What is Print On Demand and How Does it Work?

What is print on Demand? How does it work?

Print-on-demand is one of the most successful E-commerce businesses. A lot of people want to learn about Print on Demand, How it works? and what are some great Print on Demand Service Providers?

In this article, we discuss what print-on-demand is how it works, and everything else that you need to know about this business strategy.

If it’s a business model that has gained much popularity in the market today, it’s the e-commerce business. With e-commerce, more and more businesses are now setting up online shops where all the deals are done and closed online.

This has helped to reduce costs, improve customer service since customers can now get faster responses online, and also ensured a faster and smoother buying process.

E-commerce businesses come in different types and varieties. And one such popular option that you can consider undertaking is print-on-demand.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on Demand (POD) is a process that involves working with a third-party print provider to create customized products. After customizing, you can then sell the white-label products under your own brand or label on a pre-order basis.

Usually, print-on-demand items are created only after the customer has made an order. Therefore, when you start a print-on-demand in the beginning you won’t have to worry about starting capital or the costs of buying large amounts of stock.

After all, you only get to pay for the product after the customer has placed the order and the third-party supplier has printed it.

What is Print on Demand?
What is Print on Demand? image by freepik.com

What’s even better, after your customer orders a product, your supplier handles everything else after the sale. For example, the supplier does the printing, packaging, counting, and shipping of the products.

Indeed, not only does this business strategy help you save costs, but it also gives you the opportunity to that new business ideas or product lines and see how they would fare in the market without incurring the risks associated with inventory purchase.

How Does Print on Demand Work?

Starting and running a print-on-demand business model involves only a few steps. However, remember that these steps may vary slightly depending on which platform you choose to use.

Here are the three main steps involved with print-on-demand businesses:

Choose a Provider

The first step to starting a print-on-demand business is to choose your print provider. Different print providers offer different print-on-demand services. Printful and Printify are some of the most popular print-on-demand providers.

Therefore, you need to do your research first, then choose the third-party supplier that best meets your needs and preferences.

After choosing your ideal print provider, set up an account. Then, upload your designs and list the products that you intend to sell on your online store. From there, the print-on-demand company should begin selling and fulfilling products on your behalf.

Start Selling Products

When it comes to selling products, you don’t have to worry much since your print provider will handle most of your sales for you.

Besides, they will do most of the marketing for you, such that you sell and make a profit without putting in too much effort. However, if you are a solopreneur who runs a print-on-demand business by yourself, then you will need to market your products to attract more people to your website and generate sales.

Fulfill Your Order

Once you receive an order from a customer, it is automatically passed to the print provider of your choosing. Then, your supplier will begin printing the customized order.

They will also package, count, and ship the order directly to the customer, as well as perform other activities that take place between printing and product delivery.

Then, once the customer pays for the product, you get your payment, and the print-on-demand supplier gets their share of the commission.

What Products you can Sell in Print on Demand?

There are different types of products that you can sell through print-on-demand. Consider the most common items that are sold using print-on-demand services like Tech accessories, such as tablet and laptop cases, as well as phone cases. Accessories, such as caps, jewelry, bags, socks, scarves, and hats.

Different apparel, including women’s clothes, dresses, hoodies, skirts, men’s clothes, and children’s tops.

Decorations and homeware, such as tapestries, towels, blankets, wall decals, pillows, tumblers, and framed art.
Water bottles, glassware, and mugs. Book printing and Some others.

As a general rule, anything that can have a particular design printed on it can be sold as a print-on-demand product. Or simply put, if it can be imagined, then it can also be printed!

What is the Difference Between Print on Demand and Dropshipping?

Print-on-demand and dropshipping are very similar models of e-commerce; both involve providing products directly from the manufacturer (or supplier) to the customer or retailer.

Therefore, both types of businesses do not require you to stock products or keep an inventory.

However, while print-on-demand focuses only on the items that the customer orders, dropshipping focuses mainly on products manufactured in bulk.

Print on demand vs dropshipping
Print on Demand vs Dropshipping image by freepik.com

In other words, with print-on-demand, sellers accept individual orders, including single items, and the print-on-demand supplier ships these orders to the customer. On the other hand, dropshipping only deals with customers’ bulk orders.

Also, print-on-demand mainly focuses on customized goods, while dropshipping deals with general products that do not require customization.

For example, an order for a plain blue baseball cap would be best sold via dropshipping, while an order for a blue baseball cap with a specific custom logo design would require a print-on-demand service.

Pros of Print on Demand

  1. Print-on-demand platforms are easy to use.
  2. You do not need to purchase any equipment or products to start the business.
  3. Packaging and shipping activities are taken care of by the print provider.
  4. The business has lower risks for loss.
  5. You do not need to keep an inventory.
  6. With print on demand, you can create unique designs to sell to customers and stand out from the competition.

Cons of Print on Demand

  1. You Have to Provide Customer Support after you get the order
  2. Maintaining your Products and Website
  3. You have to Handle Returns and Refunds

Popular Print on Demand Providers

  1. Printful
  2. Printify
  3. Gooten
  4. Society6


If you want to start a good business with fewer start-up costs, then you would do well to start a print-on-demand business.

With print-on-demand, you won’t need to stock any products or keep an inventory. Besides, when a customer makes an order, your print provider will handle everything else after the sale, from the packaging to the shipping and delivery. What better online business could there be than this?

However, to ensure that you gain the most benefit and profit from your print-on-demand business, choose your print and fulfillment provider carefully; the quality and efficiency of your provider will significantly determine how successful your online business will be.

Also Read:

  1. How to start Blog in 2023 and Make money from it?
  2. How to choose the right web hosting for your Website?
  3. How to build an online eCommerce store on Woocommerce?

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