How to effectively manage on-demand printing inventory?

2 0 1

Our store has around 250 products, most of them custom shirt designs, which are printed on-demand in our shop. We're looking for a way to track our inventory of both blank shirts and graphics but have so far been unable to find a solution.


Here is an example of the struggle we're facing:


 We'll say we have 100 blank white shirts in stock - 20 Small, 20 Medium, 20 Large, 20 XL, and 20 2X. Customer A ordered 3 XL shirts with design X. Since the order isn't printed until it's ordered, we need a way for Shopify to track (and include on the order/build sheet) that the order requires 3 XL shirts AND 3 copies of Design X - and reduce the inventory of each "ingredient" accordingly. 

Is there an app or process already in place that I have missed? Thanks in advance!

Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Partner
740 38 160



This is a common issue for our users where they have 1 design but it is on multiple products and once sells they want all linked products to become unavailable or a certain amount of stock for one design to sell. 


What you do is use a backend driven app like ours to link all the component SKUs for each variation. So if your case you would have a unique SKU for your design that is then linked to each variation along with the size of the shirt SKU stock. You then only have to set the stock of your design and shirt SKUs as our app will calculate what stock should be set for each variation.


The app has 2 main features that would let you manage the inventory levels. 


1. Inventory Management

Bundleup lets you connect up your products to components and it then updates the inventory based on the component stock level. So when one design stock goes to zero the other linked products will also update to zero.


2. Order Fulfilment

When you sell one of these products the stock level won't reduce automatically. What Bundleup does is update the order post purchase by replacing the order line with the component SKUs as order lines which then reduces their stock. This then feeds into point 1 above where it updates all linked products.


We also offer a bulk csv file upload option so it is quicker to map all variants rather than doing them one by one in admin.


If you need help in setting up and testing please get in touch. You can also find our guide here:





Shopify Partner
582 14 44

Hi @ACA_,

Based on the details you've shared, it seems like your primary concern is effectively managing the inventory of the blank shirts without the complexity of factoring in the designs. Your approach of using size and design as options and variants is causing inventory management issues, as you need customers to choose the design before printing.

If my understanding is correct, I'd like to offer a straightforward solution that involves using the Easify Product Options app (free plan available). This app allows you to create designs as custom options for your products, separate from Shopify's native options and variants. This approach makes it much easier to manage your blank shirt inventory 🤗.

Here's a quick step-by-step guide on how to implement this:

  • Create a custom shirt design product with Size options only; no need to create Design options.

  • Install the app and set up a new option set:



  • Add an option for selecting designs, using a suitable display type like Image Swatches or any other appropriate option type from the 25 options provided by the app.



  • Select the initial custom shirt design product to add the design options to, and you're all set!



  • Check the result:



Give this approach a try; it only takes a few minutes to set up and should streamline your inventory management while allowing customers to choose their desired designs hassle-free 🙌.

Easify Product Options: Create custom product options 10X faster & easier!
Easify Product Attachments: Effortlessly add downloadable PDF files (or any other format) to Shopify pages!
Try for Free | 24/7 Live Chat Support