Print on Demand

Print on Demand?

I am sure many of you have heard what Print on Demand (POD) is. Well, the online marketing stuff everyone is talking about, like dropshipping, affiliate marketing, social media marketing and it goes on and on.

In this article, you will be learning exactly what print on demand is in the simplest way possible and how you can also start your own POD business.

Enjoy!  

Take a Closer Look

What is Print on Demand? (POD)

There are several things to consider when starting an online business.

 For instance, where will you sell? How will you promote your products?

And…. also, what is your business model?

Likewise, Print on Demand (POD) is a business model where you work with a supplier who provides a service of customizing and creating designs of products ranging from mugs to t – shirts to hoodies to phone cases and so much more.

So basically, instead of handling all the works of production, shipping processes and fulfilment.

You are just kind of outsourcing them all to a manufacturer who handles these e-commerce goods.

And the great thing about POD is – there is no upfront cost.

Meaning, you only pay for what you have sold, because it is entirely done on demand, as the name suggests, thus there is no inventory required.

So what's the catch?

Though this may be the one of the easiest business models to work with, there are some few skills which will benefit you to great lenghts if you learn them. 

 But I recommend that you learn at least the basic of the following skills (it will save you a lot of time in the long run):

  • Knowledge and skill on designing; and
  • Facebook Ads

Yeah, that’s it! You just need this 2 skills and it’s not even complicated.

Let me be frank. Learning the basic designing skills to create a design is pretty simple, it will probably take only 2-3 days depending on how much time you invest each day.

But as for Facebook ads, learning to launch your first ad is easy but mastering it won’t be that easy. All I can say is that it depends on how much you try and make the most out of the mistakes you make. Failure is essential at some point.

But remember, you can always outsource someone to run the ads for you too.

But keep an eye on your revenue, else your profit margin would be too small comparing to the amount you are spending to hire these freelancers and also paying for the ads.

Pros and Cons of Print on Demand (POD)

Pros:

  • No inventory required:

This definitely saves you a lot of hard work. You don’t even have to see the product to sell it.

  • No upfront cost:

Since there is no upfront cost, you will have more money to invest in ads.

  • Unique products:

With custom-made products, it is unique and people are more likely to buy rare and unique products. You can make a truly one of a kind product. If it’s one place where you can use your creativity, it’s here.

Cons:

  • Low profit margin:

Profit margin may be low since the companies that provide you with these services are also trying to run a business. So, complex designs with higher base cost will have lower profit margin.

  • Quality is uncertain:

Quality is a matter of concern. Though some manufacturers may produce good quality printed products, most are not likely  to. Since better quality products will obviously cost more, so to keep the cost down, companies are likely to find alternate ways of producing lower quality products.

  • Shipping costs:

Shipping costs is also a matter of concern.  Most of these suppliers try to ship from the country your customer resides in. Though in this case, delivery will be faster, shipping costs may be a bit higher. Once again, this will also cut down your profit.

How to start?

That’s pretty simple.

  1. Sign up at a website like printify that provides POD service
  2. Create a design
  3. Create a product with the design
  4. Promote the product through paid ads.

Things you should consider:

  • Niche:

This is very important. This will determine the type of audience you will be selling to and the level of competition. So decide on the proper niche. (This is where most beginners make mistakes.)

They can be gaming niche, birthday niche, dog/cats niche, relationship niche, etc.

But take note that some niches are over saturated, so the competition is very high which will result in costlier ads.

  • Design:

It is best to keep your designs as simple as possible.  At most – A 3 color variation.

People prefer simpler designs and that’s a good thing because it will keep your base cost lower and make your product easier to design.

Also, find a scalable design.

Some print on demand websites allow the users to sell on their website itself, so you can opt for that.

If not, you can also create a website but that will come with some additional costs such as web hosting and domain name registration charges.  Also, if you sell on your own website, you’ll have to deal with fulfilments (i.e. returns and refunds).

It’s all up to you to decide how you want to start according to your preferences.

  • Marketing:

This is the most important of all. As online marketers, the most important skill we should have is the ability to sell.

No matter how good your product may be, if you don’t know how to market it, it is totally useless.

Therefore, focus more on marketing strategies.  Let’s face it. As much as you don’t want to be a sales person, you seriously need this skill.

Websites for Print on Demand:

1.       Teespring

2.       Printify

3.       Redbubble

4.       Sunfrog

5.       Teefury

6.       Threadless

7.       Shopify

8.       Spreadshirt

9.       CafePress

10.   Design By Humans

You can read more about them in detail here.

Conclusion:

Now that you are loaded with all the necessary knowledge, I am sure you will understand better when you learn more about Print on Demand (POD).

Also, I suggest that you take up some courses (i.e. for Facebook ads or designing) if you want to start.

Thank you for reading, I really hope this helps. 

 Please do share if you liked it. 

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