If you have landed on this article you may be about to start a Print on Demand business and may want to know more about Printful to clarify whether or not you should work with this POD provider. Don’t worry because in this Printful review we’ll break down all the pros and cons of working with this company.
Nowadays there are a large number of companies offering Print On Demand services and Printful is one of them. But is Printful the best Print On Demand company? Is it really the best fit for your project?
First of all, here is a brief overview of Printful.
Review of: Printful
Price: Free (installation)
Registration: Sign-up for free. No monthly subscriptions
Ease of use: 8/10
Help and support: 9/10
Overall Score : 9/10
✔️ No minimum orders
✔️ Very good product quality
✔️ A broad range of products (more than 337 products)
✔️ Modern and intuitive management software
✔️ Excellent production and shipping lead times
❌ Prices are somewhat high
❌ Some products are not shipped everywhere
❌ Refunds are only issued if the item is lost or damaged
Established in 2013, Printful is a Print On Demand company that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses turn their ideas into brands and products.
Having manufactured and delivered nearly 50 million items, this is the most popular Print On Demand company in the market. Printful product retailers have sold more than 59.6 million items to date.
After having worked first-hand with this company, we will explain the pros and cons, talk about the pricing, delivery times and other relevant topics.
I encourage you to stay until the end of the article. Let’s get started! 😉
What is Printful and How Does it Work?
Printful is a Latvian-based company founded in 2013 by Lauris Liberts and Davis Siksnanstras after being inspired by a previous project, an online poster shop called Startup Vitamins.
To get this project off the ground, Lauris and Davis were looking for companies that could offer large-scale print-on-demand services with quality products. However, after searching and not finding any company that matched what they were looking for, they decided to create the solution themselves. This is how Printful was born, a company that offers large-scale Print On Demand services with no minimum orders. As a curiosity, the brand name combines the words “printing” and “fulfilment”.
This Print On Demand company offers its services to entrepreneurs, artists and small businesses that want to create an e-commerce business without the need to support any inventory or manage shipping.
The Print On Demand model leaves the product manufacturing and logistics in the hands of a third party, in this case, Printful. This means that when you receive an order from a customer, it is automatically sent to the factory, which is responsible for printing, packaging and shipping the product to your final customer.
The company is currently the market leader, having produced more than 59.6 million items to date (and growing) and with a revenue of more than $289 million by 2021. It also has a team of more than 1,700 people, 10 production facilities worldwide and works with more than more than 200,000 online sellers.
|Company||Product range||Production Facilities||Production Times||Production facilities|
|Printful||+ 444||17||2-7 days||United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Latvia, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia|
|Printify||+ 763||65||2-7 days||Germany, Australia, Canada, China, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and Czech Republic|
|Gelato||+ 90||130||2-6 days||32 countries – Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand|
⮕ Complete list
|Sellfy||+ 90||4||2-7 days||United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Europe|
|Inkthreadable||+ 250||1||3-5 days||United Kingdom|
|SPOD||+ 200||4||2 days||United States, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland|
|Gooten||+ 150||40||2-5 days||United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Czech Republic and Korea|
Table updated: June 8th, 2023
Pros of Printful
- Lead times: excellent production and shipping times
- Orders: no minimum order quantity is required
- Quality: very good product quality (above industry average)
- Variety: extensive product catalog (more than 337 products)
- Production: excellent network of factories across all continents, allowing customers to avoid customs clearance. The same products are produced in all factories, which allows you to sell internationally. They have manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico, Latvia and Spain, as well as manufacturing partners in Australia and Japan.
- Monthly fee: no monthly fees to pay
- Branding: possibility to include personalized labels and pack-ins (at extra cost)
- Software: modern and intuitive operations management platform
- Images: Includes a good quality mock-up generator.
- Integrations: wide range of integrations with major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces
- Automation: You can automate your business operations with instant order placement. When you receive an order in your shop, production can be ordered automatically in Printful.
Cons of Printful
- Prices: production costs are quite high
- Branding: there are certain elements that cannot be customized (e.g. packaging).
- Returns: Printful only issues refunds if the item is lost or damaged; no other reasons are supported.
- Shipping: Some products are not shipped to all countries.
Who is Printful suitable for?
Whether you’re just starting out in the e-commerce business, or you already have experience, Printful stands out as a fully reliable provider (unlike others). In our experience it is important to have a serious and experienced partner for any Print On Demand based business.
This provider is ideal for fashion lovers, artists and creative minds, as well as for entrepreneurs who want a business model that does not require large initial investments.
The main difference with respect to other suppliers such as Printify or Gelato, is that their manufacturing and shipping model is carried out from their own production centers, maintaining absolute control over the entire supply chain.
These other companies delegate the production tasks to external factories. In other words, Printful takes care of sourcing raw materials, manufacturing and shipping to the final consumer.
If you are looking for a high quality, fast delivery partner, this may be your best partner. With factories in many countries, it is ideal for online shops that want to sell locally or internationally.
Tip: Avoid Print On Demand providers that are newly established in the market. Our recommendation is that you find a reliable partner for the development of your Ecommerce business. On the other hand, Chinese POD suppliers offer better prices but we recommend you avoid them due to slower shipping times, more problems with returns and customs complexities.
We come to another interesting point of the Printful review to analyze the product catalog, which stands out for having an extraordinary range of products (more than 337 products) far ahead of other competitors.
It is important to note that Printful’s product range is constantly growing, adding new product variants and introducing very striking innovations. This company stands out for the purchase of new machinery and printing technologies and constantly adds new product collections.
These are Printful’s main product categories:
- Men: T-shirts, long-sleeved T-shirts, tank tops, jackets, sweatshirts, polo shirts, sweatpants, sweatpants, leggings for men, shorts, underwear (boxers).
- Women: T-shirts, long-sleeved T-shirts, tank tops, crop tops, jackets, sweatshirts, sweat shirts, sweat pants, leggings, skirts, shorts, dresses, swimsuits, sports bras, robes and bathrobes.
- Kids: t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, baby jackets, sweatshirts, caps, bibs, leggings, baby bodysuits and swimsuits.
- Caps and hats: caps and hats in different formats.
- Accessories: travel bags, hair accessories, laptop cases, face masks, socks, fabric bags, key rings, iPhone cases, Samsung cases, backpacks, fanny packs, flip flops.
- Home decor: mugs, blankets, posters, flags, canvas, water bottles, fabrics, notebooks, stickers, postcards, cushions, towels, puffs, aprons.
This print-on-demand giant offers one of the broadest product ranges on the market today, although somewhat more limited than Printify.
An interesting aspect to take into account, which other POD companies do not offer, is the production of the same products all over the world. This is an advantage because you can offer the same products to different markets. In contrast, other suppliers produce products with different manufacturers.
It is also important to mention which are Printful’s best-selling products:
- Unisex all over bomber jackets
- Men’s all over sweatpants
- Premium all over masks
- Unisex T-shirts
- Matte Posters
- Glossy white mugs
- Unisex hoodies
- iPhone Cases
Tip: Before you start selling with any of the POD companies, you should place a sample order to check the quality, turnaround time and full service they offer. As a general rule, you will have to pay for samples, although you will often be able to get them at a lower price than the original.
In this section we are going to talk about Printful’s prices. On the one hand we will look at Printful’s different premium plans (which are optional), and on the other hand we will look at product prices and shipping.
1. Printful plans and discounts
Currently, apart from the existing free plan where you are only charged according to the products you order, the company offers two premium plans that provide certain advantages to those who are already selling.
On the one hand we find Printful Growth, a plan that has no cost for those who exceed a sales volume of $12K+ in the last 12 months or for those who want to pay a monthly fee.
On the other hand, Printful Business is a plan oriented to sellers who have a sales volume of more than $60K+ in the last 12 months.
Both premium plans offer discounts ranging from 20-30% on the purchase of products in various categories. They also offer discounts on other company services.
2. Printful product pricing
Printful’s costs in relation to its products are generally significantly higher than other providers such as Printify. Since the company’s production is done through in-house manufacturing facilities, they are likely to bear higher fixed costs, so the company focuses on offering high-quality products to differentiate itself from other competitors.
In general, Printful’s product prices tend to be significantly higher than other suppliers such as Printify. Since the company’s production is done in its own factories, they are likely to bear higher fixed costs, so the company focuses on offering high quality products to differentiate itself from other competitors.
As we will see later, this factor is not necessarily a decisive factor, since other POD suppliers have other costs higher than Printful, such as shipping costs.
You should also appreciate the importance of being able to produce almost anywhere in the world without having to worry about customs, something that your customers will appreciate.
These are the prices of some of Printful’s best-selling products:
|T-shirts||from $9.25||Caps||from $12.95|
|Sweatshirts||from $18.50||Bags and backpacks||from $15.25|
|Jackets||from $40||Cell phone cases||from $10.95|
|Pants||from $31.95||Bandana for pets||from $9.95|
|Dresses||from $21.50||Posters||from $5.50|
|Swimwear||from $13.95||Towels||from $19.25|
It is also interesting to be able to see some prices compared to other Print On Demand companies so that you can evaluate the prices.
Below you can see a table summarizing the price ranges of each company.
|Company||Monthly Fee||Price ranges (Apparel)||Price ranges (Others)||Shipping Prices|
|Printful||$0 - 49||$9 - 60||$7 - 45||Starting at $4.20|
|Printify||$0 - 29||$6 - 60||$3 - 82||Prices set by the associated factories|
|Gelato||$0 - 99||$6 - 30||$4 - 88||Starting at $6.25|
|Sellfy||$29||$12 - 58||$2 - 37||Starting at $3.50|
|Inkthreadable||$0||$8 - 88||$5 - 45||UK: starting at $2.64|
Europa: starting at $7.25
USA: starting at $8.81
|SPOD||$0||$8 - 65||$2 - 17||Starting at $4.50|
|Gooten||$0||$9 - 60||$20 - 330||USA: starting at $3.49|
International: starting at $6.99
Table updated: June 8, 2023
3. Printful shipping prices
As we have previously pointed out, an element associated with product prices, and one that you should take into account, is the shipping price.
This can change your perception, depending on the characteristics of your project, since Printful shipping prices are quite stable and affordable, while in the case of other Print On Demand companies, they tend to vary more, depending on the delivery location.
Since the company has production facilities in the US, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Latvia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and the UK, shipping costs are among the best in the industry because they are very competitive.
Printful’s production and management centers
Printful has production and logistics centers all over the world. The company currently has its own production facilities as well as some production partners.
Thanks to this company’s in-house production, the manufacturing processes are very similar in all of its factories. This allows you to sell the same designs and products anywhere on the planet, knowing that they will be produced with the same standards.
Another important aspect to note is that with production centers in the USA, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Latvia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and the UK, you won’t have to worry too much about customs. Products will rarely be blocked at customs and your customers will not have to go through bureaucratic processes to clear the products through customs.
Printful’s production and management centers:
- United States: Los Angeles, Charlotte, Dallas
- Mexico: Tijuana
- Canada: Toronto
- Brazil: Sao Paulo (partner center), Rio de Janeiro (partner center)
- Spain: Barcelona
- Latvia: Riga
- United Kingdom: Birmingham
- Japan: Amakusa (partner center)
- Australia: Brisbane (partner center), Melbourne (partner center)
Printful offers a wide range of integrations that allow you to link and automate your online sales processes.
Currently, Printful provides users with the most popular e-commerce platforms and the most important marketplaces worldwide.
On the marketplaces side, you can find integrations with Etsy, Amazon, Ebay and Storenvy.
In this comparative table, you can see the integrations available for the main Print On Demand companies.
Alternatives to Printful
Although Printful stands out as one of the best Print On Demand service providers, it is not the only provider in the market that offers this type of service.
Printify is the other major player in Print On Demand. Unlike Printful, this company does not have its own factory network. It is a print-on-demand company that coordinates and manages agreements with numerous independent factories around the world.
Main differences between Printify and Printful:
- Production: Printify works through an external network of factories by outsourcing, while Printful manufactures everything in-house at its own production facilities.
- Integrations: Printify has fewer integrations with e-commerce platforms and marketplaces. However, it has a good range of integrations.
- Facilities: Printify has no in-house production facilities, while Printful has around fifteen facilities spread across the world.
- Branding: Printify offers fewer possibilities for branding customizations than Printful.
- Pricing: Printify’s prices are significantly lower than Printful’s, so this company stands out for being very competitive in terms of prices.
Gelato is a Print On Demand company with a high growth in the last few years. They have a very original product range with around 100 products and variants. This company was founded by Henrik Müller-Hansen in 2012 and currently has more than 5 million customers, being active in 34 countries worldwide.
Main differences between Gelato and Printful:
- Production: Gelato works through an external network of factories by outsourcing, with presence in more than 34 countries with a sustainable local production model.
- Integrations: Gelato has fewer integrations than Printful, but has key integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Wix eCommerce and Etsy (among others).
- Facilities: Thanks to its more than 100 partner management centers and its presence on all continents (except Africa), it is able to deliver products quickly.
- Branding: Gelato offers fewer possibilities for branding customizations than Printful.
- Pricing: This provider does not require any monthly subscriptions and their product prices are generally a bit lower than Printful’s.
⮕ Read our review of Gelato
Want to Learn More?
- Top 11 Best Print On Demand Companies
- 35 Best Print On Demand Niches Ideas
- Top 10 Best Print On Demand Products to Sell
Summary and conclusions
In our opinion, Printful stands out from other alternatives because of their fast shipping and high quality products. Overall, we would recommend this company to anyone new to print-on-demand and to more experienced individuals looking for a reliable supplier. If you are looking for a long-term quality partner that provides security, Printful is the best choice.
Also, if you are targeting any type of market, whether local, regional or international, this can be your best partner because of the fast turnaround times and the peace of mind that your customers won’t have to deal with customs fees.
There are dozens of Print On Demand companies out there today and each has its pros and cons. Likewise, what works well for one project may not be the best solution for another. That said, our preferred POD partners are Printful, Printify and Gelato, each with their own particularities.
If you have any questions about this Printful review, let us know in the comments below 😉
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on the type of project you want to develop. Both are good Print On Demand partners. Printful stands out for the quality of its products, fast shipments and its production facilities. Printify stands out for its competitive prices and high reliability.
If you don’t want your customers to have to deal with customs payments, ideally your orders should be produced and shipped in the same economic region. Fortunately, Printful has a wide network of factories, which means that your customers will not have to deal with customs in most situations. Printful currently has a broad network of production facilities, with presence in the United States, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Latvia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Here, both production and shipping times must be taken into account. Printful’s average production time is 2 to 5 working days for non-apparel products and 2 to 7 working days for apparel. Regarding shipping times, it depends on the carriers in each country. It is also necessary to know if the product needs to be shipped outside the country where it is produced or not.
You can use and start selling with Printful for free, as it does not require minimum orders or monthly fees. This app only charges for your product’s manufacturing and shipping once the order is processed. Printful’s product prices include the product and printing service. Additionally you have to consider the shipping costs.
Yes, without a doubt Printful is one of the most reliable POD suppliers in the market and from our experience they are excellent Print On Demand partners. They offer a wide range of products, outstanding printing services and competitive delivery times.