When I first started selling art online, I was only selling originals. But when I realized how easy and fun it is to sell prints (because people can buy them at the fraction of the cost of an original) I started looking into how I could make and sell prints. I looked at local print shops, as well as buying my own, high-quality, large format printer (so I could go bigger than an 8″x10″). I ended up buying my own printer, thinking that the cost per print would be lower. But let me tell you: archival ink is expensive! (And so is high-quality paper!) As I learned more about “passive income” I realized that using a print on demand (or POD) drop-shipper for prints was really the way to go. So today I want to tell you about why I use Printful to drop-ship my art (and more!)
(This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a commission if you click through and purchase. You can click here and a new tab will open with a full explanation.)
But first, for those who don’t know, a print on demand drop-shipper is a company that takes your orders, prints/fulfills them, and ships them directly to your customer. In some cases, they even use your address and logo, etc., so it looks like the print is coming directly from you. So not only can you make art once and sell it multiple times, but if you set up your online shop correctly, it can be almost 100% passive for you. Pretty cool, right?
There are many drop-shippers out there that will print and ship things like: art prints, art on canvas, t-shirts, cell phone cases, dresses, pillows, etc. I looked at many of them, comparing price, shipping costs, and product lines. Once I chose three that looked like the best contenders in my eyes, I ordered samples, of both prints and products. I was looking for things like quality (most of all!), shipping time, and the care they put into packaging.
After all of that, I finally decided on using Printful to drop-ship my art and other products.
I could stop there, and let me tell you, with some other companies, that’s about as good as it gets!
But not with Printful!
Printful can be fully integrated with your Shopify shop, and has now even been approved for Etsy integration! But in short, that means you can “sync” up your art prints in your Etsy or Shopify shop(s) so that any time someone orders a print (or canvas, or other products) from either one of those shops, the order goes directly to Printful who then prints, packs and ships it for you! It’s pretty amazing, really. And I love the fact that I can now sell art prints passively in my own shop on my website, but also in my Etsy shops.
Oh, and did I mention you can get a Printful account for free? The only time you’re charged for anything is when someone orders something from you. (You can either set up a “wallet” with them or just leave a credit card on file, either of which is only charged when you get orders.)
Another reason I use Printful to drop-ship my art is because, while they started with one fulfillment center in California, they now also have additional locations in both North Carolina and Europe (which means faster and more affordable shipping to the U.K.!) They also use water-based inks which means they are safe to print on kids’s clothes and reduce environmental waste.
And the best part of all? It’s super easy. In fact, when they added Etsy integration, all I had to do was sync up my shop, and then sync up the listings, all with the press of a button or two! Plus they have all kinds of video tutorials, so if you ever get tripped up by something, they probably have a video to help walk you through it.