Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for which I receive commissions. The reviews and opinions expressed in this article are my own.
I think most of us have dreamt at least once in the past about starting our clothing line. Well, maybe at least I did.
But it’s too much work! You find fabric, do designs, purchase printing equipment so you can actually print those designs, and then ship them to all of your buyers.
That’s too much investment for something that may actually never pan out well.
Well, thankfully, there is Printful to take away the “hard” in hard work. I stumbled across this service and decided to try their print-on-demand and other services.
Here are my honest thoughts about Printful and what it brings to the e-commerce table, but before that you would like to check this video about it.
What Is Printful?
The printing business is challenging. Often, it is a challenge to find a firm that has quality products, ships out on time and has stellar customer support.
Fortunately, there are many choices of printing and printing fulfillment companies out there. Printful is one of them.
However, Printful is more than a store that provides printing solutions. It also falls into the category of a dropshipping company.
For those who are not familiar with the concept, a dropshipper is a supplier that manufactures your buyer’s orders, stores them for you, packages them, and ships them out. As a seller, you essentially only have to upload your designs; the dropshipping company takes care of the rest.
Printful is an on-demand print solutions firm that doubles as a dropshipper. The firm prints artwork and customized designs on many different items, including shirts, tank tops, and hats.
For people who just want to buy clothes, Printful also has a retail service so that you can purchase personalized clothing for yourself. The store is also famous for its seamless and fast dropshipping solutions.
With this, the store allows many online businesses and e-commerce owners to earn money without manufacturing a single product or having to worry about shipping and fulfillment. Just provide them with your designs and specifications, and they will do the rest.
How does Printful work?
Printful on-demand dropshipping is a convenient way to conduct business online. The system works like this.
- If you have an online store, connect it to Printful by linking your e-commerce store and Printful account. Fill the storefronts with your designs.
- Once a customer buys from your store, the order is automatically sent to Printful. They will then print, pack, and ship it out to your customer themselves.
- When Printful ships the order, you (the seller) will receive a tracking number to track the shipment.
- The customer receives the order in a package covered with your brand. This makes it look like you manufactured and shipped out the product yourself.
Every time a buyer makes a purchase, they pay the price with a mark-up, while the seller only pays Printful the wholesale price of the product.
Printful also has an iOS and Android app to make things easier. With it, you can manage your store and confirm orders anywhere and anytime.
With Printful, you do not need to worry about holding any inventory or manufacturing any item. The company has an excellent offering for people who want to experience the low-cost benefits of a dropshipping arrangement.
Printful will help you fulfill your dream of selling custom printed products such as clothes, bags, and covers. This is all without the need to keep inventory, manage a warehouse, and the hassle of stock management.
To help you get started, Printful has simple lessons and guides to get you started and teach you the things you ought to know. Topics such as building your digital store and the dropshipping model are readily available.
What Printful prides themselves in, and what their users vouch for, is their quality. The store is their go-to firm for their printing needs because the quality of their products is high.
The product catalog includes the following.
- Men’s clothing
- Women’s clothing
- Kids and youth clothing
- Home and Living
Printful has a wide assortment of products, and you will find most of what you need. Also, you are assured of the fact that the items are sturdy and won’t rip easily, the prints won’t fade quickly, and the delivery won’t be late.
As is with just about everything else in the world, nothing or no one is perfect. Some reviews are saying that the prints are not as good as they thought, or of customer service not being up to par.
But these are few and far between, and most reviewers agree that Printful is still top of its class.
One sure way to know if Printful conforms to your needs is to upload some designs and samples and let the company do the printing and shipping for you. You can compare the quality, pricing, and fulfillment speed with other printing companies, and decide the one you will employ.
Printful: Ease of use
The fact that Printful is designed for artists, fashionistas, and creative designers, makes it easier for everyone, even those without an e-commerce background, to use it well. Printful is very easy and effective to use for growing your online store because of its simple dropshipping and growth model.
Choose from the selection of Printful products, submit logos or custom designs, and get those packages sent to them, all while eliminating the need for middlemen.
Printful allows you more time to set up and manage your store because it takes away the hassle and costs of order fulfillment. With one click, everything is in place for your customer to receive their order.
The Mockup Generator
The Printful Mockup Generator is one of its most powerful features. It is easy-to-use as the mockups are generated quickly and you can see how your designs would look like when printed.
These mockups and print files can be used to show your customers how the products would look. You can post them on your eCommerce store, on flyers and catalogs, anywhere you would market your business.
This mockup generator works for all Printful products. You can also see how hats or bags would look like.
Some products, however, can be viewed in different styles. For instance, the shirt mockups can be customized with wrinkles, or with models.
However, the generator is quite inconsistent. It does not generate a back image mockup if the back of the shirt is not printed.
If you have a design only on one side of the shirt, then the purchaser will only be able to view the printed side.. Even though the plain side of the shirt does not have much to offer but it is a normal purchase instinct to view the whole product before buying.
File Library and Dashboard
Printful’s dashboard is easy to navigate around. Adding your pre-created logos and art files is easy, provided you follow the graphics requirements, which are pretty much almost the same across platforms.
Printful also has different folders for your various files. This is of great use if you want to organize files, or when you have seasonal collections or theme choices.
This is one significant advantage of Printful, as many print-on-demand stores have no file library where you can store your designs. Anytime you want to create or edit a design or apply it to a different item, you have to start all over again with the uploading.
The editing screen of Printful is equally simple. This proves as a double-edged sword, depending on want you aim to create.
If you want to make a cool design with their built-in editor and pre-made styles, then you have limited options. Printful offers emojis and only basic shapes, and about a dozen fonts for text.
However, if you already have your graphic designs made, then it is pretty easy to add those designs to the platform.
One gripe I have with Printful is the inability to mass edit the variables of a product. Yes, the design library saves time, but you will have to create each merchandise variant from scratch.
It is quite a huge time sink and is one of the significant functional or technological drawbacks of the platform.
Printful: Designs and sales
Designing a product through Printful is easy enough, and the site itself has guides and resources you can follow. You can upload the designs onto the products or create something new right out of the Printful dashboard.
You might need to change stuff when, for example, the JPGs you upload from your computer are too small to print. But once you find the right quality, the whole process is seamless.
Mockups are provided to show your customers how the product will look like once it’s printed.
After designing, you can save the created item to your platform if you are a seller, or place the custom order if you want to buy. If your eCommerce platform has already been linked to Printful, then the product will automatically be synced to your online store.
You can order product samples so that you can test them out in a real-world setting, Furthermore, there is no limit on the minimum order of a sample, but there are limits for each month.
Once you are registered in the platform, Printful will send you one sample order per month with two items maximum for the order. An owner who connected an eCommerce platform with Printful has an added benefit of two sample orders per month, with three items per order.
Once your store starts generatingat least $300 a month, Printful allows up to 3 sample orders monthly with four items per order.
A persistent problem in the print-on-demand industry is getting quality fabric at a reasonable price. Printful’s current apparel manufacturer partners are as follows.
- American Apparel
- Next Level Tee
- Bella + Canvas
Printful offers many fabric types, including 100% cotton, 100% polyester, and Cotton/Spandex blend. However, there are also popular fabric types that they do not offer, such as denim, athletic wear, and microfibers.
Printful is an excellent tool for online selling on its own. Compared to other dropshipping stores, it is one of the most affordable and efficient ones out there.
Products are easily customizable, and you can send them straight to your customers for a small monthly fee, all in a couple of days.
Integration options include:
Warehousing and fulfillment
Printful offers warehousing and fulfillment services for those who would like to opt for them. This service can be used for both Printful and non-Printful product items.
These items are then stocked in their warehouse. If you want to start selling, you can sync them with your store.
Upon the order of your product, Printful picks and ships them to your customer. Their warehouses are situated in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Riga, Latvia for Europe.
Printful prides in offering warehousing and fulfillment in its affordable pricing scheme, withno maintenance fees to pay.
Once an order is placed, Printful prints and ships the products on demand. Generally, it takes the company 2-5 days to create non-apparel products and 2-7 days for apparel items.
The average shipping time is four days, which depends on the destination of the order. Printful routes the orders to specific fulfillment centers to make logistics easier.
Integrating shipping differs for each eCommerce platform. Navigate to the same shipping page, choose the platform of your choice, and follow the instructions to set up store shipping.
Printful: Customer support
There are mixed reviews pertaining to Printful’s customer support, but the majority say that Printful is better than the competition. The website has a FAQ page, dedicated guides, and blog posts to make your experience easier and smoother.
Shipping is relatively fast, and the return policy gets a plus for me. It covers most of the events and circumstances where Printful is at fault.
Support is accessible in many ways. They have chat support specialists who can accommodate your needs through chat and email support.
They are also available during the weekdays through telephone.
I have no significant doubts about the customer support of Printful; they are cheerful, helpful, and responsive to queries.
Who should use Printful?
Printful could be for anyone. It has a dedicated marketplace, so you can purchase personalized apparel from the market.
You can print items with your designs for different uses, such as prizes for giveaways, gifts, or souvenirs.
But people who can benefit from the full functionality Printful provides are the online store owners delving in the printing industry. If you are looking for a company that can help jumpstart your printed apparel online business, while also taking care of the inventory safekeeping and shipping to your customer, then Printful is the one for you.
Alternatives to Printful
Printful does stand out from the bunch, but it is not the only printing solution out there. You may not like Printful for whatever reason you may have, so here are comparisons with some of its competing and alternative providers.
Unline Printful, Printify outsources the printing and order fulfillment process. This means you are not working directly with the brand, but with its partners.
I don’t know how this impacts the pricing scheme, but this is something to keep in mind.
Additionally, Printify does not support screen printing, but Printful does. International delivery can take as long as 30 days under Printify.
Furthermore, one more service that Printful has over Printify is that while the former warehouses the products, the latter does not.
Teelaunch is relatively new, and also offers the same dropshipping model and option as Printful. Teelaunch has a wide array of unique products you can print on, including the unusual items such as headphones, speakers, and dog bowls.
However, unlike Printful, which can integrate into a lot of eCommerce platforms, Teelaunch can only be linked to Shopify. If you do not have a Shopify store, then you can’t use Teelaunch.
Print Aura is another company for those who want to launch their clothing line. There are 100 different kinds of t-shirts to choose from, and the option for more types of merchandise, such as bags and hats.
Print Aura delivers the same quality and customer service. However, you cannot choose who will fulfill the order for you, and some of their items are more expensive than Printful.
If you are on a budget, or you just want to go for something cheaper, then stick with Printful instead.
Printful is an excellent service for those who would like to take advantage of the cheap and efficient dropshipping model. With it, you can design the products yourself and sell them to the different parts of the world without worrying about how to do it.
Expect quality prints every time, without needing your printers and other hardware. Printful blows the competition out of the water with its supreme quality and fast shipping.
I recommend Printful to the store owners looking to try custom printing and dropshipping. There are three things: the product quality is an industry leader, it is easy to use, navigate, and link to your store and you receive welcome samples of your items.
Have you had experience with Printful? What are your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below!
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