Print on Demand (POD) is a popular but new practice for many online businesses, meaning there are still many who have never heard of “Print on Demand.” Without familiarity, many are left with uncertainty, confusion, and oftentimes pure myth. In this post, we look to dispel many common myths associated with print on demand.
1. There’s no money in print on demand
It’s not fair to say that all print on demand products offer a high profit margin–it varies greatly from product to quality–but as is with any business, it falls on the seller to research the services and reputation of the vendor they rely on.
POD actually serves a number of larger operations as an easy and efficient access point to wider product varieties previously only available through wholesale. POD products eliminate significant inventory risks and offer business owners the freedom to pivot as soon as an idea doesn’t work. That flexibility comes with some cost (compared to dropshipping, for example), but you’ll find that most POD products still offer significant profit margins at MSRP.
2. Little to no work is required.
Print on demand indeed saves sellers a lot of time in certain areas, eliminating the need for inventory and fulfillment. However, time saved in these areas need to be redistributed into other aspects of building a successful business, such as market research, advertising, customer service, etc.
3. If you can’t ship at the speed of Amazon Prime, then forget about it.
Amazon Prime offers its members unparalleled convenience when it comes to shipping, training an entire generation to expect all deliveries within two days or less. Why would they be willing to wait longer?
- You offer a product or design they can’t find elsewhere
- You openly explain that each item is made as a customer orders
4. Product quality is low.
Print on demand is one of the few times you should try your own supply. While some services sacrifice on quality to maintain speed and volume, quality POD services do exist (e.g. GearLaunch), and it’s up to the business owner to find them.
Because you essentially outsource product and fulfillment to suppliers, your products will go directly to customers without ever touching your hands. To maintain some control, do a test run of the product and become a customer yourself.
5. You need to be a graphic designer.
As we’ve outline in “Tips to Make Any Design Look Good,” you won’t need skills beyond the ones you have now and what you can learn on your own. Some of the most popular tshirts sold on GearLaunch feature nothing but plain text–the success comes from its simplicity, relevance, and discoverability among the right audience.
If you’re still hesitant, you always have the option of hiring a designer or purchasing a design. Check out our post on enlisting the help of freelance designers.