In this in depth Printful review we take a look at one of the leading Print on Demand providers in the industry, check out their products, services and have a walk through of the workflow to create product listings.
What is Printful?
Printful is a Print on Demand provider who will take care of all of your inventory and shipping requirements for you. This means you no longer need to hold any stock or spend hours going to the Post Office to send out your products as they act as the middle man:
They have a huge catalog of products, which means all you need to focus on is creating unique designs and creating the product listings.
Here’s just a sample of some of the products they offer:
- Coffee Mugs
- Phone Cases
So, what’s it actually like to use Printful? Here’s all you need to know:
Step 1 – Choose your Product
The first thing you need to do is choose which product you want to add your design to and for each product type they have a range of different options.
For example on the screen below you can see the range of T-Shirts they have available which vary in price, quality and style:
Step 2 – Configure Your Product
Here you simply need to upload your design and place it how you’d like on the canvas. There are also options to print on the back, the sides and on the labels.
This is also where you choose your color and size options.
Step 3 – Choose your Mock Ups
This is a pretty cool feature of Printful that other providers don’t give you. You get to choose the type of mock up you would like to use on your product listings and they have a range of options from simple flat lay images, to images with models and lifestyle shots:
Step 4 – Write your Product Listing
This is where you get to add your product title, description and tags all of which will get pushed to your platform where you are selling the shirt.
Another nice feature here is that Printful automatically generates a size chart image for the product listing.
Step 5 – Set your Prices
In this step you get to set your prices, which you can change per size and color if you like. The other neat feature that Printful has is the ability to mark up all of your prices by a certain percentage. For example I usually add a 70% markup to make sure all my costs are covered:
And that’s it…
Once you’ve gone through these steps the product will be created in your source platform eg Etsy, Amazon Sellers Central and as soon as an order is made, this will be printed by Printful and distributed to your buyer.
All you have to do is sit back and count the cash… well actually there’s a bit more to it than that as you’ll have the occasional customer service issue, but it’s pretty simple really.
You can fulfil all of your orders manually, so any time you get an order you could go into the Printful interface and create an order, choose the product and add your customer address etc, however, you can also fully automate this, which is where the integrations come in handy.
Printful offers a big range of integrations, the main ones being:
There’s a little bit of work to set these integrations up in the first place but once you’ve done this, it takes away so much of the pain of processing orders manually.
Printful’s Bad Points
Out of Stock Products
I’ve had it a few times when their products go out of stock, which means you’ve got a bit of a problem when someone purchases a product from your shop.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen too often.
Express Shipping is a Crazy Price
Occasionally you’re going to get someone who needs their product as soon as possible. There is an option with Printful for expedited shipping but usually it costs something crazy like $20 per item, which most of your customers won’t go for unless they are really desperate!
This is probably the most annoying issue I have with Printful. For some orders they will send the product out within the first day or two but other orders can take up to 7 – 10 days, which is really frustrating and not a lot you can do about this either.
The only way to protect yourself is give your products longer delivery times, which will reduce your competitiveness.
Even though Printful have a pretty awesome range of products, the baseline cost of some of these products make it difficult for you to be able to sell this and make a decent margin as well.
For example, a standard Truckers cap will cost you about $20 + Shipping from Printful. If you take into account the fees from your selling platform as well, you’re looking at a baseline cost of almost $30 for a simple cap, so it’s going to be difficult to make a lot of money from some products.
Printful’s Good Points
Personally I prefer the Printful interface over any of the other Print on Demand providers. As we’ve seen it’s pretty clean and easy to use and you can quickly upload products.
One killer feature they have is a live chat, which seems to be in operation most of the time. Whenever I’ve had an issue with a missing order, or a question about my account then they have usually responded within minutes and have been able to resolve the issue.
I use Amazon Seller Central to sell some of my products and Printful has an integration directly with them which makes selling products via Amazon really easy to do.
Printify for example, don’t have this integration.
If you’re looking for a low cost shirt to start selling your designs on then you can’t get a lot better than the Gildan 64000 which they sell at $8 a shirt + about $3 for shipping. That’s a pretty competitive price and I’ve had no issue with the quality of the shirt.
Mock Up Generator
The mock up generator is a really useful feature and they keep adding new options to this as well. This means that you don’t need to mess around creating your own mockups for each product you create and will save you a heap of time.
You can have a play around with their mock up generator here
My Printful Review Summary
I think if you are new to the Print on Demand world and you want a really easy to use low barrier to entry provider then Printful is an excellent choice.
Be careful which products you choose, and make sure you really understand your margins before you start adding loads of products.
I’ve used Printful for years selling the Gildan 64000 T-shirt, which I would still highly recommend as an entry level shirt.
Printful Review Video
If you’d rather watch a video with bit more info and a full walkthrough then check out the vid below: