Are you a creative dreaming of running a thriving lifestyle business with your feet in the sand? If you happen to be a savvy entrepreneur ready to take your Etsy shop to the next level, this article could be just the thing for you.
Gelato is a print on demand platform that gives Etsy sellers like you the tools to create, manage, and grow your online empire effortlessly, it’s also planet-friendly with a near-perfect online reputation, a lower cost than other print on demand platforms, and faster delivery.
In this Gelato Print on Demand review, we’ll dive into the world of Gelato to explore how its seamless integration with Etsy could revolutionize the way you do business. From choosing your products to uploading your unique designs, we’ll explore everything you need to know to use this fab platform to grow your lifestyle business.
What is Gelato Print on Demand?
Gelato is a Norwegian Print on Demand company that started operations in 2012. As of today, the company has more than 5+ million customers and 130+ production partners across 32 countries.
However, Gelato is actually a software company that partners with global production companies to provide fast, cheap, and seamless delivery. Gelato itself lacks production infrastructure, meaning when a merchant orders, the order is automatically connected to the production partner closest to the customer. The partner produces high-quality products and delivers them quickly to customers at a cheaper rate.
This modus operandi of utilizing local production hubs enables Gelato to reduce carbon emissions, improve delivery times, and reduce transit expenses.
For end users or customers, it means lower prices for their purchases! For Etsy merchants, it means increased customer satisfaction, which translates into more customers and increased profits.
Who Is Gelato Print on Demand Services For?
The Gelato Print on Demand service is for any eCommerce business offering customized products to customers through an online store with no in-house printing technologies, production infrastructure, and fulfillment options.
You can use Gelato if you have;
- an Etsy shop offering POD products to customers.
- a small business on platforms like BigCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify.
- a WooCommerce and WordPress-powered online store.
Gelato is a popular choice among Etsy store owners with a POD business looking for cheaper alternatives to services like Printful or Printify.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: TL;DR
1. Production in Destination Country: Gelato has a network of 130+ production partners in 32 countries. This network allows Gelato to produce merchant orders in the order’s destination countries, thereby reducing delivery time, shipping costs, and carbon emissions.
2. Big Product Catalog: The company has 48 categories covering clothing (t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, etc.), calendars, greeting cards, tote bags, drinkware, stationery, wall art, etc. All Gelato’s products are made using sustainable materials. The production process follows national and international safety regulations.
3. Integrations: Gelato offers seamless integration with platforms such as Wix, WooCommerce, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, and more.
4. Order Personalization: Gelato allows personalizing orders with branded labels and custom packaging inserts. Also, there are no minimum order quantities or storage requirements.
5. Customer Support: The company offers a 24×7 customer support team.
Gelato Review: Pros
- Global reach with the world’s largest printing and logistics network in the POD industry.
- Smart routing of merchant orders to local production hubs in the order destination country to reduce shipping time and cost.
- Easy-to-use platform with seamless integration options with popular eCommerce platforms.
- Product quality is better than Gelato alternatives, and this is reflected in their Trustpilot reviews.
- Highly responsive and active customer support.
- A forever free plan with access to all core Gelato features.
Gelato Review: Cons
- Gelato offers only the most popular categories of products (apparel, wallart, drinkware, phone cases, etc.), while some competitors may offer a longer list (sneakers, towels, etc.)
- They lack other printing methods like sublimation, embroidery, and screen printing.
- The free plan doesn’t give access to various personalization tools, premium mockups, image filters, etc. It also doesn’t allow express shipping.
- No phone support, however they are quick to reply to chat.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: Platform Features
You can sign up for Gelato using Google, Facebook, and Apple. Email signup is also available. Once you sign up, you can define a goal, one of which is ‘Just Exploring,’ which is helpful if you just want to look around and explore the platform.
Once you finish the basic signup questionnaire, you’ll see the dashboard.
The dashboard is clean, with left navigation. The dashboard home provides vital educational resources and a monthly profit calculator.
You can access store integration options from the Store menu on the left.
Further, the Product Catalog menu option opens the product’s catalog in the main window. The catalog has intuitive accordion navigation with clearly defined categories.
Overall, the dashboard interface is clean and user-friendly. Everything you need to manage your POD business is easily accessible from the dashboard.
You can even contact customer support directly from the dashboard.
The product catalog gives you access to all Gelato products you can sell through your store.
I really liked the way they arranged the products. It is neat and intuitive, and there’s even a product search bar that you can use (provided you know that the product is available).
The product categories are all arranged using an accordion menu that opens downward when you click on a menu item with a dropdown arrow icon.
You’ll notice a Limited Time Offer option in the products menu. I’m guessing those products don’t sell well because Gelato offers up to a 50% discount for clearance sales.
When you select a product type (for example, T-shirts in Men’s Clothing), you’ll see individual products with variations and prices.
Once you select a product, you’ll see the product specifications page, where you can find the following information:
- Countries where the product can be fulfilled
- Link to the list of all production hubs
- Product price and shipping charges
- Estimated delivery time
- Print specifications
- Style information
- Fabric type
- Special features
You’ll also find the option to design the product using the design editor. Once inside the design editor, you can add your custom designs before ordering a print.
Gelato has an integrated design editor, which you can access after selecting an item from the product details page.
It’s a drag-and-drop editor that allows design layering similar to photo editing software such as Photoshop, GIMP, etc.
You can quickly upload files or use graphics from Getty Images and Shutterstock (you’ll need a premium plan to use those resources).
Gelato will allow you to play with layouts and shapes, but you’ll need a premium plan to use Gelato’s graphics collection.
You can preview your designs or save them as templates for future use. Overall, the editor is clean and user-friendly, and even if you have limited design experience (like moi) it’s easy to use.
Gelato provides detailed analytics for your account. You can get an overview of the total orders, destination countries, total sold products, total cost, and orders by country.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: Customer Support
Gelato offers 24×7 customer support. You can access their support directly from inside your Gelato account dashboard. However, when you click on the Customer Support menu item, Gelato will redirect you to their knowledge base page in a new tab.
They have dozens of tutorials and help articles that you can use to resolve issues. If you need further assistance, click on their “Contact Us” button, which will take you to another page where you can access chat support.
Unfortunately, the chat window is a virtual assistant that will try to resolve your issue before connecting you to a real human.
I didn’t like their support approach because I prefer direct contact with a human and not a bot. But again, that’s me! The virtual assistant may be able to resolve your issue.
Another problem I noted is phone support. I really love to call and talk because that allows for a speedy resolution. However, they are quick to respond over chat, as reflected also by their online reviews.
From my experience, using a virtual assistant on first contact is a cost-cutting approach, and that’s something I don’t expect from a company with a global presence. However, neither Printful nor Printify offer this option either.
Setting aside my preferences, I did notice that Gelato’s customer support is very active on online platforms, especially on Trustpilot. Even the best companies struggle to get 100% positive reviews and I was particularly impressed with their handling of the few negative comments they receive. Here’s an example;
You can read all Trustpilot reviews here.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: Pricing
Gelato has one of the most competitive prices in the market. They have a forever-free plan that you can use to run your small business efficiently. However, you’ll need to upgrade to scale your business and access premium tools and resources.
Forever Free: $0 per month
- Recommended for 0-5 orders a month.
- Production in 32 countries.
- Integrations with Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce.
- API-based integration is available.
- Access to the design editor.
Gelato+: $14.99 a month or $139 a year
- Recommended for more than 5 and less than 50 orders a month.
- Everything in the free plan.
- 30% on standard shipping.
- Access to Mockup Studio and premium mockups.
- Access to stock graphics from Getty Images and Shutterstock.
- Packaging inserts and branded labels.
- Access to product expansion tools.
Gelato Gold: $99 a month or $999 a year
- Recommended for 50 to 499 sales a month.
- Everything in Gelato+.
- 30 days of free shipping with the annual plan.
- 50% discount on shipping.
- 30% off on branded labels and packaging inserts.
- Smart shipping pricing.
- Dedicated customer success manager.
Gelato Platinum: Custom pricing
- Recommended for more than 500 products a month.
- Everything in the Gold plan.
- Fixed-rate shipping on all orders with Gelato local production.
- Dedicated implementation services.
- Expert hours with Gelato’s consulting team.
Effortless Integration: Gelato Print on Demand Meets Etsy
One of the standout features of Gelato is its seamless integration with Etsy, making it a breeze to connect your store and start reaping the benefits. To get started, simply follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Create your Gelato account: Head to Gelato’s website and sign up for a free account. This will give you access to their platform, allowing you to explore the product catalog and get a feel for how everything works.
Step 2: Connect your Etsy store: Once you have a Gelato account, navigate to the “Integrations” section and select “Connect” next to the Etsy logo. You’ll be redirected to Etsy’s website, where you’ll be prompted to authorize the connection between your store and Gelato.
Step 3: Import or create your products: With your Etsy store connected, you can now either import existing products from your shop or create new ones using Gelato’s design tool. Be sure to select the appropriate print-on-demand items from Gelato’s catalog for each of your designs.
Step 4: Set up shipping rates: Gelato offers dynamic shipping rates, which automatically calculate the shipping cost based on the customer’s location. To enable this feature, head to the “Shipping” section within your Gelato account and follow the instructions to set up dynamic rates for your Etsy store.
Step 5: Sync and publish your products: Once you have completed the previous steps, you’re ready to sync and publish your products to your Etsy shop. Simply hit “Publish” on the product page in Gelato, and your print-on-demand items will be live in your Etsy store, ready for customers to purchase.
And there you have it! With just a few simple steps, you’ve successfully integrated Gelato Print on Demand with your Etsy store, unlocking new opportunities for growth and success in your lifestyle business.
Gelato Print on Demand Review – Alternatives
1. Gelato vs. Printful
Like Gelato, Printful is a popular POD business, but with a wider product range and more printing methods. However, Printful’s prices are higher across most products.
You can use both Printful and Gelato for free, but you must pay to use advanced tools and premium resources.
Printful has a custom packaging option, which requires merchants to order the mailers in bulk and send them to Printful’s warehouses. Gelato also has a branded packaging option but with no minimum number of orders – these stickers and labels are printed on demand once you receive an order and added to the parcel before shipping.
Both companies will handle packaging, storage, and fulfillment at additional costs. Unlike Gelato, Printful has its own printing infrastructure.
2. Gelato vs. Printify
Printify has the most extensive product catalog among all POD service providers. However, its fulfillment services are available in fewer countries than Gelato and orders do not get automatically routed to the closest facility.
Compared to Gelato, Printify’s products are slightly cheaper, but Gelato offers better quality. Additionally, Gelato allows you to add branded packaging to your orders.
If you opt for a Printify Premium subscription for $20 a month, you’ll receive a 20% discount on all products. In contrast, Gelato offers 30% off shipping costs for $14.99 (included in Gelato+ subsciption)
3. Gelato vs. SPOD
Unlike Gelato, SPOD maintains its own factories and extensive printing infrastructure. However, their product offering is more limited in categories other than apparel.
SPOD has factories in Las Vegas (US), Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic and focuses primarily on North American and European markets. This limitation makes Gelato a better option if you want to serve customers across the whole world.
However, SPOD has lower prices than Gelato for certain apparel products and a lower starting price for shipping. This makes SPOD a potentially better choice for merchants looking to make some compromises in quality for a lower cost.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: FAQs
Do I need the Gelato app to connect Gelato with my Etsy store?
No, you don’t need the Gelato app to connect your Gelato account with your Etsy business.
Connecting Gelato and Etsy is simple. From your Gelato account, go to Stores and then click on the Connect button for Etsy. Now, follow the simple on-screen instructions to complete the integration.
Is Gelato a free print-on-demand service?
You can use Gelato for free or upgrade to a paid subscription plan to access additional tools and resources. Irrespective of whether you are a free or paid customer of Gelato, you must pay for the products and shipping.
Upgrading to a subscription plan can get you discounts on shipping charges but not on the products. If you want discounts on product prices, Printify will be a better choice.
Does Gelato have a minimum order quantity requirement?
No, there is no minimum order quantity or upfront charge. You only pay for the product and its shipment. Gelato has a pay-as-you-go model. Gelato prices depend on your product type, the location of the printing hub, and the order’s shipping destination.
Gelato Print on Demand Review: Summary
Imagine having the power to reach a global audience with your stunning Etsy designs, all while enjoying the benefits of a print-on-demand service tailored to your needs. That’s where Gelato comes in!
It’s true that finding the perfect print-on-demand partner for your Etsy shop depends on various factors, such as shipping destinations, product selection, and delivery speed. But, Gelato’s unrivaled worldwide coverage could be just the ticket to take your business to new heights!
While Gelato’s product catalog may not be as extensive as some competitors, this focused approach enables them to excel in providing a seamless experience for the items they do offer. If you’re seeking to tap into those high-demand, low-competition niches, Gelato might still be the perfect partner which can be complemented by other services like Printify and Printful.
By choosing Gelato for the products they specialize in, you’ll be able to cater to a broader global audience, giving your Etsy shop the edge in today’s competitive marketplace.
To ensure it’s the right fit for your business, we recommend taking advantage of Gelato’s free account option. Explore their product catalog, and if it matches your needs, consider upgrading to a paid monthly subscription to unlock the full potential of their services.