Are you looking to start a personalized clothing and accessory brand?
Dropshipping business is on the surge and has opened numerous possibilities for budding entrepreneurs.
By 2026, the global dropshipping market size is expected to reach $476 billion. So it’s high time for you if you a print-on-demand (POD) business in your mind and earn a passive or active income out of it.
Products like graphic clothing, masks, and printed accessories are in the trends. And they all are receiving huge attention because of this one reason – design.
Imagine people wearing your clothes with their favorite movie characters or music bands printed on it!
And there are dozens of POD platforms offering a low-risk solution to sell your products online.
In this article, we’re going to shed light on three such platforms that are trending right now – Printify, Printful, and Teespring (or Spring).
There are many aspects that determine whether a business tool is reliable and can fit into the changing dynamics of the market.
Therefore, this comparison guide will cover those aspects and offer you perspectives on which platform can fulfill your start-up dream.
1. Creating A Store on Printify vs Printful vs Teespring
All three platforms provide a user-friendly interface and host of options to support the creative journey of your merchandise.
Now that you’re going to get started with one of these platforms, you should be familiar with creating your first merchandise store.
Let’s take a look at Printful first.
Once you’re on the Printful dashboard, you’ll have options to choose from any of the store builder platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Webflow, and many more.
Though there are some popular platforms such as Walmart, Volusion, 3DCart, etc, that don’t integrate directly with Printful.
Therefore, it features Shipstation which allows Printful to connect and fulfill orders via these channels.
You can also select “Manual Order Platform/API” to create a custom store where you can save mock ups of products and variants.
Creating a personalized store helps you add and save your product templates to make the process easier when used with an integrated ecommerce store of your choice.
Creating a store on Printify is easy and takes you a few simple steps.
You just need to select “My Store” where you’ll find options to add your products and integrate with marketplaces and ecommerce platforms of your choice.
You can generate mock ups and fill your store with products based on Printify’s print providers.
In case your print provider is temporarily unavailable, you can enable automated routing. This feature automatically routes orders to different print providers that prevents delays or out-of-stock situations.
Spring is a bit different because you can create a custom marketplace and sell your products directly on its platform.
Once created, you’ll have options either to connect with your existing domain or buy a new domain for your web store.
But unlike Printify and Printful, you won’t have options to integrate with an ecommerce platform or marketplace.
You can customize your store’s layout with different themes, banners, titles as per your brand.
You can then add products to your store, play around with some additional designs, and observe your responsive layout in both PC and mobile versions.
Overall, each of these platforms provides ease of navigation and has a less learning curve.
But when it comes to creating your store in the easiest way possible, Spring stands out among all.
Spring is a marketplace in itself and doesn’t need any integration with ecommerce stores.
After all, it depends on you. If you already have a store on Shopify or elsewhere, you can go for Printify or Printful.
But if you’re someone looking for a one-stop solution, Spring is the best option.
2. Product Catalog
The more diverse number of products your store has, the better are chances of staying ahead in the online marketplace.
Let’s see which POD platform can offer your merchandise a competitive advantage.
Printify offers over 300 varieties of products and is probably one of the most diverse merchandise platforms. To name some, you can use a number of merch products as listed below:
- Unisex clothing
- Kids clothing
- Phone cases
- Coffee mugs
- Pillows and covers
- Pet beds
- Room decor
- Bathroom accessories
Printful currently offers over 230 products, but its product catalog is as diverse as Printify. These are some of the products you can find here:
- Unisex clothing
- Kids clothing
- Hats, caps and beanies
- Phone cases
- Pillows and pillowcases
- Coffee mugs
- Canvas and posters
Teespring falls short of the products in its catalog. They don’t have a wide range of clothing that are available on both Printful and Printify.
Although it offers around 180 products, they’re all produced in their in-house facilities. Some of the products offered are:
- Unisex t-shirts, leggings
- Unisex hoodies, sweatshirts
- Kids t-shirts, sweatshirts
- Tank tops
- Canvas and posters
- Fleece blankets
- Coffee mugs
- Phone covers
Printify is a better choice if you want to include a diverse range of products in your merchandise.
3. Mockup Generation
With a mockup generator, you can bring your creative ideas into design. You can play around with design elements, add your creations to any of the products, save them in the library, and publish them in your store.
Choose the size, color, placement in any way possible to represent your brand image on the products. Not just dyed prints; you can even create your embroidery designs that look like some real stitchwork.
The point is, you’re going to spend most of your time here. So your focus should be more on the tools with better flexibility in designing the mockups.
Just like how Printify lets you create beautiful designs in its interactive editor. You can upload images in any format and easily drag and drop to place them. With over 300 design options, you won’t be limited to finding suitable images for the mockups.
Note that mockup generation on Printify depends on the print providers – especially the printing areas (front side, back side, sleeve sides), sizes, and color options.
Interestingly, printify keeps updating their library with new designs from time to time.
Now switching over to Printful, you can relate some of the features to Printify’s mockup elements. But here, you’re going to explore much more options for your design.
With over 3000 clipart graphics, 250+ thematic fonts and numerous color patterns, you can create product designs that perfectly describe your brand.
Having generated mockup designs on both Printify and Printful, I didn’t find Spring as interesting or diverse.
The editing interface and UI is quite simple and straightforward. But the design options or in-built cliparts are missing – only color options are available.
Moreover, you can get those quality design elements on its partner platform Placeit.
Though you’ll have to spend a few more bucks, the annual subscription comes at affordable pricing and is worth it.
Also, there is a monthly discount of 20% while using both the platforms.
Mockup designs require a lot of options to choose from. Therefore, Printful seems better choice where you can have tons of design elements in one place.
4. Ordering Sample Product
If this is your first experience with a POD website, you might want to test a few things before you begin the merchandise.
Ordering a sample is one of the ways you can make sure that your audience won’t be complaining about the fabrics or the prints.
With Printful, you’ll receive not just one but three product samples with a 20% discount on the single product.
Though it doesn’t allow you to order any more for a month in case you want to check the quality of other products quite often.
Unlike Printful, there is no discount for sample order on Spring. But considering their responsive support team, you can claim within 30 days of receiving the order in case of any quality issues.
The same is the case with Printify’s standard service, where you’ll have to pay a base price and shipping charge for your sample orders.
Moreover, you can avail sample order funds worth $29 (one-time bonus) once you’re subscribed to Printify Premium.
Plus, you’ll be eligible to order any quantity of products with a 20% discount.
Printful is a better choice for discounted sample orders.
5. Supplier Comparison
Having a print-on-demand business means directly sourcing the products from third-party print providers. Some of them have dedicated production houses, whereas some platforms offer multiple merchants based on the type of products or location.
Take Printify for instance. Any product you explore, you’ll have single or multiple merchant details.
And accordingly, you can make a choice based on their ratings, location, sizes, colors, average production time, shipping charges, and overall pricing.
You may also find a lot of products being sourced from the same supplier. In case, you may rely upon those print providers if they have been supplying quality products for long.
Here, you can find the list of Printify’s trusted suppliers and sort them out based on the countries they’re in.
Note that Printify doesn’t have any internal product sourcing. A long list of suppliers might sound good on paper.
But at times, there might be instances when poor print quality from unethical sources could hamper your merchandise efforts.
Printful, on the other hand, takes a different approach.
All the products you see on Printful’s marketplace are managed internally. Means, the print service is sourced directly from Printful’s pre-vetted factories rather than any third-party suppliers.
In case there is any problem with the product or print quality, you can reach out to their support team and resolve the issue.
But unlike Printify, you’ll have limited product options. Needless to say, many in-house production companies encounter this issue.
Now, once you’ve become familiar with Printful, you may also like to explore Spring’s platform.
Spring also manages product sourcing internally.
Moreover, they’ve print partners spread throughout the U.S. and EU regions.
Though you can see one of their printing facilities in Kentucky, there is no clear mention of other print providers.
Unlike Printify, you won’t find a diverse range of products.
But yes, you can expect some quality prints from any of their suppliers. Their own merchants manage everything from packaging to shipping.
Though Printify offers a wide range of products, you can’t be sure about the quality of prints on their products.
So unless you’re well versed with Printify’s marketplace and their trusted suppliers, I would recommend Printful for its reliability and quality.
6. Shipping Services
Once a customer places an order, they want to have it arrive on time. No one likes delayed package delivery, right?
Huge shipping charges are yet another concern – one of the main reasons behind cart abandonment.
Let’s see how each of these platforms handles shipping operations.
Printify lets you select from the list of print providers based on shipping. Different suppliers have different shipping rates and delivery times that also vary from product to product. You may like the shipping experience of one supplier.
What if you need to switch only because some products are unavailable with that supplier?
And what if your new supplier has a longer shipping duration?
This is where things become a little overwhelming. And it may take you some time to get familiar with particular suppliers and the products they offer.
Product shipping comparison between two suppliers:
Whereas on Printful, you can check standard shipping charges for all accessible locations using its calculator.
Let’s take an example of domestic shipping charges in the U.S..
Shipping cost for a t-shirt is $3.99 with a production and shipping time of 3-6 business days. And for every additional t-shirt, it charges an extra shipping cost of $1.50.
However, rates vary with products and international locations.
To check shipping rates for each product for all accessible locations, click on see shipping rates:
Talking about Spring, there’s not much difference considering the time and rates.
Shipping timelines and charges for the products depend on where the orders are fulfilled from.
The U.S.-bound orders are said to be delivered within 9-12 business days. Whereas for Canadian and International-bound orders, it takes 12-15 business days.
Now, let’s take a look at the shipping rates for U.S.-bound orders. When compared with Printify and Printful’s shipping structure, there’s not much of a significant difference.
Things are not always consistent with shipping operations. Some products have longer shipping time frames; sometimes they’re delivered on time, and other times, shipping gets delayed.
And by now, you might have noticed that there’s not much difference in their shipping rates.
Moreover, all three platforms work with the most reliable carriers to make sure the package is delivered safely (if not always timely).
Printify’s shipping partners: U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, DHL, DPD, UPS, OSM Worldwide, Royal Mail, Asendia, Spring, Canada Post, and Australia Post.
Printful’s shipping partners: U.S. Postal Service, DHL, FedEx, and Asendia.
TeeSpring’s shipping partners: DHL, USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
7. Earning Potential
All three POD platforms offer excellent opportunities to generate sales. But don’t get me wrong here – this ain’t a get-rich-quick scheme.
You can’t earn a convincing profit within a short time.
So whichever platform you choose, you will definitely be looking for a long run.
But how can you make sure that the tool you’re going to work with will turn out to be a profitable affair?
Each of them has different base prices for their products. And to earn profit, you need to set up a price margin.
For example, on Printify, you can see the list of print providers with different production and shipping charges. So you’ll have a host of options for a selected product depending on the location.
And once you’re done with the designing part, you’ll be able to see the “Create order” option where you can set the price by yourself.
You’ll not see any price recommendation, though. So you should take a profitable approach yet be practical while setting the final retail price.
Since Printful’s marketplace is managed internally, you won’t be concerned about varying shipping or printing charges.
But unlike Printify, you’ll be able to see the minimum recommended profit margin for your designed product, which you may change accordingly.
Moreover, I don’t see much difference in setting the price tags. There is one drawback, though.
It’s unclear how payments are likely handled on Printful’s platform when you have integrated tools such as Shopify. This may cause frequent delays.
Now, Spring has a marketplace of its own but is fully controlled when it comes to production, shipping, and payouts.
What I like the most is that the base price displayed here includes production, tax and shipping charges.
And all you’ve to do is set the retail price. But some of their products are pricier than Printify and Printful, even at a low profit margin.
The payout is fast and you’re likely to receive it within 2 days of product sale.
However, if you’re just starting out, the payout process may take up to a week.
Though there is almost equal earning potential on all three platforms, I would prefer TeeSpring for its simplified pricing and payout policies.
In a dropshipping business, you need to connect your POD platform with online selling stores to sell your products.
Each of them has an in-built API that enables them to integrate with Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. With better integration support, you can automate mundane operations so that you can keep up with your marketing.
So which platform really stands out in this segment?
Starting with Printify, you can connect your store with the following supported channels:
Want more integration options?
Then you may want to consider Printful, where you can choose from 22 ecommerce stores and online marketplaces.
- Big Cartel
- Launch Cart
- Printful’s custom API
You may not be sure which one to choose from a long list of integrations.
Therefore, it features a short quiz to help you sort out the integration channel that’s best for you.
Now coming over to Spring, which is a marketplace itself.
Why would it need to integrate with other marketplaces to sell the products?
Indeed, there is no need for Shopify or WooCommerce at all. You can directly sell your merchandise while integrating with YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and Streamlabs platforms.
Plus, you can also integrate with Google Shopping, which comes in handy if you’re low on an ad budget or completely new to advertising.
Or else, if you’re a developer, you can use the custom API to integrate with your self-developed web store.
If you’re a content creator, Spring is clearly the best choice for you.
But in general, Printify offers a limited yet a less confusing way to integrate your store with selling channels.
9. Customer Services
Every now and then, there is a certainty for a piece of software to run into issues. All three print-on-demand tools are robust and user-friendly.
But how good are their support services if something goes south?
On each platform, you can contact the support team via chat, email, or contact form. You can also join their community on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Moreover, you can find dozens of helpful resources like blogs, explainer videos, and FAQs on its website.
But if you ask for a verdict, there is no clear winner here. They all have garnered mixed reviews for their support services.
10. Printify vs Printful vs Teespring Pricing
Once you’re subscribed to Printify Premium, you’ll receive a balance of $29.00 to spend on your sample order.
This is a one-time bonus which you’ll receive even if you subscribe for one month.
There is no set-up cost or any monthly subscription fees.
All they charge you is for the orders you place, especially for production and shipping.
Teespring has a built-in marketplace. But to sell your merch, you need to take it online.
Therefore, you can connect to your existing domain or purchase a completely new domain there itself.
Web stores created upon Spring come with an SSL certificate which adds a layer of security for your visitors.
Pros and Cons of Printify, Printful and TeeSpring
Things we like about Printify:
- Printify offers a free pricing plan
- Long list of print providers
- Diverse range of products
- Cheaper pricing options for products
- Order fulfillment time is low
- Production facilities in many locations across the world
Things we don’t like about Printify:
- No discount offered for sample order
- Print quality is sometimes inconsistent
- Branding options are limited
- Requires some learning curve
- Limited marketplace integrations
Things we like about Printful:
- Offers a wide range of products
- A long list of integration options
- Lot of customization options for product design
- Good quality of prints or embroidery
- Offers discount on sample orders
- A lot of branding options are available
Things we don’t like about Printful:
- Product is not shippable to many locations
- Poor return policy
- Order fulfillment takes some time
- Profit margin is comparatively low
- Not clear how payout is handled
Things we like about Spring:
- Ideal platform for content creators
- Easy to use and manage
- Has its own marketplace without integrating to ecommerce stores
- Has built-in marketing tools
- Integration with social media sites and YouTube
- Provides 3D view of mockups
Things we don’t like about Spring:
- Limited number of products
- No design options or clipart available
- No text styling available
- Requires a lot of marketing efforts due to lack of ecommerce integration
- Base cost is comparatively high
So which deciding factor should you consider while choosing between Printify, Printful, and Spring?
Well, most of you may think there is no definitive winner.
But if you’re really going to put your finger on any of them, let’s be a little specific about it.
If you’re already an established POD business and want to scale further, you need to feature a diverse range of product catalogs for your merchandise.
You guessed it right! Printify is your go-to platform.
Now, if you’re a newbie entrepreneur and looking for a risk-free opportunity, Printful is undoubtedly the best choice. You’ll even have the advantage of integrating with a wide range of ecommerce tools.
But if you’re already a content creator or influencer, or looking to be, TeeSpring is your best bet.
Now go ahead and create a good start-up story with any of these platforms.