You can earn at least $500 per month from print-on-demand business.
Yes, it takes setting up, but once everything is said and done, you will have a sem-passive business. The two most popular options for this business are Printful and Printify.
Printful vs Printify: what is the better choice? I want to help you make the right decision, not because of the cost but the effort.
Both are free to use, but I do not want you to waste your time using a less relevant service for your print-on-demand business.
In the end, you will be able o make an informed decision which of these two is the better option. I will tell you the differences in pricing, features, and product quality.
Printful is a print-on-demand service company that also offers warehousing and shipping solutions. As a print-on-demand, print provider, or POD company, they will print on blank products and also ship them to your customer.
The process is simple, as laid out below:
- You sign up for an account
- You choose products from the catalog and design them
- You integrate Printful with your eCommerce store.
Once a customer orders from your online store, you order it from Printful. They print it, and then they ship it to your customers.
Printful has several categories of blank products. Examples of these are men’s and women’s clothing, kids’ and children’s clothing, hats, accessories, etc.
- Eco-friendly products
- Premium t-shirts
- Wall art
- Phone cases
Printful does not offer canvas prints for now. What’s great about Printful is you can test the system. What it means is you can choose a blank product, design it, and order it from them.
As such, you can see the print quality, assess the shipping times, shipping costs, and see how everything goes before you make a commitment. Also, check the retail price in the market to see if you can sell your items at a competitive price.
Printify is also a print-on-demand service company. The way it works is the same as Printful.
However, Printfy is the largest global business network that offers print-on-demand products.
What it means is that Printify outsources its products and printing processes.
If your customers order, Printify will get that notification from the system. Then, they will assign the order to a printing company. This designation depends on the customer’s shipping location.
Printify is 100% free to use, and it offers more than 300 products in various categories. Here are some examples of the categories:
- Men’s Clothing
- Women’s Clothing
- Home and Living
- Kids’ clothing
- Tank tops
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Kiss-cut stickers
- Sublimation socks
- Hooded sweatshirt
- Matte vertical wall poster
Printify is free to use with no subscription fees, but your access to its tools is limited. You need to upgrade and pay a monthly fee to get more value out of the entire ecosystem of the print provider.
To help give you a clear comparison in our Printful vs Printify review, below is a table that will show you which eCommerce store platforms you can use.
As you can see, Printful has more eCommerce store options as a print provider.
Shopify eCommerce platform
In this section, I will break down a comparison of the two print providers. From here, we should be able to decide which one is the better choice.
From custom products to shipping rates and other matters for your eCommerce business, we will see a head-to-head comparison.
Printful offers high-grade print quality. With this system, you have access to a software program to upload your sketches or designs. This tool is what they call the Design Maker.
You can choose pre-set designs or upload your own in the Design Maker.
In addition, there are many customization options that you can choose from.
For example, you can put a t-shirt print at the back, front, or on the sleeves. You also have the option between print or embroidery.
Printful is a joy to work with because they consistently offer new blank products.
For example, there was a time when their selections were limited to clothing. Now, you can sell stainless steel water bottles, pillows, throw blankets, and even mousepads.
As far as quality is concerned, Printful offers one of the best in the market.
But, of course, the print quality will also depend on the file you upload. Printful has a guide about ideal digital file sizes.
If you comply with these standards, your products will get quality prints.
Printify is head-to-head with Printful in terms of product designs. They also offer hundreds of blank products, and they consistently add new ones to the list.
Printify also has a design tool where you can customize your products.
Like Printful, there is a lot of room for customization. In this design tool, you can determine the width, height, and even placement of the design that you uploaded.
The print quality of Printify, however, is terrible.
Compared to Printful, the DTG process of Printify is questionable. If you look at how the public views the company in Trust Pilot, it only has a satisfaction rating of 71%. Apparently, customer expectations were not met.
Why is this happening? Because Printify is not a supplier but rather a middle man. They work with many printing partners globally. As such, the print quality varies from one supplier to another.
Products Designs & Quality Winner: Printful wins this round. Although Printify offers a lot of products and a design tool, Printful surpasses Printify in the quality of print.
There are two ways by which you can work with Printful. The first one is through print-on-demand services, and the other is via warehousing & fulfillment.
In the second model, you will ask them to print many products.
Then, they will keep the products in their warehouse or fulfillment centers. If someone orders from your online store, they will take care of the shipment.
The shipping rates and shipping times vary, but they do offer same-day shipping. Take note that shipping costs will be different for this service.
There is no single answer to the fulfillment cost, as this cost depends on the delivery destination.
If you want, you can also send them products of your own. They will keep these in their fulfillment centers. However, they cannot print on these products.
If you use Printful as a fulfillment company, you will pay for storage costs.
You can visit their page for the price of storage, but I can say that in the US, they charge $1.65 per cubic foot for the first 200 units.
There are also other costs that you would incur, like product fulfillment and packing fees.
Printify does not offer warehousing services.
And the only fulfillment service they offer is based on the print-on-demand products they have as their business model.
You cannot send them products—everything you sell must come from their suppliers and printers.
There is no single price quote for this as far as shipping rates go. However, Printify has a dedicated page for shipping rates, and these rates are based on the partner of your choice. Shipping times also vary according to the supplier’s location.
Fulfillment & Shipping Winner: Printful wins this round again. It is not only a print provider, but it is also a warehousing and fulfillment company.
Printful offers three contact points for customer support. These are chat, email, and the contact form from their website.
On top of that, they have a Help Center where you will find many articles about using the system.
In addition to this, Printful has a YouTube channel where they show demonstrations of the software program, how to succeed in your online business, how you can do custom branding options, and so much more.
Printify, on the other hand, offers two customer support channels.
You can only contact them via email or use the Help Center where you can find blog posts and instructional materials.
I checked YouTube, and they do have a channel. Like Printful, they have many videos that show you how to use their different print providers, use the custom branding options, and many other things.
Customer Support Winner: Printful is the winner for this round. It has several contact channels by which you can ask their team for customer support.
Printful offers five ways to brand your products, which I will discuss below.
- Include a custom packing slip message – the shirt or product will not have a print of your brand or label, but you can include a “thank you” note or jokes or quotes.
- Customize your order tracking page – this is an online tracking system where the customer will see the shipment’s status. Instead of the default name there, you can replace it with yours, and our
- Use Printful’s return address – they will print the return address of Printful, but it is your name on the label, not Printful’s
- Print inside or outside labels on your apparel – you can ask Printful to remove the original tags of the shirts. Then, they will print a customized shirt tag and sew it on the shirt.
- Stock and use your own custom packaging – in this method, you will send the packaging to Printful, but they will not make it for you.
Printify currently offers only two branding options:
- Neck branding or printing
- Customized return address on the shipping label
They also offer a tag on the shirt’s sleeve. However, not all of their suppliers offer this service. There are only a select few where you can ask them to replace the shirt’s tag with yours.
Despite Printful leading the comparison in our Printify vs Printful review, it is ironic that it has a lower rating from its users. I, for one, prefer Printful, but many entrepreneurs who use print-on-demand services prefer Printify.
In Trust Pilot, Printify has a rating of 4.2 while Printful has a rating of 4.0 stars.
Printful has 1,135 reviews, and 25% of these customers are dissatisfied.
For Printify, there are only 229 reviews, and 21% are dissatisfied.
I sought out to understand why this was happening, and here’s what I found for Printful:
- The alignment of print is not always right; no high quality prints
- It is so difficult to get a refund
- It is difficult to understand how the profit margins work; this includes the billing
- Some prints bleed
Now, for Printify, here are the most common complaints:
- Shipping time is too long; even if the shipping location is the US, the product may be fulfilled in Australia
- When sizes are not available, they do not replenish the stocks
- The design tool always results in an error
- Poor customer service
- They send the wrong items
- Slow services
- Printify’s print quality is terrible
Branding Winner: As you can see, each company has its own challenges. However, despite the bad reviews, I would still stick to Printful because it is easy to use. In addition to that, the printing is in-house, and they can quickly fix these errors.
Although print providers pretty much solve a lot of your business problems, some factors can affect your success. Below are some that you must consider before you decide between the two.
Printful has suppliers from the USA, Mexico, Latvia, Spain, Japan, Australia, Canada, UK, and Brazil. Printify has print providers from the USA, Europe, China, UK, Australia, Canada.
One big difference between the two is that Printful has an in-house printing process. They do all the prints, and the people from other countries do the processing and fulfillment work for Printful.
On the other hand, Printify outsources its printing services to manage production costs. What it means is that many third parties from around the world are involved. As such, the product quality is not standardized.
What you need to look out for is the standard of print. If the blank products are outsourced to different companies (local fulfillment companies per country), you will not get the same print quality.
As far as product categories are concerned, Printify has more to offer. It offers more than 300 products that you can choose from. Unfortunately, Printful only has a total of 316 products.
However, both print providers strive to add new products to their catalogs. For example, Printful now offers sterling silver jewelry pieces, while Printify offers decorative pieces.
New products are vital for your success. In the future, there will be a lot of people in the print-on-demand space, not just Printful and Printify. As such, you will have to face a tremendous amount of competition.
And when this happens, price and profit margins will be your greatest concerns.
It is great to know that Printful and Printify are on the lookout for new items that their print-on-demand business partners like you can sell.
Earning potential refers to the theoretical amount of money you can earn from your online store. In sales, the basic principle is to buy low and sell high.
Add to this your monthly costs and shipping costs, and then you will get an idea of how much money you can potentially earn.
The shipping rates, of course, are something that you can pass on to your customers. You do not need to pay for it out of your profit.
Both companies offer excellent shipping solutions, and they can deliver international orders.
What is really left now is calculating how much money you can earn.
Unfortunately, in this case, it is a tad difficult to make that decision because the prices for each kind of product vary between Printful and Printify.
Here is an example comparison of men’s t-shirts:
- Printify – the most affordable is $7.79
- Printful – costs $14.95
Printful’s t-shirt costs twice as much as Printify’s. If your market can afford a $20 tag price, you have a higher profit margin with Printify. The thing is, Printify has many suppliers, so the quality of these t-shirts will vary from one country of origin to the other.
Printful has a white label option, which means that you can change the tags and labels of the clothes and other blank products.
You must pay at least $2.49 per label to white label the products. For every shirt you order, you must pay an extra $2.49, and they will change the tags to your brand.
You can work with them to standardize the brand logo on the insert or tag of the shirt. Printful also offers packaging options for at least $0.50 per package. However, there is a storage fee of $25.
Printify, on the other hand, has an online business that is 100% white label. Your customers will never see the Printify brand on their purchases. They also offer branding and white-label options.
Specifically, here are the options you have with Printify:
- Tear away
- Custom print
Printify also offers a custom shipping label where they will change the return address on the label. If you do this, then the customer will never have a way of knowing that your products from your online store are coming from another company.
Printful has a refund policy where the damaged or defective items must be returned to them in four weeks. The countdown begins when the customer receives the item, not the shipping time.
Here are the rules for getting a refund:
- Damaged, misprinted, or defective items
- Lost packages in transit
Printful does not accept the return of sealed goods, and they also do not accept refunds or returns because of buyer remorse. There is also no refund for items like face masks or any product that has hygiene issues.
For Printify, you need to get in touch with their merchant support team within 30 days of product delivery. Again, this countdown does not begin with the shipping time which is really good.
Printify offers a free replacement if the product they sent is defective. They will show refunds on your Printify balance for refunds, but they will not directly transfer it to your financial account (PayPal or bank).
Both companies will shoulder the cost of the returns and refunds, provided that it was them that made the error.
- Basic – free to use forever with no subscriptions fees; you can customize products and integrate the system with more than 25 eCommerce platforms. It does not give you access to the custom product mock-up tool.
- Plus – it costs $9 per month; you will have everything in the Basic plan, plus access to the mock-up generator tool. You will also have access to the background removal tool.
- Pro – costs $49 per month; besides all the features in the previous two plans, you will also have access to tools like keyword scout, marketing tools, embroidery files, and exclusive clipart images.
Printful does not charge fees for your sales. You get to keep your earnings—but you must pay for the shipping rates. It is also free to sign-up, and you can start designing prints for various blank products today.
- Free – it is free to use forever. You will have access to the mock-up generator. You can also integrate the system with Shopify, Etsy, eBay, and other eCommerce business platforms.
- Premium – costs $29 per month; this plan allows you to integrate one account with ten online stores. In addition, you will get unlimited product designs and up to a 20% discount on the products.
- Enterprise – this account is for big businesses to use the system on an unlimited number of stores. It also enables the account owners to use custom API integration instead of relying on an eCommerce online store builder.
Printify does not charge money for your sales or printing costs. The price you pay is what you see in the catalog. It is free to sign-up and start using the system.
Print on demand is a process where a seller only prints on an item if there is an order.
For many decades, you could only get a customized shirt, bag, and mugs if you ordered in bulk.
Today, consumers can order just one piece of shirt with a specific design that they want—their design.
- Easy to set-up
- Lots of integrations
- Free to use
- No minimum order requirement
- In-house production
- Few product categories compared to other print on demand companies
- Products are on the expensive side
- Reshipments for customer error costs money
- Low fulfillment costs
- Many supplies partners
- Global production facilities
- Big assortment of blank products
- Standards for print vary because it is outsourced; cheap production cost
- Limited branding options; no custom packaging inserts
- The average shipping time is 7 to 11 days
In addition to Printful vs Printify comparison, let us take a look at Teelaunch in our review of print-on-demand companies. Teelaunch is also a POD company that is competing against Printful and Printify.
All these three offer the same services. However, TeeLaunch only works with Etsy and Shopify. Like Printful and Printify, TeeLaunch is free to use.
Despite the limitation of the integration, TeeLaunch has several categories—more than what Printful and Printify have to offer.
TeeLaunch has many products for lifestyle, home goods, kitchenware, wall art, offices, and pets.
Like the other two, the shipping costs vary according to the item and the destination. However, TeeLaunch only uses UPS Mail Innovations and Ascendia.
Gooten is also a print-on-demand service company that tries to offer better print quality and more options. The app or system is available in the Shopify eCommerce platform.
You can also integrate it with BigCommerce, Etsy, and WooCommerce. They also have an API.
What makes this company unique is its testing and segmenting process.
They have tools to test your designs and see how the market would react. As such, you do not take big risks of offering new products or collections that nobody would buy.
The baby category is one thing about its product catalog that you will not find in both Printful and Printfy.
They also have a Holidays category—you can sell souvenirs and trinkets typically only available during the holidays.
Teespring, now called Spring, is also one of the most notable print-on-demand companies.
It is a POD company but is geared towards creators. Like Printful and Printfy, they only print products if there is an order.
The creators I am talking about are influencers like YouTubers. One of the ways by which they can monetize their content is by selling products that carry their brand.
Spring has what they call Buy Your Own Design. It is a tool that is the same as the Design Maker. It allows you to upload your own images on the product, and then they will print it according to the placement they selected.
1. Can You Make Money With Printify?
Yes, you can make money with Printify. What you need to do is design a lot of custom products that are unique. If you merely sell designs that are all too common, you will face heavy competition.
2. Printful vs Printify: Does Printify Work With Amazon?
No, Printful does not offer integration with Amazon. The workaround is to create a Shopify online store, and then integrate the Shopify store with your Amazon seller account.
3. What Ink Does Printful Use?
Printful uses Mimaki Dye Sublimation Ink Sb411. It is a high level of quality printing for clothing. An alternative that they use is Sawgrass SubliJet, which used high-definition ink systems, among other things. The technology they use is direct-to-garment or DTG.
4. Printful vs Printify: Is Printify Cheaper Than Printful?
Both of these platforms are free to use, but Printful pro costs $49 per month while Printify costs $24.99 per month. For a snapshot of the product price, a Printify mug costs $6.30, while a Printful mug costs $8.69. This is not the retail price you sell, but the price you pay.
Printful has better print quality is than Printify. It also has better product quality.
Printful has invested in its printing equipment, and they do all the printing in-house while Printify outsources its printing jobs to other countries.
Printify has better profit margins compared with other print providers. It also allows you to integrate with Amazon. Other print providers do not do this.
If you will not use Amazon, Printful is a better option because Printful has more to offer in terms of software compatibility. You can launch an online store with many eCommerce platforms.
Overall, both of these are excellent options. They are the top two print-on-demand business platforms in the world.
What you need to do to decide is determine your print-on-demand model, and then identify which products you want to sell.