We’re going to cover those now, as well as give you a rundown on what their strengths and weaknesses are. If you want to make an informed decision about which service is best for your store, keep reading!
But before we dive into that, let’s go over what precisely a print on demand supplier is.
What is a print on demand supplier?
A print on demand dropshipping supplier serves as your backend fulfillment partner.
POD fulfillment services enable you to connect your ecommerce website to their website, and whenever someone buys from your site, that order is sent to your pod supplier for printing and fulfillment for you.
Here’s an example of how that will look like:
It can be challenging to know which supplier is the best, so that’s why we’ll be looking at two of the most successful POD suppliers anyone can work with for free: Printful and Printify.
Are you ready? Let’s learn about Printful first.
What is Printful?
Printful is a print on demand supplier and fulfillment business that helps you design print products and ship them to your customers.
They have over 280+ print products to make your online business store. Printful offers products with customized plans to customers in every location.
They’re currently the largest and most successful supplier in the world. Why? Let’s learn by looking at its pros and cons!
The pros of Printful
You may have already heard about the good things about Printful, so here’s why they’re true.
When you’re working with Printful, you know everything they do for your business is in-house.
This means no other businesses you have to manage also means that they most likely will have a problem if there is a problem.
This is huge in understanding why Printful is pretty successful. There’s hardly any miscommunication within, and everything is under the same roof.
Printify outsources to many suppliers, and they can’t keep track of it all, so there will be some that don’t meet the quality of Printful – or hardly at all!
Printful has the most reliable track record because of the all-in-house approach to delivering print products.
Fantastic print quality
A big plus over Printify is the consistent quality of the printing on your products.
Printful has invested a lot of money – $50.3 million towards printing equipment, to be exact. They treat the investment very seriously, and the quality that comes out of it is a promise they can keep.
Sustainability is also another factor that plays a role in their printing success as well. The eco-friendly equipment means the process is clean and ethical to keep themselves and your products around for a long time.
Printful has warehouses to print and ship your designs in Mexico, the US, and Europe. Unlike Printify, which is US-based only.
This means the shipping times will be faster by a couple of days with Printful, which is enormous by today’s shipping time expectations.
The competition is noticeably slower because of this. Printful can be transparent about its fulfillment and shipping times, so you always know where the product is.
The cons of Printful
Even though Printful seems like a perfect unicorn, there are still a few cons. Let’s take a look at Printful’s shortcomings and how you can avoid them as much as possible.
Cluttered user interface
The Printful website has a standard navigation menu that’s easily accessible and shares information you would typically find.
Once you go through the dashboard system, there becomes an overwhelming amount of info from Printful’s blog to their in-house services and challenges.
Since this is a lot to take in, finding what you want to do can be difficult. If you don’t want to see information about their blog, then you have to get used to it because there’s no customizability in what you want to see.
While Printful will give you consistently high quality in their products, this comes at a higher price.
A lot of the materials can be heavy-duty and form-fitting in the type of apparel they use. Higher costs can mean lower profit margins which can make you not profitable.
Other notable qualities are in the art prints. Shatter-resistant frames and acrylic finish means they’re built to last and look on par with any structures you see at an art gallery or art museum.
Product shortages and discontinuations
While Printful boasts an impressive catalog of products, sizes, and colors to choose from as an all-in-house supplier, there is the chance one of your biggest sellers can be discontinued.
This means it will no longer be printed or supplied. It happens not too frequently, but enough to take note of. Products like dog apparel and jade green and oak brown have stopped and made people reconsider other alternatives before.
Printify has a higher chance of this not happening because the multiple suppliers they use allows you to easily change to another one that may have the color, product, or size you’re looking for.
What is Printify?
Printify is a mediator to different printing suppliers for your print on demand dropshipping business.
Their network and partners allow a massive assortment of suppliers to print and fulfill POD orders for you. Printify holds your orders and sends them to print suppliers of your decision.
They’re the second-largest supplier for dropshipping print on demand products. This is mainly due to their unique way of sourcing suppliers and allowing access to the most specific products.
The pros of Printify
Will Printify find the best POD supplier for you? Let’s find out.
You can choose your printing provider
With Printify, you are not anchored down to only one supplier. This is freeing when there’s a size or a color you want to sell.
The ability to switch to different suppliers on the fly will allow you to experiment to find what is best for you, unlike what Printful can offer.
Prices are a bit lower
While your experience can vary depending on the supplier, the average supplier from Printify will cost less than Printful.
This means you can have a higher profit margin or lower your prices to be more affordable.
It can take some time to find the right product that suits the lower price point, but it can be well worth it.
Many printing products to choose from
Printify adds about six new products to choose from every week.
This means there’s always something to look forward to for the latest styles and variants, such as color or size, to try out.
This is a big plus if you want to be the cutting edge or innovating with your shop.
The cons of Printify
Printify being the second-largest supplier, may seem like there’s a reason for that. Let’s find out!
Print quality can differ at times.
A setback of having access to so many different suppliers from Printify is the quality can be hard to predict and rely on.
This is why it’s strongly advised to test a product to yourself to know the shipping, packaging, and print product meets your expectations.
As you may guess with the lower pricing of products, this comes with lower quality made. Printify doesn’t investigate too much in every supplier’s catalog. So please do your research before selling to your customers.
No transparent shipping times
Printify doesn’t detail the fulfillment time that is added on top of the shipping time. This can be useful to know so your customer doesn’t get surprised if a shipping delay happens.
Printful is far more transparent in its fulfillment and shipping time by showing when fulfillment will begin and when it will be shipped.
Does not have a lot of customization in branding products
One of the biggest reasons people choose a supplier is their ability to provide your designs the way they want them on a product. For example, it is to have a plan that goes across the entire sleeve.
Printify does not allow that, unlike Printful, which fully expands more creative ways to place your designs the way you want. Printful also allows logos pack-ins to their package where Printify does not.
Customer service quality can differ
Since Printify uses so many different suppliers to provide prints, their quality and professionalism can be other.
Usually, customer service can help remedy many problems, but unfortunately, Printify can have troubling experiences in this area.
Printify’s customer service acts as a median between the suppliers and its customers. While there’s a benefit for your needs to be met, they also have to consider their supplier if there is a problem.
This means that’s always a chance Printify will side with the supplier over you regardless of the situation. Your experience may differ because the support is a case-by-case observation but something to always keep in mind.
Printify does usually offers refunds or other types of compensation if there is something wrong with the product. But they may answer slower than they should be!
The premium pricing tiers of Printful and Printify
Pricing is what you most likely think about when deciding the best supplier for you. It makes you want a profit margin to be worthwhile and sustainable – or else you don’t have a business!
There are two things to look over at the pricing of Printful vs. Printify:
- The set-up costs
- And the pricing plan that works best for you.
Which pricing plan is ideal for you?
Printful is free to start with no contract or hidden fees. They offer a Pro plan that costs $49 per month, allowing you to use premium services such as free digitization, premium stock photos, and background removal in images.
Is Printful’s pricing plan right for me?
In case you’re beginning, the free plan of Printful will be the right choice for you, and when you start having success from your online store, then you can choose to pick the Pro plan.
Although, Printful offers you a 14-day free trial of their Pro plan so you can test it out before finding out if you genuinely need the services on this plan.
Printify is free yet offers two additional plans:
- The Premium (costs $29 each month or $24.99 whenever charged yearly)
- And the Enterprise plan (costs relies on your business needs)
Important to note, Printify doesn’t offer a free trial for its premium plans, unlike Printful.
Is Printify’s pricing plan right for me?
By looking through the benefits of each Printify’s plan above, you’ll better understand which method is ideal for you.
To make it further clear for you, here are our thoughts so you can pick the right one for your business:
Printify free plan
For most people, including you, the free plan of Printify is the ideal choice if you’re starting out and not getting any or have a couple of sales each month.
Printify premium plan
The higher plan of Printify is an alternative for you if you are getting a lot of sakes and will continue to run your POD business on Printify as long as possible.
The primary reason for the higher tier plan is that you get a 20% markdown on all items from Printify.
Final thoughts on pricing plans
There isn’t a better supplier in this comparison. They both have choices that are better than one another in a different way. Depending on the number of sales, though, Printify has a very slight edge.
Printful’s Pro plan offers a free trial and a few premium services, choices, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg; however, it doesn’t offer discounts on print products.
While Printify’s Premium plan is on par with Printful, they don’t offer a free trial. The clear advantage of this plan is the 20% markdown on all print products.
So, Printful or Printify?
It’s promising to see how print on demand products are increasing in demand from the growth of these supplier companies.
Printful and Printify being the leading examples of this. Here’s how they stack against each other:
Printful is best for you if:
- You rather want your customers to experience a consistent quality instead of maximizing your profit margins.
- You want the best shipping times a supplier can have.
- You want the most integrations available.
- You want to build a brand that needs custom branding options.
Printify is best for you if:
- You don’t want to be limited to a single supplier for everything.
- You want the highest amount of profit margins.
- You want access to more products and their variants, such as color and size.
If you want to save it for later – check out our infographic below:
While those two have their strengths to succeed, product quality is the top-level factor that helps sales.
From the points we’ve said before in this article, it’s a fact Printful has a significant edge over Printify in product quality.
Printful is the biggest in the print on demand industry. The organization has been around since 2013, while Printify came in 2015.
From a realistic view, Printful has a faster and more transparent shipping time. Combined with the superior print quality, which is the strongest, many dropshippers want to hear.
Unless you have a previous loyalty with a supplier, Printful has a bright future in being the first choice to many dropshippers, and we agree.
Printful is overall the most significant supplier to many and most likely will be for you as well.
Suppliers are the most significant part of any dropshipping business and can be the difference in success or failure.
The good news is they’re easily changeable without any fees or contracts that could hold you down.
You are the captain of your ship, and it’s up to you to know where to steer it. Good luck!