Printify Brings Print on Demand Network to WooCommerce
November 2, 2017
Printify is a print on demand drop shipping service for WooCommerce. It lets WordPress users easily set up their own ecommerce store and sell custom designs on various products, including T-shirts and other apparel, phone cases, mugs, posters, tote bags, pillows, and much more.
At no cost, Printify provides users the tools and resources to customize over 150 products using manufacturer/print providers from the U.S., UK, China, and Canada.
All you have to do is choose the products you want to sell in your WooCommerce store, and use their design tools to customize those products with your own artwork and designs.
Printify promises to manage and automate order production, billing, fulfillment, and distribution to your customers. Users can focus on marketing and sales.
So is Printify worth checking out? If you’re a solopreneur, artist/designer, or business, you’ll want to read this review to find out more.
We’ll take a look at the features they offer, how to set up the service and use it, tell you what sets it apart from other print on demand services, and give you our final recommendation.
Printify’s Main Features
Let’s take a look at the main features Printify has to offer its users.
• Printify’s print on demand service provides users a revenue-generating opportunity with minimal upfront investment. If you already have a website, you can get started with their service with no additional upfront cost. If you don’t yet have a website, you can quickly set up WooCommerce on WordPress after purchasing a domain and hosting for a very small investment.
• Printify offers Direct to Garment printing for T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, tank tops, and other apparel. Besides clothing, their product catalog of 150+ items includes:
Shower curtains Cell phone cases Backpacks and tote bags Laptop sleeves and mousepads Mugs Pillows and pillowcases Blankets Towels and bath mats Coaster sets Notebooks and journals Canvas wraps
• Automatic fulfillment and drop shipping allows you to sell custom-designed products without the need to store inventory, purchase equipment, find employees, or package and ship products. Save time and effort with automatic order processing and production, tracking, and shipping.
• Besides WooCommerce (version 2.1 and up), Printify can easily and quickly integrate with other ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify and Etsy.
• Printify has a print provider network (U.S., UK, China, Canada) that allows you to choose who you want to supply and print your product.
Through their service, you can access all of their print providers in one place and select them by price, quality, and variable options (e.g., colors, sizes, printable areas, location). This gives you the ability to select the provider/manufacturer that is most appropriate for your needs. It also gives you the opportunity to get shipping at lower rates by choosing a provider that is located closer to your target audience.
Some of the available print providers include ArtGun, Colorado Timberline, Fifth Sun, Prodigi, T Shirt & Sons, The Dream Junction, and SPOKE Custom Products.
Brands they offer include Alstyle, American Apparel, Bella+Canvas, Case-Mate, Fruit of the Loom, Gildan, Hanes, LAT Apparel, Next Level, and Stanley/Stella.
• Printify includes a Designer/Mockup Generator for easy production of product images for their store. The Mockup Generator removes the need for users to source photography, edit, and upload images.
• Printify’s Description panel automatically writes parts of the product description for you.
• Orders are automatically produced and shipped in 2-3 days.
• All orders include tracking. After an order is shipped, your customers get an automated email with a shipping tracking link. The tracking number and order status is also uploaded to your Printify dashboard.
• Printify performs image quality control on all artwork that is printed for the first time, and notifies users of any issues.
• If your customer receives a damaged product (e.g., bad quality, incorrect printing), Printify will send out a replacement. Their terms are covered further in their Merchant Protection policy.
If there are problems with a reprint, a full refund may be placed to your Printify account. The errors that Printify covers are explained in their Terms of Service.
• Printify offers many branding opportunities (e.g., product customization, inside or outside neck labels, custom return labels with your business name and address). Orders are shipped in your brand name, while Printify remains invisible behind the scenes.
• The Printify for WooCommerce plugin provides automated shipping calculations at check out.
• Printify provides U.S. customers with Standard and Express shipping methods. Alternatively, Printify can be set to offer shipping based on flat rates and/or weight-based rates.
Setting Up Printify
To use Printify with WordPress, you’ll need to have WooCommerce installed (at least version 2.4.8). You can find WooCommerce in the WordPress.org plugin repository.
After setting up WooCommerce, you’ll need to create an account with Printify.
Setting up an Account with Printify
1. To set up a Printify account, go to their site and click the green Sign Up button at the top-right of their homepage. From there, provide an email and password, and click the Create Account button.
2. On the next screen, enter a name for your store. You can create more than one store in Printify, so this is to help you remember what WooCommerce store you’re connecting to. Also, your store name may be used on labels. Click Continue.
3. Add your name, phone number, and business address. Click Continue.
Printify briefly displays the 3 steps for setting up your store.
4. From the menu at the upper-right (to the right of the green circle with your initials), click the drop-down menu and go to Payment. Choose either Set up Credit Card or Add balance from PayPal, for paying the wholesale costs to produce and ship products ordered by your customers. Costs are deducted form your balance only after a production request has been received.
Choosing a credit card allows you to give automated payment for order production and shipping, possibly speeding up fulfillment.
Note: It’s not necessary to do this step in order to try out Printify, but you will need to finish this step in order to pay for actual orders.
5. Go to the same drop-down menu from above, and selecting My stores…Settings.
A. Make sure you set your Store Name the way you want it to appear (on labels, for example).
B. Select your Ship from Address.
The Printify default is to set the Ship from Address to the location from where the product was printed. This makes sense, as this is where you’d likely want any returned merchandise to go to.
The other option is a custom U.S. address, which gives you branding opportunities.
C. Under Order approval, you can choose when to send customer orders to production.
Note: After you send an order to production, you cannot edit any details or cancel it.
Your choices are Manual or Automatically.
Manual orders are sent to production after clicking send to production from the Orders panel.
When you set a payment method of credit card, orders can be filled automatically based on a time period of your choosing.
You can Automatically send orders to production based on one of the following criteria:
In 1 hour In 24 hours At a certain time every day (based on your time zone settings)
6. Lastly, you’ll want to set up shipping.
For WooCommerce users, the easiest way to set up shipping for Printify is to use the Printify for WooCommerce plugin (see below), and give your customers automatic shipping rates at checkout.
You can alternatively choose to set up your shipping rates according to Printify’s flat rates, or merge Printify flat rates with weight-based shipping settings. Of course, WooCommerce offers a variety of third-party shipping plugins, as well.
After setting up WooCommerce on WordPress and getting a Printify account, you’ll need to connect the Printify service to your WooCommerce shop.
Here’s how to do that:
1. First, on your WordPress site, you’ll need to enable API access.
To do this, go to WooCommerce…Settings…API, and click Enable the REST API.
Click Save changes.
2. In order to use the WooCommerce REST API, you’ll need to change your WordPress permalink settings.
In the WordPress admin panel, go to Settings…Permalinks, and choose any option you want other than Plain. I recommend choosing Post name.
Click Save changes.
3. In Printify, add your WooCommerce shop to your Printify account by going to the top drop-down menu to the left of the green circle, and clicking Manage Stores.
Under My Stores, you should see the store name you created earlier. And under Store link, there should be an empty field.
Click the Connect button.
4. Click the Connect button next to WooCommerce under Connect with ecommerce sales channel?
5. On the next page, paste the URL for the WordPress site containing your WooCommerce store into the empty field, then click Continue.
For example: https://www.example.com
6. To approve access to your WooCommerce store, click the Approve button under Printify would like to connect to your store.
This gives Printify read/write access to your site so that it can do things like view and manage products, orders, sales reports, customers, and coupons.
After clicking Approve, your WordPress site should be listed under the Store link field.
Now your WooCommerce store can be easily managed with Printify. When you add products in Printify, they will automatically be synced to your WooCommerce store and listed in the Products list of your WordPress dashboard.
Setting up the Printify for WooCommerce Plugin:
Now that you have an account with Printify, and you connected the service to your WooCommerce store, you can install the Printify for WooCommerce plugin to give your customers automatic, real-time shipping rates at checkout.
1. In WordPress, go to Plugins… Add New.
2. In the Keyword search bar, type in Printify for WooCommerce.
3. In the results, click the Install Now link for the plugin. After it installs, click the Activate link.
4. To enable real-time shipping rates for products shipped through Printify, go to WooCommerce… Settings… Shipping… Printify Shipping.
5. Under Printify Shipping, check Enable this shipping method. You’ll also need to check the box that says Disable WooCommerce rates.
As always, make sure to Save changes.
By choosing this option, you won’t have to manually setup shipping rates. This will also give your customers accurate rates and the option to choose Express Shipping from FedEx.
Creating Products with Printify
Let’s walk through the process of creating a product with Printify.
Basically, the steps involved include picking a product and print provider from their catalog, and then moving through a series of panels in Printify. These panels are:
Designer Mockups Description Pricing Store details
1. After logging into your Printify account, go to Products (top menu) and select a product from the product catalog.
Once you select a product, you may have the option (if there’s more than one provider that makes the product) to choose a manufacturer/printer from their network of Print Providers.
Printify’s print providers each control their own price, production time, quality, location, and product variables (e.g., product print areas, brands, styles, colors, sizes). This allows you to pick the best provider for your needs. It also lets you possibly reduce shipping costs and time by selecting a provider that’s located closer to your target audience.
2. Once you’ve selected your product, click the green Start Designing button next to the print provider you’ll be using. This will take you into Edit mode within Printify’s Design panel.
You’ll see a design template for the product you selected. To the top-right of the editor, Printify provides links for adding your design to different areas of the product (e.g., Front side, Back side, etc.). You’ll also see information for costs and product variables.
In addition, when you add your design, you’ll see tools and information for:
Layer size Positioning Scale % Rotate
A. Click the Variants link to set your choices for product size, quality, price, and other available options.
B. After choosing your product variants (you can go back and edit these at any time), click the green + Add Your Design button, and upload your design file (made according to Printify’s Design Guide).
Note: On the + Add Your Own Design button, Printify gives the recommended image file dimensions for your product.
Printify recommends exporting a high-resolution (e.g. 300 ppi) PNG in RGB color mode. If you save your image file at the dimensions they recommend, at 72 ppi, your files will automatically fit at the correct resolution.
They suggest doing your work in CMYK mode (so you can see what the final product colors look like), and outputting to RGB only when the design is finished. By the way, Printify does not offer design services.
C. At the top-right of the Editor, select theside of the product you want to work on (e.g. Front side, Back side).
Printify offers both front and back printing for most of their garment products. Some garments also offer printing on sleeves, neck labels, as well as all-over printing. Of course, the more areas you choose to print on a product, the more it costs to produce. Printify does a good job of breaking down those costs for you in their Pricing table page under Variants and costs.
C. You can use the slider below the product Zoom (scale) or Rotate your design. You can also drag your artwork around to reposition it.
Printify also has a + Add Layer button for uploading artwork to separate layers.
By clicking Preview mode, you can see the product with the different variants (e.g., colors) you set.
When finished designing, hit the Save and Continue button to go to the next panel, which is the Mockups panel.
3. In the Mockups panel, you can set your Title image and the different views and variations you’ll show in your store.
4. When you’re ready, click the Continue button to go to the Description panel.
Here you can edit the Product title and Description for your store display. For your convenience, Printify automatically adds certain product information (e.g., style, fit, fabric blend, weight) to the description. Of course, you can enter any information you wish.
You also have the option to add a Size table to the description with the click of a button.
5. Click Continue to go to the Pricing panel.
In the Pricing panel, you can set the pricing for your product. You can even set different prices down to the variation level.
For example, if for some reason you were so inclined, you could make the large black T-shirt more expensive than the large blue version of the same shirt.
Printify also displays the suggested retail price (based on industry standards), along with the wholesale price and profit margin/percentage. Of course, you can set your own retail price for your products however you wish.
For example, the wholesale price for a T-shirt through Printify might be $14. You could sell the T-shirt at a retail price of $24 to make a profit of $10.
$24 -$14 = $10 (42% profit)
6. Click Continue to go to the Store details section.
Here’s where you publish the product to your WooCommerce store.
After you publish a product, you have the option to make that product invisible in your store, if, for instance, it’s temporarily out of stock or for some reason you’re not ready to sell it yet. Just go to My stores and select your store name to get to the My Products page. From there, click the eye icon to hide the product on your site.
Click the Save Changes and Publish button.
Printify publishes the product and quickly syncs your products to your connected WooCommerce store.
Note: It’s highly recommended to get a sample of your products before you sell them on your store. Through your Printify My Products page, click the Get Samples button to order samples.
When a product is ordered from your WooCommerce store, Printify automatically notifies the print provider you chose for your product, and they begin the process of producing your order.
Your order progress can be checked in your Printify dashboard from the Orders page. You can see order details, manually send orders to production, or edit order details before they go to production. You can also order samples.
Manual approval of orders gives you the opportunity to review orders for any problems (e.g., fraud, incorrect shipping address) before they go into production.
Printify does allow cancellation of orders before they go into production. However, orders are processed quickly after they are received, and once an order goes into the printing stage, you cannot cancel.
When the order is shipped, it’s updated with a tracking code. You and your customers automatically receive email notifications (you’ll get one from Printify, and your customer will get one from you through your WooCommerce store).
Of course, Printify users are responsible for paying for production and shipping of customer orders. In cases where a customer payment is unsuccessful, orders are placed on hold.
With WooCommerce, you can accept payments through credit and debit cards, PayPal, bank/wire transfers, check payments, and more (depending on what third-party payment gateway plugins you add).
Video Tutorial: Setting up and Using Printify
Support & Documentation
Printify provides an extensive and impressive number of support channels, including:
Printify is free to use, with no monthly fees or hidden costs.
You only pay for order production and shipping after an item is sold, and you keep the difference between the wholesale price of the product and the retail price that you sell in your shop.
Each product in the Printify product catalog has different production and shipping costs, which are clearly listed in their product catalog and Shipping Guide, respectively.
Differences in product price are based on variables such as product ordered, number of colors, available printing areas, styles, chosen brand, and more.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Printify is a print on demand drop shipping service that lets WordPress users easily set up and sell custom-designed products through their WooCommerce store. Printify manages billing, fulfillment, and shipping directly to your customers—with your branding.
They have a product catalog of 150+ items, including T-shirts and other apparel, home items, wall art, accessories, and much more. In the future, they say to expect new products such as backpacks, shoes, leggings, and more.
What most sets Printify apart from similar printing services is their large network of printers/manufacturers. Printify does not handle the printing of products themselves. Instead, they use technology to manage the sourcing of products and printing to their network of providers.
Depending on your viewpoint, this may be a pro or con. Choosing among a large network of providers can make it a bit tougher to determine the quality of the product you might get. That’s why Printify (and this should be the case for products from any print on demand printer) highly recommends ordering a sample product before putting it on your store.
On the other hand, having a large network of printers/manufacturers to choose from presents some positives. For example, it allows you to choose among providers who specialize in the particular product you’re creating. It also gives you more options when it comes to pricing, styles, product variables (colors, sizes, quality), and the location of the provider. In particular, location may be important because it can allow you to choose a provider that’s closer to your target audience, in order to receive better shipping speed and rates.
And because they outsource printing through a network, the wholesale prices from Printify are very competitive in comparison to other print on demand services.
Finally, Printify doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” product solution. In addition to being a sole product source for your WooCommerce store, it can also be used to supplement an existing product line you may already have. For example, sell hats but want to provide a variety of apparel? You could plug Printify into your existing WooCommerce store to help fill the gap.
With that said, Printify can’t do everything for you. You’ll need to do your own marketing in order to build your audience and increase your sales. And yes, there will be times when you can’t be totally hands-off when it comes to merchandise return issues. And of course, if you’re using WordPress and WooCommerce, the cost of admission is paying for a domain and hosting, as well as building your website. But in reality, if you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’ve already done all of those things.
Those are the realities of having your own business. It takes a little bit of investment. And in this case, the upfront investment is extremely small.
So whether you’re a solopreneur looking to open up your own online retail store, or a large business/agency looking to expand your branded merchandise, Printify offers customized solutions and product delivery to fit your needs. And it does it all while staying invisible to your customers, behind the scenes.