SPOD print-on-demand is backed by Spreadshirt with its 20+ years of experience in the print on demand industry as it is part of the SPOD Group. Does that make SPOD a great choice for your POD eCommerce store?
Only in some circumstances. In this SPOD print on demand review, I explain under what circumstances I recommend using SPOD and when I wouldn’t. Read on to find out everything you need to know and more…
SPOD Print On Demand
SPOD has some significant credentials:
- Backed by the SPOD Group which includes Spreadshirt which has over 20 years of experience in the POD industry
- Produces over 50k items a day
- 95% of items are shipped within 48 hours
- 9.8m items shipped in 2020 alone
- 99.3% customer satisfaction
SPOD does all its own printing in-house giving it control of the end-to-end process, unlike companies like Gelato and Printify which outsource printing to a number of print partners.
SPOD has 5 printing locations giving it a global reach (more on this later – this isn’t a good thing where SPOD is concerned):
- Las Vegas (US)
- Greensburg (US)
- Leipzig (Germany)
- Krupka (Czech Republic)
- Legnica (Poland)
SPOD is part of the Spread Group which includes the following brands as well as SPOD.
Spreadshirt -The consumer brand Spreadshirt offers customers and businesses a customization tool to create custom clothing, accessories, and many more products for any occasion large or small
Spreadshop – Spreadshop provides creators, businesses, and clubs with a complete online shop system that empowers them to sell merchandise to their customers.
Teamshirts – TeamShirts empowers groups and teams to create and buy custom team wear. The website provides various features and tools that allow teams to design their products together
Mula – Mula offers B2B customers an all-in-one service platform to manage their company merchandise and team wear.
SPOD products offered are solid if a little uninspiring with limited product options. Whilst the product catalog includes more brands of apparel items on offer than some print on demand companies, there are very few products that are unique or that would encourage you to use SPOD over other suppliers. The only product that is slightly out of the ordinary is the two plushy soft toys you can sell.
Given SPO’s 20+ experience in POD and the size of the group, you’d expect SPOD’s print quality to be good, and it is. I’ve placed many orders with them and never had any issues, all were high quality. They also claim to have a reprint rate of below 2% which is pretty standard for the industry but should also be reassuring.
SPOD Software & Platform
To use SPOD with Shopify, you need to install the Shopify app which is easily done. As with most print-on-demand apps it enables you to sync orders between Shopify and SPOD. Most activities that you will carry out, such as creating products arent done in the Spod app, but instead done on the SPOD website.
The platform is very easy to use to create products where you have a design you have already created. You can also take advantage of the design capabilities of the tool and use their (albeit limited) free designs and design tool to create new designs directly on the SPOD platform.
What stands SPOD apart from other POD suppliers is that SPOD offers customizer tool that enables customers to edit / customize a design on your Shopify store product page. The user-friendly tool enables you to get started with SPOD customization really easily without the need for other costly shopify apps.
Checkout their tutorial below:
When it comes to pricing of products, I wouldn’t say SPOD are cheap. You are paying for their speed and peace of mind given by their scale and quality. If we look at a Bella & Canvas 3001 shirt, medium black delivered to a US-based customer, SPOD costs $12.66 + $5.99 shipping, so $18.65 delivered.
Printful by comparison, a supplier known for being on the more expensive side costs $16.94 (12.95 + $399) for the same product and Printify is cheaper still at $14.65 ($10.30 + $4.35 shipping).
These comparisons show that SPOD is more expensive than its two big competitors, so I am not sure why you would choose to run your order via SPOD given the above.
The shipping pricing structure used by SPOD could be simplified. SPOD sets its shipping pricing based on the cost of the item. This adds a layer of unnecessary complexity. You have to know the cost of the product in order to know the shipping cost. I think its a strange approach.
One nice touch however is that SPOD offers a 20% discount on samples. Not a game changer but a welcome addition.
SPOD integrates directly with the following eCommerce platforms:
The above list is very limited when compared to other print-on-demand dropshipping companies. SPOD offers further integrations via Order Desk. However, this brings additional complexity and cost which I just don’t think is justified. There are many other POD suppliers that offer many direct integrations.
It is very shortsighted not to have a direct integration with Etsy for example. If you wanted to use Etsy and SPOD you would have to use Order Desk with your online store and use that to pass spod orders between the platforms.
SPOD Customer Support
Customer support options come in the form of:
- A Helpcentre / knowledge base of helpful articles.
- A Facebook group
- By Email – Speedy responses
- By Phone – Quite rare to be given a number to call.
- A Blog – That provides information and guidance on products & designs, pricing, selling, industry news
SPOD’s Policy on Missing Packages & Misprints
Understanding how a POD company handles misprints and lost packages is key to setting your own policies and running your own business. SPOD’s policies are pretty standard.
SPOD will refund or replace items that are misprinted, damaged (excluding damages during delivery), or the item does not match the fulfillment information (e.g., the printed image is incorrect or placed incorrectly, the product is the wrong size, color, or type, etc.).
SPOD will not refund or replace an item that goes missing once shipped. Other suppliers I work with, will replace an item in this scenario, so it’s worth comparing.
Overall it’s key to make sure your own print-on-demand dropshipping business policies match the above if you choose to use SPOD.
Sustainability & Green Credentials
Sustainability is more important than ever. Whilst there is limited information about SPOD’s eco goals on their site, there are the following points made on the SPOD group site:
- A return rate of less than 2% – reducing waste
- Paper Free production since 2019 – some POD companies use a lot of paper in the printing process so its good to see SPOD has moved away from this
- Continuing to increase their sustainable product range
However, their page did talk about things they were aiming to do in 2021 (we will be going fully plastic-free with European shipments in 2021).
My Biggest Gripe With SPOD
When you sign up to SPOD you have to choose SPOD US or SPOD Europe. You can use only one of them. If you choose Europe, European factories will fulfill all your orders. If you choose SPOD US, all your orders will be fulfilled by their US factories.
This reduces the appeal of SPOD if you sell globally. One of the benefits of using large POD suppliers like Printful and Gelato, which have a global reach is that the order gets printed and shipped from a location closer to your customer. This is better for the environment and the customer as the items do not have to be transported very far.
SPOD US and SPOD Europe are set up as separate companies so if you plan to sell globally I strongly recommend using someone else.
As SPOD is one of the larger POD suppliers, the obvious alternatives are Printul, Printify, and Gelato. It’s important to understand your requirements when choosing a POD supplier to ensure you choose one that’s right for your business.
SPOD Review Conclusion
SPOD is backed by Spreadshirt and therefore benefits from 20+ years of industry knowledge. Their platform is very easy to use and their Shopify app includes free customization functionality which is a big bonus. If you sell using Shopify and either to US or Europe markets then SPOD could be a good choice.
But if you sell globally and or sell on Etsy I would not use SPOD in my POD store. There are better choices that are cheaper, integrate with more eCommerce platforms and offer a true global fulfillment network.
SPOD Print On Demand FAQ
Here are some FAQ’s that people also ask about SPOD. Have more questions? Get in touch.