Print On Demand PROS AND CONS | what is print on demand drop shipping? Printful
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Print On Demand PROS AND CONS | what is print on demand drop shipping? Printful


What is print on demand drop shipping and
what are the real pros and cons of this business model? Let’s find out! Hi, Wes from Printful here! Today – let’s take it back to basics. We’ve seen a lot of people who are just
starting out in the ecommerce world or are thinking about it, asking questions like:
“ok, but what is this print-on-demand you’re talking about and why should I do it?” “ Why is it better than just printing my
own stuff and sending it out manually?” If you stay until the end of this video you’ll
learn – how the print-on-demand drop shipping business works and why it’s great for starting
an online business. We’ll look at the most important pros and
cons of print-on-demand to help you take advantage of the benefits this business model has and
most importantly – how to avoid some potential downsides! Before we begin, make sure you subscribe to
our channel! Tap on the little bell icon to get notified
about our latest videos and never miss out on useful tips on how to create and run a
successful ecommerce store! So – WHAT IS PRINT-ON-DEMAND DROP SHIPPING? To answer that question, we first need to
look at what drop shipping is in general. Drop shipping is a business model in which
a store doesn’t keep an inventory of the products it sells, but purchases them from
a third-party supplier who then ships the products directly to end-customers. It can be selling a variety of ready-made
products from different suppliers or your own custom products. With the print-on-demand model – or POD in
short -, your own custom designs are printed on products only as orders come in, and only
in the quantity the order asks for. This means, you sign up to a print-on-demand
service and connect it to your ecommerce store – it can be a website you’ve created on
platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Squarespace, or a marketplace you’ve chosen to sell on,
for example, Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon. You choose the products you want to sell from
the catalog of your Print on demand service, create and upload your designs, set your profit
margins, and wait for the orders to roll in. Your print-on-demand service takes care of
printing, packaging, and shipping out your products to your customers. This way, you can start your own brand online
without having to buy large quantities of products or investing in production equipment
and staff when you get started. So you don’t have to pay for your products
upfront, stock them yourself and manage shipping them – you can run your business from the
comfort of your home! WHO IS PRINT ON DEMAND FOR? POD is ideal for stores starting out. As any business, it’s not completely free
to start-up – for example, Printful itself doesn’t have a sign up fee, but you might
have to pay for your ecommerce platform, hosting for your site, or marketing to get your products
out there to your customers. However, it is very cost-effective in comparison
to classic business models, so – relatively cheap. It’s a low risk business model that doesn’t
ask for large investments in maintenance or expansion. To learn more about how much money you really
need to start a Print on demand business, we’ve created a video that shows you what
expenses to factor in when creating a starting budget. There’s a link in the description, so make
sure to check it out after watching this video! Print on demand is also great if you want
to grow your business and test new products – it gives you freedom to experiment with
new ideas with ease. Since POD is all about selling your own custom
designs, it’s a great business model for designers and artists who want to sell their
artwork on different products – be it posters and canvas for art prints, illustrations or
word art for t-shirts or mugs. If you already have a running business or
an established brand, POD is also a great way to generate some extra income by selling
merch. Custom merch has become a trend in extending
profit not only among YouTube celebrities and influencers, but also businesses that
have gathered a community around them. And so as our brand grew, we started the Kettlebell
Kings community, which is kind of a self-sustaining community of kettlebell enthusiasts who like
to participate in events, they like to share communication about new techniques, new ideas,
new kettlebells, the best products out there. And so at that point we realized that we needed
to start branching out, having apparel, having things that people could use and take with
them, and purchase for their friends and family. So working with print-on-demand can be a great
way for you to start a side hustle and get some extra income as well as if you’re looking
to go all in and work on building a brand and running it full time. Now – the fun part. Let’s weigh out the pros and cons this business
model has to offer. One – You don’t need to print anything in
bulk. In print on demand, the emphasis is on the
“on demand” part – the printer will only print the product once it’s ordered. This means you don’t have to gamble with
your money – you won’t end up with a huge stock of t-shirts with a design that doesn’t
sell as well as you’d hoped. Two – You don’t need to buy equipment. Your POD partner takes care of the technical
side of the printing process – you don’t need to buy any expensive printing machines,
And you don’t need to learn how to print a product either. Three – You can save time on the technical
side of running a business. Since your POD partner takes care of the whole
technical side of your business, including fulfilling and shipping out your orders, you
can concentrate more on the fun side. Invest more time in creating your designs
and marketing your store! Four – You can experiment with designs easily. POD also lets you take more risks with the
designs you offer – you can easily add new designs to your store and test if your customers
love them or not. Since products are printed on demand, you’re
not making a huge investment in something that might not sell in the end. If a design isn’t as popular as you might
like, you can easily remove it from your store. Five – You can experiment with different products. You can experiment not only with designs,
but also with products. More and more print on demand services are
expanding beyond the scope of just ‘printing’.for example, with Printful, you can sell embroidery
products like hats and apparel, engraved jewelry, cut and sew products like leggings, dresses,
athletic wear, backpacks, fanny packs that are individually printed and sewn with your
designs, and more. Print on demand is not about only selling
graphic tees anymore—now you can create your own apparel lines for a variety of niche
audiences. For example, you can create a line with athletic
shirts, shorts, yoga leggings, and sports bras for fitness lovers. Or a beach line with custom print swimsuits,
towels, and beach bags. Or take advantage of the growing demand for
kids products with custom print baby apparel like bodysuits, leggings, or baby bibs. Six – It’s easy to customize your designs. You can offer more customization options for
your customers – for example, your customers can incorporate something unique of theirs,
like their name. Print on demand services are responding to
the ever growing need of personalization in people’s shopping experiences. For example, we’ve created a product personalization
tool for some of our integrations This means you can sell products you customers can directly
personalize right on your store, without you having to manually edit them each time. To learn more about product personalization,
make sure to check out this page, I’ve left a link to it in the description below. Seven – It’s easy to establish your brand. A common thing for print on demand services
is that they’re white label. This means you can customize your products
and packaging with your branding, so that when your customers receive their orders,there’s
no sign of it coming from a third party service. For example, with Printful, you have a range
of different branding options – you can create inside or outside labels on your apparel with
your logo, customize your packing slips, or add pack ins like stickers or thank you notes
to give your packages that special, personal touch. Eight – Take advantage of services and resources. Working with a POD service is a partnership. Your success as a seller is also a success
for them. Your print-on-demand partner can help you
not only with the technical side of fulfilling your orders, but it can also be a valuable
hub of resources to help you start-up or grow your business. From free product mockup images you can use
on your store as product photos, to professional photography, design, or even store set-up
services – print on demand companies are growing their offering to make your journey to success
easier. And let’s not forget about the information
resources – there are blogs, ebooks, webinars and even this very video – here to help you
navigate the world of online business. But like with anything, there are also some
cons to the Print on demand model: One – You lose control over the fulfillment
process and quality of the products. Just like with any drop shipping service,
POD means that you don’t see each product yourself, so you have to trust the printer
to do their job properly. This is why it’s important to test your
products before you start selling to see how they look. With Printful, it’s quite easy to do that
– you have the option to order product samples that come at a discount. It’s possible that you or your customer
might receive a damaged item. It could be a manufacturer’s error, fulfillment
error, or damaged during shipping. There’s no denying that these things happen
for any product manufacturing business. As you already know, we have quality control
that the fulfilled products go through. However, as with everything, we might accidentally
let through a defective item. If your customer receives a damaged or defective
item because of our mistake, we take full responsibility and cover the error at our
expense. Two – You depend on your printing partner
for products and their availability. POD companies work with different suppliers
to source products or product materials, for example, fabric. This means there are a lot of moving parts,
and sometimes products may go out of stock or become unavailable. If you’re using Printful, you can check
availability of all our products on our products & pricing page. You can choose the product you want to check,
and here under the ‘availability’ tab you can see which size and color variants
are stocked, and in which of our fulfillment centers. So this way you can see which products are
always available and which we stock on demand. Three – Order fulfillment takes longer. Since every product is printed on demand,
it takes longer to fulfill orders than it would if you already had available stock. Our average order fulfillment time is 3 days,
and shipping times go on top of that. As a store owner, you have to manage your
customers’ expectations – let them know that each product is printed on demand and
that this takes a bit longer than sending out an already made product. We have a video on how our fulfillment times
work and what happens to your order until it’s shipped out. So you can check that out after this video,
there will be a link in the description below. Four – Returns management may require more
attention. Since you’re working with a third party
service, there’s more to consider when it comes to dealing with situations where your
customers might want to return a product. So make sure you set up a return policy that
goes hand-in-hand with your POD partner’s policy. There are commonly two types of returns – returns
by the shipping carrier and returns by customers. In the first case, when your package gets
returned to us by a carrier, it’s usually an error referred to as ‘wrong address’. It happens if you or your end customer provide
an address that is considered insufficient by the carrier. So ask your customers to be extra careful
with zip codes and apartment numbers to avoid a delay in your order reaching your customer. The other reason – when the end customer wants
to return their ordered items – most commonly occurs because they’ve ordered the wrong
size. To avoid this kind of situation, we highly
suggest you add a size guide to your products. We have a great blog article on store policies
you should apply to your store to make it easier to deal with returns or other issues
you might run into. So check that out, I’ll put a link to it
in the description. So these are the pros and cons of print-on-demand
drop shipping. What are the conclusions? Print-on-demand is great for starting an online
business because of the low cost and minimal risk factors. It saves you time, since you don’t have
to take care of production or shipping. The POD industry is constantly growing in
the variety of products you can customize and sell, and it’s advancing in ways that
make it easier for you to run a business. But there are some downsides, like trusting
a third party to deliver your products in the best quality and being dependent on the
product selection they offer. With print on demand, you also have to remember
that since your orders are handled on demand, you have to factor in the fulfillment time
when giving estimates to your customers. More and more people are getting used to shopping
online, so it makes sense that ecommerce is one of the largest growing industries. And starting up with print on demand is a
great way to jump on ship with the world of online business. Comment down below if there are other print
on demand pros or cons you can think of! And let us know what other topics you would
want us to talk about! See you in the next video!

19 Comments

  • Printful Custom Printing

    What else do you want to know about starting a print-on-demand business? Let us know!

    📍Table of Contents:

    0:52 What is print-on-demand drop shipping?
    2:08 Who is print-on-demand for?
    3:58 Pros on print-on-demand
    7:40 Cons of print-on-demand
    10:42 Conclusions

  • K Clark

    I have 'merch' in my store name. Can it still be considered a merch store if its just my own niche store and not technicially anyone's merch?

  • Dangelo Robinson

    Make a video the explains how much you should sell a product for if you're just starting out using a POD service.

  • Von Ace

    Just opened a store with Printful and ordered some samples and let me tell you quality is top notch. Ordered the same thing from redbubble, teepublic and Printful. Printful quality was the best !!!

  • Brian O'Neill

    CON also is smaller profit margin over print yourself. But PRO is less work, more efficiency.
    12.95 shirt cost versus say $5-$6 yourself.

  • Ocean Dreams Pacific

    CON: Higher costs for wholesale items. If you buy a bunch of blanks in bulk, you can certainly make a very cost-effective product with more profit. However, Printful quality is normally very good to excellent, so not much worry of item complaints or returns. Make a longsleeve DriFit please.

  • Spooky

    I love Printful's service, but I'm not happy with the recent unexplained price increases. I don't understand why every product was raised by a dollar.

  • Chris Allen

    Good video, but boy the shipping system is borderline disgusting. I ordered samples two week ago, plus other stock T-shirts and hats. Still waiting!

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