The main difference between Printful and Printify is that Printful has more integrations and custom branding options. In contrast, Printify has multiple suppliers and more product variants, such as color and size.
We're going to cover those now, as well as give you a rundown of what their strengths and weaknesses are.
If you want to decide which service is best for your ecommerce business, keep reading!
But before diving into that, let's review what a print on demand supplier is.
What is a print on demand supplier?
A print on demand supplier serves as your backend fulfillment partner.
On-demand product fulfillment services enable you to connect your ecommerce store to their website. Whenever someone buys from your site, that order is sent to your POD supplier for printing and to start the order fulfillment process.
This means that your POD supplier also takes care of the warehousing of the products. This way, you won't need to keep any inventory yourself. (Which is the same as a dropshipping store)
Most POD companies make that part easy for merchants like you by creating dedicated apps for popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify. (And even online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon)
Here's an example of what that will look like:
Knowing which supplier is the best can be challenging, so we'll look at two of the most successful POD suppliers anyone can work with for free: Printful and Printify.
But which one fits your business? Printify or Printful?
Let's find that out now!
What is Printful?
Printful is a print on demand company and fulfillment business that helps you design and ship print products to your customers.
Printful offers products with customized plans to customers in every location. They now have over 280+ print products in their product catalog for your online store.
Including products like:
- Clothing (like t-shirts, hoodies, socks, and leggings)
- Tote bags
- Different kinds of accessories
- And even pillows!
As you can see, the variety of their products will give you plenty of ideas on what to sell in your POD store.
Quick facts about Printful
- Team size: They're currently the largest and most successful supplier with fulfillment centers worldwide. (And have a 1.7k+ team of people working for them)
- The number of online stores that use Printful is over 120,000!
- Supported integrations: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and more! Plus, they have a Printful API.
The pros of Printful
You may have already heard about the good things about Printful, so here's why they're true.
When 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 will most likely have a problem if there is one.
This is huge in understanding why Printful is pretty successful. There's hardly any miscommunication, 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 – $83.7 million towards printing equipment, to be exact. They treat the investment very seriously, and the quality that comes from it is a promise they can keep.
For example, here's their 3-step quality control check before they ship orders:
- Their automated software checks graphics for quality before fulfillment, and their AI tool evaluates if the image needs any adjustments before printing.
- Fulfillment specialists check quality while orders are being fulfilled.
- They run a final quality check after the blank product is customized.
Sustainability is another factor that plays a role in their printing success. The eco-friendly equipment means the process is clean and ethical to keep themselves and your products around for a long time.
They also have excellent tools like the mockup generator that you can use to create mockups to ensure your designs look as you want them to look.
And you can create a product template; these are reusable templates for a product.
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 to 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.
They also show you the shipping costs upfront, and you can easily track all your orders with their tracking page.
These sample orders let you test the quality of Printful's products and see how your designs look.
Tip: The great thing is that you can use these samples to create unique mockup photography and social media giveaways.
The cons of Printful
Even though Printful seems like a perfect unicorn, there are still a few cons. Let's look at Printful's shortcomings and how to 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 overwhelming 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, 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.
Many materials can be heavy-duty and form-fitting in their apparel type. 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 resemble any structures you see at an art gallery or 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, jade green, and oak brown have stopped and made people reconsider other alternatives.
Printify has a higher chance of this not happening because their multiple suppliers allow you to easily change to another one that may have the color, product, or size you're looking for.
Note: Ready to get started with Printful? Create your free account here!
What is Printify?
Their diverse production network and partners allow many suppliers to print and fulfill POD orders for their users.
Printify holds your orders and sends them to print suppliers of your decision.
Printify is a middleman between you and one of their many print partners. This means that they don't own any physical printing facilities or infrastructure. Instead, they outsource all those tasks to others.
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.
Quick facts about Printify
- Team size: They have offices in Riga and Tallinn and a team of over 650 people spread around the globe
- The number of online stores that use Printify is over 37,000!
- Supported integrations: Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and more! Plus, they have a Printify API.
The pros of Printify
Will Printify find the best POD supplier for you? Let's find out.
You can choose your print provider
With Printify, you are not anchored down to only one supplier. You have the option to switch print providers!
This is freeing when there's a size or a color you want to sell. Switching to different suppliers on the fly will allow you to experiment to find what is best for you, unlike what Printful can offer.
The 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.
Finding the right product that suits the lower price point can take some time, 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 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 testing a product yourself is strongly advised to know if 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.
For the product samples, they offer a discount on the base prices and a one-time subscription bonus of $29 that can be used to order samples – if you're subscribed to their premium plan.
A good thing to know is that their print providers cannot provide unprinted products (blanks) as sample products.
Sporadic shipping times
Printify has made a great effort to be transparent about the shipping time of the suppliers, but due to their location, it can be challenging to have a good shipping time.
For instance, due to suppliers worldwide, some only source unique products from countries like China, which can have a long waiting time for a customer in the US
However, they allow you to change your order once it is placed. (You can learn more here about editing your orders)
But note that, depending on the order’s stage of fulfillment, some changes may not be possible.
It 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 on the other hand, fully expands more creative ways to place your designs the way you want.
Printful also allows logos pack-ins to their package, whereas Printify does not.
Customer support quality can differ.
Since Printify uses many different suppliers to provide prints, their quality and professionalism can be other.
Usually, customer service can help remedy many problems, but Printify can have troubling experiences in this area.
Printify's customer service is a median between the suppliers and 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 there'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 it is something always to remember.
Printify usually offers refunds or other compensation types if something is wrong with the product. But they may answer slower than they should!
Note: Ready to get started with Printify? Create your free account here!
The premium pricing tiers of Printful and Printify
You most likely think about pricing when deciding on 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 and doesn't have any monthly fees.
However, there are two paid memberships available, which are Printful Growth and Printful Business:
Plus, some additional customization features, such as embroidery digitization and premium images, are paid for.
Is Printful's pricing plan right for me?
If you're beginning on a budget, you can use Printful for free and pay for your products and shipping.
When you start having success with your online store, you can sign up for the Printful Growth membership for $24.99 per month.
With Printful Growth, you can get up to 20% off DTG products and up to 30% off other categories, so you can earn back your investment with just four orders per month!
Printify is free, yet offers two additional plans:
- The Premium. This will cost you $29 each month or $24.99 whenever charged yearly)
- And the Enterprise plan. The costs depend on your business needs.
It is important to note that 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 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 different ways. However, Printify has a slight edge depending on the number of sales.
So, Printful or Printify?
Is there a clear winner? It depends on your needs!
It's promising to see how print on demand products are increasing in demand from the growth of these supplier companies.
Printful and Printify are the leading examples of this. Here's how they stack against each other:
Printful is best for you if:
- You want your customers to experience consistent quality instead of maximizing 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 in this article, it's a fact that 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 previous loyalty with a supplier, Printful has a bright future in being the first choice for many dropshippers, and we agree.
Printful is the most significant supplier to many and will likely be for you.
Compare other print on demand companies
Not sure yet if Printful or Printify is the right fit for your business? Check out our other comparison articles below:
And to compare more companies, visit the comparison hub!
Suppliers are the most significant part of any dropshipping business and can be the difference between success and failure.
The good news is they're easily changeable without any fees or contracts that could hold you down.
And if you're still second-guessing, know there are many more on-demand product fulfillment companies – like Print Aura and CustomCat.
You are the captain of your ship, and it's up to you to know where to steer it. Good luck!
Want to learn more about POD?
Ready to move your print on demand store to the next level? Check out the articles below:
- 15 Most Successful Print on Demand Store Examples
- The 14 Best Clothing Dropshipping Suppliers in 2023
- Is Print on Demand Still Profitable Today in 2023? Or Not?
- Dropshipping vs. Print On Demand: What Is the Difference?
Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a print on demand business guide here!