These print on demand companies are popular with people around the world. We'll be taking a look at Printful vs Printify to understand the similarities and differences between them. By the end of this article, you will have a much better understanding of these two print-on-demand services.
Given the massive growth of online commerce or ecommerce in recent years, the t-shirt business has also grown exponentially.
Thanks to the growth of digital technologies, it has become incredibly easy to launch an online store to sell t-shirts and other products.
Did you know that, as per statistics, the t-shirt printing domain will generate close to ten billion dollars in the next five years?
The print-on-demand business model or POD model has given birth to a diverse range of products in the said niche.
Due to huge mark-ups and low overheads, the print-on-demand business is attractive to many. If you are looking to grab a pie of this lucrative industry, this guide will definitely help you.
And print on demand companies do not just cater to t-shirts. You can use these print on demand companies to custom-print a variety of items such as hoodies, bags, jewelry and more with great print quality.
Today, two print on demand services stand out from the rest- Printful and Printify.
Which is the better print provider?
In this guide, we will talk about Printful vs Printify print providers or print-on-demand platforms.
By the end of this post, you will have a good understanding of these print providers. We will cover areas of these print providers such as ease of use, print quality, pricing, integration, and customer support.
The best way to define print on demand is an online fulfillment process where a supplier (or seller) offers custom-print items to a buyer.
The supplier, here, refers to the print provider. They would essentially source the material, print it, and then drop ship on behalf of the buyer.
The biggest advantage of this business model is that, as a new business, you can test an idea and check the print quality without having to spend a large sum of money.
Also, you do not have to worry about manually shipping a product to buyers globally- the supplier does the job for you.
I have worked closely with fulfillment company centers. And I can tell you with confidence that handling fulfillment can be a big headache at times.
Having a print provider (supplier) that can drop ship your products and offer good print quality is a blessing (no exaggeration here).
This print-on-demand platform has manufacturing units in North America as well as Europe. This makes it one of the most accessible and popular print-on-demand platforms in the world today (known for its consistent print quality).
Once you sign up with Printful and connect your online store with this print-on-demand platform, you will be all set to start selling. Integration with Printful is an essential component of this business, as only then the platform can start dropshipping on your behalf.
Printful has an awesome mockup generator, aka, a design tool to help you create custom prints of your products online. Printful offers a wide range of templates to help you create high-resolution virtual prints.
Printful POD offers over 200 products across diverse categories.
Some of the categories include apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, and shirts; accessories such as shoes and necklaces; bags including drawstring bags and backpacks; sportswear and beachwear; and even home & living items such as blankets and pillows.
I do not think there is any product in your house (minus the electronics and furniture) that Printful does not offer custom branding options.
Once you have prepared the mockups, you can import the virtual designs to your online store and start marketing them. Printful takes care of order automation.
The print-on-demand platform prints, packs, and ships all orders from your online store to your customers. The print quality is consistent and uniform. No more manually designing a print design and shipping individual orders to customers anymore!
Like Printful, Printify is a print-on-demand platform that offers order automation. The platform offers a mockup generator with easy-to-use drag and drop tools.
You will find a wide array of color options on Printify. The platform makes it easy for you to pick the right print provider as it sorts them based on location, prices, and popularity.
Printify offers a huge library of products just like Printful.
What is great about this print-on-demand platform is that you can handpick your supplier. This is especially useful for brands that want to maintain their brand authority to the highest degree.
You can also request samples from suppliers on Printify. This will give you a sense of clarity before committing to a supplier for bulk orders.
Just like any print-on-demand platform, Printify takes care of the entire fulfillment process.
Printful does not rely on third-party suppliers. It produces everything in-house.
Printify POD is all about outsourcing. In other words, it sources its products from a large number of third-party suppliers.
As a result, the print quality between these two print providers varies.
Printify's print quality is a tad inferior compared to Printful's print quality.
I would say that their sourcing and print quality are the two biggest differences between these print providers.
Let's talk about the ease of use of working with these two print providers.
This POD does not offer a free plan.
Also, this print-on-demand platform does not offer subscription packages or tiers. Printful charges merchants based on sales.
In other words, Printful’s revenue would come out of your profit margin. Hence, you can simply sign up with Printful without actually paying anything.
The user interface of Printful is easy to use. I would, however, say that its drag-and-drop editor has limited customization features. I find that it does not support advanced editing.
An area where Printify shines is its lifelong free plan. You can sign up with Printify free of cost, simply by using your email address (and creating a password). And then you can use its drag-and-drop editor on up to three online stores. Also, you get access to unlimited product designs.
I find Printify to have an amazingly simple dashboard. Its minimalistic design makes it easy for beginners to create beautiful designs. And their Help Center is easily accessible on the platform.
Both Printify and Printful PODs offer similar interfaces.
It is difficult to say which of the two print providers is better in this regard.
As mentioned earlier, Printify depends on third-party suppliers for product sourcing. And Printful does everything in-house.
I find Printful better in this regard, as their business model makes for better quality control and less hassle on your side.
On the flip side, in-house production with Printful limits product options, which you would get with having a large number of third-party suppliers with Printify.
Both Printful and Printify offer a large number of products across different categories.
But with Printify’s model of working with third-party suppliers, you get more options and a higher degree of flexibility.
Printful offers a simple and fast order fulfillment process. Given their in-house fulfillment business model, you do not have to worry about dealing with third-party suppliers.
In the United States, Printful has fulfillment centers in California and North Carolina.
For international merchants using Printful, their centers in Mexico and Latvia do the job.
Regardless of the location of the fulfillment center, every merchant goes through the same process of packaging and shipping with Printful POD.
Printify has a huge number of third-party suppliers. While this could be a headache for some, it could also mean a large number of product options.
The idea behind Printify is to automate the fulfillment process. In that case, the suppliers are responsible for order fulfillment (and not Printify).
Since Printify’s suppliers are located at different places, there is no unified and central process for order fulfillment. This means you are likely to get different delivery times and shipping rates with different suppliers on Printify.
In terms of order fulfillment, it is easier to work with Printful on account of its centralized, in-house processes.
Shipping costs are an important aspect when looking into a fulfillment company.
With Printful fulfillment company, it takes between two and seven days for the production of apparel.
For other products, the maximum time is around 5 days.
Shipping depends on the location (obviously).
In general, the average shipping time with Printful is 4 business days. The print-on-demand platform works with top shipping and logistics solutions such as FedEx, DHL, USPS, and DPD.
You can find a detailed guide on shipping costs on Printful’s website.
Printify has partnerships with global suppliers to drop ship your products on time.
However, given their partnerships with local fulfillment businesses, the shipping costs could be a bit higher at times.
Since Printify fulfillment company has fewer international fulfillment centers, shipping times for international orders could be longer.
Another cool thing about Printful ( which is missing on Printify) is real-time shipping updates.
In this day and age, this should be a part of every POD.
There are no setup or monthly subscription charges when you signup with Printful.
When using Printful, you only pay when you process an order.
This business model allows users to have access to amazing features such as a mockup generator, custom logos, warehouse storage, white-label custom branding options, 24/7 support, and a wide range of product categories.
Printify allows you to get started for free. And even its free plan offers 24/7 merchant support and customer service.
You also get access to features such as manual order creation, a mockup generator, unlimited product designs, and integration with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, and eBay.
If you want more than 5 online stores, Printify Premium Plan is a good option. This plan offers up to 10 online stores, a 20% discount on all products, and all the features available in the free version.
Printify also has an Enterprise Plan for bigger online stores. This plan gives access to branded customer support, a dedicated account manager, custom API integration, and early access to Printify features.
You do not want to run a dropshipping business with a print-on-demand platform that does not offer 24/7 customer support. And if your buyers are located in different time zones around the world, the need for customer support can be even greater.
When you sign up with Printful, you get a free onboarding session. You can access its blog to understand the nitty-gritty of running a print-on-demand business. Printful offers customer support via phone, live chat, and email.
Like Printful, Printify offers a huge library of articles that covers areas such as products, designs, payments, integration, and troubleshooting.
Printify’s blog offers valuable tips on marketing and design ideas.
What I do not like about Printify is that there is no 24/7 customer support.
OI like Printful’s automated order fulfillment solution. It integrates seamlessly with major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces. Its in-house sourcing model and centralized fulfillment locations make it great in terms of turnaround time. Setting up your online store with Printful is easy. The platform offers a wide range of high-quality products.
On the flip side, the prices of products on Printful are on the higher side.
With Printify, you get a larger number of suppliers to choose from. Their pricing model is flexible, and you have over 200 product options. Cost-wise, the products are cheaper than on Printful.
On the downside, Printify offers a limited number of integrations and branding services.
I might also add that in terms of overall product quality, Printful has the upper hand.
If you are using ecommerce platforms such as Etsy or eBay, you will find it easier to work with Printify as it can be embedded with these platforms.
If you want to work with a large number of suppliers, Printify is a better option. However, if you want a centralized, one-stop online store for order fulfillment, you might like Printful better.
Users running their online store on Amazon prefer Printful over Printify. Printful integrates well with Amazon, PrestaShop, BigCommerce, and BigCartel. On the other hand, Printify offers a limited number of integrations as mentioned earlier.
I believe that Printful is a more cost-effective print-on-demand solution compared to Printify. Finally, if you have an international audience, Printify would be more cost-effective. Domestic merchants (in the US) would benefit more from local fulfillment of Printful.
Both these print providers offer good quality and affordable shipping costs.