Drop shipping Vs. Wholesale Print on demand products for photographers | Foterra Jewelry

September 23, 2022

Landscape photographer's guide to drop shipping vs. wholesale

As a photographer, you may be wondering which is better: drop ship your print-on-demand products or purchase wholesale. Both options have their pros and cons, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will break down the differences between these two methods so you can decide which option is best for your photography business. Keep reading to learn more!

What does drop shipping mean?

Drop shipping is a business model in which online store owners sell products without carrying any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they simply contact the supplier, who will ship the products directly to the customer's doorsteps. This allows store owners to launch online businesses with minimal up-front investment.

As a landscape photographer, you may already be doing this by partnering with a print lab. Customers can purchase your landscape prints on your website, and you can simply forward the order to the print lab. The print lab will then print and ship the landscape prints directly to the customer, and you'll earn a commission on each sale. This is a great way to sell your photography without thinking about inventory or shipping.

You can also easily get involved in drop shipping all kinds of products by finding print-on-demand companies willing to partner with you. For example, you can find companies that sell home decor, clothing, jewelry and other products that would benefit from your beautiful images. By teaming up with the right print-on-demand partners, you can quickly get your work in front of a large audience without worrying about printing, packaging, or shipping. Best of all, you can focus on what you're good at - creating stunning images - while leaving the fulfillment process to someone else. So if you're looking for a way to launch your photography or art career without breaking the bank, drop shipping may be the perfect solution.

What does it mean to order wholesale?

In business, wholesale is the sale of goods or services in large quantities at a discounted price. So this means you can order your print-on-demand products at a deep discount, but you’ll have to order larger quantities.

For photographers and artists, wholesale can be a great way to increase your revenue and sell your artwork to your customers with great margins. By selling your landscape photography or other artwork in bulk, you can offer significant discounts that will appeal to both businesses and individual buyers. In addition, selling wholesale allows you to have your work featured in more places, increasing your visibility as an artist.

If you’re interested in selling your landscape photography or other artwork wholesale, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to have a reliable customer base that is interested in purchasing your work. My favorite way to establish a customer base is through seasonal festivals where artists can showcase their work and find new customers and fans. Or if you have a brick-and-mortar gallery or storefront, purchasing your print-on-demand products and artwork at wholesale prices makes good sense.

The benefits of drop shipping

As a landscape photographer, one of the main advantages of drop shipping print-on-demand products is that it requires very little startup capital. You don't have to worry about excess inventory or storage costs, and you can focus on creating beautiful landscape photography and fun products featuring your art. 

Another benefit of drop shipping is that it gives you the flexibility to try out new products and designs without having to invest in a large inventory upfront. You can experiment with different product designs and sizes to find what works best for your landscape photography, and what your customers are interested in buying without incurring any significant financial risk.

Drop shipping is also great for connecting with customers online and building rapport. You can ask them for their opinion on print-on-demand designs you working on, and they can vote on their favorites. A great way to know if you have a winning design! This is a great way to promote your landscape photography business and build relationships with potential customers. Overall, drop shipping print-on-demand products offers many advantages for landscape photographers, including low startup costs, flexibility to experiment with new products, and the ability to build customer relationships.

The cons of drop shipping

One of the biggest cons of drop shipping print-on-demand products featuring your landscape photography is that it can be difficult to maintain consistent quality control. When you're dealing with a third-party printer, it's important to make sure that they are using high-quality materials and printing technology, or else your photos will suffer. At Foterra Jewelry, we use sterling silver and 14k gold filled findings, along with our maintaining high-quality control. But not every print-on-demand partner is this careful in their creation.  As a result, it's not uncommon for photographers to receive complaints from customers about poor print quality. This is why it’s important to order samples of your print-on-demand products before you announce your product launch and begin selling to your customers.

Another downside of drop shipping landscape photography prints and products is that it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Because there are no upfront costs involved in setting up a drop shipping business, anybody can start selling their photos online. This means that you'll be competing against a lot photographers creating the same print-on-demand products. To succeed in the drop shipping landscape photography business, you'll need to put in the extra effort to differentiate yourself. By creating something unique, like photo jewelry, you’ll be setting yourself apart from the competition!

The benefits of wholesale

The main advantage of wholesale is that you can buy products at a lower price and then sell them for a profit. Wholesale can be a great way for landscape photographers to purchase their print-on-demand products. By buying products at a lower price and then selling them for a profit, photographers can quickly earn money to invest in other areas of their business, such as better equipment and marketing. Ordering in bulk can also save money, as ordering this way is usually less expensive than drops hipping your products. This makes it easier for landscape photographers and artists to turn a profit on their print-on-demand products. Because wholesale is so cost-effective when you have the customer base and audience in place, it is an option worth considering.

Fotographer member, Trevor Isabel orders wholesale for his weekly artist shows in Honolulu. Ordering wholesale is a great option for him because he has a captive audience of shoppers each week who are looking to buy unique handmade and artist produced items.

The cons of wholesale

In landscape photography, photographers often take advantage of wholesale ordering to get the best price on their products. However, there are some cons to this approach. One of the biggest is the upfront cost. In order to get a discounted price on print-on-demand products, photographers have to order them in bulk. This can be a significant financial investment, especially for those just starting out in landscape photography. Additionally, it can be difficult to estimate how many prints you'll actually need, which can lead to either stockpiling excess prints or running out of inventory and having to place another wholesale order. 

Another con of wholesale ordering is that it can be time-consuming to manage. Photographers need to keep track of inventory levels, as well as manage the packing and shipping process for orders. For busy photographers who already have a lot on their plate, this can add even more stress to their lives. However, for those willing to do the work, wholesale ordering can be a great way to get high-quality landscape print-on-demand products at a lower price.

Which one is right for you?

Drop shipping is a great option if you want to sell prints without investing in inventory upfront. You simply create an account with a print-on-demand company and list their products on your website or blog. When someone orders a print from you, the print-on-demand company will produce the print and ship it directly to your customer. You'll never have to worry about storing or shipping prints yourself. The downside of drop shipping is you won’t have inventory on hand, and it could be hard to stand out from the crowd selling online. In my experience, drop shipping is the perfect option for someone starting out who doesn’t want the upfront cost of wholesale ordering. 

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Wholesale ordering allows you to buy prints in bulk at a discount and then sell them at your own price. However, it can require significant upfront investment and minimum ordering costs. Another aspect of wholesale you’ll need to consider is the storage of the product and shipping it yourself to your customer. Deciding which option is right for you will depend on your budget, time commitment, and desired level of control over the product line. I find that ordering wholesale is the best option for photographers who already have an existing customer base and understand their customers very well.

Which is the best option for your photography business - drop shipping or wholesale ordering print-on-demand products? The answer depends on your stage of business. If you're just starting out, we recommend drop shipping, as it's a great way to test new products and grow your customer base. Once you've established a strong customer base and are looking to increase profits, switch to wholesale ordering, and enjoy bulk discounts.

With Foterra Jewelry, you can order print-on-demand products at wholesale pricing or drop ship them directly to your customers. This means that you can offer high-end photo jewelry products to your clients without having to invest in inventory. Learn more about how easy it is to design photo jewelry print-on-demand products with Foterra Jewelry. Join our 3-day design challenge and get started on your designs today!