Mistakes To Avoid BEFORE Starting a Print On Demand Store

Designs Should Have A Transparent Background:

This is one of the most basic things you should know before starting a store based on Print-On-Demand products. The picture you provide for a design on any of the products is going to get printed as it is. So if your design contains things in the background that you don’t want on your product, have them removed. There are thousands of applications and websites online that you can do this on. It is very simple to do it on photoshop as well. Some designs can be found on stock image websites as well with transparent backgrounds. Take this design for example from Pixabay: 

Avoid A Lot of Colour Variants:

A mistake that most POD rookies do is that they think that adding more variants is going to get them more sales because everybody has their “favorite” color right? Not quite. The reason is that not only having a lot of color variants on your store makes it look rather ugly and unprofessional. Adding a lot of variants can make the customers face something called “Analysis Paralysis” which is a human psychological phenomenon where if someone is given a lot of options to choose from they become overwhelmed and end up not deciding at all. 

When deciding which colors to use, it is good to keep in mind that Amazon Merch has found that darker shade colors perform the best, black being the top performer.

Avoid Using Copyrighted Designs and Trademarked Phrases:

One of the biggest mistakes beginners do is they find a product design that is selling really well and they try to copy it on their own products. You may ask “But how do I check if a product is copyrighted?”. The answer to the question is simple: By default and by law, the moment an artwork/design is created it is automatically copyrighted. So you cannot copy a design as it is, however, you could use it as inspiration and produce a similar design.

The same is the case for trademarked phrases, these are simpler to find than designs. Every country has its own Registered Trademark Database, for example, if you are selling in the US you would have to search for the trademark phrase in uspto.gov : 

Examples of some famous registered trademark phrases would be Nike’s phrase “Just Do It” or it could be the name of a movie or even a famous quote from a movie. So it is always better to search for the trademark before using it on your products.

Have Extra Money Set Aside:

A common misconception is that after a customer places an order you can just use that money to order that product for the customer from the POD store. That is not entirely true because once the customer has ordered a product it can take Shopify (several days depending on your country) to transfer that amount to your bank while transactions on PayPal can take up to 21 days in the beginning.

(The following is extracted from PayPal’s website)

Check If The Print Provider Ships To Your Target Country:

Usually what people think is that POD providers such as “Printful” or “Printify” print and ship the products themselves, which is not true. They outsource this to other providers. So If you are selling internationally, make sure that the supplier offers to ship to that destination. 

For example: if your target audience is in Pakistan, you would need to check beforehand if the supplier ships there and what are the shipping costs associated with it.


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Rajni Rajput
1 month ago

nice article.. Thanks for sharing.

John Five
Rock Star
1 month ago

I have thought about trying this many times but never took action. Can it be profitable?

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