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Gelato print-on-demand is often touted as being a newcomer to the scene, but after just a little digging I discovered that they’ve been around since 2012, with roots in printing dating back to 2007.
Gelato has been grown by a founder and leadership team with big Telco and Tech backgrounds, not necessarily printing, and if you keep reading you’ll see why this matters.
Today we’re going to cover the following:
- About Gelato Print-on-Demand and who they are
- How Gelato Print-on-Demand Works
- What products Gelato has to offer
- How Gelato’s pricing stacks up
- Gelato's Ecommerce Integrations
- Pros and Cons of Gelato
What is Gelato Print-on-Demand?
Gelato is a print-on-demand company that claims to be faster, smarter, and greener. They have printing production locations in 33 countries and offer a huge range of products such as apparel, wall art, photo books, business stationary and more.
Gelato integrates with a number of ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, which we will discuss further down in this article.
At the time of writing this article, Gelato print-on-demand has an overall rating of 4.6 stars on the Shopify app store so they appear to be well-liked amongst POD sellers.
Who Owns Gelato Print-on-Demand?
Gelato was founded by Henrik Müller-Hansen of Norway in 2012. Previous to Gelato, Henrik had a career in Telecommunications, holding the position of CEO for Norwegian Telco Tele2 for a number of years before moving into the printing industry as the founder of Optimalprint in 2007.
In 2012, Henrik and his team launched Gelato to revolutionize the print-on-demand industry with a strong focus on technology and automation.
How Does Gelato Work?
You may have read about the different structure types of POD companies when I did a Printify review, and Gelato operates in a similar fashion.
They are what I like to refer to as a “middle-man”, where they don’t actually own any printing facilities at all. They are essentially a tech company acting as a go-between for ecommerce entrepreneurs like you and I.
They have a huge network of printing partners around the world and they provide the app that integrates with platforms and marketplaces.
So when you make a sale on your Shopify store, the order details get sent straight through to Gelato who routes the order to the closest printing partner to your customer. The printing partner will then print, package and ship the order directly to your customer.
The benefit with this model is that you are running a hands-off print business that is fully automated, allowing you to focus on other areas of your print-on-demand business.
Standout Features of Gelato Print-on-Demand
Gelato is free to use and they offer a wide range of integrations that will suit most print-on-demand sellers.
Before we dive into the product and app specifics of Gelato, let’s look at some of the standout features that set them apart from their competitors.
Gelato has round the clock support and an extensive help center loaded with articles on a range of support topics. They don't currently offer phone support however.
Sustainably Sourced Products
In conjunction with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Gelato promotes sustainable forestry around the globe. This is good to see from a multinational company.
A big one for POD sellers is the production time. We can’t always control shipping but if production is fast then at least we have a bit of a head-start. Gelato claims that their partners guarantee to start product the next-day from when you order is placed.
Local Production & Fast Delivery Times
Because Gelato has a network of over 100 printing partners in 33 countries, they state that most orders are produced and delivered within 3-5 days. This is a huge claim, but if they can truly achieve it then they will get the support of many POD sellers, thats for sure.
Gelato Product Catalog
Gelato print-on-demand boasts a pretty epic product catalog, similar to the likes of Printify and Printful.
Gelato has a wide range of staple products on offer such as the following:
- Tank Tops & Singlets
- Coffee Mugs
- Tote Bags
In addition to the Mens & Women’s apparel, they also have a Kid’s and Babies range which is nice to see.
When it comes to more unique products, Gelato has a great range of photo and stationary products:
- Business Cards
You know I’m a fan of selling high-margin print on demand products, and Gelato has some awesome wall art products that can bank you a pretty penny if you market them right.
In addition to posters and canvas wall art, Gelato has the following unique prints that I recommend trying out:
- Posters with Hangers
- Acrylic Prints
- Foam Prints
- Wood Prints
Gelato Product Pricing
The app itself is free to install, so in this section we’re going to review some of the more standard product pricing from the Gelato print-on-demand catalog.
A standard Gildan 5000 heavy cotton tee will set you back $10.41 USD and shipping to the US will cost an additional $3.49. You will pay slightly more for colors or large sizes, which is pretty standard across the POD industry.
For a total of $13.90 USD, this pricing is not too bad at all. Especially if they are providing a turn-around time of 3-5 days from order to delivery.
Hoodies & Sweatshirts
Hoodies are always a great seller and Gelato offers the classic Gildan 18500 from $19.55, plus shipping of $6.88 for a total of $26.43.
Sweatshirts will cost the same to ship but will come in slightly cheaper at $16.75, bringing the total cost for US printing and shipping to $23.63 for a standard Gildan 18000 sweatshirt.
To compare, the total cost for a hoodie with Printify will run you around $23 and the shipping is $9.60, bringing the price up to a total of just shy of $33.
If you’re running an Etsy print-on-demand business then coffee mugs are a great item to have in your store. Gelato charges $7.49 print a regular 11oz white mug, plus delivery of $6.30 which is quite reasonable.
A standard coffee mug will set you back $13.79 in total to the US which leaves plenty of room for a bit of profit.
They also have a range of larger size mugs and some color-changing options if you want a more premium offering.
Canvas Wall Art
If you can crack a good niche with wall art, you can make some big bucks. The margins are fantastic.
Gelato’s canvas wall art pieces come in a slim 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2″) thick frame and a thick frame which is 4 cm (1.6″) thick.
For a slim framed 18×24” canvas you are looking at $27 to print and $12.03 to ship. Upgrading to a thick canvas of the same size will take the product price up to $42.91, but the shipping is the same.
At either price point, you still have plenty of margin left to play with so I highly recommend you adding these to your print-on-demand store.
Gelato App Integrations
I’m a huge advocate for Shopify for many reasons, but I also get that people like to use other platforms or marketplaces to sell their POD products.
Gelato doesn’t have a huge amount of integrations but they have the most important ones, in my opinion, excluding Amazon which they are yet to add.
At the time of writing, Gelato integrates with:
They also have a customer API for those with a little more tech knowledge.
Gelato App Pricing
I mentioned previously that the app was free to install, which is true, but Gelato also offers some premium subscription options for sellers.
The Gelato+ subscription will cost you $14.99 per month, but it comes with additional perks such as a 30% discount on standard shipping, premium mockups, premium fonts and stock images.
You can also upgrade to Gelato+ Gold which is $99 per month. This might seem quite steep, but they offer 30% off standard shipping and a huge 50% off shipping once you reach 50 orders per month. This is quite a big saving.
Gelato+ Gold also gives you early exclusive access to new products, live shipping rates, personalized custom order gestures and dedicated support if you are transferring existing products over to Gelato.
You might be asking, is it worth it? In my opinion, yes it is if you are doing enough sales volume on your store. The shipping discounts alone will pay for the subscription fees if you are making sales. Plus you get the added perks listed above.
Gelato currently has a special offer where you will get free standard shipping for 30 days if you sign up to Gelato+ Gold. Check it out if that interests you.
Creating a Product in Gelato
The app itself is quite easy to use and it only took me a few moments to set up an account and install it on my Shopify store.
I chose to design a t-shirt and uploaded the Storehacks logo.
One thing I noticed was that I did not get a warning about the low quality of the image I uploaded. The logo was quite low resolution so it’s not really suitable for printing on a tee, but I didn't get a warning in the app.
The standard ghost mockups are nice, but you can see that the premium mockups with models are not available on the free plan. You need to upgrade to Gelato+.
If you are going to upgrade purely for the mockups, you may also want to check out PlaceIt for your mockups.
I found the Gelato app very easy and intuitive to use.
Gelato Print-on-Demand Pros and Cons
Before we wrap this Gelato review up, let's quickly recap on some of the pros and cons of the print-on-demand provider.
- Many production partners, making most orders “local” fulfilment.
- Product pricing is very competitive
- App is easy to use
- Good range of both standard and unique products
- Lack of mockups in free plan
- No all-over-print products
- No Amazon integration
The Final Verdict – Gelato Print-on-Demand
I know it’s easy to just install the apps from the more well-known POD companies, but sometimes you just become another number in the system.
That’s not to say that Gelato isn’t “big”, so don’t expect super personalized service like you might get from a small mom & pop business, but I can definitely see how they might be taking business away from the big players in the POD space.
The localized printing network is a huge drawcard for me personally. Selling in the US is always going to be my main earner, but branching out and testing winning POD designs in smaller nations where it’s cheaper to advertise is a nice strategy to scale your business.
Their product pricing is always pretty damn competitive, and it’s free to install, so why not give Gelato a go?
It’s worth it, I say.
Until next time, thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow my social accounts below!