Is Print on Demand Risky? Let’s Find Out

Is Print on Demand Risky?

Are you thinking about starting your own clothing line or selling custom products online? Print-on-demand (POD) might be the perfect solution for you. But hold on. A common concern for beginners is: Is print-on-demand risky? 


The answer, thankfully, is a resounding no. In fact, POD offers a low-risk, high-reward entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs. Let’s dive deeper and explore why.


Traditional business vs. Print on demand: which is riskier?

Traditional business vs. Print on demand: which is riskier?


Traditional business

Print on demand


Buy & store large quantities upfront

No inventory needed, print on-demand

Startup Costs

High upfront investment

Minimal upfront costs


Complex & expensive to scale

Easily scales with your business growth

Design Freedom

Limited by pre-designed products

Complete design freedom on a wide range of products


High risk of unsold inventory

Low risk, no wasted inventory


Significant effort needed

Test designs before scaling marketing

Is print on demand risky?

Print-on-demand provides a low-risk business strategy for online businesses, reducing high launch costs and inventory management concerns. Sellers may focus on creativity and market response without investing in product stock or dealing with the difficulty of product delivery. They can easily update their product lines to satisfy customer demand.


Print on demand India risk factors

Even while POD is user-friendly and has cost-effective start-up expenses, it is not without risk. As with any company control, it’s important to pull back the layers to understand the intricate details and challenges that may not be immediately clear.  

1. Quality control

Quality control is a major challenge because the seller does not see its POD products until they reach the customer’s doorstep. This might lead to inconsistencies and flaws, harming the brand’s reputation. 

Every print-on-demand vendor conducts quality control differently. At Printchester, all orders undergo a three-step quality check.

Printchester product quality check process


  • We examine your designs and check if they meet the requirements for high-quality prints. 
  • We verify the issues and fix them if they do not require any major changes or contact you for a high quality design. 
  • Once the order is printed, we do a final inspection of the ordered product size, color, print placement and print quality, product quality and shipping details. 

It ensures your designs are replicated accurately, colors are vibrant, and the product itself i from defects. We don’t just print products; we create high-quality merchandise that reflects your brand and vision.


Mockup Generator: Visualize your designs on actual products before you publish them. This powerful tool helps you identify any potential issues with the design layout or how it translates onto the chosen product. 


Maybe your logo appears too small, or the text gets lost on a dark t-shirt. Identifying these issues upfront saves you time, avoids reprints, and ensures your customers receive products that look exactly as expected.


Shipping is an important aspect of the satisfaction of customers, and changes in shipping rates or delivery dates can significantly affect your earnings. Print-on-demand does not allow for faster fulfillment and shipping timelines. 


Furthermore, shipping charges vary greatly based on the location, product size, and delivery speed. High delivery costs can reduce profit margins, especially if the supplier takes them to remain competitive. Keep a careful eye on delivery costs and modify your pricing strategy effectively to maintain your profit margins.


Moreover, unforeseen shipping delays, such as those caused by carrier troubles, customs hold-ups, or high-traffic instances, might result in customer frustration and potential complaints or returns. 


To avoid these risks, be aware of any changes in shipping carrier rates and policies and alter your shipping methods to balance cost-effectiveness and customer happiness.


It is important to manage client expectations by offering exact and accurate delivery information and implementing a clear shipping policy for your online business to solve any possible concerns. 


All successful print-on-demand stores have policies in place that customers can review. 


Work with Printchester: We offer a variety of shipping options at checkout, catering to different customer needs and budgets. This empowers your customers. They can choose between faster delivery at a higher cost for urgent gifts or opt for slower, more economical options for everyday purchases.


We offer competitive shipping rates and work with reliable shipping partners to ensure timely product delivery. This means you can focus on creating amazing designs and marketing your brand, while we handle the logistics of getting your products into your customers’ hands quickly and efficiently.


3. Lack of inventory control

One of the most important benefits of print-on-demand companies is their flexibility. They provide a diverse range of different designs and color possibilities without the requirement to keep each product variant in stock. 


We offer a diverse selection of high-quality products across various categories, from apparel in various styles and sizes. This allows you to provide backups in case a specific product, like a particular t-shirt style or hoodie becomes temporarily unavailable. You can still fulfill customer orders by offering an alternative product or color without compromising their experience.


Pre-Order Option: Consider offering a pre-order option for highly anticipated designs. This gauges customer interest in advance and helps Printchester plan production accordingly. This not only mitigates stock issues but also creates a sense of excitement and exclusivity around your launches.


We understand the importance of keeping you informed. In the rare case of potential stock limitations or delays about restocks, we’ll communicate this to you transparently. This allows you to proactively manage customer expectations and avoid any surprises.

4. Saturated market

As print-on-demand services expand, an overcrowded market has become usual. This ease of entry attracts many merchants, heightening the competition for client attention and making it more difficult for individual businesses to stand out.


In such a saturated market, only items that truly stand out—whether through innovative designs, great craftsmanship, or an extraordinary brand story—can catch and hold customer attention. To differentiate from competitors, a more strategic marketing approach and a significant emphasis on brand identification are required.


Furthermore, the increased number of companies in the market may result in a severe pricing war. Numerous suppliers competing for the same client base may drive prices down, straining profit margins to their limits. 


To overcome this challenge, suppliers must strike a fine balance between providing competitive price and protecting profits. This requires smart strategies, such as generating exceptional product images to engage buyers or improving the overall customer experience to deliver added value without paying additional costs.


5. Relying on ecommerce platforms and marketplaces.

While ecommerce platforms provide exposure, establishing your own online store allows you complete control over branding, pricing, and customer interactions. Printchester integrates seamlessly with popular platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. 


But you can also build your own independent store for maximum control. This allows you to cultivate a unique brand identity and customer experience that sets you apart from the competition.


Don’t limit yourself to just one platform. Explore other sales channels like social media marketing and collaborations with influencers to reach a wider audience and reduce dependence on any single marketplace. 


Utilize the power of social media to showcase your products, connect with potential customers, and build brand awareness. Partnering with relevant influencers in your niche can expose your brand to a targeted audience who trust their recommendations.


Excellent product quality and exceptional customer service are key differentiators regardless of the platform. Printchester helps you deliver on both aspects. We use high-quality materials and printing processes, and our dedicated support team is always here to answer your questions and assist you with any customer concerns.


6. Fast changing trends

While the print-on-demand business strategy is flexible, it also requires brands to keep up with constantly shifting trends. Customer preferences can change quickly, and what is hot one month may be outdated the next. This poses a danger for print-on-demand suppliers, who must constantly update their product offers to reflect the latest trends, memes, or cultural occurrences.

To reduce this risk, marketers must be adaptable and responsive, which frequently necessitates a proactive approach to trend forecasting and market research. Retailers may anticipate changes and alter their designs and products by monitoring trending products and customer behavior. 

However, brands that focus on specialized niches and capture the attention of a narrowed-down target demographic frequently do well without adhering to any trends. 


While print-on-demand dropshipping provides a low-risk entry point for entrepreneurs, it does have certain drawbacks. Challenges include quality control, delivery costs/speeds, relying on ecommerce platforms, market saturation, and the necessity to stay up with fast changing trends.


 However, these risks can be avoided via careful planning, a strategic approach, and a thorough grasp of the market, resulting in a successful and profitable online business.


If you want to establish a POD business, consider offering high-quality products to your customers and join us

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, print-on-demand (POD) is still worth it! It offers a low-risk way to start your own business with minimal upfront costs. You can test your designs and product ideas without a huge investment.


However, success requires effort. Make sure you focus on creating high-quality designs and marketing them effectively.

  • Lower profits: POD services are cut, so your profit margins might be smaller.
  • POD service dependence: You rely on their printing quality, fulfillment, and turnaround times.
  • Limited inventory control: You can’t directly control stock levels, so anticipate potential stockouts.

Yes, but it requires effort! Design quality, marketing strategy, and pricing are key. You need to stand out and convince customers to choose your designs.

Absolutely! It’s a perfect way to test the waters. There’s minimal risk; you can experiment with designs and see what resonates with your audience.

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