If you’re a digital artist who has just started a print-on-demand business, congratulations! It can be exciting to turn your artwork into tangible products that your customers can enjoy. However, to make sure you’re giving them the best experience possible, it’s important to focus on quality control.
Quality control means a set of measures taken to ensure the final products meet certain standards, and it’s crucial because your customers will judge your business and the entire print-on-demand industry based on the quality of your products.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of quality control in print-on-demand and provide tips on how to ensure excellent product standards.
Choose the right printing partner
When it comes to print-on-demand, quality control begins with choosing the right printing partner. Do some research and look for a company that uses the latest printing technology and has a reputation for producing high-quality products. This blog post has my TOP print-on-demand partner that I have worked with for over three years. I stand by every one of their products and their customer service is top-notch.
Read reviews and check out their sample products to see the quality for yourself. Also, don’t forget to ask about their quality control process. A good printing partner will have a set of standards and procedures in place to ensure every product meets the desired quality level.
Design with printing in mind
Another aspect of quality control is designing files with printing in mind. Graphics that look great on a computer screen might not translate well to printing, so it’s essential to make adequate considerations.
For example, be wary of using low-resolution images or fonts that are too thin. Check color profiles and ensure they’re CMYK, the printing standard, not RGB, which is the digital standard.
You will also want to make sure that your design is at least 300 dpi. This will ensure that your image doesn’t get pixelated or blurry when printed.
Test your designs
Before you make products available to the general public, consider ordering a sample or two to evaluate the quality of your designs. By conducting this quality control check, you’ll be able to get a firsthand look at the final product and decide if you need to make alterations to your design.
Depending on the product, you’ll want to make sure it can withstand certain conditions, such as frequent washing or sun exposure. This step is particularly essential when it comes to delicate materials like fabrics.
What do we mean by checking out their sample products?
Because POD products are their wholesale price, you can buy a few products for yourself to check the print quality, packaging, customer service, etc. If you truly don’t want to invest any money into POD, then this route won’t work for you. But it is a wise choice to have peace of mind over the quality of what you are sending out.
When I buy samples of products, I like to use them in a variety of ways.
- Use the sample to take high-quality product photos for my Etsy listing.
- Take videos that I can use for my socials and Etsy listing
- Do a giveaway with the item on my social media to increase visibility and potential customers
Invest in quality packaging
The presentation of your product also contributes to overall quality. Even the best product will appear less appealing when packaged poorly. Aside from being wrapped securely to avoid damage throughout shipping, packaging adds to the value of the product and gives a professional look. If you don’t have an idea in mind for your packaging, printing companies can help you create custom packaging for your orders.
Not every print-on-demand company will offer custom packaging. It is definitely going to cost you in the long run meaning you might not make as much profit, but going the extra mile might result in more sales! Not only will custom packaging add to your brand identity, but it adds that special touch that makes it feel a bit less print-on-demand.
What to do if your customer receives a product with poor quality?
As an Etsy seller using print-on-demand, your ultimate goal is to provide your clients with products that meet their expectations. However, mishaps can happen, and sometimes quality control falls short. Your worst nightmare is hearing from your customers that they received a product of poor quality. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world!
What solutions do we have for when a customer gets bad quality?
- Refund the product, no questions asked. (Make sure this is a part of your shop’s guidelines beforehand.)
- Offer to refund them in full or give them credit towards a future purchase.
- Do a reprint for them on the house.
The best approach in such a scenario is to be transparent and proactive. Reach out to your customer as soon as possible, and let them know that you’ve heard their concerns and you’re working to make things right. Take the time to understand their specific issue, and be ready to offer a solution that shows you value their feedback. With the right approach, handling customer complaints can actually strengthen your relationships and improve your business in the long run.
Let’s Wrap it Up!
To provide excellent standards to your customers, you must take quality control seriously. Printing-on-demand gives digital artists endless opportunities to turn their artwork into amazing products, but the quality of the products should always be at the forefront of your business. Follow the tips above for choosing the right printing partner, designing with printing in mind, testing your designs, and investing in quality packaging. By adhering to these best practices, you are sure to provide your customers with a positive experience, which can lead to increased business and an improved reputation in the print-on-demand industry.
And that’s a wrap, folks! I hope you enjoyed learning about the exciting world of print-on-demand for Etsy shops and all of the amazing possibilities it offers for creative entrepreneurs. If you’re itching to dive in and start creating your own digital designs, I invite you to check out my course, Procreate to Product. In it, I’ll guide you through the entire process from design to product creation to listing on Etsy and beyond. It’s the perfect next step for anyone looking to grow their creative business and make their print-on-demand dreams a reality. So if you’re ready to take your skills to the next level and turn your artistic passion into a thriving business, come join me in Procreate to Product!