Print on demand - How to sell merchandise with Sellfy

In this article:

How does it work?

How do I pay for the merch?

How do I make money?

Taxes, handling fees, and shipping costs

How do I order a sample of my design?

How to design merch products

Can my customers create their own design?

Can I limit the stock for merchandise?

What if I don't have a design for my merch?

Available merchandise and customization options

How to submit a licensing agreement

Can my customers return or exchange items?

What if the product arrives damaged?


How does it work?

Selling print-on-demand has never been easier!

You'll design your merch and sell it directly to your audience - from your Sellfy store, or from your own website. We'll handle the transaction process and shipping for you, with no initial costs for you. 

How is this possible? We only print and fulfill when you have an order. That means it's free for you to create as many designs as you wish, without paying the product cost. When your customers purchase from your store, their payment will cover the product cost of the item. You'll receive the full payment after they've purchased. Then Sellfy will issue a charge for the product cost and shipping, leaving you with your profit!

The process is so simple because you don't have to preorder, stock, or pay upfront for the merch you're selling. There are no upfront costs involved for you to design and offer merch. 

All you need to sell print-on-demand with Sellfy is an active Sellfy subscription to create your own Sellfy store or embed Sellfy on your existing website. 

How do I pay for the merch?

Note: Sellfy will only charge for cost, shipping, and taxes for the order after you've been paid by your customer.

Now that you know it's free to design and fill your store with merchandise, we can explain how Sellfy collects the cost of the item after an order is placed.

After your customer has placed an order and paid, we'll issue a charge to collect the fulfillment costs. The charge will be billed to the payment method that you've added to your Sellfy account under Billing. You can see any payments that you've made for merchandise fulfillment or update the payment method on file in this section, as well.

We may collect fulfillment costs for multiple PoD orders at once (bulk invoice) if they are placed within the same 2-hour window in your store.

We'll take only the taxes, shipping, and the base item cost. After that, you'll have your profit! To see how to set and control the profit margin, please read the next section.

How do I make money?

You can actually determine your own profit! 
How? Every product has its own cost, which you are able to see in the last step of the product creation process, in the Variants section below the  Price Settings. You'll set the final price of the item, adding your desired profit margin over the base cost.
Customers purchasing merch in your store will pay the product price with applicable tax and handling fees plus shipping at checkout. Sellfy then charges for fulfilling the order and you keep the difference as profit.  

Taxes, handling fees, and shipping costs

Taxes may be collected at two different points when selling Print-on-demand merchandise.

These may be collected when:

  1. Your customer purchases from your store
  2. Sellfy collects fulfillment costs from you (EU/UK VAT only)

Taxes paid by your customer can be enabled and set up in the Tax settings of your account. Read more about setting up taxes here. Once you've enabled and set up taxes, Sellfy will charge this amount to your customer at the time of purchase and it will be included with their payment to you.

If you are located in the EU or UK, we're required by law to collect VAT with your fulfillment cost. This tax is paid by you, on top of the total fulfillment cost from Sellfy. If you live in an area with high VAT taxes, you may want to consider increasing the profit margins on your products to account for this. If you have a registered VAT number for your business, then you may add this to your Billing info and VAT will no longer be collected with each invoice.

Shipping is calculated at the time of checkout for each customer, based on their location. The customer pays for the shipping when they make a purchase, and Sellfy will issue a charge to collect that from you after the customer has paid it to you. To see more details about shipping costs and delivery, read here.

Handling fees are added at checkout for select items. These fees cover costs related to processing and printing.

How do I order a sample of my design?

Note: To purchase an item through the sample order form, you'll need to save payment info in Billing.

To order your newly designed merchandise products, you'll purchase items through the sample order form provided in each product's settings. Select a product that you've created and select the sample order option shown on the right.

If you want to order multiple sample items, we recommend ordering through your storefront (just as your customer would) to avoid additional shipping costs. Keep in mind that to place an order through your store, you'll need a paid subscription.

It's not yet possible to order samples in bulk. If you'd like to order numerous samples at a time then we'd recommend making an order through your storefront, just a customer would!

How to design merch products

For high-quality merchandise results, we recommend following these guidelines.

To design your custom-made merch, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Products > Add new
  2. Choose a product category
  3. Choose a product type
  4. Customize your product
  5. Click Save

Can I limit the stock for merchandise products?

Yes! It's possible to customize the stock for merchandise products in your store. This can be a great option when you're offering a limited edition or running a promotion for any particular product.

To limit the stock available for any of your custom-merch products, you'll follow these steps:

  1. Go to Print-on-demand
  2. Select the product from your list > scroll to the Variant section
  3. Select the edit option > turn the toggle next to 'Unlimited'
  4. Enter the number of Stock > Save.

What if I don't have a design for my merch?

Sellfy offers a design service that you can use to create your very own customized ideas! This service isn't included with a subscription, it is an additional and separate cost. But, you'll have a professional team to help you achieve the design you want!

Go here to get started!

Even if you don't have an idea or concept, we're here to help. We've seen hundreds of successful merch launches, and we can help you make yours a success, too. We can offer guidance, ideas, and suggestions based on your brand and audience. This service includes concept development, choosing the right product type, defining the design direction, etc.

Available merchandise and customization options

We offer a wide selection of hats, clothing, bags, mugs, stickers, posters, canvas, phone cases, and more!

To see more details about our available merchandise like sizes, colors, and costs, you can go here in your Sellfy account.

If you're not signed up for Sellfy yet, then you can see the full line here.

Questions on what customizable content is allowed? You can read our product guidelines.

Can my customers create their own design?

Unfortunately, no. Sellfy's Print-on-demand merchandise feature is designed for sellers to offer pre-designed custom merchandise to their audience. All Print-on-demand designs are created by the seller and it's not possible for customers to submit their own design for products.

Most of the products currently offered with our in-built PoD feature include different color variations and sizes and can be found in our Product catalog.

How to submit a licensing agreement

Important! Sellfy requires a digitally or electronically signed permission or licensing agreement if you are selling POD merchandise using a trademark design. 

If you are using trademark designs with your Print-on-demand garments, you'll need to obtain a license from the copyright owner to sell the products through Sellfy.

You can submit a licensing agreement in the form of a PDF file with electronic signatures to [email protected]. When submitting a digital licensing agreement, make sure to include the following details in your email:

  • the title of the POD product that uses the trademark design
  • the link to the product page

Can my customers return or exchange items?

Important! Customers are not able to return or exchange any items. Each product is custom printed at the time of their order. We recommend including this information, or a disclaimer in your product description, storefront, or website.

Unfortunately, it's not possible for your customers to exchange or return their custom-ordered merchandise.

For this reason, when you are selling print-on-demand products with Sellfy, we highly recommend that you provide information or a disclaimer for your customers stating that items can not be returned or exchanged. You can place this info in your product description, on your store pages, and/or on the terms and conditions page. Each item is printed and custom-made at the time of their order.

If an item cannot be delivered or is rejected by the customer, it will come back to our production facility. All items that are returned to the facility will be donated to charity.

You may choose to offer a customer a refund. However, you are still responsible for the fulfillment cost to Sellfy. Even if you issue a refund, the original fulfillment cost of the merchandise that was paid to Sellfy will not be affected.

What if the product arrives damaged?

Important! Issues with a damaged or poor-quality item must be reported no later than 30 days after the customer receives their order. We won't be able to replace or refund items for problem reports submitted after 30 days of delivery.

If any print-on-demand merchandise arrives damaged or has a serious quality issue, we can help.

You can contact us by going to your Orders > choose the order > Report a problem, or you can email us via [email protected] with both:

  • The order ID number and/or your customer's name and email address
  • An image of the damaged or poor quality item

We'd be happy to issue a refund or replace the product at no cost to you or your customer.

If a refund is chosen, this will include two steps:

  1. Sellfy will refund the amount collected for the order cost to you
  2. You will use either Stripe or PayPal to issue a refund to your customer

Unfortunately, it's not technically possible for us to directly refund your customer. But, it's easy for you to do this through the payment processor.

  • If your customer purchased a product using a credit or debit card, here's how you can issue a refund via Stripe.
  • If a product was purchased via PayPal, here you can find detailed instructions on how to refund payment inside your PayPal account.


Q: Do I need a Sellfy account to sell merchandise?

A: Yes! You'll want to start a subscription on Sellfy in order to sell merchandise. You can sell directly from your own website if you already have a website or build a Sellfy store to sell from.

Q: What is the quality of the products? / What technology is used to print on t-shirts and other clothing items?

A: The technology is called Direct to Garment (DTG) method of printing. This method provides the ability to create photo-quality prints and the number of colors used doesn't affect pricing.

The inks used in the printing are water-based and they are CPSIA compliant, which means they are safe to print on youth/children’s clothing and reduce environmental waste.

For the best high-quality results, please use these guidelines

Q: Do I need to manage my own inventory?
A: No! You don't have to manage or hold an inventory. We'll supply the products. 
Q: What taxes are charged for POD products?
A: Additional costs like taxes and handling fees will be added to the order and paid for by your customer. Read more here.

Q: How are payments processed?

A: Payments are processed through PayPal and Stripe (in your Sellfy store or on your website through the Sellfy checkout if you've embedded Sellfy), and sent directly to your account. Sellfy then collects the fulfillment costs from your account via your preferred payment method that you have added in the Billing section. Sellfy currently charges for orders every 6 hours to submit them for fulfillment.

Q: How do I get paid?

A: You get paid for your orders right away via PayPal/Stripe. Sellfy collects fulfillment costs for the items sold afterward in your account. You'll have access to the invoice in your Sellfy account > Billing.

Q: Can I customize the color for clothing items?

A: Yes, you can choose from up to 45 colors for your merch. The number of colors to choose from depends on the product.

Q: Why does my product show as unavailable?

A: When a product shows as 'Currently unavailable' in your store, it means that this product is temporarily out of stock with our supplier. We'll automatically update the product availability as well as quantity, colors, etc. as we get them back into stock.

Q: What if the order is lost in the mail?
A: All claims for packages lost in the mail must be submitted no later than 4 weeks after the estimated delivery date.

Q: What happens if my customer wants to return the item?

A: There is a no-return policy in place for all print-on-demand products. Read more here

Q: What are the recommendations for print files?
A: We recommend .PNG file format with a minimum of 150 DPI. But, for the best results, please use a .PNG file with 300 DPI resolution. DPI stands for the "dots per inch", which can also be calculated on your digital photos by checking the PPI or "pixels per inch".
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