Printful vs Spod

Print on demand business requires little or no capital, but facilitates high profitability.

This makes it a lucrative popular eCommerce business model.

You wouldn’t be able to run a successful print on demand business if you don’t make use of the right platform.

That brings us to Printful and SPOD (Shopify Print on Demand). 

Both Printful and SPOD are dependable, but which of the two is the best print on demand platform to use? 

Follow me as I compare Printful vs SPOD. 

And just in case you missed our Printful comparison posts we did in the past, check them here:

What Is Printful?

Printful is a native POD platform for selling custom printed products.

The platform has delivered up to 25.1 million products since its launch and currently delivers more than 1 million products per month.

Products you can sell using Printful include clothing, home & living items, accessories, etc.

They are 7 Printful fulfillment centers in different countries which make it possible for products to be delivered to a range of customers.

In fact, they have 2 fulfillment centers in Charlotte and 1 each in Los Angeles, Riga, Barcelona, Toronto, and Tijuana.

Complete automation makes print on demand with Printful seamless and the platform also handles warehousing.

Other Printful comparison posts:

Our Pick
Printful: Top Print On-Demand Dropshipping Provider

Create & sell your own custom design products online with print-on-demand dropshipping.

Free signup • No order minimums • 258 products

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

What Is SPOD?

Shopify Print on Demand (SPOD) is a print on demand platform exclusively for Shopify users. To use SPOD, you need to create a Shopify store.

SPOD is a subsidiary of Spreadshirt which was launched in 2002 and so far has printed 35 million products.

The company boasts of 45 million print machines that print quality products in the fastest possible time.

Additionally, SPOD takes pride in offering the industry best prices and they guarantee two-day print on demand, i.e products are printed, packaged, and shipped within 48 hours.

There are 100+ products to sell, while coverage is within the United States and Europe.

Setup Process

Printful 

To use Printful, you should register first. This is easy as you can create an account with your email or link one using your Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account.

After creating an account, you will have to connect your account to a supported eCommerce store platform as Printful doesn’t feature a marketplace.

Popular eCommerce stores you can connect with include Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay, Amazon, etc.

With your store connected, your setup is almost complete. All that remains is for you to create products, publish them, choose your preferred payment processor, and start selling.

SPOD 

As a print on demand platform for Shopify, your store must be hosted on Shopify to use SPOD. So first of all, register for a Shopify account. After that, download and install the SPOD app from the Shopify app store

The app is seamlessly integrated with Shopify so once installed, an automatic fulfillment service is created.

The payment method that you will use are those already specified in your Shopify settings. Use the customizer to create custom Shopify products and start selling. 

Verdict

SPOD wins because technically, no setup is required. Just set up your Shopify store and install the app. 

Product Design

Printful

Product design on Printful is orchestrated using its mockup generator. It features a built-in design maker so it’s either you upload your premade designs or create one on the platform.

The mockup generator is easy to use. Select a prospective product from over 800 product mockups available, upload/create your product designs, and upload to your store.

Printful supports just JPEG and PNG design file types and the maximum file size you can upload is 200MB. 

Also, there are sample designs created by the Printful design team that you can use.

SPOD 

With SPOD, product design is carried out using the Customizer tool. With this tool, you can upload your designs, create simple text designs, or select from SPOD sample designs.

You can place your design on four layers including back, front, left, and right. The maximum design file size you can upload is 10MB and the file can be JPG, PNG, GIF, or BMP.

However, for poster designs, only JPG and PNG files are supported and you can upload up to 100MB.

Verdict

While supporting more file types gives SPOD an advantage, Printful wins here as you can upload larger design files that translate to higher quality.

Products

Printful 

Printful features over 260 products that are categorized into:

  • Men’s clothing
  • Women’s clothing
  • Kids and youth clothing
  • Hats
  • Accessories
  • Home & living products

Under men, women, and kids’ clothing, you have products like t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets, shirts, underwear, skirts, bibs, leggings, etc.

Available accessories include bags, phone cases, jewelry, socks, flip flops, face masks, key chains, etc.

Beanies, baseball caps, snapbacks, visors, etc are featured hats, while home & living products include mugs, blankets, pillows, pillowcases, posters, towels, postcards, etc.

Our Pick
Printful: Top Print On-Demand Dropshipping Provider

Create & sell your own custom design products online with print-on-demand dropshipping.

Free signup • No order minimums • 258 products

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

SPOD 

SPOD features more than 100 products in 6 different categories. This includes clothing for men, women, kids and babies, accessories, stickers, and wall art. 

However, their products vary for the United States and European customers. Although both markets feature similar product categories, some products are exclusive to either the EU or US.

For clothing, you can sell t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, sportswear, polo shirts, bodysuits, etc. Accessories include facemasks, caps, hats, bandanas, pillows, buttons, stickers, aprons, mugs, etc. The remaining are posters and stickers.

Verdict

The winner in this SPOD vs Printful category is Printful as it is the POD platform with more products.

Manufacturing/Production Process

Printful 

Printful has printing equipment worth $39.8 million.

This includes industry-leading printing equipment such as Kornit series printers and inks, Mimaki series printers and inks, Mimaki UV printers and inks, Happy and Tajima embroidery machines, Epson series printers and inks, and SubliJET HD ink.

With this printing equipment, you are guaranteed nothing but quality prints. Furthermore, the Printful team inspects products for quality via a 3-step check process.

First, the designs you upload are checked using automated software. Then, product quality is checked as they print and is checked again after printing.

SPOD 

SPOD prints products mainly using the Digital Direct printing method. Depending on the product design, you may change the printing method to Plot printing. Moreover, Plot printing includes flex, special flex, and flock printing.

Aside from Digital Direct and Plot printing, SPOD also carries out Thermo Sublimation, Digital Transfer, and Laser Transfer printing.

For quality assurance, all SPOD products are tested to meet high standards before being printed on. They go through a ten-wash cycle. Also, they are approved for printing if they don’t lose color saturation.

Verdict

With staunch measures in place to ensure quality product production and industry-leading printing equipment, the winner is Printful.

Packaging & Branding

Printful

Printful is a white-label print on demand platform; products shipped to your customers do not carry any of Printful’s branding.

They are either delivered blank – without any branding – or with your branding.

You can add your own branding to packages using packing slips. When setting up your packing slip, you’re allowed to upload your store logo.

In addition, you can include a customized message and support contact (phone number and email).

Products like clothing are packaged in poly bags while others like accessories come in boxes.

SPOD

Like Printful, SPOD too is a white-label platform. Although products come with package inserts, none of them carries the SPOD branding.

The inserts contain shipping information including the shipping carrier, shipping method, customer destination, and tracking number.

SPOD doesn’t support custom branding too. This means you cannot display your business name/logo on product packages.

However, the SPOD team has stated that custom branding is a consideration for the future.

The products are packaged in carton boxes or poly bags.

Verdict

SPOD and Printful are both white-label platforms, but Printful wins as it supports custom branding.

Shipping & Delivery

Printful

It takes between 2 to 7 business days for Printful to fulfill an order. Shipping is completed on an average of 4 days as it depends on your customer’s destination.

You can get products shipped faster with Express shipping.

Printful ships worldwide but mainly in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and EFTA states.

Meanwhile, customers can track all products shipped by Printful.

Our Pick
Printful: Top Print On-Demand Dropshipping Provider

Create & sell your own custom design products online with print-on-demand dropshipping.

Free signup • No order minimums • 258 products

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

SPOD

SPOD shipping methods are the same as you get on Spreadshirt – Standard, Premium, and Express shipping. Products can only be shipped to countries in Europe and within the United States.

SPOD features a very fast fulfillment process such that products are ready for shipping within 2 business days. Using the US as an example, Standard shipping takes 7 to 15 business days, Premium shipping takes 4 to 10 business days, while Express shipping takes 3 to 8 days.

Verdict

In this Printful vs SPOD comparison category, Printful wins as the platform ships to more countries aside from the US and EU countries.

Profitability

Printful

As mentioned earlier, you can save money on registration and subscription with Printful.

You only pay for base prices (product cost and printing cost) and your profit is up to you. So, your aim for profitability determines the product selling price.

As you sell with Printful, you are eligible for monthly discounts that allow you to buy products at lesser prices.

All you need to do is to surpass $1k per month in accumulated sales. You can get discounts of 5 percent, 7 percent, 8 percent, 9 percent etc.

SPOD 

You get to define your earnings from the customizer as you design your products.

This price is then added to the base price and the total is what your customers will pay.

The price for printing is pegged at $5 per additional print area; the first print area is included in the base price and the cost of the additional print areas is also added to the base price after calculation.

Thus, this could increase the product base price.

Verdict

Printful base prices include the product price and printing cost while SPOD charges this separately.

Also, Printful offers discounts and these make the platform very profitable.

Analytics & Reports

Printful

From your Printful dashboard, you can get your store sales analytics and reports from the Statistics dashboard.

Hence, you get statistics on your sales, fulfillments, profits, discounts, shipping, etc.

Aside from the figures and percentages, the statistics are visually presented in a graph for easier interpretation. Furthermore, you can download the data for offline analysis in a CSV, PDF, or XLSX file.

For detailed stats on your spending and income, visit the Payments section under Billing. That way, you can access your invoices and VAT reports.

SPOD 

SPOD works on Shopify, so all the analytics and reports you need for your online store can be accessed from your Shopify dashboard.

Shopify features a different dashboard for analytics and reports.

From the analytics dashboard, you get stats on your products, sales, profits, customers, inventory, and finances.

The data tracked and presented are for the past 90 days by default, but you can always customize the period.

Thankfully, Shopify’s integration with Google Analytics facilitates comprehensive store analytics and reports.

Verdict

Printful wins thanks to its user-friendly analytics and reports dashboard.

Shopify-Friendly

Printful 

Shopify is one of the many eCommerce store platforms that Printful supports.

You can easily connect your Shopify store to your Printful account by downloading and installing the Printful app on the Shopify app store.

You can access all of the Printful features from your Shopify dashboard once connected.

In fact, Printful’s integration with Shopify allows you to implement its product personalization tool in your store.

That way, your customers can customize your designs on the products themselves.

SPOD 

SPOD was created by Spreadshirt exclusively for Shopify so it’s everything a Shopify-friendly platform should be.

Before now, Spreadshirt users couldn’t make use of Shopify as the platform doubled as a print on demand platform and as a marketplace.

The app, as mentioned earlier, is featured in the Shopify app store and free for download and installation. 

Verdict

Although SPOD is exclusive for Shopify, Printful works just as well for Shopify so it’s a draw.

Third-Party Integrations

Printful 

Printful integrates with numerous eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces.

Supported eCommerce platform integrations include Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Ecwid, Webflow, Squarespace, Prestashop, Weebly, BigCommerce, Gumroad, Big Cartel, Magento, 3dcart, Launch Cart, and ShipStation.

The online marketplace integrations featured include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Wish Bonanza, and Storenvy. For most of these integrations, set up time is very fast.

Also, Printful features an API. The API is open-source and is free. With this API, you can integrate Printful with a custom website or online platform.

Our Pick
Printful: Top Print On-Demand Dropshipping Provider

Create & sell your own custom design products online with print-on-demand dropshipping.

Free signup • No order minimums • 258 products

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

SPOD 

As a platform exclusive to Shopify, SPOD only integrates with Shopify. Likewise, SPOD doesn’t feature an API, like Printful.

Nevertheless, using SPOD means using Shopify. Thankfully, Shopify supports several third-party integrations so you won’t be lacking them. You can access over 5,000 Shopify apps via its app store. 

Furthermore, Spreadshirt, SPOD’s parent platform integrates with WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. 

Verdict

With multiple native integrations and an accessible API, Printful wins over SPOD here.

Customer Support & Resources

Printful 

You can get help on Printful by using the LiveChat, sending an email to support@printful.com, or submitting a contact form from the website.

When it comes to resources, Printful has more than you would need. There is a help center with articles and answers to FAQs. There are 97 articles in total with about 17 of them featuring tutorial videos.

Other resources featured on Printful include webinars, guides, newsrooms, lessons, logo maker, etc. Not to mention, Printful has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

SPOD

You can reach the SPOD support team via email, phone, or contact form. There are exclusive email addresses and phone numbers of US and EU users.

For resources, SPOD features a Help Center. The Help Center features articles on setting up, designing, creating products, orders, payments, fulfillment, shipping, and more.

Furthermore, there’s the SPOD book. Here you’ll find guides on designing, creating products, selling, and SPOD News.

Verdict

While both platforms have similar customer support channels, Printful has more resources than SPOD.

SPOD vs Printful Pricing

SPOD

You don’t get to pay registration fees or recurring subscriptions to use SPOD. You only pay for product base prices and shipping costs.

Product base prices are determined by the number of print areas for the design.

However, the base price includes the price of the first print area. Other print areas will cost an extra $5. Plot prints like flex, special flex, and flock attracts an extra $2.50 as well.

Shipping cost is determined by the customer destination, value of goods, and shipping method. SPOD delivers within the United States and to Europe, and there are Standard, Premium, and Express shipping methods.

Printful

In essence, Printful is a free platform. You get to pay only the product base price which is an addition of the product cost and the printing cost.

In fact, you will be charged extra for some print types e.g. a custom-printed inside label. As a result, printing prices are not static.

Conversely, product base prices do not include shipping costs and taxes.

Just like the base prices, the cost for the shipping on Printful also varies from product to product.

Nevertheless, the shipping cost for the first product differs from that of the additional product. The cost of the latter is reduced.

Our Pick
Printful: Top Print On-Demand Dropshipping Provider

Create & sell your own custom design products online with print-on-demand dropshipping.

Free signup • No order minimums • 258 products

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • No signup costs 
  • Both Printful and SPOD support Shopify
  • Similar product categories 
  • Both platforms test products for quality
  • Their products are white-label

Differences

  • SPOD is limited to Shopify while Printful supports Shopify and other eCommerce platforms
  • Printful features more products than SPOD
  • Printful supports JPG and PNG while SPOD supports both JPG, PNG, GIF and BMP
  • Printful supports design files up to 200MB, while SPOD supports 10MB
  • SPOD doesn’t support custom branding while Printful does
  • Printful ships worldwide while SPOD ships to the US and Europe only

Pros & Cons

Printful

Pros

  • No signup costs
  • Easy to set up
  • Over 260 products 
  • 200 MB maximum file upload
  • Industry-leading print equipments
  • White label 
  • Supports custom branding 
  • Worldwide shipping

Cons

  • Supports only PNG and JPG design files

SPOD

Pros

  • No signup costs
  • Easy to set up 
  • 100+ products
  • Supports JPG, PNG, GIF, and BMP design files
  • Ten washes quality test
  • White label

Cons

  • Limited to Shopify
  • 10 MB maximum file upload
  • No custom branding

Printful vs SPOD – Which Is The Best?

Now that I’ve compared Printful vs SPOD in this post, you should already know by now that the best platform out of the two is Printful. 

SPOD is a good print on demand platform for Shopify but that’s it. 

However, Printful works with Shopify and other eCommerce platforms. Also, you can sell more products with Printful than SPOD.

Author: Brian ErwinI am 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.