Are you a beginner or a seasoned seller looking for new POD sites to join? Unsure how to compare Apliiq vs Printful? Here are 11 things you should know!
In this article, I’ll be explaining the 11 key things anyone should know about Apliiq and Printful. I’ve also included a summary and addressed a few common questions to help you make the decision on which site is best for you.
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link!
Apliiq Vs Printful: 11 Things To Know
1. Product catalog
Every fulfillment offers different products for you to sell. Printful is one of the more popular POD sites thanks to its diverse product catalog. They have over 300 products you can customize with your own designs and sell via ecommerce stores. This includes rare items like pet accessories, footwear and even home decor.
When comparing with Apliiq’s product catalog, it’s obvious that Apliiq does not stand a chance against Printful’s selections. Apliiq focuses much more on apparel clothing against other categories. There are over 50 short sleeved t-shirts you can source with Apliiq – pretty impressive on its own if you ask me.
It might be a little simplistic to compare the amount of items offered so you might want to look into other things like price points, color options, printing options and available sizes. Depending on the direction of your merchandise design business, these factors play a huge part.
Tie dye shirts
Kids & baby clothing
Winner: Printful – for the wide range of products you can sell.
2. Product pricing
Aside from product choices, pricing plays an important role in determining your business’ profit aka how sustainable it is to continue both short term and long term. It’s much more feasible for new businesses to use cheaper products in the beginning just to build profit and later use it to capitalize on quality.
Printful is generally known to be more expensive in the industry – you can read in my comparisons against Teelaunch, Gooten and even Printify. However, I do not deny that the higher costs comes with greater benefits for the average seller (you’ll learn more as you read through this article).
As an example, I would like to compare the price of pullover hoodies specifically the 3719 Bella Canvas. Printful’s prices starts from $30.95 while Apliiq charges $28.49 for the exact same item. The difference of $2.46 isn’t that huge compared to other items/fulfillments but it’s still a margin that you can save on if you sell Apliiq’s hoodies.
We also find the same for the Gildan men’s t-shirt 5000. Printful sells them from $10.95 while Apliiq sells them for just $9.49. Not a big gap but one you should still know!
Winner: Apliiq – almost-similar products are cheaper compared to Printful.
3. Shipping charges
Shipping fees can vary across products and fulfillments, even if they’re based in the same country. Big companies have multiple production locations around the world so aside from the delivery location, shipping charges depend largely on whether a closer production center can fulfill the product.
Using the same hoodie I’ve listed above, we find that shipping fees for Bella Canvas 3719 Pullover Hoodie to the USA is cheaper when using Apliiq compared to Printful. However, it is more expensive if users purchase more than one unit within the same shipment – see table below.
|Number of items
If you have an existing customer base, analyze your trends to see if customers check out with more than a single item. It would be more affordable for them to purchase additional units with Printful instead of Apliiq.
Apliiq charges shipping based on weight of item (less on number of items) so this scenario can be different if you’re selling a light-weight Gildan t-shirt.
Winner: Apliiq – cheaper shipping rates when buying just one item to the USA.
4. Discounts on samples
Ordering samples of your own designed products is a good way to reinvest profits you’ve made into the business. You can use these samples to inspect product quality, take your own mockup photos or fill up your own wardrobe. Taking real live videos are a sure way to keep your store’s engagement high and convince customers to make a purchase.
Printful gives all users 20% off sample orders every month – capped at 1 order with maximum of 3 items. By achieving higher sales, you’ll get to unlock higher monthly quota for sample orders. So it’s pretty straightforward and you get to try three different items every month – that’s 36 items in a year.
Apliiq offers samples in a unique way compared to all other POD fulfillments I’ve seen. To surprise of many, ordering samples with Apliiq is much more expensive than your paying for your dropship product cost. You’ll have to pay a premium price just to get a feel of your own product – see below for hoodie pricing.
The higher price for samples is due to Apliiq assigning their in-house artist to review your design for quality before getting it printed. This way, you’ll get the best results and avoids you from spending money on another round on samples to get things right. It’s good in a way but paying for double, I’m not entirely sure.
Winner: Printful – I must be incentivized to buy my own products and paying double for samples is not something I’m okay with.
5. Customer service
Both Apliiq and Printful offers multiple customer service channels including live chat and email support. You can even book a call with Apliiq during weekdays from 8am to 5pm pst or submit a ticket online for them to get back to you.
There are also help centers on both sites where you can go through helpful articles to navigate your issues. Printful has a lot more things covered in the FAQs compared to Apliiq but this should be unique to their website and operations.
I also find it convenient that Printful has social media accounts you can connect with and possibly reach out on for immediate help – including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Apliiq does not have their social media accounts listed on their website.
Winner: Undecided – both are great as they offer live chat. If you love using social media more, Printful may work better for you.
6. Eco-friendly products
Selling eco-friendly products that are sustainably made is a print on demand niche of its own. People are becoming more conscious of their purchases and younger generations puts a lot of effort into having a sustainable lifestyle.
There are eco-friendly product categories on both Apliiq and Printful. However, Printful has a lot more options for you to sell including innerwear, aprons, accessories and loose fabric (yes, you can order these!).
Apliiq only has a total of 18 eco-friendly products compared to Printful’s selection of 26. Prices are pretty much similar and if there’s one thing Printful does not have that Apliiq does, it’s these ladies leggings.
Winner: Printful – there’s a lot more eco-friendly products for you to choose from.
7. Product mockups
Mockup images play a huge role at convincing customers to make a purchase – after all, it’s the only way they can imagine how the product will look like. Not the same as physical in-store purchase where you can touch and feel before buying something.
Printful has great mockup images you can use for your product’s listing. These images will automatically sync to your ecommerce store to be viewed by customers when browsing a product. Their mockups look as if the item was really worn/used on a person, comes in multiple angles and directly represents what your customers will get.
Apliiq on the other hand, does not have good mockups to offer and uses product-only photos. You may need to use additional tools like Placeit to create your own mockups and manually upload them to listings. Placeit has thousands of mockup template photos you can use for different products throughout your store.
Winner: Printful – makes your life a whole lot easier with their own real live mockups that automatically syncs to each store’s listing.
8. Integrations available
When deciding which fulfillment to go with, we usually look into what integrations are offered. It’s not necessary to choose one that has a lot of integration options as it depends more on whether you plan to use it. If you’re okay with just selling via Shopify and Etsy, then Apliiq is just as great as Printful.
However, if you want to keep your options open in the future, selling with Printful is a safer route. You can always choose Apliiq then pivot later on but it would take time to set up and reupload your designs to your seller dashboard. Once a design is uploaded to a product in Printful, it can be reused and synced across different platforms and stores.
I generally recommend people to save time by going with a fulfillment that integrates with a wide range of platforms, marketplaces and even social media. But this depends on you!
Winner: Printful – long list of integration options and not limited to just standalone websites.
9. Online resources
Making money online is not the easiest thing for first time beginners. It can take a long time for you to learn and it’s normal to make mistakes along the way (and waste money at it!).
Your learning curve is faster if there’s reliable resources online to help you out. This includes YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook groups and even forum channels. Between Apliiq and Printful, there are a lot more resources found online for Printful as it is more popular and widely used.
Any seller on Printful can also access their in-house print on demand courses and lessons. These are regularly updated to cover trendy topics within print on demand. Aside from addressing FAQs, Apliiq does not offer similar resources on their site.
Winner: Printful – own learning center and plenty of online resources for you to learn from!
10. Custom labelling & branding
Branding is key to your long term success in print on demand, regardless if you’re selling on Etsy or your own Shopify website. If the word itself overwhelms you, let’s think of small simple steps e.g. just adding a brand label to your merchandise.
Apliiq lets you add woven labels, satin tags, neck prints and patches to apparel products. You’ll just need to upload an image of your preferred label design or brand’s logo. Sellers can also customize packaging exterior with stickers, tape or use different types of mailers.
A more creative way is too add branded inserts to each shipment. This can include promotional materials, embroidered patches, scented inserts or even complementary keychains. You can read more about Apliiq’s custom packaging here.
Printful offers similar branding services. Aside from neck labels, you can personalize your orders with branded pack-ins including thank you cards and coupons. These customizations come with additional cost and needs to be arranged prior. Read more about Printful’s services here.
Winner: Apliiq – wider choice and more creative options for branded packaging inserts.
11. Referral or affiliate program
Another way to earn with print on demand is to promote your favorite platforms with referral or affiliate links. You can use them on YouTube, in blog posts, Twitter threads or even Instagram – wherever suits you best, then earn once someone purchases with your link.
Apliiq only offers an affiliate program and you’ll need to contact their support to join. It gives you 10% commission on sales that you refer and you’ll be paid once your balance reaches the threshold of $25.
Printful on the other hand, offers both referral and affiliate programs. Upon signing up, every user gets their own referral link to share & earn $5 credit when a referral makes a purchase. If you have a sizeable audience online, consider applying for Printful’s affiliate program to earn 10% commission on every sale someone makes for their first 9 months.
Winner: Printful – earning on referrals is made easy (no signups required) and you can earn on an affiliate for a period of 9 months!
Apliiq vs Printful: Summary of Differences
|Free sign up
|Selling at platform store
|Discounts on samples
|Custom label your products
|Include business cards and pamphlets in shipments
|Bulk discounts on wholesale
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Shopify can be used with Apliiq. You’ll have to connect an existing Shopify store to Apliiq for automatic syncing of products and orders. Apliiq integrates with Shopify, Etsy and WooCommerce. You can use one account for multiple integrations.
Apliiq offers embroidery for most products including clothing and headwear. It is more expensive compared to normal printing and requires a one-time digitization fee of $11. Sellers can also customize embroidered patches to be sewn or use as freebies for customers.
Apliiq is a dropship provider for print on demand. Sellers do not need to keep any inventory as orders are printed and fulfilled by Apliiq upon successful purchase. Customers will receive a product that is not labelled with Apliiq’s brand.
Apliiq vs Printful: How To Choose One
Here’s three major things to look at when deciding which print on demand fulfillment you should join:
- Product selection
- More choice of items you can sell in a store, the better
- You don’t always have to sell everything there is but having the option to do so is great
- Extra points if the POD company have up-to-date trendy collections
- Integrations available
- You’re never sure which ecommerce site you’ll be selling on in the future
- Best to go with a POD company that offers a lot of integrations
- You can easily duplicate and sync the same product to another marketplace without any extra work
- Online resources
- Doing business online is not the easiest thing everyone else thinks it is
- You’ll face challenges along the way when you’re making progress
- Best to go with a site where you can easily get help from others and from the site itself!
Selling with multiple fulfillments is not a bad thing either. But not recommended for beginners!
Here are 11 things you should know when deciding between Apliiq and Printful for print on demand:
- Product catalog
- Product pricing
- Shipping charges
- Discounts on samples
- Customer service
- Eco-friendly products
- Product mockups
- Integrations available
- Online resources
- Custom labelling & branding
- Referral or affiliate program
Determined which fulfillment to go with? It’s your time to decide on a product to sell, check out my product guides!
- Tote bags for print on demand
- Tumblers for print on demand
- Phone cases for print on demand
- Posters for print on demand
- Leggings for print on demand
- Jewelry for print on demand
- Candles for print on demand
- Doormats for print on demand
- Hoodies for print on demand
- Pet products for print on demand
- Socks for print on demand
- Pajamas for print on demand
- Blankets for print on demand
- Baby clothes for print on demand
- Wrapping paper for print on demand
- Puzzles for print on demand
- Stickers for print on demand
- Athletic wear for print on demand
- Hats for print on demand
- Journals for print on demand
- Greeting cards for print on demand
- Mugs for print on demand
Photo by Engin Akyurt