To the printed product customers who have contacted me about delays in receiving your orders, I am truly sorry you are experiencing this!
How POD Works
I want to start with a brief introduction to the print on demand process.
An artist or design, like me, creates text and or images that they believe will look good on printed products. They can either print those products themselves or contract with a company who will do the promotion, production and distribution for them.
Setting up a custom print shop is expensive space consuming. The majority of designers opt for using a POD company like Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, TeePublic, Spreadshirt and others.
Those companies market the products and, when a sale comes in, print the design on the selected product and send it to the buyer. In most cases, these companies do not have their own printing presses or manufacturing facilities. They have to depend on manufactures of everything from stickers to t-shirts to bath mats and all the other products they sell as well as the large printing houses with the equipment to print on these many items.
How Covid-19 Disrupted the POD Industry
Sadly, Covid-19 has disrupted every link in this chain. Specialty printing has not been considered an essential industry and most of the suppliers went through shutdowns during the pandemic.
The companies are reopening and deliveries are beginning again but there continue to be considerable delays. That is bad for customers, for POD production facilities, for marketers and for those of us doing design.
What Merch By Amazon Says
Thank you for your patience as we prioritized products that customers need at this time and implemented extensive health and safety measures in our print centers to protect our employees. We are restoring US Merch products, which will allow customers to purchase them, on an ASIN-by-ASIN basis. While we are improving delivery speeds across Amazon, you may see longer delivery promises due to capacity constraints.
I truly am sorry that these delays are occurring and I wish I could change that but I can not.
As shipments pick up and the backlog is reduced, I expect delivery times to get shrorter but it will take some time. Please be patient while our industry recovers.
What Redbubble Says
While we do provide our best-estimated delivery date for your order, some 3rd-party printers that fulfill orders from Artists on Redbubble have been affected by local “Shelter in Place” ordinances resulting in longer production times. Additionally, all carriers have removed guaranteed delivery within a specific timeframe. For the most accurate information regarding deliveries to your area, we recommend checking with your local carriers and/or governments to see if deliveries may be restricted or disrupted, affecting the estimated delivery date for your order.
I look forward to the time when the world is back to normal and so is the POD industry.
In the mean time, stay safe and healthy and please understand that we in POD are trying to recover as soon as possible.