Selling your art on POD websites – Zazzle vs Society6 (Part 1)

Selling on POD websites pt 1

 

Welcome to part 1 of my 2 part series on Selling your art on POD Websites: Zazzle vs. Society6!

 

So I’ve been selling my designs on Zazzle and Society6 for a little over a year now.

 

I  don’t have the most experience out there, or largest amount of sales, but I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far using these two different Print On Demand demand websites to sell my artwork.  Hopefully this guide can help you decide which of these sites could be best for you!

 

Print On Demand basically means an item is printed or created after it has been purchased.  You upload your art or designs onto their website and digitally place them on to different products.  Then, the company prints and ships the product to the customer only after they buy it, and sends you small commission in return.

 

You do not have to pay for anything or maintain an inventory, so this is a fairly risk-free way to get your art and designs out into the online world!

 

There are several websites out there who offer a similar service.  I chose Zazzle and Society6 after doing some research because they are both pretty popular and widely known, offering good customer service and fair designer programs.

 

Now I would like to discuss some of the major differences (mainly pros and cons) between both of these two Print on Demand websites, in my experience, as a designer (and consumer) living in Canada.

Audience

Society6 – I feel like Society6‘s audience is more fine art based. There is more of a focus on prints, and different ways of displaying unique art work (ex. framed art prints, tapestries).

Zazzle seems to cater more towards audiences looking for graphic design based products. Think wedding invitations, birthday cards, and business cards.  Also, graphic t-shirts with funny/topical sayings are top sellers.

Store front

As an artist I prefer Society6‘s store front, as it looks more like an artist’s portfolio. You can view all of your designs as prints and then see what other products you can get with that design on it.  It is very cleanly designed and generally easy to view and use.

 

The Zazzle storefront has recently been revamped so your”Home” tab is the landing page for your storefront.

 

Under the “Home” tab your “Most Popular” products show up first, followed by your “Categories”, then “Recently Sold” products, and finally “Latest Products”.  You can customize which categories are shown.

 

There is also a”Products” tab which seems to show a mix of your more popular items, a “Collections” tab(which can include your own products as well as other people’s), followed by “Comments” and “About” tabs.

 

While this new storefront is a major improvement from what it was before, I find it a little cluttered and also think it may be confusing or overwhelming for a first time user.

 

A redeeming factor for Zazzle is that you have the ability to have multiple stores under the same account, which is not possible on Society6 and this time.

Ease of upload

When I first started I thought Zazzle was easier to create products with, but once I caught on to Society6 I realized it is actually less work in the long run.

 

This is because first you upload your original image and choose the appropriate tags, then upload your image again in a variety of different sizes up to 11 times (if you choose to enable those products) – and your work is automatically placed on all of their different products.

 

On Zazzle you upload your image only once but then you have to create each item separately (they do have a “Quick Create” tool but I don’t recommend using it), and then add custom tags for each product which can be very time consuming.

 

One thing that does set Zazzle apart though is that you (and your buyer) can customize each individual item with text or other images, all within their website.

 

On Society6 there are no options for customization after you’ve created your products, besides changing the colours of some items.

Earnings

Now the part you really want to know – on which of these websites can you make more $$??

 

Personally I have made more $ on Zazzle, however my earnings range from .10 cents to 10 dollars or more depending on the product sold.  In general my earnings from each sale is fairly small ($1-$3 range).

 

On Zazzle you can set your own commission rate, so it can be as  high as you choose — but keep in mind it will be hard to compete with other stores and get sales.  The typical commission rate is usually around 10%.

 

On Society6 you get a fixed commission rate on products, but you can choose your own commission for prints.  I haven’t had as many sales on Society6 but generally have earned about $4-$5 per sale, so the set commission rate seems pretty fair to me.

 

Recently my Society6 store has seen a few more sales (since hitting the 1 year mark), so fingers crossed this trend will continue!

 

I have also noticed a fluctuation in sales with the most occurring around the Holidays and a complete lull in sales around early summer (June-July), so keep that in mind.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 including information about: Payment, Quality of Products, Marketing of Products, Shipping, and my own Summary remarks!

 

What has been your experience selling on POD websites?  Do you have any of your own tips to share?  Feel free to leave your comments below!

 

Cheers!

 

Julie

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15 thoughts on “Selling your art on POD websites – Zazzle vs Society6 (Part 1)

  1. Thanks so much for this comparison. I have been a few months on Society6 and haven’t sold anything yet. I was wondering anout Fine Art of America. Do you have any knowledge of that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Catherine! I have found it takes longer to make a sale on Society6 than on Zazzle, but it can be more rewarding since the commission is usually a bit higher. As for Fine Art America, I have heard good things about it but have yet to dip my toes into that pool. I find myself busy enough with these 2 stores, but may check it out in the future! Sorry I can’t be of much help in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea for a blog post. I am also active both on Zazzle and Society6 (and other pod websites) and have just started to follow you on S6 and hearted a few images 🙂
    I will also reblog this post on my blog as I really like it, I couldn’t have written it better.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Stine1 for the follow, likes and reblog of my post!! I am so glad people are finding this useful and informative 🙂 I may start looking into putting my work on some other POD websites in the future, do you have any in particular to recommend?

      Like

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