Printify is an eCommerce platform that allows entrepreneurs to sell print-on-demand merchandise online.
However, this is a crowded marketplace with options such as Sellfy offering similar features. Does Printify do enough to stand out above the competition?
That’s exactly what we will look into today. What follows is an in-depth review of Printify, and whether they are the eCommerce print-on-demand platform to use in 2021.
What is Printify?
Printify owns a print-on-demand service platform that is afforded to artists and designers so that they can brand goods through printing.
It does not do the actual printing but provides a platform for its subscribers to choose which POD service provider (or Printify partner) to work with from the available list of Printify partners.
Printify partners are POD firms that stock and sell raw items to Printify subscribers, as well as do the actual printing of designs on selected items. Relatedly, Printify handles transaction processing and order fulfillment on behalf of the subscriber.
Expectedly, Printify allows an independent artist or upcoming fashion designer to create a fashion brand on the cheap.
Relatedly, it comes with its own Printify API; and integrates well with WooCommerce, eBay, Shopify, Etsy, WIX, PrestaShop, and BigCommerce.
What does Printify Offer?
The user can then select from the provided catalog of 300+ products which products are going to be branded with his/her idea. This allows the user to create custom products that can now be sold in the market. Even so, how does Printify manage to promise to print goods for its users who are located in different locations?
Printify can print products in 90 locations, and this is possible because it has agreements with POD service providers in these locations. These agreements allow Printify to delegate printing tasks to third-party POD service providers who do the actual printing.
About product shipment, Printify handles it on behalf of the user, and this makes it easy for the POD service provider to request its subcontracted print provider to ship the custom-made good to a particular address (which is usually the customer’s address).
This means that Printify handles the fulfillment of the product order, which makes it a fulfillment entity.
For the user, this means that (s)he only has to upload his/her designs, select products onto which these designs are to be printed, and then market the products, and let Printify handle the rest, including transaction processing and sending money to his account.
Currently, over 250000 businesses use Printify’s POD platform.
- Related Content: 7 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Dropshipping
How Printify Works – Step by Step
The process of using Printify to create and market a custom branded good is simple and straightforward as is explained below.
This requires one to click the button labeled as “Start Selling”, and this redirects one to the registration webpage where one can fill in personal information, along with other pertinent details, including the store name.
As mentioned earlier, the user can choose any number of products from the product catalog provided by Printify.
This means that one does not need to ship unlabeled goods to Printify, which also implies that one does need to raise capital to buy and ship goods that will be branded on-demand. The goods in the product catalog are described as raw items.
Each raw item serves as a blank, unlabeled good that one can have his art design printed on (it).
Create an art design
Printify provides a design creation tool, as well as allows one to upload his/her created design art, including logos. This art can then be edited onto the image of a chosen raw item.
If one had already created the art, (s)he can use the design creation tool to enhance the art, edit it, or modify it. After the art has been added to a raw item, one can view how the final good would look like using the mockup generator tool.
This allows one to see whether the final good looks as desired or if there is still a need to hone the design and properly locate the design on the item.
Choose POD provider
As mentioned, Printify has an agreement with over 90 POD providers who are called printing partners. Printify allows the user to choose the printing partner who will print the design of the raw item.
One can even request the printing partner to ship the final product to him/her so that (s)he can assess whether the product meets his/her expectations.
Likewise, the ability to choose a POD provider allows the user to seek out a provider who (s)he can work best with, especially in terms of budget and color customization.
Sell the finished product
After choosing the POD provider who can turn a raw item into a finished good, one can start to sell the product.
Printify provides a selling platform that makes a product go live after one hits the “publish” button.
If a customer requests for the product, Printify will handle back-ordering to the printing partner, order fulfillment, transaction processing (including billing), and product shipment. This shows that Printify is not only a POD platform but also a fulfillment entity.
It is important to note that although Printify handles transaction processing, this service is not handled in-house, but is instead delegated to a third-party payment processor.
Likewise, remitting money made from product sales back to the account holder is done by a third-party entity that has been subcontracted to offer this service.
Range of Products
The catalog of Printify products adequately labels the raw items. This allows for their categorization into product groups. Currently, all the products on offer can be grouped into 6 product categories, which are:
This is divided into 2 subcategories –
This is a popular raw item for fashion designers and artists. There are different types of T-shirts on offer, with the most popular types being the short sleeve, V-neck, loose fit, sleeveless, tank top, crew neck, trim fit, scoop neck, and long-sleeve T-shirts. Printify allows its user to place their design on the front or back of the T-Shirt, as well as either the right or left sleeve.
This is basically any apparel with the exception of the T-shirt explained above. It’s the popularity of T-shirts that has led to it being separated from clothes.
The main items in clothing are pants (trousers), socks, jackets, dresses, hats, shirts, swimsuits, hoodies, leggings, and skirts.
Printify allows one to add a design to flip flops, high tops, sneakers, canvas shoes, high heels, and Doc Martin boots.
These are non-apparel wearable items that enhance the looks of the apparel. They include shopping bags, handbags, backpacks, tote bags, and phone casings.
This can be described as a special category of accessories that encompasses fine and expensive non-apparel wearables. They include necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets.
This is the collective term for writing materials, including paper, pens, and pencils. It also includes notebooks, cards, and stickers.
These are decorative items that enhance the appearance of a room. Some of these items are made from fabric, and they include bath mats, towels, blankets, and shower curtains. Other décor items include mugs and wall art.
Apart from product categorization, Printify also offers these items in different sizes and colors.
Even so, where does Printify source these items from? The answer is that it sources these items from the printing partners.
As expected, this makes a service solution provider because it does not stock the bulk of the goods, but rather provides a platform that allows one to connect to businesses that stock these items and can print a design on them.
Similarly, this makes the printing partners the product providers, and hence their designation as POD providers is appropriate.
- Related Content: Top 8 Essential Integrations Every Ecommerce Store Should Use
These partners have been described above. For a user, his/her main question can be: what information does a printing partner provide to users?
The printing partner is required by Printify to provide its catalog of raw items, which should include the following details about each item – its size, color, production time, and pre-customization price (also called the base price).
Moreover, the printing partner must state where it is located. Most of the printing partners are located in China, the United Kingdom, and the US. This helps the user to estimate shipping costs and product delivery time, as well as get an idea about why pricing and production capacity differs among POD providers.
Printify integrates well with WooCommerce, eBay, Shopify, Etsy, WIX, PrestaShop, and BigCommerce. It also comes with its own Printify Application Programming Interface (API). Printify provides its integration plugins, including the WordPress WooCommerce plugin and the Shopify App, directly to the user through the user dashboard.
The ability to integrate with webstores allows the user to upload images of the finished good to his/her webstore for sale.
For instance, after choosing a printing partner and settling on how the raw item is to be customized so that it matches with the item shown in the mockup generator, the printing partner can send over a sample good which can then be shown in the webstore.
This enables the subscriber to sell a finished good that (s)he can vouch for.
As mentioned, Printify handles fulfillment, though in an indirect way because it is the Printing partner that ships the finished goods. Usually, the printing partner lists the estimated shipping charges for sending products to select countries. These charges can be rated as weight-based or volume-based shipping rates, as well as a flat rate or express rate.
Relatedly, Printify provides an intuitive tool called the shipping calculator that allows one to know what the total charges are, i.e shipping cost plus product price.
Regarding delivery duration, one needs to estimate the time it would take for the finished good to reach the provided address after it has left the workshop of the POD provider. One can even use a rough estimate. The rough estimate of the delivery time for international shipping is 10-30 days.
Printify provides help to its users through the merchant support department.
Printify offers 3 service plans. Two of these service plans are paid plans that are billed monthly, while one is a free plan. These plans are explained below.
This is the basic plan, and it allows one to subscribe as a user. The user is eligible for 5 webstores, merchant support, unlimited choice of raw items, and access to the mockup generator and integrations platforms. The user is also allowed to manually set up the order creation process, along with a self-serve help center.
Premium Plan – £24.99
This is the budget-paid plan that comes with all the features of the free plan, with the exception that the subscriber is now entitled to 10 webstores. It also comes with custom order import. Additionally, the subscriber is eligible for a discount of 20% of the base price of raw items listed by the Printing Partner.
Enterprise Plan – Custom Pricing
This top-tier paid plan is designed for subscribers who can sell over 10,000 products per day.
As expected, it comes with all the features of the Premium Plan, with the exception that the subscriber is now entitled to unlimited webstores and unlimited product designs.
The subscriber is also eligible for early access to new Printify features, as well as custom API integrations. One is also allowed to create a branded customer support center to interact with his/her customers.
Meanwhile, Printify assigns a dedicated account manager to help the subscriber with managing his/her Printify account.