Recommendations for Print on Demand Services?

Hi Everyone,

I’m an illustrator, looking to generate extra income via prints and possibly other merch. I wondered if any fellow visual artists have any recommendations for print on demand sites. If there were any that I could also use to offer patron discounts (however that might work), then that would be great.

Thanks!

Gareth.

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There are so, so many of those around the web now! I use Redbubble, they have printing centers in various places around the world and I like their quality. It’s also a fairly simple process to upload prints for various merch (you can upload a single image once, and optionally differently formatted images for some products). In contrast, I also have a Society6 shop but their process is so much more complicated and time-consuming (upload separately for each and every product) it’s not worth my time. They’re also US-based so as a UK resident I pay import taxes on anything I buy from society6 (so I don’t anymore) whereas that doesn’t happen with Redbubble, and that keeps me a buyer there. I used to be on Cafepress but they’re shite, and Zazzle is an incomprehensible mess. I would also advise against opening more than one shop for the same products, it’s just too much work and confusing for your followers. Consolidate so you have only one URL to share, and your income is not split.

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Thank you, @joumana. I’ve used Society6 and Zazzle, and agree on both your observations. Thanks for the tip regarding Redbubble - I’ll check it out.

Actually, since I posted, I’ve found The Abundant Artist, which is a site with info regarding how to sell online: They actually have a spreadsheet reviewing all the current PoD sites:

There’s a free sign up to access the info. Also see this video, which talks you through the spreadsheet:

Right, I’m off to investigate… :slight_smile:

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I quite enjoy Redbubble and Teepublic myself. Redbubble has great customer service and decent products AND you can set your own profit margins. Teepublic has frequent sales including $14 tshirts (USD) and whatnot. I bring in more income from Teepublic on the regular than Redbubble actually, and i’ve been on redbubble for years and years, where as i’ve been on teepublic for less than 1 year i believe. Redbubble doesn’t tell you about sales until pretty much the day of, which is really annoying for planning your marketing but Redbubble is a highly trusted source. Teepublic tells you at least a week in advance which is GREAT, AND they give you templates to use for ads and stuff if you don’t want to make something from scratch every time. (sometimes even animated ads too. Their designs teams are pretty awesome!)

I have tried other places like Society6 but S6 doesn’t allow you to set your own profit margins outside of art prints, their upload system is WAY too time consuming (you have to upload a different sized item for each thing, while Redbubble allows you to upload one big thing and activate the things its big enough for. Also easier to change sizes and placement on Redbubble than S6.) I think S6 also really caters to specific art styles. I never made a single sale but my own purchases in the 3 years i tried to be active there. So i’m not sure really. S6 also has terrible shipping times. (they are never close to what they say, even when they factor in cross border shipping. And i don’t mean by days. I mean a 2 week item takes 5+ weeks every time i’ve ever ordered. Even shipments from USA centers for Redbubble and Teepublic, to Canada, usually take ~2 weeks.)

I also agree that Cafepress and Zazzle are the pits. They used to be good but they are a mess now.

However, I actually encourage setting up more than one shop even if it’s got the same items. There are different audiences for each print on demand place and people do have preferred places to buy from. I find that Teepublic and Redbubble suits me well. Both are decently easy to upload to so the process is fairly quick, and they both have vastly different sales. While Teepublic has much less item choices and a few restrictions (like no double sided shirt prints and less options over all) i quite like their products and the sales they do are REALLY attractive. (and while the profit margins ARENT customizable, they are LARGER margins than most other places by default, which makes it very worth it for me.)

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Thanks @Temrin. I’ll check out Teepublic - and another vote for Redbubble!

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I agree, TeePublic is my go-to site although I prefer Zazzle - despite its problems - for custom work and customizable products (business cards, flyers, etc). I’ve gotten great feedback on TeePublic’s shirts and even own a couple myself - I’m not a t-shirt wearer, but their shirts are really comfortable, so they’ve almost got me converted, lol.

My understanding is that TeePublic primarily acquires new designers through invitation, and I am empowered to extend that invite. So all you need to do is click HERE and get going! :wink:

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I currently use FineArtAmerica.com (I’d give you a referral link, but they don’t offer bonuses! :grinning: However, you can see my page at https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/topless-newyork.html to get a sense of how it looks). They’ve done a great job on fulfillment, I’ve never had a customer return a print or poster, and the sheer variety of products they offer for you to put your art onto is astounding. I never thought I’d want a photograph of a topless woman in public on my shower curtain, but now I’m considering it.

Because of the 30-day return policy for buyers, payout is on the 15th of every month for sales made prior to the 15th of the previous month. That’s mildly annoying, but let’s face it, the posters and coffee mugs aren’t how we’re making our living anyway. I consider it icing on the cake.

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I get most of my fliers and business cards from Vistaprint. Great quality and super affordable. I didn’t actually know that Zazzle had that.

As for Teepublic, you can join without an invite. (I did.) But invites are great and helpful for both parties. (If anyone wants another invite, you can use this link to, my referral code thingy.)

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Thanks for the info, Temrin. When I joined TeePublic it was by invite, but they’ve changed things since, I suppose. However they continue to do a great job of supporting their artists, so that’s another plus :slight_smile:

Fyi, about Zazzle - I consider them to be THE leader in customizable products, because everything is customizable - from a whole range of office supplies (I get my shipping labels there, for example) to apparel, drinkware, sporting goods, wall art, fabric, home decor and on and on. The design tool takes some experience to use, but it’s very robust. And, you can make customizable templates and sell them. So, while I sometimes get crosswise with some of the stuff they do, I feel that aspect makes Zazzle too valuable to part company. Besides, it’s the POD I’ve been on the longest, and I’ve got the most products with them :wink:

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I’ve used Redbubble and Society6 in the past, and they’re both great! However, recently I’ve switched to using Printful for most of my on demand printing. They have a slightly limited stock of products compared to the others, but they’re growing and adding new things. I mostly have them do my large art prints and tote bags.

One of the best things so far about Printful, is that they can connect to other selling platforms! Things like Etsy, Shopify, Woocommerce, Tictail and more. You can easily set up discount coupons to give to your patrons. :slight_smile:

The only downside, is that its not completely hands off - you will need to purchase the blank item first. Afterwards they will drop ship it for you. I’ve found that Printful gives the best base profit though, and you can always set your profit margins even higher if needed.

I feel like I’m just a walking advertisement for Printful right now, but I haven’t seen anyone mention them yet and I’ve been really happy with them so far. :slight_smile:

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I will have to check out Printful! I’ve never heard of them before now. :slight_smile: Thanks for the info :smiley:

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Printful and Printify seem to both offer similar services, not sure which is better.
My goal is to eventually sell directly through my site with woocommerce, so both of those are good choices cos they integrate. I say eventually cos setting this all up is way more hassle than I’ve managed to commit to yet!

I seem to remember Teespring being at the last Patrecon, not sure if anyone has tried them out yet? They’ve got this article here, which seems worth a read: https://community.teespring.com/blog/five-ways-to-use-teespring-to-reward-your-patrons/

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Thanks Nate. If I go the ecommerce route at some point, then I’ll check those out. However, at the moment I’m looking for print on demand sites that sell/package/deliver for you to keep hassle to a minimum. I’d also like to focus on art prints, not merchandise. Redbubble is looking the likeliest at the moment, I think.

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Thanks, Tsepish. As I’ve said, I’m not looking to go the ecommerce route yet - seems like more hassle than I have time for, at the moment.

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I had issues with teespring because their admins seem incapable of handling take down requests or implementing features to help with the fact that their site is full of stolen works. I have tons of my work on there (stolen) and it’s a huge to do to file for each and other artists I know have tried to get stuff taken down and get ignored or responded to with non answers and constant rejections. I’m still trying to get some stolen stuff taken down. When I visit their page it recommends my own art! Uploaded by someone who’s stolen my content. They also don’t show an artist name on any of the uploads so I cant see if that specofic account/person has uploaded others and it seems to pull responsibility away from the uploader since I can’t report them directly. It’s incredibly time consuming to find them all using only keywords.

(Teepublic is implementing a feature that scours other POD sites for the works you’ve uploaded to their site. It’s still being updated and bugs fixed regularly but it’s helped a few times already. So I still recommend teepublic. They give a shit about stolen content and copyrights!)

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Woah, i had no idea about Teespring! Good to know, thanks for the info, sorry that’s happening to you :cry:

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I use RedBubble, because it has the most artist-friendly back end: one image upload can be applied to a large assortment of products. I’ve used both CafePress and Zazzle in the past, and loathe them both.

One tiny jewel, for those who want 4x6, 5x7 or 6x9 inch prints: Moo.com’s postcards. I’ve used them for quite a few Kickstarter projects, and their color quality is really excellent. The price for 10 assorted postcards, to be sold as prints, can’t be beat.

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my initial question. I think I’m going to go with Redbubble. I’ve just set up a shop - and, you were all right: it’s super easy. I’m hoping, from what people have said, that it will be affordable for UK and Europe based people. Anyway, you can see my efforts here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/woodpig/portfolio

I’ve also just discovered inprnt.com. It’s a curated site (you have to apply), and they only do art prints, but the artist markup is 40% to 50% - which is much higher than I’ve come across on any other PoD that does everything for you.

Anyway, thanks once again to all of you!

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Congrats! You can set your markup in Redbubble to whatever you like, btw. You can do it individually, or the easier way is to do it once and for all by going to Account Settings and then Product Pricing (under Artist Tools). You can set it all and then check a box at the bottom so it’s applied to all your work.

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Thank you, Joumana. I think I’ll keep it at the default 20% for now.

You don’t know if it’s possible to give discount do you? I wonder about giving patrons a code or something.

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