If you’ve landed on this article it’s because you’re probably looking to start a Print On Demand project from the UK. The other option is that you are in another country and want to target a UK based audience to start your POD store. Print On Demand UK services have emerged as a popular choice for businesses looking to offer customizable products without the hassle of managing a large inventory.
In this article we will look at the advantages of producing in this country to serve products and sell more efficiently. We will analyze which are the best print-on-demand companies in the UK and discuss the factors to consider when choosing a UK print-on-demand company.
Stay with me until the end to learn the keys to starting a Print On Demand business in the UK. Let’s get started!
Why choose a Print On Demand UK Company?
As you know, in the world of e-commerce, companies need a reliable and efficient way of fulfilling customer orders, taking into account factors such as speed of delivery and product excellence. Choosing a print-on-demand company based in the UK or with production capabilities in the UK offers a number of advantages to those targeting local UK-based customers.
By choosing to work with a UK print-on-demand company, you will benefit from faster delivery times, more efficient customer service and, above all, greater customer satisfaction, giving you a competitive advantage in the market.
Benefits of partnering with Print On Demand UK companies:
- Faster Shipping and Delivery Times: If your target market is the UK, partnering with a POD company that manufactures in the country allows you to produce and ship products to local customers more quickly. This is a crucial factor in e-commerce that you should consider.
- Cost-effective shipping solutions: You can benefit on the one hand by saving on shipping costs or avoiding import and export duties associated with international shipments. In addition, shipping rates for your customers may be lower, so you will also have a more competitive project.
- Better communication with POD companies: Working with companies that manufacture in the UK can facilitate smoother communication, thanks to time zone compatibility and a shared language. This can help you more efficiently resolve potential problems arising from your e-commerce activity.
- Higher adaptability to local standards: These companies are more likely to be familiar with local standards, regulations and certifications. This will help you know that the products manufactured meet the necessary requirements and therefore better comply with quality standards.
- Supporting the local economy and sustainability: By partnering with a UK POD company, you can contribute to the local economy by supporting job creation and economic growth. You also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the supply chain, as shorter transport distances can reduce carbon emissions.
What are the Best Print On Demand UK Companies?
In the following list I bring you some of the best Print On Demand UK companies. Over the last years, we have been able to work with several of them in our own projects having overall good experiences. Let’s take a look at these companies.
Printful is a Latvian-based company that was born in 2013 that has grown into a global company with over 200,000 customers today. It is undoubtedly one of the leading print-on-demand companies on the planet, having produced and shipped more than 62 million products to date.
The UK is the largest e-commerce market in Europe and for this reason, Printful has a fulfillment center in Birmingham. Our overall experience working with this company is excellent, meeting deadlines very well and manufacturing quality products (above average). The best choice to work with for a POD store targeting a national or international market.
⮕ Read our Printful review
Printify, founded in 2015 in Riga, Latvia, is a leading print-on-demand platform that connects merchants with an extensive network of printing partners around the world. It currently has 6 million merchants and has delivered more than 500 million products.
One aspect that stands out about this company is that it partners with 8 UK manufacturers, allowing you to sell (and combine) any of these companies’ products from one place. Our overall experience with this company is really good, as they have provided a good service especially for our online stores targeting national audiences.
⮕ Read our Printify review
Gelato is a POD solution that was born in Oslo (Norway) in 2007. Leveraging a wide network of external partners (with presence in 32 countries and 100 facilities), Gelato has grown enormously and above all has managed to reduce shipping distances, lowering costs and minimizing the environmental impact with eco-friendly products.
It is currently the company with the most production partners, with a total of 17 fulfillment centers in the UK. This company is from our point of view a real competitor to the hegemony of Printful and Printify as it is doing things very well and growing very fast.
⮕ Read our Gelato review
Inkthreadable is a British print-on-demand company founded in 2013 in Bristol. For years this company has been making a name for itself in the industry thanks to its really competitive prices and good print quality. It is also important to mention their collection of vegan, animal and environmentally friendly products, something that stands out from other competitors.
Although it is a smaller company than those mentioned above, they have a catalog of over 250 products and to date have completed over 1.2 million orders. Their packaging is 100% recycled and plastic-free and they have an environmental commitment to planting trees all over the planet.
Prodigi, based in the UK with offices in Cardiff and Harrogate, is a Print On Demand company with manufacturing facilities in the UK, USA and the Netherlands, which is also integrated with a global network of outsourced fulfillment partners.
By partnering with this global network of printing centers, Prodigi ensures fast and efficient shipment of orders to customers around the world. This network helps reduce shipping times and costs, while providing a good experience for end users.
Note: Prodigi is also a Printify partner company, so you can also work with them from that platform.
6. Two Fifteen
Two Fifteen is a Print On Demand company founded in 2016 and based in Blackpool (UK). Like Inkthreadable, another company mentioned in this list, all the products they manufacture are printed in their UK warehouses without outsourcing anything to third party companies. In this way, they have full control over the production chain, which will contribute to improving the quality of their POD services.
It features a wide range of products at reasonable prices and is an option to consider especially for those who plan to target the UK audience. Despite some limitations, the company offers a range of benefits, including easy integration, high-quality products, and global fulfillment.
Two Fifteen Pros
Two Fifteen Cons
7. T-Shirt and Sons
Founded in 1989, T-Shirt and Sons has grown to become a recognized company in the POD world. Based in Westbury (UK), the company specializes in high quality screen printing, embroidery and direct to garment (DTG) printing services. They also have a production center in Venlo (Netherlands).
It currently has a somewhat short catalog with a strong focus on clothing, bottles and mugs. This Print On Demand company has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and enjoys a good reputation, so it can be an interesting option for those who plan to sell especially in the UK.
Note: T-Shirt and Sons is also a Printify partner company, so you can also work with them from that platform.
T-Shirt and Sons Pros
T-Shirt and Sons Cons
8. The Print Space
The Print Space was born in 2007 in London, with the idea of becoming a leader in photographic and fine art printing, offering high quality professional print solutions for photographers, artists and businesses. Over the years, it has become a highly trusted and popular choice due to the quality of printing and exceptional customer service.
This Print On Demand solution is especially interesting for those targeting the UK or European market, as they also have a production center in Düsseldorf (Germany). For international shipments it may not be the best option.
The Print Space Pros
The Print Space Cons
What are the delivery times of Print On Demand UK Companies?
Production and delivery times for UK POD companies can vary depending on the individual company, the products ordered and the shipping method chosen.
In the table below, we have been able to compile useful information from the various official websites so you can find out the average production time, average shipping times within the UK and average international shipping times. Please note that the times reflected are subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check directly with the official source.
Production and Shipping times of Print On Demand UK Companies:
|POD Company||No. facilities in the UK||Average production time||Average shipping time in the UK*||Average international shipping time|
|Printful||1||2–5 business days||2 business days||3–10 business days|
|Printify||8||2–7 business days||3–7 business days||5–15 business days|
|Gelato||17||1–6 business days||1–2 business days||1–4 business days|
|Inkthreadable||1||3–5 business days||2–5 business days||7–14 business days|
|Prodigi||2||1–2 business days||2–5 business days||5–15 business days|
|Two Fifteen||1||1–5 business days||2–3 business days||5–14 business days|
|T-Shirt and Sons||1||2 business days||3–5 business days||7–14 business days|
|The Print Space||1||1–3 business days||2–3 business days||4–10 business days|
* Note: Taking into account that standard shipments are made. The data reflected in this table are extracted from official sources, but may change at any time. Gelato and Printify do not have their own production facilities, but delegate production to third party companies. Table updated: April 20, 2023
Summary and Conclusions
As we have seen in this article, starting a Print On Demand project in the UK can have its advantages, especially for those who intend to sell in the domestic market. The most outstanding are the reduction in delivery times, the elimination of customs duties or compliance with the quality standards required in the UK.
When it comes to choosing between some of the best Print On Demand companies, from our own experience with our own online stores we have received excellent service from Printful, Gelato and Printify. These are in our opinion the best options depending on each type of online project:
- Printful: Probably the best choice if you are going to sell both in the domestic and international market
- Printify: Fits very well for pricing and for projects aimed at domestic markets
- Gelato: It is a hybrid between Printful and Printify. Perhaps the best partner for online stores with international projection
As always, we do not forget to mention that we do not recommend working with Print On Demand companies located in China. Many people ask us about it because of the low costs, but after working with them, we have not had good experiences. The quality is usually much lower and shipping times are extremely slow.
If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to leave us your comments! 😉
Want to Learn More?
- How to Start a Print On Demand Business (Tips & Tricks)
- 35 Best Print On Demand Niche Ideas (Evergreen & Popular)
- 20 Successful Print On Demand Store Examples
Frequently Asked Questions
Print-on-demand (POD) is a business model in which products are printed only when an order is placed, eliminating the need to stock inventory. In the UK there are several POD companies that either have their own factories or delegate production tasks to external partners located in the country. When a customer places an order, one of these POD companies will print the design on a product and send it directly to your customer.
When choosing a UK POD company, you should consider factors such as product range, print quality, prices, production and shipping times. You can also read real customer reviews to get an idea of the company’s reputation and reliability. From our experience and having worked on Print On Demand projects, the companies that have provided us with the best services are Printful, Printify and Gelato.
Printify is probably the most affordable POD company in the UK. It offers competitive pricing especially for those who subscribe to the premium plan which costs $29/month.
Yes, of course. Whether you are setting up an online store targeting the UK market, or you plan to make a project to sell internationally you can ship internationally with most of these companies. Please note that shipping costs and delivery times will be higher if you are selling outside the UK.