Nowadays it’s never been easier to manufacture and sell your own custom products online. There are loads of suppliers on Alibaba, for example, that’ll be able to knock up any kind of product you ask for, and then you can sell it through Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) where Amazon does all of the storage, packaging and shipping — you never even have to leave your computer to create your own custom products and ship them to people all over the world! That’s a truly remarkable thing. And in the spirit of this new age of convenience, Printify is a service that makes things even easier to create and sell products online. When it comes to Printify, you don’t even have to send a single email to any single manufacturer asking them to knock up a product for you. In the Printify site you simply select the kind of product you want made, make your own design of it in Printify’s own editor, select some providers to make it for you and publish. That entire process can be done in literally 5 minutes. No phone calls, emails, design docs, blueprints or anything. In fact, I bet a 5-year old could do it.
Of course, there are certain things to consider with Printify, and it merely being easy to create and order a custom product doesn’t mean you should use it. You have to consider its cost, the quality of the products it offers, the reliability of the suppliers they have, how well it integrates with other platforms and so on. What follows is my Printify review for 2020 based on my experience using it so far, and from what others I trust are reporting about it.
A short walkthrough of Printify from signing up to having a full-fledged store
To get started on Printify, first you’ll want to sign up at printify.com/app/register:
Tell them a little about yourself:
Then you can immediately get started designing a product. You select what kind of product you want to design (I’ve covered the products on Printify below), and select a supplier. In the case of a Women’s Unisex Heavy Cotton Tee, here’s an example of some of the suppliers on Printify:
Notice how different suppliers have different metrics (price, shipping cost, sizes, average production time, printing areas they do, and colors), as well as ratings and their location. For this example, I’m going with Monster Digital as the supplier (the first one on the list). Then you’re taken to the interface where you can design the product. In the case of this shirt I’m making, you’ll need to upload high-resolution images (JPG or PNG) that will serve as the design. Here’s a (terrible) example of me making a Trump shirt:
Then when you’ve designed a product, you create a store:
Plus some basic info:
Then you’re ready to sell the product you created in Printify.
What products can you make in Printify?
Here are the product categories currently available on Printify:
- Men’s clothing
- Women’s clothing
- Kid’s clothing
- Accessories (bags, jewelry, phone cases, socks, hats etc.)
- Home & Living (art & wall decor, bathroom items, blankets, mugs, pillows & covers, stationery, pet supplies, stickers, magnets)
What shipping times can you expect with Printify?
That depends on the supplier you go with, but for shipping within the USA, you can expect a shipping time of 5 to 7 days. Shipping to Canada should take 10 to 15 days, while international shipping will take between 10 to 30 days.
Is Printify’s pricing reasonable?
Yes. Surprisingly, you can do everything you need to do on Printify on a completely free plan, and their Premium plan has very reasonable pricing ($29/month). If you are selling a reasonable amount of product on Printify, the Premium plan is probably what you want to go with because you’ll get a discount on many products (Printify says “Up to 20% discount on all products”).
How does Printify handle refunds?
By default, Printify does not offer refunds if the customer orders the wrong size, color, or doesn’t like the product (see here). However, they will offer a replacement order if the mistake is on the part of the manufacturer (eg. there was a printing mistake). It is possible to set up your own custom store policy where you offer refunds or exchanges, where you have your own custom return address for customers to return their order.
How does Printify compare to Printful?
UPDATE September 2020: See our piece on Printful reviews (currently in progress, so if you’ve used Printful, please add a comment).
Similar names and similar service 🙂 The main difference is that Printful’s products are generally considered to be of slightly higher quality than Printify (see this reddit thread here), and Printful automates everything so that you don’t pick a supplier like you do with Printify. That’s because Printful does product creation in-house rather than using all kinds of different suppliers from around the world.
As far as the range of products offered, the interface for creating a product, integration, price and customer support, I see Printify and Printful being roughly equal, as reported by most users online. Both are easy for newbies to use and get started with, are easily affordable, and will provide help if you need it.
Do we recommend Printify?
Printify is definitely a good service that will have you running your own custom store in no time, and it’s inexpensive and reliable. However, it’s definitely worth having a look at Printful as well, as that also does exactly that and many report it to often do a better printing job than Printify.
We put out a request for people to write about their experience with Printify. Here’s what we got back:
I used Printify during 2018 and 2019 to make products for my Etsy store, which specialized in meme-based merchandise. In terms of onboarding and learning to use the platform, Printify is very user-friendly.
It is incredibly easy to upload designs, make your products, and to learn how the entire print on demand model works. Additionally, connecting your Printify shop to a third party selling platform like Etsy or Shopify just takes a few clicks. Furthermore, you can push products from your Printify dashboard directly to Etsy and have most of the product listing information and pricing already filled out.
Now, the only hiccup I had with Printify was in relation to copyright claims. The nature of meme merchandise means you sometimes use graphics from shows, movies, or popular culture. Printify rightfully refused to manufacture some of my products once I got orders, so I had to refund customers on short notice.
This was, of course, my fault. However, it is important that Printify users consider copyright implications before spending time on a design, or even money for uploading it to their Etsy store. A lot of refunds is bad for business and customer experience, so be careful when using Printify!
--Tom, This Online World
I like the free plan that Printify offers, which is excellent for startups and small businesses as you only pay when you sell without any monthly charges. It was quite easy to integrate Printify with my online store using their Shopify app without any problems.
I use Printify for selling mugs as the print is very good and closely matches the original design based on the samples received. But their print quality for shirts is not really great (compared to Printful) due mainly to the dull colors and the extra colors (lines) in the sample design. Based on the print quality of the samples, I opted to use Printify for selling mugs only and to utilize Printful for the shirts.
--Hassan, Premium Joy
I've sold T-Shirts and apparel designs on many POD platforms including Printify, and I like the platform because it is one of the most inexpensive POD's I have used, and the customer support is very responsive and helpful. I dislike the quality of the regular Printify shirts and onesies, some of their items are ok, but some are made with very cheap fabric. Additionally, the UK supplier ship times are very high, which I don't like. Overall, I think Printify is a great platform to start with, but if you're looking for super high quality items there are other POD's that may be better.
--Stacy, Accelerated Growth Marketing
We used Printify to create mugs with inside jokes on for all the staff, and as we are mostly family the jokes are well known amongst everyone.
It's super cheap and really easy to upload your logo and designs and let the software do the rest.
I have just started recently to work with Printify to create mugs with inside jokes on for all the staff and I might say that is very easy to use it and so intuitive for beginners.
The quality of the mugs that I ordered was great, a lot better than your standard, run of the mill produced mugs. Looking forward to seeing even better results with our staff's name and logo t-shirts that we are designing.
--Mike, Marygrove Awning Co
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