How Profitable Is Print-on-Demand?

(With Math)

Print-on-demand is a pretty cool way to make some money, but you might be wondering just how profitable it can be. Well, I'm here to break it down for you in a way that everyone can understand. We'll talk about profit margins, costs, scaling your business, and increasing your prices, all the things you need to know to understand how profitable print-on-demand can be. So, let's get started, shall we?

How Profitable Is Print-on-Demand? (With Math)

Profit margin

The first thing you need to know is that the profit margin on print-on-demand products can vary. It depends on the product, the design, and the print-on-demand company you're using. But let's say you're selling a t-shirt for $20, and the print-on-demand company charges you $10 to make and ship the shirt. That means you're making a profit of $10 per shirt sold. Not bad, right?

The profit margin is the difference between the price of the product and the cost of goods sold. It's the money you make after all expenses. In this example, the profit margin is 50%, which is pretty good but can vary.

It's important to note that the profit margin differs from the profit. Profit is the total amount of money you make after deducting all expenses.

Cost of goods sold

However, you also have to consider the cost of goods sold (COGS). This includes things like the cost of the product, the cost of shipping, and the cost of any additional materials you may need. So, let's say you're using Printful, and they charge you $10 to make the shirt. But you also have to pay $2 (or more) for the for shipping. That means your COGS is $12, and your profit is $8.

It's essential to track and monitor your COGS, so you know how much money you're spending to make each product. This way, you can make sure you're still making a profit and adjust your prices accordingly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some print-on-demand companies charge different prices for different products and different quantities. So, it's essential to shop around and compare prices to get the best deal.

Scaling your business

The key to making print-on-demand profitable is scaling your business. The more products you sell, the more money you'll make. Let's say you sell 100 shirts in a month, and each shirt has a profit of $8. That means you've made a total profit of $800. Not too shabby, right?

Scaling up your business is crucial because it allows you to spread out the costs of goods sold over a more significant number of products. This means that each product becomes cheaper to make, and your profit margin increases.

You can scale up by increasing your product line, marketing, or by finding new customers. It's essential to keep testing and experimenting to find what works best for you.

Increasing your prices

Another way to increase your profit is by increasing your prices. Of course, you don't want to overprice your products. Otherwise, you'll lose customers. But if you're consistently selling out of your products, then it might be time to raise your prices.

Let's say you're currently selling your t-shirts for $20, and your profit is $8 per shirt. But, if you raise your prices to $25, your profit jumps to $13 per shirt. If you're still selling 100 shirts a month, your total profit would be $1,300 instead of $800.

It's essential to test different price points to see what works best for your customers. You can also use price anchoring, which is when you offer different options at different prices. This allows you to increase your prices without losing customers.


In conclusion, print-on-demand can be a profitable business, but it takes some work. By understanding profit margins and COGS, scaling your business, and increasing your prices, you'll be able to maximize your profits and make your lemonade stand the best one on the block. These terms I use, such as "COGS," and so on, it is just a language, and don't let that discourage you. This is really simple math. You can figure that out even just in your head.

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