‘White label’ print-on-demand operation Printful looks set to have a greater interest in generating sales in Australia and New Zealand after partnering with a two unnamed local printers to handle local fulfilment.
Printful is a custom on-demand printing and warehousing company launched in 2013. It’s based in the US and Latvia. It partners with retailers to fulfill and ship products such as photographic prints, canvas and posters, custom-printed garments, accessories and home decor. It employs over 1000 people in fulfillment centres in California, North Carolina, Latvia, Spain and Mexico.
Australia is already Printful’s fifth-largest market by sales and order volume. It notes in the press release announcing the move that ‘Australia’s e-commerce market is ranked tenth-largest in the world by revenue’.
‘Printful is partnering with two local businesses in Australia to offer print-on-demand products to its merchants in Australia and New Zealand,’ the press release stated. The press release also tells us: ‘One Australian partner will focus on direct-to-garment printing on products including men’s and women’s t-shirts and hoodies. The other partner will focus on items in the Home & Living category including posters and mugs.’ This is the first time Printful has outsourced fulfillment to another printing business.
We asked Printful’s communications manager, Kristīne Korņilova, who the local printers were. The somewhat bizarre response was: ‘Unfortunately, we won’t be able to disclose the names of the partner facilities publicly… If there is any other information you would like to have, just let me know!’ All Printful was willing to reveal is that the mystery fulfillment partners are located in ‘Victoria and Brisbane.’ (Any inside information from Inside Imaging readers? Feel free to speculate in our Readers Comments section below!)
Printful obviously operates on a strictly ‘need-to-know’ basis – neither does it indicate on the Printful website who its retail partners are! It calls its model ‘print-on-demand drop shipping’. Retailers open an account and link into the Printful system via one of a large selection of common eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or Magento. They advertise a range of products from Printful on their websites. Orders go direct to Printful for fulfillment and are delivered direct to the customer, displaying the branding of the retail partner.
Retail customers can also place an order direct from the Printful website, but it is really more of a B2B platform focussed on signing up retailer partners.
With the new local printers in place, shipping times will be between two and five days in most areas of Australia and New Zealand. Printful commenced quoting prices in Australian dollars in May.
Printful claims its poster printing is ‘museum-quality’ and ‘Giclee quality’ and printed on archival, acid-free Japanese paper stock (192g). It’s also remarkably cheap, with prices starting at $12.95 for an 8×10 through to just $29.95 for 24×36-inch. For a few extra dollars posters are printed on thicker Epson Ultra Premium Luster Photo Paper.
Other ‘made in Australia’ offerings include posters mounted in a ‘semi-hardwood’ (alder) frame, ready to hang on the wall. Prices start at $34.95 for a framed 8×10-inch print through to $142.95 for a 24×36-inch printed on premium Epson paper stock. Mounted canvas prints are also included in the Australian range, with a 24×36-inch at $107.50.
These prices don’t include shipping, and Printful’s retail partners can set their own prices. Their ‘profit’ is the difference between what they charge the customer and what Printful charges them for ‘product and fulfillment’. According to Printful customer service, the prices quoted here include GST.