Print on demand for artists

Why Choosing POD as an Artist?

Selling internationally has not been easy in 2021. On one hand, the pandemic, inflation, and economic recession did not project a very promising future for independent artists. On the other hand, clearance delays at Customs, disruptions in maritime transport, and global shipping container shortage made international sales more expensive. If the problems are to linger well into 2022, artists need to find new ways to sell art. Print-on-demand (POD) would be one of the best ways to make money and create momentum as an artist.

List of Print on Demand sites among the list of art selling online sites.

Print on demand Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Risk-free: You don’t need to invest any money or pay anything upfront as an artist.
  • Fast to launch: Most POD marketplaces let you publish a product in 15 minutes.
  • Fast shipping: You can produce the products closer to your customers, making it much faster to reach them.
  • Avoid Importing Taxes: You can always find a POD in the same country as your customers.
  • Lower carbon emission: You produce only when it is needed.
  • Reliable: Experienced POD fulfilment centers have decades of experience, fully computerised production.
  • PODs don’t require exclusivity. You can always choose a different POD provider if you are not happy with your existing partners.
  • Save your time: You don’t need to issue a certificate of authenticity or take care of customer service.
  • Exposure: POD marketplaces can bring you free traffic, boosting your exposure.

CONS

  • You might bring customers to your competition.
  • Your IPR might be stolen.
  • You might be perceived as a sell-out.
  • Your business relies on other people.
  • You cannot fully customize your products.

Print on demand workflow

If you search Print-on-Demand platforms on the Internet, you might find hundreds of them. To make it easier for you to choose among the many, here I have divided the POD workflow into 5 steps:

  1. Design. As an artist, this is your job. Some platforms give you design tools, but they are limited. You will need to come up with original designs using Photoshop, Gimp or Canva.
  2. Traffic. Most likely the traffic to your POD store comes from your own social channels, website and search engine. Some POD sites will bring traffic, but not always to your particular store or page.
  3. Transactions.
  4. Production & Shipping
  5. Customer Service

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