During the last few months, Facebook groups dedicated to print-on-demand have dwindled in activity, enthusiasm, and engagement.
Many blogs from some of the best thought leaders in POD have gone virtually un-acknowledged.
Scores of insightful posts from successful sellers have been almost entirely ignored.
And countless opportunities to get ahead while others are falling behind have been squandered.
I get it. Merch By Amazon hasn’t allowed us to sell new designs in the U.S. market for three months. In POD, that feels like an eternity.
But this eternity remains an opportunity. And I hope every POD procrastinator will stop “waiting” for Merch By Amazon to get back to normal before their level of excitement and engagement returns to normal.
In the last 90 days, Amazon has made strides to bring back MBA to full capacity. First, the ability to save drafts for publication was restored.
Then, products in our U.S. portfolios started to be listed for sale again.
Earlier this month, Amazon resumed publishing for all UK and DE products.
Then, just two weeks ago, tank tops, v-neck shirts, raglans, and zip hoodies became available in the UK and DE.
Toss in the fact that tier-ups have resumed and that Amazon has confirmed plans to allow uploads and new product sales in the U.S. again, and there’s no good reason to view MBA with a downtrodden spirit.
Nonetheless, countless peers continue to sit on the sidelines of POD, pinning most of their hopes to Merch By Amazon’s return.
I wonder if many of these individuals have ever pondered the following question: How did so many people in print on demand generate millions of dollars before Merch By Amazon even existed?
Merch By Amazon may be the preferred POD platform for many, but it’s ultimately just one player in a very big game. And not enough of us are on the field playing this game to the fullest.
I bring this up today because we are only 48 hours away from the third quarter of 2020. What we do in the third quarter, to a large extent, determines how much money we will make in the 4th quarter — the biggest quarter in the POD/eCommerce industry.
I don’t subscribe to the theory that economic setbacks and the global pandemic will squash online shopping to a considerable degree this year. If anything, I believe bricks-and-mortar retailers will struggle more than online sellers. Why? More people will be shopping from home than ever before. We will have a bigger and more engaged audience to cater to (which will only matter if we are just as engaged as they are).
So if you’ve been holding back on giving POD the full court press while MBA remains on pause, I can’t possibly urge you more strongly to push ahead anywhere and everywhere else in your POD businesses today.
From Amazon’s UK and DE markets and KDP, to Etsy and Redbubble, there are more than enough outstanding platforms to help you have the most profitable Q4 of your POD career. But it will take a focused and energetic effort in Q3 to make that happen.
Best of all, imagine if you spend the next three months building your presence and portfolios on multiple new PODs and then, just in time for Q4, Amazon is back up and running to full capacity. You will be better positioned for success than ever before going into Q4.
My advice? Spend the next three months gunning for your best Q4 without banking on Amazon’s U.S. market to carry all the weight. When MBA returns — and it will — it will be the icing on a cake that you didn’t wait to bake. Given how many of your peers haven’t even pre-heated their POD ovens yet, you have the added ability to profit while everyone else procrastinates.
Two days stand between you and Q3. Use these waning hours of Q2 to think broadly, creatively, and confidently about how Q3 can serve as a canvass for the beautiful and profitable success story you will paint in Q4.
Good luck, keep pressing forward, and never stop creating.