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In what seems to be like an endless sea of print on demand companies emerging each year, there’s a few that stand-out and quickly build themselves up to being one of the preferred POD vendors.
SPOD is one of those vendors that is fast gaining popularity as one of the preferred Shopify apps for print on demand sellers, so I thought it was high time that I wrote a SPOD review to see what all the hype is about.
Even though the SPOD brand is relatively new to the scene, they’re certainly no small fry when it comes to the apparel printing game.
SPOD is owned by German company Spread Group who have a range of brands including the well-known apparel marketplace Spreadshirt. According to their website, Spread Group currently boasts an annual revenue of over $180million USD (€169mil).
Heck, they must be doing something right. Right?
Well, let’s find out as we dive into this SPOD review and you can decide if they are worth adding to your arsenal of print on demand vendors.
What Does SPOD Do?
Like all print-on-demand vendors, SPOD coordinates the printing, packing, and shipping for your orders when you make a sale.
SPOD eliminates the burdens of storing inventory, managing manufacturing, and shipping products out to your customers. All you need to do is load up your POD designs onto SPOD products on your Shopify store and make sales!
Products on SPOD have a transparent pricing for their products which includes the printing portion and their shipping prices, whilst being slightly confusing to work out which I’ll explain further along, are very reasonable too.
Ultimately, doing print on demand with a company like SPOD is a terrific way to make money online and if your business grows enough, you can easily make this your primary source of income.
Where Does SPOD Print and Ship Their Products From?
When you first install SPOD you’re asked whether you want to print from the USA or Europe because that is where they currently have facilities.
If you read my Printify review you’ll know that I described the differences between a ‘middle-man’ company and a POD company that has their own manufacturing. SPOD is the latter, they currently have 5 printing facilities.
SPOD operates two plants in the United States and three in Europe.
The U.S. factories are in Henderson, Nevada, and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, while the European factories are in Leipzig, Germany, Krupka, Czech Republic, and Legnica, Poland.
Almost all SPOD print-on-demand factories dispatch worldwide. The European factories can deliver globally much quicker and are a more dependable alternative for global consumers.
Is SPOD Different from Spreadshirt?
Spreadshirt and SPOD fulfill orders via the same infrastructure. SPOD generates orders via your Shopify store, whereas Spreadshirt allows you to sell on its marketplace only. Both alternatives complement each other.
What Products Can You Sell With SPOD?
SPOD has a diverse product catalog, like many of the bigger competing POD companies.
Both the USA and European fulfillment centers appear to have the same or at least very similar product catalogs with the following items being offered:
- All ‘standard’ apparel such as tees, hoodies, tank tops, polos etc.
- Various kid’s and infant’s apparel
- Drinkware, bandanas, aprons, phone cases
- Posters, stickers and buttons
What Products DON'T They Have?
One winning product that SPOD does not is print-on-demand jewelry. Jewelry sellers should consider using Shineon anyway as they are by far the leaders in that field.
They also seem to lack any all-over-print products, but thankfully there are companies like Subliminator to fill that void.
The SPOD app is free to install and use and at the time of writing, they don’t offer a ‘premium’ subscription cost like some other apps do.
Staple items like tees, hoodies, and coffee mugs seem to be quite reasonably priced. Let’s compare a few.
Whilst SPOD also has European fulfillment, we're just going to look at the USA pricing today.
Standard T-shirt: Their entry-level tee is Fruit of the Loom brand, which is actually quite good, and costs sellers $7.11.
Standard Hoodie: A Hanes P170, their basic hoodie will set you back $18.48.
11oz Mug: Sellers will pay $7.73 for a standard mug.
The above prices are in USD and include one print, as you would expect with any competing POD vendor.
SPOD Production, Shipping & Fulfillment
SPOD claims to be the best in the business when it comes to fast production and fulfillment and they also claim to have less than 1% complaint rate.
SPOD states on their website that 95% of their orders are made in 48 hours. This means they are produced and ready to ship after only a couple of days.
According to statistics released by SPOD, more than half of the orders received are actually ready for shipment within 24 hours. This excellent turnaround time is unique to SPOD and gives it a great advantage over other POD models on Shopify.
Of course, the time it takes your products to actually get delivered to your customer can vary greatly depending on the shipping destination and the current workloads of postal networks.
SPOD Shipping Methods and Costs
Unlike many print on demand vendors that charge a fixed cost per product, SPOD bases their shipping prices on overall order value instead of the number of items.
Overall cost is calculated on what it costs you as a seller, not the retail cost that you charge your customers.
Standard shipping is reasonably priced when you calculate how much it costs with their shipping calculator.
For example, if you are shipping hoodie within the USA, it will cost you $6.35 whereas if you’re using a vendor like Printful, you will pay $7.99 to ship a hoodie. These sorts of savings really add up and can be passed on to your customers.
SPOD merchants can offer their buyers three shipping options – standard, premium, and express. The default option, of course, is standard shipping which is USPS.
Premium shipping is via USPS priority mail and is only marginally more expensive at $7.67 to send a hoodie in the US.
The price for express shipping jumps up quite a lot, but it gets to your customer a lot faster and is handled by FedEx.
SPOD Customization & Design Tool
SPOD has a product customization tool that allows buyers to create bespoke designs using their own creativity with their own images and text. There is also a catalog of free designs provided by SPOD, but honestly they look more like clipart.
So let's start with this product above that I created quickly. The intention here is to let the customer add some text above the Skull design (which was from the SPOD design catalog).
The one main problem I see is that there is no way to limit the customizer to only allow customers to add text. They can change products, add images, change text sizes, fonts, colors etc.
This is too many variables in my opinion and I feel like the conversion rate on something like this will be low.
It's a cool idea, but not sure how practical it is right now with the level of customization available.
The SPOD design catalog has a heap of images if you want to create your own design inside the app, but they are all look like clipart so you may need to spend some time finding something suitable for a POD design.
So whilst the customizer is quite cool, you would need to give instructions to your customers or just trust that they will have enough patience to work out how to use it without messing everything up!
Print Quality of SPOD Products
When using the print on demand model for selling on Shopify, sellers must consider that they are not manufacturing or stocking inventory, and the shipping happens from a remote location. This means that quality control is not in their hands, and they're dependent on the POD partner's commitment to quality.
With SPOD, you can rest easy that the manufacturing is handled by a partner that has processed more than 5 million orders with less than a 1% complaint rate.
By all accounts, sellers who choose to sell via SPOD face a very low risk of dealing with dissatisfied customers.
If you're contacted by your customer with a complaint regarding the product’s quality, you need to forward an image of the product and the order I.D. to SPOD. If SPOD considers the customer's grievance to be genuine, it will replace the misprinted or low-quality product or issue a refund.
Quality issues that SPOD will generally rectify include:
- Wrong size
- Incorrect color garment
- Wrong product type
- Wrong design
- Incorrect design placement
- Poor design application.
Issues that SPOD will NOT recitfy:
- An individual's taste
- Typos on the product customizer tool
- Poor design resolution
These types of issues are generally not considered product-quality problems by SPOD, or any other POD vendor for that matter.
With SPOD, sellers can order samples at a 20% discount which is a great opportunity to test SPOD's capabilities to deliver high quality products.
SPOD Customer Service and Support
SPOD has a reputation for excellent customer service. All aspects of customer service are handled by an experienced team. Enquiries are handled by humans and not chatbots; merchants are assured of timely responses to their queries.
Support is provided for both USA and European sellers by the appropriate geographical support team.
SPOD’s Policy on Missing Packages
SPOD accepts claims filed within 30 days of the expected arrival date. After a claim is filed for untracked, the merchant must confirm the address with the customer before SPOD processes the claim.
If the address is accurate and the tracking shows that the package has not been delivered, then in such cases, the package is re-sent. However, for packages showing as being delivered, no fresh deliveries are issued, and if they are, then the seller must bear the expense.
SPOD App Quality of User Experience
SPOD is very easy to navigate and provides an intuitive user experience. If you’ve been a POD seller for any amount of time, you’ll know that having an easy-to-use app is an essential factor contributing to the success of a print on demand company.
Yep, us sellers are a fickle bunch and if something is too hard we tend to just jump to another, easier solution. 😉
The app and all its features appear to load fast, and you can alter designs quickly with no errors or annoying bugs.
When SPOD first launched, it was a Shopify app. Now they have a few more integrations but not a huge amount.
Here’s SPOD’s list of integrations, at the time of writing this review:
- Order Desk (used to sync with Amazon, Etsy, eBay and many other third party services)
- SPOD API
Pros and Cons of SPOD
Shopify integrates with many POD vendors apart from SPOD, as I’m sure you’re well aware. If you wish to choose SPOD over the likes of Printify, Printful, or Teelaunch then you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of selling with SPOD.
- Quick turnaround times.
- Both USA and European fulfillment.
- High-quality production and print.
- Customization feature.
- Merchants can add branded labels, clothing tags, and embroidery patches.
- 20% discount on sample orders
- Offers fewer products than competitors.
- Merchants cannot integrate the app with other marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy or eBay. (Except with Order Desk, which isn’t ideal)
- No Canada, United Kingdom or Australia manufacturing, yet.
SPOD is a feature-rich app amongst the best print-on-demand vendors and one of the most popular Shopify apps. You can get started with SPOD very fast, and the learning curve for beginners is a short one.
So if you’re wanting to start your print-on-demand dropshipping business with ease, you can do so with SPOD; your buyers are guaranteed quality products and a great user experience.
Thanks again, stay tuned for my next article and in the meantime…jump into my free Facebook community with over 6,000 other aspiring print on demand entrepreneurs.