10 Best Print On Demand Companies For Custom Products In 2020

Print on demand companies (POD) are a valuable platform for entrepreneurs looking to sell customized products without worrying about order fulfillment and without spending any money.

In fact, POD is the cheapest and easiest way to create products to sell online with zero upfront cost.

With a print on demand company, you can instantly offer hundreds of personally customized products at the push of a button. If you’re on a tight budget or looking to test out a business idea, print on demand is also a great way to dip your toes in the ecommerce waters.

For example, my 9 and 11 year old kids started their own t-shirt business over at KidInCharge.com for less than $3!

Right now, the custom t-shirt printing market alone is expected to generate more than $10 billion by 2025!

Get My Free Mini Course On How To Start A Successful Ecommerce Store

If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business, I put together a comprehensive package of resources that will help you launch your own online store from complete scratch. Be sure to grab it before you leave!

10 Best Print On Demand Companies For Custom Products In 2020

What Is A Print On Demand Company?

print on demand

Print on demand is a service that lets you print custom designs on any product to sell online. Through POD, you can sell custom designs on products such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, books, and home decor. There are many options to choose from.

While major apparel companies and publishing houses print products in bulk, print on demand companies print in smaller quantities based on individual customer orders.

In most cases, there are no upfront costs to list a product online and there are no minimum order quantities.

How Does A Print On Demand Company Work?

print on demand work

A print on demand company takes care of producing and shipping out your products while you provide the designs.

Here’s how a typical print on demand company works:

  • You upload your design to the print on demand website.
  • A customer places an order on your ecommerce store and you collect the money. (This depends on the print on demand company that you choose. Some POD companies force you to send customers to a landing page hosted on their company’s website)
  • The order information from your shopping cart is forwarded to the print on demand company’s servers.
  • The print on demand company ships the order on your behalf.
  • You pay the print on demand company the wholesale cost for your product.
  • You keep the difference in profit.

Print on demand is a low-risk way to launch an online store without carrying inventory. However, keep in mind that there are trade-offs such as lower profit margins and customer service challenges.

Essentially, print on demand is a form of dropshipping. In this comprehensive post about dropshipping, you can find out what to expect when working with a POD company.

Who Can Benefit From Print On Demand Companies?

artist

When evaluating the different ecommerce business models to pursue, print on demand companies are a perfect fit if you fall under the following categories.

Artists

Print on demand companies provide a platform for artists to upload their designs and expand their reach across the globe. These sites allow artists to make a profit every time a customer buys their designs.

The best part is that artists don’t have to pay any upfront costs and they have an avenue to proliferate their works of art to the masses.

Creative Entrepreneurs On A Budget

POD provides an opportunity to focus on a niche and sell to customers who seek custom made and unique products. Because ecommerce is highly competitive, selling a differentiated product is essential to building a successful online store.

If you have a creative mind, you can make money by printing clever designs on practically any household item.

Influencers

If you have a large following on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc… and you want to make some extra money selling physical products, then selling shirts and mugs with your logo or cover art generally sells extremely well.

Your fans want to support you and chances are, they are begging to wear your custom designed merchandise.

10 Best Print On Demand Companies For Custom Products

Best Print On Demand Companies

When it comes to selling your own custom merchandise, the challenge is choosing the best print on demand company to work with among the many options.

To reduce your time and effort, I’ve compiled the best print on demand companies available online. This list covers product options and the unique features of each.

In addition, there are 2 distinct types of print on demand companies discussed below.

The first 3, Printful, Printify and CustomCat allow you to take orders on your own website in a true dropshipping arrangement.

However, the remaining 7 POD providers all require customers to place orders on a 3rd party marketplace.

As a result, if establishing your own brand and website is important to you, you should only consider Printful, Printify and CustomCat.

Note: Only print on demand companies that offer a wide variety of products are covered in this post. There are many POD companies that specialize only in tshirts for example, and those are not mentioned here. If you are not interested in POD, go here for a list of regular dropship suppliers

Printful

printful

Printful is one of my favorite print on demand companies and they let you choose from hundreds of different products including t-shirts, hats, bags, and pillows.

Printful is one of the largest, most well known print on demand companies out there, and they support most shopping carts right out of the box including Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

Printful is also one of the few print on demand companies that allow true dropshipping from your own website.

Unlike other POD companies mentioned later on, Printful allows you to take orders on your own branded website and they’ll fulfill your order with your own custom branding on the package.

For example, when your customer receives their order, they will not know that Printful processed the shipment. Instead, the box and all of the packaging will contain your logo and company name. This is important for establishing your own brand in the long run!

However, Printful is slightly more expensive than other print on demand companies. Regardless, there are several good reasons to choose Printful for your print on demand needs.

Here’s how Printful works

  • Connect your online store to Printful.
  • Create product images with your designs through Printful’s mockup generator
  • A customer orders a product from your store.
  • Printful automatically receives the order. Afterward, Printful prints, packs, and ships your product. You get a notification and tracking number when Printful ships your order.
  • Your customer receives their order in your brand packaging, so it looks like it directly came from your store.

Here’s what you can print.

  • Clothes
  • Phone cases
  • Wall art
  • Tote bags
  • Pillow covers and towels
  • Decor

Why Printful is great

Printful sells very high quality products and the packaging is excellent. In addition, there’s no minimum purchase and Printful will accept single item orders.

Pricing is tiered so that if you decide to purchase in bulk, you can save a significant amount of money.

Finally, Printful allows you to use your own logo on your packaging and invoices so your brand still gets the credit for your delivered products.

Click Here To Try Printful For Free

CustomCat

Custom Cat

Very similar to Printful, CustomCat offers a wide range of products like shirts, jackets, hats, and bags. However, CustomCat has a much smaller product range than Printful, but it’s noticeably cheaper.

For example, a 9 dollar printed shirt on Printful costs only 7 dollars on CustomCat.

However, CustomCat’s user interface is not as sleek as Printful’s website and will take some getting used to. But CustomCat is still a great option because of the cost savings.

In addition, CustomCat only supports Shopify and WooCommerce at the present time so if you are using any other shopping cart, you are out of luck.

How CustomCat works

  • Install the CustomCat app on your online store.
  • Choose a CustomCat plan that suits your needs.
  • Design & upload your products directly from the CustomCat dashboard.
  • Choose the type of printing and product you prefer.
  • When a customer orders a product on your store, CustomCat prints, packages, and ships the order on your behalf.
  • You make a profit each time a customer buys your product.

What you can print

  • Digital printer products
  • T-shirts
  • Jerseys
  • Hoodies
  • Sweats & More
  • Embroidery products
  • Backpacks
  • Hats
  • Dress shirts
  • Dye sublimation products
  • Phone cases
  • Jewelry
  • Water bottles
  • Mugs

Why CustomCat is great

CustomCat has a huge range of over 500+ customizable products. There are no minimum orders and their factories print their products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no downtime and they fulfill orders pretty quickly.

In addition, CustomCat is less expensive than other providers which allows you to make more money selling your custom designed goods.

Click Here To Try CustomCat For Free

Printify

printify

Printify is unique for its network of print providers in over 90 locations in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, and China. Instead of physically printing their own goods, Printify partners with different print providers to offer a wide range of customizable products.

As a result, quality control will be largely dependent on the specific provider you end up with.

How Printify works

  • Choose a print provider from over 90 locations across five countries
  • Choose and customize over 250 products
  • Customize your design with Printify’s free mockup generator. You can also order samples to make sure the products are up to your standards.
  • Publish your custom products to your online store.
  • Printify produces and ships your products to your customers.

What you can print.

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Accessories
  • Mugs
  • Phone cases

Why Printify is great

Printify has an excellent mockup generator which allows you to quickly and easily create designs and publish custom design mockups.

There are over 250+ unique products to choose from and there over 90 international locations in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, and China.

Printify competes directly with Printful and CustomCat in offering true dropshipping print on demand arrangements.

Click Here To Try Printify For Free

Redbubble

redbubble

Redbubble is a free marketplace dedicated to individual artists who want to sell their creations and showcase their work. The platform is home to over 700,000 artists, with more than 60 high-quality products to choose from.

Customers can expect to find quirky designs on awesome products on Redbubble: from a phone case with a galloping donut to a tote bag with a star-surfing astronaut. Redbubble is a haven for self-expression.

Here’s how Redbubble works.

  • Create your design & upload it to the Redbubble site. You then choose your products and set your pricing.
  • Millions of Redbubble monthly users will see your products but orders must be placed directly on the Redbubble website. However, you can link and display products from your Redbubble shop on your own site.
  • Redbubble handles customer transactions, printing, and shipping.
  • Redbubble has a customer service team that will handle support issues for you.

Here’s what you can print.

  • Clothes
  • Accessories
  • Wall art
  • Stickers
  • Phone cases
  • Stationery
  • Home accessories like bath mats, bedding, and pillows

Why Redbubble is great

Redbubble offers high quality products for customization but what sets them apart is their marketplace. Redbubble is known as a platform where customers can find unique designs made by talented artists and they have a large installed base of shoppers.

They also invest in socially responsible production to offset carbon emissions, offer worldwide shipping, free returns and 24/7 customer support to handle issues for you.

However, Redbubble can not integrate with your shopping cart and customers can only shop on the Redbubble website directly.

Click Here To Try Redbubble For Free

Zazzle

zazzle

Zazzle is one of the largest print on demand companies in the world and you can choose from over 1300+ products. They also have nearly 30 million monthly visitors which makes it a great place to reach a wide customer base.

Here’s how Zazzle works

  • Sign up for an account: Designer, maker, or affiliate
  • Designer: Upload your designs on the platform, choose where to print your products, and sell them on Zazzle’s marketplace. Zazzle handles printing and shipping.
  • Maker: Manufacture your own products and sell them on Zazzle. Makers must handle their own shipping and fulfillment.
  • Affiliate: Earn commissions from every referred sale, whether or not it’s your product.

Here’s what you can print.

  • T-shirts
  • Fabric
  • Tote bags
  • Yard signs
  • Mugs
  • Business cards
  • Postcards
  • Invitations
  • Stickers
  • Playing cards
  • Ping pong paddles and balls

Why Zazzle is great

Because Zazzle has such a large installed base of shoppers, your listings will generally get more traffic than other POD marketplaces.

Zazzle also allows you to earn royalties for your work and provides a large repository of tutorials and tips to improve your product.

Zazzle also offers a huge array of different product options for their 1300+ product offerings. It’s definitely worth a look.

However, Zazzle can not integrate with your shopping cart and customers can only shop on the Zazzle website directly.

Click Here To Try Zazzle For Free

Threadless

threadless

Threadless hand curates hundreds of unique and high-quality designs. This means that a design must go through a stringent selection process before it can be available for sale.

Once your creations are approved, you get to enjoy the many benefits of selling on this platform.

How it works

  • Upload your design.
  • Choose from hundreds of products and fill up your store.
  • Customize your products with Threadless’ editing tool.
  • Spread the word and start earning.

What you can print.

  • T-shirts
  • Stickers
  • Phone cases
  • Blankets
  • Bags
  • Shoes
  • Notebooks

Why it’s great

Because Threadless curates all designs, the overall quality of their marketplace is generally much higher than other platforms.

As with other POD companies, Threadless allows fully customizable designs and great customer service with out any minimums.

If you are unsure about pricing, you can also let Threadless manage pricing and promotions for you. Threadless also ships worldwide.

However, unlike CustomCat or Printful, Threadless can not integrate with your shopping cart and customers can only shop on the Threadless website directly.

Click Here To Try Threadless For Free

Society6

Society6

Society6 welcomes artists from anywhere in the world. No matter where you’re located, you can upload and sell your designs on Society6. This print on demand company specializes in art prints while offering other products as well.

How Society6 works

  • Upload your design to your artist shop
  • Choose from products such as wall art, furniture, apparel, lifestyle products, and home decor
  • Sell your work on their marketplace
  • Society6 prints and ships products for you

What you can print

  • Apparel
  • Gifts
  • Furnishings
  • Art prints & framed art prints
  • Stretched canvases

Why it’s great

Society6 distinguishes itself from the rest of the print on demand companies by focusing on artists. In fact, they are known as the go to platform for art lovers.

If you are an artist, then Society6 might be a good fit for you.

However, you can not sell your products on your own website and all transactions must take place on Society6’s website.

Click Here To Try Society6 For Free

Design By Humans

Design By Humans

Design By Humans is a great platform for artists, designers, gamers, and YouTubers. Users know to visit this website for amazing pieces of art.

This platform regularly holds themed shirt competitions. Customers can then buy the winning designs at discounted rates. With each sale, an artist makes a commission.

How it works

Like every other print on demand company, Design By Humans produces, fulfills, and ships your custom products for you and you maintain the rights to your designs.

However, Design By Humans caters more to gamers, YouTubers and musicians more than anyone else.

What you can print

  • Apparel
  • Mugs
  • Buttons
  • Hats
  • Art prints
  • Phone cases
  • Stickers

Why it’s great

If you are a YouTuber, gamer or musician, then Design By Humans is worth checking out. What sets them apart from other print on demand companies is that they have a supportive community that empowers artists around the world.

Meanwhile, the profit margins are good and they handle everything for you including returns and exchanges.

Click Here To Try Design By Humans For Free

SPOD

spod

Owned by Spreadshirt, SPOD is a print on demand company that prides itself in the fastest fulfillment times in the industry. 95% of its orders are shipped within 48 hours.

While SPOD doesn’t offer a large variety of products, it does offer competitive prices and an easy-to-use product design tool. SPOD has a simple pricing model based on order value rather than individual product costs.

How it works

  • A customer orders a product from your Shopify store.
  • SPOD picks, prints, and ships the order within two days.
  • Your credit card is charged once the order is shipped. You get charged based on total order value instead of individual costs per product.

What you can print

  • Classic t-shirts (as low as $6.39)
  • Organic t-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Aprons
  • Baseball caps
  • Camper mugs
  • Socks

Why it’s great

SPOD sets itself apart by offering competitive pricing and super fast product fulfillment. In fact, no other print on demand company offers 48 hour fulfillment so if speed is important to you, then SPOD might be a good fit.

The main downside is that SPOD only supports Shopify but overall, they offer an easy-to-use product design tool and boasts a below 0.8% return rate per 100,000 items shipped.

Sample orders are also discounted by 20%.

Click Here To Try SPOD For Free

Lulu xPress

Lulu Xpress

Lulu xPress is the print on demand arm of the self-publishing platform Lulu. If you’re looking to turn your ideas into a book or monetize your talent, Lulu xPress is a great print on demand option.

Lulu xPress offers an easy way to create and sell your own print products.

The best part is that Lulu xPress doesn’t stop you from selling your work on other distribution channels like retail book stores and Amazon.

Through Lulu xPress, you can easily test an idea or self-publish under your own brand. In general, Lulu xPress is recommended for writers, illustrators, photographers, educators, and other types of creatives.

How it works

  • Upload your files.
  • Create your book for free. Just pay for printing and shipping costs.
  • Choose digital printing options: Paper type, size, print quality and color, binding type, and matter or glossy finish
  • Place your order

Lulu xPress does not have a store or retail distribution. But you can go to Lulu.com to find tools for selling your book online through the Lulu Bookstore.

What you can print

  • Novels
  • Photo books
  • Cookbooks
  • Journals
  • Artbooks
  • Poetry books
  • Calendars
  • Comic books

Why it’s great

Lulu xPress specializes in printing on paper and they offer over 3,000 format options, binding types, and book layouts.

There are no minimums, no hidden fees and they ship to over 150 countries worldwide. They also allow you to sell your books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble in addition to the Lulu marketplace.

How To Find A Profitable Niche For Your Custom Products

There are two ways to start a profitable print on demand business. You can either focus on a product niche or a subject niche.

Product niche

Focusing on a product niche is where you concentrate on selling a single type of product or a selection of similar products. For example, my online store focuses on selling personalized handkerchiefs for special occasions.

By narrowing down your selection to a specific type of product, you can sell many designs while building a good reputation for a specific type of product.

Subject niche

Meanwhile, a subject niche focuses on a specific theme or trendy subject rather than a specific product type.

For example, an online seller may choose to sell watercolor-style stationery but eventually branch out to other products such as tote bags and phone cases.

Tools like Google Trends and eRank can help you find trendy products.

In fact there are many tools and services out there that can help you find profitable products to sell online.

For example, you can use a service called PickFu to get instant feedback on your design or business idea before launching your online store.

Click Here To Get 50% Off Your First PickFu Poll

Pickfu Poll

These resources will increase your chances of success with your POD store.

Mistakes To Avoid In Your Print On Demand Business

A print on demand company takes inventory and product fulfillment off of your plate which allows you to focus on making amazing designs.

However, you will still face many challenges because the barriers to entry are so low for a POD dropshipping business.

Below are mistakes you should avoid to improve your chances of success.

Don’t expect immediate success

A print on demand business is easy to start but difficult to attract sales because there’s so much competition.

In order to create a profitable POD business, you must build a following and create content that resonates with your customers.

This will take time so don’t expect to make significant money with your shop until after at least a year.

Don’t sell “me too” designs

The print on demand industry is saturated with generic designs. The best way to succeed is to carve out a niche and focus on your creativity. Do not copy other people’s designs and try to stand out!

Don’t offer too many disparate themes

When it comes to selling your own designs, you need to focus on one thing and do it well. If you sell funny tshirts to gamers, then target all of your products towards gamers.

Going as narrow as possible is the key to success. By committing to a specific niche or type of product, you’re giving your designs a chance to shine.

Set proper fulfillment expectations

The expectation that Amazon has set with ecommerce orders is 2 day shipping and next or same day fulfillment. However, your POD business can’t compete with Amazon Prime’s fast delivery times.

Print on demand products naturally take longer to ship.

Unless you are using SPOD, custom products can take up to a week to personalize before they are shipped. As a result US orders usually take a week or two before arriving at your customer’s doorstep.

Make sure your delivery times are clearly stated.

Final thoughts

Print on demand companies provide an easy way to sell your own custom products. And POD services will save you the effort of carrying inventory and fulfilling orders.

However, your POD’s performance and customer service practices will reflect on your brand and it’s a tightly coupled partnership.

As a result, it’s important to choose a reliable print on demand company to work with. After all, a reputable POD provider will minimize or eliminate the need to deal with customer issues.

Knowing what you want to sell and the audience you want to target will also help you choose the right print on demand company to work with.

Aside from pricing and features, pay close attention to how a POD company communicates its values on their website.

Does it have great customer reviews or low order return rates? Does the POD provider cater to a specific audience?

By knowing what to look out for, it will be easier to identify the print on demand company that meets your needs and aligns with your vision.

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?


If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it's free and you'll receive weekly ecommerce tips and strategies!

Note: This post above may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase when clicking a link. Please consult our privacy policy for more information.

Have you read these?

3 thoughts on “10 Best Print On Demand Companies For Custom Products In 2020”

  1. Cindy says:

    I agree with most of the recommendations except CustomCat. Print quality is terrible! That’ll definitely ruin your brand, you will not get repeat customers. Just read the reviews. And during the holidays? Forget it. I had an awful experience. Some of my Shopify orders did not sync with their system. I had to call and have it manually ported over. Nope. Just nope. Then for Printify, they use a variety of fulfillment companies. So print quality for the same product like a shirt will vary. It’s not consistent.

    1. Interesting. We use CustomCat and have never had any issues. I agree with you on Printify and I tried to convey this in the post. Because they don’t do any of their own printing, it’s highly dependent on who you get.

  2. Adelina Berg says:

    Thanks for sharing this useful list. It is really useful for merchants and start-ups to decide where to begin with. I am in the apparel business and regularly working with print-on-demand service. I have worked with Threadless and Shirtee.cloud for production and their print service is pretty good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *