The world of ecommerce is ever-expanding, and that results in an incredible number of new software options and apps to improve your online store. One area that keeps popping up is called print-on-demand services, and you can find a wide range of tools online to help you adopt that form of selling. Print-on-demand, in its simplest form, allows you to design a product, like a shirt, and sell it to customers, all while another company prints the shirt and sends it to your customer (with no minimum order). Quite a few apps and services are available for establishing a print-on-demand operation. One of them is called Printful. But what is Printful? And should you consider it for selling uniquely designed items like shirts, backpacks, and stickers?
Table of Contents
- What is Printful?
- What Products Can I Sell With Printful?
- Where is Printful Located?
- Is Printful Right for Your Business?
What is Printful?
Printful is a print-on-demand service and online app that integrates with your online store to deliver printed products to customers. It also serves as a way to design and print your own merchandise for company-branded items.
As a more detailed explanation, Printful works by giving you a full design platform for creating products like clothing, accessories, and home goods. You can generate quick designs on the Printful platform or import designs that you or someone else created.
What’s more is that Printful handles everything from printing to the storage of raw materials, and shipping to returns. This means that you simply have to design a website and market the custom-designed products to your customers. When a sale comes through, it gets sent to Printful to begin printing. Printful then packages the item and ships it to your customer.
Therefore, Printful is technically a combination of a print-on-demand service and a dropship service, seeing as how the storage, packaging, and shipping are all completed by Printful.
What Products Can I Sell With Printful?
Printful offers a full list of custom product options for you to browse and choose which you’d like to sell.
As of this article, Printful has the following general product categories:
- Men’s Clothing
- Women’s Clothing
- Kids and Youth Clothing
- Home and Living
They also place many of the products into categories to help guide your search and improve sales. Some collections include:
- New Products
- Fall and Winter
- Style Trends of the Year
- Sell in Southern Europe
- Great gifts
- Fast shipping to specific countries
Finally, you can filter based on certain brands you’ve found customers enjoy, such as American Apparel, Flexfit, Gildan, and Rabbit Skins.
Hundreds of products exist in the full Printful list, so we encourage you to take a peek and figure out which ones are suitable for your online shop. We encourage you to consider the bestselling items, since you’re far more likely to make money off those. However, you may find that some quirky products like bean bag chairs and pillowcases gain a following with your own customers. As always, it often depends on the creativity of your designs as well.
Having said that, here’s a shortened list of the types of products you can find on Printful:
- T-shirts, polos, tank tops, 3/4 sleeve shirts, long sleeves, hoodies, sweatshirts, and jackets
- Sweatpants, joggers, leggings, shorts, and underwear
- Skirts, dresses, swimwear, and sports bras
- Kids clothing, including baby bibs, baby bodysuits, hats, and swimwear
- Hats with styles like beanies, visors, dad hats, trucker hats, 5-panel hats, mesh hats, and snapbacks
- Toe bags, duffles, backpacks, fannypacks, and drawstring bags
- iPhone and Samsung phone cases
- Bracelets, necklaces, and earrings
- Socks, face masks, keychains, and flip flops
- Drinkware such as water bottles and coffee mugs
- Blankets, pillows, and pillowcases
- Posters, framed posters, and canvas prints
- Towels, aprons, bean bag chairs, and pet products
- Stationary like postcards, notebooks, and stickers
As you can see, that’s a rather incredible list of blank items for you to select. The great part is that all of the products also have variants depending on the brand. For instance, a t-shirt may have 20 different colors, a canvas might have alternative sizes, and a coffee mug might allow for a magic revealing effect.
Once you find a product, a mockup gets displayed for you to upload your design and see how it looks on the item. As an example, you may find that one of your designs is far too small for a pillow but it works well on a mug. You also must be careful with colors, especially when printing designs on clothing; there are plenty of issues when you start to print certain colors on similarly shaded fabrics.
Another wonderful part about the products on Printful is that they all have detailed product information to understand what you’re selling. You can also order samples, view reviews from other buyers, and check to see if the shipping time and shipping prices are reasonable for your area.
Where is Printful Located?
Printful has several offices and fulfillment centers. Its headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Other locations for fulfillment centers include:
- Tijuana, Mexico
- Los Angeles, California
- Dallas, Texas
- Toronto, Canada
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Birmingham, UK
- Riga, Latvia
- Barcelona, Spain
- Amakusa, Japan
- Brisbane, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
Is Printful legit?
Yes, Printful is an established print-on-demand company that handles millions of orders and functions out of multiple warehouses in the US, Mexico, Latvia, UK, and many other countries. Its net revenue has grown steadily since 2013 and continues to provide excellent customer service and quality control for merchants selling their custom goods.
From an operational standpoint, Printful offers global fulfillment, design tools, and an automated process for printing items and sending them to customers.
Printful partners with many of its product suppliers but manages all of its own fulfillment centers, allowing them to have more control over the quality of products that ship out to customers. When compared to other print-on-demand services, we find that Printful has comparable pricing, much stronger customer support, and superior quality control. Not to mention, you can typically ship anywhere in the world without having to worry about extremely long shipping times or high fees, all due to the large network of fulfillment centers.
Overall, Printful is indeed a legitimate company with a solid track record. You can check user reviews online and on the Printful website to get an idea of the quality of its products. In addition, Printful is a free service that only requires payment once you make a sale. Therefore, it’s a risk-free option that shows Printful is confident in its ability to deliver.
Finally, Printful provides samples for a discounted rate to merchants. This allows you to check the sturdiness of the garments and other items, while also examining how well the prints look on these products. Although it would be nice to have a cheaper way to see the products for yourself, it’s the next best thing to running your own physical retail store.
Is Printful free?
Almost entirely. It’s free to sign up for Printful and create an account, with no monthly fees.
It’s free to use the product designer and to upload your own designs to product mockups. Printful even provides those mockups for free to make your own product pages in places like Shopify.
The only time you have to pay Printful is when a sale is made through your store and Printful fulfills the order. However, that sale should render enough money to not only pay Printful its cut but to leave you with a little profit.
Therefore, Printful simply charges you after it ships out products to your customers. There’s no fee for holding the raw materials or using their design module.
However, shipping, printing, and the cost of the item sold are most likely all included in the price you eventually pay Printful. The good news is that they’re rather transparent with those prices, seeing as how you can check the rates for each particular item.
Is Printful Right for Your Business?
We suggest you take a look at your current business practices to understand where Printful might fit into your processes. Are you currently looking to start a business, or do you already have suppliers and printers for your custom goods?
Either way, you may find that running part of your business under the print-on-demand umbrella could render high-quality results and cut down on costs like shipping, fulfillment, and printing, even if you only run a store on Amazon or Etsy.
This Printful review shows that it’s completely free until you start accepting orders, so we recommend it as a wonderful printing and shipping option for all companies, big and small. There’s such a low level of risk that it’s worth looking into.
Let us know in the comments if you’re still having trouble answering the questions of “what is Printful and how does it work?”