So, you are thinking of starting a print on demand business and want to know if Printful is a good printing company to partner up with. Print on demand is a good way of starting a dropshipping business and in this review of Printful, we will see what services this company offers and how they can help you build a print on demand business.
There are thousands of entrepreneurs that are running a successful eCommerce business by selling items with their own unique design printed on them, but what is print on demand and how does it work?
Print on demand is an eCommerce business model in which you sell merchandise that have your unique designs printed on them.
Some popular print on demand products include the following;
Operating a print on demand business is simple, the hardest part is probably creating a winning design for the products you want to sell.
The process is as follows;
1. Find a print on demand supplier
2. Give them your design and the products you want it to be printed on.
3. Fill your store with the products you want to sell.
4.When an order comes in, pass the details on to your supplier.
5. They will print your product and fulfil your order.
The best way to run a print on demand business is through dropshipping and one of the most well-known companies that provide this service is Printful.
Printful is a company that helps entrepreneurs to start a print on demand eCommerce business.
They provide everything you need to start a print on demand business, they provide a wide range of products, multiple forms of printing services and will take care of packing and delivery. It is free to sign up and you will only pay when you have made a sale.
Before starting Printful, the owners run a very successful eCommerce store that sold print on demand products.
However, seeing how hard it was to get access to print on demand services for their business, they decided to start one up themselves. This was back in 2013 and since then they have grown exponentially and now have offices and warehouses around the world.
They have invested over $17 million in printing equipment, employ over 500 people worldwide, fulfilled over 10 million orders and more 200,000 sellers use their services to power their eCommerce business.
Those are impressive numbers and shows you the reason why they have become the go-to company to start a print on demand business.
Printful offers a wide range of services, its main operation is offering eCommerce entrepreneurs a wide range of products, printing services and fulfilling orders.
Currently, they offer hundreds of products in the following 6 categories;
Home and living
The widest range of products is in the clothing category while accessories has the smallest collection.
Each product comes with a base price and a recommended retail price and the more popular products will have reviews from actual buyers.
Depending on the product you want to sell, you will get to choose from a variety of different printing techniques and how you would like the product to be packaged.
They are continually expanding their range and if there is an item that you would like but is not listed, they have a section on their site where you can request new products and features.
This the service that got them to start this company, as the founders were running their own print on demand business, they found it hard to find quality printing companies that met their demand, which was the catalyst they needed to offer their own printing services.
With over $17 million invested in the last 6 years, they provide one of the premier print on demand services.
The main method of printing is direct to garment (DTG), this allows them to print photo quality images on all types of apparel using the latest printing technology.
They use printing machines manufactured by Kornit and Brother for DTG printing and this method is also the most cost-effective which allows them not to have any minimum orders requirements.
Other printing techniques used by Printful are;
Cut & Sew
There are no extra charges for the type of printing you require and for each product they will recommend you the best printing option plus any other viable solutions.
Warehousing, Fulfilment and Delivery
As Printful provides a dropshipping service, they take care of everything related to storage, packaging, fulfilment and delivery.
On average, it takes around 2-7 days to fulfil apparel products and 2-5 days for all other products. Average delivery time is 3 days but should not take longer than 7 days.
For delivery services, they use a variety of companies including DHL, FedEx and UPS.
They have two locations for storing products, one in the USA and the other is in Europe. As the company grows, they will be looking to expand into other countries which will lead to better services and delivery time.
Remember, if you are dropshipping Printful products, there are no extra charges for using their warehousing, fulfilment and delivery services.
However, they also offer these services for a monthly fee if you want to store your own inventory and use their fulfilment and delivery services.
To have your products stored in their warehouses, they will first need to be approved, this is because they have strict guidelines on what they can store and what type of products are prohibited.
Any type of perishable products will not be accepted and any products that have a larger dimension than 15×15×10 or have a monetary value greater than $750 will also not be accepted.
To use this service, they price you on the amount of storage space you use per item, to find out more about this service and what they charge, see this article
As Printful has grown, so have their services, as well as providing an all-in-one dropshipping solution, they also help you to brand your products.
Building a brand is very important as it helps you stand out from your competition and helps consumers distinguish your products from other similar products. Your brand makes you recognisable and represents the quality and service of your business.
These are the following branding services provided by Printful;
Inside and outside apparel label
Branded stickers for delivery packages
Promotional material like business cards, stickers and flyers.
A return address with your company name.
They have different pricing for each branding service, to learn more about each service and what they charge, click here.
Creating a good design is probably one of the toughest parts of starting a print on demand business, this is especially the case for non-designers (like me).
Luckily, Printful have you covered in this area, they have a whole design team that will help you bring your design ideas to life.
They provide services for logo design, creating print files for your products, tweaking existing designs and graphic design services.
To use this service, its best to have an idea of what your design should look like so that when you submit your design request, the Printful design team have a clear idea of what it is you want.
The Printful design team will work closely with you until you are satisfied with the final product.
This is a paid service and you will be charged according to your design requirements, to find out more this service and their pricing strategy, click here.
A great way to impress consumers is to have brilliant images for your products, with Printfuls photo service, they will make sure that your product photos are of the highest quality.
They have two in-house professional photographers who will print and take photos of your products and liaise with you until they meet your requirements.
There are four photography options you can choose from, they are;
Photography with a model in a studio
Photography with a model in a location.
Pricing will depend on what type of photography you want and your specific requirements, click here for more details.
Compatible eCommerce Platforms
Printful can be used with over 15 eCommerce platforms, they are;
Connecting the Printful service to most of the platforms is easy apart from Amazon and eBay which is quite complex.
I would recommend either Shopify or WooCommerce as they are probably the most well-known platforms outside of Amazon and eBay and the easiest to use.
Plus, with Shopify and WooCommerce you get access to live shipping rates which mean there is no need to set up any shipping rates yourself as Printful will do this for you automatically. With the other eCommerce integrations, you will be given flat shipping rates for each product which you will have to manually enter.
If the eCommerce platform you use isn’t on the list, you can use Printfuls API to integrate it yourself.
Resources & Support
Printful is the no.1 print on demand app on the Shopify app store and generally, the reviews about it are all positive including its customer support.
They have great customer support and are quick to respond to any problems or queries people may have.
Printful also provides lots of free resources on all things related to starting a successful print on demand business.
They regularly update their blog with case studies and guides and hold weekly webinar where they cover topics related to eCommerce. These webinars are free for everyone and you do not need to be a registered member to benefit from them.
There is also an in-depth guide on how to start a print on demand business from scratch that covers everything from choosing your products to setting up your store and how to set up Facebook ads.
Their list of resources impressed me, whenever I review products and services that help you start an online business, I pay special attention to see what kind of guides and resources they provide for their customers. Although there is no need for Printful to provide these extra resources, the fact that they do shows you how committed they are to the success of their customers.
As mentioned near the beginning of this review, Printful is free to join, you only pay them on a per order basis. So, whenever an order comes through your store, you will pay Printful the base price for the product and the rest is your profit.
There are no minimum order requirements, no storage fees, delivery charges or monthly subscription plans.
I am not a huge fan of print on demand, mainly because my design skills are poor, however, if you are a talented artist and are looking to sell your own print on demand products, you will benefit from Printfuls services.
They provide a wide range of high-quality products that you can have your own designs printed on and everything after you make a sale is taken care of by them.
If you are looking to start a print on demand business, you should consider using the service provided by Printful.