Oberlo vs Printful

Oberlo Vs Printful

If you want to delve into e-commerce, dropshipping is the best way to get started.

It practically requires zero investment cost to set up and the heavy lifting is mainly done by your partner company.

You only have to concern yourself with producing top-notch designs, place them on products of your choice, and start selling.

The dropshipping company handles the shipping and other logistics that may arise, so it is paramount that you get it right when choosing your own.

In this article, we will take a look at two of the most popular dropshipping platforms – Oberlo and Printful.


Image source: Oberlo

Oberlo isn’t like your conventional dropshipping platform. It is a Shopify app that lets you set up your ecommerce store very quickly.

If you are just getting started with dropshipping, you will come across a lot of resources that make it appear to be easy, but when you actually get into it, finding a supplier might prove more than you bargained for.

With Oberlo, you can integrate your store with several third-party ecommerce platforms like AliExpress, so you are connected to thousands of suppliers from all sorts of places.

The major purpose of Oberlo is to be able to import products quickly to your store and have them carry out packaging and shipping on your behalf.

While this service does have a lot of positives, it has its downsides as well. For starters, you might have a hard time with quality control, especially if you are going to get your products from different suppliers most of the time.

Another thing that you can’t control is the delivery time. You can hardly tell how long it will take for the products to be packaged and delivered to your customers.

If you can find your way around these hurdles, Dropshipping will turn out to be a profitable business for you, especially because of Oberlo.

Although the platform has been a solid Shopify extension from the outset, the developers have continued to improve on it, including collaborating with more suppliers from all parts of the world to make shipping easier and faster.

This also makes sense for sellers because being closer to your suppliers will mean that you can request for sample products quickly and test them out to see if they meet your specifications before putting them up for sale.

Explore: Spocket vs Oberlo

How Oberlo Works?

A typical dropshipping cycle consists of three parties: the seller, the supplier, and the customer.

The suppliers play a very large role in the whole scheme. They provide the products that you place on your store and once you get an order, they handle the delivery to your customer.

Once a customer places an order, they pay money to your account which you will receive via your payment gateway such as PayPal.

Once you have confirmed their order, your job is to log in to your dashboard to order the product from your supplier.

Oberlo will handle the fulfillment aspect from there.

Oberlo has a range of features that make it easy for you to connect with different suppliers and manufacturers from all over the world.

The only things that you will have to be involved in are the designing and marketing process. Once you have chosen the product and placed your design on it, the platform will do the rest of the heavy lifting and that usually includes syncing the products with your store.

This saves you a ton of time and resources since you will not have to embark on journeys to find suitable suppliers, plus you do not have to worry yourself about packaging and shipping logistics.

There are some downsides to this though. For example, using Oberlo means that you no longer have complete control over your products, which isn’t that much of a deal if you play your cards right.

Oberlo does not require you to have loads of capital before you can get started. In most cases, once you already have an online store, all that is left is the will and you are good to go.

The features and integrations see to it that the entire process is as smooth and seamless as they come, so you can start getting sales as soon as possible.

Here’s a deeper look at its top features:

Check Out: Does Oberlo Work With Wix?

Oberlo Suppliers Importing Feature

AliExpress is one of the most popular platforms that dropshippers use to find manufacturers and suppliers regardless of where they are, and so I have always wondered while no dropshipping platform had thought about adding a feature that lets users import products directly from the platform, until Oberlo.

This feature lets you simply import goods from what is arguably one of the largest marketplaces in the world with as much as a button, and if you are familiar with AliExpress, you will appreciate the detail that comes with this feature.

You do not only import the products, but you also get the high-quality images, detailed description, and prices that come with it.

Another major win is the ease with which you can search for a product within AliExpress. This means that it will not take a lot of effort from you to find great products that will fit in perfectly in your store.

You can do a wide search by simply typing the keyword within the search bar and once you have located your ideal product, you will only have to click the import button, and the product is in your store in the blink of an eye.

Before now, Oberlo allowed its users to import products from only AliExpress. On one hand, it was advantageous because the platform had a ton of suppliers, which made it easy to find just about any product without having to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, because almost all of the suppliers are based in China, it meant that buyers had to wait a long time before their products got to them.

Now, Oberlo has increased the stake a notch by adding two new suppliers: Oberlo suppliers and Oberlo verified suppliers.

The former are suppliers that have been vetted by Oberlo and meet the standard requirements to supply sellers on the platform. These suppliers can usually be found anywhere in the world.

Oberlo verified suppliers are the top dogs. They are handpicked by Oberlo based on their performance and you can be assured that they are the best of the best.

Also Read: Oberlo vs Alidropship

Oberlo Interface

Image source: Shopify

Over the years, page builders, especially WordPress, have grown to become popular alternatives for building web pages for a host of reasons, one being its clean dashboard that makes it easy for just about anybody to use.

It is the same with Oberlo.

The Oberlo’s dashboard is nice and simple, with its menu prominently listed out on the left side where users can find different functions to execute their tasks.

From the dashboard, you can search for a new product to put in your store, set a featured product to cue other similar products, or view all your products at once.

Also, it makes it easier to find detailed information about all of the products in your store at once. For example, you will have immediate access to your sales and earnings for each product.

If you want to add or remove any information from your product detail, you will have to go to your Shopify dashboard to do so.

Oberlo Automated Fulfillment

Image source: YouTube

The only reason more people are not doing ecommerce is because of logistics. Quite frankly, top ecommerce giants like Amazon do a lot behind the scenes to ensure that their buyers get what they want quickly and in good condition.

If you are just starting out, you cannot tow the line of Amazon, which is where Oberlo comes in.

Oberlo dropshipping service is exactly what dropshipping should be. Everything is automated.

First, your customer goes through your product library and orders a product. You will then receive the order notification. What is left for you to do is to find the product in your inventory and order it from the supplier.

From there, Oberlo will take care of every other thing down to delivery. While you would have done only a little thing, from your customer’s end, it will look as if you are operating a big ecommerce business.

Explore: Need Oberlo For WooCommerce? Try Alidropship

Oberlo Auto Pricing & Inventory Updates

Image source: Oberlo

When you have started making sales, products are bound to sell out. If you had to operate your dropshipping store manually, you will have to monitor your inventory at all times so that your customers do not order a product that is no longer in stock.

This can be very tedious and even impossible in cases where you have products from different suppliers.

With Oberlo, this problem is completely solved. The system automatically updates your catalog when a product is no longer available, so your customers will never order a product that is out of stock.

The same goes for pricing. The software updates the prices of your product whenever there is a change in price from the supplier’s end. Oberlo notifies you of that change so that you can review your own prices accordingly.

Oberlo Supply

Image source: Oberlo

One of the biggest things about Oberlo is its alliance with AliExpress and the fact that you have access to thousands, maybe even millions, of suppliers.

This means that you have a lot of alternatives, so if you are unsatisfied with the products from one supplier, you can easily jump ship until you find what you are looking for.

You can make your choice based on a couple of factors as well. For example, suppliers with the best ratings tend to be among the best choice. There’s also the price factor.

You may want to opt for the suppliers with the lowest prices, but you must be careful to vet them as some suppliers can put forward substandard products at significantly lower prices.

Explore: Dropified vs Oberlo

Oberlo Customer Service & Resources

Unlike other dropshipping services, Oberlo does not feature a contact form on their website, but you can use their live chat tool. Nevertheless, you can reach their customer support team via email and social media.

Additionally, Oberlo provides users with loads of resources such as a blog page, podcasts, dropshipping courses, a statistics library, and other business tools. In fact, you can get quick help by using their Help Center.

Oberlo Pricing

Image source: Oberlo

Oberlo has the Explorer and the Boss plans, which cost $0, and $29.90 respectively.

The Explorer plan is free forever and lets you add as many as 500 products to your store, with unlimited orders every month.

The Boss plan gives you up to 30,000 slots for your products and there’s no limit to order fulfillment.


Check Out: Printful Review

Printful is another platform that takes care of your printing, packaging, and delivery.

In fact, it is one of the most popular dropshipping platforms in the industry and if you have heard that Printful does not offer a large range of products, you may wonder why it still considered among the top platforms.

If you want to stock your store with a variety of products, including unique ones like yoga mats, then Printful is probably not the best choice for you.

However, with Printful, you will never run out of shirts and by that, I mean high-quality shirts that will turn your first-time buyers into loyal customers.

Printful has a long list of reasons why it ranks among the best in the industry, but for the purpose of this review, we will only talk about a couple of them, including its ease of use, pricing, and selection of products.

Special: Printful Offers Free Signup, No Monthly Fees & No Minimum

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. Try it today!

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

How Does Printful Work?

Printful is a print on demand fulfillment service. This means that when you receive an order, the order is automatically sent to Printful, which produces it and ships it directly to your customer.

Printful offers over 340+ products that you can dropship including t-shirts, dresses, leggings, phone cases, etc.

When a customer places an order on your online store, the order is automatically sent to Printful’s warehouse where they produce, package, and ship the order. You can also change the settings so that you will only get notified of an order when it’s ready to be shipped.

They make it super simple to get started with dropshipping: just create an account on their website, choose a product you want to sell, design it using the Printful Mockup Generator, publish it on your store, and start selling.

Sample Order

Image source: Printful

From personal experience and reviews I have seen online, Printful doesn’t seem to have a problem with the quality of their products, but you can’t tell how it will fare at your end based on the experiences of others.

The best way to know if Printful is giving you what you asked for is to upload your design on your chosen product and order it for yourself.

Ordering a sample product is never free, but Printful subsidies it for you.

There are Printful facilities in California and North Carolina, so samples ordered from within the United States and Canada from these facilities are delivered free.

The same goes for Europe. Samples ordered from the printing facilities in Europe are shipped for free to any European country.

You are entitled to only one sample order per month and for every sample that you order, you will have two products delivered to you.

If you don’t need to test out multiple products each month, then this arrangement will be ideal for you, but for companies that do, there are ways around it.

If you integrate your store with an ecommerce platform or generate up to $300 in sales in the previous month, then you will be eligible to receive more sample-like products.

Also Read: CustomCat vs Printful

Special: Printful Offers Free Signup, No Monthly Fees & No Minimum

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. Try it today!

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Printful Is User-friendly

Image source: Printful

Not all marketers are programmers. In fact, you will hardly see a dropshipper that is a good programmer, which is why they are always looking for dropshipping platforms that have quick and easy to use printing centers.

Printful has a system that is not just easy to use from the design end, but it is also pretty simple to move the products to your own website.

With Printful, you can make your designs right from your Printful dashboard and place your designs on it.

To design a product in Printful, first choose your canvas print and select the size you’d like to sell, then upload your design on the canvas.

While doing this, Printful will guide you on what you need to change with your upload. For example, if you download a random image online, Printful will likely notify you that the size is too small and you will be required to upload a larger file that can be gotten from design tools like Photoshop and Lightroom.

Once the system accepts your upload, you can crop it and proceed with the remainder of the process.

Printful will provide mockups for potential customers to see how your design looks like in real life.

After that, all that is left is for you to place a custom order on the finished product or connect it to your store.

Also Read: Printful vs Printify

Printful Integration

Image source: Printful

You can hardly find an app that does everything that you need for your business, so you will need third-party apps to handle payments, marketing, etc.

Many dropshipping platforms allow for third-party integration alright, but I have yet to see one that does this better than Printful.

Printful allows integration for virtually all the services you can think of, which means that you can work with platforms like WooCommerce, Amazon, Weebly, Etsy, and a host of others.

Check Out: Printful vs Print Aura

Printful Customer Service & Resources

Printful has an accessible customer support service. You can quickly reach their support team via email, live chat, social media, or physical office locations. Also, you can send a quick message by filling out their contact form.

Conversely, Printful offers their users helpful marketing resources such as guides, videos, blog page, tools, and a robust Help Center.

Printful Pricing

Printful had a couple of pricing plans earlier but very recently, they made the service free for all, that too with additional features.

So Printful is free. You only need to pay for the products, and shipping. Check out the pricing page for the latest on product and shipping costs.

Special: Printful Offers Free Signup, No Monthly Fees & No Minimum

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. Try it today!

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Oberlo vs Printful: Pros And Cons

Oberlo Pros

  • Quick and easy signup process
  • Affordable pricing
  • Reliable dropshipping reports
  • Dependable Chrome extension
  • Support for ePacket shipping
  • Multiple product import option
  • Order tracking functionality
  • Standard customer support

Oberlo Cons

  • Limited to dropshipping via AliExpress alone.
  • Limited to the Shopify CMS.
  • One store per account
  • No contact form for quick communication
  • Minimal integrations

Printful Pros

  • No minimum order requirements
  • Ideal for both newbies and experienced dropshippers
  • Quality product printing
  • It is a free print on demand service. No monthly charges
  • Transparent shipping pricing
  • Warehouses and fulfillment locations across the world
  • Average product shipping within 3 days from order
  • Customizable branding and design options
  • Robust helpful marketing resources and tools
  • Multiple eCommerce integrations

Printful Cons

  • Slim profit margins
  • Some products cannot be shipped everywhere
  • Limited branding options

Printful vs Oberlo: Similarities & Differences


  • Both Printful and Oberlo facilitates dropshipping
  • With either Oberlo or Printful, you get support for Shopify
  • They both facilitate automatic order processing
  • They both offer shipment tracking
  • Both Oberlo and Printful offer dependable customer support and resources


  • Oberlo is limited to only Shopify CMS; however, Printful supports other eCommerce platforms and marketplaces
  • Unlike Oberlo, Printful is a free print on demand service and does not require a recurring monthly subscription.
  • Printful has a mockup generator, while Oberlo does not.
  • Oberlo’s affiliate program is via the Admitad affiliate network, while Printful offers its affiliate program via its platform.
  • Printful is ideal for selling custom printed products, while Oberlo is suitable for dropshipping products from the AliExpress marketplace.

Winner – Oberlo vs Printful

Both Oberlo and Printful are ideal platforms to use for dropshipping, whether you are just starting out or want to jump ship.

However, I’d recommend Oberlo for just about anyone that’s into dropshipping. It takes very little time to set up and grants you access to a bank of suppliers.

Printful is perfect for dropshippers who want to try out custom printing and crave fast shipping and high-quality products.