ART FINDS: Redbubble a great print-on-demand platform.
I am starting a new series of blogs where I will discuss products, companies, artist, books and other ART fINDS that inspire me, fascinate me or otherwise are useful to me. For this first post, I want to talk about Redbubble. I have been a member of Redbubble for several years now and felt it was a good place to start talking about platforms I like.
Redbubble is one of the leading POD platforms (POD stands for print on demand) for the independent artist to sell their designs on a wide range of products. Print on demand means basically what you would expect; they only print on their products when someone buys your work. On Redbubble you can find a wide range of artists from famous YouTubers like Jazza to starting artist.
FTC Disclaimer: **I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
How does it work?
To join Redbubble as an artist is really simple; you just create an account. Get some high-quality photos of your artwork and upload it via your artist account. This is where the art can be added on products. One small tip there are requirements for the minimal dimensions off your photos that can vary depending on the product, try to take pictures in the largest size your equipment can handle. You can find a list with all the requirement in the help section on Redbubble, and I highly recommend reading through it before taking photos of your work.
After you uploaded your photos its time to start adding them to the products, there is a wide range of merchandise to choose from organised in several categories. Each category offers a plethora of products with multiple variations. At the time of this writing, the following categories are available:
- Phone cases
- Wall art
- Home & Living
- Kids & Babies
You can choose as many categories as you want for your art to get printed on, but keep in mind as mentioned above some products require specific image dimensions. For select products, you can even download a photoshop PSD file for the ultimate control of image placement. After you finished adding your work in the backend of the site, it will be available to buy for Redbubble visitors.
You can find more info on everything you need to know about uploading art and how to set everything up to start selling in the help section on Redbubble.
Redbubble has a fantastic range of high-quality wall hangers like canvas prints, posters and metal prints to put your latest artwork on.
How do you get paid?
Now you might ask everything sound sweet, but how do I make money out of this? The way it works is all prices consist out of a base price and an artist margin. When a customer buys your items money for the base price goes to Redbubble, and Redbubble pays the artist margin to the artist. On Redbubble artist have full control on how high they set their artist margin per product. There is a payment threshold of $20, €20, or £20. Once you hit that you get paid the full amount of your earning either through Paypal or for select countries through a bank transfer.
Read more about this in the help section on Redbubble.
What are the benefits of selling on Redbubble?
There are several benefits for us artist to sell on Redbubble. If you start your brand from scratch, it will take time to build up a good reputation and establish a trust to the point where people are willing to buy from your site. Redbubble has already taken care of this step effectively providing a short cut to the building trust challenge of starting artist.
Next, they take care of almost everything in the selling process that would cost either a lot of time or money to learn and set up on your own site. I am talking about things like payment processing, customer service, printing, delivering, handling return shipments, keeping up to date with ever-changing laws surrounding online privacy. All these things can give you a major headache and distract us from the thing we want to do the most; creating art. Considering it is free to join Redbubble, it is one of the lowest risk option to start getting your feet into selling merchandise on an incredibly high amount of products.
Of course, there are other POD sites, but for me, Redbubble has a couple of advantages over its competition. First, I love their backend; this is where you upload and customise your designs to show perfectly on the product and, at least for me, their backend loads a lot faster than some of the other POD sites. Faster load time means a significant reduction in the time it costs to add a new art piece.
The second thing I love is how prices are not just in United States dollars (USD). As a European based artist, the ability to show the price in Euro is a significant advantage over some of the other POD sites. Besides USD and Euro pricing, at the time of this writing, can be shown in Canadian Dollars and Pound Sterling.
Another benefit is how the artist margin works. On Redbubble you have full control over what amount you set the margin to, which theoretically means you earn whatever you want. This is not the case for some of the other POD sites. Lastly, the option to easily download mock-up photo’s makes it super-fast to create custom social media post for promotions purposes. Or you can click on the share buttons for a quick share on several social media networks.
Redbubble’s high-quality tote bags are another favourite product to get your work printed on.
I can hear you think sound great but are their no downsides?
Of course, there are downsides to everything. For Redbubble, it comes down to the general disadvantage of all POD sites operating similarly, which is a limitation in branding options and control over customer data. Redbubble does offer some opportunities; for example, people can follow you on the site and like your work a bit like a social media network. You also have some room to customise the look of your shop. You can, for example, add a costume shop banner.
Ultimately even with these options, you are going to be limited in what you can do in terms of building a brand compared to what you can do if you develop your own e-commerce website. For example, you can’t add a flyer with your latest products to orders or send an email inviting your customers to your latest upcoming exhibition. Considering you still need to spend time marketing your Redbubble shop for some people, it might be a better option to set up their own online store which gives full control over all marketing and branding options.
A final potential downside is about the maximum profit you could practically earn. You can in theory setup whatever artist margin you want, but considering there are tons of artists on Redbubble it would look strange if your t-shirt is 100x the price of what the averages artist charges. Now most of us will not be able to charge high fashion prices for a printed t-shirt, and if you look at the price on Redbubble compared to other sites, your earning potential is very reasonable. However, if you think your fanbase is the type that would pay top dollar for your work, it might be better to set up your own store.
While there are some downsides to Redbubble, mainly from a branding point of view, at the end of the day, it takes so much work and risks away from me that I find it worth it. So if you are looking for an excellent low-risk option to start selling your merchandise, I highly recommend Redbubble.
Now some of you might wonder if Redbubble is so great then why do I also have a shop on Soceity6? The reason is simple; I like variety. While Redbubble’s product range is grand, there are still some products exclusive to Soceity6 that I love and vice versa Redbubble has some products that are unavailable on Soceity6. Therefore I decided to open shops on both platforms.