Thanks for another great episode!
About Lacey’s comment on starting a POD site or her hesitance to do so, I think trying to take something like a pandemic into consideration before starting a business is being a little too cautious because it’s unlikely to ever happen again but even if it did happen again, all you do is simply email the customers and refund their money and then cancel your orders with the fulfillment company or you could explain the situation and give the customer the option to wait. Since you’re only refunding the money they gave you, there’s no loss to you or the customer. And if you’re on top of it and send your customers an email early, you won’t get any bad reviews, especially when the entire world and every business is dealing with the same problem. And even if you did everything in-house, you’ll probably end up with the same problem anyway.
As far as controlling your own distribution and doing things in-house, it just comes down to a cost benefit analysis, which is basically your sales volume and profits. I’m not a fan of managing people so for me, I would personally outsource distribution at almost any cost just to avoid having to manage more people, but for the majority of normal people who don’t mind having to manage people, the decision just comes down to how profitable your business is because at some point your business will be big enough to afford hiring a manager or partner to take on the responsibility of dealing with a warehouse operation so you don’t have to.
So basically you use companies like Printful until you reach a point where the cost savings per tshirt adds up to where it makes sense to bring it in-house. For example, to sell a t-shirt using Printful might cost you $6 to $10 per shirt shipped, whereas doing everything in-house might cost you $3 to $5 per shirt…but I think you have to sell a decent amount of shirts for it to make sense because it’s not a high margin business. It’s more likely to make sense if you’re B2B and selling higher volumes of tshirts to companies or schools rather than selling shirts to individuals.