How to start a print on demand business in the uK

Are you looking to start a print on demand business in the UK? With the rise of e-commerce and online marketplaces, starting a print on demand business has become easier than ever before. In this guide, we will take you through step-by-step on how you can start your own print on demand business in the UK, with a focus on UK-based sellers.

Understanding the Print On Demand Model – How it works, its benefits and limitations

Print on demand is a business model where products are printed as per customer demand, rather than maintaining a stockpile of inventory. This approach is particularly advantageous for entrepreneurs who want to start an online business because it eliminates the need for expensive upfront costs and storage space.

Print on demand works in two ways: through print on demand sites or by selling on an ecommerce platform or marketplace.

Selling on a Print on Demand site involves the following:

  • Creating a design and uploading it to a platform such as Redbubble or Teemill.
  • Setting product, prices, and details such as tags and descriptions.
  • The design is published and customers can purchase the product through the platform.
  • The platform handles printing, returns and other associated tasks.

Selling through a marketplace or your own online store requires additional effort on your part, which includes the following:

  • Select a Print-On-Demand (POD) provider.
  • Create an online store or establish a shop on a marketplace.
  • Integrate your POD supplier with your store or marketplace.
  • Upload your design to the POD supplier’s platform.
  • Incorporate the design into the items you wish to sell.
  • Launch these products on your website or the marketplace you have chosen.
  • Enhance the product listing by adding more details and pictures.

Choosing the Right Platform

To start a print on demand business in the UK, you can either use a print on demand site or sell on an e-commerce platform or marketplace. There are three main options when it comes to POD and where to sell: use a POD website, such as TeeMill, Redbubble, Shirt, or Merch By Amazon, use an online marketplace like Etsy, eBay, etc., or create your own website/store using services like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce.

Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that suits your business model. Using a POD site is a low-risk investment, easy to set up, less costly, and requires no inventory management. However, it also has limited control over branding and marketing, low-profit margins, and limited customizability options.

On the other hand, selling on your own website/site gives you complete control over branding and marketing, the possibility of higher profit margins, and complete customizability options. However, it requires higher upfront costs, inventory management, and more complex setup and maintenance.

Finally, selling on an online marketplace has easy set-up, low overhead costs, and access to a large customer base, but comes with fees and commissions on sales, high competition, and limited control over design and branding.

Choosing the Right Supplier – Researching the market, comparing prices and delivery times

Once you have chosen your platform, you will need to find your print-on-demand products and choose your print provider. Gelato, AOP+, and Inkthreadable are some of the UK-based POD suppliers that have strong UK capabilities. It’s also important to find your niche and have tips for creating your designs.

Setting Up Your Business – Registering a business name, opening a bank account and applying for any relevant licences

The first step to setting up your business is to register a business name with Companies House. You will also need to open a bank account for your business and apply for any relevant licences, depending on the type of product you are selling. It’s important to be aware of any regulations that may apply in the UK, such as copyright or trademark laws.

Setting Up Your Store – Creating product listings, setting prices and connecting payment gateways

Once you have your business set up, it’s time to get your store ready for customers. This will involve creating product listings and setting prices for each item, as well as adding descriptions, images and videos to make them look attractive. If using your own website you will also need to connect a payment gateway so customers can purchase your items online.

Finding Your Audience – Creating an online presence, marketing your products and understanding customer behaviour

To reach potential customers, you will need to create an online presence through social media and search engine optimisation (SEO). Investing in marketing is essential for driving traffic and sales. You can also use analytics tools to better understand customer behaviour, such as which designs are most popular or where people are coming from when they find your store.

Managing Finances and Marketing – Tracking sales, creating promotional materials and staying up to date with trends

Finally, you need to manage your finances and marketing. This includes tracking sales data and creating promotional materials to attract new customers. It’s also important to stay up-to-date with trends in the POD industry by checking out webinars or attending trade shows. By adopting these strategies, you can ensure that your POD business is always staying competitive.

Growing Your Business – Developing relationships with suppliers, expanding your product range and building relationships with customers

Once you have established your POD business, it’s time to start growing it. This can be done through developing relationships with suppliers and expanding your product range, as well as building relationships with customers. You may also want to consider introducing new features or services, such as a loyalty program or offering free shipping for orders over a certain price.

So, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or new to the world of business, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to start selling POD products in the UK.


Starting a print on demand business in the UK can be both creatively and financially rewarding. Not only does it give you freedom to express your creativity through selling your designs, but also brings financial gains when your products do well in the market. It’s important to research thoroughly before you start and make sure you include aspects such as how to price your products, economical packaging, etc. Additionally, you should also look into partnerships with vendors that specialize in printing services – getting your product out to customers quickly is key for success. Overall, starting a print on demand business in the UK can be a great way for entrepreneurs to build their brand, find more customers and ultimately increase their revenue. If starting a POD business sounds like something worthwhile for you to start or expand upon with an idea of yours, then why not take that small step towards launching your dream? Let me know what ideas you have for starting a POD business – I would love to help!

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