Why Printful? Pros & Cons


I am writing this post to address the concern of purchasing products fulfilled by Printful. There are pros and cons to using their service and I will share them with you here:




It makes things easily available to anyone - I can create any product at no cost to myself and make it available to anyone in the world for purchase. I can order samples to confirm that my file placements and set up is correct so I know what to expect from each future order of that product.


Shipping handled on their end - The shipping problem is something I really don't want to deal with. It is a given with ecommerce regardless and having shipping supplies can get expensive let alone take up a bunch of room. You pay a flat rate or weigh the things you are shipping. It's a lot of extra steps that I am not interested in doing just for t-shirts. The revenue doesn't match up with the labor involved in my opinion.


I don't have to have a large stock on hand - I don't have to have like 6 big ass boxes of t-shirts in my closet just taking up space if they aren't selling. I can order and have a physical stock set up that is just enough to carry around with me to various places to sell. 


Larger amount of my designs actualized - I don't have to consider budgeting to have new designs and shirts printed. I can have an idea and have it ready to be printed as a sample on the same day. Once I get the sample, I can post it and move on to the next creative pursuit. 


Printful will replace products if they mess up - If Printful messes up and we provide photo evidence of their print or whatever coming out sloppy they will review it and if they confirm they will send you a replacement right away free of charge. You can learn more about the topic by reading the Printful Returns Policy at this link here.




They mess up - Printful does make mistakes. Please check out this link where I give you examples of the types of mistakes they will and will not fix. But yeah, it is quite frustrating to put an order in for something and it gets there 5-6 days later but sorta messed up. Then, you gotta wait another 5-6 days to receive your replacement. That is a pain in the ass.


Quality control is out of my hands - I have no ability to OK the product before it gets to the customer's hands. If I were working with a local print shop I would be able to go through the box they gave me and pick out any issues and ask for replacements. In this case, you get what you get and we have to hope the replacement is good to go the first time around.


Limited design placement options - Printful doesn't yet have a really flexible design placement system for their garments. Unless you do an all over print t-shirt you are subject to the print spaces they make available to you. 


No reshipping if customer ordered the wrong size - Printful will not replace something because you don't like the way it fits. That can cause some checkout hesitancy since you aren't 100% sure how it will fit until you have it on. Frustrating, but just part of the give and take. 


If the customer provides an insufficient address then the customer has to pay the reshipment costs - If the customer provides an insufficient address Printful will then keep the package and the customer is liable for reshipment costs upon providing an accurate address. Pretty lame. I don’t want to put the reshipment cost on my customers like that for an honest mistake.


Response to the Cons


They mess up - I do my best to counteract this by taking extra care to properly set up my product templates with Printful. I order a sample of everything before I make it available in the store. I also let you know in this link here what Printful will and will not consider a product that they will replace.


Quality control is out of my hands - What I said up there. I also want to make the point that the designs I make available as Printful products are extremely simple. They aren't exactly designed to be perfect so a bit of imperfection can go unnoticed. That being said I'd prefer if there was a 90% guarantee of perfection. 


Limited design placement options - I just use Printful to design the simple stuff. For other types of looks and projects I go elsewhere.


No reshipping for wrong size - I include product measurements on every Printful product page in both Imperial/Metric. I would suggest measuring carefully if you aren't sure. I use three different garment companies for t-shirts with Printful. Comfort Colors & Gildan & Bella + Canvas. Gildan is the standard classic T-shirt. Most people know how those will fit. Bella + Canvas has an understood feel and fit as well. Comfort Colors is the medium between the other two that I think most people will prefer. 


If the customer provides an insufficient address then the customer has to pay the reshipment costs -  I will just do my best to help you out if this happens. I would really prefer it never does of course. I am not sure yet how I would charge you again for a reshipment. That seems complicated. I think what I will do is take note of your information and if it happens a second time we figure out how to take your payment. Otherwise, I will cover the first problem. I just want you to get something you bought cause you liked it. How awesome is that. An extra idk 5 bucks is worth a happy customer/supporter.


Printful and Garth Final Thoughts

*Keep in mind this is primarily regarding DTG printing with Printful*

Using Printful is great. However, I will not be charging what I normally would for a shirt or garment with my art on it because of the lack of quality control, the lack of design placement flexibility, and the fact these products are not made by my own hands. It would be wise to consider any of my art products fulfilled by Printful to be Common Rarity(as in they are almost worthless). Going forward this Value System will be implemented into future projects and expanded on in a future post.

I don't think any t-shirt is actually worth $50. Clothes can get all musty and the pits can get stained after one wear. A nice quality blank shirt at wholesale prices can be like $4.50 depending where you source it from. 

That being said, people do sell shirts for $200 which is CRAZY to me. But it makes so much damn sense. It's because it is about the value you create around the product itself. The best way to build value is through scarcity and authenticity.

Is something that is easily replicated, and can be infintely produced actually worth $50 or $200? Nope. The people who sell shirts for $200 are able to do so because of brand recognition(authenticity), quality, and scarcity. 

So, I mean yeah. My Printful products aren't for the collectors let's put it that way. I do have some ideas however to create authentic value for my Printful products. I will talk about that some other day!

Also! Please check out my post on "Low Quality' items that are now available in my store!

- garth

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