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Print-on-Demand: The Ultimate Guide

Print-on-demand (POD) is a great way for businesses to produce and distribute their products in a cost-effective and efficient manner. It has revolutionized how businesses operate, providing them with a way to produce high-quality products without having to worry about storing them in warehouses or taking on large production costs.

But what are the benefits of using print on demand and how does it work? Keep reading to find out.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand (POD) is a revolutionary printing technology that allows individuals and businesses to print books, apparel and other merchandise on an as-needed basis. Unlike traditional printing methods that require large quantities of merchandise to be printed and held in inventory, print-on-demand allows for single or small-batch printing, reducing waste and saving costs on storage and shipping.

Print-on-demand is a convenient business model for e-commerce platforms and businesses.

In the book industry, print-on-demand enables authors and publishers to print books in smaller quantities, making it easy to market and sell their books without the need for a large upfront investment. This technology has reduced barriers to entry and allowed authors to self-publish their work in ways they may have been unable to before.

Print-on-demand has also revolutionized the apparel and merchandise industry. With print-on-demand, businesses can create custom-designed products for their customers without needing a physical inventory. Instead, many print-on-demand providers also act as fulfillment companies, helping organize the receiving and shipping of e-commerce products. Through these types of demand companies, technology allows e-commerce storefronts to offer a broader range of products and designs without the risk of overproduction and storage costs.

How a Print-on-Demand Business Works

Print-on-demand is a type of business model that offers a cost-effective and efficient way for e-commerce stores, authors and entrepreneurs to produce and distribute products without the need for large investments in manufacturing or inventory management.

With POD, products are only printed when an order is placed, significantly reducing the need for storage space and the risk of overproducing goods that may not sell.

POD technology has come a long way and now it is possible to print a wide range of products including books, stationery, clothing and other merchandise. This makes the business model ideal for small independent creators and publishers who wish to produce and sell their products without the need for a large investment upfront.

Understanding the Print-on-Demand Process

We’ve broken down the print-on-demand process to make it easy to follow. Take a look!

Step 1: Order

Everything starts when a customer orders a product. The e-commerce storefront will then get in touch with its POD service to place the order. This process can be automated so that customer orders are automatically fulfilled with little input on your part.

Step 2: Printing

The next step in the process is the actual printing. The print-on-demand company will typically use digital printers to print the product. Other printing options may be used as well. For books or book covers, the process involves printing one copy of the book at a time as they are ordered. For merchandise such as apparel, activewear, drinkware, tote bags, posters and other products, the design is printed onto the product and can be fulfilled within a matter of hours.

Step 3: Fulfillment and Shipping

Once the customer’s product has been printed, it’s packed and shipped directly to their door. Since the print-on-demand service provider handles everything from printing to shipping, businesses can focus on building their brand and promoting their products without the hassle of managing inventory and logistics.

With no upfront costs and the ability to print products on demand, an e-commerce business can save time and money while providing its customers with high-quality products. Whether you’re an author, artist or entrepreneur, this can be an excellent way to create and sell products without worrying about inventory and logistics.

Print on Demand Key Benefits

POD is an increasingly popular method of printing books, clothing and other goods that allows customers to order customized products with no minimum order quantity. It offers numerous benefits, including reduced production and storage costs, greater flexibility and often faster turnaround times.

Cost Savings

Using POD for printing can provide significant cost savings for businesses. By eliminating the need to print large quantities of materials in advance, businesses can save money by only printing what they need when they need it. This process is especially beneficial for businesses that are printing short-run products such as books, brochures and other marketing materials.

By eliminating the need to purchase and store large quantities of inventory, businesses can save money on production costs, storage fees and labor costs.

Because customers can order customized products, businesses don’t have to spend money on creating large batches of products that may not sell.

Increased Flexibility

You gain the ability to make changes, archive products or create new products without financial risk. The flexibility of the print-on-demand model also allows businesses to react quickly to changes in demand as well as quickly test new designs or products. Businesses can experiment with different options without having to commit to large quantities of any one item.

The flexibility of print-on-demand also means that businesses can offer a wide range of products without having to carry a large inventory. This benefit not only reduces costs but also allows businesses to offer customers a greater variety of products.

Low Inventory Risk

Print-on-demand eliminates the need for businesses to store large amounts of physical inventory, as the products are only printed when an order is placed. This process allows businesses to maintain a low overhead cost and focus their resources on other areas, such as marketing and customer service. Print-on-demand also reduces the amount of time businesses have to spend organizing and managing inventory, freeing up their time to focus on other areas of their operation.

Short Lead Times

Print-on-demand is a great way to get products printed quickly and with minimal effort. By using print-on-demand, customers can receive their products within just a few days. By reducing time-to-market, you can quickly respond to customer trends.

Unlimited Design Possibilities

Print-on-demand provides businesses with the ability to offer products with unlimited design possibilities in a cost-effective manner. A company can also offer a larger variety of products to customers without holding an inventory of physical products.

Improved Branding Opportunities

Adding your company logo to items is a great way to spread awareness and brand recognition. Print-on-demand allows customers to order items they would like from a custom printed t-shirt to a custom notebook.

Personalization and Variations

POD allows users to personalize their products in a variety of ways. Users can upload their own designs, choose from a selection of templates or use a combination of both. They can also alter the size, shape and color of the products they are creating. Users can add custom text and images to the products, allowing for an more personalized experience. For businesses, this feature offers a unique opportunity to create products that are tailored to their brand and customer base.

Comprehensive Fulfillment Services

When you partner with a print-on-demand provider that also offers fulfillment, you can quickly scale up on products and ensure your customers are getting their items in the fastest possible manner. A 3PL (like us!) also handles the integration to your e-commerce software, picking, packing, warehousing and returns.

How to Choose a Print-on-Demand Company

When choosing a print-on-demand provider, there are several factors to consider.

Costs and Quality

One important consideration is the cost and print quality. You want to ensure that your books or products are of high quality while also being affordable for both you and your customers. As you browse different providers, make sure to review their past projects to get a sense of the type of quality they typically provide.

Range of Services

You should consider the range of products and services offered by the provider. Some demand service companies specialize in certain product options over others, such as printing hardcover or softcover books, printing on other materials such as t-shirts or phone cases and offering fulfillment services such as order processing and shipping.

Print Bind Ship is a fulfillment service and a printing company that offers print-on-demand for all types of product options. Get in touch to learn about customized solutions for your e-commerce store or business!

Print-on-Demand Process

Not all print providers offer the same, seamless process. At Print Bind Ship, you upload your content and designs to our platform, and we will take care of the rest. We’ll also contact you for customized solutions. We’ll handle all the product printing and shipping directly to the customer. Sit back and focus on your revenue, profit margins and more important business needs.

What Types of Items Can You Print-on-Demand?

The types of items that can be printed on demand are virtually limitless. From apparel to accessories, promotional items, books, posters and mugs, POD services offer a wide variety of products that can be customized to meet individual needs. With the right design and material, almost anything can be printed on demand, allowing businesses to create unique, personalized items with ease.


One of the most popular items we print are on-demand books. Authors can choose multiple types of binding or offer variations of their book or manual. For example, you could print your book in another language or change the binding to offer multiple price points for your book.


Custom apparel is always a hot item, but print-on-demand offers more than just t-shirts and sweatshirts. While these are both sought-after items, you can also branch out into other custom clothing, such as custom leggings, white-label shorts and more.


The accessory category offers tons of options for creative, custom products. There are many lovable standbys like hats, sunglasses and backpacks.


Whether you need to print posters on demand for an event or art, printing on demand allows you to offer as many variations as you can think of.

Tech Accessories

Phones are something we’re rarely, if ever, without. That’s why phone and tech accessories such as chargers, selfie sticks and cases are such a popular option for on-demand printing services.

Print-on-Demand with Print Bind Ship

Print-on-demand is a great way to produce a variety of custom-printed items such as books, t-shirts, mugs, posters and other items. It allows for a low-cost, low-risk way to produce and market custom products without having to worry about stocking inventory. With print-on-demand, you can create a custom design, order the desired number of products and have them shipped to you or directly to your customers. This factor makes it ideal for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to get their products out into the world without investing in large amounts of inventory.

Ready to print your items on demand? Tell us more about your project to get started!


What is a print-on-demand business?

A print-on-demand business refers to a business model where an individual or a company creates and sells products — such as books, T-shirts and accessories — digitally. Once an order for the product is received, the product is printed and shipped directly to the customer.

How does a print-on-demand business work?

The print-on-demand business model involves a few steps. The creator or business owner designs or commissions products, then uploads them to a POD service provider. Customers order products, and the service provider prints and ships the product directly to the customer.

What are the benefits of using print-on-demand for my business?

Print-on-demand provides several benefits for your business, such as reduced overhead costs, no inventory management, personalized products, faster production times and reduced risk of wasted inventory.

Can I use print-on-demand for any type of product?

Print-on-demand is suitable for many types of products, such as books, T-shirts, phone cases and mugs. However, it’s important to consider whether the products you want to sell are profitable enough to offset the printing and shipping costs.

How do I get started with a print-on-demand company?

To get started, you need to choose a POD service provider that caters to your needs. Print Bind Ship is a printing partner, fulfillment company and an all-around e-commerce solution. We handle the entire process for you, including printing, inventory management, fulfillment, ecommerce analytics and customer returns. It’s never been easier to optimize your e-commerce storefront when you partner with Print Bind Ship. Learn more about our customized solutions here.

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