Contributor, Benzinga
June 22, 2023
Overall Rating:
securely through Printful's website

The global printing-on-demand (POD) market is forecasted to reach $39.035 billion by 2031, indicating a significant growth potential driven by a substantial customer base that presents a lucrative revenue opportunity for entrepreneurs. To start a printing business, you’ll need a service that delivers high-quality prints. Printful empowers you to launch your online store effortlessly through its high-quality printing services. Whether you’re a creative artist, a graphic designer or someone with many awesome design ideas, Printful offers you a seamless and efficient way to turn your designs into tangible products and profit from them. From apparel and accessories to home decor and promotional items, Printful offers a diverse product catalog to suit various business needs and ensures high-quality and precise printing.

The platform offers a dedicated POD dropshipping tool, meaning you needn’t worry about holding inventories. Instead, you can collaborate with manufacturers to have the items you create directly shipped to your buyers. That way, you eliminate the time-consuming fulfillment tasks of printing, packaging and shipping and focus on developing your brand and promoting your store. Printful provides a wide range of fantastic tools tailored for creative individuals seeking to leverage the advantages of cost-effective dropshipping for their businesses. Suppose you’ve dreamt of selling your own unique products, such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, tote bags and phone cases. In that case, Printful can turn that dream into a reality without the hassle of worrying about warehousing and stock management.

Besides its robust printing tools, Printful’s integrations with major e-commerce platforms, automation features and reliable customer support make it an ideal solution for anyone looking to enter the printing industry and build a successful online store. The platform provides comprehensive guidance to help you get started, offering easy-to-follow lessons on dropshipping, on-demand printing services and building a successful digital business. However, compared to some competitors, the platform provides a selection of products. Benzinga spotlights Printful, highlighting its pros and cons, core product offerings and how it compares with other POD services.

  • Wide range of customizable and white labeled products
  • Seamless integration with e-commerce platforms
  • High-quality printing and product finishing
  • Automated order in-house fulfillment and shipping
  • No upfront costs or inventory management
  • Global shipping capabilities
  • Easy-to-use design and mockup tools
  • Transparent pricing and competitive profit margins
  • Helpful educational resources and customer support
  • Scalability and flexibility for growing businesses
  • Potential for longer shipping times
  • Higher pricing compared to traditional printing methods
  • Limited control over the production process

Printful Ratings at a Glance

Customer Service
Minimum Investment and Pricing
User Experience
Overall Rating

Printful Product Offering

Establishing a sustainable POD business requires a unique product, an effective printing platform, a flexible sales or marketing channel (online store or marketplace) and an efficient fulfillment service. Printful offers all in the form of:

  • Comprehensive product creation tools for easy customization
  • Highly advanced and in-house controlled printing
  • Seamless integration with popular e-commerce platforms or marketplace
  • Dedicated and robust dropshipping tool to expedite fulfillment tasks (packing, shipping and deliveries)

Here are detailed descriptions of these offerings. 

Product Design and Creation

Printful provides comprehensive, powerful and user-friendly design functionalities enabling users to create unique and visually appealing designs for their products effortlessly. You can seamlessly create a product design using the Design Maker — a highly intuitive design tool with many easy-to-use features. With its drag-and-drop interface, you can easily upload your designs, position them accurately on your chosen item and compose eye-catching text using its over 785 available fonts. The Design Maker also features an impressive selection of ready-made icons, including over 20,000 graphic clipart choices and 668+ high-quality colors and patterns, which you can implement using the "add Clipart" or "add Quick Design" options.  

By leveraging these features, you can quickly transform your 2D sketch into a 3D product design, finalize designs you've made, add vibrant background color and graphics, add embroidery for luxury items and choose from many more options. To add a photo to your design, you can select from Printful's collection of over 100 million premium ready-made images from its partners, including Getty Image, Vexels and Patternbank. Each placement is free or cost $1 for premium images only. Alternatively, you can add your own photos. Printful allows JPG and PNG images of about  200MB in size and PDF files for embroidery products. Printful also provides downloadable print file templates (in PNG and PSD formats) and comprehensive file size guidelines to assist artists who may want to create their own designs externally using apps like Canva or Photoshop. 

These templates facilitate seamless design work in an external graphic design software before uploading. Once satisfied with your product design, you can generate product mockups to showcase your designs on your storefront. You can select from ready-made mockups or use Printful's mockup generator to create your own. Over 2,550 free mockup templates are available via the Mockup Generator. A mockup visually presents your products in realistic settings and can tell you whether or not your design is trendy. Subsequently, you need to add a product description and price. There is a pre-written product description covering the product material, sourcing information and dimensions. However, it represents the raw product before your design, so you must edit or fine-tune the description to suit your design. 

When setting product pricing, you can use the "set revenue" feature to apply a percentage-based markup on all your products or set individual pricing for each size option of a product. Printful also allows your customers to customize the product at the point of purchase. However, the option is currently only available for DTG, embroidery and wall art products, specifically for merchants using the Shopify, Etsy and WooCommerce integrations. 

Advanced and In-House Monitored Printing

Printful has a well-deserved reputation for consistently delivering high-quality print, thanks to its substantial investment in state-of-the-art printing equipment and meticulous control over the printing process. This further distinguishes it from competitors who often outsource their printing processes, as consistently highlighted in customer feedback. Printful offers a variety of printing options to accommodate the specific needs of each product you want to list in your store. These encompass:

  • Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing: DTG printing is a technique that involves spraying ink onto garments, making it an excellent choice for creating detailed, multi-color designs on fabric items like t-shirts, hoodies and tote bags.
  • All-over printing: ​​This method uses a heat press to transfer designs onto fabric before cutting and sewing the product. It is suitable for printing patterns and large-scale designs.
  • Sublimation printing: Sublimation involves embedding designs into the material of hard-surfaced items, such as mugs, phone cases and water bottles, to produce a seamless and vibrant look. It is much similar to all-over printing.
  • Embroidery: This technique adds textured designs to garments and accessories by stitching colored threads onto the fabric, providing a tactile and visually appealing customization option. Embroidery can be done in two styles: flat, where stitches are embroidered on the surface, or 3D Puff, where the embroidery is raised, typically used for larger shapes, adding depth and dimension to the design.
  • Direct-to-film (DTF) printing: DTF printing involves directly printing the design onto a unique film using water-based inks, which is then transferred onto the fabric through a heat press after coating it with adhesive powder. It is suitable for customizing fabrics like fleece, nylon and fabric blends that cannot be customized with DTG prints.

Printful ensures quality by implementing a three-step quality assurance process. It involves automated software checks for graphics, in-house team inspections during printing and a final quality check after customization before products are shipped to customers. Thanks to these effective quality control measures, the company’s return rate arising from quality concerns is less than 0.26%. Any product with material or print quality issues is promptly removed from sales.

E-commerce Integration 

Printful offers seamless integration with 22 e-commerce platforms or marketplaces, including leading ones like Shopify, eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Wix and WooCommerce. Once you connect your preferred e-commerce platform or marketplace to your Printful account, you can effortlessly push your products to your storefronts with a few clicks via the Printful dashboard. Again, keep in mind that available features differ for each marketplace. Before signing up, ensure you know which features are available on your preferred platform.

Fulfillment Services (Branding, Packaging and Shipping)

Printful offers various flexible options for adding your brand or logo to your products and their packaging. For clothing, you can go for the inside label, outside label or sleeves and the side and back for hats. The platform also permits customization of your order tracking page. You can include your company logo, contact information, website link and social media handle on the order page. Regarding customer packaging, Printful lets you personalize the packing slip and include additional packaging inserts like flyers and coupons, business cards, branded stickers, postcards and thank you cards in the entire product. These enhance the unboxing experience, further promoting your brand. 

You can manage all branding options in the branding presets section of your Printful dashboard. Here, you can apply consistent store-wide branding or customize branding for individual products. Printful partners with primary shipping services, including FedEx, DHL and UPS, to expedite shipping and delivery. You can display real-time shipping rates from these companies in your product listing. Remember that real-time rate is unavailable in a few marketplaces, including Shopify and WooCommerce. With Printful, the shipping fee is mandatory, so you can choose whether to pass it on to your customers or offer free shipping with higher product prices. The platform provides approximately 22 product shipping categories with varying rates based on your region. Benzinga rates Printful 5/5 on product offering.

Printful Customer Service

Printful provides comprehensive, round-the-clock and multi-language customer support via email, live chat and app. English-speaking agents primarily operate the live chat support. However, the customer service team uses a translation tool to assist in multiple languages. The response time for the live chat is less than 2 minutes; email might take longer; Benzinga couldn't confirm. The help center offers comprehensive and easily understandable educational and research resources, including text articles and video explainers, covering various topics such as Printful's plugins and integration, getting started, design tools and mockups, printing techniques, pricing and taxes and bulk ordering. Another vital feature of the educational resource is the Printful Academy, which offers free courses on e-commerce, digital marketing, design and trends, along with informative video content on POD topics. 

After the courses, account holders earn redeemable points and get rewarded with free products, discount coupons and sample orders. You can check your account's "Printful Rewards" section for these perks. If you want to connect with a broader Printful e-commerce community, the "Printful Insider" Facebook group is recommendable. It is a very active community comprising over 25,000 members sharing information on every aspect of Printful and running a POD business. Printful enjoys positive ratings on independent review platforms, including 4.3/5 on Trustpilot (roughly 2,500 reviewers) and 4.6/5 on Shopify (approximately 4,300 reviewers). Some of the negative comments revolve around delayed delivery. Benzinga rates Printful 4.5 on customer services.

Printful Minimum Investment and Pricing

A core benefit of Printful is that it charges no upfront costs. You can sign up, design your products and list them on your e-commerce website at no cost. The company makes money only when you sell on your integrated e-commerce platform. At that purchase point, Printful charges you:

  • A base cost for the product: Varies according to the product's type, size and color 
  • A printing fee: Depending on applicable printing techniques
  • A shipping fee: Depending on the weight, destination and shipping method

Remember, you may incur a monthly fee for your selected e-commerce marketplace and potential transaction fees depending on the sales channel. Printful implemented a new price that took effect on May 11, 2023. In the updated pricing, DTG printed products decreased while shipping rates and embroidery increased. Suppose you want to evaluate the print quality and item manufacture of Printful products before listing. In that case, you'll enjoy a 20% discount on all your sample orders, with a limit of three products in one bundled sample order per month. 

You can also significantly lower Printful's cost by leveraging the monthly discount scheme. The qualifying criterion is selling at least $1,000 of Printful's products monthly. The scheme offers tiered discounts ranging from 5% to 9% off standard Printful product prices based on your monthly sales volume, providing more significant savings as your sales increase. When ordering customized print products for your business through Printful, you can take advantage of bulk order discounts for items such as team t-shirts, posters and logo-printed mugs. This volume discount starts from a minimum order of 25 products, with discounts ranging from 5% to 55% based on the specific product. Customized branding and packaging options also attract a fee. You should review Printful's pricing on its website to stay updated with current pricing.

Printful User Experience

Printful offers a user-friendly experience with its intuitive interface and easy-to-navigate features. From product customization to order management, the platform provides a seamless workflow for users. Its integration with popular e-commerce platforms simplifies syncing and pushing products to online stores. With a wide range of products and printing options available, users have the flexibility to create unique designs and tailor them to their specifications. The primary account dashboard features a left-side menu for easy access to key tools and settings. At the same time, the right side allows you to configure and edit them as needed. The dashboard features a file library, which makes for easy organization and tracking of uploaded design files, which is especially beneficial for managing many files when creating multiple products.

The product catalog boasts a diverse selection of 343 customizable products covering six categories of printable goods ranging from men's and women's clothing to accessories, homes and living. When you select an item in each category to add to your store, you'll find a wide range of product colors, sizes, estimated delivery times, pricing and reviews from previous customers. Reviews provide valuable insights on product quality, fit, print quality and recommendations. The transparency of such reviews sets Printful apart from competitors. Printful also allows you to search for an item based on the manufacturer, with around 30 brands, including renowned names like Adidas, in their clothing product lineup. Leveraging the reputation of established brands like Adidas in your product descriptions can add perceived value and allow for higher pricing, enhancing the appeal of your online store. Printful offers a best-in-class user experience and is highly recommendable.

Printful vs. Competitors

Printful has a few competitors like SPOD, teelaunch and Printify, all of which are efficient POD platforms incorporating dropshipping. SPOD's 200+ product catalog and four built-in integration make it a weaker competitor than Printful, with 343 product catalogs and 22 integration.              Teelaunch also has the option to ship from Australia, which is excellent. However, the platform seems built strictly for Shopify and lacks robust integration, plus with 65 products, its catalog is limited. Printify is the closest competitor to Printful. With 850+ products, its catalog beats Printful. However, unlike Printful, it only integrates with nine e-commerce platforms. Furthermore, unlike Printiful, Printify charges a monthly subscription and outsources its printing work to a third-party printing facility. Printful remains one of the best tools for on-demand services and creative dropshipping.  

Overall Rating

Printful offers a unique and comprehensive solution for POD services. With easy-to-use design tools, users can seamlessly create customized designs. Its zero minimums and upfront costs allow cost-effective production as products are made on demand. The quality assurance process, including automated checks and in-house inspections, ensures that products meet high standards before being shipped to customers. Printful's transparent pricing and shipping rates at the point of purchase allow users to calculate costs easily and set competitive prices for their products. 

The availability of sample orders and bulk pricing discounts allows users to assess product quality and save on larger orders. The Printful Academy offers valuable resources and courses on various topics, enhancing users' knowledge of marketing, e-commerce and design trends. Customer support is responsive and accessible through 24/7 live chat, offering assistance in multiple languages. The comprehensive help center, including articles and video tutorials, provides users with detailed information and guidance for using Printful. However, there is a potential for order delay.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you really make money with Printful?


Yes, it is possible to make money with Printful through its print-on-demand services.



Do I need a license to sell on Printful?


No, you do not need a license to sell on Printful.



Do customers pay for shipping through Printful?


It depends on the merchants. Some may pass the shipping cost directly to customers, while others may include it in the price.

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