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6 Reasons I Choose Printful as my POD partner.

Updated: Feb 26

Image of old wild wild west town - blair mueller art blog post

In the Wild Wild West of Print on Demand (POD) services, it's no secret that Printful often stands out for its premium price tag. Initially, I turned away and tried to find a cheaper alternative, but as I began to delve deeper into other POD services, I found myself returning to Printful to build my brand and my store. Despite it's higher than average costs, it has a lot of benefits that justify the investment.

While I'm only just getting started, I'm confident that I've made the right choice. I'm in it for the long haul, after all, not just here to make a few quick bucks. I'm here to build a business, and Printful champions quality, control, and a seamless customer experience, ultimately empowering my brand to flourish.

My main store is the Blair Mueller Art Gift Shop where I showcase all my art prints and products printed with my artwork, but I have a new sub-market of print on demand items that features ONLY my graphic design horror merch, horror apparel, and other horror themed home decor and drinkware, called The Horror Market.

So, for my customers who might wonder why my prices are a bit higher than other online shops.... I present to you:

6 Reasons I Choose Printful

(despite the premium price tag)

This list focuses on how Printful does business... I'm not even going to get into how easy their design interface is to use, or how seamlessly they integrate with my Wix Store!

Number One

Unmatched Quality: In-House Expertise, Not Overseas/Outsourced Guesswork.

Tshirt on printing press  - blair mueller art blog post

This is the #1 reason for me to choose Printful. They print their own products!

Many POD services just act as middlemen with a design interface, outsourcing all printing to a network of vendors around the globe. This can help lower costs as they don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting, but when it comes to quality consistency, and other important factors, it’s a mixed bag. It’s hard to know how one printing service might differ from another, or if their sizing is the same as the next, or if the product quality is up to par.

I don’t have to deal with any of that with Printful.  They operate all their own production facilities. Ordering from Canada? They route the order to their own Printful printing facility located in Canada. 

This vertical integration is the cornerstone of their quality control. Every step, from selecting the garment to the final stitch, is meticulously overseen by Printful's in-house team. I don’t have to play roulette with unknown overseas printers. I know that wherever you are ordering from, the item is being printed BY Printful, and it’s going to be the same exact quality, in every way, as the last order.

Of course, owning, staffing, and operating their own printing facilities costs money, so it’s reflected in their prices.

Number Two

On Demand Customer Support: Addressing Issues Swiftly and Effectively.

Customer service representative  - blair mueller art blog post

This is the second main reason for me choosing Printful. Customer service is at my fingertips, and they're great at it!

It’s bound to happen… something will go wrong. A printing defect or damaged product. A shipping delay or product shortage. A disgruntled customer, maybe? Whatever it may be, I know that with Printful, they have their own dedicated customer service team who I can count on to resolve the issue.

With outsourced POD services, resolving issues can feel like navigating a bureaucratic maze. Your inquiries get lost in translation, bouncing between intermediaries until the culprit – the actual printer – remains shrouded in mystery. All the while, I wouldn’t even be able to speak directly to whatever company that printed the items in question.

Having direct access to the people who are printing and shipping my products is paramount, and great customer service is a luxury I just cannot go without when it comes to running my business, and Printful’s dedicated customer support team is just a phone call or chat away.

Having this resource is another reason why Printful prices are a bit higher, but I’m building a business here, and if I want to provide the best customer service to my customers, I need the best service behind me.

Number Three

Unleashing Branding Magic: Your Vision, Amplified.

custom packaging  - blair mueller art blog post

Beyond impeccable prints, Printful champions brand identity. From custom labeling and packaging to neck tags and sleeve prints, they offer a wide selection of branding options to make my own store feel more personalized.

I haven’t delved too deeply into this part of their service yet, but I know that when the time comes, I’m able to customize my product packaging and labeling, include cards in my packages, and many other white glove services.

PODs that outsource don’t print, package, or ship products, so they can’t offer anything like this, and I would have no control over how my packages look when they arrive to my customers.

Number Four

Building Partnerships, Not Just Fulfilling Orders.

team collaboration blue prints  - blair mueller art blog post

Printful recognizes that my success is their success. If my store does well, they do well too. It’s a partnership. They’re here to grow my business so their business also grows.

Many other POD providers are just taking orders, sending the work to someone else, and collecting their commissions on my sales.

Printful goes beyond merely fulfilling orders; they actively partner with me, offering valuable resources and tools to propel my brand. From comprehensive marketing guides to insightful webinars, they equip me with knowledge and strategies to help reach my target audience and convert casual browsers into loyal customers.

Number Five

Reliability: A Fortress Against Uncertainty.

Fortress - blair mueller art blog post

The POD world is not immune to disruptions. Overseas suppliers can face unexpected challenges, impacting the production timeline, shipping, and ultimately my customer satisfaction. All of these potential disruptions are “out of our hands” issues for print on demand services who outsource the work.

With Printful, I know I’m operating under the umbrella of a well-established, globally distributed network of in-house facilities. This redundance shields me from potential bottlenecks and ensures consistent, reliable fulfillment, so I can focus on growing my business, not fretting over delayed shipments.

I’m building, what I hope becomes, a long lasting, fruitful business. I need to know that the foundation of that business is solid! I don’t want to build on rocky ground. I need to know that the foundation of my business won’t budge and can storm the weather.

Number Six

Sustainability: Walking the Walk, Not Just Talking the Talk.

lush green nature  - blair mueller art blog post

In today's eco-conscious world, many consumers demand responsibility from the brands they support. Printful understands this, prioritizing sustainable practices at every stage. From using organic and recycled materials to minimizing waste and offsetting carbon emissions, they demonstrate a commitment to a greener future that aligns with my own values and resonates with my eco-minded customers.

There are many brands available through Printful that are eco-friendly, made from sustainably sourced or recycled materials, which might be a bit more costly, but the savings here are not of the wallet, but of the planet. Can’t really go wrong there! We only have one Earth.

Bonus feature:

While I can’t imagine a world where I’m selling so much product that I would ever need to use this, but, if that day were ever to come, and I have certain products that sell like hotcakes, and I wanted to improve the fulfillment time for my customers… Printful has the option to rent warehouse space so I can have products printed up in advance and stored at their site, so when an order comes in, they just pack and ship. Depending on the products, this could speed up the time between order and arrival by several days.

But let’s focus on baby steps. I’m a very long ways away from ever needing to pre-order products in bulk for faster shipping.

So, is Printful worth the extra investment?

Handshake - blair mueller art blog post

Personally, I believe so. I value brand control, impeccable quality, a dedicated support team at my fingertips, and a POD partner invested in my success.

So while you might pay a few dollars more for the products I offer in my BMA Gift Shop, or The Horror Market, the intangible benefits quickly translate into increased customer satisfaction and a more reliable, consistent, thriving business.

Remember, it's not just about the price tag; it's about the the quality of products I offer, and the legacy I'm trying to build. Printful is the foundation of my business, so I think it's worth the extra money to ensure my foundation is solid and will withstand the test of time, not a house of cards that will collapse with the changing of the tides.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time...


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