Starting a print on demand business | Steps to take before you begin

"TheSmartConsumer is an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from links on this page that you click on and make qualifying purchases, thanks for helping support us"



The very thought of starting your Print on Demand (POD) business is alluring. Because you don’t have to carry inventory, the shipping time is fast, and the start-up cost is low. But no matter how “enticing” it sounds, you need to remember that POD is a full-time business. And if you fail to treat it so, the scopes of your success are less, as you will make serious mistakes on your way. 

Hence, before you start getting customers for your store, you need to follow a few steps. It will ensure that your print on demand business is correctly set up and that you are all set to sell. 

  • Add a maximum of five color variants for a product

Providing the consumer’s product variations, for instance, various sizes and colors, is a powerful technique that motivates consumers to spend more cash on your brand. It also increases the profit margin for every order. However, at times you might cross the line and provide the customers with excess options. That is never a good idea! When there are extra choices, the consumers undergo an analysis paralysis. 

Simply put, analysis paralysis is a feeling where a person struggles to arrive at a decision and take action, as there are excess choices and information available. Most of us have experienced it before while placing an order at the restaurant or trying to decide which movie to watch. Similarly, excess designs and colors to select from can make a customer feel overwhelmed. And this can make them leave the website and not purchase anything. Hence, refrain from getting overboard with the color variants. It’s always a good call to choose five variants for every product you intend to sell. 

  • Always check the print provider choices before selling globally

One of the misconceptions people have when trying to start their print-on-demand fulfillment services is that people think that they manufacture and fulfill the orders. It is far from the truth! A print-on-demand fulfillment service usually works with many third-party suppliers, and they complete the orders. Most suppliers are in various countries and have separate available colors, pricing, and production times. These services typically assign the orders to a supplier which is nearest to a consumer’s physical location. However, a few of these fulfillment services don’t choose a supplier to cater to the customer’s order automatically. Hence, in such situations, you should select a third-party supplier who can cater to your orders. 

  • Avert copyrights and check if the written phrase has a trademark

You might have seen a design that you wish to test or sell in your store. However, you are unsure whether you must take this risk as you don’t know whether the design has copyright. According to law, any artwork piece can be subject to copyright from the time it gets created. It means that no one can replicate the exact design and sell it in their store. However, what you might be able to do is refer to the design and generate your version of the same. It is 100% legal, as the content might have similar words, but it will have a different look. And it’s always the visual appearance of an artwork that gets copyrighted. 

  • Refrain from only selling t-shirts

T-shirt designs are indeed highly profitable! But even then, it’s worth expanding the product line and adds in other products. You can opt-in for other products such as leggings or jeggings along with t-shirts which can be a great combination. And you have the option to sell it at an increased price than what you bought it for from a supplier, as the value is ambiguous. 

  • Add an element of scarcity, but not on all products

Scarcity acts as one of the potent psychological triggers that compel people to buy certain products. Here you have to make it appear that you are selling the products with heightened urgency. However, you need to take care of not overdoing it. If you claim that most of your products are a “limited stock,” your customers might find that something is fishy. You need to understand that scarcity is a powerful sales tactic and that you should use it wisely. It is essential to arrive at the correct balance that would make the scarcity appear real. 

More:  What is Peer to Peer Lending | Definition | How does It Work

It might be simple to decide the cost of a pair of regular leggings, as people might have seen it at other stores. But if there’s a pair of unique leggings that will act as the game-changer. The chances are high that you have not seen it before and therefore come up with a reasonable price point for the same. 

Running your print-on-demand business will take time and patience. You need to understand the tricks of the trade. It is essential to consider the factors mentioned above for the same and manage your business better.