How to Sell Face Masks and Other Print-on-Demand Products in Q3

8 min read

The third quarter (Q3) is usually a slow season for the print-on-demand business. There’s no big selling holiday like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas, so it’s hard to sell print-on-demand products during these three months.

But doing nothing in Q3 is not the right thing to do. Even if it’s a slow season, we can still make sales during this difficult time.

It’s important to use this time to find winning products to promote in the BIGGEST shopping season: Q4.

If you don’t do the work in Q3, you won’t have any winning products to promote in Q4, right?

So, let me guide you on how to crush your summertime print-on-demand sales. At the end of this article, I’ll leave you with an action plan that requires only one week of work. 🙂

Hot Selling Products in Q3

During the pandemic, the hottest-selling products are face masks.

Face masks are the top-selling product right now, in every marketplace. You can go to Amazon or Etsy and find that face masks have been selling really well over the past few months.

People can’t enter public places if they’re not wearing a mask. That’s why this product has been selling so well.

Face masks are now print-on-demand products. A plain face mask is very simple, so we can do research on what designs people are looking for, create a design, print it on the face mask, and sell it to people in different niches.

Gearbubble already has face masks on its platform. The production cost is $11.90, including shipping. The delivery time is around 2 weeks.

I checked the prices for this product and found that most sellers are selling masks for around $10-25, including shipping.

So, if we use Gearbubble and sell this face mask, we should price it at around $20-25, including shipping.

It might be expensive compared to other face masks on the market. But if our designs are unique, we can charge a bit more.

A few days ago, one of my Facebook friends showed me his face-mask sales stats. He’s selling face masks at around $25-30 per unit, and he made many sales in just a few hours.

I think it’s possible to sell face masks at prices like that. People who like the mask design will buy it.

PODTurbo is developing a system to upload face masks in bulk. We want to help our members crush their face-mask sales this year. The system will be available soon, I promise.

To find face-mask designs, I went to MerchantWords and checked the keywords people are using to search for face masks.

Apart from general keywords like “reusable face mask” or “face mask for kids”, I also found niche keywords about face masks we can use to create unique designs.

Here are some of them:

  • Animal face mask (35,700 monthly searches)
  • Scary face mask (35,600 monthly searches)
  • Patriotic face mask (35,500 monthly searches)
  • Smiling face mask (32,700 monthly searches)
  • Cow face mask (31,700 monthly searches)
  • Panda face mask (31,200 monthly searches)
  • Bulldog face mask (31,200 monthly searches)

Over a million products pop up when you search Etsy using the keywords “face mask”.

face mask etsy

If you use the keywords “Panda face mask” to search on Etsy, you’ll find around 2,000 products.

panda face mask

For the keywords “Cow face mask”, there are around 3,000 products.

cow face mask

So, do some research before you create a face mask. Take your time to find niche markets where you can sell unique designs. There are many opportunities to sell this kind of product.

I think it’s easy – as easy as it was when we sold t-shirts on Teespring back in 2013-2014. 🙂

Okay, that’s it for face masks – again, the hottest-selling products right now, and the ones you should sell this year.

Apart from face masks, there are other products I’d advise you to sell.

Q3 is actually summer in the United States.

A coffee mug will be difficult to sell in this period. We usually use a mug to hold hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate, right?

But people prefer cold drinks in summer. As a result, there are three more products we should have in our store: travel mugs, tumblers, and wine glasses.

Most of my products are coffee mugs, so I saw a significant drop in sales in July. I found that most of my sales last month came from travel mugs and tumblers.

For this reason, if you want other products to list apart from face masks or coffee mugs, choose travel mugs, tumblers, and wine glasses.  

Okay, that’s all for other products to list in Q3. But I still recommend that you sell coffee mugs, because they’re the easiest products to unload and are normally the best-selling print-on-demand products in Q4.

If you can find winning coffee mugs in Q3, you’ll be able to sell much more at the end of the year.

The Evergreen Niches

Next, let’s talk about the evergreen niches – the ones in which we can create and sell products all year long, not just in Q3.

Since there is no BIG holiday in Q3, it’s a good idea to list evergreen products in these three months.

These are a few of my evergreen niches:

  • Birthdays
  • Wedding Anniversaries
  • Brother, Sister, and Friendship

Birthday is an evergreen niche we can sell at any time of the year. We can create products with funny birthday quotes or combine them with other niches.

For example, we can layer the birthday niche with a profession niche and create products with keywords like “birthday engineer” in the product title.

We can also layer the birthday niche with the family niche. Many coffee mugs with phrases like “Birthday Mom” or “Birthday Dad” sell quite well.

The second interesting evergreen niche is the Wedding Anniversary. Husband and Wife is another niche where we can make tons of sales all year long.

There are so many funny or meaningful quotes we can use to create products in these niches.

Other good evergreen niches are Brother, Sister, and Friendship. Most sellers focus on creating products for Mom or Dad because of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

 brother mug

But if you check the market, there’s definitely a demand for products about brothers, sisters, and friendship. These niches also have much lower competition, and we can sell them at any time of the year.

Trending Interesting Niches

Apart from those evergreen niches, I think there’s another niche that’s very interesting right now.

It’s Politics.

Because the United States of America will elect its President this November, creating products related to politics is an interesting exercise.

When I first started selling t-shirts on Teespring back in 2014, I could look forward to the 2016 presidential election. During 2014-2016, politics-related t-shirts sold really well.

And they weren’t only Trump or Clinton t-shirts. Some sellers combined the election niche with others niches (like Star Wars). These t-shirts sold really well, too.

Since 2016, Trump-related products have been selling well. As you can see on Amazon or Etsy, there are hundreds of Trump mugs.

I combined Trump with 500 profession niches and have made many sales from these mugs.

So I think Politics is a trending niche that we should create print-on-demand products for, too.

The Action Plan

Okay, ideas without action mean NOTHING.

We could have a million ideas, but we won’t get any results if we don’t start taking action. So I’ve created an action plan you can follow easily.

This is the action plan my team and I have used internally to make many print-on-demand sales since 2017.

This is what you have to do. It requires only one week to get TWO MONTHS of work done.

Step 1: Do market research on Monday. List a few dozen niches you’re interested in. Select the top 30 most interesting ones, and pass them to your VA and ask them to find 100 quotes for each niche. You’ll end up with 3,000 quotes in total.

You might need more or fewer niches, but you should have at least 3,000 quotes before you move on.

Step 2: On Tuesday, pass the 3,000 quotes you got in the first step to your graphic designer. Hire the designer to create 3,000 designs. These should be done in 3-4 days.

You can find a VA to find quotes and a graphic designer to create designs at affordable prices at onlinejobs.ph. During the pandemic, I’ve found that many people are willing to work for less than they are when things are more “normal”.

Step 3: Prepare product titles and keywords for products you plan to upload between Tuesday and Friday.

While you wait for the designs from your graphic designer, prepare product info so you’ll be ready to upload the products to marketplaces.

You can use one design to create two products – like a white coffee mug and a two-tone coffee mug, shot glass, or travel mug.

Make sure these two products are different. For example, it might be a two-tone coffee mug and travel mug we can use for hot or cold drinks. You’ll get traffic from both the “coffee mug” and “travel mug” keywords.

So, you’ll have 6,000 products to upload in total. Prepare the product titles and keywords for all the products. You or your team will be able to upload the products easily if the product info is well organized.

If you use PODTurbo, use .CSV files so that when the designs are ready, you can upload them to the system easily.

Step 4: Upload products to Amazon and Etsy every day. There will be 6,000 products to upload in total. If you can upload 100 products a day, it will take around 60 days to upload all your products. They – and you – will be ready for Q4.

If you have a PODTurbo account, you can upload the .CSV files you prepared in the previous step, upload the designs you get from the graphic designer, and set the daily upload limit you want. PODTurbo will schedule and upload all the products to your marketplaces automatically.

I highly recommend that you find software or hire someone to do this task for you. The uploading process might be easy, but it’s time-consuming and very boring. You can use your time to do something more meaningful.

Step 5 (optional): Send some products to Amazon FBA. If you find some products sell well during Q3 or you already have some winning products, you should order them in bulk and send them to Amazon.

During Q4, especially in the second week of December, FBA products sell really well. People purchase FBA products because Amazon can ship them out very quickly.

So, if you have winning products, don’t forget to send them to the Amazon Warehouse. Your store will have an unfair advantage, courtesy of Amazon.

That’s a Wrap

As you can see, you have many opportunities to make money from your print-on-demand business in Q3.

Face Masks are the hottest products right now. People need to use a face mask every day, so it’s time to start listing face masks in your store.

Also, don’t focus on selling face masks only. Other print-on-demand products – such as coffee mugs, shot glasses, travel mugs, tumblers, and wine glasses – can still sell well too.

They might not be as hot as face masks – but if you can turn them into winning products, you’ll be able to sell tons of them in Q4.

Okay, that’s all for now. Hopefully I’ve given you some useful ideas for your print-on-demand business.

But don’t forget to take action! An idea without action is nothing, remember? 🙂

—Bank K.


Further Readings:

>