Having spent years selling online utilizing print on demand dropship manufacturing I’ve used lots of different print on demand software and tools, platforms and suppliers. Some were quickly discarded, others I still use today.
I have collated a list that includes design software, places to get graphics, marketplaces, chrome extensions and more and I will continue to update it as I discover new print on demand tools and software.
Graphics and Design Elements
If you aren’t an artist or designer here are some sites where you can get ready-made designs, design elements and more to help you with your print-on-demand business.
Offers designs, graphics, templates for web themes and addons for programs like photoshop. All are available on a pay-per-item basis with different licenses offered.
Creative Market A little more expensive than Creative Fabrica but great as it has a wide range of items on offer.
From fonts to ready-made designs with print on demand licenses to design elements, graphics, and more, are all offered on a pay-per-item basis or on a very reasonable subscription that gives unlimited downloads.
Following their release of CF Spark AI tools I now use it for my blog too.
Vexels provides premium ready-made designs for your merch / print on demand products for a reasonable monthly fee. Designs come with a commercial print on demand license so can be uploaded to most marketplaces and merch platforms as-is.
Flickr was founded as a photo-sharing platform Flickr is home to tens of billions of photos that can be used for your site or even your print on demand products, just look for the right license type.
Pexels provides user-generated videos and photos that are royalty-free so you can use them anywhere and for pretty much anything. Ideal for giving your website a professional feel or adding a bit of quality to your social media marketing.
Design Tools and Software
To be able to sell via Print on Demand, you need to be able to create designs in the formats and sizes that your chosen print-on-demand supplier requires. Here are some tools that will help.
The original and some would say the best full-featured professional standard photo editing / graphics software. For many there are too many features in Photoshop that you dont need and it can be daunting to use at first, but there is no doubting its capabilities.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Elements is a stripped down, cheaper version of Photoshop that keeps the key functionality that many require and removes the complexity of the functionality many people will not use. Great for the beginner and useful for the seasoned designer.
The sister product to Photoshop, Illustrator is a graphics design software that enables users to create vector based designs as opposed to pixel-based photo editing of Photoshop. Illustrator is the professional standard of graphic design software.
Serif’s Affinity Designer is very similar in functionality to Adobe’s Illustrator in that it is a professional-grade graphics program, but it comes at a fraction of the cost. There is a steep learning curve and functionality that many don’t need but at its price point, it’s worth a look.
Serif has just released Version 2 (v2) of all their products with new functionality like Warp tool added to Designer.
With so many use cases Canva is one of our most used tools.
Whether we are creating featured images for our blog or social media posts Canva is our go-to tool for all our side hustles
Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool. You can use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos, and designs for print on demand products. It has a free version and a pro version with the latter giving access to over 75+ million premium images, videos, graphics, and audio and many fonts, all in one place.
Photopea is free, ad-supported, browser-based graphics software that for many will be more than enough to create designs and graphics for print on demand. It looks a little like photoshop and ads can be removed for a small fee.
Best known for its print on demand mockups, PlaceIt also has thousands of ready-made and editable designs, templates, and logos for you to manipulate and make your own before downloading and placing on a print on demand product.
CoralDraw Graphics Suite
Is a fully loaded professional design toolkit for delivering breathtaking vector illustration, layout, photo editing, and typography projects. It brings together similar functionality to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and much more in one suite of products.
Sitting in between Graphics suite and Essentials, CoralDRAW Standard comes with a toolbox of user-friendly features for graphics, layout, illustration, tracing, photo editing, web images to help with your creations.
A stripped down graphics package that is about a third of the cost of CoralDRAW standard and still has more than enough functionality for all your print on demand tasks from designs through to website graphics.
Word Swag is a free iOS and Android app (also in the premium version) that lets you easily write on photos, and edit your photo like a professional with multiple photo effects & functions. Ideal for social media and infographics too.
Godaddy Studio is the rebranded Over app and is Godaddy’s Canva challenger. In a browser or on mobile and tablet, Studio has thousands of templates and graphic elements to create designs, graphics, and social media posts.
Instasize is a photo editor that makes it easy to edit photos, make photo collages, and create great-looking posts for social media. Available on iOS and Android it comes with both a free and premium plan.
Gravit is a vector graphic design tool that is free and open source. It allows users to create vector illustrations, logos, and icons. Gravit is available online and as a desktop app, making it easy for users to access it from anywhere without having to pay high fees.
Inkscape is a vector graphic design program used by artists and designers all over the world. It’s capabilities rival those of Adobe Illustrator, making it a popular choice for anyone looking to create high-quality designs. Inkscape is free and open source, meaning that it is constantly being improved by a global community of volunteers.
Print On Demand Software / Companies
If you’re designing products then you’re going to need a print on demand supplier to print the item and send it to your customer. Here’s a list to get you started so you know your options.
Printful is one of the largest and to many considered the best print on demand companies out there. It does all its printing in-house and has 17 fulfillment centers including USA, UK, Spain, and others. Printful integrates with 18 different eCommerce platforms and 4 different marketplaces making it a great choice wherever you are selling. It’s known for producing some of the best print quality around.
Printify is a large print on demand business that has a catalog of over 500 products to choose from. Printify doesn’t do any printing or fulfillment itself, instead, it provides access to a network of links together a network of print-on-demand printers dotted all over the globe.
Artsadd is a China based print on demand business that also prints some items in the USA and Australia. It offers many products including favorites like AOP trainers and bags. It integrates with Shopify, and offers manual order support and CVS bulk order uploads. You can use Artsadd via Printify as Artsadd is one of the print partners that make up the Printify network.
Similar to Printify, Gelato uses a production and logistics network of 100+ print partners around the world in 34 different countries giving it great resilience and cutting down the delivery time and costs as well as the impact on the environment. Gelato integrates with the main eCommerce platforms and key online marketplaces.
A UK based print on demand company with over 130 different products including premium cut and sew AOP hoodies, sweatshirts and t-shirts alongside custom-shaped pillows and items you will not find elsewhere.
Want more information about UK print on demand companies, read our article about the best print on demand companies in the UK
Spreadshirt (see below) launched SPOD in 2019 as a separate arm of their business initially solely with a focus on Shopify integration but it now integrates with other platforms directly and even more via OrderDesk. With US and EU fulfillment centers and speedy production times, SPOD is thought to be one of the best out there, but I disagree, read why in my SPOD Print On Demand Review
Pillow Profits is based in China which enables pricing to be kept low. You need Shopify to use them and they charge a $29 per month fee to do so. However, they offer a great range of all over print products bags, car seat covers shoes, and boots, and even offer a free size replacement service if your customers need an exchange.
Sell handcrafted and personalized print on demand jewelry that enables sellers to make high margins and sell something a little different from the usual t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts. ShineOn integrates with Shopify, has its own sales platform giving you your own shop, and has a CSV upload for bulk orders if you sell on other platforms. You can sell on Shopify, via the ShineOn seller platform which also enables manual orders for sales from any other platform.
Fuel Print on demand
Fuel Print on Demand is a company that allows users to print custom T-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel on demand. This makes it easy for people to get custom clothing without having to wait weeks or months for it to be delivered. US-based with low prices, fast fulfillment times, and a Shopify app.
Inkthreadable is a UK based print on demand business that allows users to order custom-printed T-shirts and other apparel. The company makes it easy for customers to create one-of-a-kind designs for their clothing, and they offer a wide range of organic products and an active range, alongside the usual POD staples. They have Etsy and Shopify integrations.
Want to know more? Read our full Inkthreadable review.
Jet Print is a print on demand company based in China. They only have one integration which is Shopify but they do offer high quality, low-cost printing and fast turnaround times on a wide range of products.
Merch By Amazon
Merch by Amazon (or Amazon Merch on Demand as they have rebranded it) allows artists and entrepreneurs to sell (mainly apparel) products on Amazon without having to worry about upfront costs, storage, or shipping. With Merch by Amazon, you create a product listing for your design, choose a product type and color, and set your price. When someone orders your product, we make it on-demand and ship it directly to your customer. You’ll earn royalties on every sale.
Subliminator is a print on demand company based in China and is best known for its all over print products. They were one of the first Chinese print on demand suppliers to gain traction outside of China. Subliminator offers a wide range of print on demand products, including t-shirts, hoodies, and leggings.
Teelaunch is a US based print on demand supplier that requires Shopify to use it. They do integrate with Etsy, but only via the use of Shopify. Teelaunch has some unique products and was one of the first to offer metal wall art and personalized basketballs, baseballs and footballs.
So you’ve got lots of designs ready and know the print on demand company you want to use, now you need an ecommerce platform to create a site to sell your items on. Here are a few to consider.
The most well-known of the eCommerce platforms out there and with a 14-day free trial Shopify is a good choice for many. It integrates with the majority of print on demand companies by installing apps means you can get your products on your site quite easily.
If Shopify is the champion, then Launch Cart is the challenge for the title. A new up-and-coming platform that has a free plan so you can actually start selling for free. Sites are easy to set up and Launch Cart integrates with Printful with Printify and others coming very soon. Want a free eCommerce site to test some designs on, then Launch Cart is a good choice.
WordPress + Woocommerce
Circa 40% of the world’s websites are built using the WordPress content management system. Woocommerce is a plugin that turns a WordPress site into a full-fledged online store. WordPress sites can be started cheaply and integrated with many print on demand companies but there is a steep learning curve to overcome.
Squarespace is a beginner friendly ecommerce platform with quick-start templates to get you going fast. Printful only offers integration with Printful but that should be enough to meet a lot of print on demand sellers needs.
WIX is arguably the easiest platform for building websites and requires no technical knowledge and definitely no coding. It has eCommerce capabilities and has recently added integrations with both Printful and Printify providing a wide choice of products.
BigCommerce was originally founded in Australia as the next big eCommerce Saas platform. It offers a 15 day free trial optimise and provides functionality to enable you to advertise and sell products across many different channels including Google, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
If you’re creating items to sell online then online marketplaces can be a great place to start. Here are a few to consider:
Etsy began life as a marketplace for handmade goods but in recent years it amended its definition of handmade to allow items designed by the seller and thus paved the way for print on demand. Many of the big POD companies integrate with Etsy and with its 80 million+ annual shoppers and low listing cost it’s a great place to get started and test designs.
Founded in 1995 originally as an auction site to sell old items, eBay has changed over time and now has millions of sellers and buyers of new and reconditioned items. Given its household name and listing fees are low.
You may think this is a strange inclusion in the list, but Facebook Market allows you to sell items for free so what better place to post a product to test whether there would be any demand.
It seems that there is a chrome extension for everything nowadays and they can be extremely helpful. Here are some that have made my life easier during my print on demand career.
Helium 10 offers premium services that provide lots of information on amazon product listings to show what is selling. They offer a free chrome extension that provides sales information on which items are selling well on amazon to help you find designs and niches to go after.
Color And Font Picker
I use this extension every day, it’s simple, but it’s a game changer. See a font on a website and want to know what it is, a simple click on this chrome extension and it tells you the font. Its the same with colors, the extension tells you the HEX code for any color you click on, so that you can then use it in your designs.
Awesome Screenshot and Screen Recorder
A simple extension that records your screen and enables you to take a screenshot or screen snippet to save for later a design for inspiration or capture an image to use in an article or web post.
AMZ Suggestion Expander
If you’re selling on Amazon or looking for ideas the AMZ Suggestion Expander is a great tool. Put in a search term in Amazon search bar and this Chrome extension expands the number of search suggestions by showing the keywords that Amazon would suggest before and after the keywords you have entered.
This Chrome extension provides sales estimates and shows you what is selling on Amazon so you can chase the same trends and get product ideas whether you’re selling on Amazon or not.
DS Amazon Quick View
Like the two Chrome extensions mentioned above, this tool provides sales data for products that you’ve searched for. Simply search for an item and DS Amazon Quick View shows you the sales rank for the items shown on the search results page.
Commerce inspector is a tool that helps users to inspect an e-commerce shop. It allows users to see how a shop is performing in terms of sales, conversion rates, and revenue.
Whether you’re selling on your own site or on a marketplace like Etsy marketing is key. Here are some software and tools to help do just that:
With Mail Chimp you can set up email sign-up pages and grow your email list. Then use built-in templates to send engaging emails to your customers driving customer loyalty and hopefully repeat purchases.
FPTraffic is an efficient social media scheduling tool that includes a content search engine. It allows you to search popular image library’s like Unsplash and Flikr and use the chosen photos in scheduled posts to social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
This site helps you find imaginative domain names for your site and or business. Just enter a word or two and hit enter and Lean Domain Search will find lots of creative and imaginative dot com domain names that are available to register.
Once you get up and running with print on demand there are lots of tasks to stay on top of so here are some useful print on demand tools for the job.
Free and easy to use, Google Sheets is ideal for tracking all your designs, where you have uploaded them too as well as tracking all your finances.
Available on all platforms (iOS and Android mobiles, PC, MAC etc), this app helps keep all your notes in a single location that you can easily access and review. Perfect for capturing design inspiration, niche ideas, quotes etc. You can capture screenshots and images and create to-do lists also.
Microsoft Excel is a popular productivity tool because it allows users to create and edit spreadsheets. Excel spreadsheets can contain data, formulas, and graphics, making them ideal for storing and analyzing data like designs, where you have list them for sale as well as using it to do finances for your business.
All In One Platforms
When selling print on demand products on your own website you are in control and you own the customer. But in doing so, you also have to manage customer queries, returns, and complaints as well as driving your own traffic. If that sounds like too much effort, it’s worth considering what I term All In One Platforms. You upload the graphics / designs. They do the rest.
Established in 2006, Redbubble provides over 700,000 artists and designers a platform to sell their designs on a range of products. Simply upload your designs, select the products you want to apply them to, set your margins, and publish them. When you make a sale you get to keep the profit and Redbubble deals with the rest.
Gearbubble is a tool that allows users to create and sell t-shirts online. It makes it easy for users to design their own t-shirts, and to sell them through the Gearbubble website. This makes it a great option for people who want to start their own clothing line, or who want to sell custom t-shirts online without having to create their own online store
Spreadshirt enables users to create a shop on their platform and sell clothing, accessories, and more from a product range of over 250 different products. Whilst Spreadshirt dont drive as much traffic as Redbubble they do fulfill orders and deal with customers on your behalf. Buyers can also personalize designs, adding their own text to your designs. Spreadsheet also has a Print On Demand fulfillment arm call SPOD.
Spring (formerly Teespring)
Spring heavily targets people with a following i.e. influences, YouTubers etc and provides them a platform to create a low-touch online store. Upload your designs, set your prices, and away you go. Spring is also one of a small number of POD platforms that can offer your products on the YouTube Merch Shelf under your YouTube videos.
A UK-based platform that enables people to create their own online store, upload designs, and sell clothing. Sustainability is a key part of their offering, so much so that they offer a recycling process where customers can recycle their items purchased from Teemill.
Here are a number of other useful print on demand tools and software that help on your POD journey:
Upwork is an online marketplace that connects freelancers with businesses and individuals who need their services. You can find all sorts of work on Upwork, from design work to programming to writing. So if you don’t want to create your own designs or need help with your Shopify online store Upwork can be a great place to find freelancers,
Fiverr is a great resource for finding designers and other creative professionals to help with your eCommerce business. Fiverr is a gig economy website that has a huge community of freelancers and is used by millions of people around the world. This makes it a great place to find someone to help you with your next project, regardless of what it is.
Website page speed is more important than ever, so when putting product images on your site it’s important to make sure they are compressed and optimized for web use. Thats where Squoosh comes in. A very simple tool to compress images in your browser using a choice of codecs.
Shopify Name Generator
Got an idea but just cant come up with a name? Well the Shopify Name Generator is perfect for this. Simply enter one word that describes your brand / idea and Shopify will kindly produce a list of business name ideas.
TMHunt is a simple tool that lets you search the USPTO database for registered clothing trademarks. Many find this tool easier to use than the above TMSearch.
Marmalead is an Etsy SEO tool that can help you get your shop found by more people. It uses a variety of techniques, including keyword research, to help you identify the best keywords for your shop and optimize your listings for those keywords. This can result in more traffic from search engines and more sales from Etsy shoppers.
eRank is a great alternative to Marmalead if you’re looking for a tool that offers more features or if you’re on a budget. Marmalead and eRank are both great tools for helping Etsy sellers optimize their shops for better search engine visibility. However, they use different techniques, so it’s worth trying out both to see which one works best for you.
Google Trends enables people to search google data to see the trend data for that term. It’s perfect for checking to see whether the niche you are looking into has peaked or is on the way up.
Very similar to Google Trends, Pinterest Trends enables people to interrogate Pinterest search data to see the search trend for the term they enter.
Check out our article about Etsy SEO tools if you want to know more.
Ahrefs is an SEO software suite that includes tools for keyword research, link building, competitive analysis, rank tracking, and site audits.
The suite of tools and features is designed with marketers in mind. Simply put, Ahrefs is an SEO tool designed to help people improve their Google rankings.
That’s it for now but be sure to come back soon as we will be adding lots more print on demand tools and software to this article.