I get asked a lot why I decided to choose Spreadshirt as my POD (Print On Demand) company. The truth is they were not my first choice but that’s only because I had never heard of them. I first started at Cafepress, which I’m sure everyone knows about, but was highly dissatisfied with how my store looked, customization options at that time and most of all the printing. After only a few washes my test shirts were starting to fade in to that vintage look.
Eventually I stumbled across Spreadshirt while working on a Logo for an Open Source Project. I had to email Spreadshirts custom support department regarding some design measurements and the response I received was beyond what I had expected. I toyed around with the Spreadshirt system and realized they offered a more “personal branding” platform. For $10 a month you can remove the Spreadshirt banners, get your own designer and more. Unlike other places such as Zazzle who is a WELL known POD now. I contacted them to see if the huge banner across the top of every shop I visited, that said “Zazzle”, could be removed and was told simply in 2 short sentences “no”. Now granted this is a cosmetic issue for me, not a product quality issue, as I still use Zazzle for printing my stamps and etc. They are really good at what they do. It just wasn’t right for me.
After testing the waters with Spreadshirt I moved everything over and have been with them ever since. Like any company there are going to be up and downs. My biggest complaints with Spreadshirt is:
- Base Pricing
- 3 color limitation with Flex & Flock
and a few other smaller issues that are more of a personal preference.
This gets me to their printing method which was another reason why I’m with them. Flex and flock are in my opinion superior to most POD printing these days. It’s basically like having vinyl that you see every day on signs while driving around heat pressed on to a shirt. It has a slight gloss and can last a lot longer than a digital printing. It’s soft and flexable as well. Does it last forever? No. My first shirt I ordered with Spreadshirt as a test shirt almost 4 years ago now has a nice vintage look but that’s after it being washed 2x a week x 52 weeks x 4 years, equals something like 416 washes. That’s a lot and you also have to factor in wear time.
Spreadshirt also offers Flock which is similar to flex but the key element here is that it’s raised and fluffy. It’s great for those unique girl products. They offer other specialty printing as well like Writable flex and provide a dry erase marker with each order, glitter flex, glow in the dark flex and more.
Customization is another thing they offer. You can have a custom layout to match your own site, if you own one, or just to give it that unique look. As I said before for $10 you can upgrade and remove the “powered by spreadshirt” banners and get other perks as well.
Spreadshirt handles it all from printing the products (1 at a time), the shopping cart system, collecting payments, sending out shipping invoices to you and the customer, shipping by USPS or UPS and handling all customer support such as returns, sizing issues and etc.
If you are considering using Spreadshirt or any POD for that matter, I recommend you do one thing, Order a shirt from them first. It tells a lot about a company. While Spreadshirt may not be right for you, it is for me and this is why I wanted to share my experience and reasoning behind using Spreadshirt.