However they take different approaches to providing print on demand services, both have their pros and cons, so it depends on what you’re looking for in a POD company.
Printful is a bit more expensive than Printify, but they have a global reach due to having fulfillment centers across the world. Printify is less expensive but has more products in its catalog.
So, it really depends on your needs as to which company is best for you and your POD business.
I’ve sold many products from both of these suppliers through my Etsy store and standalone websites.
In this article, I compare Printful Vs Printify and go into detail on what makes them great in their own way and which will work best for you.
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What is Print on Demand?
Print on demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which a print provider creates and stores digital files of a customer’s designs and artwork, and prints them on a product only after the end customer orders a product.
This differs from the traditional printing process, in which products are printed upfront and stored regardless of whether there is an order.
POD has revolutionized eCommerce, making it possible for influencers, entrepreneurs, and designers to sell their merch without incurring the high costs of traditional printing methods.
POD is often used in conjunction with eCommerce platforms and drop shipping, as it allows businesses to sell custom-printed products without having to invest in inventory or maintain bricks and mortar shops.
There are many print on demand companies to choose from, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Printful and Printify are two of the biggest players in the market which is why we are comparing them in this article.
How do Print on Demand Companies Work?
Print on demand companies like Printful and Printify provide a platform then enables the seller to upload a design file, select a product, set the price and publish it to an eCommerce store hosted on Shopify or Launch Cart for example, or to an online marketplace like Etsy.
Once the item sells, the print on demand provider handles the printing and shipping for you.
You can think of both Printful and Printify as order fulfillment companies that do the heavy lifting on your behalf so you can focus on the designing and marketing of your products.
Who are Printful?
Printful is one of the largest companies in the print on demand industry and fulfills three times more orders than Printify. They print all products in-house and have fulfillment centers located around the world. It’s historically been known for its high product quality.
- Founded in 2013 by Davis Siksnans and Lauris Liberts
- Their mission: To help our customers grow brands that make a lasting impression
- More than 1,700 people are employed in their teams across North America and Europe.
- £1.03bn sold by customers through Printful
- Over 1 million items are fulfilled each month
How Does Printful Work?
Printful takes a different approach to Printify as it owns its fulfillment centers and therefore has end-to-end control of its production process. As Printful’s fulfillment centers are across the world, shipping time and costs are reduced and as they are all owned by Printful print product quality can be better controlled.
Who are Printify?
Printify is another one of the largest and print on demand suppliers used by many sellers across many different selling platforms.
- Founded in 2015 by James Berdigans and Artis Kehris
- Their mission: To help merchants make more money with less effort
- Used by over 2 million sellers
- 10,000+ products produced daily
- 100+ Print locations
Printify could be considered a software company as they do not do any printing themselves. Instead, they provide a print on demand platform that links sellers to a vast array of print partners all across the globe.
How Does Printify work?
Printify is a print-on-demand service that allows you to create and sell custom products with your own designs.
Unlike Printful, Printify does not have its own printing facilities. Instead, it works with a network of print providers around the world to produce high-quality products.
This means that shipping times and shipping costs vary depending on your location and which of Printify’s printing partners you choose.
Printful Vs Printify – Their Integrations
To make the most of using a POD provider you need to integrate them with an eCommerce platform or online marketplace. Doing so enables products to be created on the POD provider’s site and pushed to your eCommerce store for you to sell. Once an order is received it automatically syncs with the POD company’s platform and the order is produced.
Both Printful (21) and Printify (8) integrate with eCommerce companies and marketplaces to enable orders to flow automatically from your eCommerce platform of choice through to the print provider, with order updates flowing the other way.
Printful provides the ability to place a manual order, provides access to an API, and integrates with the following 21 platforms
Printify provides the ability to place a manual order, provides access to an API, and integrates with the following 8 eCommerce platforms:
Printful Vs Printify – Product Catalogs
Compared to Printful, Printify offers a wider range of print on demand products.
Both catalogs include POD staples like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies but also posters, mugs, and phone cases as well as bags, shoes, and bikinis.
Printify’s catalog includes over 763 print on demand products whereas Printful has over 420 in theirs.
Even though Printfuls catalog is significantly smaller, both catalogs have more than enough products to populate even the largest online store.
The key to knowing which provider is right for you is to check that the products you want to sell in your print on demand business are stocked by your chosen print on demand provider.
Printful Vs Printify – Production Time
As both Printful and Printify offer a range of different print on demand products with differing production times it is not possible nor useful to provide a view of which of the print providers is quicker to print and ship your item.
Printful states that 97.66% of their orders shipped within 5 business days. With more than 50% of their orders shipped within 3 business days or fewer.
Printify states that almost all orders are shipped within a slightly longer duration of 2-7 business days from the order submission date.
Shipping domestically produced items from both providers will take approximately 2-5 days. It is important to remember that some of Printify’s products are printed in China, so those will take longer to be delivered.
If you want to sell your products internationally, Printful is the better option as they have fulfillment centers all around the world. This way, they can produce items closer to where the customer lives, which in turn lowers both shipping costs and delivery time.
But it’s worth noting that not all products are available in all locations.
Printful Vs Printify – Shipping Costs
Printify and Printful have similar shipping times. On average, it takes about 3-5 days for an order to be shipped out. Shipping costs vary depending on which item you are ordering and where the product will be shipped to.
Comparing a product that they both sell, the Gildan 18000 sweatshirt shipping to a US customer the shipping for both print providers is $7.99 shipping with Printful
However, if you wanted to ship the same item to a UK customer you would need to reroute your order to one of Prinitys EU or UK print providers to get shipping costs closer to that offered by Printful
Printful Vs Printify – Which One Enables Better Profit Margins?
There are several things to consider when thinking about which one has better profit margins – product cost, shipping cost, and the price you can sell the product for.
In general, Printful is more expensive from a product perspective but often offers cheaper shipping.
However, it is not the end of the story as both print providers offer discounts.
Printify offers a monthly subscription service called Printify Premium that lowers the basic product cost (not your retail price) by 20%, so in this example, the sweatshirt would cost $11.67 but the subscription would $29.99 per month (or $24.99 if paid annually). So, if you are making sales regularly and want to improve overall profit margins, it may be worth investing in a subscription with a view to boosting overall profit margins over time.
Printful offers discounts based on your spending with them each month. You do not need to pay for the discounts like Printify Premium but the discount only goes up to 9%. To get that level of discount you need to sell over $10,000 of Printful products per month.
Printful Vs Printify – Which Has the Better Print Quality?
Printify outsources its printing to third-party printers, whereas Printful has in-house printing facilities.
This means that Printify has less control over the order fulfillment process and print quality since it relies on other companies to produce the products.
The print quality can vary from supplier to supplier which can result in some trial and error to find the print partner that works best for you.
Printful produces its prints in-house, so it has more control over the print quality. This doesn’t mean there will never be an issue, but quality control is less of an issue with Printful as printing is in their direct control.
Printful Vs Printify – Customer support
As an eCommerce business, you want to make sure your customers are happy and that their needs are being met. That’s why customer support is so important.
When it comes to Printify vs Printful, both companies offer great customer support. However, as Printful does all their printing in-house they do not need to talk to a third party to get an update on an order or investigate an issue. Therefore Printful customer service can often be quicker to resolution than Printify’s.
Both companies have a chat option on their website, a detailed knowledge base, and active Facebook groups that they run and have staff who are assigned to manage the group and answer questions and issues that may arise.
Printify & Order Routing
As already stated, Prinitfy is a network of print providers. When you create a product on their platform, you have to choose which print on demand business you want to use for that product.
The chosen fulfillment company is responsible for printing and shipping the item.
Whilst some of the print providers in the Printify network are bigger than others, none are the size of Printful and dont hold the same level of stock.
When an item is out of stock of the item you have an order for Printify can route the order to another print on demand company.
In theory, this is great as it opens up the whole network, however not all print providers are equal and therefore you lose more control over costs and product quality.
My Experience with Printful & Printify
Being UK based and wanting to sell predominantly to my local market, I started my POD journey with Printful. Whilst they are more expensive, they are great for a beginner as their platform and support are great.
Printful’s mockup generator offers far more options than just your flat lays, which is great when you’re starting out and not sure what to do or how to add more mockups to your store.
Because they are one of the biggest companies out there I found lots of blog articles and Youtube videos as well Facebook groups with knowledgeable people to help me on my way.
During the pandemic, Printful really struggled and I moved a lot of my products away from Printful, but that is a thing of the past and they are back delivering high-quality products on time.
Since I started using them they added a UK fulfillment center meaning they can meet my needs (and my customer’s needs) quicker and with a lower delivery charge.
Unfortunately, I found that Printful did not stock some of the color sweatshirts (greens and browns) that one of my profitable niches required so I use other suppliers for those products.
I really like Printful but they struggle to compete on costs and I tend to use them as my backup supplier for standard products, but use them as my main supplier for some of the cooler items like their AOP clothes.
Printify is pushed hard by a lot of Gurus & coaches out there and so they were one of the first print providers I used. I love the range of products and they stocked the colors I needed.
However, I didn’t (and still don’t) like the fact you have to choose a print partner within Printify. This reduces the appeal for me. If I wanted to use a smaller print provider, I would use them directly.
Whilst Printify has introduced order routing that routes your order to an alternative partner in their network, I didn’t like this approach as it took away my control of who was printing my items.
From an international order perspective, I found Printify’s UK options very limited so I do not use them very much at all now.
Printify only operates in USD so you are likely to get impacted by exchange rates and foreign transaction fees if you do not live in the US and or trade in USD. Printful on the other hand allows you to operate in USD, Euros British Pounds, and JPY, AUD, CAD, CHF, DKK, NZD, SEK, NOK, SGD, PLN, MXN, BRL, HKD, KRW which could cut out some cost for you.
Not a game changer at the start but as you start selling at volume a 2% foreign transaction fee can quickly add up and dilute your margins.
If you are looking to grow a brand, then both companies offer branding options.
- Product Branding – e.g. inside and outside labels
- Package Branding – Packing slips and pack-ins
Printful offers greater options here as shown in the comparison table below.
As popular as ever, product personalization is an eCommerce trend that major retailers and luxury brands alike have incorporated into their businesses.
Personalization increases the perceived value of a product and therefore can enable you to sell your products for a higher price and increase your margins.
Luckily Printful offers personalization / customization capabilities, for Etsy, Shopify, and Wix. Unfortunately, Printify does not.
Check out the video on how to set up personalization with Shopify and Printful.
Printful Vs Printify – Conclusion
It can be hard to decide which to use and even harder to choose the right POD supplier for your online store.
Both Printful and Printify are great choices for your online store but you need to consider which is best for you. Printify may be better for some people whereas Printful may be better for others. To ensure you pick which one is best for you make sure you consider the following:
- The location of your customers – Only US? Printify may be better, sell globally then I’d go for Printful
- The products the POD supplier sells -Do they both sell the items you want to sell? Check that they offer the colors you are looking for.
- Who they integrate with – This is unlikely to be a blocker as they both integrate with many online store providers, but Printful integrates with a lot more.
- The prices of their products – Generally Printify is cheaper, but price isnt always the key deciding factor
- How easy it is to use their platform/software. – Both their platforms are easy to use, but the inclusion of a choice of suppliers within Printify adds a level of unnecessary complexity some with better print quality than others.
Whichever you choose, or even if you choose to use both in your eCommerce business the print on demand model is a great way to start a business as a side hustle, to bring in additional income, or just as a hobby.
Is Printify the same as Printful?
No, they are two different companies that take different approaches to deliver print on demand services to online store owners. Printful does its printing and fulfillment in-house (i.e. they own the factories). Printify is a network of print partners and doesn’t do any of the printing themselves.
The impact of this can be seen in the varying print quality provided by Printify’s print partners.
How much does Printful cost per month?
You can use Printful for free. You pay for the items to be printed and shipped once you receive an order. Printful has introduced a premium plan that provides additional functionality, better mockups etc, but you do not have you sign up.
What is better than Printful?
If you are solely selling Printify stocked products to US customers, then Printify may be a better choice than Printful as it is the cheaper print provider enabling you to make higher margins on your online store.
Which is best print on demand?
If we took Trust Pilot as the source for the answer to which is the best print on demand provider, Printful Vs Printify, with 4.4 Printify would just shade it over Printfuls 4.3. However, it’s worth noting that Printify had only 356 reviews compared to Prinfuls 1603.