Print-On-Demand vs Dropshipping – What’s the Difference?

In today’s digital world, there are more ways than ever to start and run a business. With the rise of print-on-demand and dropshipping, it can be hard to decide which is the best option for you. So, print-on-demand vs dropshipping – what’s the difference? And which one should you choose? Keep reading to find out! 

What is print-on-demand (POD)?

Print-On-Demand Vs Dropshipping - What Is Print-On-Demand (Pod)?
Print On Demand vs Dropshipping – What is print-on-demand (POD)?

Print-on-demand (POD) is a business process where you create customized products and sell them on a per-order basis. Basically, you sell your designs on the products like mugs, t-shirts, etc. You don’t pay for the cost of the product until it’s been sold. Everything after the sale, from digital printing to order fulfillment and shipping, is handled by your supplier.

What is dropshipping?

Print-On-Demand Vs Dropshipping - What Is Dropshipping?
Print On Demand vs Dropshipping – What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a way to sell products without having to keep any stock on hand. When someone orders a product, you will get the order and then order it from the supplier. The supplier will ship the product directly to the customer. Dropshipping allows you to sell products without having to carry any inventory.

Print-On-Demand vs Dropshipping

The benefits of POD (print-on-demand)

There are many benefits to starting a print-on-demand business. First, it’s a very low-cost way to get started in eCommerce. You don’t need to invest in inventory upfront, so you can start selling without any risk.

Second, it’s a great way to test out product ideas. If you’re not sure if a particular design will sell, you can create a listing and see how it does before investing more time and money.

Third, print-on-demand businesses are very flexible. You can sell your products through multiple channels including your own website and online marketplaces.

The benefits of dropshipping

Dropshipping also has its own set of benefits. First, it’s a very hands-off business model. You don’t need to worry about inventory or shipping, as that’s all taken care of by the supplier.

Second, dropshipping is a great way to get started in eCommerce quickly and with little upfront investment. You can create a professional-looking website and start selling products without any risk.

Third, dropshipping businesses are very flexible and can be run from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and you can manage your business from anywhere.

POD or dropshipping?

So, which one should you choose?

Print-On-Demand Vs Dropshipping - Which One To Choose?
Print On Demand vs Dropshipping – Which one to choose?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between POD and dropshipping. I’d say that print-on-demand is more for artists and graphic designers where you can create and sell personalized and unique items, while classic dropshipping is more for people who want to sell products without any hassle.

In most cases, the print on demand websites “comes” with a marketplace where you can sell your products. For example, Merch by Amazon, RedBubble, Teepublic, Spreadshirt, and others. Some of them even invest in marketing activities.

As far as I know, dropshipping does not offer a platform for selling your goods. There may be some exceptions, but I don’t know them. Also, in dropshipping, you are more dependent on the supplier’s stock level than in print-on-demand.

Both print-on-demand and dropshipping have their pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to what you’re looking for in a business venture.

If you’re someone who wants to sell unique custom products, print-on-demand might be a better fit. But if you’re looking for a more hands-off approach, or don’t have the time or resources to handle print-on-demand (don’t want to mess around with designs), dropshipping could be a better option. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research and find a reputable supplier who can provide high-quality products and good customer service.


Print-on-demand (POD) and dropshipping are both eCommerce models that allow you to sell products without having to carry any inventory. They’re very similar in how they work, but some key differences between the two can make one or the other a better fit for your business.

POD is a great option if you’re looking to sell unique, custom products. You have more control over the product and can brand it as your own. Dropshipping is a more hands-off approach and is a good option if you don’t want to mess around with designing for print-on-demand.

Do you have any experience with print-on-demand or dropshipping? What’s your opinion on print on demand vs dropshipping? Let us know in the comments below!

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