Print on Demand Asia: Your Ultimate Guide for 2023
Print-on-demand in Asia is a growing business opportunity for entrepreneurs keen to make an income without spending vast sums of money on manufacturing and order fulfillment.
For the uninitiated, print-on-demand (POD) is a type of dropshipping. It’s a form of ecommerce where you sell personalized products such as mugs, tees, posters, bags, and so on. Items are only printed once an order has been placed. Typically, your chosen POD service manufactures and ships your custom products on your behalf to your customers. So the beauty of this fulfillment model is that you don’t need to worry about purchasing tons of inventory upfront, warehousing, shipping, etc.
To kickstart a print-on-demand ecommerce business in Asia, you first need to find an exemplary POD service. So with that said, here’s our list of some of the most popular POD companies in Asia for you to choose from.
Let’s get started!
What are the Best Print on Demand Companies in Asia?
One of the best-known print-on-demand companies on the market is Printful. It has pages of products you can sell in East Asia, including mugs, baseball caps, t-shirts, posters, and high-top canvas shoes.
All products can be customized. For example, suppose you’re looking to sell custom hoodies. In that case, you can choose from a selection of colors. Then, upload a design or embroidery to be printed on the garment.
Printful is simple to use. You can even choose from a series of designs to put on Printful products or upload your own. Printful also comes with a helpful mock-up tool that gives you a better feel for what your design will look like in real life.
If you want your packaging to reflect your brand, you can add labels and packaging inserts. In addition, Printful integrates with various ecommerce platforms, including Wix, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify. This makes it much easier to list and start selling Printful products on your own online store.
If you’re located in Asia but selling to European and US customers, Printful could be a good option for you. It has fulfillment centers in Birmingham (UK), Barcelona (Spain), Riga (Latvia), and a range of North American cities, including Los Angeles, Toronto, and Dallas.
There are no startup costs. You simply pay the price of the product you’re printing, plus the cost of any design / customizations, then the fulfillment and shipping costs.
It’s also worth noting that Printful has a pricing guide to help you calculate worthwhile profit margins.
- You get access to an easy-to-use design mock-up generator.
- It’s free to sign up.
- You benefit from same-day fulfillment on orders placed by 12 pm (GMT, EST, EET, CET)
- Printful offers a wide choice of customization options.
- It integrates with plenty of ecommerce platforms.
- Product prices are pretty high
- All products are made from cotton. However, the quality may vary.
- There aren’t any fulfillment centers in Asia.
Who is it Best For?
Printful is best for Asian entrepreneurs that want to sell and fulfill orders to European and US customers. That said, Printful ships to Asia- but from its European and US fulfillment centers, so it’s likely that fulfillment times will be slower. Generally, shipping times to Asia take six to 15 days, whereas it’s more like five to eight days to the US and Europe.
Also well-known is Printify. It’s free to sign up for and offers over 750 print on demand products, making it one of the market’s most prominent global print-on-demand networks.
You can customize and print women’s and men’s clothes, accessories, and homeware products -to name a few! Shipping is mainly focused on the Chinese market. However, they offer international shipping from six providers who cover a wider range of Asian destinations. But the shipping cost can be expensive (from $17 upwards), with longer delivery times, although these vary depending on the provider. For example, one provider, ArtsAdd, can deliver to China in three to five days, but for the rest of the world, ten to 30 days, excl. US, Brazil, and New Zealand. In other words, it’s not an exact science.
This is how Printofy works: First, you choose the product you want to print. Then, you can pick a print partner from a list of Printify-selected companies (via a drop-down menu in the mock-up design generator). The advantage of this is that you get to decide which brand manufactures your product, such as American Apparel, Champion, Adidas, and more. So, it’s a great way to ensure high-quality products.
You can go ahead and custom-design the product and let Printify do the rest. First, you can create a mock-up by uploading your designs from Dropbox, Google Drive, or your device. Alternatively, you can use Printify’s design mock-up generator to add custom text, graphics, colors, and backgrounds to the product.
Printify seamlessly integrates with an array of ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces, including:
..and many more
This enables you to monitor sales, orders, and inventory from the convenience of your chosen ecommerce provider’s dashboard.
There’s also a Printify blog and online support center where you’ll find plenty of advice and tips on getting started, designing, invoicing, and much more.
It’s free to sign up. A free plan limits you to five store connections per account, but you can still create unlimited product designs. In addition, you can order product samples, but with the freemium version, you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket.
If you’re looking to expand quickly into bulk ordering, then the Premium plan at $24.99/mo (based on annual billing) is your best bet. This unlocks up to 20% discounts on all products and ten store connections. You’re also gifted a sample budget of $29 to check the quality of the items you’re considering selling. Lastly, an Enterprise plan based on custom pricing includes everything in the previous two programs plus an unlimited number of stores per account.
- Paid plan customers benefit from discounted POD products.
- You can create unlimited product designs – even on the free plan!
- It’s free to sign up.
- The mock-up design generator is easy to use.
- Printify integrates with the majority of leading eCommerce website builders and marketplaces.
- Printify ships worldwide (including Asia) – with a few exceptions, including Ukraine, North Korea, Russia, and Syria
- Not all of Printify’s printing partners ship worldwide (including Asia), so you need to ensure you choose one that does
- Product prices can be higher than they initially seem. For instance, although it’s $10 for a Printify unisex t-shirt from an Asian supplier, Printful doesn’t apply VAT until checkout, which masks the true price of the product. In comparison, Printful offers the same for products to Asia at $10.53, including VAT.
Who is it Best For?
Printify is best for print-on-demand businesses keen to expand quickly into high-volume sales. Printify’s shipping providers service most Asian destinations (excluding North Korea) – particularly China, as they have several suppliers that ship there. It’s also suitable for anyone looking for a wide choice of products to customize and sell.
Gelato sells products worldwide, including in Asia, with 90% of orders produced locally in 33 countries. Since they fulfill products locally, users benefit from next-day production. I.e., once your order goes in, they start making the item the very next day. On average, delivery is just 72 hours.
The POD products available are similar to Printful and Printify: t-shirts, hoodies, accessories, wall art, wallpaper, and phone cases. They also work with a diverse range of suppliers, so you can add sustainably sourced materials and reduced carbon emissions to your product descriptions.
You simply sign up and integrate your eCommerce website or online marketplace account with Gelato. Gelato integrates with various popular eCommerce providers, including Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, Wix, BigCommerce, and Squarespace. However, suppose you’re using an eCommerce platform for which Gelato doesn’t provide a native integration. In that case, you can access Gelato’s API to develop your own.
When you choose a product to customize and print, you’ll see all the information you need about shipping costs on the same page. This makes it easy to calculate your costs before you set your price.
Gelato also provides a dashboard to monitor live tracking information and estimated delivery times for your customer’s orders.
It’s free to sign up. All users can access Gelato’s design editor, local production in 33 countries, and integrations with Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce.
However, there’s also a paid Gelato plan costing $14.99/mo, for which you get all the aforementioned, plus a 30% discount on standard shipping. It also includes access to a library of stock images, free graphics, premium fonts, and premium products.
There’s also the Gelato Gold plan which costs $99/mo, for which you receive all the above and 30 days of free shipping, plus 50% off shipping once you start ordering 50+ orders a month. You also receive live shipping rates and early access to new products.
- The free plan is pretty generous.
- There’s a free 30-day trial for the Gelato+ plan (This isn’t available for the Gold plan)
- Gelato integrates with popular online marketplaces and eCommerce website builders.
- With local production as one of Gelato’s major selling points, you get access to production closer to where your customers are, which is excellent for fulfillment times and the environment.
- You benefit from fast delivery times, mostly within 72 hours.
- Gelato prints in Asian and Oceania countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea
- Free users don’t get access to stock images or graphics.
- You can’t road-test the design editor without signing up first.
Who is it Best For?
Gelato’s paid plans present good value for money for anyone looking to benefit from shipping discounts and access to stock images and graphics. Also, due to its widespread local delivery services and next-day production times, it’s a good option for entrepreneurs wanting to sell POD products to Asian and Oceanic customers. The Gelato website has a long list of countries it delivers to but it doesn’t deliver to North Korea or Laos.
If you’re just starting out in print on demand in Asia, Teespring could be a good option because there are no startup costs to factor in. In addition, there are more than 50 POD products to choose from, including t-shirts, leggings, hoodies, and much more. Unlike other platforms, many items already have designs printed on them that you can order in various sizes and colors.
If you want to design your own merch, Teespring has its own design tool that allows you to insert your own text, images, and artwork onto your chosen product. Then, once you’re happy with your design, you’ll see how much your item will cost to print and ship. Teespring also provides a recommended retail price. But ultimately, it’s up to you whether you apply their recommendation or set your prices higher/lower.
You can also see what your design will look like on other products if you’re designing accompanying merch.
Also, with integrations for popular social media channels, including Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch, you can sell products across social media to expand your reach. You can also launch a free store to host your products. Teespring provides a simple store builder to customize your logo, colors, and brand style.
Teespring’s fulfillment centers are located in the US and Europe. However, they ship to Asia – usually within 12 to 15 business days. International shipping costs vary by product, but a t-shirt ships from $12.50.
It’s free to sign up for Teespring, aka Spring. There aren’t any recurring subscription fees. You’re only charged a flat fee for the customized product you want to print. However, if you’re going to connect your online store to Teespring, this will set you back $11.99 a year. You can also purchase your own domain if you don’t already have one via a link on the Teespring website.
- It’s free to sign up and use
- It ships all around the world
- You can create a free, customizable, and hosted eCommerce store
- You get access to integrations for social media marketing
- The more you sell, the cheaper the products you print on demand become.
- There are plenty of products to choose from
- The space where you can add your own design to a product is relatively small compared to other platforms.
- Sourcing info about additional costs on Teespring’s website, such as connecting your online store, isn’t easy.
- Once you’ve created your designs, you have to sell a minimum number set by you before they’re printed.
Who is it Best For?
Teespring is best for POD sellers looking for a wide choice of customizable products and pre-designed options.
Founded in 2009, Apliiq also offers print-on-demand worldwide, order fulfillment, and shipping. However, Apliiq differs because it’s more geared toward the streetwear market. POD products available include t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, hats, and accessories. That said, Apliiq doesn’t offer other products like mugs, homeware items, or phone cases.
You can add patches, labels, and neck prints to further customize your POD products. In addition, you can work with Apliiq creators via its partnership with Fiverr to access graphic design artists. Or you can use the Apliiq design tool to upload your own designs onto selected streetwear items.
One of Apliiq’s most notable perks is its eco-friendly material options. Plus, you can add custom designs to a product’s pockets and lining, as well as embroidery designs and custom labels. They also have the option for both digital and screen printing.
For all their customers, they promise a maximum two-week turnaround with guaranteed delivery dates. If they fail to deliver by this time, they’ll refund all your shipping fees.
Simply select the product you want to design, upload your artwork, and choose which color garment you want it printed on. Apliiq also provides a pricing overview on the same page.
It’s free to sign up and use, but, of course, you pay for shipping and garment costs. You’ll also receive up to 50% discounts when you make bulk orders.
- If you’re looking for on-trend streetwear, Apliiq’s POD catalog is excellent.
- It’s free to sign up, and there aren’t any monthly subscription fees
- It will integrate with your Shopify store
- With bulk orders, you can add custom labels and clothing tags
- You benefit from guaranteed delivery times
- It’s not a good option if you’re interested in non-apparel, non-streetwear products.
- It only integrates with Shopify and Flamory (the software you can use to create bookmarks).
Who is it Best For?
Apliiq is best for anyone interested in launching a streetwear clothing label without the budget to invest in lots of stock. The Asian market is a very popular demographic for streetwear, making Apliiq an excellent choice for selling more distinctive apparel. The Chinese streetwear market alone is worth around $15 billion.
It’s easy for anyone, either located in Asia or looking to sell to Asian audiences, to use Redbubble to start selling POD products. There are more than 70 POD items to choose from, including wall art, phone cases, stickers, clothing, stationery, etc.
The website is super-contemporary and colorful. It’s simple to get started without spending any money. Like some of the other platforms, you can either buy pre-created, pre-designed products or upload your own designs.
Although Redbubble doesn’t have fulfillment centers in Asia, they do ship there. On average, standard shipping to Asia takes 15 to 25 business days.
Redbubble is also ideal if you don’t want to set up your own website because Redbubble is also an online marketplace. So you can sell your products directly on the platform!
Interestingly, Redbubble also enables you to empower customers to make changes to your products too, which we think is pretty neat! Plus, you can assign tags to your products to help ensure your merchandise gets in front of your target audience.
It’s free to sign up. When you design your products, RedBubble provides a basic rundown of how much everything will cost.
- Your customers can customize your products
- It’s free to sign up to
- Redbubble offers your customers free exchanges and returns
- Redbubble’s mock-up design tool is straightforward to use
- There’s a decent range of products to choose from
- Redbubble doesn’t offer much in the way of marketing tools
- There are lots of other creators on the RedBubble marketplace, so be prepared to compete!
Who is it Best For?
Redbubble is handy for those that don’t want to set up their own website and would prefer to sell via an online marketplace. In addition, Redbubble makes it easy for Asian-based sellers to use category tags and keywords to reach the right audience, so that’s a definite perk!
Best Print-on-Demand Companies in Asia: Our Final Thoughts
Hopefully, our summary of some of the best print-on-demand platforms in Asia will give you food for thought before making your final choice. Truthfully, we don’t think you’ll go far wrong with any of the options above!
Generally speaking, we advise looking for a POD company with plenty of design tools that are simple to use. We also think it’s worth exploring any platform that offers discounts if you sell more or make bulk orders. Lastly, look for a company that provides fast shipping and fulfillment options so you keep all your customers happy!
Have you ever used any of the POD companies before? Or are you considering alternative services like
Bella + Canvas, SPOD, or Gooten? Either way, please feel free to tell us all about your experience in the comments box below. Speak soon!