Print on demand (POD) is a business venture that involves selling customized products directly to customers from suppliers. It often involves designers, artists, or any online entrepreneur who wishes to make money off of their creativity.
Besides, the product suppliers will print your designs on the products and ship them to your customers without your involvement in the printing and shipping process.
Additionally, POD is a safe online business model, and there are fewer risks involved. You only pay suppliers to produce products when you get a purchase order from your customers.
Nonetheless, before you venture into POD, you need the right platform geared for that purpose. There are several print on demand platforms available for prospective entrepreneurs.
Our focus on this article is Teespring and Shopify. Both are popular and widely used. You can decide the best POD company to use at the end of this Shopify vs Teespring review.
Explore: Teespring vs Printful
Teespring is all about two things – create and sell. It is a Print On Demand platform that was founded in 2011 for independent artists, creators, and online sellers. Currently, they ship to customers in more than 180 countries across the world.
With Teespring, you can sell a wide range of POD products available from unlimited manufacturers.
All you have to do is create your products using the platforms’ launcher, publish them to your online store, promote it, and make a profit when customers make purchases.
You can sell printed products on the Teespring platform. Plus, you can sell on other eCommerce stores and online marketplaces.
Founded in 2004, Shopify is an online platform that facilitates eCommerce. With Shopify, you can launch your online store or print on demand business.
Moreover, it is quite easy to carry out the POD business with Shopify. All you have to do is create an online store, design printed products, and when orders are made, you can forward them for print, while the product is shipped to your customers.
There are various ways to sell print on demand products with Shopify. You can do so with an online store, sales channels on social media platforms, or with a simple buy button on your regular blog or website.
Nonetheless, there are several supplier options to go with as the platform supports POD via third-party integrations.
Also Read: Print on demand (POD)
Before you get started on Teespring, you need to register for an account, design, and publish products to your store.
From your dashboard, navigate to Start Designing, and select the product type you intend to design.
Likewise, create your designs or upload them with the product launcher, and you can publish them to your online store.
As an all-in-one eCommerce solution, Shopify is relatively easy to use. After creating your Shopify account, you need to set up your store, connect with product suppliers, and start selling.
Shopify does not have its product suppliers; it only integrates with several POD platforms and suppliers via applications. Therefore, you’ll need to choose an ideal POD platform to link product suppliers. Alternatively, you can connect with suppliers that offer print on demand services.
Directories like Worldwide Brands and Doba can be useful. Alternatively, you can search for suppliers and add them manually.
The setup process on Teespring is more straightforward than Shopify, which requires third-party integrations or manual connection with product suppliers.
The Teespring Design Launcher facilitates quick product design. It has a simple 2 section layout – one for the design page and the other for the design options.
From the product launcher, you can ultimately create and publish designs on the product. If you intend to upload designs, the max size allowed is 50MB. The featured preview tab enables you to preview the designs before publishing.
Check Out: Print on demand (POD)
With multiple product design apps, Shopify performs better for product design than Teespring as it gives various design options.
The base price on Teespring differs from product to product. T-shirts for men and women cost $10 – $16, but with monthly sales discounts, it could drop to $6 – $11.
Hoodies and sweaters cost from $20 – $35 and a little less with the monthly sales discount. Tank tops cost about $13 while kids’ and babies’ products cost $10 – $23. The higher your monthly sales, the higher the discount you get.
The cost of products on Shopify depends on the product supplier. Every supplier platform or POD platform featured on the Shopify app store has different product costs, so you have to look up the product costs on your ideal platform individually.
Teespring products are not that expensive but with Shopify; you have several POD platforms and suppliers to connect with, thereby increasing the possibilities of getting lower prices.
Teespring offers two printing methods – Direct To Garment (DTG) and screen printing. Both manufacturing methods are of good quality and several factors are considered to determine which is suitable for printing your products.
Primarily, it depends on the colors and product type. However, Teespring provides less information on their manufacturers, but it is known that they are all outside of the US.
The POD manufacturing and production process on Shopify depends on the supplier or the POD platform. All suppliers and POD platforms featured offer various printing and production methods and they print at a variety of printing locations.
Again, with the many POD apps and suppliers available on Shopify, you have several manufacturing options.
Teespring packages products in two ways – clear plastic bag, and custom backer card. The clear plastic bag is the cheapest one to choose as products are packaged in an adhesive polybag.
The second option enables you to render your product branding or any unique design on the product package. All you have to do is submit a design, e.g., your logo and tagline, that will be included as a backer card when your product is delivered.
This custom branded backer card option costs about $0.90 and can be printed in a matte or glossy finish.
Once again, your POD application platform determines how your products are packaged and branded. You can package and brand products with Shopify options only if you have them as inventory.
If you need custom branding, white labeling, etc., then you have to choose a POD app from the Shopify store that supports it. The branding and packaging cost also depends on the platform in question.
Teespring wins as it offers white label and custom branding options and is also straightforward.
Shipping is charged on Teespring according to the customer location and product type. It also varies for the first item added to the cart and the additional ones.
For shipping within the US, the rate is about $3.99 for shirts and hoodies. Smaller items like stickers cost just $2.50, while larger ones, like soft furnishings, cost up to $6.99.
Shipping to the UK and Canada is at $11.49 at its highest, while it is up to $15.99 for Australia and $12.50 for other countries.
It takes 9 – 12 business days for products to be shipped after orders within the US, 7 – 12 for the UK, and other parts of Europe. Other countries take 10 – 16 business days. Also, shipping can be tracked.
Also Read: Spreadshirt vs Teespring
Shopify partners with USPS, UPS, DHL Express, Canada Post, and Sendle for shipping.
The shipping rates depend on the carrier you pick and also your Shopify plan. Several discounts are provided depending on your plan, as well.
However, since it’s POD without inventory and the products are to be shipped to customers directly from suppliers, you should consider the shipping options available with your POD application platform.
Shipping products will be more comfortable with Teespring because, on Shopify, your POD application determines how products are shipped, not Shopify’s responsibility. You only get to set shipping rates for your customers to view.
Teespring is a print on demand platform with high profitability. First of all, the platform is free to use without a subscription, and you can set your selling price at whatever rate you choose, even up to 100 percent of the base price.
Unlike other print on demand platforms, Teespring includes all costs in the product base price. All costs here implies costs for the goods, Teesprings’ services, transaction, charges, and shipping.
By paying an all-inclusive-cost for products through the base price, you can make a higher profit with Teespring. Also, Teespring offers a pricing discount if your store sells more every month.
The profitability of doing a POD business on Shopify cannot be directly measured; it depends on the POD application that you use.
If you go with Printful, you have to consider how profitable Printful is. The same goes for Printify, CustomCat, and the rest.
Although you have a range of options for base prices, shipping prices, branding, etc. to select from; also, there is the case of subscription. You have to pay for a subscription on Shopify and also for the POD application you choose to use if applicable.
Check Out: Shoptab vs Shopify
Teespring is more profitable than Shopify when it comes to POD business. It is free, has all-inclusive-cost base prices, and there are monthly pricing discounts.
A sales analytics dashboard on TeeSpring provides valuable insights into the performance of your POD store. From the visual overview, you can identify the number of ordered products, the numbers of units sold, and your profits.
It also displays your traffic sources, page views of your products, and more. The insights can be sorted by date; Today, Yesterday, All Time, and specific time ranges.
The sales analytics dashboard can be accessed via the Analytics section in your Teespring dashboard or via analytics under the Listings section. Also, you can use Google Analytics to gain more valuable insights.
From the Shopify analytics and reports dashboard, insights on all your store activities are rendered. It can be accessed by clicking on Analytics in the right tab on the user dashboard.
It features several insight categories, such as total sales, total orders, top products, average order value, etc. With Live View, you can get real-time insights on your store activities; they are reported just as they are happening. Also, you can link your Shopify store to Google Analytics.
Both Teespring and Shopify provide analytical insights and reports that you need to monitor your print on demand business. Also, both can be linked with Google Analytics.
Teespring features an online marketplace. Hence, you don’t need other third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, and others to sell your merch. The software doesn’t integrate with other online marketplaces.
You can only integrate and sell your merch on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and Discord.
From the Shopify app store, you’ll find tens of thousands of integration options. There are apps to integrate online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Stage, Wish, Walmart, Etsy, and more.
You also have options to integrate with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The only downside is that some of these apps aren’t free.
While Teespring doesn’t support only social platforms, Shopify supports these social platforms and all the major online marketplaces.
Teespring doesn’t give you full control over your customer database. Since you sell directly from the marketplace, Teespring handles everything from the moment your customers place their orders.
You’re limited from accessing some of your customers’ personal information. The downside of this is that you can’t easily convert your one-time customers to loyal ones.
As a Shopify merchant, you have 100 percent control over your business. The platform is just there to assist you. You can keep your customer records including their personal details like email, phone numbers, etc.
All of these are available in the Shopify Customer Tab. Furthermore, the Shopify Analytics dashboard provides as many metrics about your customers as you’ll need.
Shopify wins Teespring in this feature category.
Many users confirm that Teespring features an affiliate marketing program. However, these affiliate programs are available on third-party websites like Viglink, Skimlinks, PepperJam, ClickFactory, and others.
You won’t find any info on an affiliate program on the Teespring website. Nevertheless, you can check these third-party websites for the latest affiliate programs to join.
Shopify features an affiliate program for users. Via this affiliate program, you can earn money as a seller, content creator, educator, or other by simply referring Shopify products and services to others.
As an affiliate, Shopify makes it easy for you to gain referrals with a dashboard of detailed performance insights, lead magnets, and product announcements to use.
The Shopify affiliate program is direct and more efficient than that of Teespring.
Teespring integrates with more than ten online marketplaces and several other tools and platforms via the Boosted Network. This is an all-or-nothing network, so you have to opt for all available online marketplaces; you cannot optionally select your preferred marketplace integration.
Marketplace integrations available on the Boosted Network include Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Wish.
You can also use Teespring with social media because it integrates with the YouTube merch shelf, Twitch merch store, and Streamlabs. Its integration with Google Shopping also makes creating shopping campaigns easier.
Also Read: Redbubble vs Teespring
As mentioned earlier, Shopify facilitates POD via different third-party solutions. These are featured applications you can download for use on your Shopify store.
Applications available include Printful, Apliiq, Printify, SPOD, CustomCat, Teelaunch, Shirtee, and others. With integrations like Facebook and Twitter Auto Post, Instagram Channel, and WhatShare, you can sell printed items on social media.
Furthermore, Shopify integrates with eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Google Shopping, Jet, and more than 100 other marketplaces. Two API tools are featured – the Shopify API and the REST admin API.
There are many third-party integrations and API tools on Shopify than Teespring. Also, the Teespring Boosted Network integration is not flexible.
Support is provided on Teespring via email and live chat. The email support team is available on weekdays and weekends from 8 am – 9:30 pm EST and 9 am – 5:30 pm EST respectively.
It takes less than 24 hours to get a response on weekdays, while weekends might take longer. Live chat is available on weekdays only, and the response is nearly instant.
Shopify features a dedicated support team who are available to help 24/7. They can be reached via phone, email, or online chat, although their contact details are only accessible when logged in.
You can get premium help from eCommerce experts who are experienced in marketing. On Shopify, you can also get guides, podcasts, and a business encyclopedia to help with your POD activities.
Explore: Neto vs Shopify
Shopify offers 24/7 customer support, expert help, and several useful resources, so it wins this round.
Teespring is somewhat free-to-use, no pricing plan, payment, or subscription is charged to use the platform. The platform includes their service fee in the base cost of products, so they only make money when store owners do.
Shopify features three major pricing plans, which include:
- Basic Shopify Plan – $29 per month
- Shopify Plan – $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify Plan – $299 per month
- Both platforms are easy to use
- They both feature local stores and connect with other marketplaces.
- Several third-party integrations and applications.
- Insightful analytics and reports.
- Teespring is a free platform, while Shopify has three major subscription plans.
- Teespring offers support on weekdays and weekends at specified times while Shopify provides 24/7 support.
- Teespring is a POD-specific platform, while Shopify is a comprehensive eCommerce platform that works with POD applications.
- Teespring offers white label and custom branding while branding on Shopify depends on your chosen platform.
- Free to use
- Easy to set up
- Support on weekdays and weekends
- Helpful resources
- Third-party integrations
- Less marketing options
- Limited design space for some products
- Easy to set up
- 24/7 support
- Helpful resources
- Third-party integrations and applications
- Works only with POD apps
- It can be expensive to pay for Shopify and POD subscriptions
Also Read: CustomCat vs Teespring
Teespring works as a creating and selling platform that is ideal for starting a t-shirt business. You sell your goods and services directly without needing to connect to third-party eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.
As a result, Teespring doesn’t integrate with Shopify. Rather than being partners, Teespring and Shopify are competitors to each other. If you search the Shopify app store, you won’t find any app bearing “Teespring”.
Teespring has a number of alternatives for selling print on demand products. Nevertheless, the major ones are Threadless, Redbubble, and Spreadshirt.
Just like Teespring, these other print on demand platforms feature a built-in marketplace and don’t require third-party marketplaces, unlike Printful and Printify.
Shopify is an all-around eCommerce platform. In that regard, its alternatives include BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento to name a few.
In terms of POD services, Shopify’s alternatives include Printify and Printful. Notably, Printify and Printful integrate with Shopify.
Shopify is undoubtedly a complete eCommerce solution, but Teespring is the better platform to use to sell print on demand products.
With Shopify, it is like doing POD business via a third-party platform – take away the POD/Supplier apps on the Shopify app store, and you wouldn’t be able to do POD business on the platform. Meanwhile, Teespring is a print on demand platform itself.
You need to install your ideal POD platform app on Shopify and connect it to your store before you can sell POD products. This implies that you still need to create an account with your preferred POD platform, and if there are subscriptions involved, you’ll have to pay for them.
Not to mention, you still have to subscribe to Shopify before you can use any of the POD/Supplier applications.
On the other hand, you only need to create a free account and start selling on Teespring. The platform is free, which increases its profitability. Likewise, it incorporates essential features for a print-on-demand store, such as an analytics dashboard, product launcher, third-party integrations, etc.
So, Teespring is the ideal platform to use to sell print on demand products instead of Shopify.
Tom 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.