Spreadshirt Alternatives: Exploring Other Print-on-Demand Platforms

Introduction to Print-on-Demand

Print-on-demand (POD) has revolutionized how creators and businesses sell customized merchandise. This model eliminates the need for bulk inventory and upfront production costs, making it an attractive option for artists, entrepreneurs, and established brands alike. With POD, you design products, list them online, and have them printed and shipped only when a customer places an order.

Spreadshirt is a familiar name in the POD world, offering both marketplace and standalone shop options for creators. However, exploring alternatives to Spreadshirt can be beneficial for finding the ideal platform that aligns with your specific needs and goals. For example, you might find better “Spreadshirt alternatives” with lower prices, faster shipping, and more features by comparing different “print-on-demand sites” and exploring “sites like Spreadshirt.”

What is Spreadshirt?

Spreadshirt, founded in 2002, is a German company and one of the earliest players in the POD space. They offer two main avenues for selling your designs: a marketplace and standalone shops called Spreadshops. The marketplace lets you list your designs alongside other artists, giving you access to their existing customer base of approximately 1.5 million monthly visitors.

Alternatively, you can create your own Spreadshop – a standalone website dedicated solely to your brand. This option gives you much more control over your branding, pricing, and profit margins. However, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of both before making a decision.

Why Look for Spreadshirt Alternatives?

Despite being a well-established platform, Spreadshirt does have a few drawbacks worth considering.

A. Shipping Issues

One of the main drawbacks identified in a recent Spreadshop review was the high cost of shipping and often slow shipping times. In one case, a reviewer waited 19 days for their order, which can be detrimental in a market where fast shipping has become the expectation. Many Spreadshirt alternatives boast faster shipping times and more competitive shipping rates, improving customer satisfaction and potentially boosting your profit margins.

B. Limited Custom Domain Options

Another disadvantage of using Spreadshop is the difficulty of using a custom domain name for your store. While it is technically possible, the process is quite complex, requiring coding and integration knowledge that may be inaccessible to many creators. Numerous alternatives offer user-friendly custom domain options, enabling you to establish a stronger online presence and reinforce your brand identity.

C. Seeking Superior Print Quality & Product Range

While Spreadshirt generally provides decent print quality, some alternatives may offer superior printing techniques and a wider product range. This can improve the perceived value of your merchandise and allow you to cater to a broader audience.

Top Spreadshirt Alternatives

Let’s delve into some of the best Spreadshirt alternatives, classified as standalone shop alternatives (like Spreadshop) and marketplace alternatives (similar to Spreadshirt’s marketplace).

A. Standalone Shop Alternatives

These platforms allow you to create your independent online store, giving you complete control over branding and product selection.

1. Printful

Printful is widely recognized for its intuitive interface, extensive product catalog (over 300 items, including apparel, accessories, home decor, and more), and seamless integration with leading ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, and others. They offer multiple branding options, including custom packaging, labels, and packing slips. Their 24/7 support and commitment to sustainable practices solidify their position as a reliable and ethical choice for creators and businesses of all sizes.

* Free plan
* Plus plan: $9/month
* Pro plan: $49/month


  • High-quality products and prints
  • User-friendly interface
  • Excellent integration capabilities
  • Strong customer support


  • Shipping costs can be high for certain products or destinations

2. Printify

Printify stands out by connecting creators with an extensive network of print providers worldwide (12 countries and counting). This gives you access to a diverse range of production options and competitive pricing. They have a vast product catalog (over 800 items, from apparel and accessories to home decor and phone cases) and provide custom branding options and easy integrations with major ecommerce platforms. Printify focuses on sustainability by prioritizing local print providers to minimize shipping times and their environmental impact.

* Free plan
* Premium plan: $29/month
* Enterprise plan: Custom pricing


  • Extensive product selection
  • Competitive pricing and flexible production choices
  • Global reach through a network of print providers
  • Focus on sustainable practices


  • Product quality can vary depending on the chosen print provider, so ordering samples is crucial.

3. Spring (formerly Teespring)

Spring, formerly known as Teespring, is a popular platform offering a user-friendly interface, a decent selection of customization tools, and a strong community of creators. Initially known for apparel, their product catalog has expanded to include home décor, accessories, and more. Spring also provides integrated marketing options, making reaching your target audience directly through the platform easy.

* No monthly fees
* Pay-per-use model, paying only for products sold


  • Easy to use, particularly for beginners
  • Good customization tools
  • No upfront costs or monthly subscriptions
  • Large and supportive community


  • Limited branding options compared to some competitors.

B. Marketplace Alternatives

These platforms function as marketplace environments where you can list your designs alongside other creators, accessing an existing customer base and benefiting from their platform traffic.

1. Redbubble

Redbubble is a popular print-on-demand marketplace catering to independent artists worldwide. They boast a large community of creators, a vast product catalog (over 70 product categories, including apparel, home décor, stickers, stationery, phone cases, and more), and international shipping options. Redbubble provides a user-friendly platform for uploading designs, setting individual profit margins, and offers artists flexible margins and a unique royalty-based model.

* No monthly fees
* Royalty-based model, artists set their own profit margins


  • Large audience and high organic traffic
  • Suitable for beginners
  • No upfront costs
  • Global reach and international shipping


  • Limited control over branding and storefront customization

2. Society6

Society6 is an artist-centric marketplace emphasizing high-quality products that include art prints, home décor, apparel, tech accessories, and more. They offer easy-to-use design tools, a supportive artist community, excellent customer service, and focus on showcasing unique creator talents.

* Royalty-based model with tiered plans
* Basic plan: Free
* Pro plan: $4.99/month


  • High-quality products and prints
  • Supportive artist community and resources
  • Good customer service
  • Global reach


  • Lower base royalty rates compared to some competitors

3. Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon is Amazon’s print-on-demand platform, offering you direct access to their vast customer base. They have a straightforward setup process, fast fulfillment through Prime shipping, a wide product selection, and a user-friendly interface. Merch by Amazon is attractive for creators who want to tap into Amazon’s market but provides limited branding options.

* No monthly fees
* Royalty-based model, artists earn a percentage of each sale


  • Huge potential audience reach
  • Easy to use
  • Fast fulfillment and Prime shipping options


  • It’s an invite-only platform, so you need to apply and be accepted to sell
  • Limited branding and customization options compared to other platforms

5. How to Choose the Best Spreadshirt Alternative

Finding the perfect Spreadshirt alternative involves carefully considering your business needs, creative goals, and budget. Evaluating each option based on these factors will help you make a more informed decision.

A. Product Quality

Product quality is essential for both customer satisfaction and long-term success. Order samples from several platforms before committing to one. Carefully assess factors like print quality, material, construction, and overall product feel. Comparing these samples side-by-side will help you make informed decisions about the quality you’ll offer your customers.

B. Pricing

Pricing structures differ from platform to platform. Some function on monthly subscriptions, while others use a royalty-based model or a pay-per-use structure. Carefully consider factors like production costs, shipping fees, and your potential profit margins based on the different pricing models. Ensure you can maintain healthy profitability for your business based on the chosen platform’s pricing.

C. Product Range

Explore the product catalogs of different platforms, and be sure to choose one that offers a wide range of products that resonate with your target audience. Look for a provider that has a diverse product catalog and a selection that allows you to expand your offerings as your business grows and adapt to your customer base’s changing preferences.

D. Integration Capabilities

If you use an existing ecommerce platform, such as Shopify, Etsy, or WooCommerce, seamless integration with your POD provider is crucial. This will streamline your order fulfillment, simplify inventory management, and ensure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

E. Additional Considerations

Beyond these core considerations, you should also look into other aspects like customer service quality, production location (particularly if you are concerned about shipping times, local production, and ethical sourcing), and the platform’s commitment to sustainability. Consider whether the platform’s values align with your own. Look for fast and reliable customer support, efficient shipping options, and eco-conscious practices to give your business a competitive edge.

6. FAQ Section

Q: What is the difference between Spreadshirt and Spreadshop?

A: Spreadshirt is the overall company, which includes both a marketplace where you can list designs alongside other artists and a standalone shop option called Spreadshop. Spreadshop allows you to create an independent online store dedicated solely to your brand, providing greater control over branding and product selection.

Q: How long does Spreadshirt take to ship?

A: Shipping times can vary, but one reviewer experienced a shipping period of 19 days. Many Spreadshirt alternatives offer significantly faster shipping, contributing to a more positive customer experience.

Q: Can I use my own domain name with Spreadshop?

A: It is technically possible, but setting up a custom domain with Spreadshop is reportedly quite complex and may involve coding and integration. Many alternatives offer more user-friendly custom domain options.

7. Conclusion

Exploring Spreadshirt alternatives can be incredibly beneficial if you want to maximize your print-on-demand potential. Carefully evaluate factors like product quality, pricing, product range, integration capabilities, customer service, and sustainability to find the perfect platform that aligns with your creative vision and business needs. By comparing different platforms and choosing carefully, you can create a more sustainable and successful POD business.