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Investing in 2023's Print-on-Demand Business: Hidden Costs and Effective Management Strategies

Investing in 2023's Print-on-Demand Business: Hidden Costs and Effective Management Strategies

The rise of eCommerce paired with evolving print technologies have transformed the print-on-demand (POD) industry into a potentially rewarding business opportunity. This piece aims to shed light on the overlooked costs and shares strategies to manage them efficiently, using key takeaways from this article..


Absolutely, below is a summary of the article in the form of a table:

Key Points  Details
Understanding Print-on-Demand (POD) POD involves creating digital designs and uploading them on a platform like Printify, which handles the printing, shipping, and tracking of the ordered product.
Etsy Payment Process Etsy deducts platform fees from the customer's payment and pays the seller. The seller then pays Printify for the production and shipping of the product.
Etsy Payment Reserves Etsy holds payment reserves for new sellers for the first 90 days, paying out weekly and retaining about 30% of the total payment until the item ships. This could cause cash flow issues during high-demand periods.
Startup Costs These include costs for Printify Premium, Canva Pro, Creative Fabrica, mockups, and various Etsy fees.
Managing Unseen Costs
Unseen costs include inventory management, quality control, shipping and handling, and customization costs. Proper strategies need to be implemented to manage these.
Significant Dates in July for POD These include July 4, Independence Day; July 14, Bastille Day; July 18, Mandela Day; and July 30, International Day of Friendship. Awareness of these dates can influence sales.
Demystifying the POD

Business POD is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires significant time, effort, learning, and research. The journey to success is a slow and steady process.

Conclusion Managing a POD business in 2023 entails challenges, but with effective strategies, the unseen costs can be managed, and the business can be optimized for success.



Grasping the Print-on-Demand Concept

At the core of the POD model is the creation of digital designs, which are then uploaded onto platforms such as Printify. Upon customer purchase, Printify oversees the printing, shipping, and tracking. This business model negates the necessity of physical inventory management, making it an appealing choice for emerging entrepreneurs. 

girl figuring the start up cost of her ventures

Our calendar and mugs collections offer practical examples of the potential of the POD model.

Understanding the Etsy Payment Process

A significant aspect of operating an Etsy store is comprehending the payment structure. Post-sale, Etsy reimburses the seller the customer payment, deducting their platform fees. Subsequently, the seller remunerates Printify for the production and shipping expenses, retaining the balance as profit.

However, most of the established Etsy Sellers alerts new sellers to a possible hurdle on Etsy - the platform imposes payment reserves for the first 90 days, disbursing funds only once a week and retaining approximately 30% of the total payment until item dispatch. This policy could pose liquidity challenges during high-demand periods like the holiday season.

finger tips on laptop with a card in one hand to make payment for an online shopping website

Revealing the Startup Costs

Inception of a POD enterprise on Etsy entails certain upfront costs, such as:

  • Printify Premium: This optional subscription, costing $29.99 monthly or $299.99 yearly, grants a discount of up to 20% per sold item.
  • Canva Pro: This design tool aids in crafting engaging designs for a monthly or annual fee of $12.99 and $119.99 respectively.
  • Creative Fabrica: At $19.99 per month, this platform offers essential graphics and fonts for your POD creations.
  • Mockups: Procure high-resolution images that exhibit your products from platforms like Creative Fabrica or Etsy.
  • Etsy Fees: Etsy levies several charges, encompassing listing, transaction, and processing fees.

Taking advantage of free trials and discounts, you can potentially kickstart your POD venture for as low as $1. However, it's crucial to allocate funds to cater to the initial expenses before the sales roll in. 

Explore our Best Text Only Unisex Bella Canvas Tees and Funny T-Shirt Bella Canvas collections to get a glimpse of effective POD applications.

a page with a block diagram of work flow of start-up business idea

Decoding the POD Business

Cassie stresses that a POD enterprise is not a path to instant riches. Instead, it demands considerable time and effort dedicated to learning and research. Success in this realm is typically gradual, not an immediate jackpot. For a deeper understanding of the nuances of the POD model, visit our articles, Trends in Personalized Print on Demand Apparel for 2023 - SarsariCreations and The Future of Personalized Apparel: Print on Demand Trends for 2023 - SarsariCreations.

Using these tips and resources, like discount codes for services like Printify Premium and Canva Pro, navigating the unseen expenses and complexities of initiating a POD enterprise on Etsy becomes a smoother process. As you dive into this venture in 2023, equip yourself with patience, passion, and persistence - these three Ps often steer the way to success in the POD world.

Confronting Hidden Costs in POD

Despite the alluring prospects of a POD business model, entrepreneurs must be mindful of some overlooked expenses, including:

  • Inventory management: Though POD eliminates the need for bulk product purchasing, tracking your digital inventory can be time-intensive, particularly with a diverse product range.
  • Quality control: Dependence on a third-party for production means any quality-related issues can directly impact your brand reputation.
  • Shipping and handling: Individual printing and shipping for each item could escalate the shipping cost.
  • Customization cost: Greater customization of your product escalates costs, but this can potentially lead to higher profit margins if your customers value uniqueness.

To counter these challenges, visit our insightful guide 10 Tips for Selecting the Ideal and Affordable Print on Demand Apparel to Personalize Your Brand in 2023 - SarsariCreations for practical advice.

Key July Dates for POD Businesses

Effective management of a POD business entails staying aware of significant dates and events influencing sales. Here are some critical July dates:

  • July 4, Independence Day: Ideal for launching patriotic-themed products. Create custom designs that celebrate freedom and patriotism, drawing inspiration from our 2023 Designing for July: Celebrate Independence, Bastille, Mandela, Se - SarsariCreations article.
  • July 14, Bastille Day: Cater to your French clientele with products commemorating the French Revolution.
  • July 18, Mandela Day: Introduce designs that celebrate Nelson Mandela's life and contributions.
  • July 30, International Day of Friendship: Friendship-themed products can be a major hit on this day.

For more on making the most of July sales, visit our article 2023 Maximizing Sales with a July Calendar: Tips for Print-on-Demand A - SarsariCreations.

Etsy seller and business coach, Cassie Johnson, offers invaluable insights on kickstarting a POD venture on Etsy in her informative video.


Operating a POD business in 2023 carries its unique challenges, but with sound strategies in place, you can tackle the hidden costs and steer your business towards success. Stay vigilant of key dates, comprehend customer needs, and remain current with industry trends. 

For more tips and insights, keep checking SarsariCreations regularly.

Stay on top of your game with us. Here's to a prosperous 2023!


Q: What is Print-on-Demand?

A: Print-on-Demand (POD) is a business model that allows you to create designs on your computer and upload them to a platform like Printify. When a customer orders your product, Printify handles the printing, shipping, and tracking updates.

Q: How does the payment process work on Etsy?

A: When a customer orders your product on Etsy, Etsy pays you the amount the customer paid minus their platform fees. You then pay Printify the cost of producing and shipping the item. The remaining amount is your profit.

Q: What are the startup costs of a POD business on Etsy?

A: The costs to consider when starting a POD business on Etsy include: Printify Premium subscription, Canva Pro for creating designs, Creative Fabrica for graphics and fonts, Mockups for showcasing your products, and Etsy Fees.

Q: Is POD a get-rich-quick scheme?

A: No, starting a POD business on Etsy requires a significant investment of time and effort in learning and research. It's a slow and steady process, not a quick path to wealth.

Q: What are the unseen costs in the POD business?

A: Unseen costs include time spent on inventory management, quality control issues as you rely on a third-party for production, increased shipping costs due to individual printing and shipping, and higher costs for more customized products.

Q: What are some significant dates in July for POD?

A: July has several significant dates that can influence sales, including Independence Day on July 4th, Bastille Day on July 14th, Mandela Day on July 18th, and International Day of Friendship on July 30th.

Q: What are the potential issues with Etsy's payment reserves?

A: For new sellers, Etsy places payment reserves for the first 90 days, paying out only once per week and holding around 30% of the total payment until the item ships. This could cause cash flow issues during high-demand periods like the holiday season.

Q: Can I start a POD business on Etsy with a low budget?

A: Yes, by making use of the free trials and discounts, you could potentially start your POD business for as low as $1. However, it's important to have some funds to cover the initial costs before sales start coming in.

Q: What are the provided resources to assist in starting a POD business on Etsy?

A: Various tips and resources are available, including discount codes for services like Printify Premium and Canva Pro, which are designed to simplify the process of initiating a print-on-demand venture on Etsy.

Q: What is the fundamental lesson to be learned about succeeding in a POD business?

A: The crucial understanding is that attaining success in a print-on-demand business requires the embodiment of patience, passion, and persistence. Rather than being a shortcut to instant wealth, it's a business model that demands substantial time and effort for fruitful outcomes.

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