Print-on-demand (POD) services give you the chance to customize white-label products which can then be sold on a per-order basis.
Working with Print on demand companies is a highly convenient way to save money, time, and also helps to avoid having to personally manage inventory.
It also allows you to put all of your creativity into the products and designs you want to sell, but at a fraction of the usual cost.
If you’re not sure whether print-on-demand is the right kind of service for you, we’re here to lend a helping hand! Here are some pros and cons of this service.
Easy To Start
Many print-on-demand platforms are pretty straightforward to navigate and use. It usually includes signing up, creating a profile, and then uploading your designs or products. This entire process can be completed in just a few minutes. While some sites will offer a free setup, others will charge a registration fee.
One of the most prominent advantages of using a print-on-demand service is that you don’t have to worry about covering stock costs or expenses. It also removes the possibility of getting stuck with additional merchandise that you might be unable to sell, and prevents stock-outs from occurring as all the merchandise will only go into production after an order has been placed.
Stick To What You Know
Lots of the behind the scenes logistics, production, and technical elements are handled on your behalf by the print-on-demand company. This gives you the time and freedom to focus on what you’re good at. This allows you to dedicate some valuable time producing lots of different designs and products that you may want to sell.
Provides Opportunity To Experiment
Or, if you’re feeling a little daring, you could even begin to experiment with new designs and product types to see if your customers like them or not. And if a design doesn’t perform as well, it isn’t the end of the world. You can just delete it!
It Establishes A Brand
These services are usually always white-labeled. This means you have the choice to completely customize the packaging and products with your own personal choice of branding. This means that when the consumer receives their order, there is no obvious sign of a third party service ever being involved. Overall, this gives your products a personal touch.
Low And Varied Profit Margins
The total cost of items for a print-on-demand service is typically much higher in comparison to purchasing wholesale. This will result in much lower profit margins.
PODs are businesses too, which means they aren’t going to offer their services for free. They have many responsibilities that they need to take care of including selling, packaging, and shipping. It means that these companies will do whatever they have to so that they make a profit.
Any artists opting to use POD services will be paid via royalties (a percentage of each sale) or from a markup from the overall product cost. In this instance, the artist will have the choice to declare the retail price of their designs. Depending on the type of product being sold, this is a large reason why profit margins may be quite low.
Issues With Quality
As you create your own art, designs, and products, you must ensure that the POD company you are working with prioritizes quality printing, rather than just on potential profit. This is absolutely essential low quality printing could end up reflecting negatively on the art that you design, and may even have an adverse effect on sales, too.
Thankfully there is a way around this. Carry out your own research to find a company who have achieved consistent results in terms of high quality printing. You can check their customer service department and their website for this information.
Longer Order Fulfillment Time
Because each product is printed according to customer demand, it will usually take a little bit longer to fulfill an order than it would if you had an established number of products available and in stock. This might not appear to be a negative thing for the designer of the products but this may not be the case for the customer who has chosen to order the product.
Sales Aren’t Guaranteed
There are a lot of POD companies out there which means that it may be difficult to stand out. You shouldn’t be lulled into the idea that buyers will come to you. Instead, you need to spend some time focusing on the promotion of your products across various social media platforms.
There are several pros and cons associated with print-on-demand services. However, it’s completely up to you whether you decide to work with this type of company or not.