How print on demand works

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Print on Demand

If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you might have several business ideas that you want to try. While many business ideas sound good on paper, few actually end up becoming successful. Print-on-Demand (POD) is a simple yet profitable business that involves low-risk and no inventory.

If you’re an influencer with an established following, an artist, or writer, setting up a print-on-demand merchandise store can be a great way to monetize your talent and creativity. It allows you to put your words, art, photos, and ideas on physical products you can then sell online. T-shirts, mugs, and phone cases are some of the most popular items you can sell on your online print-on-demand store.

While people have been selling printed t-shirts and other items for a long time, the traditional way of keeping your own inventory can limit your profit because some items may not sell. Print-on-demand services offer a low risk alternative where you don’t have to invest as much and get to sell custom printed products at a much lower cost.

In earlier times printing on a small scale was not profitable. While large orders could be made efficiently, producing a small number of items was difficult (using stencils or mimeograph machines) and time taking, and therefore supply could be relied upon. In recent times the advancement of digital printing technology and the rise of eCommerce has paved the way for print-on-demand business models.

How print-on-demand works

Print-on-demand services involve using white-labelled products (unbranded products manufactured by a third party) customized with the seller’s unique brand logo on it, sold on a per-order basis. When you have a print-on-demand merchandise store you work with a supplier to custom print and deliver your products. Per-order sale means that the seller does not have to pay for any product until a sale is made. This eliminates the need to buy items in bulk or hold an inventory. Once you set up your online store, fulfilling an order is pretty simple. When an item is sold on the online store, the supplier handles everything from printing to shipping.

The print on demand model is common in the publishing industry where many booksellers print books based on the orders they receive. More recently it was become popular for customized merchandise including t-shirts, hoodies, posters, mugs, water bottles, pillows, tote bags, backpacks, journals, jackets, skirts, caps, jewelry, towels, aprons, phone cases, coasters, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Whatever the customized item is the print on demand business model has a simple underlying principle: printing follows ordering. Customers place an order for a particular product and it is printed and customized only after the order has been placed.

Who can make a print on demand store?

Entrepreneurs

You can set up a print on demand store to test out a new business idea without having to buy and store inventory. You could also try out a new product for your existing business. You can also use POD for creating limited edition one-off items. Even if you own a brick and mortar establishment you can set up a POD merchandise store to expand your business.

Influencers and content creators

Social media influencers can use POD to monetize their following. Whether you are a vlogger, podcaster, or radio show host, you can customize products with your brand and sell them to your fans.

Artists

If you are an artist and want to sell your art, a POD merchandise store is a great way to do that. You can focus on creating art instead of fulfilling orders. 

Photographers

You can have your most beautiful photos printed on different products and make a profit.

 

What are the benefits of print-on-demand?

POD offers some great benefits such as:

  1.       Low startup cost: All you need is an idea to put on your products.
  2.       Quick set up: Setting up a store takes just a few minutes.
  3.       Make products fast: You can design and put products in your online store in minutes.
  4.       Easy shipping: Supplier takes care of shipping and fulfillment.
  5.       Low risk: Because you don’t have to keep inventory, it’s easy to add, remove, or experiment with products.

If you’ve decided to set up an online merch store, Launch Cart can help you set it up in a few clicks. Click here to get started. 

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