Years ago, if you wanted to start your own t-shirt business, you had to come up with a design, find a printer, then order hundreds of shirts and hope they sold. If they weren’t a hit with your customers, it left you with useless inventory and lost revenue.
That’s not the case today. Now anyone with a design can build a business with the print-on-demand model. How?
Print-on-demand services like Printify make it easy for designers and artists to create and sell products. And if you’re not artistically inclined, you can hire graphic designers to produce images for you. Then, you choose the items you want to create and list.
There are no minimum orders and there’s no risk involved because products don’t print until purchased. You can create custom products to list in your ecommerce store, then whenever a customer orders from you, place the order with the printer.
So, how do you choose which print-on-demand service you want to work with? Start with some in-depth research. Our Printify review covers everything you need to know.
What is Printify?
Printify is a leading print-on-demand company. With this platform, you can create and sell a variety of custom products. Printify will print your items one at a time, only when a customer orders something.
With a Printify account, you’re connected to over 60 print providers and third-party suppliers around the world. The platform works with a dropshipping model, so you don’t have to worry about fulfillment. All you have to focus on is creating the products and selling them.
Printify Review: How Does Printify Work?
Printify is a POD platform that offers over 600 products from 67 print providers. Many of these print on demand t shirt companies deliver international orders, so it’s a great option for businesses outside of the U.S.
Once you sign up and create your store (more on that below), you choose the products you want to sell. Many products have multiple suppliers, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
When you choose the provider, consider things like:
- Turnaround time
- Restrictions on customization and color
- Print quality (always order samples first – we’ll talk about that later, too.)
- Ratings from other Printify users
You can use their design tool to build a mockup of the products you want to list in your store.
Connect your Printify account to your store. Printify integrates with many ecommerce platforms and marketplaces like Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon. You can also use Printify without an online store.
Whenever a customer places an order through your store, the printing provider receives your order. You pay the provider. They print the products and handle the order fulfillment process with drop shipping. You keep the profit, then repeat.
Printify offers different printing technologies, depending on the print provider and the product you choose.
- Direct to Garment (DTG): Ink sprays onto the fabric. The design shows up because the ink soaks into the fibers. It’s the same concept as printing on paper, but with apparel products. Because there’s no extensive setup required, it’s easy to print on demand. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to screen printing, which may lead to overproduction and textile waste.
- All-Over Printing (Sublimation): With this method, the graphics are printed on a special paper, then the image transfers onto the shirt with heat. The ink heats until it disintegrates into the fabric. Sublimation costs more than other printing techniques, but the final product will not crack or peel with time. It lasts longer than products that use other printing methods. They can use sublimation with polyester materials. They can also use it with materials that have a specialized polymer coating, including mugs, coasters, mouse pads, etc. Because it uses CMYK printing, there’s no way to create the color white. If your design only has white, you cannot use this printing method.
- Digital Printing with Professional Grade Inks: Digital printing maps out images by pixel and applies the small amounts of ink to match. This method of printing is best for non-apparel products, like paper.
- Embroidery: Some products, like jackets, hats, and bags, can use embroidery instead of direct to garment or sublimation. Designs must be specific to embroidery, so that means you can only use 16 thread colors. Printify has a design guide specifically for embroidery to help.
This is not an exhaustive list of companies that offer services. See the full list here.
- Air Waves
- Awkward Styles
- Big Oven Tees
- Ink Blot
- Monster Digital
- Personalized Luggage
- OPT OnDemand
Provides are in the USA, UK, Latvia, China, and other countries.
Some products have multiple print providers to choose from. Other products may only have one.
What About Print Quality?
Print quality is subjective – but depends on many factors, such as
- The printing technology used
- The source product (the type of product influences the printing technologies you can use)
- Image quality – high-resolution images are a must.
How to Use Printify
To get started, sign up for your free account.
After you sign up, design your products with the Mockup tool. This is as simple as uploading graphics and positioning them on the product. Choose the product’s base color, and you’re ready.
Request samples from different print providers so you can compare print quality. This is quality control, so you know what products your customers receive. It’s a crucial step to ensure customer satisfaction.
Once you’ve found the print provider you want to use, list the product for sale and start promoting it.
Products You Can Sell With Printify
Printify offers a variety of apparel and non-apparel products. Your custom branding options are virtually unlimited. You can sell:
- T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and hoodies
- Tank tops, sweatshirts, sportswear
- Pants, skirts, and dresses
- Socks and Shoes, including sneakers and boots
- Face masks
- Aprons and napkins
- Tote bags and backpacks
- Baby accessories
- Phone cases
- AirPods cases
- Playing cards and puzzles
- Key chains and jewelry boxes
- Phone grips
- Yoga mats
- Can cooler sleeves
- Bag tags
- Bluetooth speakers
- Wireless chargers
- Mugs, bottles, and tumblers
- Notebooks and journals
- Magnets and stickers
- Blankets, pillows, and pillowcases
- Towels, shower curtains, and bath mats
- Table runners
- Christmas tree skirts and stockings
- And more…
A Note About Product Quality
Printify doesn’t determine product quality. That depends on the quality of the brand you use for your designs. The good thing is that with the variety available, you can pick until you find the one you like best.
For t-shirts, Bella+Canvas 3001 is a safe bet. It’s not as expensive as Next Level 6010 or Stanley Stella, but it is still a quality product. Even after multiple washes, it holds its shape and doesn’t get loose fibers like some other brands.
How Much Does Printify Charge?
There are three printify pricing plans to choose from. These plans are in addition to the per-item prices paid on every order. The per-item prices vary depending on the product. That price includes the printing fees.
- A face mask ranges anywhere from $4.14 to $8.28, depending on the type and vendor.
- T-shirts cost anywhere from $6.55 to $18.28, depending on the type and vendor.
- Skirts and dresses range from $15.06 to $24.69.
You’re in control of the retail price, so you set your profit margins. If you need more than what the free plan offers, Printify also has a premium and enterprise plan available.
Free Plan – Free Forever
With this plan, you can have up to five stores per account, and unlimited product designs. It’s the best option for people who are just starting out. You won’t have any subscription fees on top of the per-item fees.
Premium Plan – $29/month or $24.99/month with Annual Billing
Under this plan, you get up to 10 stores per account, with unlimited product designs. You can also get up to a 20% discount on all products. It makes sense for merchants who are seeing an increase in sales volume.
Enterprise Premium Plan – Custom Printify Pricing
With this plan, your account can have unlimited stores and unlimited product designs. You’ll also receive up to 20% off all products. The enterprise plan pricing depends on a variety of factors, including your order volume. You must contact Printify to learn more about their enterprise plan. A perk of this plan? You may be eligible to gain early access to new features before they go live to all Printify merchants.
Printify offers a variety of features, even to those on the free plan.
Use Without an Online Store
You can use Printify without connecting it to an online store. If you do not link your store, you will have to manually submit customers’ orders through your Printify dashboard.
Printify doesn’t offer a storefront accessible to your customers, so most people opt to integrate Printify with their storefront. Connecting Printify to an online store automates all order operations.
Design Tool and Mockup Generator
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or tech wizard to create products with Printify. With the Mockup Generator, you can easily upload images of your designs. You can drag and drop multiple image files onto the same product if it makes sense to do so.
You’ll also be able to choose the product’s base color. For example, you can create black t-shirts, white t-shirts, or another color – based on what the provider has made available. Not all providers carry the same product colors.
One of the best things about the design tool is that it will alert you if you’re stretching your graphic too much. There’s an indicator available to help you see if you’re using a high, medium, or low-resolution image.
If your print provider isn’t available for any reason, the order routing feature steps in. It will automatically send your order to another provider in the network. It works in the following situations:
- Your ordered product is currently out of stock with your chosen provider.
- Your chosen provider has discontinued the ordered product.
- The print provider has reached its daily order capacity.
- The print provider has been closed temporarily.
Enable the setting in your account, and order routing becomes automatic.
Follow these steps:
- Navigate to Manage My Stores.
- Choose the store you want to enable the setting for. Click on the Settings icon.
- Click on Preferences. From there, find Automated Order Routing.
- Click on Replace Orders Automatically and Save the new settings.
Custom Order Import Tool
With the Printify Order Import tool, you can manually import your store orders into Printify, even if those orders don’t have any linked Printify products. You’ll find these orders in the Other Orders tab.
This feature is helpful for merchants that:
- Migrate to Printify from another print-on-demand platform.
- Offer product bundles
- Offer personalized products
If an associated Printify SKU has been manually edited, the system won’t recognize it. It will show up here, too.
To use the Custom Import Tool:
Navigate to the Other Orders tab. You’ll see all the orders you’ve received that don’t have a linked Printify product. Select the order(s) to import.
From there, link the ordered product to a Printify product. Click Select Product. Then, navigate to the Catalog tab to choose the product, print provider, and other details. You also have the option to link it to another product you’ve already created in My Products.
Product Migration Tool
If you’re connecting Printify to a Shopify store, there is a product migration tool available for you to use.
With this tool, you can move your existing Shopify products into Printify. Doing so will ensure don’t lose any of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
To use this tool:
Visit the External Products tab in the My Store section. Select the product you want to fulfill and click Migrate Product.
You can either stay in the My Products tab to choose a product you’ve already created to connect to your chosen Shopify product. You’ll only be able to see unpublished products.
Alternatively, you can visit the Catalog tab to create a new product that closely matches your Shopify listing.
After you’ve selected or created the project, you’ll be able to match the Shopify variants to the Printify variants. Any listing that doesn’t have an assigned Printify SKU is removed automatically.
Then, click Migrate Product and follow the instructions.
There is a Shipping Calculator available for Shopify users, too. It helps to calculate shipping costs. It will ensure that it automatically added the right flat rate shipping to your customer’s cart.
To set up the shipping calculator, you must have either an advanced Shopify plan, an annual Shopify payment plan, or carrier-calculated shipping. The carrier calculated shipping feature is an additional $20/month. You’ll need to request it directly from Shopify support.
To enable this feature:
Visit your store settings. Click on Shipping Calculator. Check the box next to Enable Printify shipping calculation for Shopify checkout.“
Ecommerce and Marketplace Integrations
With Printify it’s easy to integrate with the major ecommerce platforms and marketplaces. Connecting your account to these tools automates the fulfillment process.
Ecommerce Platform Integrations
Integrate Printify with Shopify in just a few clicks, by adding the Printify app to your Shopify store. It makes it super easy to import your products and orders. Once an order is placed in your Shopify store, it’s automatically sent over to Printify for fulfillment.
Add the Printify app to your BigCommerce store in a few clicks, too. Setup only takes a few minutes. Import products and orders. Then, once someone places an order on your BigCommerce site, everything goes straight over to Printify for processing and fulfillment.
With WooCommerce, all you have to do is connect your Printify store to your account. In just a few clicks, your products and orders are imported. Whenever someone orders on your website, the order automatically transfers to Printify.
Wix integrates with Printify to automate your entire order process. Connect your Printify and Wix accounts, and let technology take care of the rest.
As a bonus, it integrates with online marketplaces, too.
Running your online empire from Etsy? You no longer have to worry about keeping things in stock thanks to the Printify integration. Connect your store directly from within the Printify dashboard.
Want to be able to sell your products on your website and eBay, too? No problem. Connect your store directly from within the Printify dashboard. At this time, the eBay integration is only available in the U.S.
If you require access to another integration, you can hire a developer to build a custom API integration. In the meantime, you can submit orders manually through the Printify dashboard, or use the CSV import tool to import orders in batches.
How to Integrate Printify with Your Ecommerce Platform or Other Merchant
During the account setup process, you’ll have the chance to connect your store to Printify. All it takes is entering your store’s URL on the Printify website.
Alternatively, you can log in to your store and download the Printify app from there. You’ll need to connect your Printify account to your debit or credit card to automate payments whenever someone places an order.
Printify Shipping Time: Where Products Ship From
With Printify, you can expect orders to ship within 2 to 7 business days. Several factors influence your shipping time, such as:
- Where the printer is located
- Where the product is shipping to
- The shipping carrier used
Printify ships products directly from your chosen vendor. If you’re in the United States, it makes sense to order products from U.S.-based vendors. If you’re elsewhere, it makes sense to use providers closest to where your customer base is.
You can get a better idea of the shipping costs you can expect here. If you want to offer free shipping to your customers, you’ll still cover the shipping costs with the vendor.
Printify Shipping Options: How Products Ship to Customers
The shipping methods depend on the vendor you order your products from. You do not have control over which shipping company the vendor chooses. Options vary depending on where the vendor is located. Printify advertises it works with:
- Royal Mail
- Canada Post
- OSM Worldwide
- Springs Global Delivery Solutions
- Australia Post
For information about which shipping companies your provider uses, contact the provider directly.
All sales channels offer flat rate shipping as the standard shipping option. Express shipping is available sometimes:
- For Shopify stores, if you use the Printify Shipping Calculator
- For WooCommerce stores
- For manual orders you submit through your Printify account.
Express shipping is only available if your chosen printer offers it.
If you use another sales channel, your existing orders that have been imported from that sales channel can be upgraded at an additional charge, if the print provider offers it.
To request a shipping upgrade, click on the order you want to upgrade, and then the “Upgrade Shipping” button. The support team will be in touch with more information.
How does Printify customer support stack up?
Printify is relatively easy to reach if you have any issues with how your store operates or creating products. You can use the email address (email@example.com) to get in touch, or you can fill out the form to ask your question.
You can also turn to live chat or social media to reach out for help. If that’s not your idea of fun, there’s a help center available. The help center is full of information to help you solve issues on your own.
At this time, Printify does not offer phone support.
Printify won’t offer refunds if the customer orders the wrong size, wrong color, or just decides they don’t like the product. Printify will, however, offer a refund if the issue is because of the manufacturer’s mistake.
You can set up a custom return policy for your store. If refunds and exchanges are an important part of your customer support philosophy, then you can add a custom return address for customers to use.
Printify does not handle customer support for you. You are responsible for your own customer service. Your shoppers won’t even know that you’ve used Printify instead of an in-house team.
How to Get the Most of Your Printify Experience
If you want to get your store started off right, you shouldn’t just find an image, upload it to a product, and list it for sale. That could be a recipe for disaster.
When you’ve chosen your preferred vendor, place an order for samples. It’s a good idea to order the same product from multiple vendors. You’ll see exactly what your customers end up with before you start selling. You can compare not just print quality, but product quality as well. Printify doesn’t offer discounts on samples orders.
We ordered a couple of samples for the purpose of this review. We intentionally chose different print providers so we could compare products and Printify’s print quality across vendors.
We ordered a mouse pad from District Photo, a fabric face mask from MWW on Demand, and a Hoodie from Printforia. Each product was high-quality, though the mask is thinner than others on the market. We opted for a logo on a black background. The resulting products are of professional quality, and we would be fine with using them as promotional items.
Opt for Higher Contrast Images
Printify uses digital printing methods instead of screen printing. This is a good thing for you as a merchant because on-demand screen printing is expensive. One drawback, however, is that images that appear bright and vivid on your computer screen will lose contrast.
To avoid running into issues with the final product, use a higher contrast image than you would if you were to use the image online. That’s another reason to order some samples first. You’ll be able to spot and correct color inconsistencies before your product hits the market.
Where Printify Does a Great Job
Printify is incredibly easy to set up. It gives you a quick way to start a business selling custom prints across various products. Overall, the products are more affordable in terms of price and shipping. They have wider global coverage than Printful.
Your product options allow you to create niche stores with ease. And since you can have multiple stores in a single account, you could easily launch multiple brands. For instance, you could launch an apparel store, and a home goods/decor store.
Printify automates the entire process and handles fulfillment for you. They take care of everything outside of marketing and promotion.
You’re never locked into a specific print provider. If you decide their quality has changed, you’re always free to work with another provider.
Where Printify Could Improve
Some users report that the quality of DTG needs improvement. This could be a vendor-specific issue. That’s why it’s so important to order samples ahead of time. You should also try different print on demand vendors.
Other users say that some product suppliers aren’t as available as the Printy website would lead you to believe. The processing time printify suppliers post isn’t necessarily reliable. The time shown is a 30 day average of all orders.
In our experience, the orders we placed spent no more than two days in production. We received the items well within the advertised seven-business-day window.
Printify isn’t the only game in town, but it is one other most popular. Trying to decide what platform you should use for your business? Take a look at these alternatives.
- Printful has a lower profit margin.
- Printful offers design services, store setup services, etc.
- Printiful offers custom branding and warehousing.
Because of this, Printful is usually the better option for businesses that want to offer a full brand experience with custom packaging and add-ins. It’s also a good option for larger businesses that need to keep some inventory on hand.
Gelato is a similar platform to both Printful and Printify. The main difference is that they focus on producing locally, closer to the final destination. This allows them to offer lower shipping prices and times, while reducing carbon emissions. That said, their product catalog covers only the main categories (apparel, wall art, drinkware, phone cases, etc.). Depending on the products you want to sell, it may or may not be the best option.
GearLaunch is a POD service that works as a standalone or with Shopify. If you’re using another platform besides Shopify, it may not be the right option for you. There’s less variety with the products, but the pricing is similar. A major difference is that your profit is based on your sales volume. If you’re a low-volume store, you may be able to make more money with another POD company.
Is Printify Right for Your POD Business?
The print-on-demand model is not for everyone. But if you’ve done some print on demand market research and found that there is room for you to enter, Printify could be an easy way for you to run your custom printing business. That said, it’s not the only game in town, so you may also want to explore other options, like Printful. (We’re working on a full review, and we’ll update this content when it’s ready to go.)
Have you used Printify before? Would you share your experience with us?
At EcommerceCEO, we believe in providing our readers with as much information as possible. The only way we can do it is if people who’ve used the platform leave their reviews, too.