Last Updated: June 6, 2021
Having a hard time choosing between Printful vs Printify? Don’t despair, you’ve landed on the right article.
Printful and Printify are two leaders and fierce competitors which is why you might find it hard to make the right decision of choosing between two quality POD options.
Although both are quite big names in the print-on-demand industry but it’s important to know that they are very different in many aspects.
In this article, I am going to explain all of the differences I found that are critical for you to know so you can make the absolute right decision of choosing between Printful and Printify.
Since it’s a detailed comparison, here’s a quick table of content:
- Pricing & Plans
- Which One Has Better Profit Margins?
- Print Quality
- Order Fulfillment
- Customer Support
By the end of this comparison, you will know exactly which POD platform to choose based on your individual needs.
Introduction To Printful & Printful
Before starting our in-depth comparison of the two most popular print-on-demand platforms, it’s important to cover the necessary information about them.
However, if you already know the basic information about both platforms, you can skip this part and move to the next one.
What is Printful And How Does It Work?
Printful is a print-on-demand and fulfillment warehousing company that lets you create and sell custom products online or order for yourself or gift someone and they will handle the production, fulfillment, and shipping.
What is Printify And How Does It Work?
Printify is a drop shipping print-on-demand network that works with different print providers around the world, allowing you to create and sell custom products online or order for yourself. They will handle the production, fulfillment, and shipping process.
Both seem to work almost the same, but there are some important differences that you should know before choosing the one between Printify and Printful. Don’t worry, I am going to cover them in the upcoming sections.
However, as I said at the beginning of the article that both are the leading print-on-demand companies but you may be wondering, which one is more popular among Printful and Printify?
The short answer is, Printful. It is more popular and attracting more clients than Printify.
To get an idea of how popular Printful is compared to Printify, take a look at their Google Trends graph to analyze their popularity over the last five years (Printful in blue):
Pricing & Plans
Pricing is the most important consideration when choosing any platform, and that’s perfectly understandable.
So here I am going to cover:
- Are both platforms free or do they charge money for setting up the store?
- Which pricing plan is right for you?
Firstly, let’s talk about…
Printful is completely free and there are no subscription fees or minimum order requirements. However, it offers a Pro plan which costs $49 a month, allowing you to gain exclusive access to background removal, free digitization, premium images, and more.
Which plan is right for me if I decide to use Printful?
If you’re just getting started, the free plan of Printful will be the most suitable and right option for you and once you start making a good amount of money from your online store then you can decide to choose the Pro plan.
However, Printful offers you a 14-day free trial of their Pro plan so you can test it out before spending your hard-earned money on this plan.
Printify is free but offers a Premium and Enterprise plan. The Premium plan costs $29 per month or $24.99 if billed annually, whereas the Enterprise plan pricing depends on your business needs.
Please note, unlike Printful, Printify doesn’t offer a free trial for its premium plan.
Which plan is right for me if I decide to use Printify?
By taking a look at the main features of each Printify’s plan above, you’ll have a better idea of which plan is right for you.
To make it further clear for you, let me give you my recommendation so you can choose the right one for your business.
Printify Free Plan
For most users including you, the free plan of Printify is the perfect option if you’re just starting out and not getting any or a few sales per month.
Printify Premium Plan
The premium plan of Printify is the right option for you if you are getting tons of sales and will keep doing your POD business on Printify for the long term.
The main benefit of the premium plan is that you get a 20% discount on all products from Printify. Here’s an example.
Printify Enterprise Plan
This plan comes with more advanced features than the premium plan and best for high-volume businesses that want custom integration and features.
Pricing & Plans – The Verdict:
It’s a tie! Both are completely free to sign up and start selling right away. However, in terms of premium plans, both have some ins and out when compared to each other.
Printful’s premium plan offers a free trial and exclusive access to premium content, tools, carrier-based shipping options, and more but it doesn’t offer discounts on products.
While Printify’s premium plan is cheap as compared to Printful but they don’t offer a free trial and the one and only major benefit of this plan is the 20% discount on all products. That’s it!
Which One Has Better Profit Margins?
As a print-on-demand drop shipping business owner, you want to make as much profit as you can without overpricing the products for your customers, right?
But, how do you know, which POD platform is cost-effective and lets you make more profit margins by selling items?
Don’t worry! I’m going to cover exactly that here, with practical examples. Let’s do this.
Printful and Printify don’t have many similar products except manufacturers such as Gildan, Bella + Canvas.
To give you an idea of what you can expect from Printful and Printify in terms of profit margins, we’re going to compare their Bella + Canvas 3001 T-Shirt which is the best seller on both platforms.
Before calculating the cost, please keep in mind that there are two main costs whenever you order an item from Printful or Printify:
- Production costs: This cost is almost fixed.
- Shipping costs: This cost depends on the customer’s location.
With that being said, let’s calculate the total cost of ordering Bella + Canvas 3001 from Printful and the shipping location will be the USA.
As you can see, the total costs is $16.94 USD :
Now, let’s calculate the total costs of ordering the Bella + Canvas 3001 from Printify and the shipping location will be exactly the same.
The overall cost for ordering that exact T-Shirt model from Printify is $12.82 USD , as you can see:
I kept the color variant, size, design, shipping address, everything the same and Printify seems to let us make more profit margins than Printful when selling to customers in USA.
But, Wait! We just calculated the shipping rate for the USA but what about the other countries? Since not all of your customers are going to be from the United States if you’re thinking of selling worldwide.
Why am I calculating the shipping rates of both for other countries?
Because there’s not a significant difference in shipping rates between Printful and Printify when shipping to the USA but they have very much difference in shipping rates for other countries.
Please note, it’s not possible for me to cover the cost of shipping this item to all the countries in the world.
However, to give you an idea of their shipping rates for other countries, we’ll be calculating the cost for shipping that exact t-shirt to India. Sounds good?
Let’s calculate the cost of ordering Bella + Canvas 3001 to India from Printful. So, I just calculated the total cost and here it is:
On Printful, the total cost is $19.60 :
- Production cost: $13.61
- Shipping cost: $5.99
In contrast, Printify’s production cost is $8.82 for Bell + Canvas 3001 and it charges $10 for shipping to India. The total cost is $18.82 .
Huh, not significance difference when shipping to India 🤔
This means that Printify’s production cost is cheaper than Printful’s production cost but Printful has better shipping rates for almost all the countries.
Now, you may be wondering: Arslan, how can you say Printful has better shipping rates for almost all the countries?
Because I calculated the shipping rate of different products (not just Bella + Canvas 3001) for many countries and found that Printful has better shipping rates than Printify.
I’ll cover more on the shipping rate for different countries and categories in the shipping section below.
Profit Margins On Printful & Printify – The Verdict:
Overall, the production cost of Printify is cheaper than Printful and there’s not a significant difference in shipping rates between both platforms for the USA.
In contrast, Printful has better shipping rates than Printify for almost all the other countries.
In short, you’ll have a better profit margin on Printify when primarily selling to the USA customers, whereas there will be not a significant difference in profit margins when selling outside the USA.
However, profit margins should not be the only factor to consider when choosing between Printful and Printify. In my opinion, print quality is the most important factor to consider, so let’s talk about it.
Which Has the Better Print Quality?
To stand out from the competition and make your customers happy, your products must be in better print quality than the rest.
Let’s take a look at how Printful and Printify compare when it comes to print quality.
- Printful invested so much in printing equipment.
- Printful does all printing in-house, whereas Printify outsources your orders to different printing manufactures.
Printful roughly invested $50.3 million in printing equipment and they manufacture the products and do everything by themselves to get your products looking awesome with high-quality print.
In fact, this is the reason why the production cost of Printful becomes expensive than Printify’s production cost.
On the other hand, Printify invested nothing in printing equipment because they outsource your orders to a network of different printing manufacturers. Basically, Printify acts as a “middleman” between you and the print house.
Since Printify didn’t invest in printing equipment so they don’t have quality control over the products.
In contrast, Printful prints the products in their factories so all orders go through their quality check before shipping to you.
Besides all that, the print quality of Printify’s products fluctuates, sometimes you get good print quality and sometimes average because of different manufacturers printing your products.
Another common complaint about Printify’s print quality is that some of their apparel products crack and fade after washing for a couple of times and the actual colors don’t look as it was before.
Don’t get me wrong – Printify’s print quality is also good but we simply can’t deny that it can’t compete with Printful’s printing quality in the long run.
For more details, watch this video comparing t-shirts from both companies after 6 months of purchase and more than 10 washes:
Around 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from brands because they feel safe and comfortable especially when purchasing online.
Before starting your POD business, you should think of building a real brand in your business, not just an eCommerce store with a bunch of products without focusing on branding.
Without good branding, even the best businesses would seem dull.
So it’s really important to choose the POD platform that offers better branding service for your products and packages to build your brand identity.
But, the question is: Do both Printful and Printify provide white-label service?
Yes, both are white-label companies which means that there will be no branding of them anywhere on any packaging, products, labels, or inside their shipment’s packaging.
Great! But, what are the branding options both platforms provide you and which one should you choose when it comes to branding?
Let’s find out, starting with…
Printful lets you add inside label, outside label, sleeve print on both right and left sides on clothing products so you can sell under your brand.
For hats, it allows you to put your design or logo on the front, back, or the side.
Besides, Printful allows you to personalize your products with branded packaging slips and pack-ins so you can showcase your brand with custom packaging inserts.
For packaging slips, you have to upload your logo but remember the logo must be black or white and write a custom message for your customers and Printful will add it to the outside of most of your packages.
To visually look at what I just said, watch out this video:
Please keep in mind that each branding costs you additional money. Let me break down the pricing of Printful’s branding services:
- Inside and outside label: $2.49 per label
- Short sleeve: $2.49 per sleeve
- Long sleeve: $5.95 per sleeve
- For Hats: $2.95 per additional placement
- Packaging slips: Free
- Pack-ins: $0.50 per pack-in added to an order, however, it is available only for orders fulfilled in fulfillment centers that offer warehousing services.
- Front and back: One side (front or back) will be printed without any additional cost and if you want to add a design on both sides then you’ve to pay $5.95 for that additional placement
For more details about Printful’s branding services, click here.
Printify, on the other hand, relies on different print providers for adding branding to their orders. All of their partnered print providers (except four) lets you add print only on two areas, Front and Back.
Currently, only Merch Made Easy, SameDayPOD, Textildruck Europa, and OPT OnDemand offer other branding options such as sleeve left and right. However, Merch Made Easy offers you inside and outside labels as well but only for few t-shirts.
The downside of choosing between these print providers is that you can only select between them for branding, no matter what happens but there are some other print providers which are better than these three.
Other than that, these Printify’s print providers don’t offer branding options for hats and other clothing products except few t-shirts.
When it comes to packaging, Printify allows you to add your store name (as text, not your logo) and ship from the address on the shipping label.
However, unlike Printful, they don’t support to add custom messages for your customers on the shipping/packaging label.
Wondering how Printify’s shipping label looks like? See the sample below.
Please note, the pricing of Printful branding services is fixed and they clearly mentioned their branding cost, whereas Printify’s branding cost is not fixed because of different print providers and they didn’t clearly mention the cost.
However, based on my calculation, I found that Printify branding services such as right sleeve print, left sleeve print, inside and outside label cost around $3 – $6 per additional placement.
Branding – The Verdict:
No doubt, Printful is a better option for you in terms of branding because it has a large volume of custom branding options for leggings, hoodies, hats, and more at reasonable prices.
On the other hand, Printify has very few print providers that provide branding services but still, their branding options are quite limited.
The order fulfillment is the process of receiving, processing, and delivering/shipping an order to a customer.
It’s important to understand that the order fulfillment time is independent from shipping time on Printful and Printify. Both are separate operations.
- Order fulfillment is basically the time Printful or Printify takes to manufacture and package an order.
- Shipping is the physical moving of that order from the order fulfillment center to the customer.
In short, Order fulfillment + Shipping time = Delivered to customer
So here we’re going to discuss the order fulfillment process and the next section will be about shipping time, process, rates and more.
With that being said, let me explain:
- How long does the order fulfillment of Printful and Printify’s print providers take before it gets shipped out?
- What are the fulfillment methods?
First, let’s talk about the order fulfillment of Printful.
Printful Order Fulfillment
Printful offers two models for order fulfilment, the Print-on-demand model and Warehousing & Fulfillment model.
The estimated time for print-on-demand order fulfillment is 2-7 business days for apparel products, and 2-5 business days for non-apparel products.
Whereas, the warehousing fulfillment service offers same-day shipping for orders that have been submitted by 12PM but this applies to orders containing only warehouse items that you already stored.
Please note, for warehousing facility you’ve to store your inventory at their warehouses which is available only in the USA, CA (pack-ins only), and Europe and there is a monthly storage fee for this service, the fee is based on size and quantity of your stored items.
Printful has warehouses in these countries where you can store your inventory:
For more details about Printful’s warehousing service, visit their Warehousing & Fulfillment service page, and definitely watch out this video for more details on order fulfillment:
Now coming to Printify’s order fulfillment.
Printify Order Fulfillment
As we discussed many times in this article, Printify outsources your orders to different print providers so the order fulfillment depends on the print provider you choose.
Each print provider has different production time.
However, the average order fulfillment or production time of Printify’s print providers is 2-7 business days from the order submission date for print-on-demand products.
So in terms of order fulfillment for print-on-demand orders, there’s no difference between Printful and Printify because both range somewhere between 2-7 business days.
Unlike Printful, it doesn’t provide you warehousing and fulfillment services, in fact, they outsource your print-on-demand orders to third-party manufacturers and vendors.
Order Fulfillment – The Verdict:
Both platforms take similar business days for order fulfillment of print-on-demand orders. However, Printful takes the lead because of warehousing facilities. Thus, in terms of order fulfillment, Printful is the winner.
As we discussed earlier in the “Order Fulfillment” section that the order fulfillment and shipping are independent from each other.
And now I am going to cover:
- Do both Printful and Printify ship internationally?
- What is the estimated delivery time of Printful and Printify?
- What are the shipping rates for both platforms and how they are calculated?
Let’s start with the first question:
1. Do both Printful and Printify ship internationally?
Yes, both ship orders internationally except few countries.
Printful ships to all countries except Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria due to legal restrictions and carrier limitations.
In contrast, Printify also ships your orders internationally except few countries such as Burundi, Belarus, Cuba, Central African Republic, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Zimbabwe.
2. What is the estimated delivery time of Printful and Printify?
Printful shipping time depends on the order destination, however, their average shipping time is 12 business days. The 12 days are just an average and this doesn’t apply to all countries.
However, I calculated the shipping time of Printful for dozens of countries and here’s what I found:
- For US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and European countries, the shipping time is 3-9 business days on average.
- For rest of the world, the shipping time is 10-20 business days on average.
At the time of writing, it is 28th March of 2021 and for ordering that Bella + Canvas 3001 t-shirt to USA, Printful gives me an estimated delivery time from April 7 to 13 during checkout.
Hence, the Printful’s estimated delivery time is roughly 9-15 business days (2-7 days for fulfillment + 3-9 days for shipping) for customers in the USA.
However, you can expect almost same delivery time for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and European countries as well.
On the other hand, customers in the rest of the world will get their orders in 18-30 business days (2-7 days for fulfillment + 10-20 days for shipping).
As you can see, Printful gives me an estimated delivery time from Apr 12–May 3 for shipping that exact order to India and it is almost the same for other worldwide countries except for the (USA, Canada, etc.).
To calculate the shipping time by yourself, you can do it through Printful’s shipping calculator.
Now, let’s cover the estimated shipping and delivery time of Printify.
Printify shipping time depends on the print provider you choose because each print provider has different shipping time and rates but just like Printful, their shipping time also depends on the order destination.
There are 90+ print providers on Printify and many of them have significant differences in shipping time for worldwide orders.
So it’s not possible for me to calculate the estimated delivery time of Printify because I don’t know exactly which print provider you will choose for your orders.
However, you can find out the shipping time and rates for each print provider from Printify’s shipping page.
Bye the way, I compared the shipping time of Printify’s top print providers to get a rough idea of their shipping time.
And, here’s what I found:
- For shipping to USA , most of the print providers has a shipping time of 3-9 business days , same as Printful.
- For Canada , the average shipping time is usually 10-15 days but a few print providers ship your orders to Canada within 2-7 business days.
- For the rest of the world , the shipping time is usually 10-30 business days .
As you can see in the slide as well:
3. What are the shipping rates for Printful and Printify and how they are calculated?
For both Printful and Printify, the shipping rates are calculated based on the order destination, categories, and the quantity of products.
Printify relies on different print providers and each print provider has different shipping rates and time.
Printful, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on print providers and has its own standard shipping rates which are fixed and calculated based on various categories and shipping destinations.
Let’s get to know Printful shipping rates for each category and country.
So overall, if we compare the shipping rates of both POD platforms, Printful definitely has better shipping rates in most cases.
However, in some cases the shipping prices of Printify might be low depending on the print provider but I checked out most of their print provider’s shipping rates and come to know that their prices are more than Printful in most cases.
Shipping – The Verdict:
Overall, the winner in terms of shipping is Printful. Its shipping time and rates are better than Printify in most cases which means faster delivery time at affordable shipping prices.
Integrations is another very crucial factor to consider when choosing between Printful or Printify because, in order to sell your print-on-demand products, you have to connect an Ecommerce platform or an online marketplace with your account.
Both Printful and Printify are integrated with many third-party services, but the question is:
Which one has more integration options? Let’s find out.
Printful offers integrations with 21 ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces such as Shopify, Woocommerce, Etsy, and more:
It allows you to set up a custom API as well.
Printify, on the other hand, doesn’t offer as many integrations as Printful but it offers integrations with the 7 major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces, allowing you to set up a custom API as well.
If you want to start selling on other ecommerce platforms or marketplaces instead of these seven then Printify isn’t for you.
Integrations – The Verdict:
Printful once again beats Printify, this time with its wide range of integration options.
Let’s see what are the customer support options both Printful and Printify offer you and how’s their customer service.
Printful provides customer support via live chat, email, and a contact form. It has a help center as well where you can find answers to many common questions, tips, how-to guides, video tutorials, documentation, and blogs.
In contrast, Printify lets you get in touch with them via email. It also has a help center with articles on common questions and topics like shipping, tips, how-to guides, integrations, and more.
Now, the question is: which one has better customer support?
I tried reaching both the Printful and Printify customer support team one after the other to see how fast they respond to my messages, and here are the results.
I contacted Printful’s customer support team via live chat and they took few seconds to connect with me, as you can see:
After that, I contacted Printify’s customer support via email because they don’t have a live chat option and their support team also responded to my query in few minutes.
Please note, there are mixed reviews online regarding Printful’s and Printify’s customer support and you may be faced many issues with their customer service, but both platforms responded to me very quickly.
Maybe, I was lucky enough! 😊
Customer Support – The Verdict: It’s a tie! Both have great customer support with a help center to get answers to common questions, learning guides, videos, blogs, and more.
Finally, who do you choose between Printful vs Printify?
To make your decision further easier, let’s have a quick recap on when to pick Printful or Printify and why.
Printful Is Right For You If:
- You want better print quality than Printify but you would have to compromise on profit margins for each sale that you got from customers in the United States.
- You need better shipping time and rates than Printify.
- You’re focusing on building a brand need tons of custom branding options for your print-on-demand products, slips, and packages.
- You need warehousing services.
- You need 3x more integration options than Printify.
- You need more customer support options.
Printify Is Right For You If:
- Most of your customers are US-based and you require better profit margins than Printful.
- You don’t need better print quality and warehousing facilities.
- You want more products to choose from than Printful. Printify has a product catalog of 309 products, whereas Printful has a product catalog of 264 products.
- You want to choose different print providers for your orders.
If you ask me, which one I recommend between Printful and Printify? Here’s my answer:
However, what I don’t like about Printful is that their production cost is high as compared to Printify which means I’ll have low profit margins (almost $2-$5 less than Printify for each sale) whenever I get sales from customers in the US.
But, I would rather work with a company that produces high-quality prints for me so I can reduce refunds/complaints on my prints and retain customers longer than having angry people who never buy from me again.
By the way, there will be a very slight difference in profit margins between Printful and Printify when selling worldwide because Printify’s production cost is cheaper than Printful but their shipping rates are high for other countries.
I hope now you have a good idea of which one is right for you and what you can expect from both platforms.
Now I’d like to hear from you: which one you’re going to choose or have any questions? Please let me in the comment section.