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Quick Start Guide to Setting up with Merchful POD & Fulfillment

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Welcome! This guide is made to help you get started with using Merchful’s Print on Demand & Fulfillment services easily. It answers key question areas and provides actionable next steps. More information is available at our help center and relevant articles are linked in the below sections. To get started right away, watch the 2-min video below.

Introduction

Merchful was established in 2020 to cater to Print on Demand and Fulfillment requirements in the Middle East region. Built by pioneers in the printing industry with decades of experience, you can be confident your brand will be in the right hands. 

The POD industry in the region is relatively new and we are excited about the significant developments yet to come. We are honored to be leading the way and are developing our services continuously to take POD in the region to a global standard.

Why Merchful Print on Demand?

  • Zero set-up cost
  • Over 25 products to choose from
  • Quick delivery within the MENA region
  • Fulfillment and Branding services
  • Experienced in-house production & customer success team

Platform Choice

In case you haven’t already selected your platform, this is generally the first step in setting up your POD business. There are many resources available online to help you decide which platform would suit your particular brand, business or customers the best. No matter where you sell, you can partner with us for your on demand fulfillment.

Integrations

For those familiar with POD or those that have used or are using other POD services around the world, you would know that integrations are a big part of setting up a POD business. We are working hard to build integrations with major e-commerce platforms and currently have a basic integration with Shopify. We have clients across the region selling on various different platforms and we have a process in place to make it as seamless as possible for you. 

Product Selection

Choose from over 25+ base products such as t-shirts, hoodies, caps, mugs and accessories to design your merchandise. You can find the product description, size charts, pricing, available printing methods, branding options and more all on the product page.

Price displayed next to the product is for the base product and includes printing on one side, for example, the Mens Round Neck T-Shirt costs AED 55 for the t-shirt + one side of printing. For additional printing on the back, it costs an additional AED 15 and on the sleeve it costs an additional AED 10.

Design Prep

Now we talk about the star of your POD store, the designs! This is where you differentiate yourself, appeal to your niche and define your brand. Below are some tips on getting your designs prepared for print-on-demand with Merchful.

  1. Mockups: Ensure you have a clear mockup of your product/design. It should show how the design is placed on the product and how big it should be printed. This is the blueprint for us to know how your final product should look. Take note of each product’s print size limits and the printing methods used (more on that below). You can find printing information for each product on the relevant product pages
  1. Design Files: The actual artwork or design file that needs to be printed on the product. This would ideally be a high resolution .png file with 300 DPI. You could also have this as a vectored PDF. This should match the design shown on the mockup and will be printed as-is. In case your design has multiple ‘options’, such as a white version for dark t-shirt colors and a black version for light t-shirt colors, you could upload a PDF with both artworks in the same file
  1. Additional sides & branding elements: If your design has print on multiple sides, or branding elements such as neck labels, these need to be provided as well. You can have a separate mockup for each print side/location, for example, on the back of the t-shirt, with its associated design file as well

Printing Methods

We print using a variety of printing methods, including Direct-to-Garment (DTG), Direct-to-Film (DTF), Sublimation, Heat Transfer, Print & Cut / CAD cut, Embroidery & more. You can learn more about the various printing methods here.

Since each printing method has their respective pros and cons, as well as certain limitations, it can be a bit confusing at first to decide which printing method works best for which design and product combination. What we usually recommend, is to leave this set to ‘No Preference’ unless you know exactly what type of print method you want. This will allow our print team to decide the optimum print method to use for your design, taking into consideration print quality and durability.

Creating Your First Product

Once you’ve decided what products you want to offer, and have your design files ready, you can then set up your products on our platform. Note, the products created on our platform are for our reference only, you will still need to create these products on your chosen e-commerce or selling platform so that you can direct customers to buy from there.

To start creating products, you can simply go to any Product listed on the website, and upload your Mockup and Artworks. Next to the Add To Cart button, you’ll find an ‘Add to Catalog’ button. Tip: you need to be logged in to see the add to catalog button. Once you click Add to Catalog, there will be a popup asking you to name the product, select the colors and sizes you want to offer this design/product in and if you have any printing method preferences. We recommend to keep this to No Preference if you would like our print team to select the optimum print method for your design.

Once your product is created, it is sent to the Admin for approval. Products can be approved as quick as 1 working hour and up to 1 working day. Once approved, the product is ready to be ordered, or fulfilled for your customer orders. In case you want to just order a sample right away, instead of adding the product to catalog, you can add to cart and checkout straight away to place your sample order.

Sampling

One of the most important steps in setting up your catalog is to sample the goods! It gives you an opportunity to evaluate the quality of the product and print, and judge how best to tailor designs to the specific product. 

To order a sample product, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your Merchful account
  2. View the product you would like to sample
  3. Upload the relevant Mockups and Artworks
  4. Simply add the product to cart & checkout as normal – Note: if you add the product to catalog instead, you will have to wait for the product to be approved before you can place an order for it
  5. You can complete the payment with your wallet funds or use a Credit Card directly via our secure checkout

Your sample will be processed through our normal order process so you can get the full experience as a customer would. In case you have any special requests for the samples, feel free to leave us any notes in the notes section while adding the product. In some cases, since it would be a sample or first order for a new design, we may reach out to you for any clarifications if needed. Note that this may increase lead time slightly.

Payments & Wallet

When paying for orders, you can pay either directly via Credit Card, or for more convenience, you can top up your Merchful wallet in advance. For samples, either method is fine and it is as per your preference. However once your brand/website is live and we are ready to fulfill your customer orders, we highly recommend topping up your wallet. This way, when an order comes through to us, we can process it immediately without delay. In case there are no funds in your wallet, you will receive a notification within 1 working day after placing your order, to top up your wallet for us to process ongoing orders.

The amount you top up is up to you and would be dependent on the volume of orders you are expecting. Your wallet balance is still your money, and in case you need it refunded, you can request it by contacting us. We would only deduct the card processing fees of 3% of the balance you would like returned.

To top up your wallet or track your past transactions, click on Wallet within your Dashboard. The following page will display.

Click the Wallet topup button and enter the amount you would like to top up. Once done, it will add to cart and you can checkout and complete the payment as usual. You will get a confirmation email once the order for wallet topup has been placed. You will also receive emails for each wallet transaction that occurs so you can keep close track of all changes to your wallet.

Placing Orders

One of the most important questions when setting up your POD business, is how will we get the orders? This will depend on the platform you set up on, however the idea is to get us the order information in the easiest and most streamlined way possible so that once everything is set up, your POD and fulfillment business would run as automated as possible. 

You also have the option of placing the orders directly on the platform yourself by putting your customer details in the Shipping address so that they would receive the orders placed. While this would be time consuming and not scalable, it is a way of having full control of what is ordered and when, especially if you don’t have your order platform set up just yet, or if you will be taking orders manually such as via social DMs or directly in person.

Order Sync via Shopify

If you are set up on Shopify, you can install the Merchful app from the Shopify App Catalog. Click here for the Merchful Shopify App. Once installed, you will need to submit the products you have already created (on Shopify) for approval on the Merchful app. In order for these products to be approved, they should have also been added to your catalog on Merchful. We highly recommend keeping the SKUs on your Shopify catalog the same as the Final SKUs generated when creating the product on Merchful.

Once your products are approved on Shopify, any orders for those products will automatically be sent to Merchful for processing. Remember to ensure you have sufficient balance on your Merchful wallet for us to process orders as they are received.

Once the order is printed and shipped, your Shopify order will be updated automatically with the tracking number, and your customer will receive a notification from your store that the order has been shipped, requiring no extra effort on your part.

To learn more about setting up with Shopify, click here.

Order Submission from All Other Platforms

At this time, we only have an integration with Shopify and hope to have more integrations available soon. However, we can easily process your orders no matter where you sell. 

Whenever you receive an order on your platform, there would be an order confirmation or order received email. All you would need to do is to simply forward or auto-forward those emails to our orders@merchful.me address for order processing. Our team will then enter the order on your behalf on Merchful and the payment will be made through your available wallet funds. 

Once the order is printed and shipped, you will receive a confirmation email with the tracking number, which you can then update on your own platform if needed.

Shipping

Once your order is successfully processed from our print location in Dubai, our courier partner will help take the product to your customer’s doorstep. Shipment price and delivery time will vary based on the order weight & delivery address.

The shipment pricing list for GCC countries are listed in the below table.

Country<0.5 Kg<1 Kg
Qatar43 AED57 AED
Bahrain43 AED57 AED
Kuwait50 AED64 AED
Oman43 AED57 AED
Saudi Arabia39 AED46 AED
United Arab Emirates16 AED16 AED

Note: VAT is not included in the shipment pricing list.

The average shipping time for different regions are listed below.

RegionShipping Time
UAE1-2 working days
GCC3-4 working days
Middle East & Indian Subcontinent3-6 working days
Rest of World4-8 working days

Click here to contact our customer support team to know more about our fulfillment services.

Branding

To place your brand name on your own merchandise, click on resources drop down menu and select branding. Branding page will display on the screen, you can have a look at available branding options.

Available branding options

  • Neck labeling 
  • Shipping label
  • Shipping bag stickers

If you scroll down the branding page, you will see Bulk Neck Label/Shipping Stickers Request Form. Then fill the form, attach your design files, share your notes to our production team and send your request.

Click here to know more about our branding and pricing options.

Storage

If you like to store your fast moving product in our warehouse, you can do that with our dubai storage facility. The storage fee is free for your fast selling merchandise. We charge for products which are placed in our warehouse for more than six months and the cost will be deducted from your merchful wallet.

Click here to contact our customer support team to know more about our storage facilities and pricing.

Returns

We accept and refund within 7 days from the date of purchase and only if our customers encountered the following challenges

  • The base products are not in our standard quality
  • The printing quality is not up to the mark
  • Any mismatch between ordered product and delivered product

Click here to know more about our return policy.

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