Print-on-demand (POD) services have exploded in popularity due to the high level of convenience they provide to creatives aiming to sell products with their original designs. However, many people who are just entering the e-commerce space are also considering doing things themselves.
The best POD business owners will want to keep up with the latest print-on-demand trends of 2022 and 2023. There are endless resources you can find on our site, from CustomCat print-on-demand reviews to print-on-demand jewelry guides, and the first step to joining this world should be familiarizing yourself with these services.
The question we’re tackling today, however, is whether opting for print-on-demand services is better than doing things yourself.
Print-on-demand is essentially an order fulfillment service in which a specific website, run by a printing company, will print items when a product is ordered. They typically require no order minimums.
The term ‘print-on-demand’ is often connected with dropshipping as a means of describing a service in which items are printed to order, then shipped directly from the manufacturer to the buyer on behalf of the user selling the goods.
POD also means there’s no need for inventory—because the product isn’t made until it’s ordered, the product will always be “in stock.” All potential business owners have to do is create an original design; then, they upload the design to the POD service and select one of the available products. Print-on-demand services will typically offer the creation of t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, cupholders, and many other items that can feature custom designs.
When a sale takes place—in other words, whenever someone actually ends up buying the product—a print order is initiated. Finally, the product is delivered to the address of the person who bought it.
This provides numerous benefits to the business owner. For one, they do not have to own their own printing equipment. Additionally, they do not have to hold any inventory.
On the other end of the spectrum, if business owners are starting a business on their own to sell their original designs, there are a few things they need to get first.
First, they need the equipment required to print products. Typically, each product requires its own set of equipment–they can go to a printing company and buy bulk-order t-shirts, but these companies often have an order minimum.
The owner needs to create stock, which means that they need to find or rent out space in which they can hold all the products they intend to sell. Additionally, due to the fact that they have ordered everything upfront, they need to prepare to be left with products that have not sold taking up space in storage.
Doing things by yourself requires a lot of inventory management, labor, and equipment.
While doing things yourself might allow for a higher level of control over what is being printed and provide a larger sense of ownership, using print-on-demand services can be a lot more convenient. For guidance within the print-on-demand world, Skup has you covered with the best growth and scalability tools to take your e-commerce business to the next level!