Selling your Art on POD Websites – Redbubble vs. Society6

Selling your art on POD websites Redbubble edition

Hey guys, I’m back with another comparison post about selling your art on POD (Print on Demand) websites!

This time I’m comparing 2 popular websites I sell my artwork on, Society6 and Redbubble.  I’ve broken down my comparison into sections to make it easier to compare and hopefully find what you’re looking for more easily.

So read on to learn more about selling your art on POD websites and find out which one might work best for you!

Store Front

As of this time, I prefer Rebubble’s store frontStore fronts are easily customized with a header, profile photo, bio, optional journal entries, and collections.  Your latest art works are also shown this page.

On the design page you will see the default product you chose when uploading the artwork, and below that is a button to show which other products are available.  You can also see reviews (of the product, not your art) and comments people have left you.  [Pro tip – leaving comments is a great way to connect with other Redbubble artists!]

You can also “like” designs and “follow” other artists on both websites, which I recommend doing.

Society6 has recently changed store fronts, and I think (hope) it’s still working out some kinks (as of March 2018).  Right now, your store will default to the “Shop” view and show your most recently sold products at the top.  As you scroll down it starts showing the same design on several different product types, which I don’t like.  I’d rather see all different designs. If you want to see all of your different designs you have to use the filters to the left and choose Sort By: New, then choose just one product type to view.

You can still customize your store front with a banner and a logo or profile image.

Audience

Both Society6 and Redbubble cater towards a young, hip, and trendy audience.  Think festival gear, college dorm or first apartment decor, stickers, and unique accessories. Trendy pattern designs and sayings are popular on both websites.

The audience on Redbubble might be slightly younger than Society6 as they focus more on stickers which are popular with teenagers and young adults.  However, Society6 recently introduced stickers too which are gaining in popularity.

Overall I think the target audience for both of these sites are young adults (20s and 30s) and their parents buying gifts for them.

Ease of Upload

Redbubble’s uploading tool is the easiest of the POD sites I’ve tried.

It’s great because you can upload your main design and then customize it for each product type.  There are options for tiling the image (to create a pattern), or you can replace the image entirely if neither of those options work.

You can also change the background colour on Redbubble, which is handy when working with designs that have a transparent background.

Society6 has recently changed their uploading tool and made it more like Redbubble’s, which is great, but it’s a little glitchy and you can’t tile or change the background colour.  It’s not a big issue – you just have to adjust your image accordingly. Also, transparent (png) images don’t work well except for stickers.

In general, both are pretty easy to upload but Redbubble has the edge in my opinion.

Products

In terms of products, both offer a similar range which includes apparel, electronics cases, and home decor items. The prices are about on par with other online POD stores and they often run 20% off or other similar promotions.

Redbubble has some unique products that are not on Society6, such as mini skirtsdresses and scarves among others.

blue gold mandala pattern scarf redbubble

The quality is pretty good on both sites and varies depending on the product.

I have a really nice tapestry from Society6 that I used as a bed sheet and is now on my wall. Friends have purchased mugs and beach towels and were very happy with what they received.  T-shirts and hoodies can be hit or miss.

Both websites add new types of products from time to time so look out for that.

Earnings and Payment

Redbubble earnings are paid automatically around the 15th of every month (to Paypal, or direct deposit), and there is no minimum threshold so you are paid whatever you made in the previous month whether its $1 or $1000.

Society6 pays automatically to Paypal, with whatever balance you have on the 1st of the month.

Both are reliable and I haven’t had any issues getting paid from either.

Marketing

The folks at Redbubble and Society6 are pretty good at marketing and driving traffic to their respective sites, so it’s mostly a matter of getting your own designs out there (which is easier said than done).

Check out my post on Social Media Marketing Tips for Artists to learn more about marketing your designs.

Most products have nice display images that you can screenshot and use for your own marketing initiatives.  You can also find some nice promotional tools on the Redbubble blog, such as fun templates like this:

doughnut pillow mock up

Society6 has recently introduced a curator link on each product page, so you can receive extra royalty not only on your own products but other’s as well!

Another nice thing that Society6 does is they will send an email out before a sale so you can prepare, and they provide you with an overlay to create your ads. Usually it’s just text containing the discount and promo code so you can layer it over or within your own images.

Example:

cyber monday.jpg

Shipping

Redbubble and Society6 both have reasonable shipping costs which varies depending on the product and package weight.

Redbubble has headquarters located in San Francisco (U.S.) and Melbourne (Australia) so the products are shipped from one of those areas depending on your location.  Also, you get a free sticker with purchase and their packaging is super cute.

Society6’s headquarters is also in California but some products are manufactured in different locations within the U.S., so you might get multiple packages.  Sometimes they offer free shipping worldwide promotions.

Shipping from both stores is pretty quick, and you can choose a faster shipping method if required.

Note: Some products take longer to manufacture than others so it could take longer to ship and receive!

Summary

Both Society6 and Redbubble are great options for selling your artwork online, but I have to say I prefer Redbubble!

However, both have great things to offer and it all depends on what you feel comfortable with and works with your art style.

Personally, I use both because, as they say, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket 😉

Want to learn more about selling your art online?  Here are some more great posts to check out!

A more in-depth analysis of selling on Redbubble

Selling your art on Zazzle vs. Society6 

10 Websites to Sell your Art Online

Social Media Marketing Tips for Artists

Blogging for Your Art Business

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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