It can be difficult to find a reliable print-on-demand company that offers global reach, ease of use, and fast shipping.
If you can’t find the right printing partner, you’re going to disappoint your customers with slow shipping and poor-quality prints.
With these two partners in hand, you can rest assured that your printing needs are taken care of efficiently and effectively.
If they are both that good, which should you use?
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More fulfillment locations, better pricing and top print quality, Gelato are our preferred print on demand supplier.
Printful Pros And Cons
- Wide variety of high-quality print-on-demand products – so you can build out your brand by applying your designs to more products.
- Easy-to-use design and mockup tools – no learning curve – you can get going faster.
- Global fulfillment centers with 13 fulfillment centers worldwide – deliver from a local center & ship faster
- Extensive e-commerce integrations – you can sell on many platforms without changing POD supplier
- Limited sustainability focus – green sells. Using Printful you will find it hard to honestly say sustainability is important to you.
- Pricing – A little more expensive so less profit. Are lower profit margins worth it for high quality?
- Shipping costs – eating into your profit margins even more.
Gelato Pros And Cons
When it comes to choosing between Gelato and Printful for your print-on-demand store, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each platform. In this section, we’ll explore the various advantages and disadvantages of incorporating Gelato into your business strategy.
- Solid sustainability credentials – Include sustainability in your marketing with confidence.
- Expansive production network, which spans 32 countries via 100+ print partners. – cheaper faster shipping
- A diverse catalog of products – Sell products your competition doesn’t.
- Not as well-established as Printful – but still a big name in print on demand industry.
- Smaller number of integrations – so you may not be able to sell on all platforms
- Branding options are not as extensive as those offered by Printful, which allows for branded labels and packaging inserts.
The Battle between Printful and Gelato
The print-on-demand industry has experienced significant growth in recent years.
That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 26.2%. As the market continues to expand, various service providers have emerged to cater to the unique needs of businesses and individuals alike.
Among these service providers, Printful and Gelato stand out as two strong contenders that offer efficient and user-friendly print-on-demand services.
I compare Printful and Gelato in several crucial aspects, including:
– Product offerings and customization options
– Quality of printed goods
– Pricing structures and plans
– Fulfillment and shipping times
– E-commerce platform integrations
– Customer support and service experience
These factors will ultimately help determine which service provider is the best choice for your specific needs.
Printful: A Closer Look
Printful, founded in 2013, has established itself as a leading print-on-demand service.
With its headquarters in the US, this company fulfills more than one million orders monthly and has delivered a staggering 61 million items globally. Told you they were big.
Taking a closer look at Printful, here are some key aspects to consider:
Printful offers a seamless order fulfillment process, including packing and shipping, with no setup costs involved.
The company operates primarily in North America but extends its reach through partners worldwide, boasting fulfillment centers across 13 locations, including Japan, Australia, and Brazil.
Printful’s free Design Maker enables users to create and customize graphics or upload their own designs, with embroidery options available on garments.
Various well-known brands have partnered with Printful, ensuring high-quality base products, including Adidas, American Apparel, Next Level, Alternative, Anvil, and Port Authority. These collaborations enable users to add branded labels and packaging inserts to their orders.
Printful is compatible with 23 eCommerce integrations, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, among others.
Gelato Print On Demand: A Brief Overview
Gelato, founded by former Tele2 Norway CEO Henrik Müller-Hansen, has emerged as a noteworthy contender in the print-on-demand industry.
With its global network of production facilities spanning 32 countries and partnerships with more than 100 print providers, Gelato boasts an impressive portfolio. Here’s a brief overview of what the company offers:
– Broad product catalog: Gelato’s range of customizable products includes apparel, photo books, phone cases, wall art, tote bags, and other items that cater to various customer preferences.
– Sustainable and eco-friendly: Gelato’s global production outreach helps reduce shipping distances, resulting in lower carbon emissions and making it a greener choice for businesses looking to align with sustainable practices.
– Seamless integration: Gelato easily integrates with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce, making it effortless for sellers to create and market their products.
– Over 10 million orders fulfilled: Since its inception, Gelato has successfully completed more than 10 million orders and achieved the prestigious “unicorn” status in 2021, showcasing its robust capabilities and rapid growth.
Print Quality Comparison: Which Is Better?
When it comes to the quality comparison between Printful and Gelato it’s difficult to separate them. Both are at the higher and more reliable end of print on demand suppliers.
In fact,I’ve placed sample orders with both companies and in the colder months can be seen wearing a hoodie printed by Printful that is 3+ years old and the print still looks as good now as it did when I first received the order.
Marketplace and eCommerce Integrations
Both Printful and Gelato offer integrations with popular ecommerce platforms, making it easy for sellers to create, sell, and manage their products. However, there are differences in the number of platforms supported by these two POD providers:
Printful supports a total of 23 ecommerce integrations, some of which include Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
This wide range of integrations allows business owners to easily find a suitable platform that meets their specific needs and preferences.
Gelato, on the other hand, integrates with several popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce.
While the number of integrations may not be as extensive as Printful’s, Gelato still offers compatibility with the major ecommerce platforms most businesses use today.
Printful holds an edge over Gelato when it comes to supporting more ecommerce platforms.
But if you are using one of the more common platforms both Printful and Gelato provide reliable integrations.
Gelato Integrations – Full List
Gelato offers integrations with key platforms and marketplaces and an API should you wish to connect in another way.
Integrations include the following marketplaces:
Gelato supports integrations with the following eCommerce platforms:
Printful Integrations – Full List
Printful offers 22 integrations and an API should you wish to connect in another way. Integrations include the following marketplaces:
Printful also offers integrations with the following eCommerce platforms:
- Launch Cart
- TikTok Shop
- Big Cartel
- Adobe Commerce
- Gum Road
- Ship Station
- Shift 4 Shop
Pricing and Plans: Printful vs Gelato
When comparing Printful and Gelato’s pricing and plans, it is important to consider the different aspects that each platform offers as their services and cost structures vary.
Gelato and Printful both offer free-to-use services and premium plans that provide discounts and other benefits.
Base Price Comparison
The base price for a black medium Gildan 5000 t-shirt delivered to a US customer is:
- Gelato: $14.07 ($10.41 + $3.66 shipping)
- Printful: $13.94 ($9.25 + $4.69 shipping)
There isn’t much in it. Printful has always had a reputation for being expensive. However, they are a few cents cheaper than Gelato due to recent price reductions on key items.
For a Gildan 18500 hoodie delivered to a US customer, the prices are
- Gelato: $27.37 ($20.13 + $7.24 shipping)
- Printful: $30.44 ($21.95 +$8.49 shipping)
For hoodies, a very popular item that I sell many of, Gelato comes in $3 which is significantly cheaper.
If you sell from the UK to UK customers the Gelatp Vs Printful pricing is as follows
For a medium black Gildan 5000 t-shirt the prices are:
- Gelato £11.15 (£7.80 + £3.35 shipping)
- Printful £11.76 (£8.17 + £3.59 shipping)
For a Gildan 18500 hoodie delivered from the UK to a UK customer, the prices are
- Gelato: £25.20 (£19.25 + £5.95 shipping)
- Printful: £26.71 (£21.72 +£4.99 shipping)
Gelato comes in £0.51 cheaper per shirt and £1.50 cheaper per hoodie. That may not seem a lot but if you’re selling thousands of shirts, that could bet thousands of pounds extra profit.
Gelato Premium Plans
Printful offer a Pro plan for $49 per month, providing added features such as premium images, background removal, and free digitization for those selling embroidered items. This plan may be suitable for more established sellers.
For just $14.99 per month or $139 per year, Gelato+ unlocks a range of features such as:
– 30% off shipping
– Access to over 1 million royalty-free Shutterstock files allows you to create high-quality designs without additional costs.
– Fulfillment automation with live shipping rates makes ordering products simple and quick.
– Automatic file uploads using their product personalization tool for personalized orders save time and allow you to focus on your business.
Gelato+ Gold, priced at $99 per month or $999 per year on the annual plan, gives all of the above and
– Up to 50% off shipping rates, and 30%off branded labels and packaging inserts.
– Access to a customized pricing model with the Platinum plan.
Printful Paid Plans & Discounts
Printful premium subscription plans come with additional benefits such as faster shipping, priority support, and discounts on sales volumes.
Printful offers a 5% discount on sales volumes of $1,000, a 10% discount on sales volumes of $10,000, and a 15% discount on sales volumes of $100,000 or more. So if you are selling significant volume then this could give Printful the edge over Gelato.
Printful’s premium plans start at just $29 per month, and the company boasts that it provides the best value for money in the industry. The premium plan provides access to custom branding and discounted shipping rates.
Fulfillment and Shipping: How Do They Compare?
Fulfillment and shipping are crucial aspects to consider when choosing a print-on-demand service. Both Printful and Gelato excel in these areas, with some key differences:
– Printful operates primarily in North America but has worldwide fulfillment with centers across 13 locations, including Japan, Australia, and Brazil. This extensive network ensures faster and more efficient shipping for customers all around the globe.
– Gelato, on the other hand, produces products on demand across 32 countries, working with over 100 print partners. This allows for a more local and sustainable fulfillment approach, reducing shipping times and the overall carbon footprint of each order.
– Both Printful and Gelato offer tracking on all orders, allowing customers to keep tabs on their orders and ensuring a high level of transparency throughout the shipping process. This is a must for Etsy.
While Printful has a large fulfillment network, Gelato’s is even larger which enables a more environmentally friendly approach to fulfillment and shipping.
When it comes to customer support, both Printful and Gelato are on par, striving to provide a seamless experience for their clients. However, there are some differences in the support they offer that should be taken into consideration:
– Printful has a comprehensive knowledge base and resource center available for users who prefer self-help options. This includes topics like user guides, webinars, blog posts, and more that cater to a wide range of customer needs.
– Gelato, on the other hand, mainly focuses on offering direct support. This includes live chat, email, and phone support to assist customers with their questions and concerns. Their response time is also quite commendable.
– Both companies provide extensive documentation and API support for developers and integrations, ensuring smooth operations for businesses.
Product selection comparison between Printful and Gelato
When it comes to product selection for your print-on-demand store, it’s important to compare and ensure the POD supplier sells the products you sell or plan to see in your store.
Printful boasts an impressive catalog of 327 customizable products, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, glassware, mugs, hats, and posters.
Gelato offers a diverse range of products as well, including apparel, wall art, and tote bags with a focus on paper-based products like photo books, cards, and calendars.
Ultimately, the choice between Printful and Gelato should be based on which platform better aligns with your brand and product vision. Both platforms offer an excellent product selection, and you really can’t go wrong with either.
Who Should Use Gelato?
Gelato is an ideal choice for people who are looking for a print-on-demand that emphasizes sustainability, or those based in or who sell to the UK. If you fall into one of these categories, Gelato might just be the perfect fit for you:
Eco-conscious individuals and businesses: Gelato proudly takes an environmentally friendly approach by optimizing its production processes to reduce waste and source materials responsibly. If you prioritize sustainability in your business decisions, Gelato may align with your values better than other print-on-demand services.
Businesses targeting a global audience: With the capacity to ship products to 33 countries worldwide, Gelato is perfect for those expanding their e-commerce business across borders. Their wide network of printing partners further ensures faster and more cost-effective shipping.
Professional content creators: Graphic designers, illustrators, and other creative professionals benefit from Gelato’s easy integration and customization process. Offering a variety of apparel and print products, artists can showcase their talents while capitalizing on Gelato’s global reach.
In summary, Gelato is best suited for individuals and businesses interested in a sustainable, global print-on-demand service that is a little cheaper, especially for those outside of the US.
Who Should Use Printful?
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of Printful, we can identify who should choose Printful as their print-on-demand partner:
* E-commerce sellers starting out: Printful offers a free plan with essential features, making it an attractive choice for beginners who are not yet earning significant revenue from their online store. Furthermore, Printful’s Pro plan, costing $49 a month, can be a suitable upgrade for those who are already earning well and looking to scale up their business.
* Sellers aiming for quality control: With Printful printing in its own centers, the quality control can be superior compared to Gelato that relies on third-party printers. This fact was mentioned by a Gelato user in their review, appreciating Printful’s consistent quality.
* Sellers valuing effective customer service: As mentioned by a user comparing Printful and Gelato, Printful tends to have better customer support and handles returns better, making it a more reliable choice for sellers who want to avoid complications.
Gelato And Printful Alternatives
To be a true alternative to these two pod services the supplier would need a global fulfilment network like Printful and Gelato.
Whilst many would say Printify is a great alternative, Printify is ideal for those selling in the US only. The manual intervention to route an order to a different supplier in the Printify network doesn’t do it for me.
Gooten and CustomCat both have global fulfillment capabilities but neither is as beginner-friendly as Gelato and Printful.
CJ’s Take – Both Are Better Than Many Alternatives
In my experience selling through Shopify, Launch Cart, and Etsy using these two suppliers, they are both solid choices to use to start your journey.
With Printful, I appreciated their easy-to-use platform and the consistent quality they delivered. It was also helpful that they frequently update their catalog with new trending items.
On the other hand, Gelato impressed me with its faster shipping times, thanks to a network of over 100+ local printing partners.
Ultimately, I found that using both providers allowed me to take advantage of their respective strengths. Printful provided a wider selection of specialty products, while Gelato excelled in fast shipping and print-focused products.
Gelato Vs Printful Wrap Up
Gelato and Printful are both solid options. They are both well-established POD suppliers who have been around for years.
They are great options for those who are starting their e-commerce journey or looking for a reliable, quality-focused, and customer-friendly print-on-demand partner.
For ease of use and scale, I would choose Printful
For UK sellers selling to the UK market, I would choose Gelato
You can’t go wrong with either.
Don’t forget that many platforms like Shopify and Etsy allow you to integrate lots of POD suppliers so you could use both of these companies to fulfill different products.
Check out our detailed Gelato Review for even more information.
See how to get started with Etsy and Printful in our detailed guide.