Print on demand is an analogy that has got different perceptions and views among many people, especially the people who constantly use them.
Here are some reasons why some people believe print on demand business is dead, which is not exactly the case.
1) Profit margins not the same and may be low.
Print on demand is a business that is mostly run by online printing companies. Majorly those that do the marketing, printing, and selling of the products on behalf of the artist.
The artists who market their products using these sites may not earn as they should hence feel like they are being underpaid.
The companies pay the artists through commissions/royalties and at times the commissions are usually so low hence exploiting the artists.
The artists usually sign up a contract with the companies and this contract is the one that guides them, at most times the contract is usually favorable to the online companies at the expense of the artists.
This is one of the reasons why some people think that the print on demand business is dead or is slowly dying. However, that is not the case. Most businesses thrive well as long as enough effort is put in.
2) Not open/transparency to list of clients.
The print on demand business is usually run by the online printing companies which usually have a contract with the artists to sell their products on their behalf. Once an agreement has been reached and the contract signed, then the artist usually surrenders the rights and handling of his/her design to the company.
The seller may end up not being able to access/see the list of the clients who buy his/her product designs since everything is under the control of the online company they have signed a contract with to sell their products.
The seller will not be able to access the list, hence not being able to get the feedback of the clients which is crucial in helping the artist make adjustments to his/her products.
The amount in which a client will purchase a product is also not transparent to the artist, which can lead to being manipulated easily by the online company.
This is one area which is also making a lot of artists to turn their backs on print on demand business and focus on marketing and selling their products using different means. However, on the bright side, you can make an agreement with the company to know how their designs are flowing and what needs to change. The business continues growing with each passing day.
3) Quality issues.
The quality of the products is the biggest asset of the artist a good quality of a product warrants more customers, a good product with top quality will always sell itself.
The companies dealing with online printing are the ones tasked with the responsibility of choosing a material to print the work of the artists an order has been made by the customer.
It is the responsibility of the online printing companies to come up or source top quality material/brand for printing. However, the companies selling the products usually concentrate more on the money they will make/ profits rather than focusing on customer satisfaction, this usually makes a lot of customers lose interest in the products being sold on these sites.
In such a scenario, it is the artist who ends up losing and this makes an artist loses interest in the print on demand business.
4) Delayed sales.
The print on demand sites is flooded with work from different artists. Some of the sellers on these sites have been there for quite a long time without making a single sale since it is very demanding and exhausting to market and get buyers on these sites.
It is not automatic to market and gets buyers instantly in these sites, someone has to be committed and dedicated without giving up easily. The seller has to try and be active on these sites to make a sale.
The majority of the sellers depend on the sales of their products and delayed sales are making the majority of them to reconsider this avenue as a means of selling their products.
5) Not all designs, sell on print on demand.
There are different and diverse forms of art and one artist can be having different types or forms of arts. He/she will want to market and sell their products using the online printing sites. This can be an easy way to showcase the brands they have and make more money from their work.
The print on demand is not conducive and accommodating to all types/manner of art. Some of the creative works of the artists may not sell on these sites.
The value of some of the artwork may tend to go down if they were to be printed on these sites and hence making them not accommodating.
There is a lot of creative work of different artists and the artist will prefer to market all of their work rather than marketing some and leaving behind some of their work. In case this happens they tend to lose interest and reconsider other means thus justifying my claim that print on demand is dead.
6) Order fulfillment takes longer
The print on demand companies usually works depending on the order/demand made by a client.
The delivery delays make a lot of clients lose interest in the products since some might need the product urgently and would not buy into the idea of having to wait for some time before a delivery is made.
The loss of clients makes some entrepreneurs to also think twice about these sites, hence making it go down or to die slowly.
However, this doesn’t justify the death of print on demand, as long as one works with the right strategies. They will always prosper.
The print on demand business thrives really well as long as the right effort, time and energy are put in. You can easily start a print on demand business and earn from it at your own comfort.
However, you need to be unique to know how to retain your customers.
Image courtesy: quora