Sorry, in advance, for the length of this review. We think it's important to lay out the situation... I have revised this review after hearing directly from a manager at Printify with explanations and plans for dealing with the issues I’ve detailed below. As changes become obvious, I will revise this review again going forward.
We have had Printify’s app linked to our Shopify store for more than 6 months now. We pay for their monthly subscription service to be able to access the lowest possible costs so that we would enjoy the highest possible margins. We have added hundreds of t-shirts, mugs and apparel products into our store as we built out a strong offering, pre-launch. All along the way, we tested the order and checkout process and were really happy with the experience. Worked like a charm.
Adding products to your Printify store is simple. The mockups generated by their platform are very nice and you don’t have to do anything extra to produce them. It’s easy to control prices to maximize your margins and you can see the “what if” scenarios on the product page as you add the product. Then when it goes over to Shopify, everything’s in order.
Most products have multiple vendors you can choose as your supplier. They have US and international printing partners so you DO have choices. Sadly, there are no live merchant reviews of individual POD vendors so you’re really not sure what each is capable of and likely to provide when chosen.
That’s the Good. Here’s the UGLY BAD…
Printify has your business success in their hands and the current state of their customer service department is awful, so bad that it makes them appear to care not one iota about YOUR business. Their painfully slow (my shortest response time has been more than 48 hours) lack of response to legitimate and critical questions about technical problems and printing partner issues materially impacts your ability to launch or maintain your site, the customer’s ability to order and your culpability in terms of customer service that you have no control over. It could actually bring a business, whether brand new or well-established, to its knees. Currently you can ONLY reach them by email and the only timeline you’ll ever see mentioned on their site is that they’ll get to it “as soon as possible.” I’ve been assured that customer service is a top priority and that Printify takes responsibility for the problems we experience – they’re ramping up hiring and training presently so let’s see how things change – again, I’ll revise this review when we’ve experienced more in the future.
I have two absolutely critical issues in front of them, one for more than a week and the other for about 5 days – neither had resolution. One had ZERO response at all. One had apparently identified a problem with Shopify’s platform but Shopify’s customer service was not aware and pointed the finger back at Printify. I'm the merchant and this is materially impacting our ability to do business so just fix it! So there’s a disconnect in communication that is merchant-affecting…
So that you understand that I’m not a hysterical person who is over-reacting, these are my issues:
1. The Printify app doesn’t consistently supply shipping costs in the cart during checkout. It, instead, throws a vague error that means nothing to the customer and isn’t correct anyway in its content. You can’t check out of my site’s cart. After I spent HOURS on the phone and chat with Shopify customer service and confirmed that everything is set up correctly in our shop settings, Shopify CS sent 2 requests over back-channels to Printify regards this on my behalf and there was no response on either. Turns out that it’s actually a Shopify problem with the shipping calculator not talking correctly with Printify. Printify can’t fix it. And Shopify hasn’t been quick to repair the issue. So bottom line here is that, whether it’s Printify’s “fault” or not, there is a technical connection issue that prevents my cart from functioning properly. It’s untenable and I will take this up with Shopify again, armed with this new knowledge. Today.
2. I randomly noticed last week that the vendor we had chosen for virtually all of the hundreds of apparel items we were to offer is apparently no longer contracted to print those items. WTF?! We never received the notification that apparently was sent out in February so this was news to us -- I immediately sent an email asking for confirmation that the printer we’d chosen was no longer producing these products and for instructions on how to bulk move everything at once to another printer. I also asked why we hadn’t been notified of this critical piece of information. Queue the cricket noises… 5 days and I’d gotten ZERO response but I had 2 emails from Printify CS this morning. Go Figure. So for nearly a week, I’d waited to understand whether any orders would get rejected, hung up, passed to a provider that was substandard in some way – enough so that they were dropped from the provider list… To feel such lack of control is not a great feeling. Bottom line is that the original vendor would still process the orders but if I want to use another vendor for the same shirts, I’m going to have to re-create every listing and will have to resize graphics on virtually all of them because every printer has its own graphic requirements, even for the exact same product. This is a ton of work.
You only get one chance to make a first impression and our store launch has to be something that people remember – in a GOOD way – and tell others about. Right now I’d say that both the customer service issue and the disconnect between Shopify and Printify’s communications are going to have a negative impact, the likes of which could mean a store that either limps along or, if it’s bad enough, might never recover. I thank God every day that I realized all of this on the day we intended to launch and start spending considerable marketing money driving people to the site. At least that didn’t happen.
Today, we will decide whether to remain all in with Printify or begin vetting a new POD platform partner. I am not looking forward to the work required to load up all of those products with a new vendor on Printify or moving them somewhere else but I also will not work hard for poor results because I stuck with the wrong partner too long. If we move, we would make knowing that our margins would likely be smaller than with Printify. But projected margins mean nothing if the service doesn’t work and work well. I’m sure you get it.
We feel like, as business owners, we MUST minimally have chat or phone as a way in addition to email for customer service, technical or any other issues that might come up. If response times when you reach out for help are in excess of 24 hours and you accept that, you’re really setting yourself up to fail by continuing to stick with a platform. Because Printify’s manager reached out to us this morning and was accountable, we will likely give Printify another chance, leaving at least non-apparel items there and possibly looking for additional vendors for the apparel piece. It really is a ton of work for us either way. You can make your own choice. I hope this has been of some help to you.