Is Print on Demand Still Worth It in 2023? Analyzing the Pros and Cons of the POD Business Model for Creators and Entrepreneurs

is print on demand worth it
Helen Shpolanska
Helen Shpolanska
Helen is a ecommerce business owner with a passion for design. She runs multiple print on demand merch stores and shares her insights about selling online in her blog eCom Bits.

Print on demand (POD) is a popular business model that has gained immense popularity in recent years. It’s a way for creators and entrepreneurs to produce and sell their products without the need for large upfront investments or inventory management. But the question remains – is print on demand worth it?

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of print on demand, the potential profitability of the business model, and some tips for success.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand is a business model that allows creators to sell custom products such as t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases, without the need for inventory management or upfront investment. Essentially, a POD company produces the product only when a customer places an order, eliminating the need for stockpiling inventory.

This model is particularly attractive for creators and entrepreneurs who have limited resources and do not want to invest in large quantities of products upfront. Additionally, it’s a way to test the market and gauge demand for a particular product before investing more resources into production.

Pros of Print on Demand

Low startup costs

One of the biggest advantages of print on demand is that it requires minimal upfront investment. Creators do not have to purchase large quantities of products or invest in expensive equipment, which makes it an ideal choice for those just starting out.

Low risk

Since creators do not have to invest in inventory, there is minimal risk involved in print on demand. If a product does not sell, creators can simply remove it from their store without incurring any losses.

Easy to set up

Setting up a print on demand store is relatively easy, and creators can start selling their products within a few hours. Many POD companies offer easy-to-use templates and integration with popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce.

Wide range of products

Print on demand companies offer a wide range of products to choose from, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more. This makes it easy for creators to expand their product lines and offer a diverse range of products to their customers.

Cons of Print on Demand

Limited customization options

While print on demand companies offer a wide range of products, the customization options are often limited. Creators may not be able to control the quality of materials used, or the exact placement of designs on a product.

Limited profit margins

Since print on demand companies handle the production and shipping of products, creators have to pay a fee for each sale. This can result in lower profit margins compared to traditional manufacturing and sales models.

Lack of control over shipping

When using a print on demand company, creators have no control over the shipping process. This can result in delays, shipping errors, and customer dissatisfaction.

Inconsistent quality

Since print on demand companies use different production methods and materials, the quality of products can vary from order to order. This can lead to negative reviews and damage the creator’s reputation.

Is Print on Demand Worth it in 2023?

The profitability of print on demand largely depends on the product, the quality of the design, and the demand for the product. Some creators have been able to build successful businesses using print on demand, while others have struggled to make a profit.

Creators who are able to produce high-quality designs and build a loyal customer base can potentially earn a significant income from print on demand. However, creators who are not able to stand out from the competition may struggle to make a profit.

Tips for Success with Print on Demand

  1. Focus on quality: To stand out from the competition and attract loyal customers, it’s important to focus on producing high-quality designs and products. Use high-quality materials and invest in professional designs to increase the perceived value of your products.
  2. Choose the right niche: Focus on a niche that you are passionate about and that has a high demand for custom products. This will help you stand out in a crowded market and attract customers who are interested in your specific niche.
  3. Price your products strategically: To maximize your profit margins, it’s important to price your products strategically. Research the competition and consider the perceived value of your products when setting prices.
  4. Build a strong brand: Building a strong brand is essential for success in print on demand. Develop a consistent brand image and messaging that resonates with your target audience. This will help you build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.
  5. Market your products effectively: Marketing is crucial for driving traffic to your store and generating sales. Use social media, email marketing, and paid advertising to reach your target audience and promote your products.


Print on demand can be a profitable business model for creators and entrepreneurs who are able to produce high-quality designs and build a loyal customer base. While there are some limitations and potential drawbacks to the model, the low startup costs and minimal risk make it an attractive option for those just starting out.

To be successful in print on demand, it’s important to focus on producing high-quality designs, choosing the right niche, pricing your products strategically, building a strong brand, and marketing your products effectively. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in this competitive industry.

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