My Favorite Print on Demand Websites!
Selling art Print and Demand can be an effective and efficient way for artists to earn extra income.
The main draw for Print on Demand sales is that the artist is not involved with manufacturing, storing inventory, shipping, or customer service. This can make setting up a side business simple and accessible for casual artist who want to earn some extra income, or who want to start a new career. A major benefit of selling print on demand is that often times the artist/seller does not have to remit sales tax. Remitting sales tax can be a somewhat complicated aspect of selling art and varies state to state. Please note that not all POD websites remit sales tax on behalf of their artists; if you are not sure about a particular, contact their customer service and/or an accountant or other tax professional. It is also important to remember that even if you do not have to worry about sales tax, you are still required by law to declare any print on demand earnings as income tax.
There are few drawbacks to selling Print on Demand. In many cases, the artist has little or no control over product pricing, leading to lower earnings compared to selling your work yourself. The artists has no involvement with quality control, and you also don't get to see your printed products, or communicate directly with your customers, so customer feedback can be rare to nonexistent.
It is important to note that although some artists might make a lot of sales right away, it can take a long time to build a following online. Selling on multiple platforms can be a beneficial way to promote your products, but starting too many stores can do more harm than good. If you spend more time starting new stores than improving your product selection and marketing you could be spreading yourself too thin.
These days there are many different options for selling your art Print on Demand, and each website has it's strengths and weaknesses. Check out my favorite POD websites below, with pros and cons for each.
Society6 is easily my favorite Print on Demand service. They have a large selection of high quality products, and their upload process is simple and convenient. It is easy to upload multiple products at once, they accept large images files, and they remit sales tax on behalf of their artists. Their customer service is also excellent, especially in regards to returns. One thing Society6 lacks is the ability to rotate, flip, center, or tile images. Society6 does not a lot of options for clothing, although they will probably be adding more clothing products in the future.
Zazzle's product creation process has a variety of image editing options that allow artists to tile images, flip, rotate, and even use different filters.
They remit sales tax on behalf of their artists. Zazzle's biggest disadvantage is that the same image cannot be easily be uploaded to multiple products at once. They have a Quick Create feature but it is complicated and buggy. Their enormous variety of products can make Zazzle overwhelming and confusing for beginners. This also makes Zazzle an over saturated market, so it can be difficult to compete with other artists for sales. One of the biggest advantages of selling on Zazzle is the ability to create templates for customer personalized products. This makes Zazzle popular for party and wedding planning, corporate gifts, and promotional materials for events/companies/bands/etc.
While RedBubble's uploader does not have as much variety as Zazzle or Society6, their image editing does have some useful features. These include as the ability to tile and center images, although it is not possible to rotate or flip images. Zazzle has some unique clothing options such as dresses and skirts, and their selection home decor and accessories has expanded recently. One of RedBubble's useful features is ability to copy works in your portfolio to conveniently upload production variants. Titles, tags and descriptions and other settings are all copied over, and the artist simply has to change the uploaded image file to create a new product. A major drawback to Redbubble, at least for artist who follow tax laws, is that they do not remit sales tax on behalf of their artists. Registering a business to remit sales tax may seem like a daunting tax, but it may not be as complicated as you might think. Any artist thinking of setting up a Redbubble store should talk to a tax professional to learn what their state requires.
Fine Art America/Pixels
Fine Art America/Pixels have many unique features that go beyond product sales. Due to the highly customized matting and framing process, returned prints cannot be resold. Fine Art America's Return Donation Program allows returned prints to be auctioned off to benefit charities, all proceeds going to the selected charity. This program saves returned artwork from being disposed of and may even give artists some bonus exposure. They also have an Image Licensing Program that allow artists to license their images,royalty free or rights managed. The artist can control which images to license, for what uses, and at what cost, or create custom license agreements if they prefer. Their Retail Store Program allows art to be sold brick and mortar stores such as Deck the Walls, The Great Frame Up, Earth Prints, and several others allowing your art to reach many new customers. Their upload process is simple an convenient, and they have a nice selection home decor and accessory products.
TeeSpring has many useful marketing tools such as cross sells, upsells, and coupons. They also have many tools to help artists market their products such as retargeting, Boosted Product Listing Ads, and email marketing. TeeSpring does not have many product options for home decor or accessories, and their print sizes are very limited. A major downfall to TeeSpring's platform is that it is no possible to add new product options or edit pricing after a listing has been published. Their upload process can be a bit tedious, particularly when it comes to setting product prices, especially with products with multiple sizes, such as phone cases. There is unfortunately no option to globally edit product prices, although simply having the option to set your own prices is a nice perk.