If you’ve been on this blog before, you’ll know that we often talk about dye-sublimation printing, printers, and heat presses. In this article, we’ll be taking a detour, and focusing on Print on Demand services. Whether you are an entrepreneur, artist, writer, or creative, print on demand services are a great, low-risk method of monetizing your creations.
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Print On Demand Services
From t-shirts to books, calendars, backpacks, and much more, print on demand can help get your creative work onto everyday products and in the hands of your audience. You can do all of this without needing to make your own products or hold your own inventory. Rather than focus on running a whole side-business, you can turn your attention onto monetizing your creative work. This is a good alternative to sublimation printing.
Print on demand services allow you to side-step a lot of the heavy lifting associated with managing and producing merchandise. This lets you go from creating to selling customized products at a fraction of the cost.
What is Print on Demand and How Exactly Does it Work?
Print on demand (or POD) is an order fulfillment method where you work directly with a supplier to customize white-label merchandise with your own designs.
This means that you can start selling your designs and creative work, often without minimum order quantities, and deliver high quality customized merchandise. All without having to actually produce or manufacture anything yourself.
Not only are you not involved with the manufacturing process, but you don’t have to order anything until you sell it. You won’t have to hold any inventory, you won’t have to buy anything in bulk, and you won’t have to worry about many of the risks associated with customized merchandise.
Plus, everything after the sale is managed entirely by your supplier. From printing to shipping and handling, your supplier will manage everything. Your order fulfillment turns from a production process into just a few clicks.
How can I use a Print on Demand Service?
You can get started with a print on demand service today! You can use a print on demand service to:
- Test a business idea. Have an idea for a new business? You can quickly test and prototype designs for any customized merchandise you may have thought up, without any risk of starting your own manufacturing process.
- Monetize an audience. Do you already have a pre-existing audience? Maybe a YouTube audience or a dedicated blog following? Getting your customized merchandise in front of your audience is as easy and making a couple of designs. You’ll be able to get your merchandise in front of your audience quickly and efficiently, without having to handle any of the shipping or handling associated with that custom merchandise.
- Create original products for your niche. Are you looking at an untapped niche? You don’t have to twiddle your thumbs, waiting for someone else to monetize a potential niche. You can get your products in front of an untapped niche before anyone else, allowing you to reap the rewards of your great ideas.
- Easily print one-off items. Maybe you aren’t looking at starting a business, but are rather looking at a unique gift idea for someone in your life. Print on demand services allow you to easily get the perfect customized gift for anyone in your life.
What are the Pros and Cons of Print on demand services?
Print on demand websites offer a great option for anyone, no matter if you are starting your drop shipping business, looking to monetize your audience with customized merchandise, or even looking for an easy custom gift. But before you jump in blindly, let’s get you familiar with the advantages and limitations of print on demand websites and services.
- Quick Prototyping Time. With print on demand services, you don’t have to spend a significant amount of your time on testing and making products. You can quickly come up with designs, and order directly for a print on demand website. This allows you to be flexible and quick when it comes to rapidly testing your ideas.
- No Shipping or Handling. There’s a popular question all business owners have to ask themselves: do you own a business or do you own a job? When you work with a print on demand service, you don’t have to handle all the shipping and handling for your custom merchandise. All you have to do is come up with designs. This lets you focus on selling and creating your products, rather than focusing on the manufacturing process.
- Minimized Risk. Print on demand websites and services allow you to rapidly prototype and produce customized merchandise without having to focus on the manufacturing or having to hold any inventory. This makes a print on demand service extremely low risk. You don’t need to worry about meeting minimum order quantities, or maintaining inventory, all you have to do is come up with designs and sell your merchandise.
- Lower margins. When compared with manufacturing and producing your own customized products, print on demand service will always have lower margins. You’ll need to pay a premium for someone else to handle all the manufacturing, shipping, and handling. This will result in lower margins for you and your business.
- Less control. Since you are passing the control over a significant part of your business process onto someone else, you will obviously have less control over your business. Take, for example, the shipping of your merchandise. You will have limited control over the complicated shipping you may be faced with. This is some of the control you will have to sacrifice when using a print on demand website.
- Limited customization. You can, of course, customize your merchandise your products with a print on demand service. However, you won’t be able to customize everything. You will have to work within the constraints of the service or website you end up using. This can limit your customization options for all of your products or merchandise.
Picking a Print on Demand Service
Before you get started with your print on demand drop-shipping business, you’ll want to carefully consider your options. Different services and websites have different product offerings, shipping limitations, and much more.
You may find what initially looks like a great offer, only until you realize it can take up to 3 weeks for it to ship out to your customer.
So before you jump into the deep end with different print on demand services, you’ll want to make sure you make the right choice for your needs. We’ll be going over some of our recommendations for print on demand services. We will do our best to cover the services they offer, but we can’t guarantee that we will be comprehensive in our review of every service. After all, we haven’t used every option or extensively worked with all of these print on demand services. Rather, we are trying to give you an overview on the possibilities of each print on demand service.
This is also in no way a comprehensive list of every service out there. We will be reviewing some of the top and most popular services, but we aren’t able to review or cover every service available. Take our reviews with a grain of salt.
T-Shirts, hoodies, backpacks, sweatpants, engraved jewelry, and embroidered hats. Printful has one of the most diverse product offerings available. No matter what type of custom merchandise you are interested in, there’s a pretty good chance Printful offers something that’ll suit your needs.
No matter what you are interested in making, Printful likely has the capability of making what you want. But their custom product offerings doesn’t even begin to explain why Printful is such a great option.
They can easily integrate with your eCommerce platform of choice. Whether you are using a platform for your store, like Shopify, Woocommerce, Magneto, or Squarespace. Or even if you are listing on a marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or Ebay. Printful has easy to integrate business solutions for your listings. You can store all of your inventory and instantly fulfill your orders with Printful’s solutions.
Printful can also meet your needs as a business. They offer 5 different fulfillment centers, spanning across several different countries and continents. This gives you the capability to sell your products anywhere in the world. Printful is even able to ship within the continental United States within 3 days on average! That’s extremely impressive shipping capabilities.
There are no minimum orders on your products, no monthly fees, and no sign-up fees. You have complete control over all of your branding, and you won’t have to worry about enormous shipping fees. Printful partners with carriers from across the world to get you the best prices on all shipping.
T-Shirts, hoodies, phone cases, accessories, and mugs. Printify offers the products you want and while providing you with the services you need. Whether you want to explore different product options, or if you have a specific idea, Printify likely offers what you need to get started with your drop shipping business.
But don’t get too fixated on their product offerings, since Printify offers oh-so much more.
Much like Printful, Printify is able to directly integrate with your eCommerce platform of choice. Whether you are a one-person business, or a global eCommerce store, Printify is able to support your platform. Printify supports the following business solutions:
If your preferred eCommerce solution is not supported, you still have options. With the Printify API, you can directly connect your platform to the Printify store.
Not only do the offer easy-to-use and flexible integrations with the most common eCommerce platforms, but they support your other business needs. They provide you with more than 250 unique products, easy to create products mock-ups, and 24/7 merchant support. This gives you the flexibility and support you need to efficiently and effectively manage your business.
Most importantly, they have over 90 printing facilities, located across the US, UK, and China. This means you can easily provide your products to a worldwide audience. You won’t be limited in your business options when working with Printify.
T-shirts, stationary, calendars, gifts, stickers, wall-art. You name it, Redbubble probably has already made it.
There aren’t many print on demand options that can match the product offerings that Redbubble has. However, Redbubble operates a little different compared to more traditional print on demand services.
Redbubble doesn’t directly integrate into your eCommerce platforms. This may seem like an issue, but Redbubble is still a great option for many creatives.
What Redbubble does it much more simple. They provide a platform for different creatives and artists to provide and sell their work. If you come up with some artwork, such as a sticker, t-shirt, or stationary notebook, you can list your products on Redbubble and start selling immediately.
Redbubble provides the listing service for your products. Rather than listing on your own eCommerce platform, you’ll directly list your products on Redbubble. You’ll get paid a fee every time an order is placed through Redbubble.
This obviously comes with limitations, but definitely enables you to focus on the things that may matter to you more. Rather than having to worry about maintaining a website and eCommerce platform, you can focus on just selling and creating your products.
Redbubble is perfect for someone looking to monetize their audience quickly. If you’re a YouTuber, Instagram Influencer, manage a popular Facebook page, or have a meme Twitter account, then Redbubble may be exactly what you are looking for. You won’t have to worry about creating or managing a website, nor will you have to worry about your product images, eCommerce listing, credit card processing system, or anything else commonly associated with managing your own listings. All you have to do is make a design, and start selling it.
Redbubble has an absolutely massive listing of products created by thousands of different creatives, and you can get your listings up today!
So is Print on Demand for you?
In this article, we’ve covered a lot of the benefits of using a print on demand service. If you’re interested in producing customized merchandise, starting a dropshipping service, or expanding your current product offerings, then print on demand websites are an incredible option for you.
Even if you have an established audience, like a YouTube audience, an Instagram following, or a wide Twitter reach, you can use print on demand services to help monetize your audience.
With print on demand, you can rapidly prototype your ideas, start a low-risk dropshipping business, and instantly offer a wide range of merchandise for any niche or audience. You may need to sacrifice some control and some of your margins, but in return you won’t have to worry about any of the manufacturing, shipping or handling when it comes to your products. All you have to do is come up with designs, and sell.
Print on demand services are a perfect option for many people. No matter what service you end up going with, print on demand websites can provide you with the capability of rapidly selling your products.