Best Print On Demand Products To Sell with Printful and Shopify
Print-on-Demand is currently taking the retail world by storm. And those who are ready for it are capitalizing on the impressive benefits of outsourcing labor, distribution, design, shipping and a plethora of other technical operations that are needed for a fashion brand. Printful’s excellent print-on-demand service is a wonderful option for new entrepreneurs who are just figuring out the industry, as well as older veterans who want to take their products to a new level of quality. In combination with the wildly popular Shopify ecommerce platform , this business opportunity is too good to pass up.
What Print-on-demand products are available through Printful?
When scrolling through Printful’s online portfolio , you can see right off the bat that they’re catering towards a diverse and creative market. You can select products ranging from beach towels to sports bras, along with everything in between. If you can put a custom design on it, they probably have it! The best part of the whole deal is that the items come in a range of designs, materials, sizes and colors, so you really can tailor your items to your personal specifications. They carry a range of brands as well, especially in their T-shirt department, so you can treat your customers to more than just a stiff, simple cut shirt.
Their Print On Demand products are broken up into 5 categories: Men’s, clothing, Women’s clothing, Kids clothing, Accessories and Home & Living.
In the Men’s department, you can choose from a variety of shirt styles, hoodies and sweatshirts. The Women’s section hosts shirts, leggings, swimsuits, skirts, dresses, sports bras, hoodies and sweatshirts. And over in the Kid’s department you can choose between shirts, leggings and baby bodysuits (simply adorable). The accessories list is fairly robust and features some trendy items that are perfect for a stylish Shopify shop. They include various styles of hats, bags, socks and phone cases. On the other hand, you can also shop for non-apparel items such as posters, mugs, aprons, pillows and beach towels in the Home & Living section.
If you want to check the availability of a certain product, whether it be a shirt or poster, then you can take a look at Printful’s availability chart. You can access this handy function on each individual product page using the top row tabs.
While all these Printful products are great for any budding print-on-demand empire, there are a few product types that see the most traction amongst customers online. We’ve picked out the top three product types on Printful for you to check out below:
The Men’s T-shirt collection hosts 22 different types of shirts from a range of clothing brands. For obvious reasons, this type of product sells well online as it’s an easily customizable item that fits well into any closet.
The prices for Printful’s Men’s T-shirts varies, but the cheapest option can be found for $7.95, while the most expensive comes in at $29.95. Overall, all of the variations are affordable and leave plenty of room for a handsome mark-up in your Shopify store. Printful also includes a helpful profit calculator tab on all their product listings, which will help you to set your prices and estimate your potential Return On Investment.
Printful offers different styles such as crew neck, V-neck and ringer T-shirts. The brands available on Printful include American Apparel, Gildan, Anvil, Bella + Canvas, Next Level, Hanes, and Los Angeles Apparel.
Material options range from 100% cotton (an eco-friendly option) to 100% polyester. And their sizing options start at XS and scale all the way to 6XL- a perfect option for a shop that caters to all shapes and sizes.
For branding, you can choose to customize your T-shirt with either an inside label, outside label, tear away tag or sleeve print. They also have different printing techniques available, such as DTG, sublimation, cut & sew and embroidery (we’ll go further into these techniques a bit later).
According to Printful’s catalog, these five Men’s T-shirt styles are their most popular:
Hats have made a come back in the fashion industry which is great news for retailers. Hats are the ideal Print on Demand products since these relatively cheap accessories are easy to customize and size and can work for unisex audiences ranging from young to old. Honestly, there’s a hat out there for everyone, and Printful carries them all!
In total, there are eight different styles of hats available with Printful , including trucker hats, snapbacks, dad hats, 5-panel hats, mesh hats, beanies, bucket hats and visors.
The cheapest hat is the Yupoong 6006 5-panel trucker cap which costs $14, while the most expensive Flexfit 5003 bucket hat costs around $18.
You can choose from different hat brands, such as Otto cap, Bayside, Yupoong, Sportsman and Flexfit.
For branding options, Printful offers the ability to fashion your logo on the back or the side.
The size options are more limited and only come in S/M and L/XL- but that’s all that’s really needed in terms of hats since they generally have self-adjusting features like snap bands and elastic.
According to Printful, these two hats are their best-sellers:
Of course an ever-popular option for Print on Demand products is phone cases. These super cheap pieces of plastic are simple solutions for customers who want to personalize and protect their smartphones, and great shelf stockers for retailers who want low-overhead options that can display large swaths of artwork.
Printful offers phone cases that fit iPhones and Samsungs, starting with the iPhone 6 to the latest iPhone 11 Pro Max. Samsung Galaxy S7 to the Samsung Galaxy S10+.
All of the basic phone cases, no matter the model, cost a flat rate of $10.95. Recently, Printful has provided Liquid Glitter iPhone Case starting at $12.95.
Take a look at the before and after printing of a Printful phone case:
How are Printful products made?
There are several different printing processes that Printful uses to customize their base products according to your specifications. They offer traditional screen printing, direct-to-garment printing (DTG), embroidery, sublimation printing, cut & sew and UV printing.
Screen printing is a traditional method of printing on fabric and is generally the best option for bulk orders. The process uses plastisol ink which is applied on a woven mesh screen that’s placed over the fabric. While this choice is handy for large scale orders, it’s limited in its design potential as it can only facilitate minimalistic designs with few colors.
DTG printing is the most common method that Printful uses since it’s cost effective, especially for one-off orders, and can use a bunch of different colors. The process uses eco-friendly water-based inks to print directly on the product and is limited to a small area. The effect is a softer feel on the fabric and unlimited color usage for detailed prints.
Embroidery is NOT printing, and involves a very different kind of design process in comparison to options such as screen printing or DTG. With embroidery, your design is stitched with thread directly onto the garment or accessory with an industrial sewing machine. There are a few different styles of embroidery available through Printful, including 3D puff, flat and partial 3D puff. When designing an embroidered product, selections such as stitch patterns, stitch density and thread colors need to be taken into consideration. The most popular type of embroidered products are hats and caps, some of which are featured below.
This type of printing is also called “all-over printing” since it fully covers the product with a design and isn’t limited to a small section. The original design is printed on paper with dye ink and then transferred to the garment with heat. This option produces visually stunning clothing and accessories that are saturated with color and images. It works for pillows, leggings, shirts, dresses, skirts, socks, mugs and some tote bags.
Cut & sew
Cut and sew is simply a production process, rather than a printing process. It involves taking sublimation printed fabric, cutting it to spec, and sewing it into form. This process is for products that can’t be printed all-over in their original shape as there are too many seams, small pieces or other features. It’s used for Printful’s leggings, dresses, skirts, pillows and tote bags.
This process is used for alternative materials beyond fabric, such as metal and glass. The process involves using ultraviolet lights to dry ink directly on the material. This is used to create Printful phone cases.
For more information on the difference between screen printing and DTG, take a look at this quick video from Printful.
What do Printful products look like in person?
This question is an important one. For print-on-demand retailers, it can be nerve-wracking to list a product on your shop’s site that you’ve never seen in person. Printful offers a solution to this problem by facilitating sample orders, allowing users to make realistic mockups using their mockup generator and providing plenty of product images featuring the stock product and customized versions.
One thing to keep in mind when creating your design is that the color scheme will most likely look different in person. Printful is very adamant about warning customers that they can’t guarantee 100% color accuracy because of various influencing factors, such as fabric material, garment color and base layer colors. They also convert RGB files to CMYK color schemes, which changes the color gamut. This means that bright neons and pastel colors will not translate well when printed.
Here’s an example of how fabric affects the final printed product. This white skull design was printed on 3 different types of fabric: 100% cotton, poly-blend and tri-blend.
There’s also a tab at the top of each product page that features a gallery of Printful-produced sample images of each product style. This is a great way to get a better idea of what the final customized product will look like.
Here’s a few snapshots we’ve collected for you of real Print on Demand products in a variety of unique styles of prints.
Sports bras + leggings
Customer Testimonials for Printful Print on Demand Products
But what about non-Printful approved photos? Well, some customers have uploaded their reviews of their own customized Printful products. You can check them out for yourself in the user submitted reviews and comments at the bottom of each product page listing. Some users even upload their own pictures of the final product, along with a star rating out of 5.
Here’s an example of three user-submitted reviews of the popular Yupoong 6606 Retro Trucker Cap.
Brandon Ellet: “ The hat is great. The fit is good. The look is good. My only issue as reported from customers is the embroidery has some pokey material that irritates the forehead a bit”
Terrell Woodie: Great feel and print. I love this hat it’s great new addition to my store.
Marc Wood : I was not sure what to expect when I ordered this hat. Wow! Was I glad I did. The mock up does not do this hat justice at all!! It far exceeded my expectation! The embroidery was top notch. The hat is first rate quality. I ordered more the day after I got them in the mail. And man do I love those packing labels!! All around great experience!! Thanks!!
Ready to start your own Printful + Shopify store? Here’s how to do it!
Just like Terrell Woodie, you too can have a great store featuring products such as trucker hats and sublimation printed shirts. And why not get creative? Throw in some roaring bear prints or tropical fruit designs, just for fun! Your imagination is your only limit…
Shopify’s 14 day free trial makes it super easy to get started with your print-on-demand business. Just sign up on their website and download the Printful app. Their step-by-step directions make it so easy a baby in a bodysuit could do it. And after all that’s over s select their favorite designs and order from all across the world. Oh, and don’t forget to check out PageFly Advanced Page Builder as well. It makes creating a visually stunning and elegant Shopify store a breeze. Who knew owning and operating a business could be so easy?
When you’re ready for the next step in your print-on-demand adventure, take a look at our third installment of our Ultimate Print-on-Demand Guide series!