Choosing the right POD supplier is critical for the success of your online business.
Get it wrong and you’ll get misprints, missing orders, unhappy customers and you’ll waste time moving your products to another supplier.
Get it right and it will save you so much hassle & time and effort, meaning you are free to focus on growing your store with new products and marketing them.
Selling Globally? – Gelato is the clear winner – global network, high quality, great prices
Selling to just US customers – Choose Printify – but only if you’re prepared to reroute orders between different suppliers. Im not so I use Gelato.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link on this site. This does not cost you or impact your purchase in any way.
What is Printify Print-On-Demand?
Printify is a tech platform that enables people from anywhere in the world to sell personalized products, eliminating the difficulties and uncertainties of dealing with printing companies, managing stock, and shipping orders globally.
Founded in 2015 in Riga, Latvia by Artis Kehris, Gatis Dukurs, and James Berdigans and is now headquartered in San Francisco USA. They have grown steadily since its inception, so much so that it was recently confirmed that it is the 15th fastest-growing company in the US.
Printify is committed to product quality, print designs, fulfillment capacity, and seamless integration with various platforms like Etsy, Shopify and WooCommerce, Printify has become a go-to choice for entrepreneurs looking to harness the power of print-on-demand.
What is Gelato Print On Demand?
Gelato is a technology platform that offers the world’s fastest, smartest, and greenest print-on-demand service for customized products.
Founded in 2012 by Henrik Müller-Hansen in Oslo, Norway, Gelato has evolved into a leading software company in the field. With a focus on providing entrepreneurs and creators with the ability to customize and print their products easily, Gelato has grown substantially over the years.
With a group revenue of $75 million and an exceptional 97% customer retention rate achieved through their platform’s efficiency
To support its expansion plans, Gelato recently secured $240 million in funding in 2021, giving it unicorn status in the process.
Gelato’s sustainability focus
Gelato takes pride in its commitment to sustainability. It has a robust eco-friendly strategy that includes using only environmentally friendly materials and processes.
This commitment extends to their global network of printing partners, who are required to adhere to strict environmental standards. For businesses conscious about their carbon footprint, Gelato is an excellent choice.
How Do They Work?
You may think that most POD companies work in the same way. Certain things are the same, but Printify and Gelato take a very different approach to print on demand dropshipping.
Similarities: Both Gelato and Printify describe themselves as technology platforms that enable you to customize and sell products.
- For both, you need an online store either your own website using something like Shopify or WooCommerce, or on a marketplace like Etsy.
- You integrate your chosen supplier (Printify or Gelato) with your store.
- Create a product in Printify / Gelato
- Publish it to your store and wait for an order (tick tick tick)
- An order is received & the details automatically flow to Gelato or Printify
- They print and ship the order
- Order status updates and tracking is passed back to your online store.
How Does Printify Work?
Printify gives you access to a print network of 85 printing companies from all around the world.
You choose which supplier you want to use. Different suppliers sell different items, charge different prices and are located in different countries.
All communication and support is via Printify’s platform without the need for you to speak directly to the supplier you have chosen to use.
How Does Gelato Work?
Gelato has a print network of 130+ print partners, but they keep that invisible to the end user. You don’t have to choose which one to use. Gelato has standardized printing across all of them so it’s seamless.
Gelato’s print network spans 32 countries enabling them to fulfill 90% of orders in the destination country. This enables quicker shipping, lower cost, and lower carbon emissions.
For example, if you’re based in the UK and receive an order from someone in the USA, Gelato’s platform ensures the item is produced at the print facility closest to the destination.
Whilst Printify offers companies in their print network from across the globe many offer different products at different prices and some even have different print areas on products so designs may change size.
You also need to have “order routing” set up and turned on so that Printify will route your order to a print provider that is closer, or one that has stock of your item.
Gelato is the clear winner here. You don’t need to worry about the stock levels, different print areas, differing print quality
Printify offers a free plan that enables you to sign up, connect Printify to your ecommerce store, and start selling print-on-demand products.
Printify Pricing Example
Their base pricing is pretty good.
A Gildan 18000 medium sweatshirt delivered to
- US costs $27.42 ($17.43 + $9.99 shipping (via merchant Awkward Styles))
- UK costs $25.62 ($18.03 + $7.59 shipping (via Print Clever)) ex VAT
Printify Premium Plan
For $29.99 per month (or $24.99 per month if paid annually) you can get Printify premium, a paid-for membership that gets your 20% discount on the base cost of a product (excluding shipping).
If you are happy to subscribe Printify Premium is a great option, especially if you are selling at volume. It helps boost your profit margins as with it you get some of the lowest prices around.
If you’re selling more than $150 a month (in product cost) then its worth signing up for Printify Premium. You can often find free trials to test out the benefits.
The Enterprise Plan
If you have enterprise-level sales of more than 10,000 per day, Printify offers customer pricing.
Given the fact Printify is a collection of separate companies that are purely using the Printify platform, Im not sure I would trust Printify to deliver consistently at that level.
Gelato offers better pricing than many POD suppliers.
They have a free plan and 3 tiers of subscription that give you discounts and additional benefits.
Gelato Pricing Example
A Gildan 18000 medium sweatshirt delivered to
- US costs $22.68 ($14.45 + $8.23 shipping)
- UK costs $23.36 ($17.25 + $6.11 shipping) ex VAT
On these examples, Gelato is over $4.50 cheaper than Printify a US order and over $2.20 cheaper for a UK order.
Even I was surprised by this.
Gelato wins again
The tiers are Gelato+, Gelato+ Gold, and Gelato+ Premium.
The tiers offer pricing discounts via money-off shipping as well as other additional benefits as shown below.
If you are selling more than 10 orders a month, Gelato recommends signing up for Gelato+, 50 or more sales Gelato+ Gold, and 500+ a month it’s worth signing upto the Platinum Plan.
eCommerce Platforms & Marketplace Integrations
To be able to sell your products you need to have an online store either as a standalone website or on a marketplace.
Printify has recently launched Printify Pop-Up Store which is a very simple ecommerce offering to enable you to sell to customers without the need for an additional store, however it’s only available in the US at the moment and is limited in terms of its functionality.
Printify currently integrates with:
- Square Space
Gelato integrates with:
- Etsy (learn how to set up Gelato and Etsy)
- Square Space
- Order Desk – which provides integration to another 275 ecommerce platforms & marketplaces.
Having spoken to the team at Gelato I understand more direct integrations are coming soon.
Winner: Gelato offers more integrations with even more coming soon.
Printify Vs Gelato Product Catalog
Printify has a far larger catalog of customizable products than Gelato, but not all products are available in all countries meaning that you pay a lot for shipping.
There are some cool products available from Artsaad via Printify but if you are looking to sell them, you may as well go direct to Artsad and skip the Printify ‘levy’.
Printify Product Catalog
The product catalog is huge with over 850 product available. However, not all products are available in all regions and different suppliers offer different products.
Product categories include:
Apparel – t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies etc
Accessories – Phone cases, bags, facemasks, hats & socks etc
Home & Living – Mugs, glassware, bottles, tumblers etc
Gelato Products Catalog
Whilst Gelato’s product catalog may be smaller they cover most bases and offer high quality paper based products you won’t find anywhere else.
Apparel – t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies etc
Calendars – Wall calendars (fulfilled in 23 different countries)
Wall Art – Posters, Framed Posters, Canvases, Aluminium Prints, Acrylic Prints, Wood Prints & Foam Prints
Mugs – Bottles, camping mugs, standard mugs, latte mugs etc
Other Paper Products – Photobooks & Greetings Cards.
Printify Print Quality
Printify are a well-established business and it wouldn’t have gotten that way it had poor print quality.
However, as there are lots of different suppliers, the print quality varies significantly from one supplier to the next.
For example, all suppliers are rated within the Printify system. Looking at a Gildan 5000, the supplier ratings go from 9.7 all the way down to 7.6, that’s quite a difference.
I’ve had some major issues with one supplier on Printify. So much so that I had to remove the item from sale as they kept shipping out really poorly printed mugs.
Gelato Print Quality
As Gelato manages all their suppliers to make it seamless to end users, they take great care in ensuring quality is achieved.
I’ve ordered many items through Gelato and never had to ask for a reprint. That says it all for me.
What Customers Say
Both Printify & Gelato score 4.4 out of 5 on Shopify and 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.
To get a feel of what other users think of Printify & Gelato, I reviewed Trustpilot and included below a summary of what customers are saying about the
Printify Customer Reviews
Outstanding Customer Service
Printify has received praise for its exceptional customer service, with many customers expressing their satisfaction with the quick response time.
Diverse Product Selection
One of the standout features of Printify is its extensive range of products. Users appreciate the wide variety of options available, allowing them to find the perfect items for their business.
The user-friendly website of Printify has been highly praised by customers. Users find it easy to navigate and upload their designs, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
Printify has won over customers by offering competitive pricing in comparison to other print-on-demand services. One customer highlighted that Printify was cheaper than their previous provider, Printful.
Printify stands out for its transparency. Customers appreciate knowing the intricate details of how their products are made and shipped.
Negative Feedback about Printify
Limited Mock-up and Tag Placement Options
While Printify’s website is highly praised for its user-friendly interface, a few customers expressed a desire to have more control over mock-up and tag placement.
They expressed a preference for inserting their mock-ups and tags within Printify’s platform rather than doing it separately on other websites. This feedback indicates room for improvement in enhancing customization options for users.
Lack of Integration with Existing Platforms
Some users mentioned that integrating Printify with their existing platforms required additional effort and was not as seamless as desired.
This feedback suggests that Printify could work on improving the integration process to make it more user-friendly and efficient.
Design File Formatting Challenges
A few users faced challenges with design file formatting when using Printify’s services.
While this appears to be a sporadic issue, it highlights the importance of providing clear instructions or guidelines to ensure a smooth design upload process.
Gelato Customer Reviews
5 Positive Feedback about Gelato Print on Demand:
Excellent Customer Service:
Gelato’s customer service has been highly praised, with customers appreciating their prompt responses and willingness to go above and beyond to meet their needs.
Customers have been impressed with the high standard of Gelato’s printed products. The colors are vibrant and the print quality is top-notch, ensuring a professional and eye-catching finish.
Fast and Eco-Friendly Delivery:
Gelato’s commitment to eco-friendly practices has resonated with customers. The use of eco bags for delivery, along with fast shipping times, adds convenience while minimizing carbon emissions.
The Gelato App has received rave reviews for its user-friendly interface and ability to track orders at every stage. This feature allows customers to have complete visibility and control over their printing needs.
As a print-on-demand service, Gelato helps customers save costs by eliminating the need for inventory management or upfront investments. With products made on demand, customers only produce what they sell, leading to more efficient operations.
Negative Feedback about Gelato Print on Demand:
Some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the limited integrations Gelato offers, particularly with certain e-commerce platforms. They feel that wider compatibility would provide a smoother and more seamless experience.
A few customers have found Gelato’s pricing structure to be unclear, making it difficult for them to accurately estimate their printing costs.
Potential for Production Delays:
While Gelato strives to ensure prompt production and shipping, a small number of customers have experienced delays in the delivery of their orders. These instances may have been due to unforeseen circumstances or logistical challenges.
Alternative POD Suppliers
I believe Gelato and Printify are two of the best print on demand suppliers out there.
The obvious alternative supplier is Printful given its scale and global reach. Printfuls platform is easy to use but their pricing is much higher than either Printify or Gelato.
Other Print-on-demand companies to consider are:
- Print Aura
My Experiences With Printify & Gelato
There are a lot of coaches and POD gurus out there that push Printify in a big way, however many (if not all) are US based and so Printify are an obvious choice.
For a while I used Printify for all my US orders, but I got extremely frustrated leading up to the holidays when there were so many of Printify’s suppliers running out of stock & misprinting orders.
I haven’t had the same issues with Gelato. Whilst they dont sell all the colors of sweatshirts and hoodies that some of my niches require, whenever I’ve used Gelato I’ve been impressed.
Gelato Vs Printify: Wrap-Up
Gelato and Printify are popular POD companies and for good reason. There are similarities and many differences between Gelato and Printify so you need to work out which is best for you.
- Printify is heavily US-focused with most of their suppliers located there.
- Gelato has a global reach that few can match.
If you are solely selling in the US it’s a close call between these two, however, if any of your sales are outside of the US, Gelato is the better option due to its massive network and fast shipping.
Gelato may not be as well known as Printify, but it will be soon. If I was backing one horse, it would be Gelato.
Choosing the right platform based on specific needs and priorities
The choice between Printify and Gelato ultimately depends on your specific needs.
If you prioritize a wide range of products and the flexibility to choose your print provider, Printify may be the better option.
However, if your priority is fast global shipping and quality control from a single provider, Gelato should be the preferred choice.
Here’s a quick comparison table:
|Product Range||Offers a wider range of products.||Focuses more on global reach and speed of delivery.|
|Print Provider||Allows users to choose their preferred print provider based on price, location, and product quality.||Operates its own network of printers.|
|eCommerce Integration||Provides integration with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy.||Also offers integration with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy.|
|Mockup Generator||Provides a mockup generator for product design.||Also provides a mockup generator for product design.|
|Pricing||Competitive pricing.||Also offers competitive pricing.|
What Is Print On Demand?
Print on demand is a printing technology and business process in which products are not printed until an order has been received.
This allows prints of singular or small quantities, while traditional printing methods have long lead times and require large quantities to be printed. POD is used for printing T-shirts, mugs, and other personalized items.
It’s an economical and efficient process that eliminates the need for a physical inventory and reduces the risks of unsold stock.
How To Choose A Print On Demand Supplier
1. Product Catalogue: The supplier should have a wide range of products to print on. This gives you the flexibility to offer more products to your customers.
2. Quality of Products: The quality of the products should be high. If the quality is poor, it can affect your brand’s reputation.
3. Print Quality: The supplier should provide high-quality prints that are durable and do not fade easily.
4. Pricing: The cost of print on demand services should be reasonable. High prices can eat into your profit margins.
5. Order Fulfillment Time: The supplier should be able to fulfill orders quickly. Long wait times can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
6. Shipping: The supplier should offer reliable shipping services. They should be able to deliver products to your customers in a timely manner.
7. Customization Options: The supplier should offer a range of customization options, such as the ability to add your own logo or design to the products.
8. Customer Service: The supplier should have good customer service. They should be responsive and able to resolve any issues quickly.
9. Integration with eCommerce Platforms: The supplier should be able to easily integrate with your eCommerce platform. This makes managing orders and inventory much easier.
10. Return Policy: The supplier should have a fair return policy. If a customer is not satisfied with a product, they should be able to return it.
11. Scalability: The supplier should be able to handle increasing order volumes as your business grows.
12. Reputation: Look for reviews or testimonials from other businesses to gauge the supplier’s reputation.
13. Sustainability Practices: If your brand values are aligned with sustainability, you should consider if the supplier uses eco-friendly materials and processes.
14. Sample Availability: The supplier should be able to provide samples so you can assess the quality of the products and prints before making a decision.
15. Location: The supplier’s location can affect shipping times and costs, so it’s important to consider this factor
Frequently Asked Questions
What companies are similar to Printify?
Printful and Gelato are similar companies to Printify. Others include Teelaunch, Inkthreadable, Gooten, CustomCat, and AOP+
Are Printify and Shopify the same company?
No, Printify and Shopify are not the same company. Shopify is an ecommerce software company whereas Printify is a print on demand company. Printify does have an Printify App to make it easier to use them.
Is Printify associated with Shopify?
Printify is not associated with Shopify but you can install the Printify App on Shopify and integrate the two.
What is the difference between Shopify and Printify?
Shopify is an ecommerce software company whereas Printify is a print on demand company. they can however be used together.
Who is competitor a to Printify?
Printful and Gelato are two key competitors of Printify.
What is the main difference between Printify and Gelato?
Printify and Gelato are both print-on-demand (POD) platforms, but they have some differences. While Printify is mainly focused on Shopify integration, Gelato offers a wider range of integrations with various e-commerce platforms.
Can I use Gelato with Shopify?
Yes, Gelato can be integrated with Shopify. It offers seamless integration with Shopify, allowing you to easily manage your print-on-demand products.
How does Gelato compare to Printify?
Gelato and Printify are both popular POD platforms, but they have some differences. Gelato offers a wider range of integrations, while Printify focuses mainly on Shopify integration. Additionally, Gelato has a larger network of print partners across the globe, giving you more options for printing and shipping your products.
Is Printify a better option if I only need basic printing services?
Yes, Printify is a great option if you only need basic printing services. It has a user-friendly interface and offers a wide range of products to choose from. Additionally, Printify offers custom pricing and a money-back guarantee.
Can I use Gelato if I don’t have a mobile app?
A: Yes, you can still use Gelato even if you don’t have a mobile app. Gelato offers web-based printing services, so you can easily manage your print-on-demand products through their website.
How can Gelato’s white-label feature benefit me as a seller?
A: Gelato offers a white-label solution, which means you can sell personalized products under your own brand without any Gelato branding. This gives you more control over the branding and allows you to create a seamless customer experience.
Does Gelato offer print partners across various countries?
Yes, Gelato has a network of print partners across various countries, allowing you to easily print and ship your products globally. This can be especially beneficial if you have customers from different parts of the world.
How does Gelato ensure sustainable printing practices?
Gelato is committed to sustainability and ensures that its print partners follow sustainable printing practices. They strive to minimize waste and use eco-friendly materials whenever possible.
What makes Printify a better choice for men’s t-shirt printing?
Printify offers a wide range of men’s t-shirt options to choose from. They have various styles, colors, and sizes available, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your customers.
Can I unlock additional features with Gelato’s mobile app development services?
Yes, if you’re looking to enhance your mobile app experience, Gelato offers mobile app development services. This allows you to unlock additional features and functionalities for your print-on-demand business.