Is Printful Worth it? Print on Demand Review (2023)

Is Printful Worth it Header

Artists and designers are always looking for ways to make some extra money. Could Printful be the answer? It’s been a popular print-on-demand platform for years, but is Printful worth it? This post will provide you with an answer.

Printful is worth it if you have an existing audience already eager to buy your products. Printful is especially useful if you have existing traffic to your website or e-commerce store, and if you have an optimized Etsy store.

If you want to know how Printful works for small business owners and creatives, keep reading.

(I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this post. However, I only promote products I like and recommend)

What Is Printful And How Does Print-on-Demand Work?

Printful is a print-on-demand company that enables individuals and small businesses to sell custom-designed products online.

Printful works on a dropshipping business model, meaning it handles all the upfront costs, inventory management, and shipping. That frees you, as the designer, can focus on creating your designs and promoting your online store.

Here’s a brief overview of how Printful works:

  1. Product Design: You create your own designs and apply them to any of the wide range of products available on Printful. This could be anything from t-shirts and phone cases to tote bags and posters. Printful’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use, allowing anyone to upload their designs with ease.
  2. Sales Channels: Once your products are designed, you can list them on your own online store. Alternatively, Printful integrates with all the popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Squarespace, Amazon Marketplace, and many more.
  3. Fulfillment: When a customer places an order from your store, Printful automatically receives the order details. They print the product, package it with your own brand labeling (white label), and ship it directly to your customer. You don’t have to deal with the product at all.

In effect, Printful provides you with a low-risk way to sell high-quality products with your own custom designs. It’s a service that takes care of the production and logistics.

Your job is to be the designer and the salesperson.

I follow Ryan Hogue on Youtube. He is a great communicator and knows his subject very well.

Read this post if you’re not sure: Is Udemy Worth it? Pros and Cons For Creatives 2023

What Service Does Printful Offer?

Printful offers a suite of services and features designed to make selling custom products online as straightforward and easy as possible.

  • Product Personalization: Printful allows you to put your own designs on high-quality products. You can choose from a wide range of products. Popular products include art prints T-shirts, phone cases, mugs, and tote bags, but there’s so much more.
  • Branding Options: With Printful, you can establish your own brand. The platform offers white-label services, meaning your products can be shipped with custom labels and packaging featuring your logo.
  • Shipping: Printful takes care of shipping, offering a variety of options to suit different needs. They ship worldwide, and the shipping cost is included in the Printful pricing. They also offer tracking for all orders, so both you and your customers can monitor the delivery process.
  • Integration: Printful integrates seamlessly with popular e-commerce platforms and marketplaces. This makes it easy to manage your Printful account, products, and orders from your e-commerce store.
  • Warehousing and Fulfillment: In addition to print-on-demand, Printful offers warehousing and fulfillment services. If you have your own inventory, you can store it in Printful’s warehouses and they will fulfill your orders.
  • Customer Support: Printful has a dedicated support team that can assist with any issues or questions. They offer multiple channels of communication and prompt response times.

These are just a few of the key services and features that Printful offers. The platform is designed to provide a comprehensive solution for anyone looking to run an online shop selling custom products.

Printful’s Printing Options: Choosing the Right Fit

Printful offers a variety of printing options, each suited to different types of products and design needs. These options ensure that your designs are reproduced to the highest quality.

  1. Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing: This is a popular method for printing intricate and colorful designs on clothing. DTG printing can reproduce a wide range of colors and details, making it ideal for complex designs.
  2. Embroidery: Printful offers embroidery for a variety of products, including hats, apparel, and bags. This method provides a high-end look and is perfect for simple, less color-intensive designs.
  3. Sublimation Printing: This method is used for phone cases, mugs, and other ready-made products. Sublimation printing allows for vibrant, full-color prints that cover the entire product.
  4. All-Over Printing: This technique is used for seam-to-seam printing on clothing items. The design is printed on fabric, which is then cut and sewn together to create the final product.
Printful t-shirt mockup with a lion drawing print
One of my drawings on a Printful mockup

Printful’s Product Range Overview

Printful offers a wide range of products that can be customized with your own designs. This allows you to diversify your offerings and reach a broader audience.

  1. Apparel: This includes t-shirts, hoodies, leggings, swimwear, and more. You can choose from various materials and styles to suit your brand and customer preferences.
  2. Accessories: Printful offers a wide variety of accessories such as phone cases, tote bags, hats, and backpacks. Everything can be customized with your designs as additions to your product lineup.
  3. Home Decor: You can create custom home decor items like posters, canvas prints, pillows, and blankets. These products allow artists and photographers to benefit from selling on Printful.
  4. Lifestyle Products: Printful also offers everyday lifestyle products such as water bottles, mugs, notebooks, and even pet products. These items can be a fun and practical way to showcase your designs.

Each product category offers various customization options, including different materials, sizes, and colors. This flexibility allows you to create numerous products that reflect your brand and appeal to your target audience.

Print Quality Control at Printful

Printful has a reputation for making high-quality products. Their commitment is evident in their printing and manufacturing process.

  1. Print Resolution: Printful uses advanced printing technology to ensure high-resolution prints. This means your designs will appear clear and detailed on the final product. They also provide guidelines for file resolution to ensure optimal print results. Min 150 DPI, Max 300 DPI
  2. Color Accuracy: Printful strives to reproduce your designs with accurate colors. However, it’s important to note that color representation can vary slightly due to factors such as screen calibration and the material of the product. Submit sRGB files
  3. Durability: Printful ensures that the prints are durable and can withstand wear and tear. For instance, their Direct-to-Garment (DTG) prints can withstand multiple washes without significant fading. However, the longevity of the print can also depend on how the end customer cares for the product.
  4. Quality Control: Printful has a dedicated quality control team that checks each product before it’s shipped out. This ensures that the product meets its quality standards and that the print is just as you intended.
Mockup - Man in a Printful T-shirt
One of my drawings on a Printful mockup

How Ethical is Printful?

Sustainable practices are increasingly important. Printful recognizes this and has made commitments to operating responsibly.

Printful has a dedicated sustainability team that works on various initiatives to reduce the company’s environmental impact. They are continuously exploring ways to make their operations more sustainable, from the materials they use to their manufacturing processes.

One of the ways Printful demonstrates its commitment to ethical standards is through its choice of suppliers. They work with suppliers who share their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. This includes ensuring fair labor practices and safe working conditions.

In terms of product materials, Printful offers eco-friendly products in its catalog. This includes items made from organic or recycled materials. They are also working on expanding their range of eco-friendly products.

Furthermore, Printful is committed to reducing waste in its production process. They use printing technologies that minimize waste and are exploring options for recycling excess materials.

In terms of shipping, Printful uses packaging that is either recyclable or biodegradable. They are also working on a program to offset carbon emissions from shipping.

While Printful is making strides in its ethical and sustainable practices, it’s clear that they view this as an ongoing journey. They are continuously working on new initiatives and improvements to further their commitment to sustainability.

Designing Products With Printful

The Printful platform provides a variety of tools and resources to help you create products that reflect your brand and appeal to your customers.

Printful’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can upload your own designs and see a mockup of how they will look on the product. This allows you to tweak and perfect your design before it goes to print.

The platform supports 2 file formats for your designs, PDF and PNG. They do support JPEG files for embroidery but don’t recommend it because the quality is reduced. Printful provides all the guidelines on file resolution to ensure your designs look great on the final product.

One of the standout features of Printful is the mockup generator. This tool allows you to see how your design will look on different products and colors. You can even generate lifestyle mockups, showing your products in real-life settings.

In addition to uploading your designs, Printful also offers the option to add text and clipart directly in the mockup generator. This can be useful for creating simple designs or adding finishing touches to your products.

Overall, Printful provides a comprehensive set of tools for designing products. Whether you’re an experienced designer or a beginner, the platform makes it super easy to create and upload products that you can sell.

Offering Product Personalization: Customization

Product personalization can enhance the customer experience and increase the perceived value of your products. Printful offers features that allow you to provide personalization options to your customers.

With Printful, you can offer products that customers can customize with their own text, designs, or images. This can be particularly appealing for products like tote bags, phone cases, and apparel.

The platform provides guidelines on how to set up personalization for your products on Shopify, Woocommerce (Your own website), and Etsy. You can specify which parts of the product can be personalized and provide instructions to your customers on how to submit their customizations.

Once a customer submits a personalized order, Printful handles the rest. They print the product with the customer’s customizations and ship it directly to them. This process is seamless for both you and your customer.

By offering product personalization, you can differentiate your e-commerce store from others and provide a unique shopping experience. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and potentially increase repeat business.

I’ve written a few posts about Etsy you will find helpful:

Branding Options and Packaging

Establishing a strong brand identity is crucial for any business, and Printful offers several services to help you achieve this.

  1. Custom Branding (White Label): Printful allows you to add your own brand labels to your products. This means that when your customers receive their orders, they see only your brand, not Printful’s. This enhances the perceived value of your products and strengthens your brand identity.
  2. Packaging: Printful offers custom packaging options. You can add your logo, brand colors, and other branding elements to the packaging. This ensures that your brand is the first thing your customers see when they receive their order.
  3. Packing Slips: You can customize the packing slips that are included with your orders. This can include your logo, a personal message to your customers, or any other information you want to share.
  4. Return Address: The return address on the packages can be your business address, not Printful’s. This helps maintain the illusion that the products are coming directly from your business.

These branding options can help you create a cohesive brand experience for your customers, from the moment they place an order to when they receive their product.

You can get help with your POD business on Domestika.

Never heard of Domestika? Read this: Is Domestika Worth It? The Pros and Cons (2023)

Shipping Products with Printful: Reliability

Shipping is a critical part of the e-commerce process, and Printful offers a comprehensive solution to ensure your products reach your customers efficiently.

  • Global Shipping: Printful ships products worldwide. This allows you to reach customers no matter where they are located.
  • Shipping Times: The shipping times vary based on the product and the destination. However, Printful provides estimates for their shipping times, helping you set accurate expectations with your customers.
  • Shipping Costs: Shipping costs are included in the Printful pricing. The cost depends on the product and the destination. Printful offers a shipping calculator that you can use to estimate the shipping costs for different scenarios.
  • Tracking: All orders shipped by Printful come with tracking. This allows you and your customers to monitor the progress of the delivery.
  • Returns: Printful handles returns and complaints related to the product or shipping. This takes the burden off your shoulders and ensures a smooth experience for your customers.

By handling all aspects of shipping, Printful allows you to focus on designing products and growing your e-commerce store.

Warehousing and Fulfillment Services on Offer

In addition to print-on-demand, Printful also offers warehousing and fulfillment services. This can be particularly beneficial if you have your own inventory or if you sell products that are not part of Printful’s product range.

  • Warehousing: You can store your products in Printful’s warehouses. They offer storage space in various locations around the world, allowing you to store your products closer to your customers.
  • Fulfillment: When you receive an order for a product stored in a Printful warehouse, Printful will pack and ship the product for you. This includes products that are not part of Printful’s product range.
  • Inventory Management: Printful provides an inventory management system that allows you to track your stock levels and sales. This can help you manage your inventory effectively and avoid stockouts or overstocking.
  • Returns Management: Printful also handles returns for products stored in their warehouses. They will inspect returned items, restock eligible items, and handle communication with the customer.
Printful map of warehouse and fulfillment centers around the world.

By utilizing Printful’s warehousing and fulfillment services, you can streamline your operations and focus more on your core business activities.

Printful Pricing: Costs and Profitability

Understanding Printful’s pricing structure is essential for determining your potential profitability.

Here’s how it works:

  • Product Cost: Each product on Printful has a base cost, which includes the product itself and the printing. The base cost varies depending on the product and the printing options you choose.
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping costs are added to the base cost. The shipping cost depends on the product and the destination. Printful offers a shipping calculator that you can use to estimate the shipping costs.
  • Additional Services: Services like warehousing and fulfillment, and branding options like custom labels or packing slips, come with additional costs.
  • Profit Margin: Your profit is the difference between the price you sell the product for and the total cost on Printful. You have complete control over your retail prices, so you can set them to achieve your desired profit margin.

One of the benefits of Printful is that there are no monthly fees or minimum order requirements. You only pay for the products you sell, making it a low-risk way to start or expand your e-commerce store.

Mobile Apps: Management On-The-Go

To make managing your e-commerce store even more convenient, Printful offers a mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices.

The Printful mobile app allows you to manage your Printful account on the go.

Here are some of the things you can do with the mobile app:

  1. Order Management: You can track your orders, see their status, and get notifications when orders are shipped. This helps you stay on top of your order fulfillment and provide timely updates to your customers.
  2. Product Management: You can add new products to your store directly from the app. You can also edit existing products, including their descriptions, pricing, and images.
  3. Store Management: The app allows you to manage multiple stores if you have more than one e-commerce platform connected to your Printful account.
  4. Customer Support: If you have any issues or questions, you can contact Printful’s support team directly from the app.

The Printful mobile app is a handy tool that can help you manage your e-commerce store more efficiently. Whether you’re away from your desk or just prefer using your phone, the app gives you the flexibility to run your business from anywhere.

Customer Support Experience

Printful offers multiple channels of communication and tries to resolve any issues promptly and effectively.

  • Support Channels: You can reach Printful’s support team via email, live chat, or phone. This gives you the flexibility to choose the method that is most convenient for you.
  • Response Times: Printful has 24/7 support. Their response times can vary depending on the channel and the volume of inquiries. Simple inquiries are generally answered within a couple of hours.
  • Support Resources: In addition to direct support, Printful also offers a variety of resources to help you use their platform. This includes a comprehensive Help Center with articles and guides, as well as video tutorials and webinars.

Overall, Printful is committed to providing great customer service and ensuring that you have the support you need to successfully run your e-commerce store.

Printful Review: Trustpilot Ratings and User Feedback

Evaluating a service like Printful involves considering various factors, from the ease of use and product quality to pricing and customer service.

Here’s a brief Printful review based on these criteria:

  • Ease of Use: Printful’s user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it simple to design products, manage your store, and track orders. Their design tools, mockup generator, and integration with popular e-commerce platforms contribute to the overall ease of use.
  • Product Quality: Printful is committed to delivering high-quality products. Their advanced printing techniques, quality control measures, and choice of durable materials all contribute to the overall product quality.
  • Pricing: Printful’s pricing is transparent and straightforward. While the costs may be higher than some other print-on-demand services, the quality of the products and the range of services they provide can justify the price.
  • Customer Service: Printful offers excellent customer support, with multiple channels of communication and a dedicated support team. They also provide a wealth of resources to help you make the most of their platform.
  • Trustpilot Ratings: User reviews and ratings for Printful are generally very positive. 68% of users rate Printful as excellent and a further 9% rate them as good. That means 77% of users have a happy experience.

Getting a high customer satisfaction score on Trustpilot is no mean feat in this industry. You must bear in mind that a higher proportion of people will complain about an experience rather than compliment one, so there is a built-in negative bias from the start.

It’s a great sign of the company’s ethos and service that they reach out to each customer complainant and attempt to resolve the issue. That’s impressive.

Printful FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions related to Printful:

What is the cost of setting up a Printful account?

Setting up a Printful account is free. There are no setup fees or monthly fees. You only pay for the products you sell.

What are the bestselling products on Printful?

The bestsellers are listed on Printful. If you’ve read the article they are the usual suspects. Unisex T-shirts, caps, hoodies, tote bags, mugs, posters, fanny packs, backpacks, stickers, and phone cases. There are more when you check their page

Who owns the designs?

You retain ownership of your designs when you use Printful. They are your own designs, and Printful does not claim any rights to them.

How profitable is Printful?

Your profitability with Printful depends on several factors, including your retail prices, the cost of the products on Printful, and your business expenses. Printful provides a profit calculator that you can use to estimate your potential profits.

Does Printful check for copyright infringement?

Printful has a policy against selling products with copyrighted designs. However, they do not actively check for copyright infringement. It is your responsibility to ensure that your designs do not infringe on any copyrights. They wrote a good article about it here

This is my guide for you: Can You Copy Art and Sell a Painting of a Painting? I Found Out

Can I use Printful if I don’t have an e-commerce store?

Yes, you can use Printful even if you don’t have an e-commerce store. You can create products on Printful and then share the product links on your social media or other platforms.

What are the alternatives to Printful?

There are plenty of alternatives to Prinful, the main rival is Printify. It competes on price, not quality. 

  • Printify: Similar to Printful, Printify offers a wide range of products and integrates with popular e-commerce platforms. Their network of print providers can provide a variety of options for production. Printify outsources its printing.
  • Teemill: Known for its commitment to ethical trading, Teemill offers sustainable and eco-friendly products with a focus on apparel. They emphasize transparency and environmental responsibility in their manufacturing process.
  • Teelaunch: With a user-friendly interface, Teelaunch provides a range of products and services similar to Printful. They offer integration with various e-commerce platforms and competitive pricing options.
  • Printed Mint: Specializes in unique and customizable products, including home decor, accessories, and stationery. They offer a variety of design options and have a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship.
  • Gooten: is a print-on-demand platform that offers a wide selection of products. They focus on fast production times and competitive pricing, making them suitable for businesses looking for quick turnaround.

These alternatives provide different features, product offerings, and areas of specialization. Considering these options can help you find the print-on-demand service that aligns best with your specific needs and business goals.

This post will help too: 25 Platforms for Artists to Sell Their Art Online and Make Money

These are just a few of the questions you might have about Printful. For more detailed information, you can visit the Printful website or contact their support team.

Is Printful Worth it? Final Thoughts

Printful is a very good print-on-demand service that offers a wide range of quality products and services. =

Printful stands out as a reliable choice for print-on-demand services. Its commitment to ethical and sustainable practices further enhances its appeal.

Printful offers a lot of features and services, but it’s not a get-rich-quick solution. The seller keeps a fraction of the retail price. That’s understandable, the real costs are born by Printable.

All printing services have their limitations. You rarely get exact matches to the original. That is a fact of life and being precious about the integrity of the reproduction will prevent you from scaling your business.

It must be pointed out, that the quality of your printing is directly related to the quality of the file. Even professional scans will not guarantee perfect results, that’s why you must order sample (proof) products before offering them to the public.

This post tells you how to print your art: How to Make Prints of Your Art: A Complete Printing Guide (2023)

If you want to make a higher profit margin you’ll have to make and sell your own products. I’ve done that in the past, and I can tell you from experience, that it takes over your life. Fine if that’s what you want, not so great if you would rather just do the creating..

Overall, I have no problem recommending Printful as a great way to supplement your income

This is how I made a living for over 20 years. You can too, simply copy what I did – No hidden secrets

If You Want to Sell Your Art

Check this out!

Psst…it’s only $12.99!

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The artist and Author Kevin Hayler

Hi, my name’s Kevin and I’m a real person!
I’ve been selling my wildlife art and traveling the world for over 20 years, and if that sounds too good to be true, I’ve done it all without social media, art school, or galleries!
I can show you how to do it. You’ll find a wealth of info on my site, about selling art, drawing tips, lifestyle, reviews, travel, my portfolio, and more. Enjoy