How to Start Print on Demand Business

Print on demand (POD) has become quite a popular term in the modern age. That’s because whether you’re an artist, designer, entrepreneur or just a person bursting with creativity, POD can be a perfect canvas for monetizing your creativity.

Print on demand is a way how you can sell your products online without actually having an inventory. Sounds odd right? This is a process where you work with your supplier regarding the production and delivery. In most of the cases, the suppliers are online market places who have created a platform for POD business.

 If you follow the traditional route of selling products, you might end up with lots of unsold products, inventory cost and many other hassles. However, in case of POD, you don’t necessarily pay for the product until you have sold it. So, there goes your inventory cost out of the equation.

So how does the POD business work? It is quite simple, you make a design. It can be for t-shirts, mugs or any other merchandise. Then you upload your design in a marketplace. Do necessary marketing to give exposure to your designs and if any customer likes your designs, they’ll click on buy and that’s pretty much all your work. The rest of the work will be done by your supplier. From production to packaging to delivery, everything will be covered by the respective marketplace.

 The POD business is done as a per-order basis, so there is no production until the customer has actually placed an order. Till now, we’ve only covered the gist of the whole POD process, there is actually a lot that happens once you start making your designs and try to sell them. From creating designs to owning a store in a marketplace, a lot actually goes down, so even though there is inventory or production cost, there are still some very important steps that need to be done carefully.

Benefit of Print on Demand

1

Testing New Business Idea

You can test new business or product ideas for future prospects without any risk of production loss or inventory cost. Since POD is greatly dependent on the designs, new ideas are always welcomed in this market.

2

Monetize your Audience

This works great if you’re a public figure or an influencer! Whether you’re a YouTuber or an Instagram vlogger, if you have loyal audiences who follow you, they are more likely to buy your products. In this way, you can work for your audience and attract new ones and earn money as well.

3

Niche

POD can be used to build a business around specific genre or audience. If you have a preferable niche, you can start building around it. However, if it doesn’t work, you can just aim for a new niche as POD allows you to test new business ideas. There is no loss of money or inventory as you can just remove your designs and start uploading new ones.

Pros and Cons of POD

Since production and shipping is mostly handled by the suppliers, it is considered a stepping stone for designers or new startup businesses.  It is the most accessible ways to source products. However, with every business come advantages, limitations and benefits. At the end of the day, people are more likely to want to know about the advantages, benefits and the limitations than other things. Keeping that in mind we’ve listed the pros and cons in short and concise -

Pros

  • ZERO Production cost – No hassle with the production at all
  • ZERO Inventory cost – No production means no inventory cost as well
  • Shipping  of products – The shipping is done by the suppliers themselves
  • Low investment, low risk - It’s easier to add or remove products, test new ideas without investing much.

Cons

  • Lower margins - On-demand products generally yield little profit since the market place will receive its fair share as well. However, depending on how you price them and how many you sell, profits gradually rise.
  • Little control over shipping – The shipping part can get a bit complicated since it varies differently for different products. You might not be let with an option to choose the boxing experience for your customers.
  • Limited customization – The limited part here mainly means you can’t just put any random design over all products. For example, if you made a design for a t-shirt, the chances are that design won’t fit in for a mug or a book.
  • Limited Product Selection - Print on demand products will generally have limited item selections. If you want to sell T-shirts, you might find diversity and variety across all the platforms but not so much for other products like back covers or a dress.

Best Selling Print on Demand Products


Some of the best-selling POD products are our everyday usage products!
From t-shirts to posters, backpacks to books, everyone wants a bit of a change in the outlook of their daily products. Here are the best selling products (in no particular order) -

T-Shirt

Phone Covers

Mugs

Stickers

Notebooks

Stationery

Best Print On Demand Companies


There are many amazing Print on demand companies that look for enthusiastic individuals to work with. If you have great ideas and good designing skills you might want to check out some of the companies listed below –

#1
GearLaunch
#3
Redbubble
#2
Zazzle
#4
TeeSpring
#5
CustomCat
#7
Printaura
#9
Viralstyle
#6
Printify
#8
Teelaunch
#10
Printful

How to Increase Sales on Print On Demand?

There are two basic aspects to the print on demand business that you need to consider. The first is the product and the second is how you can get people to see your products. If you don’t have a good design, it won’t make the customer buy your products. Most customers who visit the POD marketplaces expect something different, something unique than their boring stores. If you can give them something unique, the chances are that more customers will start to flock on your store.

The second part is also important because even if you have a great product, it doesn’t matter as long as the customers are unaware of it. It’s really important to give exposure on your products and let the customers know that you have something great to sell. The marketing must be done proficiently whether you’re doing it alone or if you have a team. Last but not the least, if you want your business to sustain and make a brand out of it, always come up with ideas that stands out from the crowd!

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