What Does Print On Demand Mean (Side Hustle) 2022

Physical products serve as the ideal platform for monetizing your creativity, regardless of whether you’re an artist, writer, designer, or businessperson.

If you choose the conventional path, buying and holding your inventory, you can end up with an abundance of unsold goods and other issues such as manufacturing, packaging, and shipping.

With the use of print-on-demand services, you can quickly avoid the time, expense, and danger involved with managing inventory.

Now, you can customize common items and sell them online, like t-shirts, posters, backpacks, and books. 

This article provides the meaning of print on demand and other related information on starting this side hustle.

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Meaning Of Print On Demand 

Print on demand will enable you to automatically transmit your orders to a business that will print the packages and ship the items on your behalf. 

Other than what you pay for the things and delivery as you make sales, most Print on demand businesses will function completely for free.

Print on demand allows you to sell anything, including sweatshirts, jackets, phone covers, and other items. 

When you collaborate with a manufacturer of white-label goods such as baseball caps or tote bags, you can create personalized products through a print-on-demand business and market them under your name and with your designs on a per-order basis.

There is no need to buy in bulk or keep any inventory on hand when using print on demand because you don’t pay for the product’s cost until after you’ve sold it.

Also, your supplier takes care of everything after the sale with print-on-demand services, including digital printing, order fulfillment, and shipping.

Print-on-demand services can be used for:

  • Testing a new product line or company idea, without the risks associated with purchasing inventory. 
  • It also works well as a side business.
  • To get profit from a following you’ve established like if you’re a YouTuber or cartoonist who prefers to spend their time creating rather than completing orders.
  • Producing unique goods for a specific market  
  • Print-on-demand items like t-shirts, books, shoes, bags, wall art, and phones in small quantities or one-off prints.mugs, laptop skins, cases, clocks, and other merchandise
  • With print on demand, you can run advertising to determine which designs and products are most popular without having to pay the whole cost of the goods in advance.  
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How Does Print On Demand Work?

You can explore hundreds of print-on-demand businesses by visiting an e-commerce website and then looking through the app store. 

You can install these apps, then put your stuff there to begin selling. Two things happen as soon as you receive an order. 

First, the customer pays you to go to your payment processor. The order will also be sent to your Print on demand supplier at the same time via your e-commerce platform.

The Print-on-demand service provider will print and deliver the order to your client. Additionally, the Print on demand will immediately debit your bank account. 

After all of this, your e-commerce platform will reimburse you for the money you spent by paying you for that order.  

Starting A Print On Demand Side Hustle Business

According to the dropshipping business model, Print on demand is a subset of dropshipping and the competition in the Print on demand industry is escalating rapidly.

Starting a Print on demand business involves several different factors, but is a good option if you want to test a new product for an established company.

The Print on demand can also assist you if you want to monetize your already established audience. 

The focus of Print on demand is on modifying white label goods, so it indicates that a customer or marketer utilizes its branding as opposed to the branding of the maker.

You need to consider the crucial elements, like the type of goods you intend to make, the retail price you’ll charge, and the shipping location.

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Advantages of Print On Demand

  • It makes products quickly, shipping is handled by someone else, and you can continue and profit from the latest trends.
  • You can concentrate on managing customer care service and marketing.
  • With less risk involved, you can test your ideas and quickly produce items and once you have the design, making the product and selling it only takes a few minutes.
  • Orders are shipped as necessary, but you must leave shipping and fulfillment to your provider.  
  • Lower risk with less investment. It’s simpler to add or delete things, test concepts, or change your approach because you’re not storing any inventory.

Disadvantages of Print On Demand 

  • Your costs per item will be more than if you were to buy in bulk.
  • Given that different print-on-demand products may have different shipping costs, things might get confusing. 
  • You have a few options if you want to design a unique unboxing experience.
  • You must consider base costs, customization choices, and the print-on-demand firms you want to work with before making a decision.
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Tips For Starting Print On Demand Side Hustle Business

1. Always Order Samples

When selling products online using print-on-demand services, it is crucial to ensure the quality of the products.

Being your consumer allows you to personally experience what it’s like to get your items, which is the best approach to ensure that the physical thing you create looks and feels exactly as you intended. 

If a sample discount of up to 20% off or free shipping is offered by a provider, like Printful, be sure to take advantage of it.

Samples are useful to have on hand for taking your product images for your website and social media profiles in addition to confirming product quality.

2. Be Strategic About Shipping

Even if you don’t ship the products directly, shipping still presents considerable complications in terms of shipping prices and timings, as well as how to manage consumer expectations.  

When it comes to shipping, you should be sure that you are taking printing times into account. Whatever the shipping times are, remember to allow two to four days, or perhaps more, depending on the product for manufacture.

Always be honest about shipment times, otherwise, you’ll have a support mailbox overflowing with shipping inquiries. 

Include a description of what to anticipate on your FAQ page, or think about building a dedicated Shipment page to go over shipping. 

And try to include your shipping expenses in your selling price as much as you can, if at all possible. 

Even if you can only offer free delivery to certain areas, it’s still a terrific way to boost sales and gives customers one more reason to make a purchase.

Conditional free shipping, such as getting free delivery when you spend $30 or more, encourages customers to add additional items to their carts to reach the minimum and typically enables you to ship everything for a lower overall shipping cost.

3. Create Mockups That Show Off Your Products

Mockups work well as an alternative to actual products and will be visible on your product pages and models can help you take compelling photos of your products.

Several print-on-demand businesses can assist you in making mockups that display your products as a flat lay or on a human. 

However, there are a lot of free mockup templates and other services that can potentially make your products come to life.

Since these mockups are what will persuade buyers to buy your products, going the extra mile can pay off. 

You may generate photo and video mockups with PlaceIt’s simple-to-use mockup maker and if you are familiar with the fundamentals of Photoshop or other photo-editing software, you can search for templates on Mockup World or Behance.

4. Find Your Niche And Build An Audience

With print-on-demand products, your margins will be a little narrower, so you’ll want to position your brand strategically. 

Because your targeting will be considerably more accurate, having a well-defined demographic might help you reduce your client acquisition expenses and increase your potential earnings.

A niche makes it simpler to build an audience that can be used as a resource. 

5. Create Your Online Store

You can sell your unique designs on a variety of marketplaces if you’re getting into print on demand. 

You can open a store on RedBubble, Zazzle, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, where Print-on-demand services are available. 

If you create a branded storefront, you’ll have control over the experience on an e-commerce platform like Shopify. 

This includes how your store appears and functions, how customers engage with you, and how they learn about your brand. 

This makes it easier to remain in touch with customers and develop a relationship that goes beyond the marketplace thanks to your email list, retargeting ads, and social media profiles. 

You may always move from print-on-demand to stocking your inventory if your business plan succeeds and you begin to make a significant amount of sales, or you can keep using these services while looking for new strategies to expand your customer base.


Print-on-demand services provide a simple starting point for new business owners or anyone who wants to test an idea without investing in it. 

There are countless white-label items available that you may customize, and there are countless design options to go along with them.

T-shirts, caps, mugs, wall prints and posters, drawstring and cloth bags, hoodies, towels, phone covers, notebooks, cushion covers, sweatshirts, and leggings are a few of the popular print-on-demand products. 

Print on demand is technically free, but to start seeing results, you’ll probably need to spend some cash on marketing and advertising.

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