Your Guide to Selling Custom Products With Low Overhead
Selling merchandise that you have custom created is one of the most common ways to make a side income in the design world. That being said, it can be a risky endeavour, with minimum print runs turning your cool idea into a costly experiment.
We just wanted to outline a simple way for you to limit your risk and sell products with a manageable amount of overhead. This plan does require you to create your own website, and also to send traffic to that site, using an email list, social media, search ranking, etc. - something we can cover in another article. We believe this is the only way you can make a significant impact in your sales.
The most convenient and affordable way we've found to set up shop is by automatically linking Printful seamlessly through Shopify. Somebody purchases an item on your Shopify store, Printful fulfills the order and ships it to their door with your logo on the box.
Printful is an on-demand, online printing, fulfillment and shipping company. You can start an apparel brand, sell illustrations or photography prints on a variety of products, or even just buy merchandise for yourself using their service. Their product catalogue includes hats, t-shirts, prints, mugs, leggings, dresses, socks and several other items. Click here to check out the full selection of Printful products.
Most people will have heard of Shopify – one of the most trusted names in the e-commerce space. A huge advantage of Shopify is all the integrations they have set up with various services over the years and apps that enhance store functions - of course this includes the drop-shipping setup with Printful.
There are other options of course – For printing services Society 6 is a common example. The main issue is that relying solely on a crowded marketplace to promote your products can be a crap shoot. This being said, Society 6 can be a good additional marketplace for your product sales, though the earnings are slightly lower in most cases.
The same can be said for Shopify – Some other options include building your site on a platform like Squarespace, Wix, or Wordpress. These are all very unique options that each have advantages & disadvantages, though they lack the plug and play integration features of Shopify. If you don’t intend to sell products and just want a portfolio site, your best bet is likely Wix.com as it’s the most affordable option which you’ll see below.
If you are keen to use one of these other platforms for your website but still want the Printful integration, you’ll need to embed your Shopify products into the website using a code snippet. This results in your orders to be processed and shipped automatically as well, though the checkout process happens off-site.
Here is a monthly cost breakdown for the overhead with these services:
· Printful (free + fees) + Shopify Basic ($29) | $29
· Printful (free + fees) + Shopify Lite ($9) + Wix ($14) | $23
· Printful (free + fees) + Shopify Lite ($9) + Squarespace ($22) | $31
· Printful (free + fees) + Shopify Lite ($9) + Wordpress (~$15) | ~ $25
Now, you’ll notice the option we recommend isn’t the least expensive – we think there is some value in having the user experience be completed using one platform, plus Shopify has countless other integrations that will likely come in handy as your site matures.
There are many great themes provided by Shopify for displaying your work, here are a few of our favorites:
There you have it - Turn your physical product and overhead headache into a smooth online experience. It makes selling merchandise as easy as selling an e-book.
(There are affiliate links in this article - we fully stand behind our suggestions with or without them)