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Which Print-on-Demand (POD) Products Should You Sell?

Posted by Ngan Ton on Aug 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM
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In a previous post, we covered 3 POD products every store should sell. It's a good starting point for newcomers to test out different products without having to spend hours on research, but as you develop better business acumen and expand your product offerings, you'll quickly realize there's more to selling than adding a design to any ole product.

Choosing the best POD products to sell is a combination of timing, audience type, and general market demand. For example, travel mugs are a safe product to sell year round, but it quickly becomes one of the best products to sell once temperatures drop. Add a dad joke, run a campaign before the holidays, and watch travel mugs become one of your biggest hits.

At GearLaunch, we curate only the most popular products. However, to help you determine the best POD products for your shoppers (and prevent choice overload), we're sharing some market research around the products we carry and the better seasons to run campaigns.


The global functional apparel market is growing thanks to rising participation in sports and fitness. Transparency Market Research predicts the market is likely to register an impressive 13.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2025. Progressing at this rate, the demand in the market will reach $244.61B by the end of 2025.

Among the key regional markets, North America is likely to emerge dominant in the functional apparel market from 2017 to 2025. Europe trails North America in terms of growth in the functional apparel market. 

Leading names in the global functional apparel market include Addidas, Columbia, MIZUNO Corporation, New Balance Inc., Patagonia Inc., Icebreaker, Wacoal, Pink (L Brands), Tommy Hilfiger, Hanesbrand Inc., Hugo Boss, Umbro, Nike Inc., Under Armour Inc., Skechers USA Inc., Puma, Head, Asics Corporation, Victoria Secret, Calvin Klein, True & Co., Jockey International, Russell Brands LLC, Jack Wolfskin Retail GmbH, Montane RHONE, Geox, RY International, Red Wing Shoe Company, Triumph International, Mountain Equipment, THORLO Inc., Admiral Sportswear Ltd., Bata Corporation, Clarus Corporation, Fenix Outdoor International AG, Kappa, French Connection, Gainup Industries India Pvt Ltd., Merrell, VF Corporation, Berghaus Limited, Polar Stuff, Playboy Enterprises, Thai Sock Co. Ltd., PENFIELD, 2(x)ist Inc., Wilson Sporting Goods, Brooks Sports Inc., Cole and Parker Co., Fila Inc., and Fruit of the Loom.

Primary use: Sports and recreation, athleisure
Popular times to sell: Year-round


Similar to water bottles, the pillow industry has a large number of competitors with no dominant player. The increasing demand is likely due to the rapid economic development and gradually improving living standards.

According to GlobalInfoResearch, China is the dominant consumer in the pillow industry with sales volume nearing 300 million pieces in 2015, 27% of total sales. Europe comes in second with 236 million pieces and 21% of total sales.

The worldwide market for pillows is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 5.2% over the next five years.

Primary use: Decorative, houseware
Popular times to sell: Winter


Europe is one of the world's largest consumption regions for wall decor and it will continue to grow in the next few years. Europe has nearly 35.6% of the global market in 2016, while North America took 25.7%. LPI (LP Information) projects that wall decor will register a 3.0% CAGR in revenue by 2023.

The key suppliers in the wall decor market include Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, IKEA, Lowes, Target, Wal-Mart, and The top 5 took up about 25.4% of the global market in 2016.

Product Use: Decorative
Popular times to sell: Winter


The global reusable water bottle market is fragmented with the top five players accounting for only 6% of the overall industry in 2016. The big players include S’Well Corporation, Tupperware Brands Corporation, Brita GmbH, CAMELBAK PRODUCTS LLC, Nalge Nunc International Corp., Klean Kanteen Inc., Contigo, SIGG Switzerland AG, AQUASANA Inc., Thermos LLC, Bulletin Bottle, O2COOL LLC, Cool Gear International LLC, and Nathan Sports Inc.

The lack of market dominance paired with high potential growth means this market is extremely competitive. As manufacturers continue to differentiate through quality and features, consumers are expected to increasingly prefer reusable water bottles.

When it comes to the bottles themselves, the metal segment leads the market with 33% of the total share.

Primary use: Everyday, Sports, Travel
Popular times to sell: Late spring, summer, and winter (think gifts and New Year's resolutioners)


An increase in disposable income and a dip in the prices of smartphones have fueled the market for mobile phones as well as their accessories, especially protective cases. Fortunately for the opportunistic merchant, the two product types are not typically sold together and demand for protective cases is expected to surge between 2016 and 2024.

While the global mobile phone accessories market operates through a number of distribution channels, consumers often prefer to purchase from online stores. As for price preference, consumers usually prefer products priced in the mid-range.

Of the key regions, North America is the second-largest market for mobile phone accessories, followed by Europe. In the near future, the mobile phone accessories market in the rest of the world is expected to witness significant growth.

Some of the prominent players in the global mobile phone accessories market are Energizer, BYD Inc., Samsung Electronics, Sony Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Beats (Apple Inc.), JVC Corporation, Otterbox, Sennheiser Electronics GmbH & Co. KG, Plantronics Pty Ltd, Bose Corporation, and Griffin Technology.

Primary use: Everyday, outdoors
Popular times to sell: Sales typically peak around the time of a new phone launch.


A report by Transparency Market Research found the global insulated water bottles market likely to expand at 4.8% CAGR from 2017 to 2026, reaching $4.1 billion by the end of 2026. Of the various products in this category, mugs are expected to be the top grosser. The report expects the segment's share to 36.0% by end of the forecast period.

Online retailers currently lead distribution channels with the likelihood of increasing their market share in the future.

Prominent brand participants in the market include Ice Shaker, Thermos, Geysa, Fnova, 321 Strong, Mira healthy Human, Hydro Flask, and Cayman Fitness.

Product use: Everyday, Sports, Travel, Others
Popular times to sell: Winter

Topics: Research and Development, Print-on-Demand

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