How to do Print on Demand right if you’re in the UK

Whilst not technically about web design, in this article I discuss how I set up my own clothing side-hustle using a British Print on Demand business.

Whilst my main job is a web designer, I do have another side-hustle! I have an online clothing store called DAPADEGE where I put designs onto t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and mugs. But the journey I took to get to having an online store was not without its problems, and especially being based in the UK.

Doing PoD the wrong way in the UK

The biggest hurdle I faced when starting down the road to having my own Print on Demand (or PoD for short, although it is also known as Drop Shipping) was that I am based in the UK. Why is that a problem? Well, a lot of PoD suppliers are US based, so they transact in US Dollars. And whilst most PoD suppliers like Printify have worldwide production facilities, often the choice of garments available is limited compared to the USA.

Another stumbling point I found with using PoD services was that it was not clear what steps you needed to take as a UK resident to sell in other countries such as America, Canada, or Australia. It wasn’t clear if you needed a permit to sell in those countries. When asking for advice on this subject, I was often met with “we cannot give you advice, speak to a tax adviser in your country.”

When trying to use some PoD suppliers, I often found that their reporting on the profit you’d make when selling an it was wildly inaccurate. It would report the profit on a garment, but would not include the VAT on that garment, nor the shipping costs, nor the VAT on shipping! This means that in real terms, you could end up making a loss on an item, as I found out during a test-run of purchasing two mugs I’d made on one supplier’s system. To set my prices, I had to set up an Excel spreadsheet to calculate everything. It was more hassle than it was worth.

But the biggest problem of all with traditional PoD suppliers was their returns and exchange policy. To put it simply, there is none. Most PoD suppliers will not accept returns or exchanges unless the product is damaged or faulty. If, as a business using PoD you want to offer returns and exchanges, then you must foot the bill.

The final hurdle I want to talk about is setting up your shop to sell your goods. Whilst most of the PoD suppliers offer integrations with WooCommerce, Ecwid, Etsy or Shopify, the integration is often clunky.  One PoD supplier I was working with and integrated into my WooCommerce store suddenly stopped working, and I was told it was because I had updated WordPress and WooCommerce to the latest versions, and they only supported both platforms when they were at least three versions behind. This, as a web designer by trade, is unacceptable due to potential security risks of running out of date software, let alone the risk of upgrading WordPress or WooCommerce only to find you must restore the website because it is not working.

I was just about to call time on my idea of having an online shop. That was until I found a UK based company that changed everything!

Doing PoD the right way in the UK

So, now that you’ve got this far, you’re probably thinking “sure, that’s all very interesting, but how do you get around these obstacles if I want to start my own PoD business in the UK?”

Let me introduce you to a British based company called Teemill

What do I love about Teemill? It’s simplicity for one. For another, it’s ethos. They only use organic cotton grown in India in the monsoon regions, meaning that the cotton is not using precious stored water supplies for irrigation. They are eco and vegan safe with all their dyes and inks used in producing the garments and printing your designs on them. Even the packaging used to send out your garments is paper based and is fully biodegradable. And for a small side-hustle business like mine, the fact that they offer returns and exchanges is a true game changer. You can give your customers peace of mind knowing that if they change their mind on a purchase, or have ordered the wrong size, it can be sent back for an exchange or refund, and that doesn’t hit your profits. The way they can offer this is that you receive the profits of any sales 30 days later, meaning if there is a refund, you don’t have to worry about it coming out of your bank account.

Whilst they do have integrations that work with WooCommerce and Etsy (at the time of writing, they are also developing integrations with Ecwid and Amazon amongst others), I chose to use their own web design suite built into the Teemill system. It still gave me enough creativeness to put my stamp on things, but being hosted by them is so much easier. Also, by using the Teemill system, they take care of the credit or debit card transactions. All you need to do is supply your PayPal account details to allow them to send you your profits 30 days after a sale.

If you want your own custom domain and access to some additional products, they offer TeemillPro, and at just £10 per month (at the time of writing), it’s a bargain. It also unlocks a number of additional plugins and functionality to really make your PoD business be truly professional. They also offer data feeds to allow you to upload your products to Meta (Facebook and Instagram) to use in posts and ads. At the time of writing, there’s no integration or Google Merchant Center, but if you’re a whizz with Excel, you can create this yourself.

In conclusion

If you are UK based like me, then Teemill has been an absolute revelation. I’m able to truly concentrate on making my designs and selling my t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, mugs and more knowing that I have a UK based PoD supplier who actually makes it fun and a breeze. Their support is fantastic as well, especially if you run into any hiccups along the way. The fact that they handle everything from payment to returns gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and start my own online shop.

dapadege men and womens clothing

Visit my online shop at DAPADEGE for a range of men and women's clothing and homeware.


Visit Teemill, the UK based Print on Demand service allowing you to sell a range of apparel and homeware.

¹ This link and other links to Teemill are using my affliliate link. If you decide to sign up to their service, I may be paid a referral fee. This fee does not affect your Teemill service, or the price you pay for TeemillPro if you elect to sign up to their paid service. If you would prefer not to use my affiliate link, you can visit their website at

Like this post? Then consider sharing it...

Scroll to Top