Print-on-demand Vs Digital Products: Which is Better to Sell?

Print-on-demand Vs Digital Products: Which is Better to Sell?

print on demand vs digital products

Are you considering options between starting with print-on-demand vs digital products? This article will guide you to explore the intricacies of each type by comparing similarities and differences. A deep comprehension will help you make an informed decision on which avenue suits your goals and preferences better. Let's dive in!

Print-on-demand and Digital Product Definitions

Let's begin by gaining a clear understanding of print-on-demand products and digital products.

  • Print-on-demand products are physical items created as per customers’ orders. Merchants then work with a POD company to print designs on blank products like apparel, accessories, home decor, wall art, etc. POD company manages the product customization manufacturing and shipping of personalized goods to customers.
  • Digital products encompass electronically created and distributed goods or services. Customers can purchase printables like ebooks, art prints, planners, calendars, etc. Other digital downloads include educational products, product licenses, premium content libraries, templates and tools, music, or art.

Keep scrolling for the next part of this article to discover a thorough comparison of print-on-demand vs digital products on earning money online.

print on demand digital products
Research carefully before selling print-on-demand or digital products

Print-on-demand Vs Digital Products: Similarities and Differences

It’s important to hold commonalities and distinctions between two kinds of products to figure out what’s suitable for you.


Both print-on-demand and digital products work with digital files so they show some resemblances below:

  • There's no requirement to invest in physical facilities like inventory, factories, and warehouses. Instead, you should focus on building a robust online store.
  • You have hassle-free shipping without logistics management. Customers directly get their order via a download link (for digital products) or a third-party company (for POD goods).
  • Without overhead upfront cost, it’s low risk to start your online business or test new products. This approach is suitable for risk-averse sellers.
  • Both options enable flexibility in terms of working and earning passive income online. You can quickly change offerings to adapt to market trends or customer preferences.
  • Due to their cost-efficient nature, these products offer highly profitable products at different rates. The ratio tends to increase as your business grows in the long run.
print on demand vs digital products similarities
You only need at least an online store to sell these products


Let’s explore distinctions between print-on-demand vs digital items. Key differences are in the product range, product creation process, product shipping, profit margin, and required skills to start.

Factor Print-on-demand products Digital products
Product range Printable products, such as clothes, home decoration, furniture, tech accessories, and more. Printables and digital downloads, such as eBooks, artwork, templates, online courses, tools, media, software, etc.
Product creation Design creation > POD company connection > Online store setup > Product publication > Order submission for fulfillment. Digital product creation > Product launching on online store.
Product shipping

No requirement for delivery.

POD company handles delivery within 5-30 days including production and shipping time.

No need for delivery services.

After purchasing, customers can save and use digital products instantly via email or download links.

Earning ratio


Top 3 of the most profitable products to sell: t-shirt, mug, and phone case.

Close to 100%

Top 3 of the most profitable products to sell: all kinds of digital downloads (PDF, PNG, SVG, fonts, etc.), online courses, and ebooks.

Necessary skills Design - the most critical skill, research, website creation, marketing and customer service skills, etc. Fundamental knowledge and skills in a specific field like writing, coding, video making, design, etc.

Print-on-demand Vs Digital Products: Which is Better to Sell?

There is no definitive answer to whether print-on-demand or digital products are better to sell. It all depends on what you're good at and what you want to achieve with your business.

If you’re passionate about creating captivating designs to sell and grow your own brand, print-on-demand may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, digital products require in-depth knowledge and skill in a particular area. However, you will get a huge chunk of profit in return.

Extra: Print-on-demand tends to be more gift-buying, while digital product is more personal purchase.

can you print digital downloads

You can easily create designs and offer personalized print-on-demand posters

In fact, you definitely can combine and sell 2 types of products in your store. By providing customers with options for both print-on-demand and digital downloads of the same design, you can broaden your product offerings. This approach allows you to double your profits with the same workload potentially.

A Summary

Benefits of print-on-demand are low cost, no inventory, factory, and shipping. These advantages are the same as selling digital products. However, it's important to recognize that each product type has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Product Pros Cons
Print-on-demand products
  • Lucrative opportunities with a steady growth of the market
  • Start with a limited budget and time
  • Turn personal interests into engaging designs
  • Establish your own brand with minimal cost
  • No operations and shipping to worry about
  • Easy-to-test product with low risk
  • Design personalized products easily
  • Lower profit margin due to producing individually
  • Lack of customer data for marketing practices
  • Little control on quality and variety of products
  • Extended time for making and shipping
  • Customer service complications in handling returns
Digital products
  • A larger share of the earnings
  • Resolving customer problems firsthand
  • Immediate delivery via email or download links
  • Fierce rivalry in the market
  • Difficult legal problems with intellectual property rights
  • Specialized skills required for different products

In conclusion, print-on-demand vs digital products both offer enticing opportunities to begin earning money online. Select your best-suited approach to tap into the market and enjoy your path to success now. Don’t forget to join Teeinblue Global Community for valuable real-world advice from like-minded people.


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