- 1. About Printful
- 2. Best Printful Alternatives
- 2.1. Printify
- 2.2. Merchize
- 2.3. CustomCat
- 2.4. Gooten
- 2.5. Print Aura
- 2.6. Spreadshirt
- 2.7. Teelaunch
- 3. Are Print on demand sites good alternatives to Printful?
- 4. Printful competitors comparison chart
- Wrap up
- How much does Printful charge for shipping?
- How long does Printful take to ship?
- How much does printful cost?
- Why is printful so expensive?
Printful is a well-known name in the area of print on demand. It has been the starting point for many new sellers on the journey of selling print-on-demand products. Still, as the market evolves, there are now more and more Printful alternatives for you to try.
1. About Printful
1.1. How printful works
First started in 2013, Prinful is among the first companies to explore the potential of a worldwide print-on-demand fulfillment model. It has also become one of the largest print on demand companies in the world.
While it might be the most popular option for print on demand, it is not necessarily the best fit for every business. In fact, many experienced sellers have ventured and tried other Printful alternatives to maximize their customer experience as well as the margin profit.
1.2. Prinful locations
Printful currently owns five fulfillment centers in California, North Carolina, Latvia, and Mexico. Apart from these five main centers, the company also forms partnerships with other companies that run fulfillment centers in different locations across the globe, from the UK, Poland, Spain to Japan, Australia, and Brazil. This large network of partner facilities allows the company to deliver international shipping efficiently.
1.3. Printful services
Printful offers a wide variety of solutions for print on demand businesses. Here are some main services that Printful is providing:
- Store-front set-up
- Fulfillment and delivery services
- Branding options
- Design and photography services
1.4. How to find a good alternative to Prinful?
Print on demand is a business with a low margin. Printful’s expensive service will even narrow down that already small bite. As the result, many sellers have switched to other suppliers that provide more affordable pricing.
In addition, Printful’s catalog obviously doesn’t cover everything under the sun. If you are expecting to make money out of some unique and less common products, it is highly recommended that you search for other companies like Printful that can fulfill these products for you.
Check out the list of the best print on demand products in 2021
Here are something you should consider when picking alternatives to Printful:
- Product catalog
- Integration options
2. Best Printful Alternatives
Print on demand market is burgeoning with many new companies starting up. Each company comes up with a unique set of benefits and offerings. To help you from being overwhelmed by the massive amount of information, we have listed out a list of the best print-on-demand Printful alternatives in the market.
Before getting into the details of each option, we will provide some key information on the best alternatives to Printful.
|No. of Products||Integration options||Production time|
|Printful||+300||22 + API||2-7 days|
|Gooten||+150||4 + API||1-6 days|
|Print Aura||+360||5||3-5 days|
|Spreadshirt||+200||Shopify (via SPOD)||3-8 days|
|Teespring||+180||Only to streaming
Pritnifty is the most popular alternative to Printful. The company gains popularity thanks to its different solutions, a wider selection of products, and a more affordable price.
How Printify works
Printify’s business model is slightly different from Printful’s services. Instead of taking charge of the entire process of manufacturing and delivering, Printify will only take care of the delivery. In other words, Printful doesn’t have an in-house manufacturing facility. Their solution is to work with the printing partners who will help them to produce the items.
With this model, Printify is able to establish an extensive network of manufacturing facilities across the world. It allows Printify to minimize the shipping time and offer a cost-effective way to fulfill your orders
Printify vs Printful
Printify’s biggest advantage is its flexibility in terms of choosing the manufacturing facilities. Depending on the location of your customers, you can find the printing partners from where your product will be printed and delivered to the customers. It will significantly cut down the shipping time. Apart from the flexibility of choosing your printing partner, Printify also edges out Printful with a wider range of product options.
On the downside, it also means that the quality control could not be as good as Printiful’s system since Printify is not directly in charge of the production. There will be a gap in the product quality between different printing partners. Always be selective when choosing the printing providers on Printify.
Who is most suitable to use Printify?
Print on demand sellers who are looking for a cheaper alternative to Printful and sellers who want efficient shipping and larger product options.
Merchize is obviously a newer alternative to Printful. While being a brand new name in the global industry, Merchize has already established itself as one of the leading print on demand companies in Vietnam. Within just 2 years, Merchize has continuously improved services to fit the needs and expectations of the customers. That’s why Merchize is able to offer various services with excellent quality that helps your business excel.
How Merchize works
Merchize offers comprehensive solutions for sellers, from creating a storefront to fulfilling and shipping your orders. Sellers can either host their storefront on Merchize’s platform or integrate Merchize with stores on other platforms and marketplaces. On Merchize’s print on demand platform, you can keep track of all the orders from your stores, check production statistics as well as the shipping tracking.
Merchize vs Printful
With only 180+ products on their side, Merchize does not offer as many products as Printful does. Still, Merchize can deliver decent numbers of products with some unique options that you can’t find anywhere else like Hawaii shirts, baseball Jersey shirts, leather wallets, car accessories, to name a few. These unique products can return a higher profit margin than other popular items. Don’t miss the opportunity to gain more with unique print on demand products like what Merchize is offering. It should be noted that Merchize has plenty of all over print products offered at very competitive prices.
- All over print pocket Hawaii shirt – $18
- All over print regular fit Hawaii shirt – $17.5
- All over print baseball jersey – $16.5
- All over print casual bomber – $25.49
- All over print polo shirt – $13.75
- Custom Pajamas for kids – $17.50
Another great thing about Merchize is its versatility when it comes to marketplace integration. Merchize offers integration with almost every popular marketplace and platform for print on demand like Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, and Woocommerce. Moreover, the API option allows you to connect Merchize to your store from different platforms. With production statistics and process tracking features, sellers can keep track of all your orders.
Who is most suitable to use Merchize?
Thanks to the competitive pricing, sellers can gain a higher profit when selling with Merchize. If you are expecting to widen your profit margin, Merchize can be a good option to choose. In addition, a unique selection of products can bring new opportunities to your business.
How CustomCat works
CustomCat is a print-on-demand company based in the United States. Similar to Printful, CustomCat will take care of the printing and shipping as well.
CustomCat vs Printful
CustomCat manages to deliver a fast turnaround within the country. An order will be shipped within 2-3 days in the US, giving it a good competitive advantage over Printful as well as other companies in the industry. However, since the company doesn’t have fulfillment facilities outside the US, international shipping is not as fast as other print on demand companies that have a global distribution system.
Another thing that helps CustomCat stand out is its wide selection of products. CustomCat can offer some unique products that you can’t find on Printful.
Who is most suitable to use CustomCat?
CustomCat is a worth-considering option for sellers targeting the US market. Since international shipping to other countries outside the US is not as fast as other companies that have their fulfillment centers worldwide.
Moreover, since it only offers native integration options for WooCommerce and Shopify, sellers selling print on demand on other platforms or marketplace might find it difficult to connect their stores to CustomCat’s system.
How Gooten works
Here is another Printful alternatives – Gooten. With Gooten, you can get your products up and running conveniently. Gooten’s platform allows you to upload your design, automatically list your products and track the delivery of your items. All functions are easy to use, even for a newbie. What’s great about Gooten is that it comes with some unique products from various categories, like stationery, home living, and more.
Gooten vs Printful
It should also be noted that Gooten shared the same operating solution as Printify. It means that the company doesn’t own any manufacturing factories. Instead, they will work with third-party companies to print your orders. Unlike Printify, Gooten doesn’t allow you to pick and choose the printing partners. It might count as a downside since sellers will have little control over the outcome of their products.
Gooten integration system is available for Shopify, Woocomerce, Etsy. If you are selling on other platforms like Amazon or eBay, you have to connect through Gooten API.
Who is most suitable to use Gooten?
If you are looking for a print on demand Printful alternative with attractive pricing, easy-to-use application, and unique product options, Gooten can be a great option to start with. However, since Gooten doesn’t support native integration with platforms like eBay or Amazon, it will be difficult for beginners to make it work for their Amazon or eBay store.
2.5. Print Aura
How Print Aura works
Print Aura is one of the first print-on-demand companies in the US. Being in the industry for quite a long time, Print Aura established itself as a reliable print-on-demand supplier.
Print Aura vs Printful
In comparison to Printful, Print Aura can offer attractive prices. It owns a wide product selection of over 360 items – one of the largest in the market. Besides, sellers using Print Aura are provided with various branding options. Their printing options can even edge out what Printful is offering.
A small turn-off of Print Aura is its outdated user interfaces which might not be as intuitive as other newer competitors.
Who is most suitable to use Print Aura?
Print Aura can be a great option for people who are looking for an alternative to Printful that offers a great price and a wide range of products. By offering various branding options, Print Aura is suitable for sellers who aim to raise brand awareness.
How Spreadshirt work
Spreadshirt is another veteran in the print on demand industry. Starting in 2002, Spreadshirt is a print-on-demand platform in which sellers can create and upload their own custom products. This platform is suitable for creators and artists who want to sell and promote their arts.
Spreadshop offers a marketplace where you can list your design and find customers. Each store on Spreadshop can be customizable to match your brand.
Spreadshirt vs Printful
With regard to their product quality, Spreadshirt is very highly recommendable. It offers good products at fair prices. Moreover, if you are expecting to build an environmentally-conscious brand, Spreadshirt is right for you. It has a sustainable and eco-friendly production, which aligns with your eco-friendly brand.
Besides, Spreadshirt also has its own Shopify app called SPOD, which makes it easier for you to connect to your Shopify store.
Who is most suitable to use Spreadshirt?
If you put a strong emphasis on the sustainability of your brand, consider using Spreadshirt’s service. However, it should be noted that Spreadshirt only supports sellers on their platform and Shopify stores. If you are running a store somewhere else, Spreadshirt is not an available option for you.
How Teelaunch works
Teelaunch is a popular print on demand Shopify app. After you integrate your Shopify store with Teelaunch, Teelaunch will automatically process all your orders, print the products, and ship them to customers.
Teelaunh offers great tools to create custom products and generate mockups. It also allows you to track the process conveniently without living your store.
Plus, since Teelaunch has facilities in different countries including the US, UK and Australia, international shipping can be processed efficiently, lowering the shipping time and expense.
Teelaunch vs Printful
When compared to Printify, Teelaunch doesn’t provide as many branding options and products. About the integration feature, Teelaunch is only available for Shopify users. To integrate Teelaunch with your Etsy store, you must have a store on Shopify first.
Who is most suitable to use Teelaunch?
Teelaunch is a built-in app for Shopify, making it a viable option for sellers who are running shops on this platform.
3. Are Print on demand sites good alternatives to Printful?
All the options above with the exception of Spreadshirt are all print-on-demand companies. These companies will only help you with the fulfillment and shipping. As a business owner, you are responsible for doing the design and marketing for your store. While you don’t have to worry about inventory management or shipping, there is a lot of work on your side when it comes to attracting traffic and sales.
But if you are just doing print on demand as a side hustle and don’t have much time to do all the work it takes, print on demand sites or print on demand marketplace is a great way to build a stream of passive income.
These platforms are the print on demand versions of the popular marketplace like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. You can make use of the existing customers on these platforms to sell your products.
Compared to selling print on demand on the regular storefront, these platforms require less maintenance. These platforms also do the advertising and marketing for you. The only thing you have to do is to create a winning design for your products. The rest will be handled by the print on demand sites. With their low maintenance nature, these print on demand websites can be a good place to test the water before you go full force with your business ideas.
But the passive nature of the print-on-demand marketplace comes at an expense which is lower profit margins. A stable and good source of income will not come easy.
Zazzle is one of the largest marketplaces for selling print on demand. On Zazzle, you only have to upload your design and the rest is handled by Zazzle themselves. Plus, you can make use of the big number of organic traffic on Zazzle.
The good thing about Zazzle is that it allows sellers to get the profit margins to your products. Sellers are allowed to set the profit margin somewhere between 5% to 99%. With the flexibility to set the price, you can adjust the pricing to create profitable products. Moreover, Zazzle has created a very user-friendly platform that makes it easy to use even for a newbie seller.
Teespring positions itself as a marketplace for artists and content creators to sell their merchandise. After uploading your design to TeeSpring, the platform will be responsible for the printing and delivery.
TeeSpring is collaborating with popular platforms for content creators and online influencers like Youtube, Discord, and Twitch. Unlike other print on demand marketplaces on this list, Teespring still requires sellers to do the necessary marketing. It is an advantage for artists and influences who already have existing followers. If you have yet developed your personal branding, you will have a hard time getting sales for your products. In this case, Printify or other print on demand companies might be better options for you.
Teespring is a great option for online content creators, influencers who want to create a stream of income with their existing customer base. These people are familiar with online marketing and personal branding, which can come as an advantage to promote their products on TeeSpring’s marketplace.
Society6 is another print-on-demand marketplace that can be a good Printful alternative. Similar to Zazzle, sellers on Society6 can create their own accounts, add new designs and publish on the platform. It will require a small fee of 1 dollar to sell on Society6.
Society6 markets itself as a marketplace for individual artists to create and sell merchandise. Compared to the Printful or other print-on-demand marketplaces, Society6 is more focused on art print products. The audience on this platform is also geared toward the artsy side, making it an ideal place for artists to sell their artworks in the form of print-on-demand products.
Moreover, Society6’s supply system is not as optimized as Printful. The shipping time on this platform can take up to 5-10 days for the standard shipping option. For international shipping, the shipping time can even go up to 10 to 15 days.
With the expectation of some products like art prints, canvas, framed art, Society6 does not allow sellers to decide how much they can profit from a sold item. In most cases, the sellers can get 10% off the retail price.
Redbubble is not a strange name to the print on demand sellers. Redbuddle is another name that you can add to your list of potential Printful alternatives.
Artists and designers can upload their arts and put them on different products to sell on this platform. Redbubble has a strong competitive advantage of good traffic to the website. Since it’s a famous print-on-demand website, the competition here is very high. It is hard for regular designs to stand out in this sea of incredible design and products.
Individual sellers or artists can find Redbubble a good place to start their print on demand business. Redbubble offers a place where you can put out design and test the buyer sentiment before making bigger investments.
4. Printful competitors comparison chart
Turn around time comparison
|Production time||Shipping time|
|Printful||2-7 days||3-5 days|
|Printify||2-7 days||2-7 days|
|Merchize||4-7 days||5-7 days|
|CustomCat||3-7 days||2-6 days (Economy)
1-4 weeks (International shipping)
|Gooten||1-6 days||2-6 days|
|Teespring||9-12 days (standard US shipping)
12-15 days (international)
|Print Aura||3-5 days||3-5 days (Standard)
5-12 days (Canada shipping)
|Spreadshirt||3-8 days||1-3 days (Express shipping)|
|Zazzle||1-3 days||1-2 days (Express shipping)
4-7 days (Standard shipping)
|Society6||3-7 days||5-10 days (standard shipping in the US)
7-18 days (International)
|Teelaunch||4-7 days||3-6 days|
(Direct to Garment)
|Sublimation||Embroidery||Cut and sew|
|Printful||USA, Mexico, Latvia, Spain, Japan, Australia, Canada|
|Printify||USA, Europe, China, UK, Australia, Canada|
|Merchize||Vietnam, China, USA|
|Gooten||USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Korea, Italy, Czech Republic|
|Spreadshirt||USA, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic|
|Redbubble||USA, UK, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic|
|Teelaunch||USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain|
|White-label packaging||Labels (inside and outside)||Others|
Brand logo, Pack-ins, Custom packing slip
Custom packaging, Pack-ins, Individual bagging
Printful seems to be the no-brainer option for a lot of people when they just started their print on demand business. But considering the high price that Printful is proposing, it might not be the most profitable option. In order to increase the profit margins as well as extend your product lists, finding other Printful alternatives is the way to go. Hopefully, with our list of the best Printful alternatives, you can have a better stream of income from print on demand.
How much does Printful charge for shipping?
The shipping cost will be charged based on the destination. Moreover, it can also vary depending on the shipping method you choose. The standard shipping fee for a T-shirt at Printful is rated at $3.99. An additional t-shirt with the same order will add another $1.25.
How long does Printful take to ship?
The production time is claimed to take around 2 to 7 business days to finish the production. The shipping time will vary depending on the delivery destination.
How much does printful cost?
Printful doesn’t charge you anything until an order comes. You will have to pay for the product cost as well as the shipping cost for each order. You will benefit from the margin between the price you charge the customer and the cost you pay for Printful.
Besides, if you opt for the paid plan, Printful Pro, at the price of $45 per month. There is also an annual plan which will cost $539. Printful also offers related services like photography, storefront setup, design, and branding.
Why is printful so expensive?
Printful has the advantage of well-branded services. Its popularity allows Printful to get ahead of the competition and charge a higher price for similar products. Known for its reliable and professional services, Printful can confidently position itself as a leading company in the market, hence imposing hefty pricing for their services.
Its expensive service could be a big turn-off for many sellers, especially when the market is now full of other competitors with affordable pricing and equally satisfying services.