In this article we’re going to do a walkthrough and review of Orbitkit, which could be the piece of software you need to rapidly expand your Print on Demand business.
What is Orbitkit?
The Print on Demand business has many different providers that you’ll want to upload your designs to in order to maximize the potential sales from your designs.
However, each different Print on Demand provider has different requirements, different ways to upload your designs and different ways to curate your product listings.
In short uploading it is a massive pain in the ass…
Uploading individually to each platform and often the time needed to do this versus the potential reward in sales, means that you just won’t bother uploading to many platforms.
This is where Orbitkit comes in..
Orbitkit provides a central platform where you only need to upload your design once and only curate your product listing once then at a click of a button it will be pushed to the following Print on Demand providers:
- Spreadshirt North America
- Spreadshirt Europe
- Fine Art America
- Designs By Humans
How Does Orbitkit Work?
Setting up Orbitkit
The first time you get to use Orbitkit it can be a little overwhelming as you have to set up the links with your different Print on Demand providers, but the good news is that you only need to do this once.
Basically the process involves you going into one of your providers eg Spreadshirt and creating a sample listing. Then all you need to do is copy this listing URL into Orbitkit and this template will then be used for any future designs that you add.
Once these templates are set up you can then create your own collections or themes of templates. For example, you may have designs that only work on dark backgrounds so you would create a collection of ‘Dark Themed’ shirts.
This means that when you upload new designs you can choose which collection you wish to send them to.
Once you are set up and running all you need to do is drag and drop designs into the system and curate your listings:
The above image shows the interface in Orbitkit where you get to addthe following information:
Once you’re happy with your listing, just choose which collection you want to send this to and sit back and relax and watch your designs upload:
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Orbitkit’s Bad Points
Orbitkit saves all of your tags that you upload into one big hierarchical list. It does this so it can easily assign the top keywords to your listings to different PODs who have different limits to the number of tags they allow.
This means that if you place ‘Traditional Archery Shirt’ higher in the hierarchy than ‘Womens Traditional Archery Shirt’ that it will always be applied in this order to all of your listings, where both of these keywords are used. If you change the order around, it will update all of your listings.
This is a bit of a pain but I understand why they have to do it.
The other downside is that the Orbitkit interface for tags is just one huge list and after you’ve uploaded lots of designs this becomes pretty hard to manage and is something I hope they’ll find a better solution to in the future.
Some Integrations have Stalled
The Zazzle integration was working originally when I signed up but they haven’t focused on fixing this for over a year now so I can’t add any more products, which is frustrating.
Some Integrations Aren’t Worth the Effort
This is only my personal point of view but some of the integrations really suck eggs… particularly Teespring where I haven’t had a single sale yet out of over 3000 products!
CafePress, Society6 and FineArtAmerica also are really not worth the effort for me.
I set up a new Redbubble account and after I uploaded 10 designs manually I started using the Orbitkit integration. This was fine for a few months but after a while my account got closed down with no explanation.
I did get it restored once and they said my account was flagged as ‘Spam’ but then a few months later it was closed again and I haven’t been able to restore it. I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m in the UK and because Orbitkit is pushing products via its US server it looked suspicious to Redbubble so they closed my account!
I think most people are fine, especially if you have a long standing account, but just go slow and steady with your uploads to start with and you should be fine.
Because all of the PODs have different requirements and different algorithms, the one size fits all aproach that Orbitkit takes means that your listings won’t be very well targetted to that POD and therefore you’ll have less chance to rank well and therefore slower sales.
On the flip side, however, you will be getting a lot more designs out there and uploaded to other PODs so it’s a fine balance to get right.
Orbit Kit’s Good Points
Rapidly Expand to other PODs
The beauty of Orbitkit is that once you are set up and running then adding new designs to the platform isn’t a lot of hassle.
You would already have set up your keywords and product listing somewhere else so your workflow really only involves upoloading the images, choosing which PODs to send them to and making sure your tags have been correctly assigned.
Import / Export
Personally I keep all of my design descriptions and keywords in a big spreadsheet, and fortunately there is an import/export function in Orbitkit that will allow you to import spreadsheets with all of this data to save you manually adding this to each listing. This is a massive time saving for my workflow.
Amazing Technical Support Team
Any time I have had an issue the team at Orbitkit have jumped on it and been more than supporting. They always respond really quickly to my requests and have dedicated hours to fixing issues.
They are also really open to feedback and have a great pride in what they do, so full respect to the team there!
How Much Does Orbitkit Cost?
Orbitkit might not look that cheap on the face of it, however, I still think it’s a good investment if you want to expand your Print on Demand Portfolio and save yourself some precious time.
Lets do some math…
- A 2 month subscription will cost you $190
- If you sign up to the 10 PODs that will be 200 designs a day you can create
- That’s a whopping 12000 designs over 2 months
- That works out at a cost of 1.5 cents per upload….
Sounds like a bargain to me!
I don’t know anywhere in the world where you’d get a VA to be able to work as quickly or as cheaply as this and if you tried to do this yourself you would surely go out of your mind with boredom!
To me it’s a no brainer, and will really help you grow your Print on Demand Business.
Orbitkit Review Summary
I’ve been using Orbitkit for a couple of years now and if you asked me whether it’s worth the money or not then I would give you a resounding YES.
It is not going to make you rich for sure, however, you will definitely make your monthly/annual subscription back each month and this is just another income stream to add to your Print on Demand Arsenal!
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Orbitkit Review Video
If you’d like to see Orbitkit in action, here’s a little video I put together of the platform: