Hi, this is Laura Lee Griffin.
And this is Nikki May with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.
We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.
Last week, we introduced you to selling print on demand products on your own website. So if you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode yet, be sure to check it out. Today, we’re back to share with you five tips for profitable print on demand sales on your own site. Nikki, what’s our first tip?
The first tip is to decide what types of products you want your artwork on, and to research the main POD providers to see which ones carry that product. Take into consideration all the things we discussed in last week’s episode, like website integration availability, product quality, production and shipping distance from your customer base, customer service access, all kinds of things like that. We’ve included links to some of the most popular POD providers in today’s free PDF download.
And there is no right or wrong answer to this, it really is whatever works for you. So if you’re feeling stopped by not being able to choose one, just pick one.
And just pick Printful, because we told you all about it in the last episode.
All right. Our second tip is to understand your costs before you set your prices. So be sure to understand the types of fees that you’re going to incur on your chosen platform. Any monthly recurring or listing fees, payment processing fees like PayPal or Stripe or whatever service you use, shipping fees, especially if you plan to offer any free shipping over a certain amount, sales tax, if you don’t collect that from your customer, yourself, etc. Be sure to adjust your retail price to ensure that you make a decent profit while still being relatively competitive in your pricing. For example, if your costs are going to be $15, you might sell your item for $25. And you’ll make $10 for every item that you sell. Decide in advance if you’re going to offer free shipping over a certain amount and build that into both your website functionality as well as your retail pricing.
Yeah, and I just want to add in, don’t feel pressure to offer free shipping necessarily. You’re not Amazon. So if the prices don’t work out for you that way, I mean, it’s a nice incentive. But if the prices don’t make sense, don’t feel like you have to do it.
And the other thing is, is you can start off without offering free shipping. And then once your volume grows, then you could offer it. So
Yeah, that’s good advice. So tip number three, if you can order a sample of each type of product you plan on selling on your website. You don’t need to order every single product in every single configuration. But you’ll want to get one mug, one tshirt, one art prints, so that you can get a good feel for what each one is like. If you use Printful take advantage of their 20% off discount on sample orders. That way you can take your own custom photos that you can use for marketing. So yours will look different than everybody else’s standard mock ups that are on everyone’s products. And you can make the match your personal brand.
Yeah, I love that. And that’s what I’m doing myself, I’m actually placing an order this week for several items that I’ve created. And I’m starting small, so I only have a few types of items. And so I think you get three a month, and I’m going to order those and then be able to take my pictures. So I’m very excited about that.
Awesome. What’s our next tip?
Alright, tip number four is to create a shipping and returns policy page on your website.
I need to do that.
Yeah, well, I have done it Nikki, you can look at mine.
I’m totally gonna rip you off.
So I created one of those recently for my new shop and you want to be able to explain exactly what will happen when someone places an order, when they should expect it, and what they should do if anything goes wrong with the order. So be sure to explain that these are all custom orders that are placed when the customer orders it, so there are no exchanges or refunds. Perhaps, unless you want to offer those and if you do, you just have to understand that the burden may be on you if it’s not a defective item that you would have to fund that and you would lose money on that particular order.
Absolutely. I don’t do that.
The companies will replace any items that are printed incorrectly or are damaged but not because a t shirt didn’t fit right and the customer has decided to change their mind or maybe they want like a different color than what they originally ordered. So be very clear on things like who is responsible for the customs fees on international orders. This could save you a ton of time and effort later and a lot of money.
Definitely. And our fifth and final tip today for selling print on demand products on your own website is the same as our biggest tip for everything really. And that is to not let all the fears and doubts keep you from just getting started. There are a lot of things to consider but take each step one at a time. Each platform we’ve mentioned provides step by step instructions on what you need to do, very detailed documentation and help and very helpful support that’s an email or with Printful a phone call or chat away. And if you want some extra people to bounce ideas around with or answer some questions, join us in our Startist Society Facebook group.
To get a downloadable PDF with our five best tips for getting started selling print on demand products on your own website, visit startistsociety.com/podtips.
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.
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