Printful vs Printify

Printful vs Printify: Which is Better Print-On-Demand Platform in 2021?

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Print on Demand (POD) is a great e-commerce model for entrepreneur, small business owners, designers, and artists who are looking to start their own print-on-demand business. In this post we will compare two of the best POD supplier Printful vs Printify.

By starting a POD store you can sell your custom designs on products printed by manufacturers (POD suppliers) directly to the customers. This is similar to a drop-shipping store where you are selling products to customers without ever actually stocking the items yourselves.

Custom t-shirt designing and printing has become a huge business now and is expected to Cross US$ 10 Billion by 2025. It’s easy to start, scale and huge mark-up potential makes print-on-demand model ideal among beginners looking to start an e-commerce business.

As the popularity has grown, so has the number of print-on-demand (POD) suppliers, Printful and Printify are one of the two biggest print-on-demand suppliers in the market. Both of them claim to be best, so in this post we will compare these two and will find out what is best for you.

What is Print on Demand?

Print-on-demand (POD) as the name suggest, is an online fulfillment process similar to drop-shipping business, where the seller sells its custom prints products like t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, bags, decor, stickers etc.

As with drop-shipping business, the seller doesn’t need to stock the items themselves, but they pass on the order details once they get orders from the customers on their store. Same as drop-shipping, this model does not require you to hold any inventory or pay and upfront fee until a product is sold to the customer. This makes it best to try your custom designs on products as it has low overheads and marginal barriers to entry.

If you have great designing skills and have build an audience either organically or through ad campaigns, print-on-demand is a great option to monetize your skills.

How Printful works

Printful is an on-demand order fulfillment and warehousing service, started in 2013 founded by Lauris Liberts and Davis Siksnans. It has its own printing facilities in US, Mexico, Canada, Latvia and Spain, as well as 3 partner facilities in Japan and Australia.

printify vs printful

Here’s how Printful works:

  • Choose from a range of blank product from Printful Catalog
  • Upload your  own design or select one from the Printful library, and place it on the product, using Printful’s mockup Generator
  • Connect Printful to your eCommerce store
  • Promote your print-on-demand business and make sales
  • Printful prints and packs your products then ships orders to your customers

Some of the collection of Printful is as follows:

  • Clothing: T-shirts, Hoodies, Sweatshirts, Leggings, Shorts, Tank tops, Polo shirts, Long sleeve shirts, Jackets
  • Accessories: stickers, Phone cases, Bracelets, Necklaces. Face Masks, Key Chain
  • Bags: Laptop cases, Drawstring bags, Backpacks, Fanny packs, tote bags etc.
  • Home & Living: Coffee mugs, Blankets, Pillows, Posters, Canvas prints, Bean bags, Beach towels, Embroidered aprons etc
  • Collections: Sportswear, Streetwear, Workwear, Beachwear, Fall and Winter, Gifts

There’s a whole lot of collections of products and they keep on adding new products on regular basis.

How Printify works

Printify was launched in November 2015 by James Berdigans. Printify does not has its own printing facilities but they work with manufacturers, printers and drop shippers from all over the world to complete your orders.

Printify has suppliers all over the US like California, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina. Apart from it they also have overseas suppliers: three in the UK, and one in China.

Here’s how Printify works:

  • Choose from a range of blank product from Printify Catalog
  • Upload your  own design or select one from the Printify library, and place it on the product, using Printful’s mockup Generator
  • Select a supplier from the list, you can even request samples before you start selling products on your own site.
  • Connect Printify to your eCommerce store
  • Promote your print-on-demand business and make sales
  • Printify prints, packs and ships orders to your customers

Some of the collection of Printful is as follows:

  • Clothing: T-shirts, Hoodies, Sweatshirts, Long Sleeve, Shorts, Tank tops, Polo shirts, Jackets, Sports wear Shoes. Kids Clothing
  • Accessories: Phone cases, Face Masks, Key Chain, Bags, Shocks, Hat
  • Home & Living: Art and Wall decor, Bathroom, Blankets, Pillow and Covers, Mugs, Pet Beds etc

Ease of Use

As an online seller, you need a print-on-demand platform that are easy to use where you can upload your custom designs and rest of the work is done by the platform itself.

Printful Ease of Use

Once you create an account of Printful, you will notice that Printful’s user interface is very simple and easy to use.

Printful requires you to select the product from its collection of products, upload and customize your designs, integrate with your online store and then start selling it.

Printful product designer comes with easy to use drag and drop customization editor. You can use it to add your custom design on the product by either uploading the designs from your computer or add quick designs or custom text from the interface itself.

printify vs printful

The user interface of the product designer is easy to understood by all type of users, including beginners. You can easily upload any kind of logos, images, designs and pictures to be printed on T-shirts, fabrics, caps and mugs etc.

Your custom designs can also be moved, dragged, resized and relocated according to the fabric and size of cloth. Not only this, you can also design your custom inside and outside label for your products, which is not available with any other print-on-demand platforms.

Printify Ease of Use

Like Printful, Printify also has an easy to use interface which make creating and ordering a product a piece of cake.

Like Printful, Printify also requires you to select the product from its collection of products, upload and customize your designs, integrate with your online store and then start selling it.

Printify also comes with a set of design tools for customizing the design of your products. It allows you to upload any kind of logos, images, designs and pictures, after which you could proceed with the customization process via Printify’s editing window.

printify vs printful

Printify user-interface is harder to use and takes longer time to execute. there are more color options available on Printify, which takes more time to customize your design with the products available on Printify.

Also for designing custom t-shirt, Printify only allows you to design front and back, where as Printful allows you more design options like inside and outside label for your products.

Pricing

One of the most important factors for selecting any service is its pricing and the margins.

Printful Pricing

Printful doesn’t charges any fee for opening and running an account but once an item sells then they deduct a fee from the final order price. For example, the product costs $25 and the retail price is $40, your profit will be $15.

There are additional fees also charged per extra order, such as shipping and taxes. Printful also offers a profit calculator to check your profit margin to get a better understanding of products pricing.

printify vs printful

The actual cost of Printful depends upon the type of customization and specifications you offer to your customers.

Printify Pricing

Printify offers three level of pricing plans, Free, Premium and Enterprise as below:

printify vs printful

All the three plan comes with following features:

  • An advanced mockup generator
  • Integration with selling channels such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy, WooCommerce, among other ecommerce cart solutions.
  • 27/7 live support
  • Manual order creation.

Printify Free Plan

This plan is for new merchants who are just starting out print on demand (POD) company. So, this plan is perfect for those who are just starting out and not getting any or less than fives sales per month.

The free plan comes with up to 5 stores integration per account with unlimited product design. So if you are not sure if print-on-demand (POD) business is long-term for you, you can start with this free plan.

Printify Premium plan

This plan is ideal for those who have multiple stores and want to scale further their print-on-demand business. Printify’s premium plan comes at a cost of $29 / month.

This is one of the most popular plan in Printify as it comes with a flat 20% discount over regular price on all ordered products. The other advantage of this plan over free plan is that it allows you to sell personalized products in your store.

Printify Enterprise plan

This plan is for big print-on-demand businesses who fulfill over 10000 orders per day. This plan comes with unlimited number of store integrations as well as custom API integration.

The enterprise plan comes with dedicated account manager to solve customer queries as well as branded customer support. You need to contact Printify support team to subscribe to this plan.

Print Quality

The quality of the print is one of the most important factor while choosing a print-on-demand (POD) supplier platform.

So before choosing between Printful vs Printify, you must consider the printing quality of the products they provide. After all the print quality of the products can make or break your business in long run.

Lets take a look at the printing quality of both print-on-demand platform.

Printful Print Quality

Printful has in-house printing facilities and they have invested a large amount of Approx $20 million in printing equipment, machines, warehouses, and graphic designers. This helps them in producing better quality products that are excellent in long run.

Printing equipment used by Printful to produce its products:

  • Kornit series printers and inks for DTG apparel
  • Happy and Tajima embroidery machines for hats
  • SubliJET HD ink for mugs
  • Epson series printers and inks for wall art
  • Mimaki UV printers and inks for phone cases
  • Mimaki series printers and inks for cut & sew and sublimation products

Printify Print Quality

As Printify doesn’t have its own printing facilities but they work with third-party manufacturers, printers and drop shippers to product the custom printed products. The quality of its products are also good when its new but its gets faded and color changes to lighter after few months of washing.

Lead Time

Lead time the time taken between the customer places the order and the time when order is actually shipped.

Printful ships all their order three days after order is placed. Printful begins its order right after order is placed. Printful clearly mention that it can take between 2-7 business days to make apparel products and 2-5 business days for non-apparel products.

The lead time is not clearly mentioned in case of Printify, as some suppliers have a lead time of only 2 days while other takes as long as a weeks time to ship your customer’s order.

Shipping and Fulfillment

Order fulfillment and shipping is important aspect for the success of your online business. If shipping takes more time, your business are in risk of getting low sales volume.

Printful Shipping and Fulfillment

Printful have their fulfillment centers in USA and Europe, so they can ship your products to USA, UK and Europe quickly.

Average Printful shipping times are as follows: 

  • United States: 3-4 days
  • United Kingdom: 2-5 days
  • Netherlands: 2-4 days
  • France: 3-5 days
  • Canada: 6-10 days
  • Mexico, Central America, and South America (in certain countries): 8-14 days
  • Africa (not all countries): 8-14 days
  • The Middle East: 8-11 days
  • China: 8-12 days
  • Russia: 7-12 days
  • Australia: 12-14 days

For print products like T-shirts, tank tops, 3/4 sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, polo shirts, crop tops, this is what your customer needs to pay.

ShirtUSAEUROPECANADAAUSTRALIA / NZWORLDWIDE
First product$3.99$4.39$6.49$6.99$5.99
Additional product$1.25$1.09$1.25$1.25$1.25

Printful works with all leading shipping solutions providers like FedEx, DHL, USPS.com, and DPD. Their website has full guide on how to calculate the shipping rates. You can check the shipping time and cost on Printful’s website shipping cost page.

Printify Shipping and Fulfillment

As already mentioned Printify work with third-party printing suppliers. So you will have different shipping time and rates depending of the printing supplier you are working with.

Shipping of Printify takes longer to fulfill international orders as they don’t have many fulfillment centers. Here’s the shipping times for different locations:

  • USA: 7-15 business days
  • Canada: 10- 15 business days
  • International: 10-30 days

Packaging & Branding

When you are starting your own online business, you must want to create your own brand and build it on the long run. So its important to select a print-on-demand supplier which lets you print your own brand logo on the packaging.

Lets check how packaging and branding is handles by both platform.

Printful Packaging & Branding

Printful provides white-label solution, which means there will no mention of Printful anywhere on the shipment’s packaging.

You can provide your own custom branding by uploading your brand logo, that will be printed on the shipping label as well as outside of the package.

Here are some useful details, you must know about Printful’s branding:

  • Upload your own “3 x 2” logo
  • The background of the logo must be either white or black
  • Custom inside and outside label which costs $2.50
  • Packaging slip will be included with your product
  • Your customer will receive a white poly bag

You can also print your own customized message, support number, or an email address along with the packing slips. The demo packing slip of Printful looks like below:

printify vs printful
Source: Printful

Printify Packaging & Branding

The print-on-demand services offered by Printify is also white-label as in the case of Printful.

Printify only allows you to print your store name and address on the shipping label, but does not allows you to upload your own brand logo as in the case of Printful. The demo packing slip of Printify looks like below:

printify vs printful
Source: Printify

Platform Integrations

No matter how good your print-on-demand supplier is, you need third-party applications like Shopify, Woo Commerce, Big Commerce etc to sell products to your customer.

So platform integration is an important aspects while choosing your right print-on-demand supplier.

Printful Platform Integrations

Printful connects with a large number of eCommerce platform as well as online marketplaces. Apart from this Printful also have in-built APIs to help the merchant integrate with large ecommerce platforms.

Printful integrates with following eCommerce platform and online marketplaces.

  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • WooCommerce
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Webflow
  • Ecwid
  • BigCommerce
  • Prestashop
  • Weebly
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Big Cartel
  • Wish
  • Magento
  • Storenvy
  • Gumroad
  • ShipStation
  • Bonanza
  • 3dcart
  • Launch Cart

Printify Integration

When compared to Printful, Printify has very few integration with eCommerce platform and online marketplaces. Printify integrates with following eCommerce platform and online marketplaces.

  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • eBay
  • PrestaShop
  • BigCommerce
  • WIX
  • WooCommerce

Payment Options

When your online store has got an order, the same order details will be passed on to your print-on-demand supplier. But they will not process your order unless they will get paid.

So its important to know how payments and billing work on these platform before you select them as your print-on-demand supplier.

How you receive payments from your customer depends on the settings of your eCommerce platform. For example, if you choose Shopify as your online store platform, some of the payments methods are as follows:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Net Banking etc

Now lets check the payment methods available with Printful and Printify.

Printful Payment Options

There are two billing methods are available in Printful

  1. Automated Billing: Whenever an order is processed, the payment is automatically debited from your stored credit card or PayPal account.
  2. Printful Wallet (Recommended): Whenever an order is processed, the payment is automatically debited from Printful wallet. You need to add funds to your Printful wallet before an order is placed.

Printify Payment Options

There are two billing methods are available in Printify

  1. Automated Billing: Whenever an order is processed, the payment is automatically debited from your stored credit card or PayPal account.
  2. Printify Balance (Recommended): Whenever an order is processed, the payment is automatically debited from Printify balance. You need to add funds to your Printify balance before an order is placed.

Customer support

Both Printful and Printify offers extensive guide materials, tutorials, videos, blogs and so on. They both provide good step-by-step instructions to start your online business, connect with eCommerce platform and other details to help you in your business.

But still, once in a while you may need to contact them immediately, if you face some issue with an order.

Let’s see how Printful and Printify handle customer support requests and what are options available to get help when needed.

Printful Customer support

Printful provide customer support via email, phone, live chat and contact form. Apart from this Printful also offers detailed how-to guides, Knowledge base, video tutorials and blog posts.

You can also join their social media community to get the help required.

You can also get in touch with them for immediate help using any of the option below:

Printify Customer support

Printify provide customer support via email and contact form only. Printify also offers detailed how-to guides, Knowledge base, video tutorials and blog posts. tutorials to help yourself.

They also have YouTube channel where you can check their video tutorials. The contact options for Printify is as follows:

As of now, they don’t have any Facebook group where you can contact with them or interact with other members.

Other Print-On-Demand Companies

Printful and Printify are not the only print-on-demand suppliers available. There are also some other competitors out their in the market. Lets check some of the notable ones and lets see what makes them stand out.

  • CustomCat – It is a large scale print-on-demand supplier with a vast list of over 550 products. The products are produced in US and the lead time is usually two to three days. It takes around 2-7 days for domestic shipping and about 4-15 days for an international shipping. They integrates with Shopify, Etsy, Woo Commerce and Big Commerce.
  • Gooten = It is a print-on-demand platform which have multiple suppliers for their products just like Printify. They have fulfillment locations in US, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia. They have over 140 + products and tons of unique items. Their lead time is 3-7 days and shipping time depends on the supplier location as well as customer location. They integrates only with with Shopify, Etsy and Woo Commerce.
  • Teelaunch – It is a print-on-demand app that solely focused on Shopify stores. You don’t sell on any other platform, but only connects with Shopify as and app and upload your own custom design to the products they offered. They have around 124 products divided in different categories and subcategories.

Conclusion

We have compared both Printful and Printify on different aspects for selecting the best print-on-demand supplier. Now lets once again check pro’s and cons both these.

Pro’s For Printful

  • Printful has a good number of products you can start with.
  • It has fully automated order fulfillment solution.
  • It has quick lead time and shipping time.
  • They have their own fulfillment printing facilities.
  • They have great quality of products.
  • They integrated with all majors eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces.

Cons For Printful

  • Printful’s product prices are slightly overpriced than Printify, of-course they have better products quality.

Pro’s for Printify

  • Printify have over 200 plus products to start with.
  • You can select your printing provider depending on your customer location.
  • Lower shipping rates.
  • Products are cheaper than Printful.

Cons for Printify

  • Product quality is little lower than Printful.
  • Limited number of integration with eCommerce platform and Marketplaces.

Final Verdict

Both Printful and Printify are great platform for starting a print-on-demand business. Now its depends on you to decide which is right for you to start your online business.

Printful is right for you: If your primary goal is to sell quality products and build your brand on the long run, even if you get less profit margins.

Printify is right for you:  If your primary goal is to maximize your revenue and you can compromise in the quality of the products.

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