assistance when needed. Additionally, their free Printify Rockstar's Facebook group provides a wealth of information, tips, and support from other sellers.

Printify also offers a premium subscription option, which provides a 20% discount on most products and helps to lower costs for samples and orders. While there are other print-on-demand partners available, Printify has consistently proven to be the best choice for me in terms of product options, customer service, and overall satisfaction.

Printing Methods and Product Selection

When choosing a print-on-demand partner, it is essential to consider the printing methods they offer. Different printing methods result in varying quality and appearance, so it is crucial to understand the differences.

The most common printing method for apparel is direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, where pigment inks are sprayed onto the fabric, giving it a distressed or vintage feel. This method is commonly used for t-shirts and sweatshirts. Another popular method is all-over print (AOP), which uses sublimation to fuse ink into the product, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting colors.

Some print providers also offer embroidery, which is a more time-consuming process but provides a luxurious look and feel. Digital printing is another option, commonly used for items like canvases, cards, posters, and more.

When exploring a print provider's website, it is crucial to look for filtering options that allow you to select products based on printing methods, production locations, and other preferences. This ensures that you can find the right products and effectively communicate the printing method to your customers.

By choosing the right print-on-demand partner, understanding different printing methods, and curating a selection of high-quality products, you can lay a strong foundation for your print-on-demand business. With a strategic approach and a focus on customer satisfaction, you will be well on your way to growing a successful and profitable shop.

Managing Customer Expectations for Print-On-Demand Products

When running a print-on-demand shop, effectively managing customer expectations is crucial to ensure a positive purchasing experience. With different printing methods and product variations, it is important to communicate these details clearly to your customers to avoid any potential misunderstandings or negative reviews.

Communicating Printing Methods to Customers

One of the key aspects of managing customer expectations is clearly communicating the printing method used for your products. Customers may have certain expectations based on traditional printing methods like screen printing or vinyl, and it is essential to make it clear that print-on-demand products may have a different appearance and feel.

For example, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, the most common method for apparel, often results in a distressed or vintage look. It is important to educate your customers about this unique characteristic and emphasize the quality and durability of the products. By providing accurate descriptions and images that reflect the actual appearance of the printed designs, you can ensure that customers know what to expect.

Shipping Profiles and Delivery Times

Another critical aspect of managing customer expectations is accurately reflecting shipping profiles and delivery times. Print-on-demand shops rely on third-party providers to fulfill and ship orders, and it is crucial to align your customers' expectations with these processes.

By setting up shipping profiles that reflect the production and shipping time frames provided by your print-on-demand partner, you can provide customers with realistic estimates of when they can expect their orders to arrive. It is recommended to build in an extra day or two as a buffer to account for any potential delays or issues that may arise during the fulfillment process.

Additionally, it is important to be transparent about shipping costs. If you offer free or reduced shipping, be sure to factor in these costs into the pricing of your products to ensure you maintain your desired profit margins.

By effectively managing customer expectations, you can minimize the risk of negative reviews and ensure a positive buying experience. Clear communication about printing methods and shipping timelines will help build trust with your customers and potentially lead to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth.

Pricing Strategy for Print-On-Demand Products

To run a successful print-on-demand business, it is essential to have a well-planned pricing strategy. Pricing your products correctly will ensure that you cover costs, make a profit, and remain competitive in the market. In this section, we will discuss key considerations for establishing a pricing strategy that aligns with your business goals.

Understanding Profit Margins

Profit margins are a critical component of pricing your print-on-demand products. While profit margins can vary depending on factors such as product type and competition, it is important to maintain a reasonable margin to ensure profitability.

For print-on-demand products, profit margins typically range between 20% to 30%. This margin considers the costs charged by the print-on-demand partner, any additional fees or off-site ads associated with the platform, and the desired profit for the seller. By setting profit margins within this range, sellers can maintain profitability while remaining competitive in the market.

Building in Capacity for Discounts

When establishing pricing, it's important to factor in the capacity for discounts. Offering discounts can be an effective sales strategy and can help attract customers. However, it's crucial to ensure that your pricing structure allows for discounts while still maintaining a profitable margin.

For example, if you plan to offer periodic thank-you discounts or abandoned cart discounts, you need to price your products in a way that accommodates these discounts. This may mean setting slightly higher prices initially to account for potential discounts without sacrificing your profit margin.

Factoring in Off-Site Ads and Fees

As an Etsy seller, you may choose to participate in off-site ads, where Etsy promotes your products on external platforms. It's important to consider any associated fees, such as the 12% off-site ads fee, when setting your prices. By factoring in these fees, you can ensure that you're still making a profit after accounting for all costs.

Use of Profit Calculators

To accurately calculate profits, it is beneficial to use online profit calculators or create your own spreadsheet to factor in all costs involved. These calculators take into account the initial cost of the product, any associated fees, shipping costs, and the desired profit margin. Utilizing these tools will ensure that you have a clear understanding of your potential profit for each product.

Evaluating Pricing for Different Product Types

Different product types may command varying prices due to factors such as production costs, demand, and perceived value. It's important to evaluate the pricing options for different product types within your print-on-demand shop.

For example, t-shirts may have different price points based on sizes or color options, while sweatshirts or other apparel items may have different production and shipping costs. Consider these variations when setting your prices and ensure that you account for all associated costs to maintain profitability.

By establishing a well-thought-out pricing strategy, you can ensure that your print-on-demand business remains profitable while offering competitive prices to attract customers. Regularly review and adjust your prices as needed to stay in line with market trends and maintain your desired profit margins.

Homework: Planning your Print-On-Demand Shop

Now that we have covered the fundamentals of print-on-demand products and pricing, it's time to start planning your own print-on-demand shop. To begin, revisit the hobbies, occupations, and topics you identified in Module One. For each of these topics, choose one to two product types that align with your interests and target audience.

Next, research and identify a preferred print-on-demand partner for each product type. Consider factors such as product quality, pricing, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Keep track of the pricing details and any unique considerations for each print-on-demand partner.

Lastly, start developing your pricing strategy. Determine whether you will use a flat price or a percentage profit margin and consider how you will accommodate discounts and additional fees. Use online profit calculators or create your own spreadsheet to calculate the profitability of your chosen pricing strategy.

By completing this homework, you will have a clear plan for your print-on-demand shop and be ready to move forward to the next module. Remember to keep it simple and focus on offering high-quality products at competitive prices to ensure success in your print-on-demand business.


  • Choosing the right print-on-demand partner is crucial for success.
  • Printify is recommended for its extensive product selection and excellent customer service.
  • Understanding different printing methods and effectively communicating them to customers is essential for managing expectations.
  • Accurate shipping profiles and delivery times are crucial to prevent negative reviews.
  • Profit margins for print-on-demand products typically range from 20% to 30%.
  • Building in capacity for discounts and factoring in additional fees will help in setting realistic prices.
  • Utilizing profit calculators and evaluating pricing options for each product type is important for maintaining profitability.
  • Homework: Plan your print-on-demand shop by selecting product types, identifying print-on-demand partners, and developing a pricing strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I choose the right print-on-demand partner for my business? A: It is important to consider factors such as product selection, customer service, pricing, and overall satisfaction when choosing a print-on-demand partner. Research different providers, read customer reviews, and consider trying out a few options to find the best fit for your business.

Q: Should I offer free shipping for my print-on-demand products? A: Offering free shipping can be a competitive advantage and may attract more customers. However, it is important to factor in shipping costs into your pricing strategy to ensure you maintain profitability.

Q: How do I effectively manage customer expectations for my print-on-demand products? A: Clearly communicate the printing method used for your products and provide accurate descriptions and images that reflect the actual appearance of the printed designs. Also, be transparent about shipping timelines and costs to avoid any surprises for your customers.

Q: What profit margin should I aim for with my print-on-demand products? A: Profit margins for print-on-demand products typically range from 20% to 30%. It is important to find a balance between profitability and maintaining competitive prices in the market.

Q: How do I price my print-on-demand products to remain competitive? A: Consider factors such as product quality, market competition, and perceived value when pricing your print-on-demand products. Use online profit calculators or create your own spreadsheet to factor in all costs and desired profit margins.

Q: Is it necessary to build in capacity for discounts in my pricing strategy? A: Offering discounts can be an effective sales strategy, so it is recommended to build in capacity for discounts when setting your prices. However, ensure that you still maintain a profitable margin even with the discounts applied.

Q: How do I determine the right pricing strategy for different product types? A: Evaluate the production costs, demand, and perceived value of each product type to determine the appropriate pricing strategy. Consider any variations in production and shipping costs and factor them into your pricing to maintain profitability.

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