What Is Printful Its Meaning & How Does It Work?

What is printful and what is its meaning?

You must have heard about print-on-demand, right? If yes, then Printful is one of the leading print-on-demand companies in the world that helps people all across the world turn their ideas into creative products and help them sell them online by giving them a platform for creating an online store.

It is not just an online store, but it gives full support, starting with a variety of products to choose from for sale, order fulfillment, and shipping. Everything is taken care of by Printful from start to finish.

It is not just an online store, but it gives full support, starting with a variety of products to choose from for sale, order fulfillment, and shipping. Everything is taken care of by Printful from start to finish. It empowers small and medium-sized retailers to customize any product from their platform with their own unique print and design and sell it online.

What does Printful do?

Printful is a print-on-demand and dropshipping company that helps individuals, retailers, and entrepreneurs create and sell their own customized products online. The best part is that Printful users don’t have to focus on manufacturing products, designing them, and shipping them across the globe. Everything is taken care of by Printful. You just have to create your online store, pick a product, design it, and sell it online by promoting and marketing.

Users can leverage its built-in mock generator tool to create their own design and print-ready images or icons. It also gives more room to personalize the products by creating a unique brand logo and packing slips for marketing and promotion.

It also comes with loads of integration options to help you sell the product to a wider audience and streamline your operations. You can integrate it with various eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, Etsy, Wixcom, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, eBay, Magento, Weebly, and a lot more with the help of its APIs.

Some of the other notable features of Printful are its marketing capabilities, which allow you to run online ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Plus, you can also optimize your store and get it ranked on organic listings on Google.

Story of Printful: History and Founding Team

Davis Siksnans is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Printful. He started this company with a three-person team making t-shirts in the garage of Lauris Liberts. Now, Printful is all grown up, with more than 500 employees working in-house across the USA, Mexico, and Europe. Since the very beginning, David has been interested in the eCommerce space, especially the POD side. Later, they shifted to just printing. Generally speaking, David comes from a family of people who have tried their hands on multiple businesses and failed a hell lot of times.

The actual story of Printful starts with a startup that David ran using third-party printing services available at the time.

Back in 2012, his team did not have any speed or quality control over the orders, products, or marketing, and most importantly, they did not have any APIs, so there was zero automation and all the work was managed manually. To put it in a nutshell, they started on their own.

Their first printer was in a garage-type setup in the house of one of their co-founders in LA. Since all the founders were interested in the print-on-demand business, they started out with a Brother printer. At the start, they did not have any knowledge about how to use the printer. Luckily, they had a great team that figured out how to use new technologies, tools, and software in print-on-demand business. In the year 2015, they got their first Kornit printer, and it took them 6 months to learn how to use it.

Fast forward to 2017, and they expanded their offerings with warehousing and fulfillment services. This year, they were not just about printing anymore. They started helping customers sell more through their platform features and various integrations. Their first integration was with Shopify because their first company was built on Shopify itself. Today, they have more than 15 integration options.

Speaking about the marketing aspect of the company, they are highly dependent on search engine optimization and online advertising for selling and promoting their platform. They are more driven to be honest while they run ad campaigns and do experiments with them. They also have a great content team that creates all forms of content on their website and social media channels. They target content topics that mostly include selling, dropshipping, and print-on-demand business.

Their ad budget is also very good, and they run multiple paid campaigns on social media and Google to acquire customers. Their focus while running any ad campaign is to promote their organic growth and content to attract customers.

How Does Printful Make Money?

Printful, a leading player in the print-on-demand industry, has built a successful business model over the years, leveraging its expertise and innovative approach to generate revenue. Here’s how Printful makes money:

Product Sales: Printful offers a wide range of customizable products, from apparel to home decor. Customers place orders through Printful’s online platform, and Printful fulfills those orders by printing the designs on the chosen products. Printful earns revenue from the sale of these products.

Printing and Manufacturing Fees: Printful charges a fee for the printing and manufacturing processes. This fee covers the cost of the blank products, printing technology, ink, and labor required to fulfill each order.

Subscription Plans: Printful offers subscription plans with additional features and discounts for high-volume users. These plans provide a steady stream of recurring revenue for the company.

How Do You Use Printful?

1. Sign up

Printful Sign up

First things first, you need to sign up on Printful if you want to use it. If you have already created your account on Printiful, then you can easily log in via your email and login credentials. If not, then you can create an account with a Gmail ID and password.

Once you start creating your account with Gmail, you will need to provide some information, like your name, the purpose of using Printful, how much your business makes per month, whether you are an individual or a company, and so on.

Once you have done the basic rituals, you will see this wonderful dashboard, which is easy to navigate and very intuitive.

Printful Dashboard

On the left side of the dashboard, you will see all the necessary options that you will be using the most. On the right side, you will just find your account information and a button to order products.

2. Select a product.

After creating your account, you need to select the product that you would like to sell on the print-on-demand business side. Printful has a great range of products, which you can choose from and sell online. However, their upper hand lies in clothing and apparel products.

Printful Product selection

They also have a wide range of new products coming in every month, eco-friendly products, and top-selling products as well. I personally found their clothing products top-notch in terms of look, fabric, material, and feel as well.

To select a product, you can start by finding a niche by knowing what your customers are looking for, where they are from, and how to reach them. You can also do some competitor research using free tools like Answer the Public or Ubbersuggest. Once you have decided the niche, you can now select any product.

3. Design

Printful Design

Now comes the most important part, which is product design. Product design options with Printitful are very vast and amazing. So, if you are using this platform for the first time, then it might be daunting for you because of the advanced options.

Printful design dashboard

First, you need to pick up a product and then add your custom design to it. You can either add your own design, which you might have saved to your computer, or use the product editing options with Printful.

You can choose the color of the product, add layers to it, add some clip art to make it look more intuitive, add some text if you want to show a message on your product, and use the quick design option.

With the quick design option, you can get some pre-created images, clip art, and icons. Although this is not a complete design, it is something to make your product look more attractive.

You can easily upload your design once it is completed and apply it to your product.

Printful design folders

Once you are done with it, your design will appear on the printable area of the product.

Printful product

In the above particular t-shirt, I have shown my product design on the left chest side, which looks cool. Design placement is completely in your hands. You can either place your design on the center, right side, left side, back, left, or right arm. In fact, you can get it anywhere on the product, but make sure to get it in a visible place.

You can also add colors to the product and do more detailing by changing the position of the design horizontally and vertically. You can also play with the texture and add some more text to it.

Printful color design

You can also rotate the product, increase the width and height, and do so much more to make it look the best.

Once you are done with the designing part, you can save the product template and view it.

Printful product template

It looks amazing, right?

You can also order this product, which is customized and made as per your design and quality.

4. Add products to the store.

This is another important step: adding products to your online store.

Printful store

If you have not connected your store with Printiful, then you have to do it right now, or else you won’t be able to sell online.

There are two options for connecting the store. The first is to connect Printify with other eCommerce platforms where you have an existing online store, like Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, and others. Second, use the manual order API. I will explain more about the Manul order API below.

Printful store connect dashboard

For now, you can choose your existing platform. Say, for example, that you have a store on Etsy and you want to connect with Prinful. Then here are the steps to do it:

1. Click on Connect to Etsy.

Connect to Etsy

2. Now you will be directed to a delayed guide page where you can get complete details on how to connect your Etsy store and Printify. Follow that guide and read each step carefully. Within a few minutes, you will be able to connect your Prinful products right to your Etsy store.

There is also a video that you can watch if you can understand things.

Tutorial videos to connect your Etsy account

So this is how you can use Printful and make money online by selling your designed products.

Printful Features and Benefits

1. Product catalog

Product catalog

Printful has a wide range of product categories to give you ample options for selecting the best and most suitable product for your online store. They have options for men’s clothing, women’s clothing, kid’s clothing, accessories, which include phone cases, bags, caps, hats, small jewelry, and a lot more.

You can also select from their best-selling products, premium products if your targeted audience is a high-income group, beachwear, sportswear, streetwear, large embroidery, and a lot more. Printful also has products from brands like Adidas, AS Colors, Champion, and a lot more.

2. Product template

Product template

A product template is a reusable template for a product: a Printful product + print file combo that exists independently from any of your stores and is saved only on Printful. A product template only contains product details all stores (and all the different e-commerce platforms Printful integrates with) can have in common. This means you can start creating a product with a premade template, add the remaining information, and push it to any store!

3. Branding options

Branding options

Branding is something that Printful excels at, and it will surely help you take your online store to the next level. If you are a premium Printful user, then you will have access to numerous branding options on the order page, including packing slips, custom packaging, and packaging insert options that you can leverage to make your customers more aware of your brand or company. You can also use it for marketing by using packaging inserts, sending some thank-you messages to your customers, and making them feel valued.

4. Analytics


On the Printful analytics dashboard, you can see a complete overview of all your orders.

5. Partner program

Do you want to make money by promoting Printful to your friends and customers? If yes, then you should also join the Printful affiliate or partner program, which is a great way to make some more money.

Printful currently operates as an affiliate program as well as a partner program. In the affiliate program, you will earn a commission of 10% from every order that a referral has made. This program also offers recurring commissions for 12 months. In order to help you with affiliate marketing, Printiful will offer marketing materials, resources, and affiliate marketing tips. You’ll have access to tracking and reporting tools on your personal dashboard to monitor your efforts in real-time.

Here’s how much you can make with the Printful affiliate program.

Partner program

On the other hand, a Printful partner program is something that will help you earn referral points. You will get a $5 discount for your friends on their first order, $5 Printful points to spend on your perks, and a chance to earn $1000 in Printful points.

Partner program Steps

How Can I Use Printful?

1. E-commerce Entrepreneurs

Printful is an excellent choice for individuals looking to start an online store without the hassle of managing inventory and fulfillment. E-commerce entrepreneurs can leverage Printful’s print-on-demand services to create and sell a wide array of customized products, including T-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, and more.

By integrating Printful with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, entrepreneurs can seamlessly sync their store with Printful for automated order processing and fulfillment.

2. Graphic Designers and Artists

Printful provides a platform for graphic designers and artists to turn their creative designs into tangible products. Whether it’s unique artwork, illustrations, or graphics, artists can upload their designs to Printful and apply them to a range of items.

This allows them to monetize their creativity by selling merchandise featuring their designs, reaching a broader audience without the need for upfront production costs.

3. Brands and Businesses

Established brands and businesses can utilize Printful to create branded merchandise, promotional items, and corporate gifts. Whether it’s clothing with company logos or custom accessories, Printful’s range of products and printing options allows businesses to maintain brand consistency across various merchandise. This can serve as an additional revenue stream or a means of promoting brand awareness.

4. Influencers and Content Creators

Influencers and content creators can enhance their online presence by offering custom merchandise to their followers. Whether they are active on social media platforms, YouTube, or have a personal blog, influencers can use Printful to create and sell products that resonate with their audience. This not only provides an additional income stream but also fosters a stronger connection with followers who appreciate and want to support the influencer.

5. Event organizers

Printful is a valuable resource for event organizers looking to create customized merchandise for conferences, festivals, sports events, and more.

By designing and selling event-specific merchandise, organizers can enhance the overall experience for attendees and generate additional revenue. Printful’s print-on-demand model allows for flexibility in producing merchandise tailored to the unique themes and branding of each event.

6. Startups and Small Businesses

Printful caters to startups and small businesses that may not have the resources to manage their own production and fulfillment processes. By leveraging Printful’s services, these businesses can focus on their core operations while still offering a diverse range of branded products. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for businesses in niche markets or those testing the waters before committing to large-scale production.

FAQs: What is Printful?

What is Printful?

Printful is a print-on-demand and dropshipping company that helps businesses design and sell custom products online without handling inventory or fulfillment.

How does Printful work?

Designers and entrepreneurs create custom designs, integrate them with Printful, and when customers make a purchase, Printful prints, packs, and ships the product on behalf of the business.

What products does Printful offer?

Printful provides a wide range of customizable products, including apparel, accessories, home decor, and promotional items, allowing businesses to create a diverse product line.

Is Printful suitable for small businesses?

Yes, Printful is ideal for small businesses. It eliminates the need for large upfront investments in inventory, making it a cost-effective solution for startups and independent entrepreneurs.

Can I use Printful with my online store?

Yes, Printful integrates seamlessly with various e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, making it easy to sync your products and manage orders.

What printing technologies does Printful use?

Printful utilizes advanced printing technologies such as direct-to-garment (DTG), embroidery, and cut-and-sew to ensure high-quality and durable custom products.

Are there any upfront costs with Printful?

No, Printful doesn’t have upfront costs. You only pay for the cost of the product and shipping when a customer makes a purchase, allowing you to operate with minimal financial risk.

Where does Printful ship to?

Printful offers global shipping, allowing businesses to reach customers worldwide. Shipping rates and times vary depending on the destination.

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