Setting up your own online store is a dream for many, but few make it a reality. Why? It’s down to several things, mostly revolving around perceived difficulties in merchandise storage, shipping complexity, and the requirement for upfront investment. There are however ways to open an online store that need you to deal with none of these things.
Using a combination of drop-shipping and print on demand merchandise, you can set up a lucrative business without the need for warehousing, storage, or upfront investment.
How print on demand works
Print on demand is a self-explanatory method of selling custom-printed merchandise. If you go about selling printed merchandise the old fashioned way, you would print the merchandise first and then offer it for sale. But, until somebody buys it all, what are you going to do with it? Storage for that volume of merchandise is neither cheap nor easily accessible to a new business.
With print on demand, however, the items are offered for sale and printed only when they’re actually sold. A custom-printed mug, for example, will only be printed with a certain design when a customer has actually purchased it. You achieve this by connecting your online storefront with your drop-shipping partner, so when a customer buys something through your site the order is transferred to your partner.
More than just printing
A drop-shipping service is more than just about saving on your storage costs, however, it’s a much easier way of developing a successful online store. If you work with a partner such as Printful, for example, they will take care of all aspects of the sale. The order will be printed, picked, packed, and shipped through their fulfilment centre – all on your behalf.
The order is shipped using your branding, and as far as the customer is aware it has come straight from you. But you haven’t had to deal with time consuming and expensive shipping, you’ve been making the most of a pre-existing system in place with a multi-national drop-shipping partner.
Not only does this save you time, but it also saves you money too. Think of the expense required for packaging materials, shipping costs, and the hassle of dealing with shipping across borders. When you work with a drop-shipping partner, you don’t have to worry about any of that – it’s all taken care of for you.
Are there any costs for you?
Nothing is free, and a drop-shipping partner won’t offer you their services for free. However, for the service you’re getting, it’s the next best thing. You require no real capital to start with because you don’t have to print or store any goods before they have actually been sold. Your partner will take a cut of each sale as a fee for their services, but that’s only a re-investment of profit that you’re already making. If you don’t sell anything, you don’t pay anything.
Starting an online store can be difficult, but if you choose a drop-shipping partner who offers print on demand services, it’s so much more accessible.
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