Is Print On Demand Worth It? Can You Really Make Money From POD?


The eCommerce industry is one of the fastest-growing industries right now.

Print on demand is also something that’s quite trending right now and has grown by 12% over the last 4 years. It is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.

But is print on demand worth it?

Yes, Print on demand is still worth it. If you select the right product, design, and have a solid marketing strategy, you will probably succeed with print on demand. However, the POD industry is getting a bit saturated and because of this, it’s becoming harder for people to succeed.

If you are serious and want to start a POD business, dive right in and I will show what works right now in 2021 and what doesn’t.

6 Reasons Why Print on Demand Is Worth it?

1. Low Startup Cost

This is surely one of the reasons why a lot of people jump aboard. You basically do not need much money to start when compared with other online businesses.

If you start with Shopify, you will need about $29/month plus the domain name. Other than this, you will only need to spend on ads which is completely optional.

Now, there is another way to even eliminate the Shopify fees and the domain name money. And that is to start with Etsy. Etsy is basically an online marketplace that gets around 400M pageviews monthly (According to Similarweb).

Both starting with Etsy and Shopify has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Related ArticleDoes Print on Demand Really Work?

2. No Warehouse is needed

Print on demand is almost similar to dropshipping. You don’t actually need to store anything in a warehouse nor do you need to package and send it to your customers.

Everything from manufacturing to packaging and shipping will be done by your print-on-demand company. Some of the best POD companies are Printful, Printify, etc.

So this means you can concentrate more on finding and creating new designs, marketing, and also a little bit of customer service. That’s all that you would need to do!

3. A great side hustle that doesn’t eat up your time

Having a Print on demand business is one of the easiest to maintain on the side. So, if you have a day job, it’s going to be a lot easier maintaining a POD business rather than something like a blog, or freelancing where you will have to sit for many hours after work.

In the case of print on demand, you could actually slowly built it up. Putting in one or two hours per day would be enough. (This doesn’t mean you will start making money on the first day. It will take time.)

For me personally, the majority of the time that I spent was during the initial days of setting the store up. Once I had the designs in hand, the only thing I had to do was to switch on my ads and pray that I get more orders.

But, as you start getting more orders you will have to handle customer care which might eat up some of your time. But, by that time, I would recommend you to outsource that part of your business.

4. Easier to Establish Your Brand

Once you start growing and getting more sales, you should probably start building a brand, and doing this is quite easy in the case of POD businesses.

Because almost all POD platforms like Printful and Printify offer branding services. So, this means adding your brand logo to your products and packaging can be done within a few clicks.

Just remember that this type of branding can cost you a bit of money but it surely is worth it because you have a chance of bringing in lifelong customers.

5. Order Fulfillment

I can’t explain how easy it is to fulfill your orders. As soon as an order is placed by one of your customers, it will be sent to your Print on demand partner/platform.

Once it reaches there, you can send that product into production with just one click. You can even set this automatically in their settings so that as soon as the order comes, it is sent to production.

Obviously, you need to add your credit/debit card to the platform for this to function smoothly without any problems.

6. Huge catalog of Products available for Printing

There are a lot of products on which you can print. Printful and Printify do have a huge catalog.

However, if you want an exact product and if it isn’t there, always try to Google it. You may find that product on other Print on Demand platforms.

There has been a lot of Print on demand companies coming up lately. But, please verify whether you can trust that company by searching about them on the internet. You never know how scams come in these days.

Related ArticleIs Print on Demand Profitable in 2021?

3 Cons of Print on Demand Business

1. Low Profit

Print on demand businesses actually generates way less profit. The “online Gurus” might show you the screenshot of their Shopify POD business which generates 6 figures. But that’s actually their revenue and their profit might actually be anywhere between 10%-30% and maybe 40% but not more than that.

The main reason for this is because of the product’s price and their shipping costs. Printful, Prinitify, and all the POD companies have this problem.

And because of this, it’s actually hard to convert this side hustle into a full-time job unless you get a lot of orders daily.

2. Finding winning designs is really tough

Researching and finding some winning designs are really tough. You will have to really test the design yourself and that will really eat up some of your money.

Winning designs are hard to come by and even if you do find one, a correct marketing strategy is needed to bring in the right customers and eventually get more sales.

3. Highly dependent on your Print on Demand Platform

Your entire business is sustained by your Print on Demand platform. You depend on them for things like –

  • Availability of products
  • Return of Products
  • Product quality
  • Shipping delays
  • etc.

And also if they shut down their business, you are going to be really affected but that is something which is very unlikely to happen. Just make sure you partner with reputed companies like Printful, Printify, etc.

4 Reasons Why Most People Fail in Print on Demand

A lot of people fail at POD. There are a lot of factors for this and the main ones are discussed below.

1. Selling Tshirts

T-shirts are oversaturated. That’s it. You should never try to sell T-shirts right now at least when you start this business.

You are never going to make sales unless you have some viral T-shirt designs that no one else is selling.

T-shirts, phone cases, and all are already pretty saturated and to stand out from other businesses you will have to do something exceptional.

So, make sure you don’t start with these 2 products.

2. Testing your Own Designs

I made this mistake. You believe that your designs are world-class but it’s actually not that great for the rest of the world. This is a common mistake that a lot of people do.

The best thing to do is to find some winning designs that are already selling, take inspiration from that, and then create a better design than the one you saw.

Now, you may wonder where can you find these winning designs right? There are a lot of platforms and some prominent ones are Etsy, Amazon, Redbubble, etc. Just go to their best-selling section and find designs/products that have a lot of reviews and ratings.

3. Giving Up way too Quickly

Let it be any business, people tend to give up way too quickly. It takes time to build a real business. Many people don’t really understand and I don’t blame them. Simply because there are way too many online gurus that claim to generate 1000s of dollars within a very short period.

All of them are just fake. You have to avoid those gurus because it’s never going to work.

With a POD business, you have to build a brand. Either your designs are too attractive or you should establish yourself as a brand. Any of the two needs to be done in order to succeed in this business.

4. Mistakes in marketing

Marketing is a skill. If you just watch one Facebook ad tutorial video and you start running ads without any further research and learning, you will probably end up losing money.

Whether it is free or paid traffic, You need to have a proper marketing strategy.

So, the first time you run ads or market a product, it surely won’t be your best and you have to improve it. Start learning from different sources and test out those strategies. Trust me, you’ll improve gradually over time.

So, Is Print on Demand Worth it? and Should you start one?

Yeah, Print on demand is worth it. It has a very low entry barrier, doesn’t need a warehouse, is quite easy to start, and is a great side hustle to start.

You can start this business basically in 2 ways:

  • Shopify + Printful/Printify – This is best for someone who’s building a brand and wants an independent online store.
  • Etsy + Printful/Printify – Good for beginners. Can be great if you can find unsaturated niches on Etsy.

You will probably fail when you test some of your designs but that’s all part of business and you have to pick yourself up and carry on.

So, I hope you succeed in this business.
Peace!

Ash

Founder of Stashlr. Writes about Blogging, Affiliate marketing, Dropshipping and everything else. Also happens to be a software engineer.

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