20% of Solo Print-on-Demand Businesses Turn into Full-Time Gigs

20% of Solo Print-on-Demand Businesses Turn into Full-Time Gigs

Apr 21, 2020

New Printful Survey Measures Success of Solo Entrepreneurs Using Print-on-Demand Services 

Charlotte, North Carolina – One in five artists, cause marketers, and ecommerce business owners making a passive income selling print-on-demand merchandise from t-shirts to backpacks and beanbags have succeeded in turning their initiatives into a major source of income, according to a survey of more than 1400 customers by global print-on-demand business Printful.

Survey respondents reported that:

  • 20% operate their print-on-demand business on a full-time basis, indicating they generate sufficient revenue to focus exclusively on their ecommerce efforts 
  • 44% of full-timers took a year or less to transition from part-time to full-time, while 19% required 1–2 years and 12% spent more than two years to reach full-time status 
  • 38% of all respondents spend 5–10 hours per week managing their business, with 31% spending less than 5 hours per week and 31% spending 10 hours a week or more 
  • 38% say Instagram is the top marketing outlet for their print-on-demand merchandise, followed by a combination of Instagram, Facebook, Google Search results and newsletter (31%), other combinations (19%), and Facebook only (12%) 
  • 36% sell primarily to customers in their state or country, 29% globally, 19% on the continent where they live, and 10% in the city where they live

The full-timers take their business wherever their passion leads them.  

There’s Chicago-based Shari Williams, who began designing t-shirts to empower women of color with sayings like “Black Magic Woman” and built her Bon Bon Vie brand into a powerhouse with thousands of customers worldwide. 

There’s Montreal’s Olivier Gratton-Gagné, who has built his iLikeMaps store into a full-time business selling map prints along with map-based phone cases, pillows, and shower curtains. 

And there’s Ryan McCarthy, a 27-year-old Buffalo resident who turned his love for anime into a thriving online apparel business called Imouri that allowed him to leave his post-college web design job. 

“I thought this would be a side gig, but the business exploded once I started running online ads that hit the right audience,” McCarthy said. “Now I have as many as 500 orders per month, usually with multiple items per order, over 100 designs that are constantly changing, and customers in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. The fact that I can focus on branding, marketing, and design—the things I’m good at—and leave manufacturing and fulfillment to a company like Printful has made all the difference.”

Downloadable infographics here

About Printful
Printful is one of the largest custom on-demand printing and warehousing companies in the world, currently employing 800+ people across five fulfillment centers in California, North Carolina, Latvia, and Mexico. It has been trusted to deliver more than 17 million items since 2013 and reached a turnover of $77.4 million in 2018.

Printful fulfills and ships products like clothing, accessories, and home & living items for online businesses. The company offers over 230+ products from t-shirts to tote bags. More information available at www.printful.com.