Recently were Part I,Â Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI and Part VII in this art marketing series – this is all in response to Sue O’Kieffe of Sacred Circle Mandalas (http://sacred-circle-mandalas.blogspot.com) who recently wrote me “i am curious to know out of all the ways you sell your art, which is the most profitable for you and which is the most enjoyable?” I have been getting some good feedback from various people that this is being helpful to them.
What a great question, Sue!!Â I know some other artists sometimes read my blog – I hope everyone will chime in – this could be very helpful to us all!Â I am really looking forward to hearing from others too!Â We have already done an overview of offline selling (much more to be said about that!), online selling from a shop where you the seller ship directly to your customer, online selling from a shop where the site produces the merchandise and ships directly to the customer and an overviews of Etsy, 1000 Markets, CafePress and Zazzle.
Today we will focus on two online shops (Redbubble and Imagekind) where you the artist upload your images onto the shop site and then you choose which of their prints you want to offer. Then the shop itself (not you the artist) is the one who makes the print and ships it directly to the customer.Â Check back in Part III to refresh your memory of some of the pluses and minuses of this method of online selling if you like. I have 4 online shops currently where I put my paintings online and then sell it right there from that site.Â I will give you details about these two shops today -Â Redbubble and Imagekind.Â These are links directly to my shops – it is easy to go to the main pages from there. Some artists have other opinions and I hope you (they) will post about them in the comments!
This laminated print from my Redbubble Shop showcases my vibrant, colorful painting of Ocean Dreams.Â Â You can see that they also have room for the description to capture interest and details of what one is selling. (Refer to earlier posts if you want more on this.)
Ocean Dreams – Redbubble Print Â© Diane Clancy
This framed print from my Imagekind Shop showcases my vibrant, colorful painting of Reflections in Blue I.Â Â Again they have room for the description to capture interest and details of what one is selling. This is just one example.
Reflections in Blue I Imagekind – Framed Print Â© Diane Clancy
Imagekind and Redbubble are very different in one way from CafePress and Zazzle.Â With CafePress and Zazzle one can put one’s paintings on a large variety of merchandise.Â With Redbubble and Imagekind one can sell a variety of prints (both also offer cards and Redbubble offers t-shirts).
With both Imagekind and Redbubble, the size file that you upload of your painting, determines what you can sell to your customers. This is very different from the other 2 shops.Â Each shop gives the specifications for each of the sizes of their prints.Â If one uploads the largest size. then all the variations are automatically available – IF you choose to let them be available.Â This is a great ease compared to CafePress and Zazzle – it is lovely to load ONE variation for each painting, and then the sizes are automatically adjusted by the shop.Â Also it makes the naming easy – all one needs to do is name each image one has uploaded.Â So there is some real simplicity in these shops.
It is simpler in many ways – but also the choices are limited as to the type of item that is offered.Â Imagekind has loads and loads of types of frames, mats and papers to customize your prints.Â Redbubble gives choices of sizes from a greeting card up to a poster – with various finishings. Upload the image you want and then you can write a description (as in Etsy, 1000 Markets, CafePress and Zazzle) and also put in tags. Tags are important – tags are what allow someone to find your work out of all the 100,000’s of pieces that are there.
Then you can set your price.Â These kinds of PRINT ON DEMAND shops generally have a base price that you would pay if you bought your own work.Â Then you set a price increase to add to the price so that you make something when someone buys your work.Â Â This is where you make your money from this type of online selling.Â Of course, you will want to strike a balance … more profit per item vs more affordable so PERHAPS more people will buy it.
You have a shop and you can customize your shop – at least to some degree.Â If you have a paid membership at Imagekind (I don’t), then you can have multiple galleries.Â At Imagekind one can have fans and be a fan to other galleries.Â Â At Redbubble you can have a watchlist and be on other people’s watchlists.
There is are communities where you can interact with other people – I have not explored this at all.Â I am sure (as everywhere else) that the more you connect with others, the more sales you make.
Sales – this brings us to a part some people don’t like.Â When you sell your work at Etsy or 1000 Markets, you get paid directly, right away (usually), by the buyer.Â Besides developing a relationship, you also get the money.Â When selling from Imagekind and Redbubble (or other on demand shops) you get paid either once a year or when a certain amount of money accumulates.Â So you don’t see the money quickly unless you are a very high volume seller.Â This doesn’t bother me because I feel like it is money in the bank – but some people do not like this.Â It is part of the package though.Â So far I have sold one print at Imagekind and nothing at Redbubble … but I have not marketed them as well as I could.
As with ALL these different types of shops … one needs to market your own shop – and I need to do a lot more of that!
I have a shop at CafePress where I sell tiles, mugs, journals, bags and more. I also have a shop at Zazzle where I sell postage, mugs, cards, postcards and more.Â Many people love both of there shops. Imagekind is wonderful for creating prints on a great variety of papers and Redbubble has a great variety prints and t-shirts.
I am hoping Christopher will share about templates at Zazzle – I don’t know about them and he thinks they are great.Â I would LOVE to know more about them!
I recommend both CafePress and Zazzle as the best for me so far.Â I welcome hearing from others what your experiences and thoughts are!!Â We may differ for sure!Â I hope that we can help each other know the strengths of each shop.Â Please feel free to ask questions to get more information – I am glad to share what I can and so are others! … thanks for coming by!!
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