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Finding the Right Print on Demand Platform: A Guide for Artists

When I first started selling my art online, I was overwhelmed with all of the print on demand platforms to choose from. I felt like each one had its own interface, product selection, and way of doing things. They also all had SO many awesome products that I wanted to order!

It was all a bit overwhelming. But, after some trial and error, I finally found my favorite suppliers that worked for me. Here’s what I learned about choosing the right print-on-demand platform.

Important note: you can use multiple print on demand platforms. You don’t have to choose just one. I wouldn’t choose too many platforms because it can become hard to keep everything organized, but don’t feel like you’re limited to just 1 either. I’ve used 2 or 3 at the same time and loved it!

Start with Your Goals

Before you dive in, you need to know what you want from the PoD platforms you choose. Are you just looking to sell a few prints on the side, or are you planning to build a full-on business? 

For me, I wanted something flexible, with a variety of high quality products, and decent customer support. I liked how quickly I could get in touch with Printful, so that was a huge selling point for me in choosing their platform.

Then, I wanted to decided that I wanted to expand my product selection. I also wanted some freedom with my product pricing and production partners, so I added Printify to the mix.

printify product categories pod
Look at all of these product categories!

Using both Printful and Printify together was a great way to have the variety of products I was looking for, along with platform interfaces that felt natural and user-friendly.

Product Variety Matters

When picking a print on demand platform, one of the first things I looked at was product variety. Ok, it was also one of the most fun things to look at. Who doesn’t love to gush over all of the awesome products you can print your art on?!

Printify has one of the largest product collections I’ve seen, which was a big perk in choosing them as one of my PoD platforms. 

Some platforms offer just a few items like t-shirts and mugs, while others have everything from phone cases to shower curtains. 

Are you going to specialize in certain products, or would you prefer to offer a wider selection?

You may also decide to choose a certain PoD platform for certain products. For example, Gelato is my go-to for art prints. They have other products that are great as well, but I especially love their prints.

framed rhino drawing gelato
This is a print I got from Gelato!

If you have specific products in mind for your online store, make sure your platform has them.

Quality and Print Accuracy

When it comes to print on demand, quality is a big deal. You don’t want your art showing up to customers with wonky artwork. 

I made it a point to order samples from a few different platforms to check their quality. It’s also a nice treat! Who doesn’t want a snazzy new sweatshirt with some awesome art on it?!  

love capitola california gelato sweatshirt
This is from Gelato!

Test things out. It’s fun, and will let you see your products before you sell them. It will also give you a sense of how each platform works. How do their orders work? How are they processed? When they arrive, how are they packaged? All of this can be really helpful information to know before choosing a PoD platform. 

It’s worth spending a little to make sure you’re delivering a product you can be proud of.

By the way, if you want cute packaging, Printed Mint has some of the cutest packaging I’ve ever seen!

User Interface and Uploading Art

If you’re not super techie, you might want a platform that’s easy to use. Sometimes, this means finding the platform that is user-friendly to you. We all have different preferences and ways of doing things. Even if a platform seems simple, does it fit your needs and ways of doing things?

Personally, for me, I found Printful to be the easiest platform to use. I liked how clean and streamlined the interface and process was. I also liked how it integrated with Etsy.

dog in cherry bandana from printful
This is a bandana from Printful. Isn’t it cute?!

Bop around a number of PoD platforms and see which ones feel the most natural to you.

Customer Support

Customer support can be crucial, especially if you’re just starting out. Hopefully you don’t need to contact your PoD’s customer support too often, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.

You want a platform that’s responsive and helpful when you run into issues. 

Personally, I love how responsive Printful’s customer support has been. I’ve also had a great experience with Gelato resolving issues quickly. 

If you want to get a sense of a PoD platform’s customer support, reach out to them and ask a question!

Choosing the right print-on-demand platform can feel overwhelming, but remember to have fun with it. Think about your goals, the products you want to create, and your overall vision. Take the time to explore different platforms, test out their quality, and see what works for you.

And don’t forget to order some samples. That’s the best part!

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