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Part 1: The Unbelievable Truth About Print on Demand Business.
When I got started in the print on demand business, I spent most of my time working with my graphic designer to create awesome, good-looking designs.
My graphic designer didn’t like me much. I asked him to revise his work very often.
Something like this:
The designs have to be awesome and creative. Otherwise, people won’t buy my products.
That’s what I thought at the time.
Then, in GearBubble, I used those designs on a few coffee mugs and uploaded them to Amazon.
I just used the low-hanging style. I didn’t do much keyword research or pay a cent for the ads. I just wanted to test the model.
Some days passed…
And not a single product sold.
What!? I had spent time on the designs. I was confident that they were what most people looking for. But they didn’t like the products after all.
Then I thought: maybe it was about quantity! Maybe I didn't have enough products in my store.
Many people in the group said we had to list as many products as possible. So I thought I needed to list more products.
BUT … I wouldn’t spend as much time and money on my designs. I wasn’t sure whether this model worked or not.
I went back to the old folder on my Mac and searched for the old designs I’d created before I got into the print-on-demand business.
Ugh…why were they so ugly?
I’d created those designs by myself when I got started. I had the worst Photoshop skills in the world.
I uploaded them anyway. I had no choice. I just wanted to test whether quantity of products in my store would affect sales or not.
These were all the designs I had at the time. I HAD SO MANY UGLY DESIGNS!
My graphic designer must have laughed when he saw my work…
Then, I created new coffee mugs with those designs and uploaded them all to Amazon.
Yes…all the ugly ones.
ONE week later…
I checked my phone. I GOT MY FIRST SALE FROM AMAZON!
I thought it must have been a sale of one of the good-looking designs I’d uploaded a long time ago.
I opened my Amazon app and checked the order.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
The sale was an UGLY one that I’d uploaded few days ago!
Again … only a few days ago!
That design was created by me, the Photoshop noob.
I thought it was a fluke, so I waited a few more days to see if I’d get another sale.
If there were no more sales, the first one was a fluke.
I waited a few more days.
Another new order – AGAIN, from another UGLY design!
Whoa... People loved the ugly designs.
I’d never believed that before, because in another business model I had used, people loved the good-looking designs.
BUT, for the low-hanging style, it’s different.
People seem to like ugly designs with creative phrases on the item.
I tried searching for the "Engineer Mug" on Amazon. I was very surprised by the results.
These are the top selling mugs in 2018, but it’s not much different from many years ago.
Here it is:
WOW! Most of them are just black text designs. No color. No fancy elements on the products.
Very simple. And ugly!
Since then, I have asked my graphic designer to create only "ugly" designs and list them on Amazon.
I started with 10 designs a day, then 20 designs a day, and then 50 designs a day.
I now have more than 56,000 products in my Amazon account.
All of them are “ugly as hell”.
Even five-year-old kids can do better.
BUT, my sales have been consistency grown.
1. Products with ugly designs sell better on Amazon. People seem to buy based on the phrase shown on the item, not on the item’s design.
2. Most of us wouldn’t believe this, but it’s the truth. If you check the best-selling mugs on Amazon, you’ll see that most of them are ugly.
3. Quantity is a crucial element of success in this business. The more products you have, the more consistent sales you will get. So be consistent!