There are so many ways to sell things on Amazon. I see many of my friends doing well using the retail arbitrage method. Some people also find local products near their homes and send them to Amazon.
I’ve never done that before. I’m not the kind of person who likes to source a product, pack, and ship it by myself.
That’s too tiring for me.
When I decided to be an Internet Marketer, my goal was not just to make money. I wanted to have more time, too.
So, I’ve been selling products on Amazon since 2017, but all of my products are print-on-demand.
I like selling print-on-demand products because all of the products are uniquely designed and have less competition than other kinds of products.
Also, all the production processes are done by the suppliers. I don’t need to make or ship anything by myself.
I have been selling thousands of coffee mugs, but I never see the products I sell.
There are many articles about selling products on Amazon in this Tiny Marketing Lab, but I just realized that I never wrote an introductory article on how to get started on doing all this.
So, in this article, I will show you how to make money on Amazon from print-on-demand products (POD), even if you are a beginner.
The process is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!
Let’s get into it.
What is a Print-on-Demand product?
A Print-on-Demand product, or POD, is basically a customized product on which you can print a design. The supplier will produce the item and print the design on it for you.
There are many kinds of POD products on the market, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, shot glasses, travel mugs, tumblers, pillows, phone cases, etc.
When you sell a POD product, the supplier will charge you some money, make the product and ship it to your customer automatically.
The good thing about POD is that you can start doing it for a very low up-front cost. No stock is needed. You just pay for the item when you make some sales.
For my print-on-demand business, I have been using GearBubble for many years. I’ll tell you why later in this article.
How to Start Selling Products on Amazon
Selling print-on-demand products on Amazon is very easy. Let me show you the process so you can get started quickly.
Open a seller account at Amazon Seller Central. There are individual (free) and professional (monthly fee) accounts. If you want to do it seriously, go for pro, because you can list many products a month and you can use the Amazon Marketplace Web Service to integrate with POD suppliers. You can check the comparison here.
Open a GearBubble account. GearBubble is a supplier who can make the item and ship it to your customer. You can also try Teelaunch, Teespring, or Printful as well. There are many POD suppliers out there.
Create a design, and put it on the product in GearBubble or any other POD services you choose.
Upload the product to Amazon.
- If you have PODTurbo, connect your Amazon and Gearbubble accounts to your PODTurbo account. You can upload the Gearbubble product to Amazon easily through their user interface.
- When there is an order, Amazon will send the order information to PODTurbo, PODTurbo will pass it to your Gearbubble account and GearBubble will start making the item and ship it to your customer automatically.
- If you don’t have PODTurbo, fine. But you’ll have to create the product on Amazon by yourself. Create a product on Gearbubboe, copy the product mockup from GearBubble, and upload it to Amazon. When there is an order, you’ll have to place an order manually in GearBubble. There is no fee for this option.
Optimize the product title and keywords to make your product visible to people.
Sit back and wait for sales!
The process is very easy, right? Just create a design, upload it to PODTurbo, and then PODTurbo will publish the product to Amazon.
There is no upfront cost if you don’t use PODTurbo. If you use it, the monthly fee is not too expensive as well. No stock, low cost, and easy to get started.
What to Sell on Amazon
Okay, now you know the print-on-demand concept and how to start selling POD products on Amazon.
The next thing to think about is – what should you sell on Amazon? To know that, you need to do some product and market research.
What kinds of quotes do people like? What kinds of people will purchase a mug or t-shirt? Do they purchase it as a gift, or for themselves?
From my statistics, most print-on-demand products will be used to represent the owner of the item.
Let’s think about a t-shirt or a coffee mug, for example. If we choose a t-shirt to wear or a mug to use, the design on it will be something we like or are related to, right?
You can check out the top-selling product in GearBubble here: Top Selling Products.
Most of the items will contain a specific design, like Donald Trump, mother, father, a veteran, etc.
They are something that represents the owner, or something they like.
People will buy it for themselves, or for someone they love.
Ok, let’s check out another example. This time we’ll look at the Best Selling Novelty Mugs on Amazon.
They’re the same, right? These mugs are related to family members, or to people who support Donald Trump.
There are also many mugs related to professions. Let’s search Amazon using the keywords “Engineer Mug”.
You can see that there are many product reviews on these Engineer mugs. This means there are many people who purchase the Engineer mugs.
I have sold many coffee mugs, but few people have submitted reviews of the products. From 100 sales, I only got about 4-5 reviews. Items that have 100 reviews must sell well.
It’s very easy to find niches to create a print-on-demand product.
When I do my product research, I mostly find a famous quote that I can use in many niches.
For example, if I’m creating products for niches related to professions, I’ll find a quote that can be used for any profession, and create a product for it.
There are thousands professions you can create products for. I have over 70,000 products for more than a thousand niches. I’ve had many sales in niches I never thought I could sell to.
I also use this tool to build many unique quotes for specific niches.
But you don’t have to target only professions. You can also sell products related to dog breeds, cat breeds, hobbies, etc.
To be successful in this business model, we will list as many as products on Amazon as we can, see what sells, and scale from there.
Where to source good designs
Another thing you may notice about top-selling products is that many of them don’t come with a beautiful design.
In the Low Hanging System business model, the Ugly Designs Win!
The designs of top-selling products are mostly just text-based, with funny or meaningful quotes.
“I’m a Proud Dad of a Freaking Awesome Daughter. Yes, she bought me this mug.”
“No matter how hard life gets, at least you don’t have ugly children.”
People buy these items because of the quotes.
All of my top-selling products are text-based designs.
There are so many ways to source for good designs to sell:
The free method – Create designs by yourself. It’s just a text-based design. You can create it easily in Photoshop. But the drawback is that it’s very boring – and trust me, you can’t do this all day.
The LHS business model requires consistency. You need to list new products every single day to find winning products fast.
If you think you can create new designs every day by yourself, go ahead. But I can’t do it.
The $4.99-9.95 method – Another way to do this a bit faster is by using tools like Canva, WordSwag, Phonto, etc. With this kind of app, you insert a quote into the program, and it will generate the quote in a beautiful font for you.
There are usually fees associated with the app. I’m not sure about that, but it’s usually no higher than $4.99.
This way is good, too. You can create a design fast, but you must do it yourself. I prefer the next method.
The investing method – Nothing beats hiring people to do a job for you. To succeed in the print-on-demand business, you must list new products consistently. Hiring people will help you achieve that.
When I got started, I tried to do everything by myself. But after doing it for a while – like creating 15-20 designs and uploading 30-40 products every day – I quit doing something else.
It’s easy to be distracted when doing this kind of job. You have to create designs for many quotes, then upload these designs to GearBubble and Amazon. While waiting for the products to upload, I went to Twitch and watched game streaming for hours…
This was not productive, and I couldn’t do it consistently.
So, I decided to set up a team and let them handle everything for me.
There are many places you can hire people to create designs for you. They include such easyoutsource.com or onlinejobs.ph. The cost of hiring is not too expensive. You can negotiate with them. I have two employees who have been working with me on this project for over two years now.
These are a few methods you can use to source good designs. Again, the designs don’t need to be complicated. Just a text-based design is enough. Most top-selling products consist of simple designs.
This is another reason why selling print-on-demand products on Amazon is very easy. There’s not only a low upfront cost and no stock needed; the designs can also be created easily.
Costs and Potential Profits
Because you don’t have to produce the product by yourself, the upfront cost is very low. Let me break down the things you need to get started:
Here’s what you need:
- Amazon Seller Account – $39.99 per month.
- GearBubble Account – Free
- PODTurbo (optional) – Starts at $497 per year ($41.41 per month).
- Design cost – Less than $1 per design, or free if you do it by yourself.
If you use the free method, you need to pay only Amazon $39.99 per month to list the products. After you’ve made some sales, you can create a campaign in GearBubble and order the products by yourself.
That’s a good way to get started. But in the long term, I recommend that you set up a team and let them do everything for you.
It’s even better if you have a budget and can start hiring right off the bat. Your business will grow faster than the others.
That’s about the cost.
Next, let’s check out the profit you’ll be able to make per item.
I am selling a coffee mug at $14.95, plus $4.95 for shipping. The total revenue I earn is $19.90.
There will be an Amazon fee at $2.99. Amazon will calculate this fee from the price you define.
Then there will be the cost of the coffee mug ($4.95) and shipping ($4.95) from GearBubble, for a total cost of $9.90.
So the total profit you will get from selling 1 mug is $7.01.
For other products, like a shot glass or travel mug, the costs are a bit different. You can log in to your GearBubble account and check the production cost in there.
How is it working for me?
I have been doing this since late 2017, and I now have over 70,000 products in my account.
Most of my sales happen during the holiday season like Q4, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Amazon Prime Day, etc.
I also make many sales in general niches. I have products in more than thousand niches in my account. These small niches have very little competition, so I can make many sales passively.
This is a one-day result I had in the previous month (not Mother’s Day sales).
The good thing about this business is that I have a team that handles almost all the work for me. All I do each week is select the niche markets to list products in. My team does the rest.
Also, when there is an order, GearBubble will start making the item and ship it to my customer.
I have published an article about doing eCom in one hour a week. It’s about the hiring process I use with this business model. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do.
To sum up, this is a business model that is very easy to get started with a very low initial investment. If I remember correctly, I made my first sale after I’d listed 15 products in my account.
I think that was a fluke, because the second sale came a few weeks later.
The key to be successful at selling products in Amazon in this business is to list new products consistently, and to keep checking what can be sold and create more products for that niche.
When you have many winning products in your account, you’ll be able to make steady passive income from Amazon.
That’s all I have to say about the selling process for print-on-demand products on Amazon. It has never been this easy.
You don’t need to make the product by yourself. There is ZERO inventory to stock. If you lack money, you can do this using the free method I showed you above.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments. I’ll try to answer everything you have. Good luck!