Print-On-Demand is a publishing and manufacturing process where an item can be printed one at a time, as the orders come in. This is different from traditional manufacturing, where a huge inventory of items are created and hopefully sold.
One of the biggest benefits of print-on-demand is being able to test out a product idea without waste. Manufacturers and publishers take a big risk when they publish or manufacture a large run of any book or product.Print-on-demand allows you to test out a product idea without waste. Click To Tweet
How Print on Demand Works for Me with Zazzle
For example, say you have an idea for a t-shirt design. With a Print-on-Demand company like Zazzle, which I use, you can set up a storefront for free, upload your design for free, and style your t-shirts. You only incur the cost of manufacturing your t-shirts one at a time, as they sell. With traditional t-shirt manufacturing, you would have to guess what sizes you would need, and what colors would be popular. Then, as a t-shirt designer, you would have to order a large run of 200 or more t-shirts in different sizes and hope they sell. You would also have to store them in a safe place where they would not get dirty or absorb smells.
Print on demand makes this process easier and cheaper for small designers and sellers.Print on demand makes this process easier and cheaper for small designers and sellers. Click To Tweet
The Downside of Print on Demand
The downside to print on demand technology is that it does cost more to print items one at a time than it would to do them in larger runs. However, when producing specialty and niche items, customers usually are more willing to pay a little extra for the item, than for something mass produced.