Printful Review (Jan 2023): Higher Quality Printing and Dropshipping

In this Printful review, we'll outline the benefits of the service and show why many users choose Printful over the alternatives.

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If you've been in the printing business for more than, say, a month, you know how difficult it can be to find a printer that provides quality prints, delivers on time, and answers the questions to your customer support. There's a large collection of printing and fulfillment companies out there, and Printful is one of them.

In fact, Printful also falls into the category of dropshipper, or a supplier that stores the products for you, packages them, and ships them out to your customers after a purchase. So, essentially, all you have to do is upload your designs and start posting them on your website to start selling. In this Printful review, we'll outline the benefits of the service and show why many users choose Printful over the alternatives.

Ready to explore all the benefits of the print on demand landscape?

If not, now’s the time to start planning your journey into this incredible new environment. According to the latest studies, print on demand, or POD is expected to reach a value of $10 billion or more in online sales by 2025 – that’s just in the custom t-shirt market too.

With the right high-quality print on demand tool, you can easily take advantage of the POD environment with a range of other products too, including swimsuits, bags, and jackets. The options are practically endless. So, how do you get started?

Well, you need to find a dedicated POD dropshipping tool to get you started. That’s where solutions like Printful come in handy.

What is Printful?

Printful is an on-demand service that allows you to access everything you need to start selling custom items and accessories online. You can use the mockup generator to put your designs on everything from phone cases to hats and t-shirts. What’s more, because Printful offers the opportunity to start using the engaging dropshipping method for selling, you don’t need to worry about holding any inventory. Instead, you can simply work with manufacturers to send the items that you create straight to your buyers.

Printful offers a fantastic selection of tools for creative people who want to explore the benefits of the low-cost dropshipping route for their business. If you’ve always wanted to sell your own unique products, from custom leggings to laptop covers, Printful can help you to do just that, without the headache of warehousing and stock management to think about.

Printful is even there to help you get started, with simple lessons that guide you through everything you might want to know. That includes lessons about the dropshipping model, on demand services for printing, and building a digital empire.

Printful Review: Overview

The short story is that Printful doesn't have as large of selection of products compared to the competition. If I wanted to print and dropship some designs on coasters, I'd have to look elsewhere. The same goes for more unique items like yoga mats. However, there's an onslaught of user reviews out there that state Printful is their go-to printing press because of the quality of products. And that's a big deal.

You may have to cut down on the range of items you sell on your site, but at least you know that the shirts are sturdy, the printing isn't going to wash off quickly, and customers aren't going to get ticked off because of a late delivery.

Of course, not all printing and dropshipping companies are perfect. I've seen users post terrible Printful reviews, talking about how the customer service is lacking or how the print didn't come out as bright as they thought. However, the majority of merchants seem to agree that Printful is the leader in this market.

One thing to keep in mind is that it often depends on the type of product you're printing on, the supplier you choose, and the quality of graphic you upload. So, one type of shirt might look wonderful from Printful, but the tote bags might not look exactly right. The primary way to figure out if Printful is for you is to upload some of your designs and order samples. This way, you can compare pricing, quality, and shipping speed to other printing companies and see which one is for you.

For this Printful review, we'll avoid the quality of its products, since that really requires you to order some samples. However, we'll talk about pricing, ease-of-use, customer support, and the selection of products. That way, you'll have a better idea of how Printful can work for you and if the design and integration tools are enough for your business.

Printful Review: The Pricing

One of the main benefits of going with Printful is that there are no upfront costs. There are a few other printing companies like this, where you upload a product for no cost and sell it on some sort of marketplace or your website.

However, the main ones that also offer dropshipping include Printify (full Printify review here, easy to get confused with Printful), Print Aura, and Gooten. A few other ones exist, but there aren't many dropshipper/printers in the game.

So you're basically signing up for a free account, designing your products, and listing them on your website–all for no charge.

Printful makes money when you make a sale. The same goes for the supplier you're purchasing from. What happens is you choose a product to sell, and Printful lists a starting retail price for the product.

So, let's say I wanted to sell some t-shirts with my own custom design printed on them. Printful has a large collection of shirts from different brands and made with different materials. Each product has the information listed for pricing, colors, shipping locations, and reviews.

For my t-shirt, I can see that a Gildan Unisex is only $8.95.

As you walk through the product creation process, you'll see an option to create your own pricing and view the potential profit. I figure most t-shirts go for around $10 to $15, so I list mine as $14.99.

When I make a sale, my profit is just over $6. This can be done for all of the products on Printful.

One of the main reasons I like Printful so much is because it focuses on certain products, but does them well. For instance, t-shirts sound so simple, but some of the t-shirts are of incredible quality, so you can turn your store into somewhat of a high-end supplier.

I would argue that the Printful base prices are somewhere in the middle compared to the competition. I've seen some rather cheap prices from competitors like Printify and Gooten, but once again, those two options seem to have more trouble with shipping and overall quality.

I'm convinced that you can definitely turn a profit for most of your sales through Printful, as long as you're not pricing items above what people would usually pay. Folks know that custom printing is more expensive, so they're typically willing to pay a premium. In addition, you get to see the potential profit before publishing it to your site, so if an item doesn't yield a good return, simply look for a cheaper version or hike up the price a bit.

Printful Review: The Sample Order

Another cost to consider is the sample order. As I mentioned before, the only way to really see if the quality of the products from Printful are right for you is to send a sample to yourself.

The sample orders from Printful are reasonable. You get a 20% discount on the list price, along with free shipping to select locations.

This is how the free shipping works for samples:

  • Samples sent from the Printful facilities in California and North Carolina are shipped for free to Canada and all USA states and territories.
  • If you order a product that comes from a European Printful facility, the shipping is free for all locations in Europe.

For each of these sample orders, you get two products. In addition to that, the sample orders are limited to one per month.

This might cause problems for those trying to test out new products on a regular basis. But the company does have some ways to gain additional sample orders–like by integrating with an ecommerce platform or generating more than $300 in the previous month.

Further reading:

Is Printful Easy to Use?

Specifically designed for fashionistas, artists, and creative minds, as well as entrepreneurs who want to make the most of quick and simple growth models, Printful offers a much easier experience for growing your online store than you would get from most eCommerce tools. You can browse through a selection of Printful products, pick custom designs, and get everything your customers order sent straight to them, without the man-in-the-middle hassle.

Tools like Printful for dropshipping take the responsibility and cost out of things like fulfilling customer orders on your own. This means that you’re left with more time to set up and manage your online store. While your manufacturing partners handle shipping your products, you can focus on things like writing your website FAQ, building a bigger Shopify store, or just optimizing your site.

You can even choose whether you want a dropshipping partner that offers sublimation, screen printing, embroidery, or various other forms of customization for your branding options. The power is yours. That means that even though you’re experimenting with on-demand dropshipping, you can still make your business your own.

Keep in mind that just because Printful stands out as one of the best providers of clothing and accessories, doesn’t mean that you can’t buy and sell other products through the platform too. You can add your own designs to a wide range of products, and the marketplace is growing by the day.

Printful Review: Designing and Selling

At this point, you’re probably wondering about the designing and selling processes that you’ll get with Printful. After all, Printful is the top dropshipping provider on the market for the sale of accessories, clothing, and household goods. They must have earned their reputation for a reason.

To start, we'll outline designing a product from Printful.

You can create a new order right from the Printful dashboard and upload your designs onto the products.

For this example, I'm going to design a canvas print, starting at $29.95 from Printful.

I would choose the size that I'd like to sell, then upload the print file that's going to go onto that canvas.

In general, the guide from Printful is quite clear as to what you might need to change with your upload. For instance, most random JPGs you upload from your computer are going to be too small for printing on a canvas. You're going to want a large JPG or PNG that you exported from a RAW file in something like Lightroom or Photoshop.

Once you find the right print quality, you can crop it to fit and move forward.

Mockups of the products are provided for showing to your customers in a more real-world setting.

After that, you either place your custom order or save it to your connected ecommerce platform. If you do have it connected to a platform the product automatically syncs to your store.

You’ll get the best deals buying and selling with Printful when you purchase the items that you want in bulk. Ordering Printful products in advance is easy, because you simply buy what you want, and store those items at the Printful warehouse. You can also use the same-day fulfilment orders to get your products shipped to your customers the second they buy something.

Keep in mind that that you can order samples of specific products if you want to test them out and see whether you’re going to expand your product portfolio at a later time. However, while there’s no minimum order, you will have a limit on how many sample orders you can make each month. For instance, once you’ve registered with Printful, you’ll get one sample order per month with a maximum of two items per order.

When you’ve integrated an eCommerce platform with Printful, you’ll receive 2 sample orders each month, with a maximum of three items per order. By the time that you are generating a minimum revenue of $300 per month, you’ll have access to 3 sample orders per month with a maximum of 4 items per order.

Printful Integrations

On it’s own, Printful is a powerful tool for online selling. You can use it to easily customize products and send them straight to your customers for minimal monthly fees, in a just a couple of business days. Compared to other dropshipping platforms, this makes Printful one of the most efficient and affordable ways to sell personalized items online.

However, just because Printful has a lot of benefits to offer, doesn’t mean that you won’t want to expand it’s functionality. That’s why Printful offers a range of integrations with leading applications, eCommerce platforms, and marketplace tools.

You can integrate Printful with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy – giving you more options to sell online. You can also combine your Printful experience with Shopify, so you can track more of your customer journey, and build better connections with your clients. Other integration options include:

  • Wish
  • Magento
  • Storenvy
  • 3Dcart
  • Weebly
  • PrestaShop
  • BigCommerce
  • SquareSpace
  • ECwid
  • WooCommerce
  • Wix

Connecting Printful to an Ecommerce Platform

That begs the question, how easy is it to sync with your current online store platform?

Well, I've yet to find a printer/dropshipper that works better with more ecommerce platforms.

I've personally run Printful on WooCommerce and it works quite well.

Printful also has a highly reviewed app on Shopify, along with apps and extensions for platforms like Big Cartel, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Shipstation, Ecwid, Weebly, Etsy, Tictail, Amazon, and more.

There's even a custom integration tool for linking the Printful service to any website or app.

How to Integrate Your Shopify Store with Printful

Probably the most common integration that you’ll choose for your Printful experience, will be one between your dropshipping tool, and your ecommerce platform. Since Shopify is already well-known for its ability to offer a range of dropshipping opportunities with limited shipping time, it makes sense that you might be building your ecommerce business with this tool.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Shopify is one of the most popular tools for ecommerce business owners too, with a wider range of sales tools than most other platforms. So, how do you integrate Printful and Shopify to start selling your custom products as quickly as possible?

It’s easier than you think to combine Printful with your Shopify store.

You can start by downloading the Printful app for free from the Shopify ecommerce store. Follow the instructions on how to install your new app and link into to your store. After that:

  • Use the free mockup generator to create your custom products, from custom hoodie and sticker products to sweatshirts and leggings. There are more than 200 products to choose from.
  • Set up your shipping prices, fulfillment services, and other crucial requirements for your online store. Make sure that you fill in all the blanks so that you know your orders will go through smoothly.
  • Set up notifications about incoming orders: You’ll automatically get alerts from Shopify when you receive an order. Those orders will then go through to Printful for fulfilment services.
  • Work on building your brand: Printful will deliver your items to your customer in the shortest possible shipping time, while you concentrate on building your company through google optimization, marketing, and other strategies.

If you already have your own shopify store and you want to take it to the next level, then Printful is a great choice. We made an in-depth guide on how to use Printful with Shopify to build your own print-on-demand store, so make sure you check it out.

Printful Review: How's the Customer Support?

The Printful customer service has mixed reviews online, but the consensus seems to agree that it's better than most of the competition.

An FAQ page and blog are listed on the Printful website, and it has resources like printing tips, fabric facts, and embroidery files.

Shipping is quite fast, and the return policy is respectable, since it covers most situations where Printful is at fault.

The support team is available during the weekdays through a telephone number, and you can also access support through a live chat or email address.

Alternatives to Printful

While Printful does stand out as one of the best tools for creative dropshipping and on-demand services, it’s not the only software on the market that offers these services. You can also get mockups, warehousing and order fulfilment support from companies like Printify, TeeLaunch, and Print Aura too.

Printful vs Printify

Both Printful and Printify are a great way for business owners to deliver a range of new products to customers. Printify has over 250 product options to choose from. However, unlike Printful, Printify outsources your order fulfilment and printing, so you’re working with partners, rather than directly with the brand.

If you’re looking for a range of printing options, from DTG to sublimation, then you may prefer Printful. Printify doesn’t provide screen printing as an option, while Printful does, and international delivery from Printify can take up to 30 days.

Additionally, Printify can’t warehouse your products for you. On the plus side, Printful does offer a range of integrations with Etsy, WooCommerce, and Shopify. Additionally, both products can give you access to a simple and free back-end, with a mockup generator and no minimum order requirement.

Printful and Printify also both offer worldwide shipping, and 24/7 customer support, along with a range of branding options upfront.

Check out our full Printful vs Printify review here.

Printful vs Teelaunch

Compared to Printify and other tools designed to deliver on demand drop shipping, Teelaunch is a relatively new player in the market. Like the team, Teelaunch offers the option to print a product for you and send it straight to your customer. This means that you get more time to work on building your brand.

Compared to other providers, Teelaunch also has a wide range of unique products that you can choose from to add your own designs too. For instance, you can print Bluetooth speakers, headphones, dog bowls, and so much more.

Unlike Printify, which integrates with a number of ecommerce tools and providers, Teelaunch is designed exclusively for Shopify, which means that you can’t use it if you don’t have a Shopify store.

Additionally, shipping time can take up to 6 days. Another downside of Teelaunch is its relatively small product catalog of only around 65 items. On the plus side, there is an option for shipping from Australia, which you can’t get from most companies.

Just like Printful, there’s no subscription fee to use Teelaunch. Printful is still the better option when it comes to building your store with features like reshipment and unique products, but Teelaunch is an exciting contender.

Printful vs. Sellfy

Sellfy boasts a unique pricing structure that's great for new dropshippers. Unlike Printful, you won't have to pay a commission on your items sold. Of course, you'll still have all the benefits of remote production, warehousing, and shipping. Instead, with Sellfy, this is all covered in a monthly subscription plan.

However, the downside of using Sellfy compared to Printful is their product options are somewhat limited. You can still access a range of apparel, such as sweatshirts and hoodies. However, in comparison, Printful provides lots more product options to choose from.

Sellfy also mainly uses DTG (direct to garment), which isn't advised if you want to print semi-transparent graphics. However, embroidery options are available for t-shirts, sweatshirts, and bags. But, it's worth noting you'll need to pay an additional $6.50 per embroidered item. That said, with Printful, you'll pay upwards of $6.50 depending on the item. However, with Printful, you can opt for screen printing which is an added bonus.

Integration-wise, Printful, again, has far more options than Sellfy. Sellfy integrates with Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, and Zapier.

However, one of Sellfy's main benefits is that you get a free online store, which is undoubtedly beneficial for newbie dropshippers.

The last point worth mentioning is where Printful is set up to facilitate efficient worldwide shipping; Sellfy also has fulfillment sites outside Europe (4 in US and 1 in Canada) and shipping can take between three to five days.

Printful vs Print Aura

Finally, Print Aura is a white-label solution for companies that want to create their own unique clothing under their own brand. You can choose from over 100 different t-shirts alone if you’re looking to create the perfect low-effort fashion brand. There’s also the option to create other kinds of merchandise for your company too, such as hats and bags.

Like Printful, Print Aura offers excellent print quality and a fantastic service. However, you might come across the odd poor-quality garment from time to time from Print Aura. .

With Print Aura, you can’t choose who’s going to be fulfilling your order for you. Additionally, if you have any problems serving your customers, there’s no 24/7 support service to keep you in the loop.

Some of the items available from Print Aura are also a lot more expensive than what you would pay for the same products from Printful. If you’re on a budget, you might be better off sticking to the Printful instead.

Who Should Consider Printful?

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to building the perfect print on demand strategy for online sales. However, if you’re looking for a quick and simple way to start selling customized hoodies, sweatshirts, and leggings online, then Printful could be just the tool for you.

With Printful, you can design the products that appeal most to your customers, and sell them across the world, in Europe, Aisa, and the UK, without having to worry about slow shipping times or high shipping prices. The POD solution will give you the opportunity to sell your products however you choose, and it even integrates with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

With the state-of-the-art mockup generator, you can create quality products like phone cases and laptop hoodies, without having to purchase your own DTG printers and other advanced tools. What’s more, you can expect excellent print quality every time.

Printful stands out compared to other alternatives that are lacking in fast shipping and quality products. Therefore, I recommend Printful to anyone interested in trying out dropshipping and custom printing. It links to your site quickly, you're able to get affordable samples, and the quality of products leads the industry.

If you have any questions about this Printful review, let us know in the comments below.

Rating: 5.0 - Review by

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a Chicago-based writer who focuses on eCommerce tools, WordPress, and social media. When not fishing or practicing yoga, he's collecting stamps at national parks (even though that's mainly for children). Check out Joe's portfolio to contact him and view past work.

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