Teespring vs Printful – In-Depth & Brutally Honest Review

Dropshipping has become an increasingly effective way to create a profitable eCommerce site.

The whole process has, in a way, democratized the entire industry. Gone are the days of high overhead, big upfront investments, and brick and mortar stores.

Indeed, according to Alibaba, approximately 27 percent of online retailers have transitioned to dropshipping as their main method for fulfilling orders.

The freedom and flexibility that comes with a dropshipping business is attracting many budding young entrepreneurs to the field. One of the most popular revenue streams for these titans of industry has become custom t-shirts.

Of course, custom t-shirts are attractive for a number of reasons. They allow sellers to express their artistic sensibilities, they can be a fun and creative way to establish a brand, and nearly everyone wears them.

Two of the front runners in the business are Teespring and Printful. They each offer entrepreneurs the ability to design and market t-shirts, which makes them both an effective way to make a little extra money on the side or to start a fully realized clothing empire – depending on how much work you want to put in.

But how does one compare to the other? What sets them apart? Which one is the best option for you? Let’s dig a little deeper and see how the two hold up against each other.

What Is Teespring?

Teespring (now known as Spring) is a POD platform that allows users to create, design, and sell a variety of products. It was founded in 2011 making it one of the reliable print on demand companies for selling custom t-shirts.

Although Teespring has a diverse product to offer, it is notable for its custom t-shirt designs. Likewise, account creation is totally free.

How To Get Started With Teespring

To get started with Teespring, you need to set up your free account. Afterwards, you can proceed to create your custom designs. You can pick from the list of their products that will form your catalogue.

Teespring provides users with a mockup generator tool for their designs. However, you can use other graphics design tools like Canva or Typorama, and then upload your designs.

After completing the product design, the next thing is for you to set your price, and get your product up in the artist shop.

The rest is handled by Teespring. Teespring does the printing once you have an order. It also handles the shipping and order fulfillment on your behalf.

What Is Printful?

Printful is a print on demand fulfillment company that helps you to sell custom printed products without worrying about product manufacturing.

Printful - #1 Print-on-demand platform

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. From picking products to designing, printing, delivery & everything else, Printful takes care of all. Try it today!

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

Notably, Printful was founded in the year 2013 and has evolved to become a giant in the print on demand industry.

Currently, Printful has fulfilment locations in Spain, Latvia, Canada, USA, and Mexico.

How To Get Started With Printful

To get started with Printful, you will need to create a free account. Once you have created an account, you can then connect your online store to Printful.

Interestingly, Printful integrates with top eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces; hence, you should be able to link your online store with Printful.

To design your Printful products, all you need to do is to select the products you wish to add your designs on.

Then use Printful’s mockup generator for your designs or you can upload already created designs.

You can move your designed products to your online store, take orders, while Printful will automatically receive the order. Printful does the indirect fulfillment by handling the printing. shipping and delivery.

Products and Pricing

Teespring

Teespring handles the upfront costs of everything, including printing, shipping, customer service, and a host of other services. All you have to do is set the price for the product and reap the profits.

Teespring offers a range of products beyond simple t-shirts and other clothing. They also offer accessories like iPhone cases and mugs, or home decor options like pillows and beach towels.

All you have to do is pick a design, choose the product, and set the price.

As Teespring’s website points out, the service is completely 100 percent free to use. The company simply charges a flat base price per product and you set the selling price.

There are two factors that can affect the base price of Teespring products:

1. If the design is single or double-sided (printing on the front and back of a garment) the price will be higher.

2. The company offers a feature called Pricing Discounts, which can reduce the price. So the number of items you sold in the previous month have the potential to reduce your base price.

The company’s base prices do not depend on the number of colors in the design or the number of items sold per listing.

Printful

Printful, meanwhile, also offers a wide selection of products to choose from. In addition to clothing, users can sell things like tote bags, backpacks, pillow cases, and bean bags.

The setup works similarly to Teespring, where users supply the graphic and the company prints and distributes the final product.

Printful - #1 Print-on-demand platform

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. From picking products to designing, printing, delivery & everything else, Printful takes care of all. Try it today!

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

Printful’s pricing model is a little more convoluted, thanks in large part to the sheer number of products they offer. Of course, this means you have a lot more range in your selection, which allows you to diversify your stock. But it also means it is going to take you longer to get set up.

For example, look above at the Teespring pricing graph and compare that to the following:

These are just a handful of screengrabs to demonstrate the range in products and prices that Printful has.

Both companies have received positive feedback from online reviewers regarding the quality of their products.

Product Shipping

Teespring

Shipping price on Teespring is determined by three things – product type, quantity, and destination.

Buying more than one product of the same type will have a reduced shipping cost, and the price of shipping a mug is different from that of a hoodie. The destination location is another thing.

Shipping price is also about when you want your product delivered. Express delivery and standard delivery are two shipping options that Teespring provides.

Printful

Printful offers worldwide shipping and it has two major shipping options. You can choose either Express shipping or Standard shipping.

Express shipping is done within 3 business days while standard shipping can take up to 20 working days before delivery.

For pricing, your customers get to see how much they get charged for express shipping just before checkout. Standard shipping has fixed pricing.

Interface Usability

Let’s begin with Teespring.

To get started, simply go to the Teespring website and click “start designing.”

From there, you’ll be taken to a signup page which consists of nothing more than your email address and a password. You can also login with Facebook or Google. Payment information isn’t required.

After that, you’re asked to “pick your canvas” from a number of options including:

  • Apparel
  • Flags
  • Canvas Prints
  • Phone Cases
  • Beach Towels
  • Wall Tapestry
  • Posters
  • Socks
  • Throw Pillows
  • Stickers
  • Mugs
  • And more…

Printful - #1 Print-on-demand platform

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. From picking products to designing, printing, delivery & everything else, Printful takes care of all. Try it today!

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

Looking at apparel specifically, after you click on that option you’ll be taken to their proprietary design platform. Once there you can start combining your unique designs with their t-shirts.

You can upload an image or add simple text. The design is intuitive and easy to use. Before you know it, you’ll have a t-shirt that is all your own and ready to sell to the masses.

After clicking “Continue” you’ll be given the option to put your design onto other products and diversify what you offer to your customers.

Once you complete the design, Teespring allows you to set your price for whatever you want. You can go as high as you like, but Teespring does provide a recommended selling price.

After that, you can create a profile for your original design, along with a campaign name, product description, and create a custom URL that people can go to in order to purchase your product.

It’s probably best to carefully consider what you write here. Creating a powerful, unique, or clever campaign description goes a long way toward helping you sell your products.

If you want to design and sell a shirt through Printful you start by visiting their website.

You can either make one-off designs for yourself or create designs to sell to other people.

After clicking on “Start selling” you’ll be taken to a signup page with a simple three-field form: full name, email, and password.

You’re then taken to a page with handy instructional videos demonstrating how to go about setting up your store.

You need to set up a store before you can be designing products. This is a bit of a pain if you want to get working quickly, but once you get everything set up, you won’t have any issues in the future.

The company offers printing tips to help you fully take advantage of their products and help retailers understand the different printing techniques, fabric types, and other pertinent information.

Printful - #1 Print-on-demand platform

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. From picking products to designing, printing, delivery & everything else, Printful takes care of all. Try it today!

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

You can use their mockup generator to see how your designs will appear on the products themselves and get an idea of what the finished product will look like.

The company also offers a profit calculator to help you figure out exactly how much money you stand to make, depending on the price you set for your merchandise. This helps you budget for your business accordingly.

Printful also provides a discounted rate for samples, allowing you to get a real, tactile example of what your customers can expect when they decide to purchase one of your designs.

Customer Service

At this point in the modern world, it’s somewhat inevitable that things will go wrong. It’s just a fact of life.

As a result of this basic reality, any company worth its salt will need to maintain a robust and responsive customer service team. So how do Teespring and Printful hold up against one another?

If you peruse the web for reviews about either company’s support teams, you’ll find a mixed bag of comments. Some people loved the customer service and some people hated it. This is true for both companies.

The main complaints seem to be that it can be difficult to get a hold of a live person and that orders are often received very late after the payment was sent.

Still, the companies both seem quick to respond to these online complaints, which bodes well for the overall experience.

No service is perfect, especially when orders are being shipped internationally. The fact that either company has seen as much success as they have speaks to their thoroughness and dedication.

Integrations

Both POD companies offer their own unique third-party integrations to help you sell and/or market your merchandise.

Teespring recently unveiled a TikTok integration, allowing sellers to advertise their products below their videos. Of course, this means you still have to create your own content, but if you’re successful at that, you can direct your viewers right to your shop.

Entrepreneurs can also integrate Teespring with a handful of various ecommerce sites like Shopify, though it seems that usually you’ll need to use a third-party app to set that up.

As for Printful, the company offers integration with many online platforms, unlike other POD companies. But they come at a price, whether it is a flat fee or a percentage of your sales.

Fortunately, the company offers a handy guide to which services it integrates with and how much each costs. So, while setting up these integrations is somewhat easier than with Teespring, it’s going to cost you.

So What’s The Catch?

Despite the positive aspects of each company, they also have a few drawbacks.

Beginning with Teespring, marketing can be an issue. While the company allows you to design and sell your own shirts (and other items), there’s currently no way to market your product through the platform.

That means you have to set up email campaigns yourself, create social media posts to help drive traffic to Teespring’s site, and pester your friends and family just to buy your shirt.

However, Teespring does give you the ability to create a branded store that will serve as a landing page for your products.

Speaking of design, you’re only given a limited area on the back and front of the shirt to place your design.

Of course, this makes it more simple for Teespring when creating the physical shirts, but it can hinder your creativity if you want to start thinking outside the box a little.

Perhaps the most egregious offence that Teespring commits is the limited time it allows you to actually sell your products.

Once you create your design you have about six days to sell it or it’s taken down. That doesn’t give you much time to build and execute any sort of marketing campaign.

Turning to Printful, you see that most of their issues come from cost. There’s a much slimmer profit margin for dropshipped goods coming out of Printful’s warehouses and printing factories.

Some of Printful’s products – for example, framed posters or canvases – may not ship everywhere.

Both companies suffer from a somewhat limited product selection. They’re both focused primarily on apparel, accessories, and homeware goods, which means if you want to create something truly unique, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the basic merchandise.

Printful - #1 Print-on-demand platform

Printful helps you design and sell products online with ease. From picking products to designing, printing, delivery & everything else, Printful takes care of all. Try it today!

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

Pros And Cons

Printful Pros

  • Direct third-party integration
  • Easy to set up
  • Good customer support
  • Global reach
  • Diverse product range

Printful Cons

  • Delivery can take a long time

Teespring Pros

  • Quality product
  • Good customer support
  • Branding option
  • Artist get to determine the profit margin

Teespring Cons

  • Shipping can be a bit slow

Conclusion – Teespring vs Printful

Of course, each of these POD services has its pros and cons. They both offer you the ability to create your own unique designs, make them available to the world, and jump onto the dropshipping train before it leaves the station for good.

Teespring’s overall performance is easier to use and generally more intuitive. From signing up, to designing your merchandise, to placing it online for sale, the entire process is relatively straight forward.

Printful, on the other hand, bogs down the process at times with procedural hurdles that end up feeling somewhat superfluous.

Teespring’s business model is based on pre-orders, which can cause headaches for anyone who wants a shirt right away.

Printful, on the other hand, will create one-off items while allowing for a fairly decent markup. And their integration with other ecommerce platforms far outperforms Teespring’s. If you have a pre-existing ecommerce business, then Printful may be your best option.

But at the end of the day, for sheer ease-of-use, we’re giving the win to Teespring.

The company allows entrepreneurs to set up shop quickly and take advantage of the growing dropshipping marketplace that is sweeping across the internet.

If you’ve got a great idea for a design, and a burning desire to get it online and up for sale as fast as possible, Teespring is the way to go.

Author: Tom ClaytonTom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.

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