So what is print on demand? And what's so good about it?
After 8 years of printing packing and shipping my own products, I have made the switch to using print on demand (POD) products.
Hi I'm Kylie and I am a digital illustrator and I love to create personalised design and sell them on products. For 8 years I printed, pack and shipped all of my own products, but 18 months ago I had had enough, and didn't want to do it anymore.
I love drawing and designing, but I didn't want the time consuming labour of print and packing orders anymore. So 10 months ago I started researching as much as I could about print on demand, and have slowly implemented POD products to my business. I am exited to say as of 8 weeks ago, I now only use POD products.
There are several reasons why people choose to use print-on-demand (POD) products as opposed to making them themselves, or having to invest in inventory. But first just incase you're new to POD, let me explain what it is.
Print on demand products are items that are produced only when an order is placed. So you only purchase the item you're selling once you have received an order!! This allows so much flexibility for you, almost like a pay as you go system, without the pressure of selling a garage full of stock.
There are many different print on demand companies, and with those come a huge catalogue of products that you can sell, from wall art, mugs, pillows, dog collars, books, t-shirts, back packs, even bed linen, and more!!
Each print on demand company have factories all over the world too literally, print on demand. So let's say you're selling here in Australia, you receive an order from a customer in the USA. What you need to do is select the blank product you've sold, add your design to it, add the customers address & confirm the order. What this does is, when the order is placed the factory closest to the customers address is pinged, they make the product for you and ship it directly to them. It's also very cost effective post wise, so you're being charged at a more local rate, as opposed to having to pay for post from Australia to the USA. The beauty of print on demand also is you can sell anything to anyone in the world. There are other positive reasons I have found in running a POD business model like this. You can finally own your own product business, without having to raise the capital to buy inventory. Print on demand is so cost-effectiveness. With POD, you don't have to invest in expensive equipment or inventory. You simply upload your design to a POD platform, and they take care of the rest, including printing, shipping, and handling. It really does make the opportunity to enter the business world equal for every body. It's great for those of you who have always had that nudge to try selling this or that.
The flexibility and options are fabulous. POD products allow you to test out different designs and products without committing to a large quantity order. YAY to creativity!! It's a great way to understand your customer base, if they are loving a product stick with it. If it does not sell, get ride of it, no sweat. You can also easily make changes to your designs or products based on customer feedback or market demand. This is ideal for personalised product businesses, add a name, offer custom colours, or tweak it to meet the demand of your customers.
It saves you so much time. POD platforms take care of the printing, shipping, and handling of your products, which frees up more time for you to focus on marketing, customer service, design and other aspects of your business. This I have tp say is what I love most about it.
It's scalable. With POD, you can easily scale your business as it grows without having to worry about production or inventory issues. No need to stress about numbers, just keep selling with ease, knowing the product is there.
Your own designs. All POD products are blank giving you the opportunity to create your own aesthetic and sell it. Bring your own style to life, create the designs you know customers are asking for, and that you feel are missing in the market place. If you're not a graphic artist don't stress, purchase designs from companies Creative Market, Creativefabrica, Etsy, or make your own in Canva.
Work anywhere. POD allows you to take your laptop and go. Work from home, in the park, at a cafe, or on a road trip. This for me is the dream, living the digital nomad lifestyle. Could it be any better knowing you could be travelling around the world, enjoying life and earning money at the same time.
So I hope the above reasons plus my own story has inspired you to take the creative leap and start your own product POD business.