What Does POD Stand For & What Exactly Is It?

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What Does POD Stand For and What Exactly Is It?

Short Answer: POD is an abbreviation for Print on Demand.

POD is simply an abbreviation for “Print on Demand”. POD is a print-to-order service in which designers upload digital designs and customers can order physical products such as t-shirts, hats, books, computer accessories (mouse pads, skins, etc.), stationery such as notepads, pens and pencils or even kitchen accessories such as coffee mugs, pot holders and aprons, all with the designer’s work printed directly on the item.

POD products are usually not printed until the seller receives an order. This allows printings of very small quantities, even as few as just 1 item.

While other industries established the “build to order” business model, POD, or print on demand, could only be developed after the beginning of the digital printing era because it was simply not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.

Besides lowering the unit cost of short run printing, POD allows sellers to keep fewer copies of its printed items on hand thereby reducing the need for added storage and handling costs. Because the seller’s inventory levels can be kept extremely low, POD helps lower the likelihood of getting stuck with excess printed copies which can quickly become obsolete.

With POD, you only order items as you need them. Plus, there are even services out there such as CafePress™, Etsy™ and Lulu™ (just to name a few) which eliminates the need to keep ANY stock on hand at all, but more on that in a later article on my blog.