Do NOT Sell These Print On Demand Designs & Products… (MISTAKES Beginners Make)


– Hey there, it’s me, Sarah,
here from Wholesale Ted, one of the largest YouTube channels dedicated to giving you actionable advice on how to build a real
money-making business. And today, I’m gonna be warning you about five different
print-on-demand items and designs that you should not sell. Now, some of these
items have the potential to lose you money, because
they will sell terribly, and so if you try to sell them, especially if you try to sell
them using paid advertising, you risk making a big loss. And other items are ones
that you should avoid because they could potentially
result in angry customers, merchants, and even lawsuits. Now, yes, all of this sounds
scary, but don’t worry. If you follow the simple
advice that I’m gonna give you in this video, you
shouldn’t have any issues. And actually, some of these
tips apply to drop shipping too. So if that’s how you
primarily source your items, or if you’ve got a fleet store
and you’re both drop shipping and you’re doing print on
demand, you’re gonna find some great drop shipping
tips in here as well. All right, so before we jump into what these five
products and designs are, I wanted to make this video a
little bit more interesting. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna show you the first product, and when I do that, you’re
gonna have five seconds to figure out why you should avoid it. And if you get it right,
you get 10 points, yay! All right, so here is
the first product here, this mug, created with the
print-on-demand service Printify. What is wrong with this mug? You have five seconds, go. (cowbell tolls rhythmically) (bell dings) Time is up. All right, so the reason
why you should avoid this design and product is because… (drum rolls) The phrase let’s get ready to rumble is trademarked by Michael
Buffer, and this trademark has made Buffer an insane amount of money. Thanks to its use in movies, it’s netted him over $400 million. Crazy, right? And just a warning, Buffer has been known to protect his trademark aggressively. And so, if you use it on a
product, that is illegal, and you do so at your own peril. But trademarks are
actually quite interesting. Something I get asked a
lot from people is this: I know that using copyrighted
characters like, say, Darth Vader from Star Wars is a no-no, but what about famous
phrases Darth Vader said, like I am your father? The answer, well, sometimes
you can, sometimes you can’t. You see, trademark is very
different from copyright. A copyright is a legal protection on an original piece of artwork. So if you draw a picture or
you write a movie script, those are copyrighted. Copyrights are instantly created when you make your piece of art. You don’t have to do anything. But trademarks are different. A trademark is a legal protection over something that identifies
a brand or a company. The most classic identifier for a brand or company is their logo, and so the Star Wars logo
is protected by a trademark. And the interesting thing about copyrights is that they are mostly universal. Most countries will recognize
a copyright by default, but trademarks are not universal. You have to file for your trademark in each country that you
want to protect it in. So if you’re drop shipping, you’ll see Chinese suppliers
sometimes using famous names. Sometimes they’re breaking the rules, but sometimes they’re not, if no trademark to protect them has been filed in China. But if it’s filed in another country you’re selling to like the USA, it would still be illegal to
drop ship and sell it there, even if it was legal to
buy and sell it in China. But that’s not all that
Star Wars have trademarked. They’ve also filed to protect the names of famous characters, like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo,
and of course, Darth Vader. Now, they could have also chosen to trademark small iconic
lines from the movies, because while the entire script
as a whole is copyrighted, small individual lines in the
movie like I am your father need to be protected with a trademark. Otherwise, they come under free speech. As far as I’m aware, though, there is no active
trademark for that phrase or any other lines from
the movies, which is why a lot of print-on-demand
merchandise exists for it. So yes, if you want to
piggyback off of famous IPs like movies and video games,
using well known catchphrases from them is a great way
to be able to do that. Just make sure that those phrases don’t contain a trademark within it. So if a character said,
just like Luke Skywalker, you couldn’t use that phrase on a mug because even though the
phrase itself is not protected with the trademark, the
name Luke Skywalker is. And I also recommend that
before you use any phrase in any print-on-demand merchandise, that you double-check to
see if it is trademarked, because sometimes,
phrases that you wouldn’t have expected have
trademarks filed for them. For example, did you
know that Paris Hilton trademarked the phrase “that’s hot”? She even sued Hallmark
over trademark infringement with this card that they made. Hallmark tried unsuccessfully
to argue it was legally free speech, and they ended
up settling out of court. So did you get it right? If you did, you win 10 points. If you didn’t get it
right, though, that’s okay, because we’ve got more
opportunities to win more points, and the next product is
worth another 10 points. So here’s a t-shirt that would be a mistake
to design and sell. Why do you think that is? All right, five seconds, go. (cowbell tolls rhythmically) (bell dings) All right, time is up. The reason why it would be a mistake to sell and design this
t-shirt is because… (drum rolls) It is extremely, extremely unoriginal, which is a death blow for
print-on-demand products. You can’t walk two minutes
around Manhattan without seeing someone somewhere selling
one of these t-shirts. It’s one of the most iconic
t-shirts of all time, and you’d think that that
would be a good thing, right? Well, it really, really isn’t. You see, print-on-demand has some distinct advantages and disadvantages compared to its close
cousin, drop shipping, and if you don’t know
what drop shipping is, it is a business model that is very closely aligned
with print-on-demand, and we’ve actually got a
free ebook which teaches it, The Six Steps that Six-Figure
Drop Shippers Follow to Make Over $10,000 a Month. If you’d like to get that ebook
for yourself, you can find the free download link in
the video description below. So one of the disadvantages
that print-on-demand has compared to drop shipping
is the profit margins. With drop shipping, manufacturers
are creating products at mass scale, and so
thus, they’re able to lower the price of the product when
they’re selling it to you. With print-on-demand, though, manufacturing costs are higher than usual, since you’re making just one at a time. So if you want to print
a shirt from Printify, it’s going to cost you
$7.73 to $5.95 a shirt. But people are mass-producing
I heart NYC shirts at much lower manufacturing costs, so you can buy it super
cheaply all over the internet. So selling a super popular t-shirt that everyone already knows
through common knowledge that they can get it cheaper elsewhere is a really, really bad
idea unless you have a special, unique spin
that you’re putting on it. So yes, print-on-demand has its downsides, but it also has its upsides. One of those is that it
lets you target niches that no one else has targeted before. Take this shirt that I’ve
shown before on this channel, which is a pug coffee shirt
that is, funnily enough, aimed at people that love
both their pugs and coffee. Because with a shirt like
this here, you’re targeting a passionate niche that
doesn’t have many options, it means then that you
can charge a higher price to make up for the higher
manufacturing cost. So you could easily charge
$14.95, or $19.95, or potentially even more, while still
keeping your conversions high. So did you get it right? If so, you can add 10
points to your total. If you didn’t get it
right, though, that’s okay, because we’ve got another
chance to win more points. And this time, it’s a pretty
easy one to be able to guess. So we’ve only got five points
up for grabs this time. All right, here is a t-shirt that would be very, very bad to sell. Why should you not sell this? Five seconds, go. (cowbell tolls rhythmically) (bell dings) Okay, time is up. The reason why this would be a bad t-shirt to sell is because… (drum rolls) It features copyrighted images. So my guess is that this
is the one that people will probably be the
most likely to get right, because most people know that using copyrighted
characters is not okay, and of course, this t-shirt is infringing on the copyrights of
the franchise Fortnite, because it’s using its
Supply Llama character. But the reason why I included the shirt despite it being kind of
an easy one to figure out is because I get asked the question a lot. Sarah, I get that copyright
infringement is wrong, but what about fan art? Is fan art okay? Because look at the original
Supply Llama character design. While this t-shirt is using its likeness, it’s a redrawn version
of it in a new style. Is this okay? So the answer here is
actually really simple. No, no, it’s not okay. Let’s get this straight. Fan art without the explicit permission of the copyright holder is illegal. And that includes free fan art that you see posted all
around the internet. However, fan art can be a
form of free advertising for a lot of brands, and so
often, brands like Fortnite will give permission to
people like you and I to make free fan art, but
not allow people to sell it. So if you try and sell a Fortnite t-shirt like the seller here, it’s probably not gonna last
on the internet very long. There is, however, one medium that’s kind of an exception
to this, and that is anime. If you walk around an anime convention, you’ll inevitably see a lot of fan art being sold at booths all over the show, fan art for Pokemon,
fan art for Death Note, fan art for One Punch Man. How on earth are people
getting away with this? Well, it’s because a lot
of Japanese anime companies prefer to just look the other way when it comes to people
producing and selling fan art. So while they would not be happy with you creating a poster like
this and selling it yourself featuring in-house art that
they made, they usually tolerate you selling an original
fan art version of it. The reasoning is that they benefit more from the exposure and
encouraging their fan base, and so, they can let it slide. My friend Yaro from
AliDropship does drop ship illegally created anime
products from AliExpress, and he has not had any indication
of being shut down yet. I do, however, think that
this is pretty risky. While anime companies
are likely to be fine with fan art into the future,
AliExpress product listings infringing on anime
copyrights do get periodically shut down for, well,
you know, being illegal. But do keep in mind that
while anime companies might right now be okay with
you producing and selling fan art, they could, at
any time, revoke this and choose to start protecting
their IP into the future. So, be sure to keep that in mind. Okay, did you get it right? If so, you win five points. Now, the next one is
a little bit trickier, so we’re gonna up the stakes here a bit. This time, we are playing for 15 points. So here’s a t-shirt that
you’re not allowed to sell. (Sarah claps)
It’s this shirt here, which might surprise some of my viewers. That’s because it’s actually
a shirt design that I featured and recommended in one of my
channel’s most popular videos. So, Sarah, how on earth can you be saying now not to sell it? Well, that’s a good
question, because usually, you can sell this t-shirt;
however, there is on exception, and that’s Etsy, an online
marketplace for handcrafted goods with millions of customers each month. You cannot sell this shirt on there. You’ve got five seconds
to figure out why that is. Go. (cowbell tolls rhythmically) (bell dings) All righty, time is up.
(Sarah claps) So the reason why you could not sell this t-shirt on Etsy is because… (drum rolls) I found the artwork for
it using Shutterstock. So for those of you that don’t
know, Shutterstock is a place where you can purchase
stock images to use. So if you purchase an
enhanced licensed version of an image on the site,
you get the legal right to use it for merchandise
that you sell for a profit. So why aren’t you then allowed to use it for products that you
list and sell on Etsy? Well, that’s because Etsy
has some special rules, which is why my friend nicknamed it the hipster of the online marketplaces. One of Etsy’s rules is that
products you sell on the site usually need to be original
and made and designed by either you or someone else who is a part of your quote-unquote team, and that’s because Etsy’s
focus is on handmade goods. So if you go ahead and
purchase a piece of artwork on Shutterstock, you didn’t design it, and nobody on your team
designed it either. You just purchased the
commercial rights to reuse it. Now, don’t worry, this doesn’t
mean that if you want to sell print-on-demand items on Etsy,
that you have to go out there and design all of the images yourself. A really good idea is to
go to a site like Upwork and hire a designer on there. As part of your contract with them, require that they allow
you to be noted down as a team member on your Etsy
profile, as Etsy requires that each member’s role,
including the designer, be identified in your store profile. And I think that this is a
really, really good reminder that when you’re using
any third-party service to make money on the internet, whether it’s Etsy or Amazon or Facebook, that you read their rules,
really, really closely. Most of the time, people who
post comments about getting kicked off platforms like these were, surprise, surprise, breaking the rules. Everyone talks about the
importance of not cutting corners when it comes to things like
product research, but usually, people don’t bother talking
about the importance of not cutting corners when
it comes to legalities. So even though it may be boring, before you sell on a
website like Amazon or Etsy, take the time to actually read the rules so that you don’t pour a
bunch of money and time into creating products to sell on there, only for them to get taken
off and for you to lose all of that wasted
energy and, well, money. So did you get it right? If so, you won 15 whole points, and if you didn’t get
it right, that’s okay, because you’ve got one
final chance to win. We are now paying for 10 whole points. So this here is a design
that I found on Shutterstock. It would be very, very bad to try to sell it on this t-shirt. Why do you think that is? You’ve got five seconds, go. (cowbell tolls rhythmically) (bell dings) All right, all right, time is up. All right, so for the final
10 points of the video, the reason why you should
not sell that design on that t-shirt is because… (drum rolls) It has a black background. Yes, you might think that
because the background on this image if black, that it’s okay to print it on a black
t-shirt, but nope, it’s not. If you try to print a picture
with a black background on a black t-shirt, it’s going to end up with a weird border around
it, and the black color of the shirt won’t match
the background color. It’s going to look dreadful. It’s okay to choose
images with backgrounds if it’s part of the design,
but stick to printing them on a different colored shirt,
like maybe a white t-shirt or a gray t-shirt instead. And that’s it! The game is over. Let me know how many points
you won in the comment section. Thanks for watching this video, and if you learned something
and you’re not a subscriber, you should totally become
one, because we are constantly releasing new
videos with actionable advice on how to build a real
money-making business. So be sure to hit that subscribe button and click the notification bell next to it so that you don’t miss
out on any of our videos.

100 Replies to “Do NOT Sell These Print On Demand Designs & Products… (MISTAKES Beginners Make)

  1. Hi, question about taxes, PLS READ NOT STUPID
    I live in hungary the VAT is here the biggest 27%, and I wanna dropship, so if I dropship i haveto pay one third of my income to the goverment how in the hell do I do that I can t just go in to the local office and say hey I m doing dropshiping they wont even know what is that I don t think there are even 2000 ppl in this counrty know what is dropshipping I know you don t know the laws here SOOO how would you do it in your country? newzealand ?
    I see 16 yrs old american teenagers selling 10000 dollars of worth things do they pay taxes?
    I see I have to pay taxes but don t know what is the steps of it and there s no way i find one online for hungary and I don t wanna burn my self at the local office, what Question windows are avalibe in my case?
    I really need help.
    Thanks for answer.
    -Levi

  2. Hello. I have some questions.
    Why aren't there 12-20 days delivery time in aliexpress as before? It's 25 days almost everywhere. Should I write that delivery time on the description of my store or products? How will buyers treat this?

  3. What is the best way to bulk order 100+ aliexpress products with woocommerce? I know DSers for Shopify but what about woocommerce?

  4. Sorry, this question is not really related to this exact topic. I would like to donate some percentage of my profit to one of the most well-known funds. Am I allowed to use them on my website and to promote my shop in this way? I am actually going to donate the money not just saying it, and put the evidence on my website.

  5. Just found your channel, like what I'm seeing/hearing so far! Oh, I got 5 measly points 🙁 but learned a lot:)

  6. Hope you are ok and out of hospital now! Ok some very useful points here. So it begs me to ask the question. Where do we go to find out if what we want to use on mugs / T-Shirts etc. is or is not a ™ ….?

  7. Very helpful! I thought this would be a video on what products don't sell. Could you do a video on that? Like obviously t-shirts and mugs sell but what doesn't sell well for POD? Blankets? Photo frames?

  8. Guess what? https://teespring.com/guess-what-april-2019?tsmac=store&tsmic=chuck-s-shirts-and-stuff#pid=370&cid=6530&sid=front

  9. Do you have a course I can take on how to make a profitable print on demand store? I have been watching your videos but I guess would love something more in depth!

  10. Hi Sarah ..thanks for all your video tutorial ..Could I ask you to tell me do we need definitely merchant account for Shopify store? or we can use general credit or debit card? Thank you for your help

  11. Maybe in your country a copyright is made "instantly" but it is very false that it is made without doing anything if you dont register with US Copyright. I think this needs an edit

  12. I would be thrilled and honored to do a design for somebody, free of charge. My designs are done to a staggeringly high quality and I take it very seriously.
    Any takers?

  13. I didn't understand the last one. Why black on black is bad. I thought that black square looked tacky on a grey/white tee.. Correct me if I misunderstood

  14. can you sell the design on shutterstock and have an agreement that every person buying your art design will be part of your design team or whatever they need to be able to sell it? I am an artist but want to provide that to people buying my art for there shirt sales so i wanted to know if shutterstock supports that?

  15. That fortnite pleasant park design easily falls under parody laws in the U.S. ( it's a joke mashup of fortnite and jurassic park ) – Now – the bigger issue is do you have the money to fight and win the lawsuit? Probably not.

  16. So, if you use a saying from a verse in a song, is that cool? For example “Money can’t buy you love” or You are my sunshine”

  17. None of these products don't concern me. I created a comic book that you can preorder online that is based on my novel Warrior of the Light. I have an illustrator that takes text out out of the novel and straight out of the comic book and make images for my store. This means you can't get these products anywhere else, not even Amazon.

  18. One thing on the pug coffee cup shirt … it could be done as POD on Etsy IF you disclose the production partner which you use to print the item. Maybe not as a shirt, though I'm sure some would, but as other things, most likely.

  19. Sarah, Hope you are doing well. If I include in my graphic designer's contract with me the language that all art work developed under contract for my company, belongs to the company, do i still have to list them on Etsy? If so, can I list them as a contracted worker, otherwise I can see how it could later be misconstrued by the artist that they have some ownership in the Etsy sold product.

  20. Hi. Question: In regards to dropshipping to Amazon from Aliexpress, when I choose a product on Aliexpress, does it have to the same exact brand as the one in Amazon? Because I am seeing the same products in aliexpress as in amazon but different names.

  21. I’m the big loser at winning a whole 0000 points Sarah. Maybe I should keep my day job that I don’t have right now.

  22. Absolutely lifesaving content, thankyou (I hope you're feeling better after your surgery ^_^ )

    PS 25 Points O:-)

  23. It would be nice if someone explained the Amazon Shopify integration. The non-fba POD dropshipping method uploading POD products from Shopify into Amazon.

  24. I find it a bit ridiculous to trademark a sentence like "it's hot" just because some chick has said it "forever". What does she think, she invented this? Be a bit more original

  25. I dont know what I'm doing wrong.. I started 3 dropshipping sites and 1 print of demand and I failed everytime despite following all your tips and advice

  26. So should you trademark phrases you come up with? If you buy artwork from fivver do they still own it or do I being I bought it? When you buy the artwork should you give them the copy too or keep that and do it yourself?

  27. Blatant honesty, your face and gestures really annoy me, seemed like you were trying so hard but the information your provided was great! Really helpful, Thank you.

  28. Copy right games, can they be used? like printing the game Life on a T-shirt. or angry Kittens on a shirt and such? I hope you're feeling better

  29. Another question. Since I’m just dropshipping, am I still liable to copy right Infringement? I want to sell Mexican Lotería T-shirt’s. The game is copyrighted.

  30. Thank you so much for this video. But can I do an art of celebrities with their songs and get it printed on tshirts and sell them? Can I do that? and what about superheroes art too? and the quotes like "Why so serious?" – by Joker. That quote is pretty common on goods.

  31. I hire people on Fiverr to draw my designs. I really wish I could draw. I have this whole vision in my head and I can't draw them 🙁 I could describe it to someone and have them draw it for me but its not the same

  32. What if I printed it backwards??? Like a mirror image? ratS sraW but the colors, design and lettering were identical? I suppose that would be off base as well… ??

  33. Hi! First of all, I hope you are already fully recovered from your surgery and thank for your priceless advice on this channel. I have a question regarding the trademarked quotes or catchphrases, do you know where to check if they are legally protected? Thank you in advance!

  34. I was wondering lets say i make this https://www.instagram.com/p/Byx-2SSnCIO/ is also from a reference but it has a personal touch to it, could i sell it?? would i be in trouble?
    can this be copyrighted?

    and what about Richard Prince case he got away(what he did was a shitty thing to do), why Shepard(i do like hes work) didn't .

    Shepard he actually turn it using his own view how actually nobody could have guess it like that, and i would love to do stuff like him because actually nobody would have notice the actual potential of something in a different view even if it is dramatized, parody or caricature, but what i want is to do stuff like that in the example from Instagram?

    What are your thoughts?

  35. It's stupid you can be sued over a sentence. Who TF owns words? Maybe I should copyright the word What so every time someone says it I get royalties.

  36. Thank you Etsy, for having a policy to help ensure customers are actually buying designs and artwork in the stores placed there by the humans who ACTUALLY made the works and are benefiting from the merchandising of them. This whole, lets go buy someone else's Shutterstock designs and slap them into a mockup generator is just bottom of the barrel stuff folks. Welcome to 2019.

  37. Omggggg I Been wondering who this girl looked like for weeks and finally found the person….she looks like Steven Anthony Lawrence

  38. Sarah please buy The proper temporary health insurance for the Country that you are visiting dearest. I would hate to lose you, have a sparkling lovely day…Sarah.

  39. Hi Sarah, just wondering if I could sell my celebrity artwork that I've painted from a picture magazine on Print on Demand products. Thanks

  40. That last point doesn’t make sense. You would just remove the black from the black background. A simple task that takes seconds. If you don’t know how to remove a background around a simple logo, or use auto trace to vectorize, then print on demand isn’t for you.

  41. I feel like I’m watching a prager university video every time I click on a video of yours, is that just me?

  42. the I "heart" NY logo has been trademarked since the early 1970s. The designer, Milton Glaser, is someone that you end up studying in art school.

  43. The people who made Naruto's anime Viz Sudios seems pretty active at least on Redbubble on taking down fan art/parody works. I put an original character down, and used naruto as a tag because people who like naruto may have liked the character art i made. they took it down within a day.

  44. I hope you have bounced back in recovery and your appendix are happier these days! God bless🙏🏽

  45. So If I create a piece of original art of a famous person for use on a shirt would that be illegal? Say edgar allan Poe? Or Jimi Hendrix or Einstein. If it is do you know how I can find out about getting permissions?

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