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What is Printful?

Printful is a print-on-demand (POD) dropshipping service that allows you to access everything you need to start selling custom accessories and items online. There are currently more than 200 Printful products, and the list is growing daily. It now includes T-shirts, leggings, dresses, backpacks, phone cases, pillows, coffee mugs, etc.

Printful also provides a customized retail service for customers who just want to buy some personalized items for themselves. However, they are well-known for their seamless dropshipping services.

Printful allows online store owners to make serious money in the E-commerce industry without worrying about fulfillment or manufacturing a single product. All they have to do is merely provide Printful with their custom designs, logos, or artwork, and Printful will take care of the rest.

This platform is free to set up and has no monthly fees or minimum order requirements. It can easily integrate into your online store as it is available for multiple E-commerce platforms, including Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce.

Besides, Printful is even there to help you get started, with easy-to-understand lessons that guide you through everything you might want to know. That includes tutorials about the dropshipping model, on-demand printing services, and creating a digital empire.

printful

How Does Printful Work?

It all starts with creating your own design. It can be anything from a PNG picture for a phone case to a tagline or drawing for any part of a t-shirt, jacket or other item of clothing. It is important to follow Printful guidelines while making a design file in order to achieve the best print quality.   Printful allows customizing design placement on the product through interactive visualization software directly in the order menu. Simple designs, such as a slogan on a t-shirt, can be created and customized directly in the Printful dashboard. For more complex prints it is possible to upload a design file and customize its placement on the product. 

The production process starts only after payment is made. Printful will take care of production and shipment.  

The great part about Printful is that it takes all the hard production and logistics part of the business and automates it to the extent that you can forget about it and concentrate on creating designs all day long. There are many designers out there who are currently working to create design assets such as fonts and illustrations. They sell these design assets through websites like creative market or as a part of a design bundle at a huge discount.

With Printful these designers can get another source of steady income – by simply creating a Shopify store. Integrating designs into end-customer products and selling directly to the end consumers allows designers or creative entrepreneurs to make higher returns. For example, selling a t-shirt at $30 to the end customer may cost you just $15 in Printful costs and shipment. It means that your profit before taxes is $15.

Moreover, you do not have to pay anything upfront. Everything can be done after your client orders a product with your design. Just use incoming cash flow from your customers to pay for product printing and shipment after the client makes payment. Even though item production starts after a customer makes an order, it does not mean that customers will have to wait very long to receive the ordered item. Most clients will receive the ordered item within 2 weeks’ time after purchase.

Printful has production plants with equipment both in the United States and Europe. Because of that, they can produce items closer to the end customer and significantly reduce shipment costs. Of course, modern online retail giants like Amazon may deliver an item within 3 business days. However, 2 weeks is still considered reasonable by most consumers.

printful review

Printful’s Features & Services

What they provide sellers extends far beyond just their product offering and standard dropshipping services. Those are both a huge part of what makes their service so valuable but they also offer other tools and resources that enable sellers to set up their stores more easily, create more beautiful products or just generally help sellers use Printful’s service to its fullest extent.

Printful Products

Printful’s product offering falls mainly within the apparel, homeware, and accessories categories and every product they offer can be printed on. Their product offering currently includes:

•    T-Shirts/Tops

•    Hoodies

•    Leggings

•    Skirts/Dresses

•    Posters

•    Framed Posters

•    Canvases

•    Coffee Mugs

•    Hats

•    Throw Pillows

•    Tote Bags

•    Phone Cases

•    Socks

•    Beach Blankets

For more information about their products and product pricing, check out Printful’s Custom Products page. If you’re interested in dropshipping a product that you don’t see offered on Printful yet, check out their Upcoming Product & Features page to see if it’s coming soon. They listen to their sellers and they add new products regularly, so if there’s a product you want to see just let them know via their New Feature Requests page.

Printful Printing Options

There are several different printing methods but the ones that Printful sticks to are Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing as it’s a cost and labor effective way to print single order items (and the reason why they don’t require minimum orders), but they also offer all-over sublimation printing for some clothing items, screen printing in some cases (for large orders only) and embroidery for hats and coming soon for apparel.

When it comes to printing, Printful makes it easy for you. You don’t have to worry about picking the best printing method for the item you’re printing on, every product offered on their website is printed in the way that best suits the product, so you don’t have to research different printing methods and their pros and cons, Printful’s got it covered.

Check out Printful’s Printing FAQ page for more information and answers to commonly asked questions.

printful shipping

Printful WareHousing, Shipping & Fulfillment 

As Printful provides a dropshipping service, there’s no need for you to ever handle or manage any of the product or inventory, and you don’t handle the packaging, shipping, or fulfillment aspects either. Printful stores, prints, picks, packs, ships, and fulfills every product, so you never have to.

This is why dropshipping is such an attractive business model for entrepreneurs who are starting their first store or don’t have a large budget to invest in product inventory or manufacturing tools. It provides a low-risk way for sellers to provide great products to their customers, and it allows sellers to focus on other aspects of their stores such as the designs, branding, customer service, or marketing without having to worry about the technical side of things like printing products and shipping them.

This does, of course, mean that you’re paying for Printful’s services and for providing warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment in order to make it a low-risk business model for you. While you don’t pay for their service in monthly fees or minimum orders, your profit margins will be affected and will be smaller than if you were manufacturing products yourself. This disadvantage is not exclusive to Printful, it applies to the dropshipping business model as a whole. It is, however, an important aspect of dropshipping to keep in mind so you can prepare your margins accordingly.

Printful WareHousing & Fulfillment for Ecomerce Stores 

Printful also offers a warehousing and fulfillment service where they’re able to store, pick, pack, and ship products on behalf of merchants — they don’t even have to be Printful products! Printful has created a sophisticated network of shipping, fulfillment, and logistics solutions that they now hire out to merchants who need access to these resources.

With this service, you can store products sold at either your ecommerce store or their warehouse and they’ll fulfill your orders and ship your products directly to your customers under your own brand name. This is an ideal option for ecommerce merchants who don’t want to handle shipping and fulfillment themselves or don’t have the resources to operate a shipping warehouse, or even don’t have the expertise to create an efficient and cost-effective global shipping strategy. If this sounds like a service you need, learn more about Printful’s Warehousing and Fulfillment Services for Ecommerce Stores here.

Printful Branding Services 

As one of the many services Printful provides beyond just offering great products and a fulfillment service, they also offer design and branding services to help you take your business to the next level

Printful Disclaimer 

One of the biggest problems with dropshipping via another company is that your branding can come under compromise. Without being able to use branded packaging or adding small touches such as packing inserts or branded receipts, you’re losing out on a majorly important aspect of building your brand. Printful has recognized this hardship and offers a few branding options to help make it more personable between you and your customers. Their branding options include:

•    Brand stickers to use on shipping boxes

•    Inner shirt labels

•    Outer shirt labels

•    Customizable return address

•    Packing inserts

These options help detract from the impersonal impression that dropshipping can give and helps to maintain your brand consistency from your website to the products your customers receive. To learn more about the branding services Printful offers, check out this page.

Printful Design Services 

Printful’s experienced team can also help you with the design requirements you might need to get your ecommerce store off the ground. Not only can they help you prepare print files for Printful products, but they can also help you with any other design needs like redesigning logos, creating sublimation print files, color-matching print files, making minor adjustments to print files, creating new graphics, creating custom artwork and more. Even if you’re launching on other platforms like TeeSpring, Society6, or Kickstarter, the Printful design team can assist you with the creation of any designs, artwork, or graphics you need.

This is an ideal service for the ecommerce merchant who has an idea of what designs they want to print on their products but aren’t sure how to bring it life or the store owner who wants to outsource the artwork creation process so they can free up some time to handle other aspects of building their business. With Printful’s dedicated design team you’ll be in good hands, so if this is a service you might require, check out Printful’s Design Services page here for more information.

printful products

Printful Ecommerce Platform Integrations 

Printful integrates with the most commonly used ecommerce platforms, and installation for most of these platforms is easy and fast. Integrating Printful with your ecommerce store means that you don’t have to manually handle each customer’s order and submit them to Printful yourself. When you integrate Printful with your ecommerce platform each time your customers place an order it automatically gets sent to Printful so you don’t have to handle it at all. This means that orders get sent to Printful immediately and there’s no chance of losing the order or making a mistake on the order details throughout the transition.

Printful integrations are available with these ecommerce platforms:

•    Shopify

•    BigCommerce

•    WooCommerce

•    Amazon

•    Etsy

•    Big Cartel

•    Storenvy

•    Gumroad

•    Tictail

•    Ecwid

•    Weebly

•    Inktale

•    Shipstation (which acts as a 3rd party app to connect to platforms Printful can’t otherwise integrate with such as Squarespace, PrestaShop and more)

•    Alternatively, you can connect your store to Printful via an API integration

For more information about the platforms Printful integrates with and comparisons of each one, check out Printful’s Ecommerce Drop Shipping Integrations page.

Printful Helpful Tools & Resources 

As we’ve mentioned before what makes Printful such a valuable service to use is that they’re committed to not only providing great service through their product offering and fulfillment responsibilities, but they go the extra mile to help sellers use Printful to its fullest extent.

The tools and resources Printful provide to help their sellers sell better include:

•    Printing Tips: They provide plenty of articles that are easily accessible through their homepage to help sellers understand the different printing advantages and disadvantages such as DTG print file transparency, fabric facts, sublimation printing facts, garment printing facts, and information on how to create embroidery files.

•    Mockup Generator: Use their mockup generator to apply your designs digitally to their products to either get a sense of what the finished product will look like or to create product images for your ecommerce store.

•    Profit Calculator: As we’ve mentioned, the dropshipping business model inherently means you’ll be working with slim profit margins, so use their profit calculator to determine exactly what your margins will be for each product so you can budget your markup accordingly.

Samples: In order to sample items for yourself or test out their products, they provide discounted product and shipping prices to sellers.

•    Checklist: Check out their checklist to help you set up your store with Printful in the quickest and most prepared way possible.

•    Blog: Printful’s blog is a valuable resource to go to if you’re interested in learning more about their products, services, integrations, or how to actually build your store the way you want it. They’re experts on their products and services, so if you need any more information about what they do, check out their blog posts.

•    YouTube Channel: For video walkthroughs and demonstrations, check out their active YouTube channel to learn more about their products, how their products are created, new product or service offerings, and more.

printful mockup

Printful Pricing and Discount with Coupon Code

One of the greatest things is that Printful does not charge any upfront cost. Basically, users sign up for an account, start designing their items and merge everything with their existing online stores – all for free.

You may be wondering, where does Printful make money?

This all depends on how much a user orders. Once an order is made, the retailer charges his/her customers and then Printful charges him/her for the products and shipment fee to fulfill the customer’s order.

Whatever is leftover after Printful’s charges the seller is the profit. Retailers can set their preferred profit margin, it’s all up to them.

It can be simply understood by using this formula:

Let’s imagine an example: You are selling a basic T-shirt which costs $7.95 USD per product. Your customer location is within the US.

Here is how much your customer needs to pay:

•    Product cost: $7.95 USD

•    Shipping cost: $3.99 USD

•    Your set-up profit: $6 USD

•    Final cost = $7.95 USD + $3.99 USD + $6 USD = $17.94 USD, in which Printful’s charge is $11.94 USD (= $7.95 USD + $3.99 USD)

Please note that the shipping fee would be changed based on the customer’s location and the number of products in a package.

Printful also has a favorable pricing scheme for adding additional products to an order

To expand on the example, the first product costs $3.99 and from the second product, you will be charged $1.25 for each additional item. In case of orders with different products, the shipping rate will be based on the product which has the highest rate.

To help their users stay on track with this calculation, the Printful shipping rate is transparently published on its website. At the same time, they offer a calculator option for retailers to set up a selling price, and preview the potential profit.

All of these tools allow users to determine the profit margin for each product. Printful recommends that store owners keep the profit margin at 30%, at the very lowest.

Pricing for paid services such as warehousing, branding or creative services, can be easily found on Printful’s website. These include a number of extra options you may want to apply for your custom print products, such as inside/outside label, embroidered logo, or other custom options which cost more.

One of the best things that Printful offers is free logo printing on the shipping slip, which allows stores to promote their brand names to customers. It is a unique feature which is not provided by many POD platforms, despite being a great way to grow a business’ image.

Any Printful user can access its free customer support. The company offers telephone, email, live chat or send a contact form options for help. There are Printful communities on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube where you can join and communicate with other members or chat directly with the admin team as well.

printful reviews

Final Words

Printful is an excellent service for those who would like to take advantage of the cheap and efficient dropshipping model. With it, you can design the products yourself and sell them to the different parts of the world without worrying about how to do it. 

Expect quality prints every time, without needing your printers and other hardware. Printful blows the competition out of the water with its supreme quality and fast shipping.  

I recommend Printful to the store owners looking to try custom printing and dropshipping. There are three things: the product quality is an industry leader, it is easy to use, navigate, and link to your store and you receive welcome samples of your items. 

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