Let’s imagine you make great artwork. Maybe it is a humorous slogan or a sarcastic meme. Printful and Printify can both help you bring your design dreams to the masses, and both offer designers loads of options.
Great ideas can turn into a real business, and by printing fun designs out on some clothing, indy designers can connect with their market directly. Print-On-Demand (POD) services make it possible for anyone to be a hot designer, and avoid sinking loads of money into producing clothes that may not be a great investment.
So, what is Print-On-Demand?
POD is an all-in-one process that makes it simple to market your designs.
The platform receives order requests from your store, runs the printing on white-label products (based on your custom design options), then the POD platform delivers the products to your customers.
Everything takes place right away after customers confirm an order, but the most wonderful thing is that you don’t have to pay any upfront costs or deposit money until you really get the customer’s payment.
- 1 Printful & Printify Both Offer Great POD Options
- 2 Printful vs Printify: Pricing & Charges
- 3 Printful vs Printify: Print quality
- 4 Printful vs Printify: Packing & Shipping
- 5 Printful vs Printify: Store Integration
- 6 Printful vs Printify: Usability
- 7 Printful vs Printify: Customer support
- 8 Printful vs Printify: Which is the Right Choice?
Printful & Printify Both Offer Great POD Options
Print-On-Demand platforms ease your need to process orders and also save your budding company from investing valuable capital.
In an era of booming e-commerce, POD platforms have also taken off.
By 2025, it is forecast that they will account for $10 billion USD in T-shirt sales on an annual basis. There are a number of companies in the POD market, but it’s not difficult to pick out Printful and Printify as two of the leading POD platforms for a number of potential uses.
Although both platforms sound very similar, don’t be confused. Printful and Printify have business models that are simple to differentiate and offer you a variety of capabilities.
Therefore, it’s worth spending your time to discover what they can offer your business, and how they can help you to build an amazing brand.
First off, let’s take a quick look at each brand’s story. Both have been around for a few years and can be trusted to deliver on what they promise. While no company is perfect, both of these platforms have created a loyal customer base.
Started in 2013, Printful is not just a simple Print-On-Demand company. It also provides order fulfillment and warehousing services for larger operations. Its main sectors include apparel products, accessories, and home and personal items, all of which are produced and shipped to end customers without third-parties.
In less than a decade, Printful has expanded its operations to the international market. It has several offices, fulfillment centers and storage facilities across the US, Mexico, Latvia and Spain. The company states on its website that it has fulfilled more than 10.5 million orders with a total sales of nearly $400 million USD, which makes them one of the biggest POD platforms in the world.
Printful is well-known among online merchants for its fast and inclusive services. You can upload and customize your design on Printful website, and have a physical product ready in a very short amount of time.
After you have completed optimizing your products and connected Printful to your online store, Printful will take care of the rest. The company will print, pack and ship any orders that are placed via your online store.
Finally, once your customers receive their order and pay, Printful will charge you for fulfillment and delivery cost. With Printful as the only supplier, you don’t have to deal with any other company. Quality is also easily controlled when your business works with a single outsourcing partner.
Read our full Printful review here.
Launched in 2015, Printify is two years younger than Printful. The biggest difference from Printful is that Printify only collects your online requests, then they will work with manufacturers, printers and drop shippers to complete your orders.
Printify fills the role of an automation processor for your design business. Instead of looking for yourself to find suppliers for your business, you just need to deal with Printify, then they will deal with the rest on your behalf.
Like Printful, you can create your product designs with Printify’s mockup generator.
To store owners, what happens on both platforms might seem quite similar. You will sync your store, wait for orders, and then the POD service to take care of everything else, get payment and take their fee.
Printify is based in the US and has developed a rich network with international and local suppliers. While it will expose your business to third-parties, it does offer quality assurance measures to make sure that your business makes it customers happy.
So far, Printify has served more than 300,000 merchants with around $4 million USD worth of products sold. While the gross amount of business that Printify has done is lower than some of its competition, it is worth learning more about.
Read our full Printify review here.
Printful vs Printify: Pricing & Charges
One of the most important factors for any business is its costs and margins. Let’s have a look at the pricing plans that Printful and Printify offer their customers.
In general, both 2 companies have similar pricing formulas that retailers can use to estimate total costs and how much they can profit or need to pay by using the platform.
The price scheme is composed of a few elements:
- Product cost: Basically, you can consider it as your POD supplier’s cost. It breaks down like this:
- Design cost: If you hire another person to do the graphics work, you need to spend on the design cost. POD companies like Printful and Printify integrate an online mockup tool, so that you can create the artwork by yourself.
- Manufacturing cost: The cost you are going to pay POD suppliers for their printed products. In some cases, you may need to pay a higher rate for extra services.
Shipping cost: After being completed and packaged, orders will be drop-shipped to the customers’ address. Store owners will be charged by the POD provider for a delivery fee.
- Customs/tax: These charges are applied in accordance with the location of the recipients. Once you have an exact address for the POD services, you should be noticed by them if additional expenses will be applied.
- Marginal profit: That is the money you will get after selling a product and paying your POD providers.
The last metric is very easy to calculate. By combining product cost and your expected profit margin, you will know your marginal profit.
You should probably do some research about competitors’ pricing to make sure you set your prices at a reasonable level.
Let’s have a look at Printful and Printify’s pricing systems, and see how they stack up.
With Printful, there is no fee for opening and running an account. You are charged based on the type of services you choose to offer your customers. The good side of this platform is that everything is explicitly shown on their website with guides for each stage of choosing products.
As mentioned before, the prices for the products displayed on Printful are straightforward (which is manufacturing cost). Being a combined POD – fulfillment service, Printful’ products can be a little more expensive compared to other players, but some clients think that a higher price means better print quality.
Printful offers other options for branding as well, which is great for your business.
You can choose to custom print your while-label products. It is easy to opt for a custom inside label, outside label, short/long sleeve print or logo embroidery (extra price fluctuates from $2.49 USD to $5.95 USD per unit).
Printful includes another completely free perk, which allows you to print your logo along with a message on the delivery note. This can be a big help for new businesses that want to grow their name while saving on some promotional expenses.
The company also offers more print options for marketing like business cards, posters, flyers, etc.
All the great features aside, the fact that Printful’s products are a little more pricey is undeniable.
It would be a good idea to use Printful’s calculator so you can estimate your net income for each product sold. How you set prices is totally up to you, but Printful does recommend to keep your minimum margin at 30%.
Unlike Printful, there are a few pricing plans the Printify offers. You can choose from the Free plan, Premium plan, and Enterprise package. Depending on what you choose, there will be a monthly subscription fee. The rates the platform charges are reasonable, and you can select the plan you feel would be the best fit.
Choosing the Free plan means no fee at all (a lot like Printful). However, you must accept that a free account can only connect with 5 online stores.
Your business will not be provided with a custom order import function and cannot participate in the discount program. Otherwise, there is no limit on the number of product designs or anything else.
This plan is recommended for people who are just getting into the POD dropshipping sector, as it cuts most of the costs out of the equation.
The next level up will cost $29 USD per month. With this option, your business can integrate a maximum of 10 stores. Your business will also have more options to sell personalized products that are excluded from the Free plan. Businesses will also receive up to a 20% discount on their orders as well.
The top plan from Printify comes with a variable price. Depending on your business’ scale and requirements, Printify’s Enterprise removes restrictions on store integration, and you can sync with as many stores as you want through a custom API (of course, your stores must be on e-commerce platforms which are supported by Printify).
The Enterprise plan includes all the features of the Premium plan, and your business will be connected with a professional branded support team. Your company will also get priority access to new features released on Printify.
Since Printify works directly with industrial suppliers, it can make a deal and drop production costs for its clients. As a result, you will find product prices on Printify are often lower when compared to Printful.
However, don’t focus on price alone. There are other factors that contribute to profit margins, and it is important to look at each platform in their entirety.
Printful vs Printify: Print quality
Printful has always been recognized for its high-quality printing services. This is a result of its huge investments in owning its own equipment. According to Printful’s official site, they have spent $29 million USD on state-of-the-art printing machines.
The company uses:
- Kornit’s DTG apparel series printers/inks
- Happy & Tajima’s hat embroidery machine
- Mimaki’ cut/sew series printers/inks
- Mimaki’s phone case printers/inks
- Epson’s wall art series printers/inks
- SubliJET’s mug HD ink
As Printful handles all the product printing on its own, it can deliver quality control that would be impossible with third-party suppliers. The company delivers nice mixed colors, and also clear print images with long-lasting inks.
Print quality on Printify’s products is good, but there is no way it can beat Printful in terms of consistency.
Printful has invested loads of capital in its print technologies, while Printify actually doesn’t do the printing. It outsources all the work to other printers (Printify now works with 90+ print suppliers according to its website).
Consequently, they can make deals at good rates. This kind of business model is probably a good fit for companies that want to offer low prices, and aren’t as concerned with absolute consistency in the finished product.
Of course, it’s hard to satisfy all customers. There are still negative reviews about both Printful and Printify, but almost everyone seems to agree that Printful will deliver a better quality product on a more consistent basis.
Printful vs Printify: Packing & Shipping
Printful produces all its own products before using a drop shipping company to handle the shipping. All the shipping details, including available options, and estimated time and cost, are clarified on its homepage.
As mentioned earlier, for packaging, Printful provides more than a simple service. The POD provider allows stores to brand shipping slips with a logo for free. It is an effective way to get your brand name to new customers. Other white-label PODs come with nothing on the package, and your business misses a chance to build the brand.
In terms of shipping, currently, Printful has built its network with the biggest international logistics companies. It uses FedEx, DHL, USPS.com, DPD, and Latvijas Pasts. Its experience and scale provide Printful with the power to fulfill orders to almost anywhere.
Printful publishes a clear guide on their site about shipment speed and prices, which you can explore anytime.
Based on Printful’s estimation, after getting an order, product fulfillment may take from 2-7 business days for apparel products and 2-5 business days for non-apparel goods to be completed. Then another 4 days on average for shipment (exact time depends on the customer’s address).
For instance, in the US or some European countries (like France, UK), customers may wait just 2-5 days to receive their delivery. In some other regions, the maximum time for the whole process can be 14 days.
No matter which drop shipper is used, plans are fixed based on different products. Printful has a shipping cost basis for 19 categories, with separate rates for the US, Europe, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and the rest.
Merchants will be charged a starting rate for the first product, and a lower price applied for the next items. You also have two billing methods to choose from: include the shipping fee in your selling price or let end customers calculate it at the check-out stage.
In terms of packaging, Printify offers standard packaging in a cardboard box, tube, or bag. It offers a common while-label packing service without additional branding options. Your customers will find your store’s text name and no logo on the shipment note.
Printify is working with more carriers, both large and local companies, in order to complete orders from all around the world.
However, in some cases, their shippers may be more expensive, or slower. You’ll need to check through the pricing list on Printify’s website, which is classified by the printer’s and recipient’s locations. Each product group has its own shipment fee, too.
Printify quotes the time needed for shipping throughout the USA from 7-15 business days, to Canada is 10-15 days and globally is 10-30 days.
Overall, it can be seen that Printful offers an easier, faster but more affordable delivery service. Moreover, Printful provides a real-time tracking tool for all orders inside the US (for overseas orders, you or your customers need to pay extra).
Printful vs Printify: Store Integration
Printful and Printify both have API function to sync with online stores. But once again, a big gap exists between the two services.
On Printful, there are numerous platforms that can be integrated, including 15 big e-commerce platforms: Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, SquareSpace, Ecwid, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Gumroad, ShipStation, 3dcart, Weebly, BigCartel, Magento, Launch Cart as well as other popular marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
Printful even promises to initiate custom integration into your site or app. Printify, on the other hand, has quite limited options, as users can only connect with Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, and eBay. You can not connect to Amazon, which may not be ideal for many sellers.
Obviously, Printify is not as accommodating as Printful for platform integration. This may or may not be a dealbreaker, but it is important to understand before you consider the platform.
Printful vs Printify: Usability
Let’s see how easy it is for a business can start and run on each service, by evaluating these factors: available products, design, and interface.
Printful and Printify offer a very similar product list. Both companies offer 200+ products you can choose for your sales, mainly focusing on clothing, accessories, home, and personal objects.
Considering product quality, Printful receives more positive comments, although this is a hard area to make sweeping comments about. As explained above, it comes partially thanks to the company’s investments.
Printful will send product samples to store owners with a 20% discount and free shipping to some areas. For a new business, you can get one sample order including two products per month.
After linking a store with Printful account, you are able to place two sample orders per month, with no more than three products in each order. When you reach the sales of $300 USD a month, it will increase to three sample orders per month along with a maximum of four products for each order.
Printify seems more suitable for mid-sized and small retailers because it provides a service with reasonable costs and acceptable quality. It is a very easy way to break into the world of POD selling, and it won’t cost you anything to start using the platform, as long as you can integrate it into your sales platform.
Once you get started with Printful or Printify, you can definitely save on your budget for design. Both websites have a mockup generator, which allows you to visualize custom prints by uploading photos and manipulating them with the on-screen editor.
All the functions are easily done by a drag-and-drop editor which is super friendly to use. You can choose whatever you want, from image rotation, zoom-in, zoom-out, color adjustment, etc. to make your design feel right.
Depending on who you ask, Printful’s interface may have a slight advantage when compared with Printify’s.
First thing off, Printful’s design mockup layout looks a little more diverse. All the options for choosing color, size, print, text/clipart, etc… are displayed on one page.
Printify offers an editing pane that is hidden under the Setting button. Some beginners may struggle to find it, but it is easy to learn where it is.
One more point Printful places the mockup tool at the top of their homepage. On Printify the tool is pushed down to the bottom of the page, which isn’t ideal. It is relatively annoying for users to go through a long scroll to find such a useful feature.
Printful also allows users to do a quick sort through all products (by popularity, new model, buyer rating or ascending/descending price level). You cannot do the same thing on Printify, although this platform does highlight some particular products with “bestseller” labels.
Printful vs Printify: Customer support
You can find extensive guide materials, tutorials, videos, blogs and so on available on the main page of both Printful and Printify. That’s great, as they both provide step-by-step instructions to help you start making your first products.
Once in a while, you may have an issue that needs immediate attention.
In that case, for Printful, you have options to contact a support team through phone, email, live chat or via a form. Printful also established social communities on Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram so that you can join and exchange your experiences with other entrepreneurs.
Although some methods are not open 24/7, as a Printful user, you are granted full access to every support channel at no cost. Printful tries their best to ensure a great user experience and offers good support tools.
In comparison, Printify only supports via email and an online contact form. It doesn’t have a phone line to dial, nor a Facebook page where you can directly communicate with the administrative team or other members.
If you are using the Free or Premium plan, your support is even more limited, as a dedicated account manager and branded customer support features are only available for Enterprise plan.
If you look for feedback about Printful or Printify customer service online, you will find a lot of mixed reports. Both companies do have support services, which is good to see.
Printful vs Printify: Which is the Right Choice?
Like anything, the choice between Printful and Printify will be determined by the needs of your business, and its pre-existing infrastructure. Both Printful and Printify have strengths, although Printful does offer bespoke in-house printing, which some may see as a big advantage.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you are making your decision:
What Printful does:
- Great print quality and and high-quality products. In exchange, you must willing to increase your budget and pay more for its products and services
- Quick and responsive, short order time while still guaranteeing above average quality
- Serves multiple stores on different platforms: a diversified integration solution
- Loads of options for a branding campaign, your company can have a logo printed on packaging and shipping materials to raise brand awareness
- Extensive support functions, large online community
What Printify does:
- Cheaper products that may create larger profit margins
- Less selling platforms to service
- More selection in terms of print suppliers or carrier services
Both Printful and Printify have carved out a niche in the online POD market for a good reason. Selling custom designs online with near-zero cost is an amazing capability for a small business, and was basically impossible a decade ago.
While both companies offer a similar experience to clients and customers, the way they achieve their production and distribution is very different. Both have something unique to offer anyone who wants to sell custom printed goods and doesn’t want to invest much money in the process.