Dropshipping is hard. And one of the reasons making sales is hard is because you are selling items that are not unique.
Most dropshippers get products from AliExpress. As such, everyone is selling the same thing.
So how do you get out of this? The solution is to sell merchandise that is unique to you.
To do this, you need a print-on-demand supplier, and one of the biggest and most reliable out there is Printful.
I registered for a Printful account, and I will share with you my findings.
I will discuss:
- What is Printful
- Features of Printful
- Printful Integrations
- Printful Pricing
By the end of this Printful review, you should be able to decide if Printful is the best POD system for your online business.
What is Printful?
Printful is a print-on-demand company or POD.
Here, you can choose different products to sell, but all of them are blanks—most of them are white.
Here are some examples:
- Polo shirts
- Tank tops
- Coffee mugs
- Embroidered shirts
Since all of these are blanks, you need to create your design, and then Printful will print your design on your selected merchandise.
In a nutshell, this is how it works:
- Sign-up for a Printful account
- Integrate Printful with your store
- Create designs in Printful
- Import the designs to your store and sell
- Customer orders from your store
- You process the order from your Printful app
- Printful prints it
- Printful ships the item to your customer
As you can see from the steps, you do not have to pay for the products right away.
What you need to do is to design your products, and then create mock-ups for the product.
Once you have created the mock-up, you import the mock-up to your store.
These mock-ups are what the customers would see from your store.
Once they make a purchase, you have to pay Printful for the order.
After paying for the order, Printful will print the design on the item you selected and ship it to the customer.
So, how do you make money?
The price you pay for the Printful item, including the printing, has to be lower than your selling price.
For example, a mug with a print may cost $7.99 from Printful. In this case, you have to sell it for at least $10.
This way, you have a profit of $2.01. It is completely up to you to price your products. What matters is that it is priced higher.
As far as shipping goes, you can set your checkout to use Printful’s shipping prices or create your own.
Remember that the customer has to pay or the shipping, too.
Features of Printful
Now, let us take a look at the different features of Printful.
From here, you should be able to make a comparison between Printful and other POD apps that you are considering using.
There is a wide array of products that you can sell from this platform. Here are some examples:
- All-over shirts
- Polo shirts
- Tank Tops
- Long Sleeve shirts
- Embroidered shirts
- Dad hats
- Baseball caps
- Mesh hats
- 5-panel hats
There so much more. I encourage you to visit the Printful website to see all of them. You can print iPhone cases, bags, and so much more.
Print on demand
As a POD company, all the products that you choose from are blanks.
What you have to do is to create a design, and then Printful will do the printing for you.
Ordinarily, you have to print about 100 pieces of an item from a supplier, and then pay this printing cost and the material.
The problem with this kind of retail business is that you have inventory sitting in your house. If nobody bought them, your money is sitting on that inventory.
But not with Printful. They keep the stocks for the blank items. You do not have to pay anything at all.
You also do not have to pay for the designs you make—you only pay after you have ordered an item, and you will only do this if a customer already made a purchase.
If you want to take your business to the next level, you can ask for the support of the Printful team to help you out.
They offer graphic design, video, and photography.
- Graphic design – they will do the digital drawing of what you have in mind. The people who will do this are professionals who use various software to take your idea into fruition.
- Photography – if you want your products to stand out, you can ask the Printful team to do the product photography. They will print your design on your selected item, and then they will take photos of it that you can use for your advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Video – if you want, you can also ask the team to do videos for your products. In these videos, you can ask the team for a human being to wear your shirt or showcase your item.
All of these have associated costs. The prices of the services vary.
To get a quote, you have to contact Printful first.
If your business has grown, it is likely that you now have a big brand.
As such, you want to keep a fresh supply of inventory.
In this case, you can ask Printful to print a lot of products, and then they will warehouse these products for you. They will also take care of the shipping.
This is not free—you have to negotiate a deal with Printful.
The cost of the warehousing and shipping depends on the volume of your product.
The good thing about this is that they can ship the items to your customers in as short as one day.
Now, if you do not want to build your own store, you can ask Printful to set it up for you.
Once the store is set-up, you just have to create your designs and import your Printful products to your store.
This is a great service for those who are busy, or those who need guidance and support for setting up an e-commerce website.
Integrations and API
You can integrate Printful with a lot of e-commerce platforms, which I will discuss in detail later.
If you do not want to use any e-commerce platform, you can use the application programming interface of Printful.
Surely, you need a web developer to do this, but you can also do it on your own if you want.
The API allows you to create a store where the orders are automatically sent to Printful. You no longer need to go to your Printful dashboard to order the products manually.
Now, I want to make it clear that once you have created a design, you will not get a free sample of this design.
So, how will you post the photo of this design in your website?
You can do this via the mock-up generator.
This tool is also the design took where you can upload your image file and make some edits if you want.
The mock-up generator allows you to even use models to “wear” your product.
To use this, you have to go to the mockup generator, and then create or upload your design.
The next step is to save that. Once that is done, you can choose what kind of mock-up you want.
The tool will show your product like as if it is “live”. However, it is merely a computer-generated image.
You can use the mock-up images for your website, and make tour products look more engaging.
Printful is an all in one POD app. What I really like about it is that you do not have to set-up the shipping fees manually.
You just need to tick some boxes to set it up. In many dropshipping and POD apps, you have to create a shipping zone.
Creating a shipping zone is a tiring and confusing process.
With Printful, what happens is that the system detects your customer’s location, and then the system decides how much money to charge for shipping.
Why is this shipping feature awesome? Because you will never find your self in a situation where you undercharged your customer.
The price he pays is the price you pay for the product, plus he will pay separate shipping fee that the system decides.
Where can you integrate Printful?
Here is a list of e-commerce platforms where you can integrate Printful:
- WordPress / WooCommerce
- Big Cartel
Printful also has an API. You can use this API if you want to build your store from scratch and you do not want to use any of the e-commerce platforms listed above.
As always, you need developers to make the API work and integrate with your website.
If you go the route of integration, you no longer have to go to the Printful website to do your transactions.
Each integration opens up your Printful dashboard from your website’s backend. You can order from there and track your sales.
However, you still need to do all your designing from the Printful website and you must be logged in to do this.
Printful is free to use. There is no monthly subscription and there are no monthly fees. So, how does Printful make money?
Printful only makes money if you order an item. The products that they sell already have a profit baked into them.
To give you an idea how much the products cost, I listed some examples below:
- Premium shirt for men – $14.95
- Women’s Tank Top – $15.95
- Custom hats – $16.95
- Hoodies – $22.50
- Jewelry – $21.95
- Coffee Mug – $7.95
- Engraved Brass Touch Tool – $8.95
These prices are already inclusive of the printing costs, but they do not yet include shipping.
Shipping costs vary. You can set-up the shipping from your account.
To make it easier for you, you can choose to sell in one country only.
That way, you do not have to worry about the varying costs of shipping.
Summary: Printful review
Printful is a great tool for dropshippers and those who sell merchandises.
It is used not only by dropshippers but also YouTubers and Instagrammers who sell merch.
The beauty of Printful is that you do not have to shell out money to get started.
You only have to spend if someone has already placed an order.
Try Printful today and see how the tool works for you.
Personally, I love Printful because it makes everything so easy.
If you already have a Shopify store, you can test how it works, and then decide if you want to pursue a POD business.
This way, you can sell designs that are not found anywhere else.