August 2016 App of the Month: Custom T-Shirts and More with Printful

social selling through Shopify

If you’ve wanted to sell custom clothing or other products but aren’t sure how or where to source manufacturing, keep inventory, set up fulfillment, etc., things might have just become a lot easier with the Printful service. The service allows you to select from their list of products, customize and add them to your Shopify store, and sell them at a markup. Printful manages the production and fulfillment of all orders placed through your store.

In this post, we will go over the service, and follow steps to set up a product on your Shopify store using Printful.

Why use the Printful app?

Quickly start a business
The service allows you to quickly start a business with very little overhead costs. You don’t have to manage inventory, shipping, equipment, or sift through multiple manufacturing vendors. At a base, your costs will be around building your brand through marketing and customer support.

You can select from a wide variety of products and brands, and sell the ones that fit within your brand in terms of quality and price. Take a look at their products and pricing page to get an idea of different items available.

Add complementary products and swag
You can add custom and branded swag to your existing product line to enhance your brand. T-shirts and other products with your logo on them can be great giveaways, or add-on products that customers can use to show their brand loyalty.

If your core business is not based around custom-printed items, you can use the Printful service to start selling these without further investment into separate product lines.

Create a product with Printful

After you get the Printful app from the Shopify App Store, the app syncs any product that is eligible to be set up through the Printful service. If no such item is found, you can click on “Add product” to create a Printful product.

printful choose product

Choose the type of product you want to sell

Here, you will see the different product types supported by the service. You can add:

  • Clothing/Apparel
  • Mugs
  • Socks
  • Pillows
  • Totes
  • Leggings
  • Phone cases
  • Wall art

You can select a product type to further customize and select from different options. For example, if you select “Clothing/Apparel”, you can select from Unisex/Men, Women, and Youth & Kids clothing. Once you make a selection, you can choose from different brands based on material, type of shirt, colors available, and prices.

printful different brands

Select from different brands

Once you make a selection, you can choose the colors and sizes you want to make available on your store. You can also upload graphics to print on the shirts. You can select different graphics for the front and back of the shirt. In addition, you can move around the graphic within the specified print area to create your preferred placement.

printful graphics on shirt

Add custom graphics to your products

Note that you must own the copyright to use the graphics you put on the shirt. Printful does an assessment of the graphics and may reject your upload if they suspect copyright infringement.

After you’ve created your product, you can add details about the product like product title, description, product collection, and product visibility. The app displays default description content that you can further modify to enhance your search optimization. You can also quickly calculate the profit and add a markup to your product.

printful add profit margin

Add your profit margin to the product

Once you submit the product to your store, Printful will sync and add it to your Shopify products. You can view the product in your Shopify products area to fine tune other details, and through the Printful app. If you selected the publish option, the product will now be displayed on your store.

printful storefront

Printful product on Shopify storefront

Once your store is synced with the service, customers can start purchasing custom products through your store that will get fulfilled without you managing any inventory or shipping.

Other settings

You will need to provide billing information to Printful for your orders to start processing. When a customer places an order, the customer pays your store the retail price of the item. The order is then sent to Printful for fulfillment.

For this fulfillment, Printful will bill you on the payment method you provide and the money you add to your Printful Wallet. Note that all packing slips, invoices, and transactions for Printful are in U.S. dollars.

You can include payment information and add money to your Printful Wallet by going to Settings > Billing within the app.

Here is a quick video by Printful about its integration with Shopify:


Now it is easier than ever to start an online store with custom t-shirts and products. You can use the Printful service to select different products, get custom printing, and complete order fulfillment to the customer. You can quickly set these as products on your Shopify store and start selling them at a markup.

The Printful app syncs your current products to see if any variants fit within their service. You can add products from within the app and follow steps to select the type of product you want to display, and the information you want printed on it.

If you could start selling t-shirts and other custom products quickly, what type of printing would you get done? Please tell us in the comments below.

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Jai Sangha

Content Specialist
Jai helps ShopStorm app users earn more via their Shopify stores by writing about helpful shop tips and useful apps.

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