Using Print-On-Demand T-Shirt Fulfillment Companies: Advice & Tips For Designers Using Printful, Teelaunch, CustomCat Etc.

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Are you looking at using a Print-On-Demand T-Shirt fulfillment company like Printful, CustomCat or Teelaunch to do the printing and shipping for your clothing brand or business?

If so, I have some advice for you.

I’ve been using Print-On-Demand T-Shirt Fulfillment companies (or T-Shirt Dropshippers) for over 3 years now – and in that time I’ve dealt with pretty much every issue you could ever expect.

In this article I’m going to explain the difference between T-Shirt fulfillment companies like Printful and sites like Redbubbble, Merch By Amazon and TeeSpring – and delve into some of the nitty gritty with some helpful tips and tricks for YOU – the budding brand owner.

Note: I have an updated article comparing the biggest Print-on-demand fulfillment companies, you can read it here: The Best Print-On-Demand T-Shirt Fulfillment Companies In 2020

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Increasing T-Shirt Design Output

5 Lessons From Increasing Design Output (And Why It Matters)

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

December 2016 was my best month ever for T-Shirt sales and income.

It blew everything up to that point out of the water.

But – if I’m honest – I was somehow a little disappointed, and felt it could have been better.

Why?

Because the total number of design available on my single biggest sales channel (Merch By Amazon) was significantly diminished throughout November and December (through a combination of Amazon’s introduction of the new 60-day-rule, plus a crackdown on designs that violated Amazon’s design policies).

(I explain a little more about that in my 2016 T-Shirt Income Review article.)

In other words, a lot of potential sales were lost because the number of designs I had available (on Amazon at least) dropped significantly.

Now, there’s little I could have done to protect myself against the 60-day-rule (any design that doesn’t sell in the first 60 days gets removed). Some designs sell, others don’t – and it’s very hard to predict this accurately ahead of time.

And there’s somewhat more I could have done to protect myself from the clean-up on potentially policy-violating designs – for example: staying away from controversial topics and potentially offensive jokes.

But the single biggest reason that I didn’t make more in December is this:

I didn’t have enough designs!

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Selling T-Shirts On Instagram: 3 Marketing Tips

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

If you’ve been reading my blog for anytime at all, then you’ll know my main source of income – and what I write about most often – is selling T-Shirts through print-on-demand platforms like Merch By Amazon and Redbubble.

Almost all of those sales come organically.

That means I don’t do much ‘direct’ marketing of my own, and I do almost no paid-marketing (i.e. Advertising).

Well, that is beginning to change.

I’ve been playing around with Shopify for a few months now, and am beginning to see some success using paid traffic via Instagram – specifically by reaching out to popular, relevant accounts and paying them for sponsored posts.

The income from my Shopify store is not about to replace that from my print-on-demand sites (it’s only brought in about $2k/month for the past 3 months), but it’s been a nice additional income stream, and it comes with the added bonus of a direct relationship with my customers, and the chance to re-market to them over and over again in the future.

This post is by no means comprehensive – and I’m no expert in this area – but I have picked up few tips that I think will help anyone who is looking to take things in a similar direction (ie. – your own brand store + paid traffic or direct marketing).

But beware – you will need to drop some cash to make this work.

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Branding T-Shirts online

Brands and Branding while Selling T-Shirts Online: Your Questions Answered

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

When it comes to selling T-Shirt online, branding is one of the things you’ll wrestle with sooner or later.

  • Should you have one T-Shirt ‘brand’ for all your designs – or several?
  • Should you keep your brand identity specific to a single niche, or broad and general to appeal to as many people as possible?
  • Should you brand yourself as an individual artist / designer, or as a business / company?

These are questions I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d delve into some of the various considerations here…

(and that way I don’t have to personally reply to a bunch of emails individually in the future – I can just send people this link 🙂 )

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Copycats Merch By Amazon

Stolen Designs? How To Deal With Copycats On Merch By Amazon

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

Copycats are a part of life for creative individuals, and this is especially true in the online T-Shirt market.

What is a copycat? Put simply it is anyone who steals your design and uses it without your permission – where no income from the sales would ever make its way to you. 🙁

The same technology and developments that have made it easy for individuals like myself to make money from T-Shirts online (Print-on-demand sites, easy to use graphic design software etc.) – have also made it easy for those who don’t know – or don’t care – about the concepts of Copyright or Intellectual Property.

I have been dealing with Copycats of my work for the past 3 years, across various sites (Etsy, Redbubble, Teepublic) – but the platform with the biggest copycat problem right now is Merch By Amazon.

This is no surprise, given the size and lucrative nature of Amazon and in particular Merch to generate sales. And Amazon is beginning to deal with this problem – making advances against the copycat scourge daily.

Having said that, it’s not a problem that is likely to go away anytime soon. And when copycats have a real-world impact on your sales and income, it’s hard to just ignore them.

Copycats on the internet may be a ‘fact of life’ – but it helps to have techniques and tactics with which we can mitigate their impact on our sales.

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Merch By Amazon Tools

Merch By Amazon Tools and Resources for Noobs

Last Updated: June 14, 2019

Are you a complete Merch By Amazon newbie?

Then you’re probably overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at you.

Everybody’s using abbreviations and talking about plugins and stuff – things you know nothing about.

So I thought I’d run through some of the basic Merch By Amazon tools that every newcomer should know about – before you go a-diving into the world of Merch By Amazon.

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Merch By Amazon book

How To Sell More Shirts! Strategies, Tips And Tricks To Help You Sell T-Shirts Online With Merch By Amazon And More [eBook]

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Merch By Amazon Ebook

Are you a designer, illustrator or artist selling T-Shirts online?

Do you want to sell more Shirts?

Who doesn’t, right!?

For the past 3 years I have been making money online from my T-Shirt designs. In the past year that income has been super-charged by Amazon’s new print-on-demand platform: Merch By Amazon.

I’m now making a steady $10k a month in profit from selling T-Shirts online.

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How To Market T-Shirts

How To Market Your T-Shirts Without Spending Money

Last Updated: April 10, 2017

If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all, you probably know that I do almost no paid advertising for my Shirts.

Instead I rely on ‘organic traffic’ to drive my sales – the searching habits of customers who actively seek out the kind of designs I am selling.

This organic traffic can come a number of ways, but will usually be from direct searches on websites (eg. the search bar on Amazon.com or Redbubble.com) or via search engines such as Google.

There are pros and cons of relying exclusively on organic traffic, but the big pro is that you don’t need to spend any cash to make sales.

But organic traffic does have it’s limitations.

Firstly, it can be very hard to stand-out and get noticed in crowded niches and within the search results pages.

The low barrier to entry means everyone is trying to pick up sales via organic traffic, so to get a leg-up on the competition you have to start looking at other ways of getting your products in front of potential customers.

Let’s take a look at some of those ways now…

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15 Things About Selling T-Shirts Online

15 Things I’ve Learnt About Selling T-Shirts Online

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

I’m three and a bit years into selling T-Shirts online, and I’ve just begun to learn a few things. (!)

I wish someone would have been around to tell me this stuff when I was starting out. But sometimes it’s best to learn things the hard way.

Here’s my purpose with this article: to help the young designer or illustrator get a clearer picture of the key principles that have the biggest impact on your success selling T-Shirts.

If you can grasp and apply these principles, I believe you will be streets ahead of your competition.

Like any business (and be in no doubt – as soon as you start trying to make money from something, you are starting a business) – making money from T-Shirts online takes hard work and dedication. But working hard on the wrong things is not going to be effective. With a clear understanding of what matters and how to achieve your goals, you are much more likely to succeed.

So let’s get into it!

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Merch By Amazon Review

Merch By Amazon Review: Merch vs. Redbubble vs. Teepublic vs. Etsy – Where Is My Income Coming From?

Last Updated: January 22, 2020

Merch By Amazon is all the rage right now – but the business model of Merch is nothing new.

Sites like Zazzle, Cafepress, Redbubble and Teepublic have allowed artists to make money from their designs for several years.

So how does Merch compare to these other sites? That’s what we’re going to look at in this Merch By Amazon review – as we delve into my income from various T-Shirt websites.

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