10 Best Print on Demand Companies for Custom Products

Do you love the idea of earning money on something you have created but don't want to maintain inventory in case it doesn't sell? A print on demand business helps remove some of the risk associated with a traditional ecommerce store since you only purchase items as soon as someone purchases them from you.

I've been using most of the Print on Demand Companies below since 2016. My sports mom apparel website was built with the intention of selling 100% as print on demand. New trends and themes happen within a season and waiting for a vendor to make new designs in bulk can take weeks, if not months.

With print on demand, the only delay we faced was how long it would take to create a new product listing. Print on demand has given me the flexibility to jump on those trends quickly by creating products that other sports parents truly wanted and couldn't find until I listed them in my store.

The print on demand websites listed below are all legitimate companies that I've either used myself or know friends who have used them. They are reliable options to create products for your own Shopify store, to sell via Amazon FBA, in an Etsy store or all of the above.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand (also referred to as POD) is a method of printing that allows you to create custom products without having to print them in advance. It's beneficial so you don't have to keep your cash invested in product and also won't need to maintain inventory in-house. You have a vendor produce something when you actually receive an order for the product.

Print on Demand companies make all sorts of items that can be printed and shipped directly to your customers. Apparel like shirts and hoodies are big sellers, but you can also find vendors that will make virtually anything else from dog bowls to stickers, and even jewelry. If you can think of a custom design to go on something, changes are you can find a vendor that will print it on that exact product for you.

Print on Demand Dropshipping

In my opinion, the Print on Demand “dropshipping” model is the best setup to use with the print on demand companies. The process looks like this:

  1. You create a listing on your Shopify store or other marketplace.
  2. A customer purchases the item and pays for the item in full.
  3. You place an order with the vendor for the product you need. This can be automated on Shopify through the vendor's app on your store (more on that below).
  4. You pay the print on demand company to make the product (can be automated), and that customer's order is placed in their print queue to make.
  5. The print on demand company makes the product and ships it directly to your customer.

That's it! While it seems simple, getting it setup can take some time. Once it's all setup, creating new products can truly take minutes with your own designs.

Top Print on Demand Companies

There are so many print on demand companies but not all are created equal. When I first started, I asked a friend what they were using. That specific company isn't one that I would even consider today since I want things setup on my own Shopify store.

Many of these print on demand companies will include package inserts with your logo and messaging for a small fee. This is a big I would encourage you to add this option since it is a nice touch for branding. The customer thinks the order is coming directly from your facility and you can add a coupon code for them to re-order in the messaging (just swap out the coupon code on the insert monthly so you can track conversions).

If you have products coming from multiple print on demand companies, make sure your email flows state that their products are coming from one of several print partners throughout the US. The customer may be concerned if they only receive one of the items in their order. This proactive communication can help minimize emails into customer service.

The companies below are ones that I have personal experience with OR ones that I know are legitimate because a friend has shared their positive experience with the company. Some print on demand businesses have had MAJOR issues with printing timeframes or quality issues (which only gets worse during busy shopping seasons). I have listed the best print on demand companies in the order that I recommend them based on my personal experiences with each of them.


CustomCat is my favorite print on demand company. They're the one I refer to first to find a product. They also offer embroidery and don't charge a setup fee for your product listings like some other print on demand companies do which is a plus since you don't know what will sell well until it actually sells.

They are the main vendor that I use for all apparel. I love that they offer dri-fit material apparel which is ideal for most of my sports attending customers (sitting outside all day at a track meet can leave ya a bit steamy). Here are some other CustomCat products options:

  • Accessories: bags, soft coolers, flip flops, coasters, luggage tags.
  • Apparel: shirts, hoodies, tank tops, dri-fit apparel, pants, shorts for women, men and kids.
  • Drinkware: tumblers, mugs, water bottles.
  • Home Goods: rugs, mats, pillows, blankets, ornaments, towels.
  • Wall Art: canvas art and posters.

CustomCat's interface is easy and intuitive to use. You can add product inserts to your orders for a fee. They offer a Shopify app and integrate with Etsy, which is a plus since you may also want to list your print on demand products on Etsy as well. Their support is also responsive which is important if you're listing the products on Amazon FBA. If you have a delay in an item being shipped, you need a response ASAP because your FBA account is on the line. Timely communication from the POD is as important as creating quality products.

Create a free CustomCat account here.

ShineOn Print on Demand Jewelry

ShineOn is a unique print on demand company that makes personalized jewelry. I used to do well selling the charms for charm bracelets when that product was available (it's since been discontinued). I have several bangle bracelets that I have listed now. I don't really do any marketing for my store so there aren't many sales for these products but it's a nice addition to add some variety.

The newer product ShineOn offers is the message card jewelry. You essentially just design a message card that is printed with each piece of jewelry, but the jewelry itself is the same bracelet, watch, etc as other ShineOn store owners. This is really just basic jewelry, but you differentiate yourself by creating a unique message card which will sell the product if you're running paid traffic to your store.

ShineOne's standard jewelry options have upsells including customization by the customer to either:

  1. Upload a photo to be printed on the jewelry, or
  2. Adding a special message or phrase to be engraved on the jewelry.

Some of the other products available on ShineOn that either include the message cards OR offer those custom options are:

  • Bangle Bracelets
  • Dog Tags
  • Necklaces
  • Watches

The products are decent quality, but it's the message behind the product that is really what you're selling. How many of the tchotchkes did your kids buy for you at the school's secret Santa that you still treasure today? My mother-in-law keeps the things our boys have given her right next to her fine china and expensive Hummel figurines. The sentimental value and meaning is more valuable to someone versus an expensive piece of jewelry.

Another bonus about ShineOn is that their team is responsive and open to feedback on new product ideas. They want you to succeed and are always offering training to help (the training is even inside your dashboard so it's easy to find and learn). You can also add product inserts and messages to your orders for a fee.

Create a free ShineOn account here.

Print on Demand Amazon Merch

I started creating designs on Amazon Merch back in 2018, I think. I'm currently sitting at Tier 2,000 with 201 active designs. Some of the products you can create on Amazon Merch are:

  • Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hoodies
  • PopSockets
  • Phone Cases
  • Tote Bags
  • Throw Pillows

Amazon is strict about copyright infringement so make sure you check the trademark database to see if a phrase or design you are creating is trademarked. Since Amazon uses AI to review accounts, you could lose your account without a warning if a word or phrase is used in the title or your description.

Amazon's review AI is on high alert now terminating accounts even when no violation have occurred. Be extra cautious before publishing a listing because the chances of you getting a human at Amazon to review your account and verify you didn't violate anything is slim to none.

The benefit to selling on Amazon Merch is that it's Amazon and they're the world's largest marketplace. The downside is you don't own the customer experience. If you get enough good sales on a merch item you can always consider having it made in bulk and sending the product in to sell on FBA too.


I used Teelaunch primarily for creating posters and outdoor mats. Their posters are high quality, and I've never had issues with print delays. They also have a production status timeframe inside the Shopify app so you can quickly learn about any delays that you will need to keep in mind for orders. You can also add product inserts to your Teelaunch orders for a fee.

Teelaunch has a great lineup of products, some are unique and only available through them, the product categories include:

  • Accessories: mylar balloons, apple watch band, wireless charging stands, etc.
  • Apparel: shirts, hoodies, tank tops for women, men and kids.
  • Drinkware: tumblers, mugs, water bottles.
  • Home Goods: blankets, mats, coasters, towels, yard signs, etc.
  • Jewelry: bracelets and necklaces.
  • Kitchenware: cutting boards, oven mitts, placeware.
  • Lifestyle: puzzles, card sets, backpacks, headphones, etc.
  • Office: custom greeting cards, journals, notebooks, etc.
  • Pets: mats, pillows, bandanas.
  • Wall Art: posters, framed canvas art, metal art, wall flags, printed art, etc.
  • Sports: custom-designed balls (think gifts for a coach) and golf towels.

The only frustration I have ever heard about Teelaunch is the timeframes not being transparent. Since they've added that status link in the app, I know they're trying to do better. But that doesn't mean a whole lot if you're integrating Amazon FBA and have major delays. Again, always give yourself longer lead times on Shopify and Amazon so you don't risk chargebacks and strikes on your account.

Add the Teelaunch App to your Shopify store for free.

Lulu Direct formerly Lulu Xpress

Some of the print on demand companies offer journals and notebooks, but none of them offer a way to print your own textbook or calendar like Lulu Direct does.

Lulu Direct is similar to Amazon KDP Print books: you upload a cover and your interior text files and can sell a published book. With Lulu Direct, you can sell these books directly on your Shopify store with their app AND not have to worry about Amazon terminating your KDP account for whatever their AI decides is a violation (which happened to me recently). Along with books, you can also create and sell:

  • Books
  • Calendars
  • Comic Book
  • Magazines

Lulu Direct offers over 3,000 book format options, binding types (including spiral-bound) and layouts. Since you're selling these on your Shopify store directly, you own the customer experience and can offer upsells in the cart during checkout and sell them other products down the road through your email and SMS marketing.

The downside to Lulu Direct is that their printing and shipping lead times is a lot longer than Amazon KDP. As long as you're transparent with your customers on the timeframe you should be fine.

Add the Lulu Direct app to your Shopify store for free.


Printful is another big name in the print on demand space. They have virtually anything you could want that the other POD companies may not offer. They offer over 300 products with printing locations in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and Brazil.

I haven't personally used Printful yet, but I have friends who have. When I setup my sports parent apparel site, the handful of PODs I started with had all the products that I wanted. However, I will definitely use them if there's a unique product I want and can't find in one of my other PODs. Since they offer a Shopify app to integrate with my store, it's an no brainer if I do end up needing another POD partner.

Printful does allow you to add your branding and message to the packing slips for your orders. It's one of those added touches that help to create the brand loyalty.

Create a free Printful account here.


Printify is another print on demand company that I haven't used yet. They offer over 800 products with 110 printing locations throughout the world. If you have customers in Europe and Asia, their products will be printed and shipped from a Printify location closer to them to ensure a quicker delivery.

Printify has some unique items like bento lunch boxes, custom pins, wallets and other random products that aren't on the other POD sites. Since they offer a Shopify app to integrate with my store, it's another one that I plan to use if there's a need for other items outside of my normal product catalog.

Printify is free to integrate with Shopify, but you can save 20% on the cost of your products if you upgrade to the Printify Premium option. Many of the print on demand companies offer this cost saving option. If you end up having a lot of volume, just run the numbers to determine if the upgraded membership is worthwhile to pay the monthly fee.

Create a free Printify account here.


Gelato has printing facilities in 32 countries for a more efficient delivery to the customer. They offer a free plan as well as upgraded plans for a monthly fee. Gelato offer several products as well that include:

  • Accessories: phone cases and tote bags.
  • Apparel: shirts, hoodies, tank tops for women, men and kids.
  • Drinkware: tumblers, mugs and water bottles.
  • Paper Products: photo books, calendars, postcards, greeting cards and stationery products.
  • Wall Art: posters.

The upgraded plan allows you to use their product mockup options with live models and various lifestyle backdrops. The product photography can be the hardest element to your print on demand store, especially, so the mockups can help a ton with that and may be worth the monthly fee.

You can also include customized packaging inserts and personalized labels as an added touch for branding. That option is included if you have a paid plan.

Create a free Gelato account here.


Spreadshop offers over 130 products that are similar to the other print on demand companies. They have print facilities in the US and Europe, so if you have a customer base in both countries then you can ship their products in a cost effective way. In addition to the organic apparel product options, Spreadshop also offers:

  • Accessories: phone cases, bags, reusable gift bags, stickers, magnets, etc.
  • Apparel: socks, shirts, hoodies, tank tops, joggers for women, men and kids.
  • Drinkware: tumblers, mugs, water bottles.
  • Home Goods: pillows.
  • Wall Art: posters.

There is a Shopify app and you can do all of your product creation right within the Shopify app which is always a plus to me. You also receive a bonus when you sell more than 50 items per month.

Create a free Spreadshop account here.


Gooten offers 150+ products similar to all the other print on demand companies. They have a production timetable on their website so you can see clearly how long the different products will take to print.

Gooten has a great lineup of products like the other PODs, the product categories include:

  • Accessories: phone cases, desk mats, mousepads, tote bags, clutch bags, fanny packs, etc.
  • Apparel: shirts, hoodies, tank tops for women, men and kids.
  • Drinkware: tumblers, mugs, frosted glasses, water bottles.
  • Home Goods: blankets, mats, coasters, towels, yard flags, scented candles, tea towels, tablecloths, etc.
  • Office: custom greeting cards, journals, notebooks, kiss cut stickers, magnetic notepads, etc.
  • Pets: beds, food bowls, bandanas, collars, leashes, etc.
  • Wall Art: posters, framed canvas art, metal prints, wall calendars, acrylic photo blocks, etc.

Add the Gooten app to your Shopify store for free.

How to Make Money with a Print on Demand Business

The barrier to entry is low with print on demand. Depending on how you are with technology, I would say the degree of difficulty is low because it requires a design and using various websites to upload the design. I would select one of the print on demand companies above and get started.

Before you list your print on demand products anywhere, make sure you:

  1. Download the design template for each product and each platform.
    The tumbler design template may be different for CustomCat versus Printify. Make sure you or your design team use the correct template and label them correctly in your drive so they're easy to find for each platform to make uploading efficient.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the print timeframes for each of the products.
    Some of the items may have a different timeframe required to print. If you're selling on a site like Amazon FBA where the shipping deadlines must be followed, ensure you give yourself some buffer in case a printed job needs remade. Continuous shipping delays can cause you to lose your FBA account.

For designing, you can make your designs using a program like Canva for free to start. I am an Apple software user so I use a program called Affinity Designer rather than using any of the Adobe programs. Most of my best sellers were made with Affinity before I hired my designer.

I've also used a site like Fiverr to hire a designer. Just make sure you receive the full rights to the design before you pay for the gig. If you are selling it commercially you don't want to run into any issues with the rights to the designs you paid the designer to create for you. This option isn't ideal when you begin to scale.

How to Create a Print on Demand Website

For Shopify, the process for me to set everything up was:

  1. Purchase a domain from a legit reseller like NameCheap or GoDaddy.
  2. Select the Basic Shopify plan to start.
  3. Connect your domain to your Shopify store.
  4. Add one or more of the Print on Demand company apps for Shopify below.
  5. Start adding your designs to products and create product listings on your Shopify store.
  6. You can integrate your Etsy account for listings, sales and fulfillment.
  7. You can integrate your Amazon FBA account for listings, sales and fulfillment.

Is Print On Demand Profitable?

Yes! The sky is the limit for how much money you can generate. If you have an item that ends up selling well, consider doing a bulk order through one of the print on demand companies or start sourcing it in China and yield higher profit margins.

I initially started my print on demand journey on Amazon Merch and still make passive income to this day. The income IS passive *now* for me. To get to this point, I did a TON of hands-on work creating the designs and identifying keywords to use in the Amazon Merch listings. After that was setup, I realized a lot of my shirts were sports parent focused, so I spent my time focusing on setting up Sideline Warrior.

Since setting up Sideline Warrior and streamlining processes so I can work on other things, I haven't worked on many new designs. I'm now getting back to focusing on Sideline Warrior (and my Amazon Merch account) to review and update all the listings. Some product vendors have changed so you'll need to create processes to keep those updated in a timely manner so you're not updating things when a sale happens. I have quite a few I need to update now and plan to look at some of the other vendors as I'm updating things.

Shopify Apps for Print on Demand

Another important feature for Shopify users are the apps offered by the different companies. I made a point to include companies in this list that also offer a Shopify app for integration. Many of them may also offer integration options for WooCommerce and BigCommerce, but I'm a Shopify expert so I prefer to stay on that platform especially for advertising purposes.

One final note, if you plan on listing your store's products on Amazon FBA or Etsy, you will also want to add the following sales channels so you can have seamless integration:

With these sales channels, you will receive the order details from Amazon or Etsy in your Shopify dashboard so you can fulfill the order with the print on demand company integration. Once the order is shipped, that tracking number will then be sent back to Amazon or Etsy to share with the customer on those platforms and also show the platforms that you're within the agreed upon shipping deadlines.


If you have any questions, just drop them in the comments below.

Create Custom Products for Your E-commerce Brand with these Print on Demand Companies

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