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Torn between Spring (previously Teespring) and Printful? Well, no worries. I’ve got you—this blog post was put together to help you out!
It’s not easy to make a choice when both platforms are so similar to one another.
And, that’s exactly why I’m not going to waste your time by comparing every (almost identical) feature. Instead, we’ll briefly summarize what both platforms offer and then focus on the main dealbreakers to help you come to a final decision.
So, let’s get started!
Quick breakdown: Spring vs. Printful
Although Spring and Printful are both print-on-demand platforms, there are some noteworthy differences between them.
The biggest difference is that Spring lets you build and sell from a hosted storefront with a custom domain whereas Printful is a B2B solution that lets you connect to an existing eCommerce store (WooCommerce, Shopify, etc.).
This is why Spring tends to be the more popular choice for creators and beginners without existing websites.
Another major difference is that, in addition to custom merch, Spring also lets you sell digital products. Printful, on the other hand, lets you sell only print-on-demand.
Still, Printful has one key advantage over Spring: faster and overall better shipping timelines. With Printful, there’s also greater variety in custom merch.
Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between Spring and Printful: their potential dealbreakers, main features, etc.
To help you see how the two platforms compare to each other and other options, we’re also going to cover a third eCommerce platform—Sellfy.
Spring and Printful are similar (in a way)
Both Spring and Printful offer a way to create and sell custom merchandise online, whether it’s through an eCommerce platform (Spring) that provides a hosted storefront or a standalone print-on-demand solution (Printful) that integrates with any eCommerce site.
However, aside from the fact that both platforms serve the same purpose, there are some differences worth considering before you make a final choice.
Why would you choose Spring over Printful?
As much as we appreciate Printful’s store integrations and fast shipping, there are some pretty good reasons for you to pick Spring over Printful. Let’s dive in.
1. You can build & launch a free custom store (sort of)
As an eCommerce platform, Spring offers more possibilities than Printful—a chance to build a customizable store and sell digital and physical products.
The downside? It’s only free as long as you’re selling print-on-demand products.
If you want to start selling digital products, then Spring will take a 20% cut of your sales, which is even more expensive than most eCommerce subscription plans.
2. You can get your products in front of fans with the Boosted Network
The Boosted Network is an optional tool that you can use to feature your listings in ads across social media platforms and search engines (Google, Instagram, Facebook, etc.).
However, to get featured, your products will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- At least one sale per item
- Verified payout settings
Moreover, only digital products priced over $45 can be sold through the Boosted Network. As for physical products, these will also need to be priced above the payout profit amount.
3. You’ll be able to sell digital products
Unlike Printful, Spring gives you the opportunity to sell digital products alongside your print-on-demand goods. This is great for anyone who wants to diversify their income with different types of products. But, as mentioned earlier, Spring will take a 20% cut of your sales.
The main disadvantages of Spring
However, aside from Spring’s perks, there are also a couple of dealbreakers that you should be aware of.
Let’s talk about some of them in more detail.
1. Payouts are processed within 7-10 working days
Spring’s slow payment processing is probably one of its biggest dealbreakers. Not only does it take forever to receive your earnings, but you will also have to request access to get anything at all.
This feels very counterintuitive as most eCommerce platforms will automatically process payouts on a weekly or monthly basis after reaching a certain payment threshold.
2. No other payment methods aside from PayPal & Payoneer
The lack of a wider selection of payment methods is, quite frankly, disappointing for such a big eCommerce platform like Spring. The only way for you to collect your profits is to set up a PayPal or Payoneer account.
So, if you don’t use any of these payment methods, or you’re located in a country that has neither of these two, then you might as well forget about Spring.
What’s more, PayPal’s receiving limit of profits can be different for different countries. And, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a hassle to me.
3. Not enough marketing tools to promote your business
Spring beats Printful when it comes to built-in marketing tools. But, not by a significant mile.
For instance, unlike eCommerce platforms like Sellfy, Spring doesn’t offer insight into customer data. You also won’t be able to send emails, track sales, or craft advanced marketing campaigns.
While it’s possible to use pricing discounts and promo codes, that’s all you can really do with Spring.
4. Spring’s shipping timelines aren’t that impressive
If you’re planning on selling print-on-demand products, then it’s honestly best to stick to a solution with a proven track record of reliable and fast shipping.
Unfortunately, Spring ain’t it. At least not in comparison to Printful.
For example, US domestic standard shipping takes 9-12 business days while shipping to EU countries like France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands takes 7-12 business days. Their fastest (rush) US shipping takes 4-5 business days while EU shipping takes 3-4 business days.
Why would you choose Printful over Spring?
Printful is far from being the only alternative to Spring, but it’s definitely an option worth considering.
Let’s explore why.
1. Printful can be integrated into any eCommerce store
Perhaps one of the main reasons why a lot of creators choose Printful as their prind-on-demand solution is its integrations with many eCommerce platforms.
Printful integrates with the following:
Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Webflow, BigCommerce, Weebly, eBay, Magento, Shift4Shop, Nuvemshop, Bandzoogle, Etsy, Square, Squarespace, Ecwid, PrestaShop, Amazon, Big Cartel, Storenvy, Launch Cart, and TikTok Shop.
2. Printful’s efficient global order fulfillment beats Spring’s
Another reason to consider Printful over Spring is its fast fulfillment timelines.
While shipping time depends on the delivery destination and product availability, it usually takes around 2-5 business days for the print-on-demand product to arrive anywhere in the world.
Plus, Printful ships to most countries, so you’ll face no issues selling to an international audience.
3. You can rely on their 24/7 customer support
Printful’s customer support isn’t bad either. There are several ways to reach them: you can either submit a problem report, send an email, use the Printful app chat, or start a live chat on their website.
The main disadvantages of Printful
Printful may look like a slightly more advanced print-on-demand solution, but it’s far from being the best solution available.
So, let’s get into the dealbreakers.
1. Printful only works as a B2B print-on-demand solution
Printful works well as a standalone B2B solution that integrates with other eCommerce platforms. But, if you want to sell products from a hosted and fully customizable storefront, then Printful isn’t the right solution for you.
Besides, Printful only works for print-on-demand. The platform wasn’t built for digital creators looking for an easy way to sell online.
2. Printful comes with a steep learning curve
For a standalone B2B solution, Printful isn’t exactly the easiest thing to figure out. The user interface can be quite intimidating for a beginner.
While the Printful Help Center does provide plenty of resources on how to get started, it might still take a while for someone new to get a hang of it all.
Much time will probably be spent on learning everything through trial and error—from configuring account settings to uploading print-on-demand products and integrating plugins and an eCommerce store.
3. Zero built-in marketing tools (only paid third-party services)
Another dealbreaker is the lack of marketing tools.
Although Printful lets you integrate plugins to manage different aspects of your online business, it doesn’t change the fact that you might have to pay for some of these third-party services.
Without built-in features like email marketing, discount codes, etc., you’ll always have to rely on different plugins and external app integrations to promote your store.
The question isn’t Spring vs. Printful—it’s why not Sellfy?
By now, you should have a clear understanding of what both platforms offer.
If you’re looking for a hosted storefront that lets you sell both digital and physical products, then Spring may be worth a try. However, if you’re looking for a standalone print-on-demand solution with faster shipping, then Printful could be the better option.
In any case, both platforms come with some serious dealbreakers, which is why I’d like to introduce you to another eCommerce platform—Sellfy.
1. The easiest store setup
Nothing beats Sellfy when it comes to signing up and building a store. Launching a store with Sellfy is literally a piece of cake thanks to the user-friendly interface.
To start selling digital and physical products, all you have to do is upload your products, set prices, and add your images and descriptions. That’s it!
Sellfy creator and award-winning underwater photographer Tobias Friedrich agrees:
It’s super easy to set up and it’s also very easy to upload digital products. I like how convenient the whole platform is—my customers will just get a download link after a purchase is made. I don’t have to do anything manually. Everything is automated, which is great for me because I travel a lot.
2. Advanced & completely free marketing tools
Both Spring and Printful offer the absolute bare minimum when it comes to built-in marketing features.
Aside from Spring’s Boosted Network, there really aren’t any other features that stand out in terms of helping you grow your business. And, the same goes for Printful.
In fact, most of their features are just external apps or services that you have to pay for.
Sellfy has everything you need to promote your online store: email marketing, discount codes, upselling, cart abandonment, pay-what-you-want pricing, store and Google analytics, multiple payment gateways, and other powerful features.
3. No crazy transaction fees or hidden costs
Aren’t you sick of the fact that every other solution has hidden transaction fees? Because I certainly would be if I was in your shoes.
Well, here’s the good news:
Sellfy has flat and transparent pricing!
This means that you can focus on selling without worrying about losing your profits. Your only expense will be the cost of your monthly (or yearly) subscription plan.
With Sellfy, you can sell unlimited digital products, use built-in marketing features, enjoy store customization, and even use print-on-demand without hidden transaction fees on any of the plans.
Plus, you can have instant access to payouts!
4. The friendliest & most helpful support team
Sellfy’s customer support team is available 24/7. And, not only is the team available at any time, but they’re also incredibly helpful.
Sellfy creator and photographer Megan Hein agrees:
I was also blown away at how quick your customer support was to respond. I thought it would take a week or two before I heard back from them, but that immediate response kept my business up and running.
So, if you ever run into a problem, you know that you can reach out to Sellfy’s support team!
5. Professional & beautiful store themes
Unlike Spring and Printful, Sellfy comes with advanced store customization.
It’s not just drag-and-drop store building, it’s more than that—you get an excellent selection of professional-looking store themes! And, every single one of those themes is customizable, so you’ll have complete control over your online store.
Plus, every theme has a mobile-first design, which means that your store will look great on both desktop and mobile. Win-win!
FAQ: Spring vs. Printful
Is Spring better than Printful?
The answer depends on your specific needs. Spring offers a user-friendly interface and focuses on crowdfunding campaigns, making it ideal for custom apparel pre-orders. On the other hand, Printful provides a wide range of print-on-demand products, global fulfillment centers, and automated order processing, catering to a broader e-commerce audience.
Is there a better alternative to Spring and Printful?
Indeed! Sellfy emerges as a strong alternative to both Spring and Printful. It offers an all-in-one platform for creators with no transaction fees, customizable storefronts, and the ability to sell customized print-on-demand items along with your digital and physical products.
Do Printful or Spring charge transaction fees?
Printful does not charge transaction fees; you only pay for the production and shipping costs. Spring, however, charges a base fee per product, plus payment processing fees, which can affect your earnings. For creators seeking a platform without transaction fees, Sellfy is a desirable alternative.