Print on demand great opportunity or pocket change

Is print-on-demand pocket money or a great opportunity?3 min read

How you set up your business, including the products you sell, category and items in your store will determine whether you earn pocket money or a full-time income.

Is print-on-demand pocket money or a great opportunity?3 min read

I have used print-on-demand for over four years. Throughout those years, print-on-demand has been able to provide me pocket money, a full-time income and great opportunities of passive income.

If you are looking for an income through selling using print-on-demand, there is an excellent opportunity to create passive income for yourself. How you set up your business, including the products you sell, category and items in your store will determine whether you earn pocket money or a full-time income.

The difference between a print-on-demand store making pocket money and full-time income

So what makes the difference between you earning a small income versus a full-time income when selling with print-on-demand? There are many things to consider when creating a brand or business using print-on-demand, but there are four key factors you should keep in mind.

  • The marketplace you list your product. It is essential to understand the market you sell in. For instance, if you are selling on eBay, you should expect customers are looking for reasonably priced goods. In contrast, Etsy offers an audience willing to wait for a bit for a product which is of high-quality, and the audience would pay an above-average price.
  • Your target audience. Without a properly defined target audience, your business will appear randomly rather than objectively. Create a target audience for your business and cater your store towards them in an objective manner.
  • The quality of your designs. The variety of your designs also determines your success with print-on-demand. If you are reproducing existing models offered at a much lower value elsewhere, do not expect to generate many sales.
  • Consider the number of designs you have to offer for your audience. I believe in quality over quantity; however, the number of prints you have to offer in your store will increase your chances in print-on-demand success. I recommend starting with at least ten products in your store. Each time you expand your inventory, always keep in mind the quality of your designs before putting it up onto your store.

What is your monetary business goal?

It is good to understand how the four factors above determine your monetary goal. 

If you have a store with ten products in one marketplace with no advertising in place, you can expect to make some pocket money each month. How much pocket money? You could expect anything from $100 to $200 in profit per month.

However, you can also create a full-time income of $2,000 to $10,000 a month. Take your time and focus on creating a store. Having 100 top-quality designs on offer compared to 10 is the biggest differentiator. 

Creating a full-time income requires a lot more time, patience and effort. One thing for sure print-on-demand provides a great opportunity in both cases. The most significant opportunity is creating passive income, and it is something which I have done with two of my print-on-demand business. One earns me pocket change while the other gives me a full-time income. For passive income to work with your store, you need a provider that will integrate their service with your platform. When you combine a marketplace store and a print-on-demand platform, any orders from your customer will go straight through to production. All you need to do is sit back, relax and maybe show up now and then.

If you are interested in finding out how you can create a full-time income with print-on-demand, or want a comparison of print-on-demand suppliers, check out the resources page.

Other commonly asked questions

Often I have been asked about the quality of print-on-demand and the apparent lack of control. Many of these things depend on the print-on-demand service you choose.

Is print-on-demand quality good?

Depending on the print-on-demand supplier you go with can hugely impact the quality of your products. Always order samples from a print-on-demand supplier before choosing to go with them. Evaluate the customer service, the quality of goods, shipping times and packaging. These are some of the key considerations you should factor when choosing a supplier. The right supplier will have excellent quality. Remember their business is your business. They want you to stay, not leave.

How much control do I have over my brand?

You have some control over your brand, but that also depends on the print-on-demand provider you choose. First of all, you have control over your storefront, which is the primary source for the generation of your sales. Some of the things you control, which differentiates a mediocre brand against an amazing one are:

  • Your eCommerce website design and branding. That includes the experience your customer has when they land in your store.
  • The designs you choose to create are in your control.
  • What products you decide to print on from your print-on-demand supplier. For example, if you are choosing to sell t-shirts, the right supplier should give you a range of printing option as well as the range of t-shirts. Also, consider a print-on-demand supplier that provides alternative products to print on if they are out-of-stock or discontinued. The right supplier will allow you to choose an alternative in this instance so you can ensure the quality is where you want it to be.

You sometimes may not have control over the printing process of your products, nor do you have a say in the packaging materials used. However, the appropriate supplier always performs quality control and packages your products with your branding. You should also consider what shipping options they offer as well as customer service.

Can I be successful using print-on-demand today?

Yes, you can. Whether it is the year of 2020 or 2050 – as long as you have a plan and stick to it, you can build a successful print-on-demand store no matter what the year is.

Hey! I am Captain POD, and I want to tell you about all that I know about building a successful business using Print-on-Demand! Whether it's a side hustle, full-time job or a hobby.