If you’re getting started with your own print on demand store, you’ll probably look into Printful and Printify. They’re big players in the PoD world, for good reason. It can be confusing though. When you start out with their platforms, it may not be clear how payment works which, naturally is a really important thing when opening a store. So, how does Printful pay you exactly? How does Printify pay you?
Printful and Printify do not pay you. Payments come from the platform the store is being hosted one, whether that be Etsy, Shopify, or others. Sellers purchase any needed products from Printful or Printify, and the difference between the cost of the product and what the customer paid is the profit.
This can be confusing, so let’s dive into it a bit more.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you decide to purchase through my links.
And, if you don’t have a Printful or Printify account yet, sign up for them! It’s free to sign up, and playing around with them will make it easier to understand how to use it.
Printful and Printify are Suppliers that Don’t Handle Your Profits
Printful and Printify can’t pay you because they never touch your profits.
Let’s say that you have a print on demand store on Etsy (this example works regardless where your store is hosted). When you get an order, your customer pays Etsy. This will be the price you have listed for your products.
At that point, the order is submitted to Printful or Printify and they charge you the price of producing and shipping the product. Ideally, this will be less than what you charged your customer.
Your customer’s money is still sitting with Etsy. When it’s time for you to get paid, Etsy will pay you the entirety of that money (minus the Etsy fees).
Here’s an example with real numbers:
A customer on Etsy buys your product and shipping for a total of $30
Your order processes with Printful or Printify and costs you $20 for both the product and the shipping
Your profit is $10 (not accounting for Etsy fees).
Printful or Printify will charge you $20, but Etsy will send you the full $30 (minus the fees).
You need to look at both your Printful or Printify account and your Etsy account and subtract what Printful or Printify charged you from what Etsy paid you. That’s your profit.
To explain this further, let’s look at it from a different context.
Let’s say that you bought something at Target and you resell it. You paid $20 for it at Target and you resold it for $30 on Craigslist.
Once you left the Target parking lot, Target was no longer involved. Whatever you did with that product after that was up to you. You could have kept it for yourself, given it away for free, or sold it. That’s not Target’s problem.
In this situation, Target served as the middleman. They offered the product, but whatever you did with it after that was up to you.
That’s how Printful or Printify works as well.
Printful and Printify are middlemen that supply you with the products you need for your print on demand store. You pay for their products out of pocket and resell them to your customers.
Etsy does not deal with money that’s going through your Printful or Printify accounts and vice versa. This can be confusing because Printful and Printify integrate well with Etsy, but this DOES NOT apply to finances. The integration only applies to order information (what the product is, customer information, etc).
Etsy and Printful/Printify are not connected as far as finances are concerned.
To make this more clear, let’s talk about how Printful and Printify payments actually work.
How the Printful and Printify Billing Systems Work
When you sign up for Printful and Printify, you will connect a debit or credit card to them. Whenever you receive an order that Printful or Printify needs to process, they will charge your debit or credit card for the cost of that product.
One option is to have Printful or Printify charge you for each product as it comes in. Basically, your customer orders a mug, Printful/Printify processes a mug, you receive a charge for the cost of the mug.
Or, you can store money within your Printful or Printify accounts that they can pull from whenever an order comes in, which is what I do.
Printful calls this the Printful Wallet. This lets you store a certain amount of money within your Printful account. When you get an order, Printful will pull from this stash. That way, you aren’t getting a lot of separate charges to your credit card.
You can enable the Printful wallet to auto-withdraw a certain amount of money when you’re running low so that you always have enough money in your account to cover the orders coming in.
I like the Printful wallet option because I only have to look for occasional, larger Printful charges on my credit card statement, instead of sifting through a lot of smaller charges for each individual order.
Printify also lets you store a certain amount in your account that they can pull from when an order comes in.
Whether you decide to be charged for each of your products individually, or you take advantage of storing a certain amount of money in your accounts, Printful and Printify make it easy to pay for the products you need for your online store.
But, this naturally begs the question of whether you are ONLY charged for the products you purchase from Printful and Printify. Are there any additional costs that you need to account for from them?
What Percentage Does Printful and Printify Take?
Printful and Printify do not take a percentage of your profits, charge you an additional fee, or require a paid subscription. It is free to use the Printful and Printify platforms. You only pay them for the price to produce and ship the products you purchase from them.
As online sellers, we’re always bracing ourselves for fees. Shopify has a monthly subscription price, Etsy charges high fees, and credit card companies want a cut for processing payments. Fees are everywhere…except Printful and Printify.
Believe it or not, Printful and Printify do not charge you any fees to use their platforms. You only pay for the cost and shipping of your products.
This actually makes Printful and Printify a great place to purchase items for yourself or for gifts. Why not grab a custom Christmas gift at a cheap price?
For this reason, I often suggest Printful and Printify to artists who aren’t even interested in starting an online store. It’s neat to see your work printed on a sweatshirt or coffee mug and, since it’s free to have accounts, why not go for it?
Understanding how Printful and Printify work in relation to payments can be confusing when you’re just getting started. It’s one of those things that makes more sense once you’re in it and using it. Sign up for a Printful account and a Printify account and try it out for yourself. It won’t be long before it will all make sense.
Diana has been an artist for over 26 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.