On-Demand Merchandising for Artists

Updated July 30, 2018

What is On-Demand Merchandising?

Let’s start with the basics. In the simplest of terms, on-demand merchandising is when you sell products without having to have an inventory. You (or the company that you source your products from) make the product as the orders come in. When using a 3rd party printed to get things made on demand, you can order merchandise for yourself to promote you work, or drop ship products to your clients as fans when you sell them.

Why is On-Demand Merchandising Important for Artists?

As an artist, on-demand merchandising is important because you do not have to keep inventory. This is great for many reasons.

  1. Not spending excess money: If you’re only making orders as they come in, you do not have to worry about spending more money than you have to.
  2. No need for inventory: You will also not have to keep a whole bunch of merchandise in your home/rent a space out to house your products if you’re doing on-demand merchandising.

  3. Testing out products: This is great for artists because you can test new products to see how they would sell. Doing this allows you to see if you’re audience would actually be interested in what you’re selling. Based on the response you get, you’re able to tweak things in order to hopefully get more sales.

Popular On-Demand Products for Artists

If buying things for yourself, that may vary depending on the subject matter and type of work you do. Creating custom aprons, business cards, pencil/brush cases, pillows, and apparel are all great options.

Popular Merchandise for Artists to Sell

  1. Shirts: Obviously, this is one of the most popular items for artists to sell. By putting your logo/your artwork on a t-shirt, you’re able to gain exposure every time that your customers wear it in public.

  2. Other Apparel Items: Other items such as hoodies, tank tops, crop tops, etc. are also normally very popular items because people love to support their favorite artists by wearing clothing that helps make them stand out as a “fan.”

  3. Custom artwork: If you’re selling artwork, you can just make things to sell as you start getting orders on existing pieces. You do not need to waste your materials or lose your time unless you see that things are selling.

  4. Prints and Posters: Offer your original pieces as prints, greeting cards, and a variety of other printed goods.