In today’s article, I’m going to explain a big misconception in print-on-demand, and that’s in regards to using Printify or Printful on your own Shopify store compared to using Teespring, Merch by Amazon, or Redbubble to sell t-shirt designs.
Now, this is actually a pretty important article because a lot of people don’t understand that if you’re using one or the other, those are completely different strategies.
So in this article, I’m going to clear up what those different strategies are when you should be using one or the other, the pros and cons, and everything you need to know between the two strategies.
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the differences between using Shopify and using Teespring
So without further ado, I want to get right into the differences between using Shopify and using Teespring, Merch by Amazon, and even Redbubble, another big one, but on the smaller side.
For this article’s purposes, I’m going to stick to comparing Printify and Printful on your own Shopify store to Teespring and Merch by Amazon. I think that’s a fair comparison, and it’ll help us to explain the differences and help to explain when you should be using one over the other.
So for both of these, the concept of the business model stays basically the same, and what that is is you, that’s yourself and me as sellers of designs, we create t-shirt designs, and we upload them to one of these different places. It’s either going to be Teespring and Merch by Amazon or Printify or Printful on your Shopify store.
What happens from there is there’s actually no inventory at all. People can see your designs, what they would look like on different clothing items, and they can place orders, and when they place orders, both of these are going to print that design on the item that the person ordered—specifically, the colour of the item, the size of the item, and that specific design.
They’ll print it, ship it out to the customer. Now there are a couple of big differences that you need to know between Teespring and Merch by Amazon or Printify, Printful on your own Shopify store, but the biggest one that I want to get to right away is the strategy of the two different ones.
They both have different strategies, and a lot of people don’t realize that if you’re uploading to one over the other, inevitably, you’re going to be using a different strategy. So first, I want to get to what I like, which is Teespring, Merch by Amazon. This is what I personally do, and the strategy here is that Teespring and Merch by Amazon actually do the marketing and advertising for your designs for you.
All you do is create and upload a lot of great designs, and they take it from there. Now the only exception to this is Merch by Amazon starts marketing for you right away. The more sales you get, the more items you can upload, so the more they’re marketing for you—they kind of use a tier system.
Teespring, you have to get a few of your own sales first, and then they recognize your account as a trusted seller, then they start doing the marketing for you. So there’s a couple of prerequisites. But essentially, just stick with me here; Teespring, Merch by Amazon, is you create and upload a lot of great designs, they do all the marketing for you.
Now, if we come over to the other side, the Printify, Printful on your own Shopify store, they are not going to be doing any marketing for you. So you are essentially creating and uploading designs into your own store, your own clothing line, your own brand, look at it more of that side, and then you are responsible for doing all the marketing, all the advertising, and take full responsibility for getting people to buy your items.
So the first thing is the strategy between the two.
Over here with Teespring, Merch by Amazon, you’re creating and uploading a lot of designs, it’s very passive, long-term, they’re going to be doing marketing for you, they take a small cut of all the sales if they’re paying for marketing, we are still going to make plenty of profit on top of that.
Over on the other side of using your own Shopify store, you are basically your own business. You are responsible for getting all of the buyers and interested people to your store and selling them on items. So, keeping that in mind, for your situation, if you’re trying to create a clothing line and you want a specific store, and you only want a few designs in there, very specific, and you’re looking for that side of the approach, more of a company clothing line approach, then using a Shopify store might be the better option for you.
But if you’re just looking to create passive income streams, this is what I use for print-on-demand, and you want to create and upload a lot of great designs and basically just sit back and let them do all the marketing for you, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this.
For you guys who have started and have been following along for a long time, you’ve seen how passive this really is when you create and upload a lot of great designs to the right websites. Teespring and Merch by Amazon are the biggest websites that do all of this for you, so those are the two that I definitely recommend.
The third one that you often see me recommending is Redbubble. It’s in the top three, but it’s not as big as Teespring or Merch by Amazon. So if you want to be really efficient with your time, I recommend uploading your designs to Teespring and Merch by Amazon. Now there’s a couple of important things between the two that you need to know and a couple of bonus tips that I want to throw in just to help you guys at the end here,
another big difference between using a Shopify store or Teespring
But another big difference between using a Shopify store or Teespring, Merch by Amazon, is that there’s no price to Teespring or Merch by Amazon. You never have to pay for anything. You create and upload the designs; there’s no risk to it.
Over on the other side of using your own Shopify store, whether you’re using Printify or if you’re using Printful, you have to pay for the Shopify store. Now, Shopify offers a free trial. It’s 14 days for free, but then after that, if you want to keep your website up, you have to pay $29 per month as the starter plan, and then it goes up to $79 a month and beyond that.
Now you really only need the starter plan, which is $29 a month, but that’s something to keep in mind. If you’re going to be going the route with your own Shopify store and you’re creating a clothing line, plan on paying at least $30 a month just to keep that open. If you’re going with Teespring, Merch by Amazon, you don’t have to pay anything.
Now, something else that’s relevant here is can you use both of these, or when’s a good time to go from one to the other potential, and this is a question that I get pretty often. And an answer that I would give you is the only time I would suggest doing this is if you are going from Teespring, Merch by Amazon, and you’ve been doing that for a while, and you build up a following on social media, and people want to get just your designs, they know you for your brand, they know you for your designing.
Now, this doesn’t happen very easily. It may take years for this to really happen, and that’s if you’re trying to make it happen. If you’re just creating and uploading your designs, this is really not going to happen because you’re not building a following anywhere.
But, stick with me, if you are building a following on social media somewhere and then they are just following you for your designs, then it may be advantageous for you to create a Shopify store where you can direct those people to who are already coming back to you on social media looking for your designs, direct them over to a Shopify store, you can collect some more information about them,
you can retarget them, but just know that that’s going to be more work for you, and that’s more of a business style where you have to know online marketing and potentially do product launch emails or follow-up sequences, something in that regard.
But that’s where I would see it is if you’re starting out over here with Teespring, Merch by Amazon, you’re growing your business, you’re growing your following, and you want to turn it into more of a formal clothing line, then I would recommend just switching over. Now when you do switch over, you can leave your designs on Teespring, Merch by Amazon.
There’s nothing stopping you from doing that, but just make sure your prices are about the same over there as they are on your Shopify store. And all you do is basically create the new Shopify store, upload your designs, and you’re in business. You don’t have to remove anything over here.
Now, if you guys noticed right there, I said you can have your designs on Teespring and Merch by Amazon. This is another little bonus tip. But if you were creating and uploading designs over on this strategy over here, keep in mind that you can upload them to both Teespring and Merch by Amazon.
The same designs. These sites are non-exclusive, so you’re actually allowed to create one design and upload it to both of these platforms. Make sure you’re keeping your prices about the same. People are going to typically find you on one platform and not the other.
They’re not usually going to see you on both, so if your prices are a little bit different, I won’t sweat it. But what I’m getting at is you can upload your design to both Teespring and Merch by Amazon, both of them will be marketing to their own audiences for you, and you’ll get sales from both of them. It really doesn’t get any better than that, and then if you have extra time, you can also upload that same design to Redbubble.
Now I want to make it clear that for some people, Shopify might be the better option. If you’re creating a clothing line, you’re willing to pay about $30 a month to keep it open; this could be a great option for you. One of the big pros, if you’re creating a clothing line like that, is that you have more clothing options to pick from.
Over on Teespring and on Merch by Amazon, you only have so many options of clothing items to pick from. And for this strategy, that works perfectly. But if you’re creating a clothing line, they have quite a few different options you can choose from. You can do high-quality shirts, different cut shirts, different sweatshirts, all different items, and they are really good quality.
So if you’re going with a more specific clothing line brand, specific company, then know that the options you have to print on are really good on Printify or Printful over on Shopify. Now I want to make it clear that I’m not talking down on Shopify, Printify, Printful at all. They are great; it’s just not how I personally use and recommend doing print-on-demand for long-term passive income.
Thank you so much in advance. But if you have any questions at all, let me know down in the comments. And as always, I’ll be seeing you guys in the next article.
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