Print on Demand providers : My Personal experience
Ok so over the past few years I have been testing most of the print on demand guys out there and I thought I would share my unfiltered opinions and thoughts on each.
GB were the first guys I used when I started with Mugs and I still say they’re pretty rock solid, a low 4.59 for an 110z white ceramic and generally pretty fast to turn orders around.
Although teelaunch 11oz mugs are like $3.50 which is competitive but Printful mugs are mad expensive (don’t use them for mugs!)
In terms of pure product selection, mockup engines and usability, they’re not the best. They have a few exclusives like certain types of jewelry (that, fyi, they simply double drop ship from beeoux.com) and shot glasses, but nothing special.
When I first started using them for shirts it took OVER 2 WEEKS to ship one shirt, same with hoodies. It was horrendous and I instantly switched to teelaunch.
Now to be fair, they changed T shirt suppliers after this, but I’ve seen a lot of scrabbling and dicking about which I have NEVER experienced with the other big boys I'm about to mention.
But this is my business and the POD provider has to be rock solid.
A big sales pitch of GB is their integrations – so you can ‘plug’ your listings into amazon, ebay and Etsy.
Well right away I want to say that their integrations are clunky as hell and something is always going wrong or breaking, or orders get missed.
Also, they offer deals on their integrations, usually as bonuses when they’re trying to sell us on some training or something, claiming we’ll save cash (because each integration is like 50 bucks per month) but the reality is that I can already get FREE, perfect integrations with painful and most other POD providers I like.
If you are more of an Amazon or eBay seller, then the integrations for those platforms will help, but don’t expect it to be smooth.
The default GB support is generally rubbish and I’ve been disappointed almost every time - I especially got my nips chapped when they billed me 100 bucks for a credit, without crediting my account and having layers of support explain they couldn’t see it on the system.
The way around this is contacting a lady called Kim who is Racheal’s assistant – Rachael being the fiancé of Don, GB owner.
Dealing with Kim is always a pleasure and she is awesome, but I pity the fool who has to deal with the general GB support robots!
Verdict: I would seriously suggest you only use GB for products you can’t get anywhere else on print on demand, like shot glasses for example.
Everything thing else they have is already being made better and faster by either teelaunch or Printful. Honestly, when it comes to POD, Gearbubble just isn't that good and I simply can't recommend them.
When it comes to shirt and hoodies, teelaunch have always been my go-to and they have literally never let me down.
They don’t skip a beat in Q4, support is super-fast and they are simply a pleasure to deal with.
They also have a pretty excellent product selection, some quirky exclusives like speakers and are always adding new stuff.
Their prices are excellent for most of their items too.
Teelaunch doesn’t have a native Etsy integration so until recently you had to make two listings on either platform and then connect them, which is the same clunky system as GB but they’ve recently improved it so now you don’t need to make 2 listings.
I haven’t tested this as much but for sake of ease, I usually use Printful and Etsy and keep Teelaunch shirts and hoodies for Ebay.
A big plus for Teelaunch though is they don’t charge sales tax or VAT, unlike Printful for example.
To use Teelaunch and integrate you will need a Shopify store, but can get one and downgrade it to just 15 bucks a month and use all these apps for free (unlike GB that want to charge you 50 bucks a month for buggy software).
Ok so these are the OGs of print on demand basically, they have an absolutely massive product selection, great customer service and are always adding new products.
When it comes to the cutting edge, they’re on it, but not all of their prices are as good as other POD places so you want to shop around a little bit (for example mugs are way too expensive, some shirts are very expensive).
They do have a huge selection though and like Teelaunch are amazing during Q4, this year their production times didn’t even change, didn’t even skip a beat.
The Printful integration is super sleek, easy to use and you can push products right to Etsy without even logging in (which is handy if you are using VAs and don’t want to hand over your account password etc).
I’ve also never had any issues with the integration missing orders or anything like that!
A downside with Printful is they auto deduct sales tax and VAT unless you upload a TIN or VAT number (which you won’t have if you are from the US).
Printful integrate with a ton of places, including amazon and you don't need a Shopify account.
Ok so now one I have experience with personally, but I wanted to mention it as it’s worth knowing about.
They have good price points and a decent product selection (they were the first to do POD sneakers and boots) but the BIG downside for me is that they are based in and ship from China.
So not only does that mean much longer 3-4 week shipping times but also we lose the made in the US / EU sales hook.
Another negative is that you have to pay a separate monthly fee for their Shopify app, then manually add products to Etsy, then manually send the orders to Pillow Profits or send them all in bulk CSV, which is handier).
So I would take a look and if you really want to do footwear or something else exclusive they have, then try them out, just remember: you’ll need shopify, a separate app subscription and your customers will have to wait quite a while before the product arrives.
In terms of quality and service, I’ve heard good things, but as I said, I don’t use them personally.
All over Print (AOP)
I came across this absolute gem when I was looking for a new option for print on demand aprons (I used to use Print Tech, but they absolutely suck and you should stay well away from them).
AOP are based in the UK and ship from there, which is the only downside, their prices are OK, not the best, not the worst, but they have an awesome product selection, are always adding new products.
The super best thing about them
Ok, the thing I absolutely love about AOP is that you can put one design on over 70 products at once and push them ALL to Etsy in one click – this is amazing and such a huuuuugggeee time saver.
Granted, what works on a shirt won’t be great probably on a shower curtain, but it’s handy if you want to do like 4 shirt styles at once, instead of having to upload each manually.
Their mockup engine is super sweet and support has been good so far.
I tested them this Q4 but didn’t sell too much with them, maybe only 50 things as I was just doing aprons, but pretty normal processing times.
With AOP, while they have a Shopify app, you don’t need Shopify to connect their Etsy app, just go here and you’ll be good to go!
I am a big AOP fan and 100% recommend you give them a look.
Print on Demand Jewellery
Ok so there are two I know of for the better stuff (not the crappy gumball machine quality pendants), sterling silver, freeform stuff.
The only one I have used is www.beeoux.com – based in Holland, they are pretty good, good product quality with the best stuff IMO being the freeform silver jewelry that I was actually a beta tester for.
They ship out pretty quickly for standard pendants and the freeform silver stuff takes a bit longer, like 10 days.
Since they are EU based, 20% VAT is baked into their costs, but on the plus side, you don’t need to have Shopify to sell their stuff.
Also worth nothing, Gearbubble uses their pendants but with a much worse mock up engine (I won't go there) and at a higher base cost – so you are just paying them extra for nothing which I don’t agree with ethically and it makes no business sense to be robbed an extra 5 bucks.
Also, GB has a higher subscription plan that they offer the free form silver stuff on, as if that justifies the extra cost and it’s something exclusive – which it’s not. Cut the middle man out here guys!
Since I haven’t used them myself, I’m just going to go ahead and link to a review so you can get a nice overview of what they have to offer you :)
You can check them out here: https://shineon.com/
In a nutshell
I like to not rely too much on one POD provider which is why I would say for me personally Printful, teelaunch and AOP and my top 3 and the guys I will be using for the foreseeable future!