Teespring, recently rebranded as Spring, is a social commerce platform that allows you to create and sell custom products online.
Because the products are print on demand (POD), there are no upfront costs or risks. If your products don’t sell, you don’t lose anything except the time it took to digitally create them.
*While I do sell merchandise on Spring, I am not an affiliate and do not earn any commission from Spring for this review.
Here is what Spring’s website has to say about their products and values:
“Each product sold on [Spring] goes through a series of quality assurance checks to ensure the best experience for users and their customers. All product suppliers are asked to comply with an ethical code of conduct that covers health and safety regulations, labor and human rights laws, and ethical business practices. We also prioritize suppliers who offer eco-friendly products or use practices that reduce environmental impact.
Our goal is to empower anyone, anywhere to turn their ideas into products, brands, and businesses. We’re proud to provide a platform that enables people to make a positive impact on the world or their own life. [Spring] is committed to a standard of excellence in every aspect of the business—including the ethical and responsible conduct in all operations by respecting the rights of all individuals and the environment. Compliance with health and safety regulations, labor and human rights laws, working towards minimal environmental impact, and ethical business practices are required by all [Spring] employees as well as suppliers of services and products.”
Is Spring / Teespring Legit?
Yes, Spring is a legitimate company. I discovered the platform through YouTube when I noticed that a LOT of influencers had their Teespring products displayed under their videos. After noticing just how many influencers were all using the same company for their merchandise, I decided to look into Teespring and learn more.
My Experience With Spring
Is it a perfect solution? No, far from it. Spring definitely has its pros and cons, which is normal for any company.
Overall, it’s a decent platform, and it seems to be improving (especially since the rebrand). This has kept me hopeful that Spring will continue to improve and evolve into a phenomenal platform, so for now, I’m feeling confident enough to stick it out through the transition since it seems to be trending in the right direction.
Let’s break down the pros and cons I’ve experienced with Spring so far.
Here is where Spring truly shines:
- There are no fees to use it. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Spring is totally free for you to use!
- You don’t have to deal with shipping, returns, or customer service. As someone who has worked in customer service before and knows firsthand how stressful and difficult it can be, this is an AMAZING perk! Spring gives you the freedom to create and sell your products without the hassle of solving shipping issues and pacifying customer complaints for problems. They take care of all of that for you!
- A POD approach means no monetary risk or waste. As I briefly mentioned in the beginning, you don’t have to risk investing in merchandise and having it not sell (unless you order in bulk to sell on your own). When selling directly through Spring, your products do not exist until somebody places an order.
- Your storefront is somewhat customizable. It has its limits, but the storefront editing capabilities of Spring are much better than Teespring’s old version.
- Spring features tech integrations with sites such as YouTube, Twitch, and Streamlabs. There are some caveats, however. For example, you must have at least 10,000 YouTube subscribers and be a part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) before you can integrate and feature your Spring merch on your YouTube channel.
- You have total control over your pricing and profit margin. Some of Spring’s competitors limit you to a set price range. That isn’t an issue here. As long as you’re charging enough to cover the base price of the product, you can set both the USD and EU pricing and easily adjust the numbers to change your profit margin. (Tip: if you know you’ll be running promos, make sure your profit margin is large enough to handle the discounts.)
- You can create your own promo codes. Spring gives you control to create codes with whatever name you like, choose whether to offer free shipping or a discount as either a percentage or dollar amount, and set an expiration date (or let it run forever). You have analytics to see how many people used your code.
- Overall decent material quality. When you select apparel products, you have several options for the materials. If you want a lower base price for a higher profit margin, you can choose the most basic material. My products are all in the middle/premium range, and while I’ve been mostly satisfied with the quality of the samples I’ve ordered, I can’t personally attest to how good the lowest quality options are. So far, everything has survived multiple washes.
- There’s a wide variety of products to choose from. And the selection is growing! From apparel, to home accessories, to digital accessories, Spring has been expanding their options and adding new unlockable features like sleeve prints after you make a few sales. The current product list as of May 2021:
- Coloring Book
- Photo Filter
- Digital Art
- Digital Planner
- Digital Wallpaper
- Sound File
- Image File
- Virtual Background
- Emotes and Overlays
- Video File
- Digital Product
- Unisex/Men’s T-Shirts
- Women’s T-Shirts
- Long Sleeve Tees
- Hoodies and Sweatshirts
- Tank Tops
- Kid and Baby Apparel
- Eco-Conscious Apparel
- Sleeve Print*
- All-Over Print Joggers
- All-Over Women’s Sports Bra*
- All-Over Print Women’s Swimsuit*
- Indoor Pillow
- Canvas Print
- Beach Towel
- Fleece Blanket
- Shower Curtain*
- Wall Tapestry
- Yoga Mat
- Cloth Face Mask
- Neck Gaiter
- iPhone Case
- Samsung Case
- Die Cut Sticker
- Fanny Pack
- Accessory Pouch
- Cinch Sack*
- Tote Bag
- All-Over Tote Bag*
- Drawstring Bag*
- Trucker Hat*
- Dad Cap*
- Duffle Bag*
- Custom Pin*
- Custom PVC Keychain*
- Organic Tote Bag
- Custom Patch
(* = unlockable item)
The Downside to Spring
The platform has a lot of perks, but it also has its fair share of cons as well:
- Shipping costs are high for both creators and customers. Because Spring relies on various printing facilities, your items don’t all ship from one place at the same time. And they charge you for every single item. The first item is at the regular shipping price, and subsequent items are at a slightly lower shipping price, but it all adds up very quickly if you’re ordering multiple products. Teespring has been promising creators a better shipping deal for over a year now, so the jury’s still out on whether they’ll deliver as they continue to make changes with the Spring rebrand.
- The colors on the website aren’t always accurate. This has been a major pain point for me. In some cases, the fabric color is a nearly perfect match. In others, it’s pretty far off. You can see some examples below. On the Kit hoodie, the gray I received is so dark that it’s hard to see the black on the design, unlike the digital version. For the A6 listing, every single product is supposed to be printed on black because that’s how I designed it. The T-shirt (top of the photo) came out fine, but the leggings (bottom of the photo) are shown as a true black on the website and arrived printed on gray fabric. Spring customer service tried to convince me it was “light black” when I emailed them about it. Sorry, but “light black” = gray, which doesn’t work for my design, and the website clearly shows that they’re supposed to be black-black. I ended up removing the leggings from my listing since it was so far off. Creators shouldn’t have to order a sample of every single product in every single color to compare if it’s accurate to the website image.
- You can’t add two versions of the same product in the same listing. For example, my Project Alpha listing features the white Alpha symbol for the design. If I have a premium hoodie with the white symbol in my listing, I can’t also make a premium hoodie with the symbol in black. It would have to be in a completely separate listing.
- You can’t order from different listings at the same time. When you order your samples, you can’t currently combine the items all into one order if you’re getting different designs from different listings. So, for example, if I’m ordering a Kit hoodie and a Project Alpha T-shirt, I have to do so in two separate orders. I can, however, order an A6 hoodie, T-shirt, accessory pouch, and sticker all in the same order since they’re all from the same listing.
- The storefront has improved with the Spring rebrand, but it’s still limited. I don’t love that I have no way to break my products up by listing. And while you can star certain products to feature them at the top of your storefront, you can’t organize them yourself to control the order in which they’re displayed.
- Spring needs to better communicate issues to the creators. I had created a sleeve print on the long-sleeve women’s flowy tee. This isn’t something you can just do on your own; you have to submit a request for the sleeve print and submit it for approval. The product was approved without any problems.
But when a customer tried to place an order, it ended up being cancelled and refunded due to a “production issue.” She waited a couple of weeks and then tried again with the same results. I reached out to Spring to find out what the production issue was. Turns out, they couldn’t actually print the sleeves on this type of shirt, which means A) they never should have approved my request, and B) if orders were being cancelled, I should have been contacted and alerted of the issue so I could act on it. Had I not known the customer personally, I would have continued to obliviously advertise this item without realizing there was a problem. Spring cited “customer privacy” as the reason for not contacting me, but they still could have let me know something was wrong with my product without sharing specific order information.
Spring isn’t perfect. I’ve had some headaches with the platform, and while their customer service has been nice and fairly responsive, they haven’t always been the most helpful when it comes to solving issues (“light black”… come on, that’s gray and you know it).
But I’ve seen a lot of growth and improvement over the last few months since the rebrand. There are more products, more options, more features, and more customization abilities. Products are easier to edit than they used to be. Branding capabilities have improved.
I’m hopeful that more positive changes (such as shipping solutions) are coming, and I’m willing to continue using the platform to see what’s on the horizon. For now, it serves my needs. If Spring could solve the shipping costs and color inaccuracies, I would be satisfied despite the other minor inconveniences.