Placeit vs. Printful: What’s the Difference?

Placeit vs. Printful: What's the Difference?

Placeit and Printful are services for design businesses. If you have a design business, you want to create unique designs and incorporate them into products to sell. However, the design and distribution of these visuals can be difficult, which is where Placeit and Printful come in.

Placeit vs. Printful: Placeit is an online tool for “making designs” whereas Printful is an online tool for “selling designs” on physical products.

In this article, I will explain the differences between Placeit and Printful and how, when used together, they can become a very powerful duo.

What Are Placeit And Printful Used For?

As a business owner, you will find that you are wearing multiple hats. At least on occasion, you need to be a:

  • Designer
  • Financial assessor
  • Customer service person
  • So much more.

It is very difficult to do everything at once. You could hire other people to do these jobs. However, there are many software and other services you can find and pay for to help you build your business.

Placeit and Printful are among the some of most helpful online tools for your business, but comparing these two services is like comparing apples to oranges.

Let’s have a look at the two tools compared side by side:

placeit vs printful

You can choose one of these services depending on what you need help in. For instance, if you have a good printer and shipper, you can use Placeit more to help you with your design work. If you have the tools and skills to design your products, you can use Printful to help with printing and shipping your products. Or you can use them together by designing in Placeit and selling on Printful.

Placeit Is A Great Tool for Design Of Visual Assets

Placeit is an all-in-one tool for design. While you may be making the design yourself, it can be difficult to visualize the designs on products. Placeit has tools to help you produce these visual assets as mockups as well..

Also, Placeit has many other design related tools including their incredible logo maker.

Design Templates

Placeit includes thousands of templates for designs of multiple purposes. The items that Placeit provides design templates for include:

  • T-Shirt designs
  • Instagram and social media posts
  • Business cards
  • Banner ads
  • Album covers
  • Phone grips
  • Phone cases
  • Book covers
  • Advertisements
  • And more!

You can build many individual designs using these templates and save hours on designing work by customizing their pre-made templates. This gives you a nice head start because these templates are made by professional graphic designers.

In many cases, Placeit is going to be the most affordable option as well. For example, if you want to make a mockup of a phone case with a phone, you may need to purchase a stock image of the phone, and then have a membership to Photoshop to add the design to the image.

Pro Tip: Everything you create on Placeit comes with full commercial usage rights. Say goodbye to purchasing individual commercially usable stock images for your projects!

Mockup Templates

Once you’ve made a design, or logo, on Placeit, you can then create a mockup. Placeit provides stock images that you can easily place a design on with just a few clicks of a button. These include:

  • Shirts
  • Book covers
  • App simulation videos
  • Computer screens
  • Mugs
  • Shirt videos
  • Advertisements
  • And more!

By creating a mockup of your design, it makes your product easier to sell by showing how the design would look in real life if it were printed on an item.

Pro Tip: These mockups can even be sent to printers so they can make your products with more ease. If your printer sees your design on the products you wish produced, they are less likely to print any errors. It is far better than simply showing them the design and trying to verbally inform them on where you want the design on the product.

The traditional method for making a mockup would include using design software such as Photoshop. However, using such software requires skill and patience. A skilled individual traditionally would spend over ten minutes to create a mockup, whereas Placeit allows you to create the same professional level mockup in literally seconds.

You can easily make these visual assets to appeal to your customers. There are two ways that Placeit can incorporate designs on a mockup:

  • Drag and drop: You can take an image file, then click and drop the image file over the mockup and Placeit will instantly crop and modify the image to fit over the mockup. Some of these mockups require designs of specific dimensions. All you need to do is have an image of the correct size, or you can crop the image after you’ve uploaded it.
  • Use a URL: You can type the URL into the mockup. Using the URL tool usually makes it easier to fit certain designs on certain products because the cropping and fitting are easier. This is typically used for computer screen or phone screen mockups.

Logo Templates

Placeit is great for both designs and mockups, but they also include an incredible logo maker.

A business logo is a visual cue that potential customers first see when checking out your business. People respond to a visual cue more than text or even audio cues.

Placeit’s logo library is growing daily, and their templates are seriously good. They include industries such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Sports
  • Service industries
  • Gaming
  • Health care
  • Real estate
  • Even planning
  • YouTubers
  • Photographers
  • Writers
  • Clothing brands
  • And many more!

You can modify the graphics and text of these templates to create a unique logo for your business. Then you have a professional-looking logo that customers will immediately identify with your business. These can be:

  • Incorporated on your products
  • Shown online on your business site
  • Used for physical advertisement

Using the business logo maker will save you time, and most importantly, save you money. Usually, designing a logo is something that a professional graphic designer is required for. However, you may be able to surprise yourself on how great of a logo you can make yourself on Placeit.

Create Videos

In addition to designs, mockups, and logos, Placeit is an excellent tool for developing videos for your business. This is one of their newest features. While a logo and good designs can bring in customers, adding a video to your business site can be even more effective.

Like all the other designs, Placeit has templates for you to make your videos, including:

  • Ads
  • Facebook covers
  • Instagram stories
  • Educational videos
  • Content videos
  • Product demos
  • Slide shows
  • And more!

The templates are designed by experts to help you make professional-looking videos to show off your business and your products. This is especially helpful for small and medium-sized businesses to access video marketing. Instead of hiring a fully staffed video crew and staging, you can just put your products and designs in the video templates.

Gaming Channel Designs

With the rise in online gaming, some people have been streaming their gameplay and even made a career from it. If you stream your gaming, you are operating a business and you can really benefit from branding your business professionally.

You can make:

  • Logos for your gaming channel
  • Twitch banners, Twitch overlays, YouTube intros, etc.
  • Merchandise designs

Cost of Placeit

Placeit is semi-free, or freemium in some cases. You can make a free account and access Placeit’s free templates, which even include some video templates.

Placeit has 4 different membership options:

  • Free Account: Limited free library
  • Single Download: From $2.99-$39.99 per download
  • Monthly Unlimited: $14.95 per month
  • Annual Unlimited: $89.69 per year

Pro Tip: Placeit offers an additional 15% off any paid plan with this coupon code.

However, there are limits to what you can access and how often you can access it. If you want unlimited access to all Placeit templates, you need to subscribe to their services. Important to note, you can cancel anytime and there are no contracts at all.

This makes Placeit an affordable service for many businesses, especially considering all the services they provide.

With even a free account on Placeit, you can start designing products and building ads. If you want access to more on Placeit as your business grows, you can subscribe.

If you do not want to use the subscription, you can purchase some templates individually.

  • Mockups cost $7.95
  • Design templates cost $2.95
  • Logos cost $39.95
  • Video mockups and video designs cost $9.95

However, all of these are included in the unlimited subscriptions at no extra cost.

Pro Tip: Many of the single downloads are comparable in price to a monthly subscription, you may just want to go with 1 month of the subscription option for only $12.70 to save money.

Shortcomings of Placeit

Placeit is great for people who want to do design work, but that is it. Placeit cannot be used to help with printing nor shipping. While Placeit is an excellent all in-one-tool for design work, it alone will not be enough for you to make your business profitable.

You will either need to print and ship your products yourself, or find someone else to do that work. Furthermore, Placeit is not a print on-demand service. However, they can absolutely be integrated with other print on-demand tools.

Printful Can Help with Selling Your Products

Printful picks up where Placeit leaves off. Once you’ve created your designs on Placeit, you can upload them to Printful to take care of the printing and shipping.

To sell your products on Printful, you need an online store. This can be done using a variety of online services, including:

  • Shopify
  • Etsy
  • eBay
  • Wish
  • Amazon
  • Squarespace
  • Many more.

Printful is well known as a versatile platform that can be integrated and used with many online services.

When an order is made on your online store, you could have features on the platform you made the online store to help you manage and ship your order. If you do not have this with your online store, Printful can help with managing and shipping your order.

Printful is known to improve the performance of managing and shipping orders. Some businesses reported increasing performance ten-fold using Printful versus their online business platform.

Printful does this by acting as your fulfillment center and warehouse. You can create your products and send them to Printful. When an order comes in, they will take care of the order from that point. That way, you can focus almost entirely on the designing aspect of your business.

This appeals to many designers because many people who create these businesses are great at designing products, but not so much on the management of selling and distributing their products. Platforms like Printful help to bridge the gaps, so designers just starting can sell and distribute their products with little effort.

Printful Becomes Your Warehouse

If you have your items already printed, and you hate the idea of storing your products in your space, or do not have the space to store your products, you need warehousing. Printful can provide you that service. You can ship your products to them; then they will store your products at their warehouses. When orders come in, they will ship your product.

Printful Print On-Demand Services

One of the problems with any business is a suboptimal inventory. Some businesses have too small of inventory and cannot fulfill orders. They will lose money from a loss of sales. Others can have too large of inventory, which will make them lose money from excessive production.

Printful can solve the issues of a suboptimal inventory by providing on-demand services, including:

  • Printing: Printful can provide services that allow them to print a product after order. This way, you do not have a large inventory of designed products.
  • White-label fulfillment: Printful will sell your product using entirely your own brand. It will appear like the entire process was handled by your business.

Custom Made Products

If you are trying to design certain products, you may find that many printers restrict what you can produce. Printful can custom print almost any product with a broad catalog.

Printful is continually expanding its catalog of products. They can print over 200 products and counting. One of their newest printing products is leggings.

Unique Features on Printful

Printful is a very versatile platform to sell your prints, but it comes with much more.

User-friendly Interface

Printful is designed for you to use with ease. You can navigate the site and find what you need with little effort.

Profit Calculator

This tool allows you to determine what prices you can sell your products to make a profit. You can assess the cost of your product and add a profit margin. You will also need to subtract other costs, including taxes.

As you sell your products, you can assess how you can better sell them and further try to optimize the price of your products. This is especially helpful as costs change continually.

Printful Photography

Many design businesses use photographs to showcase their products. Trying to do it yourself, photography can produce subpar results that will not properly showcase your product.

Printful provides a service that has in-house photographers who can help in the shooting and development of beautiful photos you would gladly use to showcase your products.

Printful Can Provide You with Design Experts

While Printful offers a few services to help you with design, they do not provide a broad variety of services like Placeit to help you with designs.

However, Printful provides services where a team makes the designs. You do not even need to modify a template to produce a design.

You tell Printful what you want; they will work on the design for about two weeks, then provide you with the design. You can use this if you are stuck making a design or want to hire extra help.

The prices for these designs vary, from $5 for reformatting to $600 for a brand style guide design.

Printful services are on demand and ready to help you with designing. They utilize a variety of platforms, not just Printful platforms, to create the design.

Printful Is (Technically) Free

Printful does not charge a subscription for their services. In fact, there are no upfront fees nor minimum orders. If you want to work with them, you just need to pay for the shipping of your products to them.

They only charge fees when orders happen, so they will either take a percentage of the price of the product or add the fee directly to the price of your product.

This helps for very small businesses who do not have much money to spare because they only need to pay Printful for their valuable service if their products sell.

There are no formally set fees. However, Printful recommends selling your products with a 30% profit margin so you can profit even with the processing fees from Printful.

However, there are many ways to lower the cost of doing business with Printful, including discounts. There are many discounts Printful provides. These discounts include:

  • Monthly discounts: provide percent discounts depending on the number of sales
  • Bulk order discounts: order products in bulk to save 30%

You can use these discounts to your advantage while selling on Printful.

Printful provides many different services and a price set up that allows businesses of any size to use these valuable services.

Shortcomings of Printful

Although Printful is the leading design dropshipping graphic design printer, it does have some shortcomings.

While Printful has many products, they are not divided very well. For instance, if you want a very specific style of clothing, you will need to do some searching in apparel.

Printful may not charge anything upfront, but their shipping and processing fees can make their services very expensive. You may need to charge more for your products just to break even while using Printful.

Refunds are limited as well. Unless the item is lost or damaged Printful will not provide refunds. If you want the option of any form of reshipment of products, it will cost you a hefty price.

Alternatives to Printful

Printful may be a very versatile platform to help you sell your products, but there are many other alternatives to Printful you could consider when starting your business.

Alternatives for Print On Demand

Printful may be the leading on-demand printing and dropshipping service, but many other competitors provide great services for you to start your design business.

  • Teespring
  • Merch by Amazon
  • Redbubble

These services are all free, and use the print on-demand model. You simply upload your designs, and create a storefront on their website. As orders come in, they will be automatically printed and shipped to the customer. You don’t even have to lift a finger. Not a bad alernative, huh?

For more on how to use Teespring, Merch by Amazon, and Redbubble, watch this YouTube video here.

What Should You Consider Before Choosing A Service?

Placeit and Printful are both excellent services to consider for any design business. However, graphic designers have several different needs.

Some graphic designers need assistance in design. While both Placeit and Printful are services that can help in the design process, Printful is much more of a service for shipping your products. Placeit is the choice if you want to create better designs to incorporate them into your products.

However, one of the things that each of these services has in common is that both of these services are easily accessible, and you can find both of these services useful no matter how much business experience you have or how large your business is. Therefore, many design businesses use both Placeit and Printful. These two integrate very well with other platforms to help you grow your business.