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Start a print on demand dropshipping business in 2023

With the new year just around the corner, people are already starting to think about their next year’s goals. If you are considering starting a business, have you thought about print on demand dropshipping? Keep reading to learn more about what it is and how you can become a print on demand dropshipping business owner!

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is when you print an item only when there is demand aka an order. So, once a client is interested in having a printed item, only then the item is printed. The item can be anything from t-shirts and hoodies to tote bags and wallpaper. Print on demand can be a B2C (business to customer) business model where a customer comes into your shop (or e-commerce store) and orders a custom item for themselves. Or it can be a B2B (Business to business) model where a business orders a bunch of custom-printed items but distributes them further as products, not as print on demand items.

What is print on demand dropshipping?

Print on demand dropshipping is a business model where you have an e-commerce store that sells items that are customized with a design just for them. The business owner needs to take care of the website and shop and create designs for the print on demand items. The rest is taken care of by a print on demand supplier.

What is a print on demand supplier?

Print on demand supplier is a company that has all the equipment for print on demand as well as the items to print, so they hold a physical inventory. Print on demand supplier (for example, Printseekers.com) works with different companies that own e-commerce stores that sell items with designs. They fulfill orders for those companies and often ship the orders out as well. 

How print on demand dropshipping business work?

A business owner creates designs for print on demand items. Those items are then listed in their e-commerce shop. When a customer purchases an item from them, they notify the print on demand supplier, who then prints the items and ships them out.

How to start a print on demand dropshipping business?

Print on demand dropshipping is one of the easiest businesses to start – you just need a creative idea and a little bit of seed money. Listed below are the steps you need to take to start this type of business!

1. Find a print on demand supplier

It is important to start by finding a partner who will fulfill your orders, so you know what kind of products they have – it can help you to create better designs. Also, they can consult you on what is possible printing-wise and what is not. We recommend working with Printseekers.com . They have a variety of high-quality products, fast fulfillment rates, and great reviews from partners. 

2. Create designs

The next step, you need to create those amazing designs for your e-commerce shop. If you are a designer, you can create the designs yourself. If not – it is better to hire a professional. You can work together – they can make your creative ideas come to life or you can outsource the whole process and ask the designer to come up with ideas on their own.

No need to go overboard, you can easily start your shop with just a few designs on a few items, and build it up later on.

3. Create a website/e-commerce store

Parallel to creating designs, you can start working on your website. You will need one that can accommodate an e-commerce store. It is a good idea to choose a platform that has built-in solutions for e-commerce owners, for example, Shopify, WooCommerce for WordPress, and others.

If you are technically inclined, you can definitely build a website with these tools on your own. But it is totally fine to hire someone who can build a website for you. Usually, it will be a one-time investment since the systems are easily manageable by anyone once you have everything set up. Nevertheless, keep in mind that it is always wise to have tech support on call when you run an internet business.

Be aware that you also need a payment system added to your e-shop. Nowadays, there are several options and companies that provide these kinds of services, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

4. Content for your e-commerce store and print on demand quality check

Once you have a website and designs, you need to add products to your store. Even though you can definitely use photoshop to visualize the designs on the items, it is best to create authentic marketing photos. This step is well combined with making test purchases from your print on demand supplier. Usually, a supplier will give you a free sample of their product, so you can use this feature to get physical items for photography for your store. When you order a free sample you will get to see not only the item aka a product you sell but also the packaging, shipping, delivery, etc. 

When you take photos for the website, make sure they are high-quality and that the product is photographed from all possible angles. It is better to go overboard and not publish some of the pictures than think you have enough and miss a specific shot later.

5. Make sure everything is fine on the legal side

You are now a business owner, so you need to be aware of what happens on the legal side of the business as well. Make sure you have registered in a way that complies with the legislation of the country you are having your business in. In some places, it will be enough to be self-employed, in others, you will need to register a company. 

As you are an internet shop owner, you also need to have a privacy policy and cookie notice for your website. You can have someone help you make one or you can create it yourself.

6. Going live and working on marketing

And now the fun part! You can finally launch your site and start working on marketing. Definitely create social media profiles for your business and make a plan for them. Google Ads and Facebook Ads can also be good options how to get new customers. Working with influencers and content creators is another route to take. You can also register on marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace and sell your print on demand product there as well. That way you might be able to reach people who you won’t reach any other way.

Also, if you are game, you can try in-person selling as well, for example, at tradeshows. That way you will need to have some pre-printed items with you, so you will have to invest in buying some items yourself. But if any holidays are coming up, it might be a good way how to expand your clientele. 

In conclusion

Print on demand business dropshipping is one of the easiest to start – just make a design, create an e-shop and start selling. The initial investments are small and you can grow the business at your own pace. If you are interested in the field of business, this is definitely one to check out and even try!

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