Interested to start a print on demand business but unsure which fulfillment to join? Analysis paralysis slowing down your ambitions? Here’s 10 things you should know when comparing Printful vs Teespring.
If you’re new to print on demand, I understand how it’s pretty confusing for you to choose a fulfillment company to stick with. You got to start somewhere – I started my journey with Redbubble. Personally, I recommend Printful for any new beginners but sometimes find it tricky to compare with other fulfillments like Printify or Teespring. They’re pretty good too!
Below are some reasons why I think Printful is better than Teespring for newbies so you never lose focus.
*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!
Is Printful Free To Join?
Printful is free to join to make and sell print on demand products. You can order items for yourself or sell your designs on an ecommerce platform such as Etsy, Shopify or Woocommerce. Your seller account is only charged when a customer makes a purchase and orders need to be fulfilled by Printful.
Does Teespring Integrate With Etsy?
Teespring integrates with marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon and eBay via its Boosted network. To support the creator community, Teespring primarily offers integration with social platforms like Instagram, Twitch, Discord, Linktree and Streamlabs. Sellers are able to sell print on demand merchandise directly from a Teespring Store.
Key Features Printful Vs Teespring
1. Signing up for an account
Both Printful and Teespring are free to join. Most print on demand networks offer free sign ups to create yourself a seller account. You won’t be charged until you make a sale. Generally, fulfillments will charge you the total product cost plus shipping before they print the products and ship them to your customers.
So, if you don’t pay, orders won’t be fulfilled. To make things easier, you can link your credit/debit card or PayPal for automatic fulfillment once an order comes in. Sign up for Teespring HERE or Printful HERE. Both sites allow sign ups using social accounts instead of classic email – Google, YouTube, Facebook and Apple.
Winner: Undecided – both are free to join and lets you sign up with different social accounts
2. How the platforms work
Like most POD fulfillments, Printful supplies products to sellers for sales on other ecommerce platforms and fulfills orders when they come in. Teespring is slightly different and follows a system almost like Redbubble and Society6, where sellers can sell directly from a Teespring store. This can make it simpler for beginners to start a POD business as it requires almost no work to open an ecommerce shop. Of course, there are downsides to not having absolute control over your shop in the long run but it’s perfectly fine if this is a small side hustle for you.
I’ve listed a list of ecommerce integrations for Printful vs Teespring below!
Winner: Undecided – both are pretty similar, depends if you want a ready storefront
3. Choice of print on demand products
All fulfillment companies offer different types of products, sometimes with different qualities. Generally, Printful has a lot more print on demand products (total 200+ items) to offer compared to Teespring which has a limited product line.
A summary of products offered by Printful vs Teespring:
Hats & headwear
You can check out Printful’s catalog here – Teespring’s catalog can only be seen once logged in but you can always explore their marketplace to see what’s currently sold by other designers.
Winner: Printful – there’s so many more things to offer, products and cost prices are visible even before signing up
4. Generating mockups to impress
All POD has an inbuilt mockup generator for you to see how your designs are placed on a product from all angles before finalizing them. These mockups are then used as pictures for your products’ sales page. Mockups vary greatly from product to product and some look better than others.
When comparing mockups for t-shirts on both Printful and Teespring, there isn’t much difference. Both generators are equally easy to use and great for beginners. Designs are positioned accurately on all sides and you can see the product cost estimation on the same screen as you add more graphics.
If there’s one thing to note: Compared to Printful, Teespring’s mockup generator does not allow us to see a mockup of how it will look like on an actual person. Aside from that, I like that Teespring lets us choose the featured image, see difference in prices when fulfilled in different locations and be able to upload the same design to other products automatically at the end.
If you’re looking to have more impressive mockups, Placeit have real live ones sure to convince buyers of making a purchase. Be sure to choose one that closely resembles the actual product! I mean, how cute are these??
Winner: Printful – their mockups are more impressive!
5. Ordering a sample product for yourself
Printful offers discounts for ordering product samples to yourself – you can use it a few times in a month. You should be able to order samples for yourself with Printful at product cost price plus shipping charges to your address. What’s great about that? Well, you get to use your own products, see if it the printing is good or satisfactory and perhaps, conduct a mini photoshoot at home (save on mockups!).
Teespring does not offer any discounts for ordering your own samples.
Winner: Printful – you get to order your own products with discounts!
6. Shipping services and cost
This might just be one of the most important elements of your print on demand business as it can greatly affect your customer’s satisfaction and your shop’s rating. Get to know the shipment service used to ship your products and the time it takes to arrive. It’s great that Printful has a few partner facilities across the world so they can estimate 2-7 business days to fulfill for apparel products. However, based on Printful’s rates and shipping times, it can take longer for other parts of the world e.g. 6-10 days for Malaysia or 8-20 days for Singapore.
Besides standard shipping arrangements, Teespring offers Rush shipping for faster delivery at an extra charge which is only applicable for some products – find out here. Similar to Printful, they too have fulfillments in both the USA and Europe. If an order has a few different items, there’s a chance Teespring fulfills it in two different locations hence they will be shipped separately to the customer – this can result in higher shipping fees for an order.
Typically, shipping charges differ for every type of product as it depends on weight and the location to where the item will be shipped. For a standard t-shirt, below are the differences in shipping cost to the USA between Printful and Teespring.
|2nd item (additional to the package)
Winner: Undecided – both have own pros and cons
7. Earning potential with each sale
If the cost of shipping makes you think twice about starting a print on demand business, don’t get disheartened too quickly. For the most part, people are willing to pay shipping for their purchases. That is also why most sellers exclude shipping charges from product price and Printful also suggests the same. Your earnings shouldn’t be affected by shipping charges!
When it comes to product cost, there is quite a difference between Printful and Teespring. A classic unisex tee starts at $9.50 on Printful while $13.34 on Teespring. To avoid pricing dilemmas, both platforms provide a recommended retail price for all products as a guideline to sellers. RRP naturally changes according to number of designs and extra elements added to product.
Although you’re free to fix your own prices, I believe pricing fairly based on RRPs gives you a greater edge at getting sales especially on sites like Etsy (you’re a new shop with no reviews). Selling a Teespring t-shirt for $23.99 can get you a $10.65 profit, putting aside any other costs – which is honestly great for a side hustle! Of course, pricing strategies can differ from one store to another. It depends on the platform you’re selling, if you have an established brand name or you spend a surmountable amount of money in ads expense to bring in sales.
Well, you don’t want to operate in losses!
Monthly product discounts
Printful offers monthly discounts of up to 9% depending on the amount of sales you made the previous month. Surpassing the $1,000 sale mark the month before can land you a 5% product discount the next month. You can find out how Printful calculates discounts here.
Teespring on the other hand, provides greater discounts off the usual product price once you pass a sales threshold for the month. If you get to sell your 1000th item for the month, a classic tee (one sided printing) only costs $11.84 instead of the usual $13.34 – an 11% discount! You can move up tiers as fast as you want but any decrease in sales the next month will only move you down one tier from before. See Teespring’s pricing discount tier here.
Winner: Printful, just because their calculator is useful for estimating your profits and product discounts are applied for the month after
8. Integration with ecommerce websites for sales
Printful offers integration with ecommerce websites like Etsy, Shopify, Woocommerce and even Squarespace. Teespring only integrates with a handful of platforms – Instagram, Linktree, YouTube merch, Twitch and streaming sites on Streamlab like Facebook Gaming. It’s pretty obvious that Printful is a better choice for entrepreneurs looking to build a business, while Teespring positions themselves mainly for creators with a great following.
It would be pretty hard to make a sale on YouTube merch unless you have a great audience that loves you! FYI, only eligible channels can activate their merch shelf to appear below published videos or at end cards. Find out more about YouTube merch here.
- Amazon (marketplace)
- eBay (marketplace)
Winner: Printful – it depends on your business goal and market audience but for most of us, we don’t have a ready audience or a big social media following
9. Customer support when you face issues
When doing business online, great customer support can make your mind feel at ease. Both Printful and Teespring have great resources on their blogs and seller centers to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) like shipping, charges and managing payouts (for when you make a sale!). Printful goes further by teaching sellers on how to make sales on ecommerce platforms like eBay and Etsy. Customers can also call, email or start an online chat with a support agent.
Teespring offers similar services – you can contact their seller support team to ask questions and if you’re on the launcher, live chat is available although responses are not instant.
Winner: Undecided – both are equally great at supporting sellers
10. Referral program to earn extra
It’s pretty cool to have extra streams of income, especially when you’re promoting something you’re already using. You instantly join the referral program once you sign up to Printful – no extra sign ups needed. Anyone that makes a purchase with your link gets $5 discount and you will earn additional $5 to spend as well.
Check out: How to earn 5% commission with Printify
Printful Vs Teespring: Summary Of Differences In Features
|Free sign up
|Social platforms integration
|Discounts on samples
|Custom label your products
|Include business cards and pamphlets in shipments
Most Important Factors Choosing Print On Demand Fulfillment
There are a ton of things to consider when deciding which POD fulfillment to go with and as newbies to a platform, we all face similar dilemmas. Here are three things I believe are the most important factors in making that decision whether it’s Printful vs Teespring, or Printify vs Teespring.
- Online resources available for you to learn
When it comes to building an online business, there isn’t much you can learn outside the internet. Most of the things I have learnt and adopted for my online business came from watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and listening to podcasts online. If there aren’t enough online resources to help you navigate a POD fulfillment as a complete beginner, it’s best you find one that does. Chances are you don’t have enough time or money to do a trial and figure things out on your own.
- Choices of products to offer
As a newbie, we tend to chase the next shiny object and are unable to stick to doing one thing for a period of time. I find it to be the same when signing up to multiple print on demand websites – almost no work gets done if you keep thinking about what another site can offer. So my advice is to stick to one fulfillment in the beginning and choose one with a good number of products you can play with (to not get bored). By focusing on a single platform, you’ll be less distracted to achieve that monthly sales for bonus discounts!
- Incentives offered if you make recurrent sales
Who likes working extra hard and not getting any rewards? If you’re into print on demand for the long term, incentives for higher sales are definitely something to think about. It’s so important that you consider this before choosing a fulfillment to go for because it’s a little too risky to withdraw once you’ve uploaded 1000 product designs.
It’s not so straightforward to compare print on demand features of Printful vs Teespring. Both are equally great in their own way! You should go with one that suits your business goals best. If you’re ready to take that leap of faith and build your print on demand business today, check out my brief guides for the best POD products to make today.
Hot tips included!
- 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
I’m sure you’ll find them informative and I hope it helps your journey. Which platform do you prefer? Share your insights down below!