Print-on-demand platforms have revolutionized how retailers bring products to market. Thanks to the efficiency of a print-on-demand website, just about anyone can create a trendy design and transform it into a series of t-shirts, mugs, water bottles, tote bags, or any other product.
Yet, with so many print-on-demand platforms coming online, knowing which one to use takes some research.
After years of working with different POD providers and testing several platforms, I wanted to share my top 8 of the best platforms based on their features, customer service, and ease of use. If you’re looking to work with a trustworthy print-on-demand company, save yourself some research and check out these top sites.
Table of Contents:
- Printify – The Best Option for Effortless Print on Demand Products
- Sellfy – The Best Option for Creating an Online Store
- Printful – The Best Option for Fast and Free Shipping
- Redbubble – Best Print on Demand Site for Artists
- Gooten – Best Free Print on Demand Site
- Zazzle – A Longstanding Leader in Print on Demand Services
- Gelato – Best Option for International Sellers
- CafePress – Best Option for Using Restricted Content
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line
1. Printify – The Best Option for Effortless Print on Demand Products
Printify was first founded in 2015 by a small team of ecommerce experts and has since grown to become a leading print on demand company with nearly 300 employees. Based out of Riga, Latvia, Printify offers a wide range of print on demand services and can help you transform any ideas into a fully-fledged ecommerce business.
The process is simple! Just head to the Printify website and browse through their catalog. Pick the desired item from over 600 options and then specify your preferred printing provider. Depending on the item and provider, you can then choose from a range of colors. Once you’ve selected an item, you can then upload a design and arrange it however you want.
The beauty of Printify is that everything is customizable. If you want to change up one sleeve of a t-shirt or edit the inner label on a hoodie, you can! This translates across their entire range of products, including:
- Phone cases
- Water bottles
- Tote bags
- Much, much more
After customizing your items, Printify will handle everything related to business—from order fulfillment to manufacturing, shipping, and billing requests. Simply sit back and relax while the platform takes care of your sales.
If you’re already running an online store through eBay, Etsy, API, Squarespace, or any other major ecommerce platform, Printify is set up to easily integrate with your existing product page. Thanks to its simplicity and wide range of options, Printify has quickly become a top-contending print on demand site with more than 500,000 satisfied merchants.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Integrates with existing ecommerce sites
- 600 fully customizable products
- Customer support includes detailed FAQs, a client-to-merchant support chatline, and a 24/7 email option
- Pricing remains a mystery until after you’ve completely customized your products
- Production times may take longer than anticipated depending on the print provider you select
- There are no options to add branded “pack-ins”
Sign up today to learn more about their offerings and turn your design, concept, or kernel of an idea into a fully functional ecommerce business.
2. Sellfy – The Best Option for Creating an Online Store
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that will take your products from design to delivery, then Sellfy is the perfect print on demand site for you. Unlike other options, Sellfy isn’t designed to simply produce and sell your products. Whereas competitors may list your goods directly or integrate with a pre-existing online store, Sellfy is set up to help you create your very own ecommerce platform.
With Sellfy, you can create a beautiful online store in minutes and start selling your products to a global audience with just a few clicks. The homepage customizer is foolproof, offering a range of layouts, background colors, header options, navigation tools, and anything else you would need to produce a stylish and brand-centered online store.
Along with their custom domain creator, Sellfy also offers a wide range of features to help you build and grow your ecommerce business, including:
- Print on demand order fulfillment
- An easy-to-use product designer
- Integrated payments and shipping
- Built-in marketing and promotional tools
- A detailed sales and traffic analytics dashboard
If you are already operating an ecommerce store through a third-party platform, Sellfy makes it easy to integrate your store with an existing website or blog. This extends to social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
When it comes to product fulfillment, Sellfy has you covered. The platform partners with some of the world’s leading print on demand and dropshipping providers, including Printful, Gooten, and ShipBob. This means that you can print and ship your products to customers anywhere in the world with just a few clicks. Plus, Sellfy offers competitive shipping rates and integrates with major shipping carriers, including UPS, DHL, and FedEx.
- Customizable domain creation
- Integrations with social media and existing ecommerce stores
- Built-in analytics and marketing
- Wide range of private shipping carriers
- Limited number of payment processors
- Limited free trial that automatically rolls into a premium plan
- No tools for affiliate programs
If you’re looking for a comprehensive platform that will help you build and grow your ecommerce business, then Sellfy is the perfect option for you. With everything from a customizable store builder to integrated payments and shipping, Sellfy has everything you need to take your business to the next level.
3. Printful – The Best Option for Fast and Free Shipping
Printful is a print on demand and drop shipping company that offers a wide range of print on demand products, including t-shirts, posters, mugs, phone cases, and much more. Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Printful has a team of over 1000 employees and maintains fulfillment centers across North America and Europe.
Printful’s services are similar in structure and format to Printify but their range of available print on demand products is quite a bit smaller. Nevertheless, the company integrates with a wide range of ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. This makes it easy to add Printful products to your existing store and start selling without any hassle.
Plus, Printful offers a wide range of customization options, so you can be sure that your products are unique to your brand. Their customization tool even includes an embroidery option, allowing you to add high-quality embroidered text or designs to any textile product.
After establishing your product line, Printful then has your back when it comes to product fulfillment. The company has multiple warehouses located across the globe, including in Tijuana, Riga, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, which means that your products can be shipped to customers almost anywhere in the world.
Plus, Printful offers free shipping on all orders over $35 and has a wide range of shipping options, so you can be sure that your products will arrive on time.
- Integrates with a wide range of e-commerce platforms
- Offers free shipping on all orders over $35
- Wide range of customization options
- Multiple warehouses located across the globe
- Limited 2-week free trial that automatically rolls over into a paid subscription
- Pricing is on the higher end compared to other offerings
If you’re looking for a print-on-demand company that offers fast and free shipping, then Printful is the perfect option for you. With its wide range of integrations and customization options, Printful makes it easy to add print-on-demand products to your existing store and start selling today. Check them out and see what an easy-to-use print-on-demand site can do for you.
4. Redbubble – Best Print on Demand Site for Artists
Although Redbubble ranks a little lower down our list, it’s actually the most popular print-on-demand service in the world. Currently, the site pulls in around 47 million visitors every month, including both sellers and buyers. This is because Redbubble acts more like a stand-alone eCommerce platform than any other option on our list so far.
Unlike Sellfy, which creates a domain name for you, or Printify, which integrates with an existing store, Redbubble acts as the sales platform from which you can store and market all of your goods. They handle the order fulfillment, product manufacturing, and shipping side of the business, freeing you up to create new designs and logos.
Redbubble also has some of the most user-friendly restrictions for designs and patterns, giving artists creative liberty to make and sell their work. This is a major plus considering that Redbubble search results often rank highly on Google due to the sheer volume of traffic the site gets. Even artists at the beginning of their careers can profit from this boost and make a name for their businesses.
Some users have reported that Redbubble sometimes takes down designs, though, and that the company’s customer support team isn’t always prompt with its replies. If this happens to your content, try reuploading the design again and, if it’s removed a second time, try calling the company directly for more information.
- Excellent Google marketing increases access to artists’ works
- Massive market of buyers and sellers
- Handles all of your ecommerce business needs, including storage, logistics, and manufacturing
- Offers more creative liberty than other print on demand platforms
- Spotty customer support team
- No protection plans for packages
Although Redbubble offers a smaller range of services, its dedication to quality print on demand products has allowed the company to grow in size and rival similar services such as eBay and Etsy.
5. Gooten – Best Free Print on Demand Site
Gooten is a dropshipping and print on demand company that offers more than 150 print on demand products, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, tote bags, and much more. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Gooten has a team of over 100 employees and maintains manufacturing options across North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
Gooten’s services are similar to Printify and Printful but they have yet to expand their range of available print on demand products to the same level. Additionally, not all of their products are as readily available internationally. Although they maintain manufacturing relations across the world, these manufacturers are limited to just a few products.
Nevertheless, the company offers decent integration options with a range of existing ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, API, and Big Commerce. This makes it easy to add Gooten products to your existing store and start selling without any hassle.
Plus, Gooten doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee, making them a more affordable and vendor-oriented service provider. Instead, members simply pay for the products they request and share a portion of the profits with Gooten.
- Gooten easily integrates with existing e-commerce websites, making it easier to link your sales page.
- Sign-up is free and Gooten offers free flat-rate shipping options.
- Manufacturing centers around the world help expand your brand’s reach
- Smaller range of print-on-demand products
- You must contact the company to sign up for an account
- You cannot choose your preferred print provider
Gooten may not have the full range of options offered by larger print-on-demand sites but it’s an excellent choice for young e-commerce businesses looking to maximize their growth without paying for a monthly subscription. Thanks to their international reach, their services can grow your business to span the globe.
6. Zazzle – A Longstanding Leader in Print on Demand Services
Zazzle is one of the oldest and most popular print-on-demand companies, having first been established in 2005. Based out of Redwood City, California, Zazzle has a team of over 1000 employees and offers a wide range of print-on-demand products, including home and interior goods, clothing options, phone cases, hats, bags, jewelry, and much more.
Zazzle stands out from other print-on-demand sites, such as Printify and Sellfy, though, in that the platform wasn’t originally designed with B2B order fulfillment in mind. Instead, Zazzle was originally conceptualized as a custom gift design site. Members and shoppers could create an account, create custom gifts, and have them shipped to the recipient.
In time, though, Zazzle has grown to offer complete order fulfillment services, including manufacturing, storage, and shipping. Yet, Zazzle hasn’t sacrificed its original purpose. To some, this may seem like a downside but it actually gives sellers the opportunity to market their goods directly through Zazzle. And, with the second-highest number of monthly visitors in the industry, it’s hard to view Zazzle as a lost opportunity.
This does, however, mean that your options are pretty limited if you already own an existing e-commerce store. To date, Zazzle only integrates with Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify, meaning you’ll have to recreate your entire brand to suit Zazzle’s platform. Nevertheless, Zazzle has plenty of customizable products available through its platform and leading customer service.
The only downside to using Zazzle is that it’s harder to make a name for yourself through the print-on-demand site. Since Zazzle has been around for nearly 20 years, it’s become oversaturated with sellers all offering similar products. Unless your brand is particularly unique, it’ll be hard to stand out from the crowd.
- Huge consumer base with a longstanding history of success
- Themed products for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc. open designer’s range of opportunities
- Quality customer service set up to help both sellers and buyers
- A saturated market of sellers makes it harder to stand out
- Limited number of integrations
Zazzle is the top pick for vendors hoping to benefit from a print-on-demand site with many years of experience and customer care. However, it’s not going to be a go-to site for anyone looking for creative liberty or cross-platform usability.
7. Gelato – Best Option for International Sellers
Many print on demand sites advertise global shipping options matched with fulfillment and manufacturing sites around the world but few take that commitment to the same level as Gelato. With a headquarters located in Stockholm, Sweden, and manufacturing sites in 34 different countries, Gelato truly is one of the most global print on demand services you’ll find.
This wide reach makes Gelato the best option for any merchant or vendor hoping to reach a global market. Thanks to their expansive list of available countries, you can be sure that your products will arrive quickly and without any customs issues.
Additionally, Gelato offers a wide range of integrations with existing ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce. They also have an excellent customer service team ready to help resolve any issues you may encounter while using the site’s services.
- Headquarters in Stockholm with manufacturing sites across 33 different countries—giving sellers true global reach
- Integrates well with popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce
- High-quality customer service teams help merchants troubleshoot problems
- Sign-up is free
- Higher quality stock images require a paid subscription to Gelato
- Volume-based discounts only kick in on orders larger than $5,000
- Customer support lacks a telephone number
Gelato is an excellent choice for vendors hoping to take their business global. With a wide range of print on demand products and manufacturing sites located around the world, Gelato can help you reach customers anywhere—quickly and without any hassle.
8. CafePress – Best Option for Using Restricted Content
Last but not least, we have CafePress. Like Zazzle, CafePress has been in the print on demand market for quite some time but, unlike the previous site, it’s more accessible and provides wider options for cross-platform integration. What makes CafePress stand out the most from other sites is its wide range of design features using film, television, and other copyright-restricted content.
Over the years, CafePress has managed to gain the usage rights to several big-name media outlets, allowing merchants to safely and legally incorporate elements of pop culture into their designs. This makes CafePress a top choice for artists who enjoy collage and theme-based patterns.
Additionally, CafePress charges its sellers a flat rate on all products and gives them the choice to set their own prices. This gives merchants more freedom to profit from their ecommerce business and helps to offset the cost of doing business with a print on demand site.
Compared to other options, though, CafePress does have fewer products for sale. They are mostly limited to clothing and accessories, such as t-shirts, buttons, stickers, and other small items. Their fulfillment centers are also restricted to the United States, limiting their international reach.
- Flat rates and scalable pricing
- Access to restricted/copyrighted content
- Integrates with Blogger, Joomla, and WordPress
- Long fulfillment times
- Fewer products available than other competitors
CafePress might not be the top contender but it’s certainly a worthwhile print on demand site, especially for merchants hoping to cash in on pop-culture references. Thanks to its integrability, CafePress can work well with other options and add a new layer of content to your ecommerce sales page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we leave you to explore each option, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most widely asked questions about print on demand services. Hopefully, this can help clarify how these services benefit your ecommerce business and guide your decision towards a company suited to your needs.
How does print-on-demand work?
Print on demand is a type of manufacturing where products are only printed once an order has been placed, as opposed to printing large quantities of items at one time and storing them in inventory until they are sold. This method allows businesses to save money by not having to pay for storage space or unsold products, and it also eliminates the need for predicting future customer trends.
Once an order is placed on your ecommerce store, the print on demand company will receive notification of the purchase and will then begin production of the item using your provided design files. The finished product will be shipped directly to your customer from the printer’s facility. This takes the responsibility for order fulfillment out of your hands and frees up your business.
Are there any risks to partnering with a print-on-demand service?
The only risk of partnering with a print on demand service is that you are relying on them to produce and ship your products in a timely and efficient manner. If there are any issues with the quality of the product or the shipping, it will reflect poorly on your business.
That’s why it’s important to do your research before choosing a company, reading reviews from other customers, and getting an idea of their production times. Not all service providers offer the same quality controls so, if you’re not careful, your business’s reputation could suffer entirely because of the print on demand site you’ve chosen.
How much of my profit will a print-on-demand service eat up?
The amount of profit a print on demand service will take depends entirely on the company you’re working with. Some companies have very high markups, while others are much more reasonable. It’s important to get an idea of how much each company charges for their services before committing to one so that you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Some services, such as Gelato and Gooten offer free accounts and then charge based on the products you order. These services are a little less diverse than larger, more expensive options but they provide an excellent entry into print on demand companies without an immediate upfront cost.
What if I want to sell my products in brick-and-mortar stores?
If you eventually want to start selling your products in physical retail locations, partnering with a print on demand service is still a good option. You can use the online sales from your ecommerce store as proof of concept when approaching potential retailers about carrying your line in their stores. Additionally, you can continue to use a print on demand company to supply your online orders.
In this day and age, nearly all brick-and-mortar stores have an online presence and by maintaining a partnership with a print on demand company, you’ll get the best of both worlds. The online platform can manage your fulfillment and digital inventory while you can run front-of-store operations.
Do affiliate programs work with print-on-demand services?
There are a few different types of affiliate programs, but the most common is a referral system where you earn a commission on sales generated from customers that were brought to your store by links on another site. In this case, it would be beneficial to partner with a print on demand service that offers an affiliate program so you can get credit for any orders placed through your link.
For example, Printful has an integration with Refersion which allows users to sign up for an account and then receive unique links to share on their own sites or social media platforms. When someone clicks one of these links and makes a purchase from Printful, the referrer gets credited with the sale and earns commissions accordingly.
The Bottom Line
Print on demand sites offer merchants an opportunity to expand their product lines without much difficulty. However, to get the most out of a print on demand company, you must find a platform with dedicated customer service, quality materials and products, and a straightforward user interface. We recommend checking out the 8 sites shared here and let us know how they work for you.
Bryan E. Robinson is the owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.