It’s easy to create a print on demand site these days.
With over 30 options there’s no shortage of print-on-demand companies. We’ve checked out tons of sites and made a shortlist of the best ones that you can make money with.
But can you make money with it? Absolutely. Learn how this business works.
Print on demand products are essentially white-label physical products you can easily dropship. If you want to customize white-label products without the hassle of keeping an inventory, then this model could be the right choice for you.
Simple right? But not so fast. While your product niche matters, you will still need a powerful brand to turn sales.
If you are at the point where you feel you have a strong niche brand, it might be time to partner with a print-on-demand company.
You’re sure to have questions:
- What website offers the best service?
- Which company won’t break the bank?
- Do these companies drag their feet when shipping the products?
- Where do the products ship from?
- Are they reputable or will they make a run for it with my cash in hand?
- Can I integrate with other website platforms?
- Can I order samples to see what the products look like before selling them to my customers? Are those samples available at a discount?
Don’t be! Now’s the time to up your print-on-demand game.
Choosing The Best Ecommerce POD Company
When you’re met with all the options of POD companies, you may wonder how to choose the best one.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- High-quality products: Request samples of the final product before you work with a vendor. You want products that are well made and comfortable.
- Printing methods: POD sites don’t always offer the same printing options. If you want to sell engraved or embroidered products, you won’t have as many choices.
- White label shipping: One company produces the items but puts them out to the buyers under the name of another
- Fixed prices, including shipping charges: Choose a POD company that offers transparent costs. Shipping options are important because they affect customer satisfaction. Some companies don’t include their shipping costs (and they can add up quickly!)
- Quick turnaround time: Having a quick turnaround time equates with happy customers
- Ability to set your own prices: The ability to set your own prices means you can make the most money possible
- Payment post-sale: Make sure that no money is due until the customer orders and pays
- No minimum orders: A minimum order requirement is also an unfavorable element to POD companies, so look for companies that don’t require this restrictive element.
Printful offers printing, order fulfillment, and shipping for your online store. They also offer custom branding options. It’s the only company out there that lets you use your own branding on the products.
You can use Printful to print one-of-a-kind designs for your own personal purposes or hook it up to use with your online shop.
When you use this site, you’ll gain access to helpful video tutorials on how it works and other excellent resources.
Printful offers clothing items, such as swimwear and leggings, and other custom products including:
Best of all, Printful integrates with many ecommerce platforms, such as:
- Big Cartel
- Launch Cart
You can also use Printful with the following online marketplaces:
- Your personal shopping website
Printful offers five fulfillment centers in the following locations: Los Angeles, California; Tijuana, Mexico; Charlotte, North Carolina; Riga, Latvia; and Barcelona, Spain (coming soon).
It’s free to sign up with Printful and there are no subscription costs. You pay for the product and fulfillment costs and the money left over is yours to keep because you set your own profit with Printful.
Printify makes it possible for ecommerce businesses to sell products on their own sites and not go through other online marketplaces.
This startup company started strongly in 2015 and has since been working its B2B magic and making selling easy for online site owners.
With Printify, online businesses have a sure-fire way to sell their artisan creations but have Printify and third-party manufacturers do all the work, i.e., printing, shipping, and more!
No longer do online businesses face the struggle of building their own brand and dealing with booming fulfillment requests.
Some of the amazing and determined vendors that Printify works with include artists, designers, and other business bosses.
Online business owners can build their brand by putting their handiwork on a wide variety of products, including:
- Phone cases
- And other personalized products
By using this POD platform, businesses can focus their expertise on building up their ever-growing brand name and selling their highly coveted products, while third-party manufacturers put the items together and ship them.
This proven successful connection is because of the organization and collaboration of the Printify team.
Check out these features you’ll get with Printify:
- Hundreds of products
- Competitive item pricing
- Printing partners in over 90 locations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China, and Germany
- Automatic syncing with your online shop
- Integrates with WooCommerce and Etsy
When it comes to the dollar details, Printify charges a small fee. However, business owners set their own product prices, so profit margins are up to you.
The Printify fee schedule is easy to understand and straightforward so you know exactly how much cash you’ll be paying out upfront.
As for how much you earn as a business owner, you’re in control because you set the price.
And, the more you hustle, the more you’ll make…that’s a fact!
Gelato offers over 90 products to choose from. With 100 production facilities across 33 countries, your customers will receive their orders quickly.
You can use Gelato to create gifts and decor for friends and family or launch a full online store.
Gelato offers a range of custom products, including:
- Apparel like t-shirts and hoodies
- Mugs and tote bags
- Photo books, wall art, and calendars
- Stationery, business cards, brochures, etc.
Best of all, Gelato integrates with multiple ecommerce platforms, such as:
You can also use Gelato with the following online marketplaces:
- Your personal shopping website
If you need to connect Gelato to another platform not listed here, you can take advantage of their direction API connection. You’ll need to hire a developer to help with that, though.
It’s free to sign up with Gelato. You won’t pay any subscription costs. You only pay for the items you buy. The difference between Gelato’s price and your retail price is the profit you get to keep.
Gooten caters to those who can’t handle the influx of orders and need some help handling customizable product creation, shipping, and all of the added duties that go along with it.
With Gooten you can consolidate your store operations and make selling your creative wares easy as can be!
Some of the products Gooten offers include the following:
- Travel bags
- Dog beds
- Fleece blankets
- Framed prints
Gooten doesn’t charge any setup or monthly fees. They only charge for the products that are made and shipped.
If you’re looking for a site that offers many different integration options, Gooten has you covered with integration for the following sites:
- Gooten API
- Custom order form
- Your mobile app
Most of the Gooten products are printed in the United States. Gooten has 40 different manufacturing locations.
GearLaunch offers all-inclusive services for product creation, packing, and shipping.
GearLaunch allows you to build your business with its easy-to-use platform and Shopify integration.
Products you can purchase on GearLaunch include:
- Home decor
- Wall art
Teelaunch is a Shopify POD app. If you run your online store with Shopify, you can easily add a variety of products to your catalog.
Teelaunch makes it easy to customize and sell things like:
- Kitchenware like laser engraved wooden cutting boards, plates, bowls, platters, and glass cutting boards
- Home goods, including towels, rugs, doormats, coasters, blankets, shower curtains, etc.
- Pet products, including dog bowls, bandanas, crate mats, and pet pillows
You won’t find many of these items on other POD sites.
You’ve also got the typical clothing products, including t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and more.
Teelaunch only integrates with:
If you do not use Shopify on your own website, you cannot use this provider.
It costs nothing to sign up with Teelaunch. The app is free in the Shopify app store. You pay for only what you or your customers order. Since you’re in control of the retail pricing, you can pocket the difference.
One thing to pay close attention to is shipping. Teelaunch doesn’t offer cost-effective shipping, especially for international orders.
With hundreds of customized products, you can decide what designs you want to add into the mix.
CustomCat offers quick, on-demand product fulfillment with no minimum order requirement.
With digital printing, embroidery, and dye-sublimation products, you can have your pick of CustomCat products.
Products you’ll find at CustomCat include:
- Flip flops
- And other customizable products!
Pricing can be found online here.
Fulfillment occurs in the historic Corktown neighborhood of Detroit.
Integration options include the following:
CafePress has been running for quite a few years now, so it’s no wonder this POD site has a strong following.
It’s also the reason why the product list is large and jaw-dropping, offering everything from t-shirts to stuffed animals.
A standout feature of this site is the ability to create designs featuring TV shows, movies, and more, due to the CafePress team securing usage permission from the copyright owners. This fan art does have some rules so be sure to read the finer details.
Here’s a few of the popular items you’ll be able to grab at CafePress:
- Greeting cards
- And other great items
Sellers will pay a base price and then set their own product price with a desired profit in mind.
CafePress is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, which is also the headquarters for fulfillment across the United States.
CafePress offers integration for the following:
If you’re looking for a creative sales option where you can sell on your own site, Zazzle is it!
No matter what you are looking to sell, chances are strong that you’ll be able to do so on Zazzle.
Here are some of the products you can offer on your website with the help of this print provider:
- Design cards
- Home decor
- Electronic device add-ons
- And more!
If you’re an independent artist, checking out this POD site is a good idea.
You’ll find the following benefits when you choose Zazzle as your go-to print on demand site:
- Tons of products to adorn with your artwork and sell
- Impressive traffic on the site
- You get to choose how much you make on sales
- Offers helpful guidance along the way
- Takes care of manufacturing, printing, and shipping duties
If you want to provide your own designs and let someone else handle the other details, Zazzle deserves a look.
TeeSpring originally started the business selling t-shirts but has since branched off to other print on demand items.
One of the cool things about TeeSpring is its easy-to-use design feature that even beginner artisans can use to make products to sell.
Other products that TeeSpring offers in addition to t-shirts include:
- Tote bags
- Home decor
TeeSpring is free to use and you set the profit. Simply pay for the product and you pocket the rest!
When it comes to integration details, TeeSpring works with:
- Boosted Network
- YouTube Merch Shelf
- Google Shopping
With a name like TeePublic, you better believe that TeePublic offers a wide array of t-shirts but that’s not all!
In addition to shirts and hoodies for adults and kids, TeePublic also offers the following print on demand items:
- Wall art
- And more!
Artists get paid a certain amount according to the TeePublic pay rates.
TeePublic is an open platform so you can submit your designs directly on the site.
Although there are no integration aspects available, you can do all of your selling and promoting via TeePublic.
Print on Demand Services Compared
Now that we’ve covered 11 of the most popular POD services, let’s compare them side by side.
You’ll see that many platforms offer a lot of the same things. Platforms like GearLaunch and Gelato are behind with the number of product offerings. However, as they become more popular, we can expect that they will expand their catalog.
Most POD companies can get a product ready to ship to your customer within two to seven business days. There are some outliers, like TeePublic and CafePress, that may take up to three weeks.
There are a few features that can be the deciding factor for you. If you need the option to brand your products, then Printful is the only solution. If you want to use custom packaging, you can choose between Printful and Teelaunch.
Types of Products
If you can think of it, it is on at least one of these POD platforms. There’s a lot of overlap for many products across the platforms – since all of them offer t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. The difference between them lies in print quality. Every provider on this list offers direct to garment printing, or DTG, since it is a quick, easy, and affordable way to produce quality products.
That said, there are also platforms where only certain products are available. For example, if you’re launching a pet product brand, you’ll find products on Teelaunch that you won’t find on other platforms. Teelaunch offers crate mats and pet pillows along with pet bandanas and dog bowls. Printful only offers pet ID tags, and Printful only offers pet beds.
If you want to offer engraved products, that narrows down your choices quite a bit. Of the 11 POD companies we reviewed here on EcommerceCEO, only four offer any kind of engraving services.
- Printful: With Printiful, you can sell custom engraved jewelry, pet tags, and a touch tool.
- Printify: Another option for jewelry and pet tags
- Gooten: Glass cutting boards
- Teelaunch: Bamboo cutting boards, maple cutting boards, wooden cutting boards with handles
Only a few companies on this list don’t offer embroidery, so your options are pretty open for that. If embroidery is a must-have for you, skip Gelato, GearLaunch, and TeePublic.
The great thing about these print on demand companies is that all of them have a free plan. Spending money on a paid plan is optional. For the startup, it’s often unnecessary – which means you can put more profit in your pocket. Most of the companies on this list don’t offer any kind of monthly plan.
The only thing you’ll pay for is the cost of the products sent to your customers. Printify offers the lowest apparel pricing, with products ranging from $7 to $63. For the least expensive non-apparel products, you’ll want Spri.ng.
It’s not just pricing you need to think about – it’s profit margin, too. Some companies, like TeePublic and CafePress give you royalties. You don’t get to set the prices you charge – and only get a percentage of the sale.
Printful takes the cake with features because it offers everything. You can:
- Use it without an online
- Create designs and see what they’d look like on products with the mockup generator
- Get design services from professional graphic designers
- Order and store inventory (if desired)
- Take advantage of custom packaging options
- Offer product personalization to your customers
The others on this list do a great job of hitting the mark on most of these features. Zazzle falls just short of Printful because it offers everything but custom packaging and warehousing.
Teelaunch is the only platform that requires you to use an online store to use your own online store. You’ll need to use Shopify or integrate with Etsy. All the others make it possible for you to run your empire with manual orders.
TeePublic is the only one on the list that doesn’t offer a mockup generator. Even if you have to upload your designs, you should still be able to see what they look like on a product.
Not having a free mockup generator means it’s difficult to visualize what your product would look like – and it’s hard to come up with product images you can use on your website. Thankfully though, that’s where a service like Place.it can be helpful.
POD Platform Integrations
When we put together our reviews, we looked at whether each platform integrated with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Wix, and Squarespace. Only two platforms integrate with these – and you guessed it – they’re our top two recommendations – Printful and Printify.
Platforms like Gelato come in right behind, since they can integrate with most of them. And thanks to APIs, you can hire a developer to help you build integrations for anything you need.
There are a few that only integrate with Shopify stores – GearLaunch, Teelaunch, and Spri.ng. If you’re using something other than Shopify, consider using a different platform.
And of course, there are some that don’t integrate with any ecommerce platforms at all. That’s because instead of using your own store, you’ll create a store on their website. That’s the case with CafePress, Zazzle, and TeePublic.
Ecommerce Platform Integrations
There are also multichannel integrations to think about if you plan on selling products anywhere other than your website. In our reviews, we looked at whether a company integrated with the three most popular marketplaces – Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
Again, our top two recommendations are the only ones on the list that integrate with all three. GearLaunch, CafePress, Zazzle, and TeePublic don’t integrate with any of them.
Others on the list can integrate with Etsy, but require access to the API and a developer to integrate with the others. Remember that for Amazon API access, you must be on the Professional Seller’s plan at $39.99/month. If you do not pay for that service, you won’t be able to integrate any platform with your Amazon account.
Customer support is an important part of choosing a partner for your business. None of the platforms assign you to a dedicated account manager, though you may get one with Spri.ng. Only GearLaunch, CafePress, and Zazzle offer phone support.
All the platforms offer some kind of help center or knowledge base to help people get answers to their questions. Printful, Gelato, GearLaunch, Spri.ng, and TeePublic offer live chat. Gelato is the only one that offers 24/7 support. However, some reviews show that this 24/7 support is only for account creation and everything else takes up to 48 hours.
If you use multiple sites in your print on demand business, each company will only provide support for their products. That may make things complicated for you when providing your own customer support.
In most situations, you cannot get a refund if the customer orders the wrong size. They typically offer refunds and replacements when there’s issues with the print quality. These companies won’t process returns on your behalf. If they receive any returns, they donate items. Keep this in mind as you build out your return policies.
Can you make money with print on demand? Is print on demand profitable?
Yes, you can! It comes down to how much marketing you can do. If you’re an expert at running Facebook Ads (or willing to hire one to help you) it may surprise you just how much you can earn every month. If you spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising, it’s possible that you won’t be profitable in the beginning.
As much as marketing matters, though, you ultimately need products people want. If you’re making the same thing your potential customers can get from their local big box store, there’s no real reason for people to shop with you.
For many, POD starts as a side hustle for extra money and then grows into something bigger.
What is the cheapest print on demand?
Trying to figure out what to sell in your store? Clothing products are among the most popular, but they’re not the cheapest. (If you’re set on starting a shirt business – go with Printify – you can get shirts for as low as $8 there.)
- Pet ID tags – Starting at $3 on CustomCat
- Stickers – Starting at $2.24 on Spri.ng
- Postcards – Starting at $1.10 per card, without envelopes on Zazzle
So, what’s the best print on demand company out there? We couldn’t just pick one – we settled on two.
Printful is our number one choice. Though it’s a bit more expensive than other companies in the space, you get what you pay for. They handle all the printing in-house, so you’ll get consistent quality.
If you want to fully customize products, you can include your logo on the shirt tag, making it easy to build a recognizable brand.
Not only this, but for an additional fee, you can add custom pack-ins to your orders – such as thank you notes, stickers, or cards with promo codes for future orders.
Printful is free to use – there are no required monthly fees. You can upgrade to Printful Pro to get access to more tools, should you decide it’s worth it for your business.
You’re in complete control of the pricing, so you can keep the difference as profit. You can reinvest it into your business or spend as you please.
Printful supports a wide variety of integrations, so no matter what ecommerce platform you use, you can make Printful work. If you don’t use an online store, you can manually process orders.
Printify is our second choice because we know that some businesses don’t need all the custom branding options. You’ll find that many of the same products on Printful are available on Printify, at a lower base price.
Printify keeps prices lower by letting you choose the manufacturer. This means that you may run into some quality issues, so it’s always best to order samples from multiple manufacturers to choose the one you like best.
Printify is also free to use. You only pay the base prices for items you order. Printify integrates with the most popular ecommerce platforms, making it easy to automate the order process. If you don’t want to use an online store, you can manually process orders, too.
Ready to Get Started with a POD Business?
Now that you know what sites to use to help you up your game when it comes to sales and customer approval, you can start hustling and make some cash on the side or turn your product catalog sales into a full-blown career.
Whether you want to start a clothing line, home goods line, or create a hodgepodge of themed items for people to buy, it all starts with the right POD service.