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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / Top 7 Platforms Where to Sell Print-on-Demand Products

Ecommerce platform guide

Top 7 Platforms Where to Sell Print-on-Demand Products

Top 7 Platforms Where to Sell Print-on-Demand Products
Agnese Zimele

By Agnese Zimele

13 min read

If you’ve ever considered exploring the entrepreneurial path, an online print-on-demand business is the way to go. It doesn’t require a considerable upfront investment and can be managed from the comfort of your couch. All you have to deal with is your product design and sales.

The digital age has brought us ample opportunities to sell custom products online. From sites that help you launch your online store to ecommerce giants like Amazon that give you access to a global audience within a few clicks.

Since different platforms may be suitable for different products and potential customers, choosing the proper sales channels can make or break your print-on-demand business. Plus, each platform charges different fees and has distinct built-in marketing tools, which makes the decision even more complex.

To help you weigh the options and find your best match, we’ve analyzed the features, benefits, limitations, and pricing of the most popular marketplaces. Let’s delve into the best platforms where to sell print-on-demand products.

Shopify

An online store builder at its core, Shopify has been among the biggest names in the ecommerce industry for years. In 2023, it claimed the first spot with a 28% market share in the US. Because of its massive influence, the company consistently innovates and prioritizes high-quality customer service.

The user-friendly interface and vast customization possibilities are the main elements that have helped Shopify attract millions of sellers worldwide. The platform also has no product restrictions and boasts over 400 integrations, with print-on-demand services among them.

All of that makes Shopify a top contender for selling print-on-demand products.

a hand holding a cell phoneSource: Unsplash

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface and helpful customer service for a fast and easy store setup.

  • Extensive customization options that don’t require technical knowledge and grant you complete control over branding and design.

  • An all-in-one service offering integrations with CRMs, email marketing software, print-on-demand apps, and other major ecommerce platforms.

  • Advanced, in-depth marketing analytics and sales data reports for making informed business decisions.

  • Built-in marketing and sales tools for running promotions and ad campaigns on the spot.

  • Simple and secure payment system with zero transaction fees (with Shopify Payments).

  • Multiple subscription plans to suit different needs.

Cons:

  • A very short free trial that doesn’t allow testing and exploring the platform to the full extent.

  • Extra investment is needed to reach your target audience, as you need to build organic traffic from scratch.

  • Additional transaction fees with third-party payment providers.

  • Add-ons, integrations, domain names, and more advanced website themes cost extra, considerably increasing monthly costs.

  • An underdeveloped content marketing system that limits the quality of your blog section and internal linking (for SEO purposes).

Pricing

Shopify has three main plans: Basic ($39 monthly), Shopify ($105 monthly), and Advanced ($399 monthly). You can get a 25% discount if you opt for a yearly instead of a monthly payment plan. There’s also a Plus option starting at $2,300 per month for more complex businesses with multiple markets and high-volume sales.

If you’re new to Shopify, you can enjoy a three-day free trial and a reduced fee of $1 a month for your first month.

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Etsy

Are you looking to sell original print-on-demand items and custom products? Then, Etsy is your ultimate marketplace. It reached over 96 million active buyers—a 1.5% increase compared to last year—continuing its dominance in the personalized product section.

Compared to Shopify or Amazon, Etsy is still a niche ecommerce platform, taking as little as 0.13% of the total market share. Yet, it offers several significant benefits, from having a specialized customer base to the easy setup of an Etsy shop and comparatively lower fees.

Pros:

  • A very low barrier to entry with small starting costs and an easy-to-understand setup.

  • Access to a large, custom-products oriented audience from Day 1.

  • Various built-in marketing tools, including ads, discounts, and free shipping campaigns, as well as off-site integrations to widen your reach.

  • Extensive learning resources within the Etsy Seller Handbook.

  • Numerous free or paid tools to help you optimize your listings, improve your rankings, and boost your sales.

Cons:

  • Increasingly fierce competition for major product categories makes it more difficult and requires more resources to stand out.

  • Limited control over branding and no say in how the platform looks or functions.

  • More and more non-handmade and factory-produced items have been reported on Etsy, driving the prices down and making it harder for small businesses to succeed.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Etsy

Pricing

Etsy doesn’t follow a subscription-based model but charges you based on your activities.

Every Etsy seller should consider three main fees: a listing fee of $0.20 per published item, a transaction fee of 6.5% of your item’s price for every sale you make, and payment processing fees for each transaction processed through Etsy Payments (the amount depends on the gross order amount). You can calculate the potential total selling costs using our Etsy Calculator.

In addition to the regular costs, you may also pay $10 monthly to become an Etsy Plus member and unlock more marketing and sales tools.

Amazon

The list of the best sites to sell print-on-demand products wouldn’t be complete without the biggest name in ecommerce. With over 550 billion dollars in sales and more than 100 delivery countries and regions, Amazon is a top seller in the US.

While it may seem that the platform is meant for big companies, about 60% of sales come from small and medium businesses, making it an attractive solution for selling print-on-demand products as well. Amazon has even launched its print-on-demand platform, Merch on Demand.

a sign on a buildingSource: Unsplash

Pros:

  • The most extensive customer base you’ll ever get with buyers based in over 180 countries and high organic traffic daily.

  • Fulfillment by Amazon option that allows you to offer Prime shipping to your customers and forget about inventory management. However, dropshipping your print-on-demand products with Printful would grant the same.

  • Numerous built-in advertising tools that let you increase your reach and build brand recognition.

  • A high authority and reliable platform that makes buyers trust third-party sellers, including new print-on-demand brands.

Cons:

  • Tough competition with 1.9 million active sellers increases pricing pressure and the likelihood of competitors stealing ideas.

  • Comparatively high commissions and fees leave store owners with thinner profit margins.

  • Delayed receipt of payments as Amazon pays third-party sellers 90 days after the purchase.

  • Limited control over branding and the functionality of your own store as Amazon takes excellent customer service and reviews seriously and may shut down stores that don’t meet their standards.

Pricing

Amazon offers two plans: Individual ($0.99 per item sold) or Professional ($39.99 monthly). If you want to integrate your Amazon store with a print-on-demand service like Printful, you have to choose the Professional plan.

In addition, Amazon charges referral fees starting at 8% or higher, depending on the product category. In case of refunds, you will also pay a refund administration fee ($5.00 or 20% of the respective referral fee, whichever is less).

TikTok Shop

Among the fastest-growing social media apps, TikTok has also found itself on the list of the best platforms to sell print-on-demand items. Since the video-first company launched its ecommerce solution TikTop Shop in the US in 2023, it has quickly attracted over 31 thousand buyers.

The success of a print-on-demand online store on TikTok depends heavily on the seller’s own activity on the app and the selected product categories—beauty products and clothing perform the best. Plus, the items and marketing around them should primarily target TikTok’s main audience, Gen Z.

Pros:

  • The most affordable platform to sell print-on-demand items with free registration and a couple of low seller fees.

  • Quick and easy integration within the TikTok app and with other ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon, to amplify sales.

  • Several built-in advertising tools, for example, discounts, coupons, and free shipping promotions, to boost sales, and AI-powered algorithms for a more tailored user experience.

  • Access to a large pool of engaged Gen Z consumers makes it easier to reach this particular target audience and potentially go viral.

  • Advanced analytics and data-driven insights to learn more about customer preferences.

  • Users can seamlessly transition from watching content to browsing the online store, encouraging impulse buying.

Cons:

  • Gen-Z-dominated platform, so mainly the products and content aimed at this customer group will perform well.

  • As a video-only platform, you should continuously monitor new trends and master video filming and editing or hire an expert to produce high-quality, engaging content.

  • TikTok Shop is still a fresh addition to the app, so its look and functions may undergo multiple iterations.

  • TikTok has a list of restricted products that require additional approval and could delay the launch of new items.

Pricing

TikTok currently charges two main fees: a marketplace commission fee (0–4% from the final order based on the product sub-category) and a transaction fee (2.16%). Both fees are deducted after an order is successfully delivered.

There are also several fees related to shipping costs and refunds that are calculated for each individual case.

a screenshot of a cellphoneSource: TikTok

Learn more: Is It Worth Selling on TikTok in 2024?

WooCommerce

Probably less recognizable by the name than its parent software, WooCommerce is an ecommerce store plugin for one of the most popular website builders—WordPress. Regarding the customer base, WooCommerce has recently given up its first position to Shopify, still claiming over 23% of the market share.

This platform’s unmatched customization options and advanced integrations with print-on-demand sites make it a viable solution for the print-on-demand model. Plus, you don’t have to pay any fees or have high-level coding skills to get started.

Pros:

  • Free to download and test out the basic features.

  • Ready-made website templates and simple installation for a quick and easy setup.

  • Access to numerous themes, plugins, add-ons, and HTML code input grants you full branding control and lets you customize your store however you like it.

  • Fast and easy integration with print-on-demand sites like Printful and other useful business add-ons or marketplaces, for example, Etsy.

  • A vast collection of helpful guides and blogs from community members in Facebook groups and forums to help you understand the platform better and deal with different issues.

  • One of the most secure ecommerce platforms, with encryption and two-step authentication.

Cons:

  • The free version can quickly become a relatively expensive solution as more advanced functions require paid plugins, and you have to pay for hosting.

  • Unlike the previously mentioned platforms, WooCommerce only works with WordPress, so if you’ve built your website elsewhere, you can’t use it.

  • You need some expertise in WordPress to manage WooCommerce successfully, which could cause problems for novice website builders.

  • Without a readily available customer pool, you’ll have to build your audience from scratch and invest heavily in marketing efforts.

a phone with a credit card on it

Pricing

WooCommerce is free to download. However, you’ll need to pay for domain registration (about $15 annually) and hosting ($150 on average, depending on storage size). Additionally, you’ll need to pay for more advanced shipping extensions (up to $119 annually) and payment gateway costs (2.9% + $0.30 per sale on average).

The rest of the costs are associated with your store’s customization and functionality. For example, premium themes could cost over $100 annually, while a live chat function—$49 annually.

Wix Stores

Known as one of the first drag-and-drop function providers, Wix is now the most popular website builder with over 8 billion live sites. The platform has evolved from letting less tech-savvy people create their own websites to an all-in-one ecommerce solution called Wix Stores.

The company has recognized the potential of the print-on-demand business since its early days and offers easy integration with several dropshipping and print-on-demand service apps. It’s also one of the most affordable ecommerce solutions, encouraging more budding entrepreneurs to embark on the print-on-demand journey.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Wix

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly interface with AI design tools that allows setting up an online store in minutes.

  • Numerous built-in marketing tools, like SEO Wiz, site chat, or email marketing, help increase your reach and capture more leads.

  • You can run your print-on-demand store from your phone using the Wix Owner app.

  • Unlike other platforms on this list, a custom domain is included in all plans.

  • Wix is multilingual, making it easy to create several versions of your store in multiple languages and localize your offering to different audiences.

Cons:

  • Wix Stores can only be accessed if you build your website on Wix and use one of the paid plans, as the free version doesn’t support custom domains or ecommerce functions.

  • Even though Wix offers many high-quality templates for different product categories, they aren’t fully customizable, and you can choose the template only once without rebuilding the entire website.

  • With over 870 apps on the app market, Wix still falls behind other platforms like Shopify in terms of add-ons and integrations for a more functional ecommerce store.

Pricing

Wix Stores has four main plans: Light ($17 monthly), Core ($29 monthly), Business ($36 monthly), and Business Elite ($159 monthly). These rates apply to you if you choose a yearly subscription, and they rise monthly.

You also need to consider a transaction fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount + $0.30, which is charged for all transactions processed through Wix Payments.

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Squarespace

Viewed as the younger brother of Wix and WordPress, Squarespace is the final contender on the list of the best places for selling print-on-demand items. It’s another drag-and-drop website builder that has stepped up its ecommerce game in the past 10 years and has achieved a bit over 10% market share.

Squarespace has attracted interest from print-on-demand sellers primarily due to its state-of-the-art aesthetic templates and seamless integrations with print-on-demand services. The platform also boasts a supportive community and advanced ecommerce features.

Pros:

  • Incredibly intuitive, beginner-friendly interface, which you can explore with a 14-day free trial and purchase with student discounts.

  • Advanced store editing options and easy-to-implement subscription models for receiving recurrent payments.

  • Built-in SEO features in every plan to help you improve your site visibility and boost organic traffic.

  • All websites are automatically mobile-optimized, removing the headache of adjusting images and text boxes for a more responsive design.

  • A vast collection of valuable resources, including online courses, to help you master the platform and easily use all features.

Cons:

  • While hosting costs are included in the plan, you still have to pay for the domain name.

  • The platform only allows for simple, two-level website structures supporting small businesses but making it harder for larger stores to use it.

  • You need paid add-ons to connect your Squarespace store to other platforms like Amazon or social media.

  • Comparatively more expensive plans that lead to lower profit margins.

  • Limited payment gateway options that make payment processing a little more complicated.

Pricing

Squarespace has four main plans: Personal ($16 monthly, you can’t sell products with it), Business ($23 monthly), Commerce Basic ($28 monthly), and Commerce Advanced ($52 monthly). These prices increase if you choose a monthly instead of an annual contract. 

Squarespace also charges a 3% transaction fee if you use the Business plan and 2.9% + $0.30  per transaction processed through Squarespace Payments.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

Final verdict: What’s the best place to sell print-on-demand?

Let’s say you have your mind set on launching a print-on-demand store. The current ecommerce landscape provides ample possibilities to create the store of your dreams and sell your own designs.

Browse this list again to find the best platform for showcasing your offer and reaching your target market. No solution will fit everyone. Remember that you may also combine several to expand your reach. Work with a dropshipping and printing partner like Printful, so all you have to focus on is creating trending products and marketing them effectively.

author

By Agnese Zimele on Jun. 19, 2024

Agnese Zimele

Guest author

Agnese is a seasoned content specialist with a passion for running and traveling. She discovered her love for writing in high school and has helped multiple brands and individuals craft their stories ever since.

Agnese is a seasoned content specialist with a passion for running and traveling. She discovered her love for writing in high school and has helped multiple brands and individuals craft their stories ever since.