Whether you’re an artist, writer, designer, or entrepreneur, physical products can be the perfect canvas for monetizing your creativity.
From t-shirts to hoodies, you can put your own original spin on everyday products and sell them online. However, if you go the traditional route of buying and holding your own inventory, you may be left with a pile of products that aren’t selling.
Print-on-demand services offer an alternative way to bypass the time, investment, and risk associated with managing inventory, letting you go from creating to selling custom products at a fraction of the cost.
What is “print on demand” and how does it work?
Print on demand is a process where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products (like t-shirts or hoodies) with your own designs to sell them on a per-order basis under your own brand.
That means you don’t pay for the product until after you’ve actually sold it, so there’s no need to buy in bulk or hold any inventory yourself.
Plus, with print-on-demand services everything after the sale, from printing to shipping, is handled by us. Once you’ve set everything up, it takes only a few clicks to fulfill an order once you’ve made a sale.
You can use print-on-demand services to:
- Test a new product line for an existing business without the risks that come with buying inventory.
- Sell to your audience. Print on demand is a great option if you’re a YouTuber, artist, or social media influencer who wants to spend your time creating content instead of fulfilling orders.
- Create original products for enthusiasts. For example, apparel for people who are passionate about gaming.
The pros and cons of print on demand
Print on demand sites can be used to build a business based on a drop shipping model—where the products and shipping are all handled by a third party. It’s one of the most accessible ways to source products or start an online business, but you should know the perks and limitations before you dive in.
- Create products quickly: Once you have the design, you can create the product and put it up for sale in minutes.
- Shipping is taken care of: Shipping and fulfilment is out of your hands and in ours. After the sale, you’re just responsible for customer service.
- Low investment, lower risk: Since you’re not physically holding any inventory, it’s easier to add or remove products, test ideas, or pivot your approach.
- Lower margins: Naturally, your costs per item will be higher than if you buy in bulk. On-demand products may yield thinner profits, depending on how you price them and acquire customers.
- Less control over shipping: Shipping costs can get complicated as it often varies for different products.