What is Print on Demand Drop Shipping?

Print on demand has been a hot topic in marketing for the past few years. With so many businesses looking to cut costs and save time, print on demand is an attractive option. In this article, we will talk about how to increase revenue with print on demand by using Printful as your drop shipping partner. We’ll discuss what print on demand is and why it’s such a great service for online sellers, social media users and even brick-and-mortar stores. Then we’ll cover some of the benefits you can expect from starting a print on demand store, like no upfront costs, no inventory or storage fees, quick turnaround times for orders that come in after hours, and more!

Drop Shipping in an easy way to sell products without the hassles of inventory, fulfillment, and storage. You simply list a product in your online store, then connect the order to Printful’s fulfillment systems. When an order comes in, Printful will print it on demand and ship it out directly to the customer wherever they are located!

Printful is one of today’s most popular print on demand platforms because they make every step as simple as possible: Just connect your products from your Printful dashboard onto your website; link your account so you can track sales and then Prinful handles all the fulfillment. You can even brand the packaging with your logo and a personal message.

Drop Shipping is perfect if you’re just starting up because there’s no inventory or fulfillment costs so all of that capital goes into spreading the word about your new products. It also means that any item sold will have instant profit margins.

How to Start a Print On Demand Dropping Business

You can start a drop shipping business in minutes. It’s easier than ever to get started with Printful. All you have to do is:

  • Sign up for free and visit your dashboard.
  • Create a new product and then upload your design.
  • Link your Sales Channel so you’re ready to start selling items right away!

What is the best Sales Channel? The short answer is it depends. The two platforms we recommend for E-Commerce are WordPress with WooCommerce or Shopify. WordPress gives you unlimited integrations and functionality, is great for SEO and essentially gives you complete control of your website, however, there is a learning curve. If you have the time, there are several resources to help you get started, and of course, we are always happy to help. On the other hand, Shopify has an easier learning curve and includes an all-in-one online store. The main downfall is you are more restricted on Shopify regarding design style, integrations and SEO. Plus, with Shopify, it’s not entirely free. You can launch a store for free and have a 14 day trial, but eventually you will need to sign up for a paid plan starting at $29.00/month. In the grand scheme of things, if you are unable to cover your monthly service cost for a basic store, print on demand might not be your best choice. The good news is you have options with Printful – they offer so many integrations like:

Regardless of the platform you decide on, the process is simple with Printful. But what exactly is Print On Demand Drop Shipping and how does that process look? Here’s a visual from Printful’s website to get a clear picture of how you sell products, how they fulfill your products and how your customer receives the products, all without you getting out of bed:

Sounds great, right? It is, but keep in mind, like everything else in life, you have to take the good with the bad. The entire process is not click, click, done. It is time consuming in the beginning but once you get your store up and running with cool products and designs, it really is passive income that requires minimal time in the long run. Here are some pros and cons to Print On Demand Drop Shipping:


  • Payment upon order.
  • Easy to diversify products.
  • You get to be your own boss.
  • Less risk if products don’t sell.
  • No upfront costs for inventory.
  • Customers are happy because they can choose from a variety of products and designs.
  • You can buy for yourself! Wear clothes that you design on quality fabric and then showcase to your family and friends. They might even want one or a ton. Congrats, you got your first sale!
  • The best part is Printful handles all of the fulfillment!


  • It’s more difficult when it comes to marketing because you don’t actually have any physical product on hand that people can see first before buying (but there are many other ways around this, like sample orders).
  • You make less profit per product after paying Printful, however, the trade off is no upfront inventory costs or management.
  • You have to order sample products if you want to see how it looks before you start selling. Cool thing is Printful offers a discount on already low priced products as well as free shipping. The more you sell, the more sample products you can order at a discounted rate.
  • Unless you go viral, you will need to spend time advertising and driving traffic to your store.

Tips for Success with your New Business

It’s important to start small and get feedback from friends, family members and customers before going full blown guerilla marketing. It’s also a good idea to some product research before you get started. See what types of products sell well online. Basically, be strategic about it. Find a niche and focus on that community. Dog and cat lovers are usually willing to buy cool shirts or accessories with designs related to pets. Printful even offers products for dogs!

It’s also important to follow Printful’s color matching guidelines to make sure your digital design is printed based on their requirements. Printful uses DTG for apparel. Just make sure you choose the correct color profiles for the files you upload.

We also recommend having a solid website in terms of user experience, user design and functionality. It doesn’t matter how awesome your clothing designs are, if people do not trust your website or think it looks spammy, they will not give you their credit card information. It would be so counterproductive to invest a bunch of time on product design and then sell them on a site or sales channel that does not look trustworthy.

Want to see what a Print On Demand Drop Shipping store looks like? Here is a store we developed on WordPress and another store we developed on Shopify.

Final Thoughts

Print on Demand Drop Shipping is a great way to test the waters with new products, designs and audiences without large inventory costs or management. But there’s always a trade off: Although you make less profit per unit sold, you are literally investing no time in fulfillment after your store is all set up. If your products start to take off, you can always reinvest your profits in inventory. At that point, you will have enough data to know which products sell well and which products to stock at a low quantities. Without Printful’s Print On Demand Services, you will need to know the number of each unit and the sizes you “think” will sell and spend the upfront costs of product development.

Disclaimer: at no additional cost to you, Printful may provide us compensation if you sign up for a paid plan through our links. It’s free to join Printful – they only make money when you sell a product. Talk about risk free!

Do you have experience with Print On Demand Drop Shipping or know someone who is killing it while they are asleep? We would love to hear about.