Create and Sell Custom Products Online - An Ultimate Guide

Create and Sell Custom Products Online - An Ultimate Guide

how to create and sell custom products online

If you are looking for a straightforward process you to create and sell custom products online, let’s walk through this article. From picking a profitable niche to designing, selling, and delivering orders, it wraps everything you need. Ready to unleash your creativity, monetize your passion, and embark on an exciting entrepreneurial journey? Dive into this article with Teeinblue Product Personalizer now!

Create and Sell Custom Products Online 101

This section provides you with ever-green steps to build a solid base. Get started with finding a profitable niche, a business model, and a place to set up your online store.

Pick a Profitable Niche

It is much easier to meet customers’ needs and preferences with a niche. Choosing typical products enables you to focus your resources on a small specific market, increasing your chances of success.

Finding a profitable niche to sell personalized products is not too difficult as you think. You can identify your perfect market segment by analyzing the market and researching trending products.

Remember to avoid targeting a general market and instead narrow your focus to a specific segment. For instance, if you're promoting t-shirts, consider niches like all-over prints or designs related to a particular theme or interest.

choose a niche to create and sell custom products online

A market forecast for personalized products (Technavio)

Here are the best-selling custom niches for you:

  • Custom clothing: t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and sportswear.
  • Custom accessories: phone case, canvas bags, shoes, socks, etc.
  • Personalized home and living: wall art, coffee mugs, tumblers, pillows, etc.
  • Personalized jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, beads, rings, earrings, etc.

💡 You may concern: Look for More Top Niches to Sell Customized Products Online

Decide the Type of Your Online Business Model

Deciding on the type of online business model means determining how you'll create designs, produce, and deliver orders. In the world of selling custom products, print-on-demand is the most popular model. Despite lower profit margins, limited control over shipping, and dependence on POD services, it is the best choice as its

  • Quick product creation: You can turn your designs into sellable products within minutes, allowing you to bring new customized products to market swiftly.
  • Shipping and fulfillment services: The POD supplier handles production and shipping, saving time and effort, focusing your effort on customer service, and growing your business.
  • Low investment and lower risk: Since you don't need to hold inventory upfront, the barrier to entry is low. You can easily test different products and add or remove items without financial risks.

To start selling personalized print-on-demand products, connect your online store with a POD provider such as Printful, Printify, Gelato, Gooten, etc. They offer a wide range of customizable products to add to your online store. Once a customer purchases a product, they will take care of printing and shipping, leaving you time to provide excellent designs.

how to start selling personalized items
Print-on-demand working flow

Select a Platform to Create an Online Store

Having your own online store with a separate domain seems better than relying solely on marketplace platforms like RedBubble, Zazzle, Etsy, eBay, or Amazon. As the experience of most merchants, building a branded storefront on an open-source e-Commerce platform can enhance the shopping experience, the visual aesthetics of your store, and how customers interact with your brand.

When it comes to choosing the platform for an online store selling customized products, Shopify stands out as a top-rated option. It seamlessly integrates with top print-on-demand services, allowing you to manage your products, orders, and fulfillment in one place.

💡 You may concern: 4 Quick Steps to Create Customizable Products in Shopify

How to Create Designs for Custom Products?

A design (artwork) is to print on your products. Here are the best practices to create captivating and personalized artwork if you design yourself. Check it out!

Get Ideas and Make Draft

Investing effort into generating ideas and making drafts ensures your custom products are visually appealing and meet the needs and desires of your customers. There are many different sources of inspiration to explore:

  • Pinterest, Facebook pages, relevant subreddits, and online communities where your potential customers hang out can help to look for content, messaging, or styles.
  • Behance or 99designs provides access to a pool of skilled designers who can bring your ideas to life. Discussing with them is an excellent way to have creative ideas and engaging drafts.

Tips: Social media platforms are great to test your ideas and draft. Post your design concepts or share your rough design ideas on Facebook or relevant groups for constructive criticism.

how to design your custom products online
Think out of the box to get impressive ideas

Gather Graphic Resources

To kickstart your design process for custom products, you can leverage a range of online resources. One option is to explore royalty-free graphic resources such as Vexels, Shutterstock, Flaticon, Freepik, and Creative Market. They offer a wide variety of clipart, vector graphics, icons, pre-designed artwork, and high-quality photos for customization.

In addition, an online design tool such as Canva also provides a wealth of templates. So you can easily modify it to yours. Or you can purchase creations of designers and artists on Behance, Dribble, or their online studio.

Note: It is encouraged to avoid infringing on others' work and maintain originality. After downloading all graphic elements, remember to organize these resources in specific folders for quick access.

Design Artwork

There are many steps to designing artwork for your customized print-on-demand products. Here are some rules to help you get started quickly:

  • Prepare design files: Ensure that the files are suitable for printing. Specify that the design is for printing and save it at a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). The image's dimensions should match the specific product's printing area.
  • File formats and transparency: Most often, the files you upload will be in PNG or PSD. Use a transparent background or a solid one flexibly following your intention.
  • Design practice: Consider the overall visual appearance and ensure the design complements the brand identity and the product's color and style.
create a design for personalized products to sell online

An example of artwork for custom products

Canva provides a dedicated section for print-on-demand design with numerous customizable templates. If you are comfortable working with design programs, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are powerful options for creating multi-dimensional illustrations, logos, or typography.

💡 You may concern: The Ultimate Guide to Designing Artwork and Starting a Customized Print-on-demand Business

Add Personalization Options

Adding multiple personalization options to artwork allows customers to personalize their designs. Integrating online product design software into your online store will provide you with powerful features, such as

  • Design tools: upload images, manage layers, add many templates for an artwork, edit fonts, etc.
  • Personalization options: images, clipart, text, street maps, star maps, date picker, etc.
  • Advance setup: conditional logic, image background remover, etc.
  • Multiple display options: thumbnail, radio button, drop-down menu, text field, etc.

If you are looking for an all-in-one online product customization software full of the above features, consider using Teeinblue Product Personalizer. The app specializes in print-on-demand personalization and integrates well with all Shopify stores. Moreover, it also supports you in fulfilling orders, making selling custom products never easier.

add personalization options to print on demand products

A customizable product created by Teeinblue for POD

Let’s check out the process to start selling before obtaining ways to reduce 50% effort with this app!

How to Sell Custom Products Online in 5 Steps

You’ve created engaging artwork; now, let’s discover the essential steps to start selling custom products. Here you are!

Set Up an Online Store

Regardless of where you launch your custom-product store, you need to

  • Sign up for the platform
  • Choose a pricing plan
  • Customize your online store
  • Connect with a POD company offering products of your niche.

For Shopify, you can easily create an account with an email address, password, and a unique store name. Then, pick a Shopify pricing plan and pay only 1 $/month for the first three months. Next, select a theme that aligns with your brand and customize the layout, colors, fonts, and more.

To connect with a POD service, you have to create an account on its website first. Then, go to Shopify App Store, find its app, and click “Add app.” Most Shopify POD apps won’t charge you until they successfully fulfill your first order.

Prepare Mockup Images

Without mockup images, showcasing how your custom products look before printing is impossible. Some POD companies offer a mockup gallery for each product. If they don’t or you want to design more engaging images, prepare them yourself!

how to sell custom products online

An example of a canvas mockup

You can use mockup generators like PlaceIt, Smartmockups, Mediamodifier, etc. Keep in mind some criteria to create excellent work!

  • High resolution: Ensure sharpness and clarity with a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
  • Realistic representation: Accurately showcase colors, textures, and proportions.
  • Multiple angles and perspectives: Provide various views to showcase all sides and details of the product.
  • Various product variations: Display mockups for different colors, sizes, and styles.
  • Consistent branding: Maintain cohesive visuals with consistent colors, fonts, and design elements.
  • Clean and clutter-free: Eliminate distractions to keep the focus on the custom product.
  • Contextual usage: Showcase mockups in relevant settings or on models to provide context.
  • Easy to understand: Use clear layouts that convey critical details at a glance.

Overlay Artwork on the Product Mockup

This step is to visualize how a final product will look when printed. Here's a step-by-step practice:

  • Use a product personalization designer or a POD app to overlay the artwork onto the product mockup.
  • Adjust and position the artwork to achieve the most realistic look.
  • Ensure the colors of the artwork align with your desired outcome.
  • Review and preview the final product design.

Now, it’s time to save or export the design file in the required format for printing or publishing it to your chosen platform.

Generate First Orders

To effectively generate your first orders, it's crucial to implement a strategic marketing approach.

  • Utilize the great power of social media platforms,
  • Execute focused advertising campaigns to target your desired audience,
  • Engage in partnerships with influential individuals or renowned brands,
  • Enhance your website to achieve optimal conversion rates,
  • Attract customers with enticing promotional offers.

Don't forget to tap into your existing network, utilize email marketing tactics, and engage with relevant communities or forums to create buzz and drive initial sales. With a well-rounded marketing strategy, you'll pave the way for successful customer acquisition and growth.

sell personalized products online
Launch marketing activities to convert more orders

Submit Orders to Fulfill

This step is finalizing and sending customer orders to the designated fulfillment center for processing and shipment. To quickly submit orders for fulfillment, follow these steps:

  • Prepare the order details: Ensure you have accurate information, including a design file, product variants, quantities, and customer shipping addresses.
  • Access your order management system: Use an e-commerce platform or your POD’s software to track inventory, generate packing slips, and send orders.
  • Update order status: Once the orders are ready for fulfillment, it is better to keep track of their status for timely issue resolution.

How to Sell Custom Products With Teeinblue Product Personalizer?

Using Teeinblue Product Personalizer helps you reduce 50% effort when retailing custom products. All you need to do is:

  • Create a Shopify store and select a theme to sell custom products.
  • Install this product customizer app from Shopify App Store.
  • Add all product information manually or automatically, including name, variants, mockup, SKU, etc.
  • Design your artwork and add multiple product personalization options without using external apps.
  • Overlay artwork on one or many products and publish them on Shopify.
  • Get the order details with product information, a design file, customization details, and fulfillment data from the app.
  • Submit orders to fulfill from the app in a few clicks via API or export and then send them to your POD suppliers.
  • Track order status for orders sent via API quickly in the app.

Check out this video to discover how it is helpful to create and sell custom products online! 

Note: Teeinblue POD personalization app is now only available on Shopify.

For the key to triumph, remember to leverage design resources and offer excellent design to satisfy target customers. With dedication, creativity, and a customer-centric approach, you can successfully create and sell custom products online. Do you need more insights, from setting up your online store to generating orders and managing fulfillment? Join the POD personalization world at Teeinblue Global Community now!


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