Navigating Printful's Sales Tax Changes

Navigating Printful's Sales Tax Changes

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Changes to Printful Platform for dropshipping
  3. Rationale Behind Sales Tax Charging
  4. Economic Presence and Sales Tax Obligations
  5. Thresholds for Sales Tax Remittance
  6. Printful's Sales Tax Charging System
  7. Benefits of Printful Charging Sales Tax
  8. Challenges with Sales Tax on Etsy
  9. Printful's Response to Sales Tax on Etsy
  10. Mitigating Sales Tax Impact on Pricing Strategies
  11. Promotional Strategies to Offset Sales Tax Costs
  12. Conclusion

Changes Coming to the Printful Platform for Dropshipping

In recent times, many sellers using the Printful platform for dropshipping and print-on-demand sales on various e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have noticed significant changes relating to sales tax. This article aims to shed light on the reasons behind these changes and discuss how Printful is adapting its system to comply with sales tax regulations.


The print-on-demand business model has gained immense popularity in recent years, enabling entrepreneurs to create custom products without investing in inventory. Printful, a well-known print-on-demand service provider, has been instrumental in making this business model accessible and efficient for sellers. However, as laws evolve, new requirements and obligations arise, such as the collection and remittance of sales tax.

Changes to Printful Platform for Dropshipping

Since March 1st, many Printful users have noticed the sudden appearance of sales tax charges on their orders. This change can be attributed to a ruling by the Supreme Court regarding economic presence and sales tax obligations. The ruling states that businesses no longer need a physical presence in a state to be required to collect and remit sales tax. Instead, if they meet certain economic thresholds, they must comply with the laws of that state.

Rationale Behind Sales Tax Charging

The fundamental principle behind the Supreme Court ruling is to ensure fairness in the taxation of e-commerce transactions. Previously, businesses without a physical presence could avoid collecting sales tax, providing them with a competitive advantage over local retailers. The economic nexus concept, introduced through the Wayfair ruling, aims to level the playing field by requiring online retailers to collect sales tax, subject to specific thresholds.

Economic Presence and Sales Tax Obligations

With the economic threshold concept, businesses are obligated to collect and remit sales tax if they surpass certain criteria set by each state. The primary criteria typically include the total revenue generated in the state or the number of transactions conducted within the state. Although the thresholds may vary across states, a common benchmark is 200 transactions or $100,000 in revenue per year.

Thresholds for Sales Tax Remittance

To better understand the impact of economic threshold criteria, it is crucial to analyze a few examples. In Colorado, businesses are required to remit sales tax if their gross revenue exceeds $100,000 per year or if they conduct 200 separate transactions. Similarly, Connecticut and Georgia have set the threshold at $250,000 per year or 200 transactions. These examples highlight the relatively low thresholds that businesses must surpass before they become obligated to collect sales tax.

Printful's Sales Tax Charging System

To simplify the process for sellers and reduce potential liability, Printful made the decision to handle sales tax on behalf of its users. Currently, Printful charges sales tax in 36 states. This list is subject to change, so it is essential for sellers to regularly stay informed about their sales tax obligations and applicable rates. The amount of sales tax charged by Printful is automatically added to the customer's bill, making the process seamless for sellers.

Benefits of Printful Charging Sales Tax

While the sudden appearance of sales tax charges may come as a surprise to Printful users, it is essential to recognize the benefits provided by this system. By charging sales tax on behalf of sellers, Printful saves them from the burdensome task of registering for tax certificates in each individual state and manually collecting and remitting sales tax. This allows sellers to focus on their core business operations instead of getting caught up in complex tax procedures.

Challenges with Sales Tax on Etsy

Although Printful has streamlinebed the sales tax collection process for various platforms, there are specific challenges when it comes to Etsy. Etsy, a popular marketplace for handmade and unique items, has recently started charging sales tax in 13 states. Unfortunately, Printful is not currently aware of these state-specific sales tax charges, potentially resulting in double taxation for sellers. This discrepancy creates frustration and uncertainty for Etsy sellers utilizing Printful's services.

Printful's Response to Sales Tax on Etsy

Concerns have arisen within the Etsy community as sellers grapple with the issue of double taxation. Printful is aware of this problem and has acknowledged it on their Facebook group. While the company has stated that their development team is working on a solution, there is no clear timeline for resolution. In the meantime, Etsy sellers are advised to monitor their sales tax charges carefully and seek alternative options if necessary.

Mitigating Sales Tax Impact on Pricing Strategies

Given the sales tax obligations imposed on sellers, it becomes necessary to adjust pricing strategies to account for these additional costs. One option is to mark up product prices slightly to absorb the sales tax charges. By incorporating sales tax into the overall price, sellers can ensure that their profit margins remain intact while fulfilling their tax obligations. This price adjustment should be carefully calculated to strike a balance between profitability and customer satisfaction.

Promotional Strategies to Offset Sales Tax Costs

To mitigate the impact of sales tax charges and maintain competitiveness, sellers can employ effective promotional strategies. Offering free shipping or providing percentage discounts can entice customers to make purchases, potentially offsetting the additional cost of sales tax. A 10% discount can still result in increased profit margins compared to absorbing the sales tax entirely. Evaluating the market dynamics and understanding customer preferences are crucial for implementing successful promotional campaigns.


As the landscape of e-commerce evolves, sellers must adapt to changing regulations, such as sales tax requirements. Printful has taken steps to simplify the process by charging sales tax on behalf of its users, eliminating the need for manual tax remittance. However, challenges exist, particularly on platforms like Etsy, where double taxation may occur. Sellers must stay vigilant, explore alternative options if needed, and consider adjustments to pricing and promotional strategies to navigate these changes successfully. By embracing these changes, sellers can ensure compliance, maintain competitive pricing, and focus on growing their businesses.

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