Print-on-demand platforms are a great option for entrepreneurs and small online businesses looking to diversify their offerings. You might be just starting out, or you may be looking for ways to increase your income without worrying about warehousing and order fulfillment. This is why dropshipping is so popular.
We’ve compared two of the most popular print-on demand companies: Printful and SPOD. We hope you’ll have a better understanding of their mission by the end.
This is a lot of reading. Let’s get started!
Printful was founded in 2013 and has been around for almost a decade. Printful uses dropshipping to make it easy for you to sign up, choose the merchandise you wish to personalize, and then start selling. Printful takes care of shipping and order fulfillment so that you can focus on marketing your online shop.
As we have already mentioned, the first thing you need to do is set up a Printful Account. After you have created an account, you can integrate it with your existing eCommerce shop. Printful allows you to customize any of the 286 print-on-demand products and then add them to your eCommerce store for sale. This includes clothing for children, adults, and men. Accessories and home decor items like pillowcases are also available.
Printful uses these brands to make its products: Alternative Apparel, American Apparel Bella + Canvas Gildan, Hanes and Next Level
Printful can also warehouse and distribute your products if you have a lot of stock. Printful has warehouse outlets in the USA, Canada, and Europe. VAT may be added to the latter.
Let’s say you are unsure if you want to sell Printful products or if you want quality control. You can order samples first. Once you are satisfied with the product base, you can use Printful’s mockup generator for your designs. You’ll also find an integrated design maker that allows you to upload your design or create one with Printful. You can choose from tons of mockups and have lots of fun with it. Clipart, graphics and fonts are also included.
SPOD, like Printful is also a drop shipping service that allows you to print on demand. Spreadshirt powers it and Shopify integrates it. This SPOD review will focus on Shopify users.
SPOD has been in existence for over 20 years. SPOD’s website stated that it produces over 50,000 products per day, and 95% of these are shipped out within 48 hours. It also revealed that the company shipped more than 9.8 million items in 2020.
SPOD can be used by Shopify store owners to create a print on demand store and sell custom products quickly. SPOD is available to both medium and high volume merchants.
Install the SPOD app in your Shopify store to get started. You can then choose from over 130+ products, more than 70+ themes, and 50,000 unique designs. SPOD prints your custom products and sends them directly to your customers. All you have to do is set up your shipping and billing preferences correctly and you are good to go.
SPOD ships in 48 hours from the US. This is a huge advantage! Expect your order to arrive in three to eight days.
SPOD’s product line is comprised of the following brands: Anvil, Bella + Canvas and Gildan.
Printful vs. SPOD: The Pros and Cons
Before we get into the details of the review, let’s look at the pros & cons of Printful and SPOD.
- You can print your way to Europe, Australia, Mexico, Mexico and other countries around the world with Printful Ships
- Printful products are fully white-labeled so that you can have greater control over your brand
- Printful has a wider range of products than SPOD.
- There are many integrations to choose from
- It is easy to set it up, you don’t even need any technical experience
- Printful’s mockup creator is simple to use
- The maximum file size allowed is 200MB
- Printful supports custom branding
- Printful partners with trusted brands to provide high-quality products for customers
- You can’t track customers’ origins because there are no built-in analytics.
- Printful supports JPG, PNG, while SPOD supports them as well as GIF and BMP.
- SPOD’s products come with white labels
- Fast order turnaround (48 hours) is a benefit
- SPOD has a great rating on Shopify, 4.5 out 5
- Shopify customers can install it easily
- SPOD’s products have lower base prices than Printful. This means that there is more profit margin.
- SPOD only uses high quality brands for its products
- It can’t be used without a Shopify Account
- Printful has a smaller selection of products than Printful.
- SPOD ships only to the USA and Europe
- The maximum file upload is 10MB, which is considerably less than Printiful.
Ecommerce entrepreneurs rarely use one piece of software. You’ll need to integrate your POD company with your existing tech stack, regardless of whether Shopify is your preferred eCommerce builder or another platform such as Amazon.
Let’s start with Printful.
Printful integrates with Shopify and the following eCommerce platforms.
- Launch Cart
It can also be integrated with the following online marketplaces.
Printful users have access to an open-source API that allows them to create their own integrations.
SPOD, a platform that allows Shopify users to integrate with it, makes sense. SPOD integrates directly with:
- Order Desk
SPOD offers a free 100% REST API so that you can build your own custom integrations.
Printful vs SPOD: Pricing
Without knowing what your costs will likely be before making a business decision, it is impossible to make a sound business decision. Before you make any business decision, consider what your costs will be before you move forward. Let’s compare Printful and SPOD.
Printful provides white label products that you can customize to suit your brand’s needs. This includes inside labels. These products can be customized without losing any information buyers may need, such as sizing or washing instructions.
Each label is $2.49 Printful offers a variety of templates that allow you to customize labels and make them unique to your brand.
Printful offers many branding options. You can insert your own logo on packing slips starting at $0.75 per order and going up to $2.95 for an embroidered logo.
You’ll need to also consider the base price for Printful’s products. Below are some examples to give you an idea of what they are.
- Premium unisex tank-top – starting at $14.95
- Men’s fleece shorts starting at $26.95
- Flip-flops starting at $12.95
- Drawstring bag starting at $15.95
- Engraved Pet ID Tag – Starting at $7.95
- Tote bags starting at $14.95
- Stickers starting at $2.20
- Phone cases starting at $10.95
If you are looking to make a profit, Printful recommends adding 30% to your retail price. You can use a profit calculator to calculate what your net profit might be for each product you sell. If you purchase a tshirt for $8.01 and then sell 10 tshirts for $10.41 each, your net profit is $24.
SPOD prides itself on offering low prices which are competitive against many of their competitors, so let’s look:
SPOD is free to use, and there are no subscription or registration fees. SPOD users will, however, have to pay the base prices of their products as well as shipping costs. This is similar to Printful. Shipping costs vary depending on where you are shipping (USA, Europe), and whether you choose Standard, Premium or Express shipping.
Here are some examples of SPOD’s basic product costs:
- Men’s Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt starting at $6.71 with one print
- Men’s Premium Hoodie $20.99 including one print
- Baby bodysuit starting at $9.26 with one print
- Wall art posters starting at $11.47 including one print
- Adjustable apron starting at $9.91 with one print
Fulfillment and Shipping
You want to provide a transparent service so that customers can know when their order will arrive. It is important to factor shipping and fulfillment times into the business model. How does Printful and SPOD do in this area?
Printful fulfillment and shipping times are dependent on the product and destination. Order fulfillment for non-clothing items, such as clothing, can take up five business days. Clothing takes on average between two to seven business days.
The US shipping time is three to four days. In the UK it takes two to five days. It takes around 6 to 14 days to ship if it is Asia, South America, Europe.
Printful has a helpful guide that will help you to calculate shipping costs before you launch your website or business. Shipping costs vary depending on destination, weight, and the shipping method used. Printful uses these reputable carriers: FedEx DPD, DHL and the USPS.
Here’s an estimate of shipping costs to the US for your customer’s first product.
- T-shirts, tank tops, polo shirts, etc. Additional products: $3.99 and $1.25
- Hoodies, pants and sweatshirts $6.50 & $2.00 each additional product
- Face covers: $3.99 and $1.25 for each additional product
SPOD’s shipping costs vary depending on where you are located in the US or Europe. You can use their shipping calculator to calculate the approximate cost. You have the option of Standard, Premium or Express shipping options. Standard shipping is via USPS Priority. Premium shipping is via USPS Priority. Express shipping is via FedEx. The cost of shipping goods is determined by their value.
SPOD offers white label packaging and inserts, just like Printful. SPOD does not offer any branding options at the time this article was written. It is “under consideration”, so keep an eye out!
Suppose you run into trouble or a question arises. You’ll need to rely upon a quality customer support team in such cases. So how does Printful’s customer service compare with SPOD’s?
The Printful website is free to join. There are tons of self-help resources, including an online Help Center, as well as information on important topics like shipping and returns. There are also sections that provide tips and videos on various topics, such as design, getting started and warehousing. Printful can be reached by phone, email, and live chat. Printful has a solid social media presence, so you can stay up to date with all the latest news.
SPOD has an online Help Center. You will find helpful blogs and sections about getting started, invoicing, design, and other topics. They can be reached via email and phone. There are separate numbers for European and US customers.
According to a variety of online reviews, there are many opinions on product design and quality.
Printful currently has a rating of 4.3 stars on the Shopify App store (out of five possible). On TrustPilot, 66% rated Printful as “excellent”, while 33% rated it as “poor” or “bad”.
These poor reviews can be attributed to shipping problems, as well as incorrect sizes and VAT. Users love Printful’s ease-of-use and high quality products.
SPOD’s reviews on Shopify App Store are impressive. They have a five-star rating that is almost unanimously high. The platform’s ease-of-use and user-friendliness are the main points of praise. Unhappy customers voice their dissatisfaction at poor customer service, insufficient quality control, and poor printing quality.
SPOD is known for listening to customers and taking action. SPOD’s customizer tool allows you to upload designs you have already created or create new ones. There are also 70+ themes that you can choose from. Have fun! SPOD upgraded this tool in 2019 following customer feedback. It’s pretty neat, right?
Printful vs. SPOD: Which Print on Demand Company Is Best?
This was a difficult one to choose. Both were very enjoyable and each one is quite superior to the other. Both offer:
- Transparent pricing
- You can find helpful resources at their websites, such as shipping and profit calculators
- Platforms that are easy to use
- Many integrations
- High quality brands for their goods
- Both offer easy-to-use design tools
Which print-on-demand company do you think will be your choice?
Printful has live chat support. SPOD does not. We recommend that you go to Printful if you value this.
SPOD has a wider range of products than Printful. SPOD offers more accessories and variants within each category, including different sizes of mugs. Printful does offer more product types than SPOD, but it is still a swing and roundabout. SPOD can handle more file types, while Printful only accepts JPEGs, PNG, and other formats.
It’s up to you. We recommend that you do your research and dig deeper until you are certain which platform you want to launch your company with. This Printful vs SPOD comparison review should have helped you.
In the comments, let us know which product you’re going for: Printful or SPOD. You might be thinking of one of their rivals, like Gooten or Printify. Let us know what you think about it and we wish you all the best in making your decision.