Is Print On Demand Worth It – Still Profitable?

Are you an artist or designer wondering if print-on-demand is worth your time and effort? 

Based on years of experience selling on Etsy, Shopify and Launch Cart I can tell you that Print on demand IS worth it.

It’s one of the best side hustles (and more) out there if you’re a creative sole.

If you’re curious about the world of print-on-demand, keep reading to find out if it’s a worthwhile pursuit.

Key Takeaways

Print on Demand (POD) is a low-risk business model that allows artists and designers to earn a passive income without investing a lot of money upfront.

Every POD service handles the printing, shipping, and logistics, allowing artists and designers to focus on their art and other ventures.

While there are some drawbacks, such as varying quality control and limited branding opportunities, POD offers a cost-effective way for artists and designers to showcase and sell their work.

With the saturation of the POD market, it may require efficient use of time, focusing on SEO, brand building, market research, and targeting a specific niche to make it profitable.

Print On Demand Pros and Cons


Passive Income Generation: One of the significant benefits of selling art and designs through POD is the potential for passive income. With POD, artists can earn money without having to invest heavily upfront. Instead, the products are printed as orders come in, reducing the risk of overproduction.

Wide Variety of Products: POD platforms offer an extensive range of products to showcase artistic creations. From t-shirts and phone cases to home decor items and stationery, creators can diversify their offerings and cater to various customer preferences. This versatility expands the market potential for artists and designers.

Hassle-Free Fulfillment: Unlike traditional manufacturing, where artists must oversee the entire fulfillment process, print-on-demand companies handle it all. From printing and packaging to shipping and customer service, creators can focus on their artwork while leaving the logistics to the experts. This hands-off approach saves time and effort.

Low Initial Investment: Starting a business can be expensive, but print-on-demand eliminates the need for significant upfront investments. Artists can upload their designs to POD platforms for free and start selling without the burden of inventory costs. This accessibility levels the playing field for emerging artists and designers.

Worldwide Reach: Print-on-demand platforms operate globally, enabling artists to access a vast customer base across borders. Selling online provides exposure to a broader audience, increasing the chances of making sales worldwide. With international shipping options, artists can reach customers in distant corners of the globe without hassle.


Longer Fulfillment Time: Since print-on-demand involves producing products upon receiving orders, it takes longer to fulfill compared to having items readily available in stock. Artists and designers must manage customer expectations, considering the additional shipping time that accompanies on-demand printing.

Limited Control over Product Quality: When relying on a print-on-demand partner, artists have less control over the quality of the products themselves. While reputable POD companies strive for high-quality production, artists must trust their partners to maintain consistent standards. This lack of oversight can be a concern for some creators.

Lower Profit Margins: The print-on-demand industry typically operates on a pricing model that results in lower profit margins for creators. Since products are printed and shipped on-demand, costs are often higher per unit, and artists may receive a smaller share of the revenue compared to traditional retail models. Consideration of profit margins is important for artists seeking financial sustainability.

Print On Demand Money

Is Print on Demand Still Profitable in 2023?

Print on demand is still profitable and worth trying in 2023. I do it and I make a profit.

Despite increased competition in the online business world, print on demand remains a viable and profitable option. The POD industry is projected to reach $39.035 billion by 2031 so there is more than enough room for everyone.

While the average revenue per user in eCommerce is decreasing, this doesn’t indicate that print on demand isn’t profitable. 

When POD started, all you could sell was t-shirts, then came other clothing, mugs, and phone cases. Now with more and more companies offering POD services the range of products has grown. Now there are all-over print products and homeware items that have far bigger profit margins meaning POD sellers can be more profitable than ever.

Is Print on Demand Saturated

If you think the market for print on demand saturated in 2023 that’s far from the case.

While the number of sellers offering print on demand products has experienced significant growth in recent years, it’s still a profitable business opportunity with more and more options from a product perspective but also selling channels, social media platforms etc.

Although the competition has increased, there are still niche ideas and untapped markets that can make print on demand profitable in 2023.

Success in this industry requires effort, dedication, and focus on the fundamentals of POD (read on to find out more).

Is Print on Demand Still Worth Trying?

Is Print-on-demand worth it? Yes, I firmly believe it is still worth trying because it offers low risk and low starting costs, allowing you to test the market without a significant financial investment.

There are opportunities to explore and experiment with new products cheaply and quickly as you look to find new ways to cater for the growing demand for custom products.

The high flexibility and automated process of Print on Demand make it an attractive option for those looking to start their own business in the ecommerce industry. Here are the key reasons why I think its worth running a business using print on demand:

Low Start-Up Costs – Little Risk

Starting a print-on-demand business offers minimal risk and a low initial investment, allowing you to explore new opportunities without breaking the bank. The print-on-demand (POD) model eliminates the need for inventory, expensive printers, and shipping supplies.

POD platforms handle printing, logistics and ship your products, saving you time and effort. While there may be some cons, such as varying quality control and limited branding options, the benefits of low risk and low starting cost make starting a print-on-demand business worth it.

Easy to Test and Experiment with Different print-on-demand products

Exploring and experimenting with new products in the print-on-demand business allows for endless opportunities and keeps your creativity flowing.

With no additional outlay one can test different niches and tap into specific customer needs to find profitable market segments.

Create a design, put it on a number of products, and gauge their popularity., helping you understand what resonates with your target audience.

While some niches may have a higher profit margin, others may be more saturated or have lower demand.

The ability to try niches and products to find the right balance between profitability and market demand. 


You have the flexibility to adapt and tailor your print-on-demand business to meet the evolving needs and preferences of your customers.

As a print-on-demand business owner, you’ve the advantage of offering a wide range of products through dropshipping, without the need for inventory. This allows you to quickly respond to market trends and customer demands.

Because you haven’t invested money in stock, you aren’t tied to products, designs, niches, or even locations. You can change your mind, pivot, pivot again, until you find something that works.


Integrating your chosen print on demand supplier with your ecommerce platform automates a lot of the process meaning you can focus on your art, your designs and your marketing.

With an automated process, the fulfillment and shipping of products in a print-on-demand business are taken care of, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

This automated process is a key advantage of the print-on-demand business model.

By partnering with a print-on-demand provider, you can save time and effort in managing inventory, production, and shipping logistics. Instead of worrying about fulfillment, you can dedicate your energy to creating custom designs, marketing your products, and growing your customer base.

This streamlined approach not only frees up your time but also increases the potential for passive income. By leveraging the automated fulfillment process, you can generate sales and revenue without the need for constant manual intervention.

Growing demand for custom products

Custom personalized products are becoming increasingly popular as customers seek unique and personalized items for themselves or as gifts. Despite the saturation in the print on demand market, personalization is still relatively untapped and still profitable and worth trying in 2023.

The technology available today makes it possible for personalization to be automated so you can exploit the large less saturated market and keep your customers coming back for more.

How Can You Be Profitable with Print on Demand in 2023

If you want to create a successful POD business without spending too much money here are some tips to make your print on demand business profitable in 2023:

Riches are in the Niches


Targeting a specific niche in your print on demand business can help you stand out from the competition and attract a dedicated customer base. In a saturated market like the print-on-demand market, focusing on a niche market can be a strategic move to increase your chances of success.

By identifying a specific niche, you can tailor your products and marketing efforts to meet the unique needs and preferences of that target audience. This allows you to create a more personalized and relevant experience for your customers, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Focusing on a niche market can also result in higher profit margins. By catering to a specific audience, you can charge premium prices for your products, as customers are often willing to pay more for specialized items.

Maximise Your Strengths

To determine if print on demand is worth it for your business, it’s essential to utilize your strengths. Print on demand stores offer a range of products that can be customized with your designs, allowing you to showcase your unique skills and talents.

By leveraging your strengths, you can create products that stand out in the market and attract customers. Utilizing fulfillment services provided by print on demand platforms can help streamline your operations and save time. These services handle the printing, packaging, and shipping of your products, allowing you to focus on what you do best – creating and promoting your designs.

Provide Great Customer Service

Improving your customer service is crucial for enhancing customer satisfaction and building long-term loyalty.

In the print-on-demand industry, where competition is saturating the market, providing excellent customer service can give you an edge over other businesses. According to data from Shopify, 89% of business owners believe that customer service is a key differentiator in today’s market.

By focusing on customer needs and addressing their concerns promptly and professionally, you can increase customer satisfaction and retention. This is particularly important in the apparel segment, where t-shirts and hoodies are popular products.

Happy customers are more likely to recommend your store to others, leading to organic growth and increased profitability.

Build A Strong Brand

Build A Brand

Building a strong brand for your print-on-demand business is essential for standing out in a saturated market and attracting loyal customers. In the highly competitive world of print-on-demand, establishing a unique and recognizable brand is crucial for long-term success and profitability.

A strong brand helps differentiate your business from others and creates a sense of trust and familiarity among customers. By investing in branding efforts such as creating a compelling logo, designing a cohesive website, and crafting a consistent brand message, you can attract customers and build a loyal following.

A well-established brand can help you command higher prices for your products, leading to increased profitability for your print-on-demand ecommerce business. So, don’t underestimate the power of branding and its impact on your customers and bottom line.

Watch and Learn

You can achieve long-term success and profitability in the print-on-demand business by continuously growing and learning.

As a beginner in the print-on-demand business, it’s crucial to understand that learning and growing are essential for building a profitable store. By staying updated with the latest trends, market demands, and customer preferences, you can make informed decisions that drive sales and maximize profits.

Utilize data-driven strategies to analyze your store’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and implement effective marketing tactics.

Continuously expanding your product offerings, experimenting with new designs, and exploring different niches can help you attract a wider customer base and increase sales.

Stay ahead of the competition by staying informed, adapting to changes, and consistently learning from your experiences.

Stay for the long term

Take your time and don’t let setbacks discourage you as you navigate the print-on-demand business.

Running a successful print-on-demand store requires careful planning and strategic decision-making. Start by conducting thorough market research to identify trends and customer preferences. This will help you come up with new ideas and unique designs that will resonate with your target audience.

Focus on optimizing your store’s SEO to improve visibility and drive organic traffic. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing strategies and promotions to attract customers.

Remember, building a profitable print-on-demand business takes time and persistence. Stay patient, stay motivated, and keep learning from your experiences.

Profitable Print on Demand Business Ideas for Your Store in 2023

Looking to make your print on demand business profitable in 2023? Consider these profitable business ideas for your store.

Eco-friendly products

eCo friendly

Eco-friendly products are in high demand as consumers become more environmentally aware. This trend presents a significant opportunity for print-on-demand businesses to offer eco-friendly options to their customers. By incorporating sustainable materials and production methods, print-on-demand sites can cater to the growing market for eco-friendly products.

I’ve found customers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.

Many consumers are looking for personalized products that align with their values, and eco-friendly options provide a way to meet this demand. When choosing the best print-on-demand sites, it’s essential to consider their commitment to sustainability and their range of eco-friendly products.

All-over print products

You can explore a variety of all-over print products to add unique and eye-catching designs to your print-on-demand store. 

These products allow you to create designs that cover the entire fabric, resulting in a visually striking and attention-grabbing effect.

They can demand premium prices and help you achieve high margins.

All-over print products have gained popularity in recent years, making them a lucrative choice for your print-on-demand business. Consider adding AOP hoodies, leggings and t-shirts to your store to cash in.


Athleisure is a popular trend in the fashion industry that combines comfort and style for everyday wear and a trend you can get in to with print on demand.

Colorful designs

Colorful designs can attract attention and make your print on demand products stand out in a crowded market. In the competitive world of e-commerce, it’s essential to differentiate yourself and capture the interest of potential customers.

By incorporating vibrant and eye-catching designs into your POD store, you increase the chances of attracting and retaining customers. Studies have shown that visual appeal plays a significant role in consumer decision-making, with 93% of purchasing judgments based on visual factors.

Colorful designs have been proven to enhance brand recognition and recall, further solidifying your presence in the market. Therefore, investing time and effort in creating compelling and visually appealing designs can greatly contribute to making your print on demand store profitable in 2023.

Home and living

Incorporating home and living products into your POD store can attract customers looking to enhance their living spaces with unique and personalized items.

Whilst the t-shirt market may be saturated the home and living space is not.

The demand for printing services in the home and living category is on the rise, with customers seeking products like custom wall art, personalized pillows, and unique home decor.

My Top POD Suppliers To Use

The key to success is finding the best print on demand suppliers that are reliable and efficient and that you can trust  A few top contenders stand out all that can help you sell to the global market.

Gelato Homepage

Gelato Print On Demand, Printful, and Printify have consistently proven themselves as excellent options for artists and designers looking to turn their creations into profitable products.

These suppliers offer a wide range of product options, high-quality printing, and seamless integration with popular eCommerce platforms, making them top choices for anyone in the print-on-demand business.

eCommerce Platform Or Marketplace?

When considering whether print on demand is worth it, it’s important to decide whether to use an POD marketplace, an eCommerce platform or a marketplace to dropship your products.

eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Launch Cart or Woocommerce enable you to have your own standalone website integrated with a POD supplier.

An eCommerce platforms provide you with more control and flexibility over your print on demand business. You can customize your website, have your own domain name, and have full ownership of your customer data.

On the other hand, a marketplace, like Etsy, offers a ready-made platform with a built-in trust & customer base. While you may have less control and branding opportunities, marketplaces can provide a larger audience for your products allowing you to spend less on marketing.

Etsy Homepage

Alternatively you can use POD marketplaces like Redbubble where you can just upload a design and they do the rest. They market, print & handle all customer interaction. Whilst margins are lower you can still make real money using them.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific goals and preferences.

If you value autonomy and customization, an eCommerce platform may be the better choice. However, if you prioritize convenience and access to a larger customer base, a marketplace could be the way to go.

Conclusion: Print On Demand IS Worth It 2024?

Money counting

Print on demand is becoming more and more popular but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it.

It may take more effort than it used to but there are also more platforms to sell on, more POD suppliers, better products and higher margins to be made.

Low starting costs and no inventory requirements means you can start selling print-on-demand without the risks involved in setting up a traditional bricks and mortar store.

Is print on demand profitable? Yes, but it isn’t a get rich quick scheme.

Print on demand is a quick and easy way to start your own online business. 


Is print on demand more profitable than dropshipping?

Profitability of print on demand versus dropshipping depends on various factors.

Dropshipping has an advantage in terms of quick profits due to the low cost of products provided by wholesalers and manufacturers without branding.

On the other hand, print on demand can be more profitable in the long run as sellers can achieve high margins with unique and well designed products.

Both models offer excellent opportunities for beginners in eCommerce to earn money. 

What are best-selling Christmas print on demand ornament?

Here are some of the best-selling Christmas print-on-demand ornaments:

  1. Acrylic ornament
  2. Wooden ornament
  3. MDF ornament
  4. Metal ornament
  5. Ceramic ornament
  6. Aluminum ornament
  7. Glass ornament

Tips To Effectively Improve Shopify SEO

Ensure that your Shopify store is built on a solid foundation by using easy-to-understand and relevant keywords. Invest time in keyword research and optimization to make sure that customers can discover your business via search engines. It’s crucial to utilize SEO-friendly themes when designing your store.

Apply descriptive ALT tags to your images and structure your URLs in a user-friendly manner, thereby aiding your ranking on search engines.

Generate high-quality backlinks that drive more traffic to your store. Ensure that you regularly audit your site’s SEO, swiftly correcting any errors and issues that could impede its performance.

Frequently update your site with unique and quality content to bolster your SEO positioning.

Effective Shopify SEO isn’t achieved overnight but with persistent effort and the right strategies, you can significantly boost your online visibility. 

How to create a brand identity for your print on demand business?

The first step in this process is understanding what your brand represents – your values, your mission, and your unique selling proposition. Once you’ve identified these elements, you can start to craft a visual representation like a logo, which will become the face of your company.

Consistency is crucial in brand identity, so ensure that the color scheme, typography, and design style are coherent across all your promotional materials. This includes your website, business cards, social media platforms, and, of course, the products themselves.

Creating a strong brand narrative that tells your story and connects with your target market on an emotional level can significantly enhance your brand’s perception and loyalty.

Use a tone of voice in your communication that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand personality.

Through diligent planning and thoughtful execution, a well-defined brand can give your print on demand business a competitive edge and foster long-lasting relationships with your customers.