eli5 What is print on demand?

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eli5 What is print on demand?

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You only make items which is ordered, commonly refers to the cloth.

Let’s say you want a sweater with a print, the have the sweater in that size in stock, but then when you order the logo is printed on the sweater and shipped to you.

Usually when someone is selling a book or something similiar they first do a print run, for example 10.000 books. Then they put them up for sale.
If they sell all 10.000 books you can’t buy any more, unless the seller decides to do another print run.
If they sell less than 10.000 books the seller is stuck with a bunch of books.

“Print on demand” means that when you buy 1 book, and then the seller prints 1 book and gives it to you.
This means the book is never sold out and the seller is never stuck with extra books.
But printing individual books is a lot more expensive per book than doing big runs.

It’s like made to order at a burger joint. Instead of having all the burgers made before customers order, they don’t start making your specific burger until you place an order.