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Is Print-On-Demand Still Worth It in 2023 for Beginners?

Print-on-demand (POD) has gained significant popularity in recent years as a business model that allows individuals to create and sell custom-designed products without upfront inventory costs. However, with the growing interest in POD, some wonder if it has become too saturated for beginners to succeed. In this article, we will explore whether print-on-demand is still a viable option for newcomers in 2023.

Is Print-On-Demand Still Worth It in 2023 for Beginners?

Understanding the Two Types of Print-On-Demand

There are two main types of print-on-demand: active and passive. Active print-on-demand requires daily management, including driving traffic to listings and handling customer service. Examples of active POD platforms include Printify, Printful, and Etsy. On the other hand, passive print-on-demand platforms, such as Amazon Merch on Demand, TeePublic, and RedBubble, handle various aspects like order processing, printing, shipping, and even driving traffic to listings.

Untouched Niches and Limited Competition

Despite the increasing popularity of print-on-demand, there are still numerous untapped niches with minimal competition. While the industry is growing, it's important for beginners to focus on finding these untapped small niches rather than competing in oversaturated markets. By targeting specific niches, entrepreneurs can carve out their own space and find success within niche communities. With an estimated five to ten billion dollars' worth of custom printed apparel purchased online each year, there is substantial room for newcomers to thrive.

Choosing the Right Print-On-Demand Platforms

As print-on-demand continues to evolve, it's crucial to select the right platforms to maximize exposure and sales. While historically popular platforms like Amazon Merch on Demand, TeePublic, and RedBubble remain reliable choices, other platforms are emerging as strong contenders. TeePublic, for instance, has recently experienced organic sales growth, making it a viable alternative to platforms like Teespring, which have declined in popularity. Researching and adapting to the shifting landscape of print-on-demand platforms is vital for beginners to make informed decisions.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Print-On-Demand

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are beginning to make an impact in the print-on-demand industry. Some POD sellers utilize AI-generated slogans and phrases through tools like ChatGPT to enhance their designs. While these tools can be beneficial, caution should be exercised with design-generating AI tools like Midjourney due to emerging reports of copyright infringement issues. However, it is important to note that AI tools are not currently seen as a threat to the print-on-demand business model in 2023. Nevertheless, the development of AI remains unpredictable, and its future impact on the industry, including print-on-demand, is uncertain.

Despite the increasing popularity and evolving landscape of print-on-demand, it is still a viable option for beginners in 2023. With countless untapped niches, adequate research, and the right platform selection, newcomers can find success in the print-on-demand market. While the emergence of AI tools poses potential challenges, their current use is more helpful than harmful, and any future impact on the business model would extend to other online industries as well. By leveraging the opportunities available and staying informed about industry developments, entrepreneurs can embark on a print-on-demand journey with confidence in their prospects for success.

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