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Print on Demand vs Inventory: What’s the best choice?

Print on Demand vs Inventory: What’s the best choice? main article image
Posted on August 19, 2020 by Aida González Vázquez

Print on Demand has become a popular alternative for E-commerce businesses. In today’s post, we are going to look at the main advantages and disadvantages of Print on Demand and compare them to the perks and cons of having an inventory.

This article is an inspirational post where we’ll tackle some aspects of Print on Demand. If you would like to learn more about this business model, check our Ultimate Print on Demand guide.

To find designs with a lifelong Print on Demand license, check our growing Print on Demand assets library.


print on demand vs dropshipping
You can download this print with a Full POD license here.


Advantages of Print on Demand


Print on Demand is a low-risk business model. This happens because sellers only invest in the items that they sell. You won’t have to spend money on producing or stocking items that won’t give you benefits.

This business model helps you avoid the environmental impact of creating unnecessary stock.

As a Print on Demand seller, you are not in charge of printing or shipping any of the products that you sell. This means you will have more time to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of your business.

You don’t need to be a designer to create a Print on Demand catalog. As long as you have a Full Print on Demand license, you can use third-party designs for your products.


print on demand vs dropshipping
You can download this print with a Full POD license here.



Disadvantages of Print on Demand


With Print on Demand, you don’t manage the manufacturing process of your products. This means that you don’t see the products that you sell before they are shipped. You will have to trust your partner’s quality standards on every sale.

Your Print on Demand catalog depends on the availability of your fulfillment services provider. There are some parts of your business that you do not control.

This dropshipping modality has become quite popular over the last years. To be able to generate benefits in a saturated market, you will have to develop a concept that appeals to a specific target.


print on demand vs dropshipping
You can download this print with a Full POD license here.


Advantages of having an inventory


With an inventory, you can see, touch, and feel your products before you deliver them. This gives you more control over the quality standards that you want to achieve.

You are in charge of shipping the products to your customers. There is a chance to add some branding elements and customer-engaging details to your packagings.

You can control how many items do you have on stock. You can plan your business strategy according to the number of products that you have.


print on demand vs dropshipping
You can download this print with a Full POD license here.


Disadvantages of having an inventory


To create an inventory, you will have to invest money in producing a lot of items without knowing if your idea will be successful. The risk is always higher than the one you’d take with Print on Demand.

Hosting an inventory means some extra logistic costs. You will need a physical space to store your products until somebody buys them.

You will be in charge of tasks like managing your inventory and shipping the products that you sell. These tasks are time-consuming, and they can be challenging for those who don’t have experience with E-commerce.


Now that you’ve read the benefits and disadvantages of both models, you can start thinking about what is more convenient for you. Don’t forget to check different sources, and try to find some success cases. The more you know about both scenarios, the better you will manage your expectations.


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1 Comment
Truly Unique Treasures

February 8, 2022

As a print on demand seller I can confirm the advantages and disadvantages.

I do wish to have a cutter and have my own inventory. But mostly for short or last minute items. Especially since funeral shirts are so unexpected and highly used in my area. Waiting for POD to ship would be waaaaay to late. So that’s just another advantage of having inventory.

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