Welcome to my review of Gelato POD. Gelato advertise themselves as a global print on demand company. They have 34 locations around the world, they mostly seem to be in Europe and from what I can see there’s only around 9 of the 34 locations that print on clothing. Today we’ll be taking a look to see if they are a viable alternative to Printify (Spoiler: Yes, but only if you value global fulfilment) Let’s get into the details.
UPDATE November 2023: Please see my new post regarding Gelato POD, something to take into consideration before choosing to go with Gelato as your POD partner – Read here.
If you’d prefer to watch this review, please take a look at the video below, if not please carry on reading after the video.
The test is quite simple, I basically placed an order with Gelato for both a black and white t-shirt containing my print test design. Both shirts are the same model, Bella Canvas 3001, in size large.
The design consists of a challenging white photo. I chose this photo because it contains lots of subtle shades of white that can be difficult to print. The same goes for the dark photo. Lots of different shades of black and other dark colors that can be hard to print accurately especially on fabric.
The rest of the test design is just different shades of colors, print alignment test, font size tests and another challenging photo that contains lots of vibrant, contrasting colors.
A little disclaimer before we start the review, I’m based in the UK so my sample shirts will be from their UK location and therefore only a small representation of their entire network.
However I’m assuming that Gelato have some form of standard that their print locations work towards meaning that there shouldn’t be too much variation between the print locations.
My Previous Experience with Gelato
I can’t remember the exact timings, I think it was about a year or so ago, when Gelato first started printing on clothing.
I was invited to beta test the platform and product offerings.
Now of course, Gelato were new to clothing and clearly stated that the service was in beta. Unfortunately I found the service then to be awful, I think I placed maybe about 10 test orders and most of them just never turned up.
Credit to Gelato, the customer service was (and still is) great, they did refund every order, but it didn’t leave me wanting to use them for my business. Not until they had all the issues sorted out anyway.
Fast forward about half a year and I decided to try them out again, to see if these issues had been ironed out and it does seem like they’ve sorted most of these issues out, lets get into the details.
Gelato have a very easy to use web app, pretty similar to Printify or Printful if you’ve used those before.
Offers all the usual marketplace connections, Shopify, Etsy, Woocommerce ect.. and everything you’ve expect from a POD supplier. An easy to use order management page, a mockup/product creation flow.
I don’t really have any complaints with their website. I think its pretty simple and easy to use.
If you’ve got a store connected then all your orders with connected products get automatically imported, but you can also place manual orders if that suites your business better.
Products They Offer
I’m not gonna go through everything they offer because they offer a lot, but I can give you a quick overview.
So using Gelato you’ll be able to sell Clothing, Wall Art, Mugs, Photobooks, Greeting cards, Calendars and general stationary.
Regarding clothing, since this is what we’re focusing on today. The cheapest shirt they offer is around $8 and this is the Gildan Softstyle shirt.
The Bella Canvas 3001 shirt, which is the shirt I have here, is a little more expensive being just under $11. Now compared to Printify where the same shirt would cost you a tad over $8, gelato does seems to be slightly more expensive and this goes for most of their products.
However you are getting easy global fulfillment, so if this is important for you, I think it might be worth the higher product costs.
While we’re on the matter of pricing, I should mention one of Gelatos biggest downsides and that is how they manage tax.
Unless you’re registered with all the US states and have Resale Certificates, or EU/UK VAT numbers, then you will be charged sales tax or VAT on all your orders. I say this is a negative, not because I think you should avoid paying tax, but because it ends up with you getting doubled taxed.
For example with Etsy, they charge your customer sales tax and remit it automatically for you. Then when Printify imports this order, it knows that sales tax has already been paid and doesn’t then charge you any tax. Whereas with Gelato, your customer pays the sales tax on Etsy, then you also get charged sales tax on the order by Gelato. Which then eats into your profit margins. I really wish they would handle it the way Printify does.
|Gelato||Printify (Monster Digital)|
|Bellas Canvas 3001||$10.95||$8.57*|
|Shipping to UK||$5||$14|
*New Printify pricing as of Feb 2022
So, the shirts I ordered cost me $10.95 each with shipping coming to about $5. Just for comparison the same shirts ordered from Monster Digital on Printify cost $8.05 with shipping being $14. So this shows one advantage to global fulfillment. Greatly reduced shipping costs and shipping time for you customers.
If we take a look at some example profit margins. With Gelato, if you sell a shirt for $23.99 to someone in the US with free shipping, which is what I do. Then this would come to about $14.38 with the Bella Canvas 3001 tee and shipping cost, leaving you with $9.61 profit. Of course this doesn’t take into account sales taxes or any marketplace fees.
Speaking of marketplace fees, I have created a Etsy Profit calculator. Which is completely free to use and allows you to estimate your profit for sales on Etsy more accurately.
Let’s take the Gildan Softsyle Shirt this time, plus US shipping comes to a total of about $11.59. If we sell that on Etsy for $23.99 with free shipping that gives us a profit, after Etsy fees of about $9. Try the calculator out for yourself.
Processing & Shipping Times
I placed my order on 1st of September – yes I’m very late making this review! and my order was shipped on the 8th, so they definitely don’t have the fastest processing times. However delivery of my order only took 1 day, which is insanely good. For what you lose with their processing times you defiantly make up with the fast shipping times.
Just a note on their processing times, I have been using Gelato for the orders I get from my EU customers and the processing time does vary quite a bit. For example orders placed with a German address seems to ship out in a day or two. So there are defiantly some differences with their print locations.
When the order did arrive, I was very glad to see that it was packaged in a paper bag, completely recyclable, so they defiantly get points for that. I’m hoping all their print locations use the same packaging!
Okay lets move onto arguably the most important part, the actual print quality.
The first thing I like to compare is how the print compares to the mockup on the site, and as you can see, it does seems to match pretty well. I do think they’ve been printed slightly higher up the shirt than what the mockup shows you, but this isn’t that noticeable. The print size Gelato use is most similar to SwiftPOD on Printify, about 3700px x 4900px. So it is on the smaller side, but will work fine for most people.
Starting with the white shirt, everything has printed well. Nothing sticks out as being bad or low quality. But it is noticeably less saturated than I’m used to, however this might just be because I have the same design printed by other companies to directly compare it to.
If we look at the dark print, this has printed mostly fine. It’s only when you get close up that you can see the white fabric showing through slightly. But this isn’t noticeable from a short distance away.
Looking at the white photo, again this has printed fine. All the detail from the original photo is visible, even right down to the subtle shadows. I don’t really have anything negative to say, its a good print from my point of view!
Moving on to the alignment icons, you can see that everything has printed mostly well and looks sharp enough. Everything does have a very slight blur to it, however this is only noticeable on the text, but even then it’s not that big of a deal until you get down to the smallest text size, which you probably won’t have in your designs anyway. It does appear that they had some issues printing the thinest lines though, so something to keep in mind if your designs are really detailed and contain fine lines.
Looking at the colors, everything looks accurate. However I can see that in the gradient that some colors have been missed out. This is especially noticeable on the purple to blue to green section, it seems that the in-between colors just haven’t been printed. Maybe their printers only has limited color range, I’m not sure.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this print. There’s nothing bad about it, and I’d feel comfortable selling this quality to customers.
Moving on to the black shirt now. At first glance everything has printed well and nothing jumps out as bad, just like with the white shirt. However on closer inspection, I can see a few issues. But most of them are the same issues as with the white shirt.
Looking at the white print, while it is good overall I can see that the white is a little patchy and a little chunky up close. However, I will say that this isn’t a Gelato only problem, this is just how DTG printing looks on dark fabrics.
Looking at the different shades of white, some people swear that using an off white results in a better print. However I’m just not seeing that, every shade of white has just printed out white and they’re all the same quality.
I’m not gonna waste your time and go over everything again as the print quality is pretty similar to the white shirt, so I’ll give you a quick overview. The dark photo has printed perfect. no complaints here. The white photo has printed well, just suffers with the black fabric showing through a bit.
Looking at the alignments icons, everything has printed well even the thinest lines, a contrast with the white shirt. However the black shirt does suffer from alignment issues, but only slightly.
As you can see here with the C and M squares are further down then they should be revealing the white undercoat (albeit very minor). This is the same with the gradient strip. Speaking of the gradient strip, this also suffers the same issue as the white shirt, with it seemingly missing out some colors.
Overall none of these issues are massive, and I think most customers wouldn’t even notice these issues anyway.
After the first wash
After every review I like to give the shirts a wash, just to see how the print holds up. And I’m happy to say that the prints look exactly the same as when they went in. Obviously this is only one wash, but I will continue washing these shirts and report back in the future.
Overall I’ve been pretty happy with Gelato, their service is pretty good. And a massive improvement from when the apparel service was in beta. The website is easy to use and they offer a large range of items for you to sell with the added advantage of having global fulfilment.
I’m pretty happy with their print quality also, I’ve been using them for my EU customers for a good 6 months now, it’s not all perfect as I have had a few issues but they were all quickly fixed by their customer service people.
They are definitely a Printify alternative in my eyes, even if they are more expensive. Their website is very easy to use and their print quality is comparable to the best from Printify. If you are based in Europe, I do think they are one of the best here. However if you’re based in the US and only want to ship to the US, then I do think you’d be better off with Printify.
In my next reviews, I will be taking a look at The Dream Junction and FYBY, so consider subscribing to my Youtube channel or newsletter if you’re not already, so you don’t miss out on that.
See you next time! -Tom