The Basics

All about the basics of Print-on-Demand

Print-on-Demand (POD) is like a personalized, on-the-spot printing service. Instead of making a bunch of things in advance, they're created one at a time as people order them. It's like a customized production process—no excess stuff lying around, less waste, and you can get unique, made-just-for-you items. It's a way for creators to offer their products without having to store a ton of inventory in advance.

Simple! You sell. We print and ship to your customers on your behalf.

  1. Choose a niche and products.
  2. Research and select a Print-on-Demand platform.
  3. Create an account and upload your designs.
  4. Set up an online store on your chosen selling platform (Etsy or Shopify for example).
  5. Define prices, considering production costs and profit margins.
  6. Market your products using social media and other channels.
  7. Handle customer service efficiently.
  8. Monitor performance and adjust strategies as needed.
  9. Scale your business by expanding products or marketing efforts.

Remember that success in Print-on-Demand often involves a combination of quality products, effective marketing, and excellent customer service. Stay responsive to customer feedback and market trends to continuously improve your offerings. MOST importantly, ensure that you work with a printing partner that shares your philosophy when it comes to quality and customer service.

At Backstory Prints, we cater to both individuals and businesses. Whether you want to sell products as a business or create custom items for your own use, print-on-demand is a viable option for either.

Starting a Print-on-Demand business is like opening a shop where you don't need to buy a bunch of stuff upfront. You might spend a bit on design tools, a website and URL (if using something like Shopify) and toss in a little for marketing. It's a low-cost way to turn your ideas into real things without emptying your wallet. Big BONUS - using Backstory Prints is completely free!

Absolutely! In fact - it is required to use your own designs. We do not print designs that infringe on Intellectual Property Rights. Using your own designs is one of the main attractions of Print-on-Demand (POD) services. Whether you're an artist, graphic designer, or just a creative individual, Backstory Prints allows you to upload your unique designs onto various products such as t-shirts.

By using your own designs, you can create a unique brand and offer personalized or niche products to your audience. It's a fantastic way for artists and creators to turn their creativity into a business without the hassle of managing inventory or production.

Yes! You need to ensure that your designs don't infringe on copyrights or trademarks. It's essential to create original content or use designs for which you have the necessary rights.

There are several free tools that you can use to create designs for Print-on-Demand. Here are some popular ones:

Canva: Canva is a user-friendly design platform that offers a wide range of templates for various print and online products. It's easy to use and doesn't require advanced design skills.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program): GIMP is a powerful open-source raster graphics editor. It has features similar to Adobe Photoshop and is suitable for more advanced design work.

Inkscape: Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor. It's excellent for creating scalable vector designs, which is crucial for high-quality prints.

Pixlr: Pixlr is an online photo editing tool with a user-friendly interface. It provides a range of features for editing and creating images.

Vectr: Vectr is a free vector graphics software that works both online and offline. It's suitable for creating simple vector designs.

Gravit Designer: Gravit Designer is a free vector design tool available as both a web app and a desktop application. It offers powerful features for creating illustrations and designs.

Google Drawings: Google Drawings is a simple online tool that's part of the Google Workspace. It's suitable for basic designs and illustrations.

Snappa: Snappa is an online graphic design tool that offers a free version with basic features. It's user-friendly and great for creating social media graphics and simple designs.

Remember that the best tool for you depends on your specific needs and design preferences. Experiment with a few to see which one aligns best with your creative vision and technical requirements.

Profit margins in Print-on-Demand (POD) vary, but generally, they depend on factors like your pricing strategy, product costs, and platform fees. You set your retail price above the base production cost, and your profit margin is what's left after deducting those costs.

It's wise to find a balance between competitive pricing and maintaining a reasonable profit. Marketing, brand perception, and sales volume also play roles in determining your overall profitability. Adjust your strategy based on customer response and market trends to optimize your Print-on-Demand business.

At Backstory Prints we guarantee competitive product prices - helping our customers make the most profit possible

Social Media Promotion: Leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your products. Use engaging visuals, tell your brand story, and use relevant hashtags.

Content Marketing: Start a blog or use social media captions to share behind-the-scenes stories, design inspirations, or the making process of your products. This helps build a connection with your audience.

Influencer Collaborations: Partner with influencers or bloggers in your niche to promote your products. Influencers can help introduce your brand to a wider audience.

Email Marketing: Build an email list and send regular updates to your subscribers. Share promotions, new product launches, or exclusive discounts to keep them engaged.

Optimize Product Descriptions: Craft compelling and clear product descriptions. Highlight unique features, customization options, and the story behind each product.

Run Paid Ads: Utilize paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Create targeted ads to reach specific demographics interested in your niche.

Collaborate with your Selling Platform (if applicable): If your selling platform offers it, participate in sales periods and collaborations within the platform to increase visibility.

Leverage User-Generated Content: Encourage customers to share photos of your products on social media. Repost or share these images, creating a sense of community and trust around your brand.

SEO Optimization: Optimize your product listings and website for search engines. Use relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and meta tags to improve visibility.

Offer Limited-time Promotions: Create a sense of urgency with limited-time promotions or exclusive discounts. This can incentivize potential customers to make a purchase.

Remember, consistency is key in marketing. Regularly engage with your audience, analyze what strategies are working, and adjust your approach accordingly. Building a strong online presence takes time, so be patient and stay dedicated to promoting your Print-on-Demand products.

Quality control in Print-on-Demand involves steps to ensure your products meet standards. Check print files, review product previews, consider sample orders, and communicate with your printing partner. Monitor customer reviews, address concerns promptly, and evaluate performance.

Establish a quality control checklist for factors like color accuracy and print alignment, aiming for continuous improvement to enhance customer satisfaction and uphold your brand's reputation.

At Backstory Prints, we pride ourselves on our printing quality as well as our quality control. Additionally, we have completely open and transparent lines of communication. When you talk to us - you're talking to your actual printing partner.

Getting Started & Integrations

Information about how to get started with the BSP app and connecting your stores

We integrate with Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce and Squarespace. We are currently finalizing our integration with Order Desk and eBay.

  1. Log into the BSP app:
  2. Navigate to the 'Settings Page' and click on 'Ecommerce Channels':
  3. Click on the button that says 'Add Shop' at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  4. Select 'Etsy' and hit 'Connect'
  5. You will be redirected to your Etsy account (you need to be logged in). Click on "Allow access".
  6. Viola! Your Etsy store is now connected.
  7. Check out this video for a step-by-step guide: How to connect your Etsy shop to the BSP App

Etsy mandates the inclusion of a production partner for selling print-on-demand items through their sales channel. With Backstory Prints, the process of adding us as your partner is incredibly straightforward.

Once you've linked your Etsy store with your BSP account, you can start selling, designate Backstory Prints as your production partner, and make further adjustments to your store.

Navigate back to your Etsy page, access the settings, and select "Production Partner." A menu will appear, prompting you to fill in the required information in the designated fields. Given the customization of each field, choose the options that best suit your store.

Accurate information entry without spelling errors is crucial. In the "About production partner" section, you can personalize the description as desired. An excellent suggestion is, "A print-on-demand, fulfillment, and dropshipping service for online retailers."

That's it! Adding Backstory Prints s as a printing partner on Etsy is a hassle-free process. Now, you can start adding your initial products and move closer to making your first sales.

Product Listings & Design

How to create and design listings on the BSP App

No you do not! This is one of the most powerful features of the BSP App. You can sync (or map) listings with us as and when orders come in. Once you have mapped a listing for an order, all subsequent orders for that listing will come to us automatically. If there are any listings that you would prefer not to send our way, just don't sync them. See how to here > See how to sync your first order here

Alternatively, if you don't want to wait for an order to come through before syncing, you can sync your listings individually. See how to here > How to sync all your listings

NOTE: Once you have synced a listing, please remember to 'un-sync' that listing with your other print provider...or your customer will be getting 2 shirts!

If you prefer placing orders with us manually (instead of syncing orders with your store), please watch this video: How to place orders manually on the BSP App


All about the operational aspects of using the BSP App - including billing and shipping

You will only be charged for an order (whether its a manual order or an order synced from your store) once the order goes into production.

You will also only be charged once a day for all the orders sent to production that day.

You have the option to add money to your BSP wallet - in which case, money will only be deducted from your wallet when your orders get sent to production.

To view your invoices for any given day:

  • Click on your name on the top-right-hand corner of the screen.
  • From the dropdown menu, select 'Invoices'

We use USPS or UPS. We generally default to USPS but if you require overnight delivery, we will use UPS.

To make changes to your shipping preferences for a particular order:

  • Click on the 'Active Orders' tab on the side menu.
  • Navigate to and click into the order you want to edit.
  • On the right-hand side of the order, you will see a heading that says, 'Order Date'. Underneath this heading are your Shipping Options.
  • Once you select your shipping preferences, the system will give you a cost.
  • Hit confirm and that's it. Your shipping options are now updated.

Yes you can! If your order is synced with a gift note, it will automatically be included in your order. However, if you need to add a gift note after the order has been synced, simply add the message by adding a note to your order.

This can be found on the right hand side of the screen on your order page, right under your 'Shipping Options'

If you need to add branding to your orders, please contact us on

We use standard poly bags for all orders and unmarked boxes for larger orders.

We do not include any messaging, invoices or packing slips in any packaging.

If you need to edit the return address on your shipping labels, please contact us on

Returns and Refunds

All your questions with regards to returns and refunds answered

Absolutely! If there is a manufacturing, sizing or color fault with the garment or there is an issue with the quality or placement of a print, we will either offer a full refund or we will submit a reprint at no cost to you - depending on what your customer prefers.

We take reprints very seriously, and we usually print and ship them out on the same day that the claim is approved.

For a claim to be approved, please send an email to with the following details:

  • Order Number
  • Description on the problem
  • Photo of the problem

Please note that we don't expect your customer to return the faulty product to us.

If we process a refund, it is done immediately, however the funds may take 5 - 7 business days to appear in your account.

If your customer has changed their mind about their purchase, you will be able to cancel your order in the Backstory Prints app if the order has not been sent to production.

If you need to cancel an order that's already gone into production, please contact us and we will try to assist if at all possible.

Once an order has been printed, you will not be able to cancel and you should ensure that your shop's policies reflect this condition.

If a package is being 'returned to sender', it could either be due to an incorrect address or missing information. In this case, it will be returned to our production facility in Los Angeles, California.

If we need to reship the returned item, the original shipping charge will be applied again. You should similarly charge your customer again as the fault lies within the information they provided.

If you would like to change the return address to your own, please reach out to us on for assistance.