POD is an acronym for print on demand and it’s how a lot of clothing brands are starting out.
It’s a way of supplying printed apparel, merchandise and other items without the outlay, or the waste of holding stock. When a customer orders a product, it’s printed and sent straight to the customer. Some businesses allow you to add flyers or branded items in the same package too, so the end user will never know you’re using a third party.
So why is it so beneficial?
💛 Lower overheads for small businesses. You don’t have to invest in things like stock, picking and packing teams, quality control or trips to the post office, because these are all done by the POD company. You also don’t have to pay out for a t-shirt printer, which can be a huge cost in itself!
💛 Lower wastage. Because you’re only getting items printed when people order, you aren’t wasting goods if they don’t sell. It’s a great way to test the market before full-scale
💛 Wide range of suppliers. When you use a POD supplier, you can choose which products your designs are printed onto. So if your business is focusing on sustainability, you’ll be able to find one that’s ethical and uses sustainable materials.
But obviously, there are some downsides too…
You don’t have COMPLETE control over the picking and packing process, you’re always reliant on another party to get the products out fast (and sometimes there can be rather large delays) and you could end up with returns that you can’t get money back for, unless you sell them on.
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