How to Find Winning Print-on-Demand Products, Even On a Low Budget

7 min read

There are many ways to find winning print-on-demand products and scale them to the moon using Facebook or Google Ads.

The scaling is not the difficult part. The difficult part is how to find the winning products. If you have one, it’s easy to scale.

I normally use one of two methods when I want to find winning products.

The first one is to leverage the benefits of free “targeted” traffic from marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy to find winning products.

I emphasize the word “targeted”, because people who visit these websites are actually ready to buy something.

If we have some product listings on Amazon or Etsy, there’s a chance that people will purchase our products.

What I do for this method is just set up a system to create and upload tons of products for many narrow niches in these two marketplaces.

This process can be easily done if we set up the system to do the work or hire someone to do it for us.

Then, I wait for my products to become visible to visitors in these marketplaces and fond our which products most people buy.

After that, I pick some of the top-selling products and promote them using paid traffic from Facebook or Google.

I call this method “The Winning Products Screener”.

This method doesn’t require much time or budget to implement. It’s the same method I used to generate over $350k just before Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Recently, I’ve mostly used the first method to find my winning products.

The second method involves creating lots of good products and checking whether or not they’re winners by using ads.

I call it “Spending money to make more money”.

This is the method most people use. We do market and product research, create some good products, and send Facebook traffic to them.

If they’re not winning products, we create new ones and test them with paid traffic again.

If some of them are winning products, we scale up by spending more.

This is the method I used when I found my first winning products back in 2014.

I still use this method to find winning products nowadays, but not often. I prefer using the first method. It’s much easier.

Fair warning: these two methods might not work for all people.

We’re all different.

Some people might still be fine when they spend over $2,000 and still don’t find a winning product. Other people might quit after spending $50.

We differ not only in terms of our budgets, but also our mindsets.

For the first method, we need plenty of time to upload tons of products. You might hire someone or use software to do it for you, but that still costs money.

Listing products on Etsy still requires listing fees of $0.20 per listing for every four months. If you want to list 10,000 products, you have to pay $2,000 every four months, or $500 a month.

Although we know that we can make well over $500 a month from those 10,000 products, some of us are still uncomfortable spending this much money.

The second method is actually more difficult than the first one, because we have to spend much more money upfront on paid ads to find winning products.

I’ve known many people who quit after spending around $100-200 to sending some test traffic to their products.

If they don’t find winning products after spending this amount of money, many of them will quit and move on to something else.

So, after talking to many people, I tried to think of another solution.

A method that required a little money to get started, and offered a medium to high chance of finding winning products.

This is the third method.

I call it the “The Advanced Products Screener”.


The Advanced Products Screener

The core of this method is similar to the Winning Product Screener method, but you create products in a different way.

Previously, we listed tons of products in many different niches in the marketplaces.

This is what I do.

I don’t do much product or keyword research. I mainly list products in many small niches. The competition is very low, so product or keyword research is not that necessary.

I just focus on the number of products I have. The more products I have in these small niches, the better my chances of finding winning products.

It’s a numbers game.

Then I check which niches produce sales, then create more products with optimized keywords for those winning niches.

I do product or keyword research after I know which niches can make me sales.

The problem with this method is that we need to spend money on designs and listing fees (if we list our products on Etsy) to list tons of products.

The Advanced Product Screener was built to address this problem.

If we don’t want to list tons of products or spend much more money, we have to spend our time on product and keyword research.

We have to create some products that people are likely to buy.

There are two ways I advise you to do product research:

  1. Checking the Trends
  2. Checking Your Competitors

Let dig into each of these in detail.


Checking the Trends

save the date

With this advanced screening method, we won’t focus on evergreen small niches like the professions or dog breeds anymore. We’ll focus on listing products before the trends.

Normally, we will check holidays – the dates of the year that people will buy products.

There are some key dates you should mark in your calendar:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Halloween
  • Election Day
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Christmas

If you list products that people buy on these holidays and do it prior to the date, your chances of selling products will be high.

For example, if Mother’s Day is approaching, create many products related to Mother’s Day.

Find the phrases about mothers, create designs, and put them on your products. They will sell easily.

For the past Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I had 200 phrases about mothers and 200 about fathers.

I used these 400 phrases to create 2,000 designs and put them on 2,000 coffee mugs, 2,000 two-tone mugs, and 2,000 travel mugs.

I uploaded these 6,000 products to Amazon and Etsy.

It cost me around $400 to create 2,000 designs, and $1,200 for the 6,000 product listings on Etsy. The total cost was around $1,600.

But I made $6,000 on Etsy and over $14,000 on Amazon.

Ultimately, I picked some of the winning products I found on these two marketplaces to promote using Facebook Ads – and I made $350,000.

Considering my returns, my $1,200 investment was very cheap.

If we use the method “Spend money to make more money”, we normally have to pay more than this to find the BIG winning product.

So this is the first thing to do. Check the trends and create products related to the trends. You’ll be able to find winning products easily.


Checking Your Competitors

Okay, that’s all about the trends. It’s the first thing you have to do in the advanced product screener method. If you create products before the buying trends happen, you will have a good chance to sell your products.

Apart from the trends, you have to check out your competitors to find new product ideas.

Finding phrases related to the trends is just one way to create designs for products.

I normally ask my virtual assistant to find 200-300 quotes for one trend. When they become designs on products, only 20% of them sell well.

It’s like 80/20 rule. That is, 20% of all products are responsible for 80% of the total sales.

But if you want a better chance of finding phrases that sell, you have to check what other top sellers are selling.

I usually browse the products on Etsy every day.

If you notice the product listing page on Etsy, you’ll see that some products bear the “Bestseller” badge.

This badge means that this product is selling well. You should save the phrase on this product to your product research list and ask your designer to create a better design.

Please note that I say “create a better design”. I don’t mean “copy the design”. That’s not a good thing to do.

Also, you have to create an all-new, unique design, otherwise it won’t sell well. The original design already has the sale stats. It’s difficult to compete with the original.

You need to create a new and better one. Add something new to it.

This is very important.

With some products on the listings page, you’ll see not only the “Bestseller” badge, but also a message like “XX people have this in their cart”.

Products with this message are usually the hottest-selling products. You know what to do – add these products to your list and create better designs.

Apart from getting phrases for designs, you’ll also get an idea which niche markets are selling well right now.

For example, if you find that there’s a face mask with a phrase about Joe Biden, you’ll know that products in the politics niche are selling well right now.

So you might find more interesting phrases and create more products in that niche.

When checking products on the listing page, click on a product that has a “Bestselling” badge or the message “XX people have this in their cart” and go to the shop page. You’ll find more ideas there.

In the review section, you can sort reviews by “Newest” and Etsy will show recent customer reviews for this shop.

You’ll know what kind of products are selling well right now. Use these ideas to create designs for your products.


Conclusion

Okay, this is a method you can use to create winning print-on-demand products, even if you have a low budget.

You don’t have to list tons of products or spend tons of money on ads to find winning products. You also don’t have to think about niche markets or create designs by yourself.

Just go to the marketplaces and find inspiration from your competitors.

There are so many *proven ideas* in the marketplaces. You just have to spend time browsing the websites and doing the research.

Then, create your own designs, upload the products to marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy, see which products can be sold, and try to scale from there.

I can guarantee you that you’ll be able to find winning products faster at a lower cost than before.

Okay, it’s time to get to work!

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