Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have likely heard about print-on-demand (POD). This business model launched many novice entrepreneurs into the world of business with astonishingly high success rates.
How? Well, it’s practically fool-proof. There are zero upfront costs needed. You don’t need to have stock on hand to sell. No workforce required and you only produce goods after somebody orders and pays for them.
You’re leaving large amounts of money on the table if you haven’t ventured into print on demand yet, especially if you have a knack for creating designs. Buyers are always on the lookout for custom products, and POD meets this need for novelty in the market.
There are numerous print on demand platforms you can use. In this article, we’ll take a close look at Printify, one of the most well-known platforms that offers custom printing.
Table of Contents
- What Does Printify do?
- How Does Printify work?
- What Products Can I Sell With Printify?
- How Is Printful’s Product Quality?
- How About Print Quality?
- How Much Can You Make With Printify
- How does Printify Compare With Printful?
- How To Use Printify With An Ecommerce Store?
- How To Use Printify Without An Ecommerce Store?
- How Do I Set Up Automatic and Manual Payment Options?
- How to Use Printify?
- What’s My Take On It?
- How Does Its User Interface Compare to Its Competitors?
- What Features Does Printify Offer?
- What Are Printify’s Plans?
- How Much Do You Pay for Shipping?
- What Happens When a Customer Needs a Refund, Return, or Exchange?
- What About the Replacement of Defective Items?
- How Long Does It Take for Customers to Receive Orders?
- Does Printify Have Its Own Marketplace?
- Does Printify Offer Seller Support?
- Does Printfy Handle Customer Support for People Who Buy Products?
What Does Printify Do?
Printify is neither a marketplace nor a producer of printed goods. It is a service provider that connects sellers with their network of print providers from different countries.
It is a platform where sellers can find vendors that can print their designs on products. It is more of a middleman where people who sell print-on-demand products can get in touch with printing companies. These companies will take care of everything from printing designs on products until the delivery of goods to their customers’ doorsteps.
How Does Printify work?
As mentioned, the print-on-demand business model does not create products unless somebody buys them. This principle is common to all the print-on-demand platforms. They may help you to a varying extent, but it all boils down to thinking about your business needs to choose the most suitable one for you.
Here is a more in-depth look at how Printify helps its users.
It all begins with your design. You can make your own if you are creative, but getting a professional designer to do it for you is better. You can also buy designs that you can print on your merchandise from platforms like the creative market.
Go to Printify and choose the product where you want your design printed.
Printify will provide you with a mockup against a plain white background that you can use for promotional purposes. You may create your mockups or use actual products if you wish to be more creative and strategic with promotions.
Whenever someone clicks on your store’s buy button, a notification will trigger Printify to charge your bank account for the cost of production and shipping.
Two transactions take place for every order: First, when customers buy from your store, their payment is deposited into your bank account. How long it will take for you to receive it will depend according to your bank’s policies. Second, Printify will automatically take money out from the debit or credit card that you registered with them when you set your account for automatic payment.
They will send the files needed so that the print provider you chose will know exactly how to print the product’s designs.
After the print provider manufactures the ordered item, they will then ship it to the customer.
What Products Can I Sell With Printify?
Printify has one of the largest and most affordable product selections of any POD service. In total, they offer more than 250 products that you can use to print your designs. Apart from T-shirts, they also have mugs, phone cases, watch bands, and many more. You can see their products on the left-hand side of their site.
How Is Printify’s Product Quality?
Product quality is not determined by Printify, rather the quality depends on the brand of the product you choose to print your designs.
You can go for their best sellers if you are new with Printify or if you would like to experiment, you can go with designing different products.
For my shirts, I like using Bella+Canvas 3001. It is not as pricey as Stanley Stella or Next Level 6010, but it is premium quality. It maintains its shape, and the fabric does not get too many loose fibers even after six or seven washes.
How About Print Quality?
The print provider you chose directly influences how the print on your merchandise will turn out. When choosing a printer, I like to check on the ratings they have on Printify. However, I also do test orders from several printers to compare the quality of their work.
Some products have many print providers, while others only have one.
Now, let me tell you about my thoughts on print quality. I use Monster Digital for most of my products. There are times when I would switch between print vendors depending on the design. I like to try several printers for every design that I make, then go with the printer that gives me the best result. I sample at least three, but most of the time, I end up with Monster Digital.
I can’t say that the print quality is excellent. It’s quite like a hit or miss with them. But the good thing with Printify is I have the freedom to choose the print provider that I like the most. I’m not stuck to one vendor with only one type of print quality, technology or technique, and price. This flexibility enables me to have better profit margins, which I will discuss with you later on.
With Monster Digital, the print is “stamped” on the fabric on colored shirts like black or navy blue. With this iron-on print, the designs tend to crack when the cloth is stretched or washed. The problem is most customers would not want to wear the shirt anymore if the design is already damaged.
For light-colored shirts, their printing technique is different. The print meshes to the fabric, so it becomes part of the cloth. I like this technique better because the designs don’t crack after washing.
The print colors are good, but they tend to be not as vibrant and crisp on products compared to how they are on mockups. That is why I don’t use mockups from Printify to promote. Instead, I take photos of samples that I order to display on my online store. This will prevent customers from getting disappointed because they will see exactly what they are getting.
Since Printify is not involved in manufacturing products, they don’t have much accountability for the results. This compromises product quality, so their sellers have to be diligent in choosing the best print providers under their network.
Competitors like Printful and Teespring are more reliable in creating high-quality goods since they produce in-house. The downside is since they focus more on quality, the cost of production is generally higher compared to Printify. Sellers often have a hard time getting decent margins by using them.
How Much Can You Make With Printify?
Printify offers some of the most affordable production costs of all the POD service providers and marketplaces.
While I would not recommend you to use Printify if the quality is at the top of your list, the affordable production costs allow you to earn higher profits than you can on other platforms.
The low costs allow for better price margins, meaning higher revenues and competitive prices to attract customers. They even give up to 20% discount to sellers who have Premium plans for only $29/ month. You will see the Printify Premium prices below each product in the catalog section.
Now, let’s take a look at this product’s cost.
As you can see, using the printer, Monster Digital, it cost me $9.21 for having my design printed on an actual product. Their shipping cost is $4.0, which brings me to a $13.21 total amount spent.
On average, I sell my shirts at $25.00, which means that for every item sold, my net earning is $11.79 (a 47.16% profit).
How Does Printify Compare With Printful?
As you may know, there is a multitude of print-on-demand platforms you can use for your business. You might be wondering how Printify compares to its competitors.
Let’s take a look at the cost for the same product under a popular competitor, Printful.
They are well known for product quality, but generally speaking, their prices are higher than Printify.
The total expense, including shipping, is $16.94. If we are to sell it for the same retail price of $25.00, we’ll have a total earning of $8.06, which is a 32.24% gross profit margin. Compare that with Printify’s price, and you’ll get a difference of $3.73.
As a consumer, I wouldn’t mind paying those extra dollars for a piece of clothing that I will be able to wear for a long time. Also, with Printful, the actual products look exactly like the mockups. Although Printify’s products are much cheaper, the kind of quality you will get with Printful is worth more than what you will save with Printify.
But being a seller, if you plan to focus more on quality and then charge higher for them, you might not get as many sales. I found that with shirts, it is challenging to sell them for more than $25.00. Even if the print quality justifies the price, there are times when buyers are looking for more affordable options.
How To Use Printify With An Ecommerce Store?
There are only three things you need to start selling with Printify:
- Credit/debit card
If you are an artist who would like to show your designs through usable products, then you’re in for a treat with Printify. But if you are not very good or interested in designing, you can hire somebody to do it for you. You can also buy graphics online to print on your products.
Using a credit card is recommended for automatic payment set up because it is more likely that you will get charged first by Printify before receiving the customer’s payment. You can also use a debit card, but that means you’ll have to use your own money to start the whole process of fulfilling the order. If you don’t have a store, your only option is to order from Printify manually, where you will use your Paypal balance.
For Printify to forward your design to a print provider and start production, you would need to pay them first. Although your buyer will pay you upfront when they order from your store, it will take some time, depending on your bank’s process, for the payment to reflect on your account. This window period will make it impossible for you to use your customer’s money to pay Printify. If you try to wait first for their money to go to your bank account before you order the products, your customer might complain about the delivery waiting period.
When you use a credit card to pay off Printify, they send your designs once payment is made to the print providers so they can start production. On your end, there will be no initial cash required as you can simply pay your credit balance after you receive the proceeds from the sale.
Unfortunately, Printify’s services do not include providing a storefront for your business. Printify is not a platform where you can sell your designed merchandise. It is not a marketplace, but you can connect it to Etsy and eBay.
They can help you design products, create mockups, and fulfill orders but not with advertising and processing payments for you.
A store can help you promote your business because it displays the products you have for sale. It is also where your customers can make an order.
But is it necessary?
No, it isn’t.
It’s an advantage if you have a store to integrate Printify with, but you can do POD without it. If you are running a business that already receives too many orders to process manually, setting up a store would be much better to automate transactions.
The customers can place orders themselves through your store, which will take away the hassle of communicating their order details to you. After that, everything is on autopilot. You don’t have to manually encode the information your customers provided and deposit their payments yourself. Once they make a purchase, Printify will automatically charge the production and shipping costs from the debit or credit card you registered with them. That will trigger the entire process of fulfillment up to delivery, which will help you use your time more efficiently, and it will also make sure that you won’t miss fulfilling any orders.
The only drawback to this is you will have less control over the order’s fulfillment. Once Printify debits the costs necessary to process the orders, you will no longer be able to change any information about them.
You can set up your Printify account to debit all the payments for the orders at a specific time of the day (say, 5 pm). So you know when you can still allow your customers to change details of their orders like size, shipping address, color, and the like.
The first thing you need to do is to look for Printify’s website. Once you’re in there, click on sign up, enter your email, and create a password. You will need to answer some questions, but it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to complete the whole registration. There is a list of tasks that you need to complete, and the last of which is to connect your Printify account with a store.
You can do this by entering your store’s URL on Printify’s website. You can also log in to your store to download the Printify app from there. Connect your Printify account to a debit or credit card to automate payments.
Sellers can integrate Shopify to 5 e-commerce platforms. At present, they have partnerships with Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and BigCommerce.
As mentioned earlier, they can also be connected with two marketplaces, eBay and Etsy.
How To Use Printify Without An Ecommerce Store?
If you don’t have an online store, like with Shopify or WooCommerce, nor in a marketplace such as Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, you will still follow the same steps (except, of course, connecting your account with an online store).
Printify will allow you to design products, download mockups, and order samples. You can create a Facebook or Instagram account for your products. Your customers can contact you so that they can order through you directly.
You will need to manually order from Printify using your Paypal balance every time a customer buys from you.
Keep records of the orders so that you can make sure that they are fulfilled.
As mentioned, although it is possible to run your print on demand business even without a store, it may work only while you have a handful of customers. It can be quite troublesome if you are already receiving lots of orders.
How to Set Up Automatic and Manual Payment Options?
There are two payment options you can choose from with Printify.
The first one is automated payment. Its advantage is that you can make sure that your customers’ orders are always processed. It is set up when you have a store where customers can place orders themselves. It makes it hassle-free on your end because it automatically sends orders to print providers for fulfillment.
To set it up, you need to add a credit or debit card to your Printify account. Click on the person icon on the website’s upper right hand and then select payments to add your bank information.
Choose the order approval method you want to use after you add your bank information. For automated payments, you can schedule it to be taken out of your debit or credit card every hour, 24 hours, or at a specific time of the day. Once payments are charged towards your account, the fulfillment of orders begin.
The second payment option is through manual order approval. You choose this option when you don’t have a store. Orders are sent to production only when you place an order and pay using your Paypal balance. Here, you will have more control over the orders, but you will need to keep an eye on them to ensure that they are all fulfilled.
How to Use Printify?
Once you’ve finished setting up an account, you can now start designing products.
In the catalog section, you’ll be able to find various products organized in different categories, such as men’s clothing, women’s clothing, accessories, and so forth. Pick a product that you want to design. It will take you to a page where you will be asked to choose a provider that will print the design for you. Click on the “Start designing” button so you will be able to add your design to the product you chose. Make sure to use high-resolution images to get the best possible print.
Select preview on the upper right corner to see the mockup. You can also download it by clicking the arrow down icon.
You may edit product details before publishing them in your store (you won’t need to undergo this step if you don’t have one). All you need to do is go to the “My Store” tab and click the “Edit listing” button on the right side of the product that you want to modify. There are three sections: mockup, description, variants, and store details.
You can change the product’s view as it will be displayed in your store under the Mockups section. The Description section is where you can edit the name of your product, the copy that will appear on the landing page as well as the tags to help increase traffic.
You may change the size, color, and pricing under Variants. Click on the plus or minus sign to adjust the pricing. You will also be able to see right how much you will earn for the product directly on the page. Finally, add store details and then click on publish.
What’s My Take on It?
Printify’s interface is easy to use. Even absolute beginners will not get lost using it.
When designing, they let the users know if they are stretching out their graphics too wide. They have an indicator that shows if the image has a high, medium, or low resolution.
The extra step that is unique to the design process of Printify is when you need to choose a print provider. There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing vendors like location, price, and color variants. Printify allows you to have a quick look at this important information before you start designing.
They also list their printers according to ratings. But still, do your homework. Sample products first. It will let you know exactly what your customers are getting.
If you have already set up a store, you can connect it through the Printify app. You may also do it while inside your store by going to apps and searching for Printify. It’s a straightforward process that you can finish in a minute or two.
By default, Printify sets the price of your products at a 40% markup. You can increase or lower your prices if you wish to.
Overall, Printify is a user-friendly app that no newbie should be too intimidated to try.
How Does its User Interface Compare to its Competitors?
The great thing about Printify is that it is so easy to use. Printify’s interface has a more minimalist design compared to others. The app is predominantly white, green, and black. It also doesn’t bombard their users with too many texts and buttons.
It’s also easier to set up an account with Printify than with other platforms. Upon entering your email address and setting up a password, they prompt you to answer some questions. After that, you will go to a page where there is a checklist of things you need to accomplish. It is very similar to Printful’s setup process except that Printful requires email verification. Teespring requires both email verification and answering captcha, which makes it a little more tedious.
What Features Does Printify Offer?
Printify has a mockup generator that will help you show customers how your designs would look on products. You can download them to display on your store or online.
Here are some samples:
Although this is the most convenient way to show customers your products, it isn’t the most effective.
As mentioned, there are already too many people doing print-on-demand, so you must find ways to make your brand noticeable. Unfortunately, products on a plain white background aren’t enough to do the trick. You need to have eye-catching images.
Printify’s shipping calculator is a handy tool that protects both the customer and the sellers. Customers will not have to pay more than they should for shipping, while sellers can avoid undercharging for the delivery of their products.
Unfortunately, Printify does not have a hotline to call where sellers can talk to a live person.
There are three ways to get in touch with them. First, you can contact email support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Second, you can fill out a contact form to inform them of the details of the problem you have with your order. In case you find yourself in need of a more immediate response, you can also use their live chat support.
What Are Printify’s Plans?
Printify has three plans that you can choose to meet your needs. Depending on what stage you are in your print-on-demand business, there is a plan suited for you.
For beginners, it is a no-brainer that you’ll likely want to start with the free plan. At this stage, you are most likely to be eyeing several POD service providers to partner with. You will get to see if Printify is right for you without any financial investment.
You are allowed to integrate with Printify a maximum of 5 stores under the free plan.
Second is the Premium plan.
Printify’s prices are known to be competitive to allow maximum earnings for its sellers. But if you would like to earn more through them, you can try their Premium Plan at only $29 a month. You will save as much as 20% on their products that will further increase your earnings.
Although the discounted price on this plan sounds too enticing, you need to weigh the amount of money you will be able to save versus the additional charge that you will have to pay.
It might not help you that much if you don’t sell a lot of products. Getting a 20% discount would be useless when you have to pay $29.00 for only a handful of sales.
Apart from the discount, the Premium plan also allows you to connect up to 10 stores.
And lastly, the Enterprise plan. It doesn’t have a fixed price. It is recommended for those merchants that are already selling products by the thousands. This plan also removes the restriction on the number of stores you can connect Printify to.
How Much Do You Pay for Shipping?
The cost of shipping varies from vendor to vendor. Generally, the rates of shipping of network print providers in Printify are cheaper compared to their competitors.
What Happens When a Customer Needs a Refund, Return, or Exchange?
Printify does not support refunds, returns, or exchanges.
Sellers must make sure that the details on their orders are correct.
You are unable to change the order information or cancel it once an order is sent manually for production.
The same thing goes with automated order fulfillment. For example, in my case, I set my automated payments once a day at 5 pm. I can still change the details of my customers’ orders before that time, but not beyond that. Once payment is made, the order is forwarded automatically to the print provider to start the process for fulfilling it.
If you entered the wrong size, color, or design, there would be no option for the buyer to return or exchange it. Since vendors print only by demand or when someone orders, they don’t keep space in their warehouse to hold returned items. An exchange is also not possible since each order is unique.
As a seller, you have to make your buyers aware of this policy. But if you are willing to allow your buyers to return and exchange their orders, you may do so at your expense. You could also consider that when you price your products. You can markup a little higher to avoid too many losses for allowing refunds, returns, and exchanges.
What About the Replacement of Defective Items?
If there is a mistake with order fulfillment, Printify is willing to issue a replacement free of charge.
If replacement fails for some reason, they are also willing to refund the amount paid for the production and shipping. Your money will be returned to you through your Printify balance.
There are two things that you can do with the refunded amount. First, you can leave it there in your account and use it to pay future orders. Second, you can withdraw it through the original mode of payment.
How Long Does It Take for Customers to Receive Orders?
As sellers, we know that delivering goods to customers fast is huge when it comes to customer satisfaction.
I usually tell them to wait for about a week or two, but several factors influence delivery time.
First is the print provider itself. They have their average production times that you will see immediately once you check the list of vendors for an item. It varies because each print provider has different equipment, human resources, and the number of orders they need to fulfill.
Second, the volume of your order. There are inevitable circumstances that may arise when customers order in bulk. Vendors might sometimes run out of stocks if they do not expect too many orders for a particular product. Also, the entire order will not be shipped if something goes wrong with one item of that order.
Third is your customer’s location. The advantage with Printify is they have an extensive network for print providers to fulfill orders across the globe. They have printers in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, and China.
Peak seasons are also something that you need to keep in mind. I tell my customers in advance that it will take longer than usual. This way, they can have realistic expectations when it comes to the time of delivery.
Print vendors under Printify’s network use either USPS or UPS for shipping. Sometimes, customers want to have their orders sent via Express shipping. Printify makes this available for its sellers, but not all vendors and e-commerce platforms allow it.
Since I have an advanced account with Shopify, I can send orders via Express shipping. If you don’t, you may contact customer support so you can add Real-Time Calculated Shipping at $20/ month. For WooCommerce, you need to install live shipping to enable express shipping. Unfortunately, for Etsy users, this option is not available.
Does Printify Have Its Own Marketplace?
Printify does not have its own marketplace you can use to sell your products. What they do is simply connect you to print providers that will help you fulfill and deliver orders to your customers. You have to set up your store if you want one and integrate Printify into it. Also, you need to create traffic to get sales because Printify will not also create campaigns or advertise for you.
If you prefer a platform that does fulfillment and shipping, provides a store for your products, and helps with promotions, then try Teespring. It’s a great option if you want to be in print-on-demand as a side hustle.
However, if your goal is to have your brand or clothing line, then creating a store with Shopify or WooCommerce is better.
Does Printify Offer Seller Support?
Printify has customer service for the sellers that use their site. However, they don’t have a phone number where you could call them. You can communicate with them by sending them an email at email@example.com. You can also fill out a form where you can detail your concerns or engage with their live chat support.
Does Printfy Handle Customer Support for People Who Buy Products?
No, they don’t. Printrify does not help sellers with customer service to assist people who bought from them. Since my customers don’t know about Printify, they contact me directly for inquiries or concerns about their orders.
Print-on-demand is a booming industry for sure. There are already too many service providers and platforms out there that cater to this type of business model. It could be daunting to have too many choices, but you must first know your objectives. This way, you will be able to choose which one suits you best.
Printify does not compete with others when it comes to print quality. Instead, it focuses on another aspect that most merchants also consider, and that is the cost of production. As a result, it appeals to those looking to lower their costs as much as possible.
It is good to have an alternative because sometimes sellers and buyers are looking for items that would fit their budget.
So what are your thoughts? Would you consider using Printify for your print-on-demand business? Let us know by commenting down below.