How To Use Printful to Drop-Ship Your Merch [draft]

 
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Printful is our favorite tool to use to sell merch without having to pay for it up front. We’ve used Printful for over a year for our Taste Creators merch and we’ve always had a great experience.

If you are new to selling merch and/or if you don’t have a big budget to spend on buying and printing merch, Printful is highly recommended.

How It Works

Printful has a boatload of products for you to print on. You choose the products (using Printful’s mockup generator) and add your custom designs. Printful syncs to your online store so that when customers place an order, Printful gets the notification, prints and ships the products automatically (you literally don’t have to lift a finger).

When choosing products to print on, Printful provides you with the cost. The price they give you includes the cost for the garment itself plus the printing cost. Printful takes their cut automatically and you make the profit.

So for instance, say you choose a hoody that’s $13. You’re not going to sell it for that price, you’re going to sell it for anywhere from $40-$65. So once a customer places an order, Printful will automatically take the $13 and leave you with the rest.

Creating Your Account

Creating your Printful account is really easy, and it’s FREE. Simply visit Printful’s website and create an account.

Connecting Printful to Shopify

If you’re using Shopify as your online store platform, you can install printful with the click of a button.

Login to your Shopify store, and click on APPS on the left menu. You will be taken to the Shopify app store. Search for “Printful” using the search bar and click INSTALL APP. Make sure you’ve created a printful account already and be sure that you’re logged into printful before installing. Shopify may ask you for your Printful login credentials.

Once Printful is installed you will see it when you click on the APPS page on the left menu.

You can start creating new products and adding products to your store using Printful’s mockup generator.

For further instructions, check out our crash course on selling merch with Shopify.

Connecting Printful to Squarespace

If your website is built on Squarespace, it’s really simple to connect Printful and start selling merch.

Here’s a video that explains it, but we’ll also put the step by step instructions below.

In order to connect Printful to your Squarespace site, you’ll first need to make sure that you have signed up for both a free Printful account, and a business Squarespace account (Printful doesn’t work on personal squarespace accounts, only business subscriptions).

  1. When logged into Squarespace, head to Settings → Website → Advanced → API Keys → Create key

  2. Name your key (call it Printful) and copy it

  3. Head to your Printful dashboard → Stores → Choose platform → Squarespace

  4. Paste your API key in the field, and click “Connect”

  5. That’s it! Your Squarespace store is now connected with Printful!

Creating Your Mockups

Printful makes it really easy to create merch mockups using their mockup generator. If you’re not sure what a mockup is, it’s just a fancy word for the photos of your products.

If you’re using Shopify, refer to our crash course to learn how to add Printful products to your Shopify store.

If you’re using Squarespace with Printful, read on.

To design your merch mockups using Printful’s mockup generator, visit the Printful website and click Mockup Generator. You’ll see this option at the bottom of the menu on the left.

This is Printful’s mockup generator that can be accessed via the Printful home page.

This is Printful’s mockup generator that can be accessed via the Printful home page.

Choose the product that you wish to print on, customize it by adding your graphics and logo, and download your mockup files once you’re done (Printful will walk you through this when using the mockup generator).

Adding Products to Your Site

Once you have your mockups, you’ll need to login to your Squarespace website and add the items to your store.

Again, if you’re using Shopify (and not Squarespace), check out our crash course on selling merch with Shopify for final instructions. If you’re using Squarespace, read on.

In order to add products to your store, you’ll first need to create a new “products” page in Squarespace. To do this, go to PAGES, click the plus “+” sign and then add a product page (as seen below).

Add a new “products” page in Squarespace.

Add a new “products” page in Squarespace.

Call the page SHOP or MERCH so that fans will be able to navigate to your store.

Once you’ve created the products page, click on it and you’ll be brought to the following screen:

This is the blank products page where you will begin adding products to your store by clicking the plus “+” sign in the top right corner (outlined in red).

This is the blank products page where you will begin adding products to your store by clicking the plus “+” sign in the top right corner (outlined in red).

Click the plus “+” sign at the top right of the page and you’ll see this menu pop up:

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Choose “Physical” since you’re adding a physical product that will need to be shipped to your customer.

You will be taken to the following screen:

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This is where you add your product images (your mockup images that you saved from Printful), add a product name and add a description.

Next you’ll want to add pricing and variants (variants meaning small, medium, large, XL etc.). To do this click on the “Pricing and Variants” tab at the top. You’ll be brought to this screen:

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Add the price that you’re going to sell the item for, then click the plus sign to add your variants. Once you click the plus sign you will see this pop up:

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If you’re offering different sizes, type “size” in the option name and click “save option.”

If you’re offering different colors, repeat this step by clicking the plus “+” sign once again and typing “color” in the option name and click save option.

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You’ll see that the variants for “size” and “color” have been added (outlined in red in the photo above).

This is the tedious part, as you’ll need to add sizes and color choices manually for each item.

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To add each of the variants, click the plus "+” sign. Type in the name of each variant and the price. As you can see, we added a variant for small, medium and large. We kept the color the same (black).

If you have multiple colors you’ll need to specify the color then create new variants for small, medium, large for every color (we know this is a pain in the butt but it only needs to be done one time).

Be sure to add the prices for each item. Once you’re finished click on “save & publish.”

If you’re more of a visual person, check out this video below to see how products are added.

Final Steps

Printful has a great checklist of things to handle in order for your store to work properly. You can check out that checklist here.

Below are the most important things:

  • Make sure your payment info is entered so that you can collect payments.

  • Make sure Printful is synced to your online store so that they’ll receive the order notifications.

  • Make sure your shipping costs are set.