INTRODUCTION TO FINDING PRINT ON DEMAND PRODUCTS
This post will show you a list of sites and tools you can use to find Print on Demand products that are already selling (or at least have a lot of customer interest). There is an eBook that goes into more detail with links and screen shots for each of the tools listed here. Click here to download the eBook: Finding Existing Print on Demand Products With Social Proof That They Sell.
In earlier eBooks and Blog Posts I discussed the importance of Mindset (link to blog post) when you are starting (or upgrading) your own Print on Demand Business. There are several aspects to this mindset.
- You must REALLY believe that you will succeed. This isn’t just “motivation.” There is substantial proof that what you believe with strong emotions really does influence what happens. This proof is coming to us from the scientific world (Quantum Field) .the spiritual world (The Law Of Attraction), and the psychological world (activating your sub-conscious super Google).
- You must decide that you are in this business for the long haul and accept that there will be ups and downs.
- You must learn your audience. This is why picking a niche is important. You can’t understand everyone, but you can gain an understanding of dog people or people who want to find true love or nurses, etc.
- Finally, and this is the hardest of all for many of us, you must learn to stop believing: “What I like will sell” Until we are very experienced, our judgement of what people will actually buy is wrong most of the time.
This eBook looks at a number of ways to can replace “What I Think Will Sell” with products that have social proof that they will sell. You use the customer’s opinion of what to sell instead of your own opinion.
Methods of Searching for Print on Demand Products that will Sell
I’ve said in other places that it really helps your Print on Demand business, if you start by establishing a niche. (Here is a link to my eBook on 25 Ways to Find and Validate a Niche that is right for you.)
Once you have established a niche, the next question is “What should I sell?”
WHAT SHOULD I SELL?
Do NOT just use ideas that you “think” will sell.
BIGGEST MISTAKE MOST PRINT ON DEMAND BEGINNERS MAKE.
BETTER PLAN – The better plan is to find a quote or design that has social proof that it is either already selling or at least that lots of people are interested in it.
- Find a product that is selling OR
- Validate your idea by finding Social Proof for it
- Create your own version of the winner and market that!
YOU MUST RESEARCH FOR PROVEN PRODUCT IDEAS
FIND SOCIAL PROOF FOR A DESIGN. CREATE YOUR OWN VERSION AND THEN MARKET YOUR PRODUCT.
REMEMBER: DO NOT DUPLICATE/PLAGIARIZE!
DUPLICATING SOMEONE ELSE’S PRODUCT IS JUST WRONG!
MAKE YOUR OWN (BETTER) VERSION
I will note that neither of these are my products.
Before We Start Researching Print on Demand Products
Before we get too deep into searching for product ideas, I am going to make one suggestion. Focus most of your energy on evergreen products. You are going to be in this for the long haul. Designs that are very specific to a current disaster or news item, MIGHT sell well for a few weeks, but then they are usually dead. Take that energy and focus on something that will sell year after year and month after month. Here is one example for tending toward evergreen. While you can say “Happy Valentine’s Day Wife”, you can usually get almost the same impact with “I Love You Dear”. The second one will sell for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries AND Valentine’s Day. The first design will only sell during the run-up to Valentine’s Day.
Where do I find Print on Demand Products that are selling?
First, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The experienced people selling Print on Demand products hide their top sellers from you. They don’t want people plagiarizing their designs and there are lots of unscrupulous people who do exactly that. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find ideas and products that are selling well, they just won’t be the very top sellers.
There are two approaches that we usually use to find a product that will sell.
- Selling Sites – Some sites will show you their top sellers. These sites are almost always what I call SELLING SITES. Sites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy make their money by showing customers products that the customers want to buy. Selling Sites WANT to show you their top sellers. These sites are gold, You find a category or niche and see what is selling. You do not have to focus on a particular quote or phrase.
- CUSTOMER INTEREST Sites – These are sites where you can Explore an idea. There are lots of other sites where you have an idea (a seed phrase) and you want to know if people are are talking about that phrase. For example “Love My Mom” is a phrase that comes up at Mother’s Day and Christmas. People do talk about images, memes and quotes that have this phrase and you can search for that phrase on sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Google Images. You can also search for this phrase on selling sites (like Amazon and Etsy) and see what kind of products are showing up. It is often a good idea to find an idea on site that show us CUSTOMER INTEREST and validate it on some SELLING SITES.
SELLING SITES – THE FIRST STEP
Here you will want a category that closely matches your niche. You can browse through everything a Selling Site is selling, but it takes a looonnnngggg time. You really need to narrow your search down. Here we are not trying for a particular phrase like “I am Daddy’s Little Girl”. We are looking for a more generic phrase like “Father Daughter”
THE FIRST STEP – FIND A SEED PHRASE.
Most of the sites I am going to show you require you to start with a search term. This is sometimes called a SEED. You start with the seed phrase that you think people may be searching for and look at the results. Depending upon what you find, you may get in inspiration for another seed or you may just have to some up with a different idea yourself. Some seeds are general (e.g. Girts for Mother) and some are more specific (e.g. Boxer Dog). You start with your seed and evaluate the results you find. For example, to evaluate results on Amazon, a rule of thumb is that you can look at the number of reviews and guesstimate that the item has probably sold at least 10 times are many units. If the top few items that shows up with your seed have 5 or 10 reviews, you probably want to move on. There are products and there are sales, but the number do NOT warrant the time and effort to create a design, turn the design into a product and then pay to advertise the product. When you see 500 reviews or 1,000 reviews, you can feel much more comfortable that people are interested in the product.
How do you find a seed. Here you CAN use a phrase that interest you.
- Shirts you see people wearing
- A phrase that interests you
- A Google search for “quotes about xxxx” where xxxx is your niche.
- A Google search for xxxx where xxxx is your niche, then choose to look at images.
- Search phrases that seem likely given the time of year During Quarter 4 and Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day people are searching for a gift and so there are a lot of phrases like “Best gift for mom” or “Funny mug for Women” are easy to recognize and research.
The bottom line is you must offer what people already want. You are not going to succeed by showing them something new that nobody has ever thought of.
Let me show you one example of a bad idea for a Print on Demand Product.
This is for a person who really believes in peace and doesn’t’ believe in Astrology. Regardless of how much I might like it, there is no market. No-one is searching for this and very few will resonate to the point that they say “I’ve gotta have that” as soon as they see it. Trying to search for “Infinite Peace” or “Astrology sign that isn’t astrology” will give you zero results.
Two Types of Social Proof Sites for Print on Demand Products.
I’m going to break this down into the two sections mentioned earlier:
- SELLERS SITES
- CUSTOMER INTEREST Sites
TOP SELLERS SITES– Here are some sources that show you products that are selling. Products that your can use an inspiration to create your own Print on Demand Products.
When you think “selling sites” think of this phrase: “The person has their credit card in their teeth, their eyes are glazed and they typing on the computer thinking “Buy, Buy, Buy”. People rarely log onto Amazon, eBay or Etsy unless they want to BUY something.
WHAT THE CONSUMER LOOKS LIKE- People are searching for something to buy (think search terms and keyword phrases) and we are looking at the keyword/search terms that they are using to find something they already want!
- Amazon.com– SELLER SITE – There are numbers that tell you how a product ranks inside a category and tools that estimate sale.
Amazon is one source that shows you TOP SELLERS in certain categories and has a robust keyword search function that lets you drill down to specific sayings or designs.
- BEST SELLER they show products with the best sellers first. This is one of the exceptions to my little secret mentioned above.
- CUSTOMER INTEREST – Amazon DOES show you the top sellers for specific keywords.
- com is a sites that shows an estimate of the number of searches for keywords and what it determines are similar keywords. Searches are an indicate of CUSTOMER INTEREST.
- Unicorn Smasher – You can even buy tools that will show you the top sellers in specific categories. I’m only going to show one of those tools here. Unicorn Smasher is a free tool that estimates item sales. (SELLER SITE INFORMATION.)
- ETSY.com – SELLER SITE and CUSTOMER INTEREST
- There is a site called CraftCount.com that will show you the top selling items on Etsy (SELLER SITE INFORMATION).
The advanced version of SortingSocial.com will also show you top “favorited” items on Etsy (CUSTOMER INTEREST INFORMATION.
- eBay.com – SELLER SITE – although there isn’t a direct “how many sales” number available on individual items.
Here are four tools that will help you find Print on Demand products that are selling or that people are watching in eBay.
3.1 – WatchCount.com – number of people watching bids
3.2 – HotItemFinder.com –
3.3 – TeraPeak.com
3.4 – eBay’s Seller Hub (Beta)
- Gearbubble.com -SELLER SITE (with the very top selling items hidden)
Navigate to the site, do not log in. The CATEGORIES menu show some of the top sellers. This is one of the sites where the really hot items are hidden from us.
- Teespring.com – SELLER SITE (with the very top selling items hidden)
Navigate to the site, do not log in. Click on the APPAREL menu option and look at sub-categories that match your niche. This is another site where the really hot items are hidden from us.
- Hallmark.com – we don’t get social proof here, but their cards are vetted by professionals who have developed an eye for what sells. Since about half of the greeting card rack space in 11,000 Walmarts is made up of Hallmark cards, you can bet that they fill that space with items that sell.
- Wanelo.com – (Want Need Love) – SELLER SITE.
This is a selling site that has been around since 2012. It has over 300,000 stores and 20 million products so there is a good chance that there is something in your niche. You won’t see sales, but it is a good source for ideas and the SortingSocial tool can show you items sorted by the number of “saves”.
- Google.com Shopping – SELLER SITE –
Google for: best sellers on Google Shopping and make sure the SHOPPING tab is clicked. You can add keywords.
- Aliexpress.com – SELLER SIT E – (Wholesaler, but retailers sell their items “as is.”
This site is the source for many sellers. Since they show you the number of sales that they have made, you can browse the site looking for items that are selling well and that you can use to create your own POD version.
CUSTOMER INTEREST SITES – Here are some sources that show you products that people are liking, sharing or commenting on
When you think about these sites, people are not in a buying frenzy. They are looking for things that interest them or things their friends are talking about or doing something other than buying. You can use the things they focus on a lot to develop ideas for Print on Demand products that they will resonate with. Often times the more that people show an interest in a phrase, a quote, an image or a topic, the more likely they are to be interested in buying something related to that topic. Note that this isn’t always true. There are plenty of things that people LOVE to talk about (like, comment on, share, repin, etc.), but have no interest in wearing or having on a coffee mug.
- Pinterest.com – CUSTOMER INTEREST SITE
We can’t see sales or interest cournts directly on Pinterest, but using a tool called SortingSocial.com we can see potential customer interest. . We can see quotes and products that thousands of people have shared with their own followers.
- Google.com – Images. – CUSTOMER INTEREST SITE
We can’t really see how many times products have sold when we look at Google Images. We CAN find ideas and then use the other tools to look further.
- Facebook.com – Search posts. – CUSTOMER INTEREST SITE
This is another source where we can’t really see how many times products have sold, but we CAN find ideas and then use the other tools to look further.
- Google Keyword Planner – CUSTOMER INTEREST SITE
This is a widely known and used tool for looking at what phrases are being searched for.
- Google Trends – CUSTOMER INTEREST SITE
The Google Trends system shows you hot topics right now. Some of these may become evergreen and some are flash in the pan topics. If you want to jump on hot topics early, this is a good site to use.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, there is an eBook that goes into more detail about finding Print on Demand Products with links and screen shots for each of the tools listed here. Click here to download the eBook: Finding Existing Print on Demand Products With Social Proof That They Sell.
Until next time, Have a Great Day! Oh Hale Yes!