Print on demand expert Rachel Rofe reveals several super simple mug designs that have all done at least a hundred thousand dollars in sales. First is the one pictured above. It’s done really well. Easily six figures. “And the thing with this, and all the designs that I share with you, is I want you to see that there’s mom, right? But you could also do all kinds of variations,” Rachel explains. “Aunts, uncles, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and on and on.”
Another one Rachel launched herself around Mother’s Day a few years back. It did fifty-four grand in sales right off the bat, and many more thereafter. It read: “Dear Mom, Thanks for being my mom. If I had a different mom, I would punch her in the face and go find you. Love, Your Favorite.” From there, Rachel took her own advice and ran it back, this time changing it to “Dear Dad.” Made another six figures on that variation. Rachel has seen other copycats crush it with that same design as well.
What else? “No matter how hard life gets, at least you don’t have ugly children.” Also sells like crazy. Again, you could tweak and sell to dads, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces. Another winning design speaks to dog owners: “Dear Dog Dad, thank you for being my daddy. If some other guy was my dad, I’d piss on his shoes, chew up his cell phone, and go find you. Love, Dog Name.” That one sold almost thirty thousand units.
Not to beat a dead horse, but you could double sales by listing the same design, only for “Dog Moms.” And then you could potentially double again making versions for cat dads and moms. For example, “Dear Cat Dad, Thank you for being my dad. If some other man was my dad, I’d piss on his shoes, claw up his face, and go find you. Love, Cat Name.” All of the above are simple, text-based, free to make, and you can rinse and repeat for other niches in mere minutes.
If you want to pay a few bucks to add an image, you can do something like the coffee mug above. I’m not even sure if this is in support of or making fun of Trump. Doesn’t matter. Politics isn’t the point here. Selling to a passionate group of buyers is. So what else can you think of that would convert really well? Besides family, pets, and politics? Probably sports teams, hobbies, job titles, even catering to a specific sense of humor, right? “Sawdust is man glitter,” or “Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.”
With almost eight billion people in the world, all it takes is a few hot mass market designs and you can make some good money selling mugs on Etsy and Amazon. And yes, you’re going to get copied. That’s arguably the number one downside of print on demand. It’s just too easy for people to steal what’s working. But if you out-market them and constantly come up with new listings, you’ll be just fine, Rachel says. There’s a lot of opportunity for all of us to be selling and profiting.
To get the wheels turning, you can just go to Etsy and Amazon and eBay and wherever else and see what the top sellers are. Take some screenshots or type them into a TextEdit file. Sip coffee from your mug while you riff off those example and come up with your own variations. Rachel believes in just “throwing spaghetti at the wall.” Since it doesn’t cost you but a few minutes of time to create a new listing, go for volume. See what sticks. Then expand your winners into other niches.