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Blog / Beginner's handbook / How To Sell Mugs On Amazon: A Complete Guide (2024)

Beginner's handbook

How To Sell Mugs On Amazon: A Complete Guide (2024)

How To Sell Mugs On Amazon: A Complete Guide (2024)
Pauls Smiltiņš

By Pauls Smiltiņš

10 min read

Style is subjective, but there’s something special about a well-designed mug.

Being an everyday essential, mugs are a great gift, even for someone you don’t know well. This presents amazing opportunities for online businesses. If you’re looking for a side hustle or considering starting a print-on-demand business, selling mugs on Amazon has potential.

Amazon attracts billions of monthly visitors, providing an accessible entry point for ecommerce beginners without the need for intricate store-building skills. Amazon, known for its seamless shopping experience and global shipping options, stands out as the perfect marketplace for selling print-on-demand products.

Today, we’ll take you through all the steps necessary to start selling online. Pour a drink into your favorite mug, and let’s get started.

Is Amazon a good place to sell mugs?

Before we get to selling, let’s assess if Amazon is a worthy place to offer mugs. If you search for mugs, you’ll quickly find more than 100,000 results, so it’s clear that mugs are among the trending products.

Source: AmazonSource: Amazon

Despite the increasing competition in the market, selling mugs online can still be a successful venture. To compete you’ll need to pick and cater to a specific niche, implement a competitive pricing strategy, learn about SEO, and also allocate resources for marketing efforts.

Read more: 20 Best-Selling Items on Amazon

How to sell mugs on Amazon in 7 steps

Step 1: Identify your niche

In a sea of shoppers and sellers on Amazon, the key is to pick a niche. For example, if you’re creating a custom mug for a car mechanic, you would find a quote or a picture that relates to that specific profession.

Below are some ideas to consider.

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Occupational and hobby mugs

You can tailor mugs to specific professions or hobbies. For example, if your mugs are meant for nurses, consider humorous depictions of their daily challenges, offering a dose of laughter amidst the demanding nature of their job. For engineers, you can create designs with technical wit, crafting mugs that resonate with their problem-solving mindset.

a group of mugs with words

Source: Amazon


Family mugs

Designing mugs that celebrate relationships requires a delicate balance of wit and warmth. For couples, consider quotes that playfully acknowledge the quirks of partnership or celebrate shared experiences. Parents may appreciate mugs adorned with heartwarming messages, creating a tangible expression of love and gratitude.

Source: Printful's Design MakerSource: Printful's Design Maker

Seasonal mugs

Capturing the spirit of the seasons involves more than just thematic visuals. For Christmas, go beyond traditional imagery and incorporate quotes that embody the joy of the festive season and spending time with loved ones. Summer-themed mugs can feature vibrant colors and playful designs, resonating with the carefree spirit of the season.

a screenshot of a product

Source: Amazon


Personalized mugs

Offering a unique touch through personalization elevates mugs into cherished keepsakes. Offering mug designs with names, dates, or personal messages transforms each piece into a one-of-a-kind item. This appeals to those seeking a more individualized touch in their mugs and makes for thoughtful, personalized gifts.

  a collage of a variety of mugs

Source: Amazon


Step 2: Research competitor designs and pricing

After settling on a niche, you need to know who you’re going up against. Competitor-oriented pricing is a strategic approach that requires market research. Explore competitor pricing models in your niche, collect ample data to establish average market prices, and fine-tune your mug prices accordingly. This way, you’ll also understand what designs sell and which ones to avoid before you’ve even started creating.

Tailor your pricing strategy based on your distinct selling points and market positioning. You can set your mug prices slightly above, in line with, or below the competition, depending on your unique selling point and the value you bring to the market. If your mugs are unique—they’ll sell.

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Create and sell custom products online
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Step 3: Select a mug for your design

Finally! Now that you know your niche and what you’re up against, it’s time to get creative. Creating custom mugs is no rocket science. Start by picking a mug that works best with your brand’s vision. From ceramic to steel, there are plenty of styles and materials.

White Glossy Mug

Begin with a classic choice—the White Glossy Mug. Crafted from ceramic with a simple, practical shape, this mug boasts a glossy finish and a white exterior, providing an ideal canvas for vibrant or intricate designs. Available in two sizes (11 oz. and 15 oz.), this mug is microwave and dishwasher-safe, making it convenient for reheating and effortless cleaning. Add your touch with an inspirational quote, a simple graphic, or an artistic drawing.

Source: Printful's Design MakerSource: Printful

Black Glossy Mug

For a sleeker aesthetic, consider the Black Glossy Mug. Sporting the same finish and shape as its white counterpart, this black version adds an element of sophistication. Also available in two sizes and microwave and dishwasher safe, it offers a striking contrast for designs that aim for a refined or dramatic look. Let your creativity shine by personalizing this mug for a standout coffee experience.

Source: PrintfulSource: Printful

White Ceramic Mug with Color Inside

For a touch of color, go with the White Ceramic Mug with Color Inside. Featuring a colorful rim, inside, and handle, this variant offers a lively twist. With a white print area on the outside, choose from six different colors to complement your design. Crafted from durable, heat-resistant material, this mug is microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Source: PrintfulSource: Printful

Enamel Mug

Designed for the avid camper or traveler, the Enamel Mug is practical and stylish. Lightweight and durable, it’s the perfect companion for outdoor adventures. While its white coating and silver rim enhance its appeal, note that hand-washing is recommended, and direct heating of liquids or food may damage the coating. However, its durability makes it a great alternative to ceramic mugs, perfect for those on the go. Personalize this travel mug with your original design and offer a unique product in your store.

Source: PrintfulSource: Printful

Travel Mug

For those always on the move, the Travel Mug is the epitome of modern drinkware. Keep your coffee piping hot for up to 6 hours, or relish an iced beverage chilled for up to 8 hours. This mug is designed to cater to your drink preferences throughout the day. Add a personal touch by customizing it for yourself, or seize the opportunity to expand your online store with a modern and practical drinkware option.

Source: PrintfulSource: Printful

Step 4: Create awesome designs

Get your creative juices flowing because it’s time to pick your designs. If your mugs are meant for office employees, consider using an office-related joke.

Below are some ideas:

  • Motivational quotes

  • Inside jokes and puns related to your niche

  • Drink-based designs

  • Animal-themed artwork

  • Creative photo collages

  • Minimalistic art

  • Vintage visuals

  • Festive holiday-themed designs

Want more ideas? Check our comprehensive list of inspiring mug design ideas. Also, take a look at Printful’s Design Maker, where you’ll be met with hundreds of samples to bring your design game to the next level.

Source: Printful's Design Maker

Source: Printful's Design Maker

While creating is great, make sure not to overdo your designs. If you quickly search on Amazon, you’ll notice that the top-selling mugs have text-based designs. The popularity of such designs stems from their readability and simplicity, making them attractive to a broad range of customers. If you want to create print-on-demand products that sell well, consider simplicity one of the main cornerstones.

Step 5: Start selling

Now that your product’s ready, it’s time for the next step—selling. That’s where Amazon truly comes in, allowing you to share your creative spirit with the world.

At this point, you’ll have to decide how you’re going to sell. You have a few options—for example, you can use Amazon’s Merch on Demand, which will provide the advantage of selling and listing your exclusive mug designs without any upfront costs and a straightforward selling process. That being said, some may find that the competitive landscape on Amazon’s Merch on Demand can make it challenging to stand out from the crowd. 

On the contrary, using a third-party print-on-demand (POD) service like Printful, gives you more control over the manufacturing process and branding, allowing you to create standout designs that separate you from the rest. Remember, if you want to sell with Printful you’ll have to create an Amazon Professional Seller Account. 

Here’s a quick guide on how to start selling with Printful.

1. Open an Amazon Professional Seller Account

Amazon offers two types of accounts—a free personal account and a professional seller account costing $39.99/month. Investing in a professional account will give you access to advertising, brand registry, and other useful selling features.

2. Create an account with Printful

Printful, recognized as one of the premier print-on-demand providers, offers seamless integration across various platforms, including your website, Amazon, and eBay. You can effortlessly sell your products across multiple channels with just a click.

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Create and sell custom products online
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3. Upload your design

Design your print-on-demand mug using tools like Photoshop, Canva, or Printful’s Design Maker. Upload your design to Printful’s website, where you can visualize your product through the mockup generator, giving you a clear picture of the final product.

4. List your product on Amazon

Connect your Amazon Seller Account with Printful. Before you start selling, secure a GTIN exemption to avoid purchasing barcodes. Once approved, you can seamlessly sync and add your products from Printful to your Amazon store.

When using Printful, all your orders are fulfilled on demand, eliminating any upfront inventory costs and order minimums.

Sounds good? Learn how to connect your Amazon store to Printful.

Step 6: Optimize your listings

With your store now open and your products ready to go, the next crucial step is to stand out in this vast marketplace. This is where you have to become more strategic.

Picture yourself as an Amazon shopper seeking a mug that reflects your love for your dad. You type in the search bar “dad mug’’, and instantly, you’re presented with hundreds of dad-themed mugs. While you might browse through the top results, you definitely won’t sift through every listing. Hence, Amazon sellers must surpass the competition by reaching a prominent spot in the search results.

This is where Amazon SEO becomes your best friend. Use keywords you think people would search for in the product title and description. This allows your listing to become more searchable. Employing various strategies, Amazon SEO improves your discoverability by pushing your mug listing higher in the search results. If you’re keen on delving into the intricacies of Amazon SEO, check out this insightful Amazon SEO guide.

Step 7: Keep adding designs to stay competitive

Once your Amazon store is in place, invest time and energy into marketing efforts and the continuous creation of compelling, fresh designs. Unless you strike gold with the initial designs and orders keep rolling in, diversify your mug selection to keep your audience engaged while also expanding your customer base.

a group of white mugs with drawings on them

Source: Flickr

Amazon, with its unparalleled reach, serves as a limitless marketplace. When selling mugs, you’re introduced to a wide global reach, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Your audience can change.

How much does it cost to sell mugs on Amazon?

If you want to sell on Amazon with a POD service like Printful, you’ll need a seller’s account with the Professional Plan, priced at $39.99 per month. This plan offers additional benefits, including access to product advertising and advanced selling tools.

If you opt for selling with Amazon Merch on Demand, you can bypass the selling plan fees. While Amazon Merch on Demand provides a convenient platform, keep in mind that with the platform’s accessibility comes a high level of competition and limitations on the branding side. Other expenses will depend on the specific mugs, your POD provider, design complexity, shipping, etc.

If you want to have a deeper insight into launching your online mug business with Printful, check out this video.

preview play-button

Sip, share, and stay patient

For many mug sellers venturing into the world of Amazon, success doesn’t happen overnight. It requires dedication, patience, and time.

What if nothing sells? Keep at it!

Consider adjusting your prices while ensuring profitability. Stay in touch with market trends, be ready to capitalize on emerging patterns, and experiment with different mug designs. Just because a particular strategy didn’t yield results initially doesn’t mean it’s the end for you and your mugs.

Mugs have established themselves as one of the best-selling print-on-demand products, while dropshipping services simplify the whole process, making it a widely accessible business venture.

What are you waiting for? Start your online store with Printful today!

Read next: How to Sell Mugs on Etsy: Your Guide to Success


By Pauls Smiltiņš on Jan 26, 2024

Pauls Smiltiņš

Guest author

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.