CafePress Review

As one of the oldest and most popular print-on-demand services, CafePress makes it easy to create and sell your own custom products. Founded in 1999, we could easily consider CafePress the pioneer of the POD industry. It’s a great way to create unique birthday and Christmas gifts, too.

Product
Summary
Ratings
Free to Use
Scaled Royalty Structure
Easy to Use
Limited Integrations
Complaints About Quality
Long Lead Times
Value 4
Features 3
Customer Support3
Integrations 1
Ease of Use 4
3.0
Overall Score

In this CafePress review, we’ll look at the products, pricing, features, and more. The CafePress marketplace is a good place for beginners to start, before investing in a separate ecommerce store.

What is CafePress?

CafePress differs from other POD platforms in that you start by creating your own shop. CafePress hosts your store for you, so you don’t have to worry about using another ecommerce platform.

CafePress Review: CafePress Homepage

Once you create your store, it’s as easy as uploading your own designs and choosing the products you want to put them on. Once you list them in your store, all you have to do is start marketing them.

Company
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
Products
CafePress : 250+
Printful : 280+
Printify : 300+
Gelato : 90+
Gooten : 150+
GearLaunch : 50+
TeeLaunch : 100+
Custom Cat : 300+
Zazzle : 1,000+
Spri.ng : 180+
TeePublic : 75+
Print Facilities
CafePress : Unknown
Printful : 15
Printify : 65
Gelato : 100
Gooten : 40
GearLaunch : Unknown
TeeLaunch : Unknown
Custom Cat : Unknown
Zazzle : Unknown
Spri.ng : Unknown
TeePublic : Unknown
Turnaround Time
CafePress : 21+ days
Printful : 2-7 Days
Printify : 2-7 Days
Gelato : 2-6 Days
Gooten : 2-5 Days
GearLaunch : 3-5 Days
TeeLaunch : 3-6 Days
Custom Cat : 3-7 Days
Zazzle : 14 Days
Spri.ng : 9-12 Days
TeePublic : 14+ Days
Custom Packaging
CafePress : No
Printful : Yes
Printify : No
Gelato : No
Gooten : No
GearLaunch : No
TeeLaunch : Yes
Custom Cat : No
Zazzle : No
Spri.ng : No
TeePublic : No
Marketplace
CafePress : Yes
Printful : No
Printify : No
Gelato : No
Gooten : No
GearLaunch : No
TeeLaunch : No
Custom Cat : No
Zazzle : Yes
Spri.ng : No
TeePublic : Yes

CafePress offers many different products, including:

  • T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pajamas, leggings, underwear
  • Mugs, water bottles, shot glasses, coasters, flasks, steins
  • Stickers, including bumper stickers and buttons
  • Greeting cards, stationery, notebooks, invitations, calendars
  • Flip-flops, hats, ornaments, magnets
  • iPhone cases, laptop cases, tablet covers, mouse pads
  • Blankets, pillows, aprons
  • Puzzles, teddy bears, key chains, and more
  • Canvas wall art

Printing Technologies

CafePress uses multiple printing technologies. As a retailer, you do not choose the printing technology for the product. CafePress will choose the best one for the chosen product.

Printing Technologies
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Custom Cat
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
Direct to GarmentPrint Tech
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Custom Cat :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
SublimationPrint Tech
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Custom Cat :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Digital PrintingPrint Tech
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Custom Cat :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
EmbroideryPrint Tech
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Custom Cat :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
EngravingPrint Tech
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Custom Cat :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :

Direct-to-Garment (DTG)

This printing method digitally prints an image onto a piece of clothing. It sprays the ink directly into the fabric. The image appears when the ink has dried into it. The clothing withstands frequent washing. Graphics don’t crack or fade like screen printing.

Sublimation

With sublimation, the design is printed on special paper. Heat transfers the image from the paper to the final product. You can use sublimation on clothing and other products like mugs and other drinkware.

Digital Printing

Digital printing creates an image pixel by pixel. It is most commonly used with paper products like stationery, posters, banners, and greeting cards.

Embroidery

Embroidery uses thread to add designs to t-shirts, hats, and other apparel. To use with Cafe Press, your files must be digitized a certain way specifically for the embroidery machines. CafePress will take care of that for you.

CafePress does not provide engraving services. If you plan on selling products that require engraving, you’ll need to consider using Printful or Printify.

Pricing

CafePress offers two pricing structures. Option A has no upfront fees. With this method, you’ll earn royalties on anything you sell. CafePress will deduct 10%, up to $10 maximum from those royalties.

Pricing
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
Monthly Fee
CafePress : $0-$6.95
Printful : $0-$49
Printify : $0-$29
Gelato : $0
Gooten : $0
GearLaunch : $0-$4.99
TeeLaunch : $0
Custom Cat : $0
Zazzle : $0-9.95
Spri.ng : $0
TeePublic : $0
Apparel Pricing
CafePress : $15-$60
Printful : $8-$42
Printify : $7-$60
Gelato : $9-$25
Gooten : $9-$60
GearLaunch : $9-$35
TeeLaunch : $11-$19
Custom Cat : $9-$33
Zazzle : $13-$24
Spri.ng : $11-$40
TeePublic : N/A % of sale
Non-Apparel Pricing
CafePress : $5-$70
Printful : $8-$45
Printify : $5-$82
Gelato : $4-$88
Gooten : $20-$330
GearLaunch : $3-$20
TeeLaunch : $15-$85
Custom Cat : $3-$63
Zazzle : $2-$300
Spri.ng : $2-44
TeePublic : N/A % of sale
Bulk Order Discounts
CafePress : Up to 35%
Printful : Up to 30%
Printify : No
Gelato : No
Gooten : No
GearLaunch : No
TeeLaunch : No
Custom Cat : No
Zazzle : Yes
Spri.ng : No
TeePublic : Inquiry Required

Option B is the option to pre-pay and save. You can pay $6.95 for one month, $18.45 for three months, $34.95 for six months, or $59.95 for a year (bringing the total cost to $5/month). In exchange for these payments, you do not pay the 10%. This is the better option for stores with high volumes.

When it comes to the products’ base price, you’ll pay anywhere from $15 to $60 for apparel products. Non-apparel products range from $5 to $70. You’ll only pay for what your customers buy. You set the profit margin on all your products, and keep the profit.

There are no minimum requirements. Once you hit certain sales thresholds, CafePress includes bonuses. Your bonus increases based on your monthly sales volume.

Features

CafePress offers a mockup generator so you can see what your products will look like. The design tool is fairly simple to use. If you already have images, you can upload those for your designs.

Features
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
Use Without Online StoreFeature Use Without Online Store
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Mockup GeneratorFeature Mockup Generator
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Design ServicesFeature Design Services
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
WarehousingFeature Warehousing
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Personalization OptionsFeature Personalization Options
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :

Unlike some of the competition, CafePress does not offer design services, warehousing, or personalization options. 

If you’re not a graphic designer, you can still create your own product line. Hire a professional on a platform like Fiverr or Upwork, then apply the designs to the product of your choice.

CafePress has a marketplace where you can search through all the products in every store. if you want to buy a unique gift, you can buy any product from any store the platform hosts. TeePublic has a similar approach.

Ecommerce Integrations

Like TeePublic and Zazzle, CafePress does not have any ecommerce integrations. It’s meant to function as a standalone storefront. If you want to open a POD dropshipping business that you can use with something like Shopify or WooCommerce, you’ll need to find an alternative.

Ecommerce Platform Integrations
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
ShopifyIntegration with Shopify
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
BigCommerceIntegration with BigCommerce
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
WooCommerceIntegration with WooCommerce
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
WixIntegration with Wix
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
SquarespaceIntegration with Squarespace
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :

Marketplace Integrations

CafePress does not integrate with any online marketplaces. If you want to sell your products on sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, you’ll need to choose another platform.

Marketplace Integrations
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
EtsyIntegrations with Etsy
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
eBayIntegrations with eBay
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
AmazonIntegrations with Amazon
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :

Customer Support

CafePress offers customer support to its sellers. In addition to the Help Center where sellers can find answers, phone support is also available. There is no live chat or 24/7 support. The Help Center includes a section for customers who are buying products and a section for those who are creating and selling.

Customer Support
CafePress
Printful
Printify
Gelato
Gooten
GearLaunch
TeeLaunch
Custom Cat
Zazzle
Spri.ng
TeePublic
Dedicated AMCustomer Support with Dedicated AM
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Phone SupportCustomer Support with Phone Support
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Help CenterCustomer Support with Help Center
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
24/7 SupportCustomer Support with 24/7 Support
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :
Live ChatCustomer Support with Live Chat
CafePress :
Printful :
Printify :
Gelato :
Gooten :
GearLaunch :
TeeLaunch :
Custom Cat :
Zazzle :
Spri.ng :
TeePublic :

Alternatives

Don’t think CafePress is the right approach for your business? Look at these alternative options.

Overall
User Ratings
Best For
Pricing
Pricing Based On
Value
Features
Customer Support
Integrations
Ease of Use
Printful
Overall : 4.8
User Ratings :
0.0 (0 votes)
Best For : Boutiques, Small Businesses, High Order Volume
Pricing : $0-$49
Pricing Based On : Per Item, Volume, Membership
Value : 4
Features : 5
Customer Support : 5
Integrations : 5
Ease of Use : 5
Printify
Overall : 4.2
User Ratings :
0.0 (0 votes)
Best For : Small Boutiques, Limited Budgets
Pricing : $0-$29.99
Pricing Based On : Item, Quantity, Membership
Value : 4
Features : 4
Customer Support : 3
Integrations : 5
Ease of Use : 5
Zazzle
Overall : 3
User Ratings :
0.0 (0 votes)
Best For : Beginners, Artists
Pricing : $0
Pricing Based On : Per Item
Value : 4
Features : 3
Customer Support : 4
Integrations : 1
Ease of Use : 3

Printful

Printful is the best POD service on the market today. Not only do you get access to various apparel and accessories, but you’ll also be able to use branding and design services, store setup services, and warehousing. 

If you’re a growing business that needs to have a bit of inventory on hand for faster order fulfillment, then Printify is a one-stop solution. Printful also gives you the option to include add-ons in your packaging – like thank you cards and promo codes – unlike other services.

Printify

Printify is one of Printful’s direct competitors. Though it doesn’t offer design services or warehousing like Printful, it’s a great alternative. Because item prices are lower, you’ll have a higher profit margin overall. 

Zazzle

Zazzle is a direct CafePress competitor. You create your own store that’s hosted on Zazzle. You can’t integrate with ecommerce marketplaces or ecommerce platforms. There’s a marketplace where you can search for products that others have created, too.

Leave Your Review

Have you created and sold products on CafePress before? Have you purchased something you found on CafePress? We want to hear from you! When you share your experience, you help other readers like you decide whether to partner with CafePress.

About the author

Photo of author
Lucinda Honeycutt
Lucinda has been a web geek since the '90s. She's a web design and content creator who specializes in small business, ecommerce, digital marketing, and SEO.

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