Have you ever had a witty product idea and thought you could make some good money of it?
With print on demand sites, you can create all your cute and cool designs online, set up your own store, and sell without managing any inventory or shipment.
Whether you want to make a simple iPhone case, text t-shirts, or put up hand-drawn designs on mugs or water bottles, print on demand will help you bring all your creative artwork to life.
The best part of it is the passive income you get to earn as you set up shop, and your designs are sold while you sleep without any fuss on your end.
There are a ton of services that offer print on demand but they vary in terms of ease of use, cost, and quality.
In this comparison post, we’re going to review two of the best print on demand sites – Printful and Society6 – to kickstart your side hustle.
Printful Vs Society6: What Are They & How They Work
Printful is a leading on-demand order fulfillment and warehousing service that’s free to set up and doesn’t charge any monthly fees nor set minimum requirements on orders.
The service fulfills and ships a variety of products for online businesses such as clothing, home & living items, and accessories among others. It also ships items within 3 days, re-ships items that were lost or damaged while in transit, and offers personalized branding options like custom packing slips, adding logo stickers, and much more.
With this service, you don’t need to stock any inventory. The Printful Print Order Lifecycle takes these steps:
- Printful provides the products customers want printed on
- They’ll print on the products
- Packaging is done by Printful
- They fulfill your customers’ orders and send them straight to their doorsteps.
Also Read: Printful Review
All you need do on your part is to send the orders you’ve received and the details and Printful takes care of everything else.
Printful helps you create the products you need for your business while providing all the tools and resources so you can integrate dropshipping easily into your online store and offer your customers a seamless experience.
You also get to use the variety of eCommerce platform integrations on Printful, which helps you use the service on any platform of choice.
The pricing for products and shipping is also easily available so you can know what to expect, and apply it to your markup pricing structure, plus branding options to ensure your products look great before they reach the customer.
We’ll look into most of these points as we delve deeper into the service in this comparison review.
Society6 is an online global marketplace of 300,000+ independent artists (painters, photographers, illustrators, pattern designers, etc.) from 160+ countries who upload and sell their unique, original designs in the form of over 30 premium consumer goods.
The artists create the work, and Society6 produces and fulfills the orders for those artists.
The platform was founded to provide an open platform for artists to share their art, earn a living from their creativity and talent of others around them, and sell unique, original designs on assorted products to customers worldwide.
Everything is custom made for you once you place your orders, and they’re paired with a best-in-class assortment of products from bedding to furniture, bath, and décor for your home, cases, stickers, outdoor and lifestyle goods, and more.
It’s more like a talent hub for nurturing artists and their creativity, but the main purpose of the platform is to foster an international community that comprises incredibly talented creatives.
The Society6 process takes the steps below:
- Artists upload their original and unique designs on the platform
- They choose the products they want to sell
- Society6 handles production, payment processing, and shipping
It’s that simple. For shoppers, it’s easy to buy the art online as they browse through the site by theme, category, and men’s or women’s apparel among others.
They also have Collections, Popular Artists, New Artists, Trending Products, and Lookbooks categories for customers to look through.
Once a shopper creates a free account, he or she can follow artists, make collections of their favorite design(s), create a wish list, or more, and buy the artwork online from the same platform.
It’s like a social media platform on which you can interact and save the art that matches your unique tastes and styles.
Also Read: Society6 Vs Redbubble
Printful Vs Society6: Features
Printful has a wide range of product offerings that fall within the homeware, apparel, and accessories categories, all of which can be printed on. These include t-shirts, hoodies, tops, posters, skirts, leggings, dresses, posters, canvases, mugs, pillows, hats, phone cases, socks, beach blankets, and tote bags among others.
You can also check their Upcoming Product & Features page if there’s a dropshipping product you’re interested in but it’s not available on their platform yet. Printful always listens to sellers’ feedback and regularly adds new products, which you can request via the New Feature Requests page.
Printful sticks to Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing because it’s not only cost-effective but also doesn’t require much labor to print single order items. This also explains why they don’t have minimum order requirements.
However, for some clothing items, they offer all-over sublimation printing, screen printing for larger orders, and embroidery for hats.
They make printing easy for you because you don’t have to pick the method to print the item on.
Each product on the platform is printed using the best method for the particular item, so you don’t have to do the research on which one to go for – they do it for you.
Also Read: Best Print On Demand Sites Like Society6
Warehousing, Shipping, and Order Fulfillment
Printful’s dropshipping service ensures you don’t have to handle or manage inventory or products, packaging, shipping, or order fulfillment. They store, print, pick, package, ship, and fulfill all items and orders so that you don’t have to struggle with all these processes yourself.
This is what makes dropshipping a favorable business model especially for those starting their first online stores, or those without big budgets to invest in manufacturing or product inventory tools.
It’s also low-risk and delivers great quality products to customers, while allowing sellers to focus more on marketing, designing branding, and customer support instead of the technical aspects.
Printful goes beyond the usual dropshipping services and offers design and branding service options so you can propel your business to higher levels.
This prevents your branding from being compromised and adds the small touches like branded receipts and packing inserts that let customers know they’re getting a well-done product from a caring company.
Printful’s branding options include inner shirt labels, brand stickers for use with shipping boxes, packing inserts, customizable return address, and outer shirt labels.
All these make it more personable between you and your customers while maintaining brand consistency from your site to what your customers receive.
Design options are offered to help you get your store off the ground.
Printful helps you prepare print files for products and design needs like color-matching print files, creating sublimation print files, redesigning logos, creating new graphics and custom artwork, making minor adjustments to print on files, and more.
If you want to launch on other platforms like Society6, TeeSpring, and others, Printful’s design team will help you create any designs, graphics, or artwork you need.
This service is ideal for the merchant who knows what they want to be printed on their products but just aren’t sure how to bring their ideas to life or the store owner who wants their art creation process outsourced so they can have more time to manage their business growth.
Printful integrates with the popular eCommerce platforms, and installation is fast and easy to do. This means you don’t have to handle every order manually and submit to Printful.
Once you integrate Printful to your eCommerce platform, your customers can place orders and they’ll be sent automatically to Printful without your input. This way, no order will be lost or mistakes made on order details all through the transition.
Some of the platforms Printful integrates with include Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Gumroad, Etsy, Big Cartel, Ecwid, Storenvy, Weebly, Shipstation, and Inktale among others.
You can also use an API integration to connect your store to Printful.
Explore: Printful Vs Print Aura
Printful offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that you can use to manage your store on different platforms and stay on top of everything, from anywhere.
With the app, you can get order updates with push notifications, place/remove order holds, view shipment tracking information, and contact customer support.
There are a wide range of product options to choose from on Society6. These include categories such as tech, home, art, men, women, throw pillows, tapestries, iPhone cases, mugs, t-shirts, throw blankets, and more.
All products are produced on an on-demand basis to prevent wastage and solidify the company’s sustainability.
You’re guaranteed high quality and other services such as production, packaging, and shipping.
Explore: Printful Vs Printify
An upgraded site with straightforward navigation
Society6 has a growing demand thanks to the increasing number of newcomers on the platform.
For this reason, they’ve experienced gradual growth in their product line, which also poses the challenge of getting new work uploads from new artists on their site.
However, Society6 fixed this with an upgraded site that comes with straightforward site navigation so that everything is accessible from the site.
They also have an all-inclusive blog that will help people surf through and get free access to great content.
Prior to this, visitors to the site had to log in using the correct credentials, but with the restrictions out of the way, it’s easier to discover great artwork and read deeper into the platform’s benefits.
You can now see a new pick of artists plus their collections, and for customers, this helps them find any other designs they may have missed while browsing through the site.
Society6 never had a feature that could hold the new brand art, publishing system, and product uploads. Today, they have an artist studio that allows direct sizing and positioning of art files in a web browser.
The previous studio allowed one to upload, check, reconfigure, and repeat the process before they could successfully upload any artwork.
Also Read: TeeSpring Vs Printful
The Collections feature enables artists to organize their work into more specific groupings. All product pages have the Add To Collection button that lets artists create new collections or add to existing ones.
They can add any products from their shops or any other shops to their preferred collections, add all the same type of product, or mix and match them to their liking.
The themes of the contents for the collections you want are up to you, the artist. Once you add up to three products to a collection, they’ll be added and displayed publicly on your collection page on Society6.
To see the collection you’ve created, click Edit Collection and you can sort the order or delete products as you deem fit. You can also use the social bar to share collections or drop links directly whenever you want.
Ultimately, this feature lets you curate and organize your collections and share them as you wish.
You can both be a member or artist on Society6, and enjoy the benefits of each of these categories. As a member, you can reap premium stuff like discovering and supporting favorite artists or exclusive deals receipts, save and organize your favorite art, and enjoy super checkouts.
Artists also enjoy benefits like fulfillment, printing, and shipment of orders, avail art for sale without any hassles, get an endless pool of inspiration, and many fanatic artists who flock to the site each month.
Check Out: Gooten Vs Printful
Printful Vs Society6: Customer Support
Printful offers its sellers helpful tools and resources to help them sell better.
These include printing tips from plenty of articles that can be accessed through their homepage so sellers can understand the different benefits and disadvantages of printing methods.
A mockup generator is also available to help sellers apply designs to products digitally so they can see what the finished items will look like or create product images.
There’s also a profit calculator to help you determine your margins and markup accordingly.
Finally, Printful provides sellers with a checklist for setting up your store quickly on Printful, and a blog and YouTube channel for further troubleshooting and helpful resources.
You can also get in touch with customer support via chat, social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, visit their blog for helpful articles, or their FAQ page for common troubleshooting issues. Webinars are available if you want to learn more about the platform and how it works.
If you want clarification about something or want to file a complaint, Society6 allows you to do this from their website.
You can get assistance within 8 hours of posting your query and 7 days a week but from 6 am to 10 pm (Pacific Standard Time).
You can also email or call directly, or check their large FAQ page for the obvious queries. This page is clearly and simply laid out so you can find answers to any inquiry you may have.
If there’s a question you can’t find an answer to from the section, you can send an inquiry via email.
Also Read: Zazzle Vs Society6 Vs Redbubble
Printful Vs Society6: Pricing & Shipping
Printful has various prices for all the products they offer, so you can check their Products & Pricing page to find the pricing for the specific products you want.
There are no monthly fees or minimum order requirements, so you only pay for products when customers order from you.
Printful lets you estimate when customers get their orders and add fulfillment times to the shipping time.
They have a helpful map that shows you the expected shipping time for different countries.
The average shipping time is 4 business days depending on where the order is being sent to. Printful partners with shipment service providers such as FedEx, DHL, USPS, Latvijas Pasts, and DPD.
Live shipping rates are displayed during order checkout, but calculated based on the order fulfillment location, destination, method of shipping, and pricing.
Customs fees are also included depending on your order destination and fulfillment location, and these vary depending on the country limits, order value, etc.
If you want items shipped on the same day, all orders with warehousing products should be placed by 12 pm.
Printful also processes claims for misprinted/defective/damaged items provided they’re submitted within 4 weeks after the products are received.
For packages lost in transit, the claim should be sent within 4 weeks after the estimated delivery date.
Explore: TeeLaunch Vs Printful
Society6 also sets varying prices depending on the product, artist, and the type of coupons available at the moment (offered periodically through the site for specific categories or stores).
This is done based on an algorithm that analyzes profits before releasing payments to the sellers.
It’s in line with the 10 percent stipulated profit margin but excludes the art print category where artists set their pricing and add an average margin.
Their accepted modes of payment include VISA, PayPal, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard.
Society6 doesn’t offer concrete information on shipping charges, but they’re always running specials for free shipping across various categories so it’s more affordable to buy art online.
Shipping times vary but for all US orders, you’ll get your items shipped within 4-14 days by USPS. Shoppers are also able to track orders via a confirmation email or their own accounts.
There’s a return policy for shoppers, which requires them to process returns, replacements, or exchanges within 90 days after orders have been shipped.
The full refund is sent 4-7 business days after processing, and they can also get replacements for incorrect items or delayed shipments.
Shipping is free for any replacements.
Also Read: CustomCat Vs Printful
Printful Vs Society6: Similarities & Differences
Printful Vs Society6: Pros & Cons
Printful Pros and Cons
- No minimum order requirements
- Low-risk business model
- Quality printing and products
- No monthly charges on the service
- Transparent pricing on shipping
- Warehouses in USA and Europe so sellers can access major consumer markets
- Ships products to customers on average in 3 days
- Re-shipments for damaged or lost products
- Customizable branding and design options
- Plenty of helpful resources and tools
- Automates businesses with eCommerce integrations
- Slim margins for drop shipped products
- Product selection tailored to specific categories
- Some products may not ship everywhere
- Branding options are limited to the available customizations
Society6 Pros and Cons
- You retain rights to your artwork
- Simple and easy to use
- No limit on image uploads
- Good passive income stream
- Takes time to reflect your earnings on your account
- Hard to make full-time earnings from the platform
Printful Vs Society6: Which Print On Demand Platform Is Best
It’s possible to make money online using print on demand, and not have to invest or keep inventory, manage shipments, or worry about sizing and other aspects of the stock.
Printful and Society6 offer ideal platforms for you to start your online store print on demand business but they have unique features and pricing systems.
Printful is a renowned platform with several features and helpful tools and resources for their sellers to help them thrive. Society6 also offers some good features, but not as many as Printful, and their customer support isn’t as varied either.
Plus, Printful offers more than just print on demand, warehousing, and fulfillment services, but goes further to provide design and branding options for sellers.
Society6, on the other hand, offers an artist studio instead, but still does the printing, packaging, fulfillment, and shipping of customers’ orders.
Both platforms also offer affiliate programs, but Printful goes even further and offers the Printful app that allows you to work on the go.
In order to pick out the best platform between these two, you’ll probably want to look at the benefits they offer vis-à-vis your own business needs. However, for this round, Printful is the clear winner.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Hi guys..this is Brian. I started my first e-commerce company in college designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using Print-On-Demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7 figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you get succeed.