Selling your art on POD websites – Zazzle vs Society6 (Part 2)

Selling on POD websites pt 1

Welcome back to my 2 part series on Selling your Art on POD Websites: Zazzle vs Society6!

I hope you’ve had a chance to read Part 1, but if not you can do so here.

Now, carrying on from where we left off….

Payment

On Zazzle you have to wait until your balance clears $50 before you can request a payout to Paypal, or $100 to request a cheque.

Society6 pays you out automatically to Paypal, with whatever balance you have on the 1st of the month following the 30 day clearance period. I am not sure if any other payment methods are available from them.

Quality of Products

As you can see, I have ordered a few items for myself and as gifts from both stores.  Overall, I have been happy with my purchases from Zazzle and Society6.

It’s a little hard to compare the quality of items from these stores since I’ve purchased different types of things from each, but I do think the products on Society6 LOOK nicer (on their website at least).

On Society6 all of their apparel is American Apparel brand, so are of consistent quality but not *the best* quality in my opinion (the shirts are a little thin).  The cell phone case (see above) I purchased from them was OK, but didn’t provide much in the way of protection for my phone. The design looked quite nice and crisp however.

I ordered a biker tank from Society6 (not pictured) which has a nice image, but is sized very large (granted, it was unisex and I should’ve ordered an XS).

On Zazzle, the t-shirts are a nice quality (thick, see above) but the prints do fade after awhile (after several washes), which is to be expected.  Some mugs I had ordered for my parents (also not pictured) looked OK but the image quality was a bit fuzzy (which may have been my fault due to not uploading high enough quality images).  The trucker hat (see above) I ordered was pretty nice and the detailed image came out clear.

A friend of mine ordered a watch from Zazzle which looked very nice and she is happy with it still, 6 months later.

Another point about Zazzle is that there are WAY more products to choose from, with new items added on a regular basis.  This can be a little overwhelming, but since there are so many options you can create niche stores for things like just t-shirts or baked goods or only home decor products for example.  Personally, I am a little haphazard in my store and just make whatever the image looks best on!

Society6 has a more refined list of products available in their store but they do add new products occasionally. Their recently added throw blankets look really nice and cozy.

Marketing of Products

I have to say Zazzle definitely takes the cake in this regard, for having the simplest marketing options available.  They have a very easy “sharing” section on the product page where you can copy and paste a ton of different links, share to social media, or select a nicely laid out clickable product image with options for both HTML or BBCode. You don’t need to know any coding or even have an image editing software in order to advertise your products.

Under Zazzle‘s Affiliates section you will find various sized banners which you can use to general referral traffic, but these just link to Zazzle’s homepage and not your own store.  However, if someone does make a purchase through those links you will receive referral income. Keep in mind — you can also received referral income on your own products ON TOP of your regular royalty!

Society6 has recently introduced a curator link on each product page, so you can receive royalty on your own products or anyone else’s using this link.

However, if you want to make a nice clickable product image like Zazzle’s, you will have to create the code yourself.  For my blog posts I like to copy the image URL, then use the “link” option in the WordPress Text Editor, highlight that code, select “link” and add my curator link in there.

One marketing initiative I like that Society6 does is that they will send out emails before their big sale promotions, such as Black Friday for example – in which they provide you with templates to create ads with so they look nice and consistent.  However, this is something you have to play with yourself and be able to create your own images and codes in order to use.

Shipping costs

Unfortunately the shipping costs to Canada on Zazzle can be pretty high. However, if you are within the U.S. then their shipping rates are more affordable and sometimes they even have free shipping promotions (only 1 time in a year did I see this promotion though).

Society6, on the other hand, often has FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE promotions. Sometimes the promotion is site-wide, while other times they give you a special link for your friends and customers to click on. However, not ALL products qualify for free shipping, like the framed prints (boo).  They do a promotion like this just about once a month though which is awesome.

Summary

So, which one of these websites is better?

Well I think that is something you have to decide for yourself!  There are a lot of factors to take into consideration such as your art style, how comfortable you are with HTML coding, and how much time you have to put the work in for designing and advertising your products.

In my opinion, if you’re trying to sell prints of your fine art then Society6 might be better for you.  If you like design and making text-based graphic t-shirts and invitations then Zazzle will be your thing.  Try both and see what works for you!

For me, having stores on both websites is great for maximizing exposure.  I may even expand to other POD websites in the future such as Fine Art America and Cafepress.  I’ll let you all know if and when I do, and maybe even do another one of these comparison blog posts at that time!

I hope you have found this guide useful.  Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, and follow my blog if you like what you’ve seen here!

Cheers,

Julie

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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