If your online store has anything to do with printing, a print-on-demand company could be what you’re looking for. Two of the most popular companies are Printify and Printful. But which one of them should you use for your business?
In this post, we’ll provide an in-depth review of Printify vs. Printful. By the end, you’ll know which is better for starting your POD store.
Table of Contents
- What is Print on Demand?
- How Does Printify Work?
- How Does Printful Work?
- Printify vs. Printful Pricing
- What Integrations Do Printful and Printify Support?
- Who Has More Features - Printify or Printful?
- What Types of Products Do Printify and Printful Offer?
- Who Has Better Print Quality?
- What Are Printify and Printful Shipping Like?
- Do Printify and Printful Offer Customized Packaging?
- Do Printify and Printful Have Customer Support?
- Are There Better Print on Demand Alternatives?
- Printify vs. Printful FAQs
- Printify vs. Printful Summary
What is Print on Demand?
If your business is still in its first steps, it’s wise not to invest too much money. You don’t know yet if your store is going to take off and do well. At the same time, you don’t know if you should order a lot of a particular product if the product becomes popular. An easy solution to your dilemma is to connect with a print-on-demand company.
Print on Demand (POD) is exactly what it says. It’s where a company only produces and prints your products once a customer has bought them. A POD business also allows you to have a vast range of products. Your catalog could be as diverse and as huge as you want it to be.
This is possible because you won’t have to invest a lot of money upfront to manufacture your products. Since a product is only produced once it’s been bought, there’s little to no risk if one or two of your designs don’t sell a lot. This ensures that you don’t have to invest a lot of money without being sure of your profits. You also won’t have to wonder how many orders of your products you’ll have to source again. And when a product becomes popular, you won’t run out of stock. All this is taken care of by only printing items when there’s a demand for them.
This service is a form of dropshipping where companies take care of manufacturing and shipping for you. You won’t have to worry about inventory or shipping fulfillment anymore. Most print-on-demand companies work in the same way.
You send the order and customer information to them, and they take care of the rest. It’s made easy by their integrations with top eCommerce platforms like Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, etc.
Depending on what you’d like for your business, there are different companies you can choose from. Let’s take a look at Printify and Printful and see which one is better.
How Does Printify work?
Printify is best described as a platform for print-on-demand services. They’ve helped more than 500,000 retailers find their suppliers and start their business. Unlike most POD companies, they only connect you to third-party suppliers. They’re the ones who handle the production and shipping. You can still use them to create and customize your products like other POD services.
It’s easy to set up an account, and its interface is straightforward to use. The first thing you have to do is decide what product to sell. Their catalog of products currently has more than 300 categories. These include both apparel and non-apparel items.
Once you have a product, you can customize it using their mock-up generator. A mock-up generator is a design tool that enables you to create your designs on your product. Often, you’ll get a blank t-shirt, mug, or hoodie where you can make your design. You can also just upload your designs and customize the placements. Your products will automatically sync to your store for your customers to see.
Next, choose your supplier in their directory of POD companies. These suppliers are based on three things: location, pricing, and availability. To help you check product quality and shipping time, you can ask for samples from multiple suppliers.
When someone on your store orders, two transactions happen. One is the money you receive from your customer. The other is Printify charging you for production and shipping costs. They will then submit your product files to your chosen supplier, and they will handle the rest.
Find out more about Printify and everything it has to offer with this review of the POD service.
How Does Printful Work?
Printful is known as one of the best print-on-demand services in the business with more than 200,000 customers in 2020. The main difference is that their manufacturing and shipping are done in-house.
Setting up an account is the same process as Printify. They have fewer product items than Printify, but most of the apparel choices are the same. They do have unique products to offer in their catalog, but their most popular products are shirts.
Once you’ve chosen your products, they also have a mock-up generator tool to perfect your product designs. Your product listing will also be automatically sent to your integrated eCommerce platform.
Since Printful does the production themselves, you get a base price for their products. This base price plus shipping costs are what they charge you when a customer orders an item. Your profit is the difference between your retail price and Printful’s production and shipping costs. So the retail price you set matters in determining your profit margin.
There’s a lot more to know about the POD company, and you can find a full review here.
Printify vs. Printful Pricing
Printify offers three monthly plans. It’s free to set up an account. This free plan gives you up to 5 stores, unlimited product designs, and use of their mock-up generator. You’ll also be able to integrate your eCommerce platform and create manual orders. For additional help, they have 24/7 merchant support and a self-serve help center. A free account can already give you many benefits and can be enough for a small-scale business.
For the premium plan, it will cost you $29 per month. It includes up to 10 stores and everything you get from a free plan. Additionally, you’ll get a custom order import feature and up to 20% discount on all their products.
An enterprise plan has a custom price. It includes everything from the free plan, plus unlimited stores and early access to new features. It also covers custom API integration. To make it even better, they offer a dedicated account manager and a branded customer support.
Printful, on the other hand, doesn’t have monthly plans. They have a base price per item, which affects their overall cost. For every order, they charge you the base price and the shipping cost. Some of their prices are:
- T-shirts and coffee mugs: starting from $7.95 per product
- Posters and canvas prints: starting from $7 per product
- Backpacks: starting from $31.95 per product
Printful’s production costs are generally much more expensive than Printify. Since Printful’s production is done in-house, they focus on delivering high-quality prints. This attention to quality drives their manufacturing costs. Your profit will depend on the retail price you set.
Printify has more affordable costs and offers up to 20% discount when you upgrade to a premium plan. However, shipping prices vary with each supplier.
Even if you consider Printify’s varying shipping costs, Printful is still a more expensive option. Their production costs are still higher than Printify. If the high print quality isn’t something you’re prioritizing, Printify’s cheaper option would be better.
What Integrations Do Printful and Printify Support?
Both companies can be integrated into some of the best eCommerce platforms and third-party marketplaces for businesses. Although if you compare them, Printful can be integrated into more marketplaces.
- Big Cartel
- Launch Cart
Who Has More Features - Printify or Printful?
Since Printify primarily connects retailers to suppliers, their features are limited. They have a mock-up generator, shipping calculator, customer support service, and integrations with the top eCommerce platforms.
While Printful has features that cover various services they offer. For starters, they have order automation, a mock-up generator, and a profit calculator. When sampling their products, there’s a 20% discount and free shipping. They have fulfillment centers globally. This makes shipping faster for international orders with local fulfillment centers. Some of these locations are in Los Angeles, Canada, Mexico, and Spain, among others.
Their design services include sublimation print files, color matching print files, custom artwork, custom graphics, redesigning logos, and minor adjustments to print files. All this ensures that you’ll have a top-notch custom design for your store. Their custom products don’t stop at printing but also include embroidery.
With Printful, everything is done in-house. You get to do everything from creating products to samples up to shipping all in one place. Overall, Printful offers more features and gives you more options with your products.
What Type of Products do Printify and Printful Offer?
Printify has a catalog with more than 300 products. They have a lot more options as compared to Printful and offer both apparel and non-apparel items. Apparel items include T-shirts, hoodies, shoes, sweatshirts, skirts and leggings, and swimsuits. Non-apparel items cover bibs, purses, bags and backpacks, jewelry, and home and living.
Printful offers more of the same products, categorized by apparel and non-apparel items. Some of their popular apparel products include T-shirts, hats, and hoodies, and sweatshirts. At the same time, their popular non-apparel items are poster and canvas prints, phone cases, and jewelry.
They both have similar products. Printify has a lot more options, but Printful has some unique products in its catalog. So it really goes down to what you prefer for your business.
Who has Better Print Quality?
Printify connects you to different suppliers with differing qualities. To find one that meets your quality standard, you’d have to get samples from each one.
They follow two printing methods. The first one is Direct-to-Garment printing. This method is the most common one used for textiles and garments and is the most cost-effective one. It uses specialized or modified inkjet technology to get the print onto your products.
The second method is All-over printing using Dye Sublimation. It uses intense heat and pressure to transfer the graphic onto the fabric.
A typical review about Printify’s product is how quickly the prints fade. In comparison, Printful’s prints last longer on the product. Printful’s focus is on their print and product quality and has invested $49.9 million on their printing equipment. Generally, they get a better review of their print quality.
Their printing options are also Direct-to-Garment printing and All-over sublimation printing. Additionally, they do screen printing and embroidery for their hats.
To give you more options, you can also choose the type of fabric. They offer 100% cotton, a poly blend, and a tri-blend fabric.
The good thing about Printify is you can choose what kind of quality you want by selecting several different suppliers. This gives you more options for other products. The downside to this is the cost of having separate suppliers for multiple items. With Printful, you’re assured that their quality is consistent because of their in-house production. It may not be the one-size-fits-all for all your product, but you’re sure that you’ll get good quality prints.
What are Printify and Printful Shipping Like?
When it comes to shipping times, there’s not much difference between the two companies. Printify varies from supplier to supplier, some can take as fast as two days, or it can take up to a week. You can check each supplier for their rate and estimated delivery times. An average shipping time for their suppliers is 7 to 15 days.
For Printful, order processing takes an average of 2 to 7 days for apparel items and 2 to 5 days for non-apparel items. An average shipping time is 4 to 12 days in total. The company also has fulfillment centers worldwide, which makes international shipping faster than Printify.
Their shipping rates vary per product. Some of the shipping prices of their items are:
- T-shirts cost $3.99 for the first product and $1.35 for additional products.
- Hoodies, jackets, and pants cost $6.50 for the first product and $2.00 for the additional products.
- All-over print clothing costs $3.99 for the first product, with $1.25 for the additional products.
- Face coverings cost $3.99 for the first product and $1.25 for the additional products.
Both companies use the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, DPD, and DHL with a standard shipping option. Printify exclusively offers WooCommerce and Shopify users express shipping. This option has a 2 to 3 days shipping time.
When it comes to Printify, it’s more cost-effective to have the same supplier produce items. Having different suppliers for various items can lead to shipping costs adding up. Shipping times are also different for each supplier, so products with different suppliers would have varying delivery dates.
The reliability of Printful’s in-house shipping fulfillment and their global fulfillment centers gives them an edge over Printify. You won’t have to worry about deciding between multiple suppliers or shipping costs. Printful generally has a more affordable shipping cost than Printify.
Do Printify and Printful Offer Customized Packaging?
Good branding can go so far for any business. In this aspect, both POD companies provide branding for your products. They’ll put your brand or logo on the shipping label.
For packaging, Printify has basic packaging options with no customized branding options.
Printful will also put your brand on the label of your products. These custom labels cost $2.49 per label. You can do more by inserting other marketing and brand items. Things like flyers & coupons, business cards, branded stickers, postcards, and handwritten thank you cards. These are only $0.75 per order.
Printful’s customized packaging options give you more room to strengthen your branding. It’s definitely an advantage on Printful’s part to have more choices for you and your business.
Do Printify and Printful Have Customer Support?
Both companies offer customer support services if you want to avail of them. They both offer guides, instructional videos, and other resources for you. Printful has a little more of an advantage in this area since they have more options for your customers to reach you.
Printify can be contacted through email or their contact form. They do have 24/7 merchant support for you.
In comparison, Printful has a phone, email, live chat, and a contact form. They also have a community on social media for their Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube accounts.
What About Returns and Refunds?
Their return policies are similar. You can get a refund for damaged, defective items or any errors from the items’ manufacturing. Items that customers return because they don’t like them aren’t refunded.
For Printify, you have to submit an issue on the product to the Merchant Support team. They’ll review the item, and if it’s a manufacturing error, they’ll issue a replacement order. In this case, there’s no need to return the defective items. If, after all that, there’s still an issue with the replacement, you’ll get a refund.
For Printful, returns and refund claims have to be submitted 4 weeks after getting the product. For items lost in transit, submit it 4 weeks after the supposed delivery date. Incorrect addresses or those that are unclaimed will be sent back to Printful. The customer will shoulder reshipment costs. Return of sealed items like face masks isn’t accepted for health reasons.
Printful has a lot of customer support options and is more accessible. Their communities on social media make it easier to connect with them. If you want customer support for your store, it’s better to go with Printful’s services.
Are There Better Print on Demand Alternatives?
Though Printful and Printify are the more popular POD companies, there are more options out there. Depending on what suits your business’ needs, there’s a number of apt services that you can try. These may have the same basic features as the other two but may focus on various aspects of the print-on-demand service.
Printify vs. Printful vs. Spring
Spring, formerly known as Teespring, is an all-in-one platform that helps you set up your ship, print your items, and help you launch your marketing. Unlike the two POD companies, you can start your store with their platform. It works the same way as other eCommerce platforms and third-party marketplaces like Shopify or WooCommerce. It’s formerly known as Teespring but has since rebranded as “Spring.”
What’s unique about Spring is they have a required minimum quantity for every product you want to sell. If you don’t meet this requirement, your products won’t be made or shipped. It’s easy to use for beginners and has a lot of marketing tools at your disposal. They offer a number of printing methods that lead to good print quality.
Spring offers fulfillment and shipping, your store within the platform, marketing, promotional tools, and excellent customer support.
The one real downside is how you have to follow their required minimum number of items to sell. If one of your products turns out to not be as popular, they won’t produce it at all.
Printify vs. Printful vs. Teelaunch
Teelaunch is catered exclusively to Shopify retailers. It has a customer support system on par with Printify and Printful. What’s more, it’s got hard-to-find items in its collection. Some of these are branded power banks, shower curtains, printed bracelets, and the like.
What makes it less popular than the other two is its shipping time. Like Printify, they connect with other suppliers for the manufacturing and shipping of items.
Printify vs. Printful vs. Print Aura
Print Aura isn’t too impressive looks-wise. Standard shipping takes 3-5 days, which gives it the fastest time between the three. However, that’s where its edge ends. Its customization tools, the mock-up generator, and design tools are both far below as compared to Printify and Printful. The tools aren’t optimized and have a learning curve. Its services fit more for beginners who can get their products out but may find the interface and workflow lacking.
Printify vs. Printful FAQs
Which is better Printify or Printful?
If you’re more concerned with costs, Printify is the better of the two. But Printful packs a punch when it comes to their features and high product quality. Their production costs may be higher, but it can be worth it for the products they make.
Can I use Printful and Printify?
Yes, you can use both at the same time, but you can’t connect the two. You’ll have to create the products on the POD platforms themselves and make sure that your online store is integrated with Printful and Printify. A product you make in Printful will sync in your store, and when someone buys it, Printful will automatically take care of it for you. The same would happen with Printify.
Is Printify cheaper than Printful?
Yes. Printful generally has higher manufacturing costs. Printify, even with various suppliers, can usually yield a higher profit margin.
Is Printful good quality?
Yes. Their products, especially their apparel, are known for their longevity and maintaining their prints’ quality.
How much can you make with Printify?
Printify has a relatively higher profit margin than most POD companies. That’s because of their affordable production costs. Let’s take a look at what your profit margin will be for selling a $20 t-shirt.
For Printify, a Men’s short sleeve T-shirt costs $7.99 with shipping starting from $4.80. For the retail price and production cost, you’ll get a profit of $7.21 and a gross margin of 36.05%.
For Printful, the same product costs $12.95 with shipping costs of $3.99. For the retail price and production cost, you’ll get a profit of $3.06 and a gross margin of 15.3%.
Can you sell directly from Printify?
No. You’ll need your store in one of the many eCommerce platforms out there. They don’t have their marketplace and instead give you access to suppliers.
Printify vs. Printful Summary
Printify and Printful are some of the best print-on-demand companies, and for a good reason. Printify gives you the flexibility of their monthly plans and your own choice of supplier. You can choose what the print quality is going to be in their directory of suppliers. Their products are also relatively cheaper than other print-on-demand services.
What to watch out for when using Printify is when your products have different suppliers. Shipping rates and times differ for each supplier, and quality may also be fluctuating. Their integrations are also limited, but they do support top eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. They get the job done and are perfect for retailers who are looking for a cheaper print-on-demand alternative.
On the other hand, Printful has a good reputation for high-quality prints. Their products are manufactured in-house, so everything from order fulfillment to shipping is done within the platform. Their shipping is also top class. They have fulfillment centers worldwide with quick turnaround times, even for international orders. Their branding and product customization has many options for you and is easy to use for beginners.
They do have a more expensive production cost because of their focus on good quality prints. Your profit margins would depend on your dictated retail price.
Here are the various categories to compare them with and its winners:
- Pricing: Printify
- Integrations: Printful
- Features: Printful
- Products: Tie
- Print Quality: Printful
- Shipping: Printful
- Branding and Packaging: Printful
- Customer Support: Printful
Printify vs. Printful Winner: Printful
Printify only won over Printful in pricing, and that’s because of their flexible monthly plans. Printful still rises above that with its numerous features and integrations. Their print and product quality is also worth mentioning since that’s something many businesses care about. Their handful of custom packaging and customer support options also helps their case in being a better print-on-demand service than Printify.
This company is more suited to retailers that prioritize quality products over costs. Overall, Printful has a lot to offer whether you’re new in the print-on-demand business or a veteran.