Dropshipping can be an exciting and profitable business, whether as a side hustle or a full-time job. One of the most significant ways to provide for your customers is to give them the option of having a custom-made product.

Read on if you don't know how and want to learn more!

What does dropshipping personalized products mean?

Dropshipping is from the retail business model of sourcing and selling products from a supplier.

You do not have to open a brick-and-mortar store, deal with overhead fees, and stock physical products.

Instead, you'll open a digital storefront on a website that your customers can visit. They'll then purchase products you'll order from your supplier, who will send them directly to your customer.

There is no need for inventory. It's essentially a hands-off way of providing products to your customers while you grow the business.

How does dropshipping work - Infographic

Dropshipping a personalized product is the same process as dropshipping any regular product. The difference is that the product is custom-made specifically for your customer.

Personalizing is more hands-on and collaborative than purchasing a product they want from your store.

Photo Moon Lamp store homepage
You can find this store here.

Is dropshipping personalized products worth checking out?

Let's look at the most significant reasons custom personalized products can help you be successful.

1. Less competition

Since you are creating one-of-a-kind products for your customers, there will be less competition and more room to grow in your niche.

Turned Yellow store homepage
You can find this store here.

Less competition is excellent because your existence is more self-explanatory and less trying to win people over since many dropshippers can use the same supplier.

For more information on choosing your niche, check out this article: How to Start an Online Niche Store in 2024 (7 Tips)

2. Long shipping times are normal

While long shipping times are typical for dropshipping, printing, and shipping are more acceptable than purchasing a regular product.

The reason is that personalized products are upfront about being made to order, so the customer knows there will be a wait.

Shipping time example for personlized products

Not only that but also it's unique to them, so they're less likely to be in a rush to receive it, so you don't have to worry about them getting mad at the long wait times than they're used to.

3. More connected to the customers

Unlike most dropshipping stores, you have to interact more with your customers. Some can see that as more' work,' but you also have a more personal connection with them.

Happy customers review page example

The additional communication means you can learn firsthand about their problems and what they like about buying from you. There's much less guessing because you can ask them as you work with them.

How do you get started with dropshipping personalized products?

The process is quite simple, but many choices must be made. Here's what you need to know.

1. How do you find a supplier for personalized products?

Suppliers are the most crucial choice in how your business will operate because they create the products shipped to your customers.

Here's a look at some of the best suppliers for personalized products:


Homepage of Printful

Printful is the leading provider for print on demand dropshipping of various products, from apparel to wall art to everyday-use products on which you can print a design.

You need to provide the graphics to use in the designs for these products.

While Printful cannot automate the custom demand of your customer's owners, they are the most flexible and accessible for all kinds of printing you can do.

Another option you can choose is Printify. These two suppliers have differences, so you should definitely check out this comparison article here!


Homepage of AliExpress

The biggest marketplace is to find a specific supplier for a product. While seeing the right one can take effort. But once you do, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.

One example of this is AliExpress!

Depending on the product's availability, the custom can be on whether the supplier can change or add something to the product.

These additions can be an additional fee on top of the product and shipping, so keep in mind your profit margins when creating the price.


Customizingbox homepage

CustomizingBox offers a vast range of personalized products, making it a top choice for custom gifts.

They specialize in items like custom mugs, jewelry, and home decor.

Depending on the product, CustomizingBox allows for various customizations such as custom labels, custom pack-ins, and promo materials. These may have additional fees, so remember to consider your profit margins when ordering.

2. Move your designs to the suppliers' site

When you have your provider, their site is the way to customize their catalog of products.

An example will be through Printful's process.

printful product process
Printful's process on their dashboard product template page

When you have your design from a designer or yourself, you will transfer it to their website. With their mockup generators, they can show the design size that will fit nicely on the product.

When it looks great, you can use each variation of a product you would like or more products with that design. Remember, depending on the size, you may need to expand the design.

For instance, a 200DPI can work with an 8×10″ print. However, it'll be way too low of a resolution for a 24×36″ print.

Also, you can sell based on specific niches of your choice!

3. Create the product page with its information on your website

You can make a product page on your website where customers can purchase the item with your design.

No need to stress over the product pictures and description; your supplier has tools on their website to make and set up your website.

printful product design
Example on RedBubble

There are mockup images to make various designs of your product, mainly worn or used by an accurate model. This will add a feeling of authenticity.

Create an item description that uses the five feelings of taste, contact, smell, hear, and sight, regardless of whether they're used for the product. Provide your customer with a sense that makes a difference.

Use emotions and different metaphors so people can connect with your products.

Note: Want to improve your product pages even more? Check out ConvertMate 一 a Shopify app that uses AI to optimize product pages, improve SEO, and track customer behavior.

4. Sync the realistic item with the provider's site to your site

When the product page is set on your website, it's ready to go to the sync page of your supplier to sync the item, and the product matches your site.

tank top printful model
Printful's tank top page ready to start customizing

You can choose your product, its variations of sizes and colors, and your design to be put on it. It's straightforward, and with a press of a button, anyone who buys from your site will be sent to your supplier.

This automatically uses the address and name of an order, so you don't need to stress about handling that.

Your website will be ready to take orders, and your supplier will fulfill and ship for you!

5. Market your personalized products

It's not enough to exist and create personalized products if no one knows you're live! That's why these three preferred methods are noticed and known to work.

1. Social media

Social media marketing is one of the strongest and easiest marketing strategies! Just about every dropshipping business uses social media in some way.

While there are many different social media platforms and ways to be seen, Facebook and Instagram are most common due to their large user base and detailed ad analytics.

For more information, check out this article here!

2. SEO

Search engine optimization ranks your website higher on the list where someone searches certain words that match your business.

Once your website reaches the first page for a couple of keywords, you will start seeing consistent traffic to your product pages coming from these search results.

Here's an example:

In other words, Google consistently gives you paying customers for free.

Sounds awesome, right?

For more information on how to use SEO to your advantage, check out this article!

3. Contests

Contests work with many other great marketing strategies, such as social media, email, and right on your website, to create ways to gain more followers, engagement, and sales.

Multiple tools can help you create contests that require participants to follow you on Facebook or sign up for your newsletter to enter.

You can also manually check if someone meets the requirement(s). Once you have selected the winner, you can offer them rewards like a free product, free shipping, or anything else that would be worth winning!

Don't know which strategy is best for you? Here's a guide on how you can find out! You can also check out our infographic below.

How to pick the right marketing method for dropshipping - Infographic

Now that you know all the ins and outs of personalizing and products, let's see how other businesses are doing, for example!

Personalized product store examples

The process of these businesses is a great learning lesson on what they do well and why.

So guess what? We have a few amazing examples for you below!

1. Craft & Oak

custom maps craft & oak homepage
Craft & Oak homepage

Craft & Oak's mission in designing beautiful and detailed maps for their customers is to 'Pay tribute to your favorite city, revisit unique travel spots, immortalize a place where something extraordinary happened, or create an incredible piece of art. '

What can you learn from this store?

Maps can be an ordinary tool used for traveling, but since Craft & Oak uses them as art, it holds a more special place in these locations. They're essentially selling memories of classes a customer has been to or dreams of where they like to go someday.

When creating a personalized product, allow the customer to attach a particular emotion to it. It can look incredible or be beautiful and significant in how your customers want to live.

2. Turned Yellow

Turned Yellow store homepage

Turned Yellow started with artists with the incredible talent of recreating the Simpsons' beloved and familiar style. They have found a way to create unique art for their customers.

It's quite the gift for all those who enjoy the art style and can see themselves on one of their favorite TV shows.

What can you learn from this store?

order form example
Turned yellow order form
Have an interactive ordering system for custom orders

Turned Yellow has an excellent way of displaying its settings for an order. You can easily toggle what you want.

They design in a way that fits their visual brand nicely, which you can keep in mind to create a similar experience for your customers.

3. Just Buttons

just buttons homepage
Just Buttons homepage

Just as the store name suggests, it's all buttons!

Not just any buttons, though, but many different kinds that can all be personalized to suit the customer's needs. They have also been venturing into banner designs and stickers.

What can you learn from this store?

While Just Buttons focuses solely on buttons, it wants to become the most economically friendly option for brands and consumers.

The economic part means supporting like-minded nonprofits or charities that can help support this. Another idea is to work with other businesses that love sharing buttons. Examples have been apparel, collectors of miniature art, and stickers.

Related article: Interested in seeing more personalized stores? Check out these 15 personalized store examples here!

Dropshipping personalized products: FAQ beginner questions

Now, let's look at the common problems these businesses deal with and how they overcome them.

While the benefits of providing personalized products are pretty, some issues can arise naturally through this kind of business you need to be aware of!

1. Handling returns

One of the most challenging aspects of running a dropshipping business is dealing with returns; personalized products make it even more so.

The problem with handling returns is the supplier generally does not accept returns, so you're often stuck with the product. Fear not, though; we can use this setback to our advantage!

You can use the product for promotional photos in advertisements, on social media, or your website.

You can also use them as a giveaway contest where people have to take specific actions, such as following you on Instagram to get a chance to win the product.

Another way to avoid returns is to have a policy where the customer doesn't need to send the product back to you if they want a refund.

2. Customer service is more challenging

Focusing on personalized products means working more closely with your customers than the traditional dropshipping store.

You'll be able to connect with them, and this means your communication skills need to be good enough to remove the hassles and errors that can happen.

Sometimes, a customer may not know what they want or say it understandably, which can be frustrating and challenging.

Person on a hourglass

A way to overcome this is to be patient and ask questions. It's super insightful to know directly from them, so you'll never have to guess the problem for them to complete a purchase!

Related article: Wondering how to do customer service when dropshipping correctly? Check out this article here!

3. More difficult to fulfill orders

With all the pros of offering a unique product and knowing your customer, it's pretty hands-on throughout the process.

Someone has to design the product, communicate with the client, and have the outcome created through the supplier so that they can ship it. That can be quite a lot to deal with!

Since there are quite a few moving parts and they all require hands-on work, it can be pretty time-consuming, and often, people outsource this to others.

While this can be another expense, it's worth it to ensure that the process of generating sales is as smooth as possible.

So, should you dropship personalized products?

Designing and selling personalized products is super fulfilling in making sure your customers get something that has more value than what the product itself does.

Sentimental values, such as cherishing a loved one or remembering something from the past, can add so much value to products!

Once you have figured out the process and know your customers, the personalized product niche is precious and seeks to create a dropshipping business!

So what are you waiting for? Try it for yourself!

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