The popularity of print-on-demand (POD), is on the rise. Online merchants are constantly looking for innovative, custom products. Consumer trends change all the time.
Online merchants may already have begun researching print-on-demand companies. You’ll be able to select from a wide range of platforms. Each platform has its own features and pricing will vary depending on what your business needs are and which package you choose. We’re comparing Printful and Apliiq, two of the largest print-on demand companies. We’ll walk you through all the details, including pricing, pros, cons, and FAQs.
Let’s get on with it.
Printful vs. Apliiq: What isPrintful?
Printful, a print-on demand service, offers fulfillment and warehousing services to online merchants.
Printful was established in 2013. Since then, the company’s growth has been exponential. They celebrated the 10 million fulfilled products milestone in 2019. In 2020, Printful began expanding its services and entering new markets. Printful has become a formidable competitor in the world of print-on-demand. Printful has won numerous awards, including Forbes 2021 as America’s Best Startup Employers. ‘
Prinftul provides its services to online businesses as well as people who want to send personalized t-shirts (or any other item) to their loved ones. Printful receives any order placed by you or your customers and fulfills it before shipping it.
Printful is completely free to set-up and there are no monthly or minimum orders. Printful offers its customers many features, including private packaging, branding options and product labeling.
Printful and Apliiq: What is Apliiq?
Apliiq was established in 2009 and has raised a staggering $845,000 in funding. They have been honored by The Wall Street Journal and Comedy Central among many other respected names.
Apliiq, like Printful is another company that prints-on-demand. It helps online merchants to bring their brand ideas into reality. Apliiq offers fulfillment and shipping services that make managing your online store easier than ever. Apliiq is a specialist in streetwear clothes, so they can’t print other custom items such as mugs or canvases.
Apliiq allows you to collaborate with their artists to create your labels and clothing. You can order samples or your entire collection in bulk. You’ll get a discount if you choose to do this. Apliiq can be used for free, but shipping costs will apply. Dropshipping is a great option because you don’t need to manage your inventory.
Printful’s Pros and Cons
Let’s close this review by taking a look at each platform’s pros and con’s. Let’s start with Printful’s:
- You have many integrations to choose
- is free to use
- Enjoy competitive shipping rates.
- There are many options to choose from.
- The ‘Mock generator” from Printful is unique. This tool can make your store stand out by showing customers accurate images of how your products will look.
- Some options (like patches/embroidery) aren’t available.
- You are not in control of the fulfillment and quality control of your products.
- It can take more time to fulfill orders because every product is printed on demand.
- There are some limitations to the branded options available (e.g. Printful can’t be provided with your own poly mailers boxes or tissue papers like Apliiq can)
Apliiq: The Pros and the Cons
Let’s now take a look at Apliiq’s pros and cons.
- Apliiq has a large product catalogue.
- There are many customization options, and also different printing methods.
- You can pay on-demand so there are no monthly fees.
- All aspects of inventory, fulfillment, shipping and returns are handled for you.
- Apliiq is limited to streetwear and streetwear accessories.
- Integrations can only be used with Shopify or Flamory.
- There is a smaller number of fulfillment centers and warehouses than Printful.
Printful’s Key Features
We’ve covered the core premise of Printful’s services. But what are its key features? Let’s take a closer view below.
Printful offers its own mockup and print file generator. Customers can use this feature to create unique print ideas and bring their brand vision to life.
Select a product from our catalog and upload a design (or create one with the generator) to it.
This will give you a visual representation of how your product will look. If you are happy with the final image you can display it in your store to promote your products.
Mockups can be created for any product, including t-shirts and leggings, totes and hoodies, as well as canvases and phone covers.
Printful offers dropshipping services. Printful allows you to store your products in one of their warehouses. When a customer orders through your online store Printful will fulfill the order and ship it for you.
For warehouse orders received before 12pm, Printful can ship same-day. You can also store your inventory at many fulfillment centers in Europe, Americas, Canada, Spain, Barcelona, and Riga. Printful’s website has a complete listing of fulfillment centers.
Printful offers its customers an extensive product catalog, including:
- Men’s and women’s clothing
- Youth clothing for children and teens
- Home living
- The collection includes loungewear, winter and fall clothing, gifts, ecofriendly clothing and many other items.
Select an item from the catalog that you wish to personalize, then upload it to Printful. Or create a text-based layout using Printful’s editor.
This is great news for anyone who wants to personalize apparel and create their own clothing line. This means you don’t need to worry about purchasing printing equipment, inventory, and minimum order quantities.
Custom Branding Options
Printful offers many ways to brand your products. Printful offers a variety of branding options, including:
- Pack-ins: These can be business cards, coupons, custom flyers, postcards, stickers, hand-written cards or branded stickers. For that personal touch, you can include any one of these with your order.
- Printful allows you to brand your t-shirt’s inside label directly via Printful’s platform. This will cost you $2.49 per label, according to Printful’s website. For the same price, you can also print custom labels to the outside of your T-shirts.
- Branded stickers: To promote your business, you can add branded stickers on your packaging at no cost. Printful’s dashboard allows you to do this.
- Printful returns address: Printful can be used as your return address. Printful will handle shipping and returns, but your company name and address will be listed on the packaging. Your partnership with Printful won’t be made public to customers. Instead of promoting Printful, you can increase brand awareness.
There are many shipping options for Printful. On average fulfillment takes 2-7 business day, with an average shipping time of 6 business days depending on the delivery method/destination.
Shipping costs vary depending on where you are shipping. Each product comes with its own shipping cost. T-shirts shipped to America, for example, cost $3.10 for the initial product and $1 each for each subsequent product.
Printful’s mobile app lets you manage your Printful store anywhere. It is available for Android and iOS. The app has many powerful capabilities including:
- Order creation
- You can confirm orders received (so Printful can fulfil your orders and deliver them to your customers).
- Contact customer support
- Order Hold Place orders on hold or remove order hold
- Track your orders You can track the order’s progress and follow it through to fulfillment and shipping.
You can sign up for their affiliate program if you are a Printful customer. Once you have signed up, you can simply share your affiliate link with your audience to earn a 10% commission for every order that you place. Printful reports that their affiliates have earned a total of $1.3 million in commissions. There are many ways to promote your affiliate products.
You could, for example:
- Blog: Write articles or blog posts with affiliate links about Printful.
- Printful could sponsor influencers: Promotions and competitions that generate interest in Printful may be possible if you are an influencer or have a large online following.
- Youtube: You can upload videos to Youtube that review your experience with Printful and encourage others to use it.
Printful offers a variety of creative services you can take advantage of. Printful will be your direct contact. Simply tell Printful what you need and they will send you a quote so you can start designing. Simple, right?
Printful’s creative services include:
- Merchandise design: Pattern design, typography design, vector graphics design and other custom designs.
- Illustration design: Character design, line art design, colored graphic design illustration, digital painting design.
- Branding design: Logo design, logo redesign, sticker design, business card design, brand style guide design.
- Social media design: Facebook cover design, Instagram, Facebook ads, and blog post graphics.
Printful creates everything from scratch so it may take up to 2 weeks to complete orders. Printful also uses a prepayment system. This means that they will only begin fulfilling orders after you have paid your fees.
Apliiq’s Key Features
We’ve taken a detailed look at Printful and are now ready to see what Apliiq can offer.
Apliiq, like Printful, has a large product catalog that customers can browse.
- Women’s clothing
- Men’s clothing
- Youth clothing for children and teens
There are also a variety of collections, including ‘eco-friendly’, ‘hot-new, and ‘face scarves’
Apliiq offers a variety of printing options, including
- Digital printing: You can print photo artwork in many colors.
- Screen printing: Upload your artwork for custom shirts
- Embroidery: You can also stitch your designs if you don’t wish to print. Apliiq allows you to embroider hats and hoodies as well as joggers and hoodies.
- Applique: This option allows you to create your own design using fabric and stitching. You can create your own designs on hoodies, sweatshirts and other garments. Apliiq will trace your design onto fabric and then cut it out to sew it onto a garment.
Apliiq’s printing methods are also environmentally friendly. All products are non-toxic, nonhazardous and organic.
You can get the following branding customization options with Apliiq:
- Clothing tags custom made: Create your own clothing tags. These tags can be flat or folded beanie labels, neck tags, or folded clothing tags.
- Custom packaging Send your Apliiq custom packaging and they’ll ship the orders that you select.
- Packaging slips: Customers can receive customized packaging slips with every order. Information such as social media handles, thank you messages, stickers inserts and other details can be included.
Please note that custom options can only be obtained if you send more than 250 orders per month to Apliiq.
Apliiq will generate product descriptions for you. These descriptions can be edited at any time, as per your preferences. You can change your settings at anytime so you have both auto-generated and your own work.
Apliiq offers many shipping options. Dropshipping orders are not eligible for standard shipping.
Additional to standard shipping, there are also options for bulk and sample orders:
- Upgraded Shipping: This option is available for items that weigh 16oz or less. It takes 2-7 days to ship.
- Rush shipping: Although shipping times are not listed, Apliiq describes it as an “extremely quick” shipping option. This option is available for all sizes of shipments.
Apliiq ships internationally via USPS to more than 150 countries.
Apliiq is compatible with Shopify, Flamory and other platforms. Flamory software allows you to create offline and online bookmarks.
- Both companies offer dropshipping.
- Both offer a variety of customization options
- Both can be used with Shopify shops
- Both manage inventory for you
- Apliiq also offers services such as embroidery design and patches. Printful doesn’t
- Printful lets users design canvases and mugs. Apliiq is a clothing company.
- Apliiq is known for its specialty in’streetwear’, while Printful offers a wider range of.
- Apliiq has two integrations, while Printful offers a wider range of options
Printful can be used for free. Printful will charge for fulfillment, shipping, taxes, and any applicable taxes. Printful can provide more details about these charges.
Apliiq, like Printful, is completely free to use. However, you will need to pay shipping costs. Apliiq is also a pay-as-you go service, so you only have to pay for what you use. Your products are not charged until customers place an order through your website.
Every product in the product catalogue has a different cost. Shipping rates also vary depending on where you live.
Our Final Verdict
We hope you are now able to make an informed choice between these two companies. Both services can be printed-on-demand. However, each service has different capabilities. Your eCommerce store will determine which one you choose.
Let’s say you want to sell more than clothing. Printful may be the right choice for you if you’re looking to sell more than clothing.
Apliiq also offers a wide range of products for designers who want to create streetwear clothing.
It is important to consider the ecommerce platforms that you wish to sell on. Although Apliiq offers a wide range of great features, the number of integrations available is limited. Printful, on the other hand, is more appropriate for retailers who want to sell on popular platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
What are your thoughts? What print-on-demand company will you choose? Printful or Apliiq are you considering? Printful or Apliiq? Let us know all about it by leaving a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!