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Want an online business – consider print on demand dropshipping

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Want an online business – consider print on demand dropshipping

May 11
00:21 2022

If a person wants to have an online business, but doesn’t want to deal with shipping and handling products themselves, print on demand dropshipping might be the perfect solution for them. This business model has been lately gaining popularity, and for a good reason – it’s a great way to start a business without having to invest a lot of money upfront. In this article, it is explained what print on demand dropshipping is and how a person can get started.

What is print on demand?

If a person wants something custom printed, for example, a t-shirt or a mug, they can go to the printing shop and the shop will print their specific message on the item they have selected. That is print on demand. When talking about business, it means that a person has a graphic design for a product, for example, a text for a t-shirt, and they have listed a t-shirt with this design on their e-commerce shop. And when this person gets an order they ask the print on demand supplier to print the item. Usually, the print on demand supplier also ships it.

Print on demand shop vs regular e-commerce shop

The difference between a regular shop and a print on demand shop is that the print on demand shop doesn’t have already printed items, the items are printed on demand – when there is an order. There are a few great things about it – a print on demand shop owner doesn’t have to maintain a physical inventory and it is a more ecological and frugal way to create a business as the items are printed only when there is an order. By doing that a print on demand shop owner doesn’t create things that lay in a storage and if not purchased they need to be eliminated one way or another. And that is a waste of money and resources. However, the already-ready products that print on demand suppliers use, for example, blank t-shirts, never go out of style so they are not thrown away every year.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is when an e-commerce shop doesn’t have an inventory on hand but rather when they have an order they purchase the items from a third party that usually also ships it. The dropshipping shop acts as a middle man and connects a customer with the desired product. Usually print on demand shops are also dropshipping shops but dropshipping shops are not always print on demand businesses.

It is also worth mentioning that with a dropshipping shop the owner buys the product only when there is an order, so money is spent only after an item is sold in the shop. 

Print on demand dropshipping – how does it work?

When a person has a print on demand dropshipping business, they will work with a print on demand supplier. They will have to check what products the print on demand supplier has, what they are able to print, etc, and based on that create products in their shop. Depending on the print on demand supplier the entrepreneur has chosen, sometimes they will need to make the order to print on demand supplier manually when they receive an order in their e-commerce shop, and sometimes it is possible to create a button that will notify the print on demand supplier and they will start working on the order right away, so the print on demand e-commerce shop owner doesn’t even have to do anything.

The buyer, however, will not know the difference and will think that all orders are handled by the e-commerce shop directly. The print on demand supplier will print the order and then ship it. It speeds up the delivery process that customers always appreciate. The print on demand supplier can also customize how the order looks when shipped – for example, it is possible to choose what kind of packaging you want, add a card with a coupon code, or just a thank you card. It is wise to talk to the print on demand supplier and they will give all the options what they can do with the ready-to-go orders.

What does a person need to get started?

Firstly, a person needs to find a print on demand supplier. It is wise to check out different suppliers, for example, one of them is Printseekers are a relatively new print on demand supplier but they have already made themselves a great reputation – customers love their products and partners enjoy working with them. They have a variety of products they can print, including classics like t-shirts and hoodies, and more unregular print on demand items like wallpaper. They are also still expanding and adding new items to their menu.

When choosing a print on demand supplier it is a good idea to ask for a sample. A sample has to include a printed item and it should be sent in a packaging that a client will receive. That way a person who wants to work with the print on demand supplier can evaluate the product as well as the presentation of a ready order.

Secondly, a person will need a webpage where to sell your product. If they don’t have one, they can create it using platforms like Shopify, Square Space, Weebly, Wix, or WordPress. If they are not a programmer, it is better to hire someone with corresponding knowledge to help build a website.

Thirdly, a person will require something to sell, so they need to create designs for their print on demand items. They can choose to create, for example, specifically a t-shirt shop or mix and match and print all the items available with the print on demand supplier. They can also go for a theme, for example, Girl Power or Comics, and create designs related to the theme and print them on any item you can use. The creative part of the shop is totally in the owner’s hands.

Fourthly, they need to be educated about the legal aspects of owning an e-commerce shop in their country. It is good to talk to a lawyer or accountant and choose the best option for the situation.

Really no money investments?

Even though an inventory is not needed to start a print on demand dropshipping business, some money investments will be needed, mostly for digital products. An e-commerce shop owner will need to purchase a website and maybe hire a programmer to help with the setup process. If the shop owner is not a designer, they will need to hire a designer to create designs for the products. And lastly, they will need to spend money on marketing to drive traffic and get customers to visit their site.


If a person is interested in starting a print on demand dropshipping business but is not really sure is it the business for them, a good idea is to start small. They can create a really small website with just a few items and then run an ad and see how it goes. They can see how they like the process and the whole experience. And if they like it and/or find it profitable and see the potential, they can grow their shop from there. They don’t need to have hundreds of items in the shop, just a few to get started and test the waters.

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City: Riga
Country: Latvia