Printful and Printify are the two hardest-hitting print-on-demand platforms available today. If you’re having a hard time choosing between the two, Printful vs Printify, you’ve landed on the right post.
You might have seen a bunch of Printful and Printify reviews, and it’s easy to tell that these two are fierce competitors. Now that you’re here, you’ll learn that they are different in many aspects. The other is definitely going to be a better fit for your needs, so read on to find out which one it is.
I hope that you’ll have a clear idea of which POD platform will work best for you by the end of this post.
The Basics of Printful and Printify
Before I get into my in-depth comparison between these two platforms, let’s cover the basics. This should cover those who are in square one of their research.
What is Printify?
Printify is a POD network that collaborates with different print providers worldwide, which is why they’re able to dropship. With this service, you can create and customize products to sell or order merchandise for personal use. Printify will deal with the production process and shipping.
What is Printful?
Printful is a POD platform, as well as a warehousing service. Like Printify, you can make custom products with them or order for yourself or gifting purposes. Printful can foresee the creation, fulfillment, and shipping of your orders.
When you get down to brass tacks, they seem to work almost the same. However, I need to point out their key differences so that you can make an informed choice between both platforms.
I’ll get to those differences in a bit. For now, you might be wondering which platform is more popular? Which company gets more clients?
The short answer is Printful. Based on Google Trends, Printify hasn’t been able to expand its users as much in the last few years.
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Printful vs Printify: Pricing and Plans
Whether you want to start a business or make custom merchandise for personal use, pricing will always be one of your primary considerations. In this section, we’re going to talk about pricing plans. Are these platforms free, or do you have to pay to set up a store? Printful vs. Printify – let’s find out.
Printful is free to use. You don’t need to pay subscription fees or worry about fulfilling order requirements. However, some of its features are paywalled. To get exclusive access to background removal, premium images, digitization, and a lot more, you need to pay for their Pro plan, which costs $49 a month.
Choosing The Right Plan With Printful
If you’re only getting started, it’s nice that Printful is free to use. It’s realistic to expect you to make money off your online store with Printful’s free plan. When your business takes off, and the orders are coming in, you can switch to the Pro plan.
If you decide to try out the pro version, it comes with a 14-day free trial. It’s nice of them to allow users to test it out before shelling out the $49 a month.
In the Printful vs Printify fight, let’s go to Printify now.
Like Printful, Printify has a free version that everyone can enjoy. However, they also offer a Premium and Enterprise plan. Premium will cost you $29 a month, or you can lower that to $24.99 if you decide to pay for the whole year. Enterprise’s pricing will depend on what you need for your business.
Unlike Printful, you can’t get a free trial with Prinitify, which is somewhat of a disadvantage if you’re unsure about upgrading.
Choosing The Right Plan With Printify
Going for Printify’s free plan is great for beginners who don’t want to or can sell out some funds right away. Using the free version can get you a couple of sales per month, no problem. However, when the orders start rolling in, you may want to get on the Premium plan.
The Premium plan is best for those who can see their business going the distance. The main benefit of going premium is you get a 20% on all Printify products, which will save you more money in the long run if you have many customers.
Now, if your business starts getting a really high volume of orders, it’s time to get on the Enterprise plan. With the Enterprise plan, you get all sorts of custom integrations and features.
Which of the two is more cost-effective?
Printful vs. Printify – both are completely free to use, so you can pretty much get sales right away. If we look at the premium plans, I like that Printful offers a free trial.
I didn’t feel any pressure paying the fee because I could cancel the plan if I didn’t like it. The exclusive perks of Printul’s premium are hard not to love, though. It has special tools and carrier-based options. The only thing it doesn’t offer is discounts on products.
Printify, on the other hand, is cheaper, but its only significant benefit is the 20% discount. You just have to weigh that against other premium tools that you might need.
On which platform can you make better profits?
I’m sure your goal as a POD drop-shipping business owner is to meet the needs of your customers without overpricing, all while making as much profit for yourself. So what has better profit margins, Printful or Printify? We’ll figure all that out in this section.
First, let’s take a look at what Printful and Printify have in common. They don’t have many of the same products, but they do have the same manufacturers. For example, there’s Gildan and Bella+Canvas.
To examine both platforms’ profit margins, let’s compare their bestsellers. In this case, it’s the Bella+Canvas 3001 T-shirt. But before we start calculating costs, please note that the two main things you have to pay for on Printful and Printify are production and shipping.
On Printful, ordering and shipping the Bella+Canvas 3001 T-shirt to the US will cost $16.94. On Printify, it’s going to cost $12.82. Everything is pretty much the same when it comes to size, color, design, and shipping location. So it looks like Printify has a more considerable profit margin when shipping items to the US.
I assume that you don’t want all your customers to only come from the US. Well, what about countries? Of course, you want to be able to sell your products internationally.
[Maybe you want to try making masks on Printful? If so, watch below or click here].
Why do I have to calculate shipping rates for countries outside of the US?
Printful and Printify’s rates vary a lot when it comes to shipping to countries outside of the US. Let’s assume that the $4 difference between Printful and Printify’s US shipping rate is not that significant to most people.
I’m not going to cover shipping costs for all countries, so let’s take a look at India as an example. The production and shipping for the same Bella+Canvas shirt will cost $19.60 on Printful. In contrast, it’s going to cost $18.82 if you use Printify. As you can see, there’s even less of a difference.
I did the research for you and calculated the shipping rates of other various products and not just the shirt that we’re talking about. It turns out that Printful has better rates than Printify. I’ll tell you more about that in the Shipping section later on.
Printful vs Printify: which profit margin is better?
The short answer is: Printify’s production cost is cheaper, and there’s not much of a difference in shipping rates for the US. However, Printful has better international shipping rates overall.
What am I getting at? If you intend only to sell to customers primarily in the US, you’ll have a much better profit margin on Printify.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s move on to the next crucial aspect: print quality. It might be the most critical factor in this decision-making process.
Which Platform Has Better Print Quality?
I’m sure you only want to sell high-quality products to your customers. You probably also want your business to stand out from your competition. How do products turn out from both platforms? Which one is better?
Right off the bat, I’d have to say that Printful’s print quality is better than Printify’s. Why do I say that? Printful took the time to invest in top-notch printing equipment to do all their printing in-house. Printify, on the other hand, will outsource your orders to other printing services.
How much did Printful invest? They spent around $50 million on printing equipment. They did this so they can manufacture products themselves and ensure the standard of what they produce. This is the reason why Printful’s production costs are higher than Printify’s.
Printify outsources printing jobs to a network of printing manufacturers all over the world. In short, Printful is a print house, and Printify acts as a middleman between you and other print houses.
Printify doesn’t have quality control over the products that you order from them. Sometimes, you get good-quality prints. Other times, not so much. Some people complain about this fluctuation. If you happen to receive a bad batch of prints, the products tend to crack and fade after a couple of washes.
In short, you’d be sending mediocre products to your customers if a subpar print house handles your order. Don’t get me wrong – most of the time, you get high-quality prints from Printify, but not always because the company can’t guarantee it.
In contrast, Printful products are manufactured in their own factories. All orders go through the quality checking, so you know only high-quality products make their way to your customers.
Printful’s Investment Paid Off
It was a good business decision on Printful’s part to invest in top-of-the-line printing equipment and set up their own factories. By not having to outsource print jobs to other smaller companies, they can ensure the quality of products that come out of their factories.
You’d be much more confident knowing that Printful will not send mediocre products to your customers. Remember, you only get loyal patronage when your products are consistently high-quality.
The Matter of Branding
Around 60% of shoppers prefer to buy branded products, especially online. When was the last time you thought it was a good idea to buy some product with no branding at all?
Establishing an online business is not just about selling a couple of products. Those products have to be cohesive and under a unifying brand that buyers will recognize. Businesses fail because of a lack of branding, so do yourself a favor and work on yours.
It’s essential to choose a POD platform that includes a branding service for your products, so your business becomes more legitimate. The good news is, both Printful and Printify have a white-label service. They don’t leave marks on labels and packaging, so your products will entirely be your own.
Let’s take a closer look at how both services handle branding for business owners like you.
Branding With Printful
First, let’s talk about clothing since this is probably the most popular printable item. With Printful, you can add branding to the item’s inside label, outside label, and sleeve print. With hats, your logo can be printed on the front, back, or side.
Printful even goes as far as to let you personalize your products by adding packaging slips and pack-ins. How cool would it be to showcase your brand with custom packaging inserts?
Please take note that your logo must be in black and white for packaging slips. You’ll be asked to write a custom message to your customers, which Printful will print on the outside of the packages.
Naturally, branding is going to cost you extra. Here is a quick breakdown of Printful’s branding fees:
Label (inside and outside)
$2.95 per placement
Branding With Printify
Like I said before, Printify outsources printing jobs to other print providers. All of their partners, apart from four, will only let you print in two placements, front, and back. The four that will also allow you to print on sleeves are Merch Made Easy, SameDayPOD, OPT OnDemand, and Textildruck Europa. They’re also willing to print on labels, but only on specific t-shirts.
As you can see, working with Printify’s partners will be pretty limited. Plus, you don’t get branding options for hats and other apparel.
What about packaging? You can only put your store name but not your logo on the shipping label. You also can’t add custom messages, unlike Printful.
Lastly, you can’t be sure how much you’re going to pay for branding with Printify because it depends on the provider. On the other hand, Printful’s prices for branding services are fixed.
What’s the better choice for branding?
If you value branding and customization, Printful is definitely the way to go. You get many branding options at reasonable fixed prices. If you’re content with basic branding, Printify wouldn’t be so bad. It just really depends on the provider you’ll have to work with.
Your POD platform of choice should be able to handle orders from the time it’s made to the point of delivery. Please take note that order fulfillment time is not the same as shipping time. Fulfillment time on both platforms entails manufacturing and packaging your order. Shipping time refers to the physical movement of your package to the customer who ordered it.
So how long do Printful and Printify take before packages get shipped out? What are their methods?
How Printful Fulfills An Order
Printful uses two methods for order fulfillment, the POD model and the Warehousing & Fulfillment model. What’s the difference?
When it comes to print-on-demand orders, it will take Printful around 2-7 days to manufacture and pack apparel products. Non-apparel products will only take 2-5 days. With the warehousing fulfillment service, same-day shipping is possible as long as the orders were made by noon and only applies to items Printful has on hand. This means that they can only ship out orders on the same day if you already stored those specific items in their warehouse.
Having an inventory of your products in their warehouses is only available in the US for free. In Canada, you can only store pack-ins. In Europe, you can only hold items for a fee, and this fee is based on the size of your inventory.
Printful has warehouses in Los Angeles, Toronto, Charlotte, Riga, and Barcelona. You can choose where to store your items based on your location or the location of the majority of your customers.
How Printify Fulfills An Order
As I’ve repeated in this post, Printify outsources print jobs to other providers. What does this mean when it comes to fulfilling orders? Well, each provider has its own production time frame.
On average, orders made on Printify can take around 2-7 days for POD products, just like Printful. The downside with Printify is that they don’t offer warehousing services. The company has no need for storage facilities because they don’t actually print products themselves.
Who wins in terms of Order Fulfillment?
It looks like Printful is the winner here because they have warehousing and fulfillment services. However, if that doesn’t matter to you, there’s no difference in time frames between platforms regarding POD orders. If you’re only just starting out, there wouldn’t be a need to store items anyway.
All About Shipping
Shipping is separate from order fulfillment. In this section, I’m going to answer the top questions related to shipping, which are:
- Which platform ships internationally?
- What is the estimated delivery time for both platforms?
- What are the shipping rates for Printful and Printify, and how are these rates calculated?
So, do both platforms ship internationally? I’m happy to say that they do, but with a few exceptions. Printful does not ship to Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Crimea, and Syria because of legal reasons and carrier limitations.
Printify will not ship to Cuba, Iran, Central African Republic, Belarus, Libya, Burundi, Suda, Syria, North Korea, Somalia, and Zimbabwe.
Delivery Times With Printful
The estimated delivery time for Printful depends on the order destination. It averages at around 12 business days. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all countries. Packages may arrive sooner based on the location of the warehouse and the customer’s shipping address.
I did a little digging and according to their website, shipping times to the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe take around 3-9 business days. Shipping to places outside of these countries will take up to 10-20 business days on average.
However, when I tried it out myself, the Bella+Canvas 2001 t-shirt we talked about had an estimated delivery time of 10-18 days for customers in the US. According to the breakdown, it would take 2-7 days to fulfill the order and an additional 3-9 days for shipping.
I assume the estimated delivery times wouldn’t vary much for Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and European countries. When I tried shipping the exact order to India, the estimated delivery time was four weeks. It looks like shipments to the rest of the countries I didn’t mention will take 18-30 business days.
You can always use Printful’s shipping calculator to give your customers an accurate breakdown of how long your shipment will arrive at their doorsteps.
Delivery Times With Printify
Shipping times on Printify may vary quite a bit because you can choose among different print providers. These providers will have different shipping times and rates, but these will always depend on the shipment’s destination.
Right now, there are over 90 print providers that have partnered with Printify. One that is closer to your customers’ location might be able to fulfill orders faster, but you can’t be sure. I won’t go through the trouble of calculating estimated delivery times for every single one of Printify’s partners. We’d be here all day.
I suggest that you weigh shipping times for each provider on Printify’s shipping page. There, you can choose which provider can fulfill your orders more efficiently. I don’t want to leave you hanging, so I compared the shipping times of Printify’s most-used print providers. I hope this gives you a rough idea about how long shipments take on that platform.
Shipping to the US will take around 29 business days, just like Printful. However, shipments to Canada can take up to 15 days. Some providers will ship to Canada within seven days, so you just have to pick the right service. Orders outside North America will take around 10-30 days.
I did my research and looked at user ratings for these Printify print providers. I found out that it generally takes longer for these providers to handle international orders than Printful. It’s something to think about if you intend to sell products all over the world.
How Printful and Printify Shipping Rates Are Calculated
As you would imagine, both Printful and Printify calculate their shipping rates based on categories, quantity of products, and destination. Just remember that with Printify, shipping rates depend on the provider that’s covering your order.
Printful is much more reliable in this case because their rates are fixed. However, if you consistently work with the same providers on Printify, it takes the guesswork out of your orders. Shipping fees might even be lower for some Printify partners, although this is uncommon.
Which platform has better shipping times?
Printful wins this section just because their rates are fixed, and you don’t have to collaborate with third-party print providers. You might find one provider on Printify with impressive shipping times and rates, but it’s not the status quo.
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All About Integrations
Selling products online would be complete without some eCommerce integration. You need to be a legitimate part of the online marketplace to sell your print-on-demand products. The good news is, both Printful and Printify are integrated with third-party eCommerce platforms. But which one has more freedom? You’ll find out in this section.
Printful has integrated 21 eCommerce platforms, the most notable ones being Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, and Squarespace. You can set up a custom API with Printful as well.
Printify, on the other hand, only has seven major online marketplace integrations, which are:
You can also set up a custom API with Printify, but if you want to sell products outside of these seven platforms, you’re out of luck.
Which platform has better Ecommerce integrations?
Clearly, it’s Printful once again. Aside from being able to set up a custom API, you have a more comprehensive range of integration options on this platform.
Support For Users
You may have to contact the platform every once in a while if you need assistance. So what kind of customer support do Printful and Printify have? Are their customer services any good?
Well, you can get in touch with Printful through live chat, email, and by filling out a contact form. Printful also has a help center where you can read answers to common questions and get quick tips. I like that their help center features how-to guides and video tutorials too. So if you’re feeling a bit lost, you can also refer to their well-written guides.
On the other hand, you can only contact Printify through email. They also have a help center with some valuable articles, tips, and guides.
Which platform had better customer support?
I did some experimentation here. I contacted Printful and Printify’s customer support team to see which one will respond to me quickly. What are the results?
When I contacted Printful via live chat, it only took a few seconds for someone to respond to my query. Printify only has an email option, so I sent them a message. I got a response within a few minutes, which is not so horrible.
Maybe I got lucky this time. There are many reviews online, bashing both the platforms’ customer support.
I like the convenience of being able to chat with a customer service agent on the spot, but Printify didn’t take too long to respond to my email. For me, it’s a tie. Both have excellent customer support, and I’m sure you can figure most things out by visiting their help centers.
After writing all these sections, it’s pretty clear which one of these platforms is the clear winner. Printful is better than Printify overall. However, choosing between these platforms will always depend on what your business priorities and values are.
If you’d like another perspective, here’s another article from Printify’s perspective – see their Printful vs. Printify guide.
TLDR: The following is a quick recap to aid your decision.
Go for Printful if:
- Print quality matters a lot to you. Your products have to be consistent of high quality to gain loyal customers. However, you have to weigh print quality against less than optimal profit margins for sales within the US.
- You need speedy shipping times and rates. You want to make sure that your products get to your customers in a timely manner.
- Establish a brand. The best way to do this is by adding a lot of custom branding to your products to make them more recognizable. Slap your logo onto everything from the products themselves to the packaging.
- Large inventory of items and warehousing services are important for your business.
- You sell products across many eCommerce platforms and you need more integration options.
- Instant Customer Support is important to you.
Go for Printify if:
- You’re going to be selling products primarily to customers who live in the US.
- You’re willing to seek out print providers with better print quality, or print quality doesn’t matter that much to you.
- You don’t need to have your products stored elsewhere.
- A bigger catalog of printable products is necessary because you want to diversify what your business offers.
- You want to work with different print providers because you value collaboration.
- You only want to sell on Printify’s seven integrated platforms.
If you want my opinion, I’d always go for Printful just because they have a lot more options for customization. I also don’t want to have to work with different print providers and deal with varying qualities of products.
My only gripe about Printful is the higher production cost. I had to accept that my profit margins will be around $2-$5 less than Printify for every sale I make in the US. I’m more confident with a company that produces high-quality prints, and I’d much rather build by brand by offering the best products to my customers.
Sure, I may have better profit margins on Printify, but what about leaving my customers unsatisfied with my products? I don’t want to turn off people and make them not want to buy from me again. Besides, the difference in profit margins is very slight when it comes to selling internationally.
If you’re all about profit and you don’t care about selling prints that are likely to fade quickly, then I’d recommend Printify. Sometimes, it’s the better platform for some business models. There you go. I hope you have a much clearer idea of which platform to go with.