Something that I have brought up a few times before is just how the Internet has lowered or even eliminated so many barriers to entry for so many entrepreneurs and small business owners. Can you imagine how much more infrastructure it would take for you to distribute a physical, printed magazine all around the world to the same level that you can achieve so much more easily with a blog? It’s mind-blowing.
E-commerce works in much the same way. You don’t need to have a brick-and-mortar store with all the logistics and expense that go along with that in order to sell physical products. And with on-demand services like Printify, you don’t even need to maintain any physical inventory. They’ll even handle the whole order fulfillment process for you.
What Is Printify?
Printify is a print-on-demand service that connects with you with a great number of high quality print providers. You come up with the design, you bring in the orders, and Printify takes care of the rest.
The process for running an e-commerce business can feel daunting, especially if you think you need to put in a very sizable order with some overseas producer in order to qualify for anything resembling a reasonable price. Printify simplifies all of that for you.
You don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty. Printify takes care of the customer billing, they’ll handle the manufacturing request, and they’ll drop ship the final product to your customers, all on your behalf. You just need to come up with the killer design and bring in the customers.
What Products Are Available?
Printify has partnered with a growing network of leading print providers to supply you with a selection of over 200 unique custom products as part of its catalog.
The most common, and likely the most popular, are apparel items like t-shirts, hoodies and long-sleeves, as well as kids apparel, but you’ll also find a growing selection of other items too. These include mugs, cell phone cases, canvases, wall decals, pillows, coasters and even shower curtains.
Among the t-shirts, you’ll find that you have many choices between different styles and providers too. Some have a women’s cut, some are tagless, some are v-necks and so on. Many of them come in a variety of colors and you have access to popular names like Gildan and American Apparel too. Each of these carry different pricing, so you can shop around accordingly.
Designing a Custom Product
You don’t even need to sign up for an account with Printify to test out how this works. The HD mockup generator allows you to design your custom product in real-time right from within your web browser. This starts with picking your product.
After picking your product, you can add layers with your custom artwork. For the front of a shirt, they recommend a resolution of 4200 x 5320 pixels, as lower resolution artwork might not look so great on the final product. You can add several layers, just like PhotoShop, but you will need to start with the “bottom” layer and work your way up as the layers cannot be re-ordered.
Each element can then be moved, resized and rotated using the provided tools. The three buttons at the top allow you to revert back to the original, center the image vertically, and center the image horizontally, respectively.
From there, you can enter the “preview mode” to get a better sense of how the final product will look before you save, continue and order your product sample.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing varies from product to product, of course, but you also need to be mindful of the printing cost when you see the “starting from” amount on the catalog page, as that is just for the blank product.
In the hypothetical example that I used above, the base cost for a single t-shirt is $9.41. Adding graphics to the front or the back cost $8.20 each, but you can be as complex as you want (with the constraints of the printable area) for the front or back at no additional cost. This means you can add six layers to the front if you want, though it may be better if you work out this file ahead of time on your computer.
From there, you’ll want to get a sense of the cost for drop shipping. You can (and likely will) list the shipping cost separate on your WooCommerce, Shopify or Etsy store, but it’s good to know these numbers so you can develop your marketing strategy and pricing scheme accordingly. Shipping costs vary by provider; most are located in the United States.
Open Your Merch Store Today
And that’s it. This really does make it really easy for YouTubers, social media influencers, bloggers, startups and other similar business owners to create their own “merch” with no real up-front investment. Easy integration with Shopify, WooCommerce and soon Etsy makes this even easier.