Redbubble is a print-on-demand site that invites artists to upload images to be sold on everything from socks to dufflebags
Expected pay: You set your royalty rate
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: 16 or older; original artwork
Like Society6, Redbubble is a print-on-demand operation that invites artists to upload designs, photographs and graphics to illustrate products it sells. The site puts your art on t-shirts, hoodies, notebooks, stickers and posters — and a wide array of other products.
How it works
To upload and sell art through RedBubble, you first have to set up an account. Setting up an account is free — as it is with other print-on-demand sites. Once that’s set, the site suggests that you take a look at its artist templates before you start uploading art.
That’s because selling art on products is a bit unique. Unlike selling a poster or print, art that’s used to decorate coffee mugs and leggings needs to wrap around corners and fit into sometimes unfriendly places. So the site offers templates that help you fit your art onto challenging products like duffle bags, clocks and socks.
When you have perfected your image to fit on the products you want your art to decorate, that’s when you upload.
Setting your rates
The amount you get paid with Redbubble will depend on the margin you choose to earn on your sales. The site will provide you with a base price for each item. You add your profit margin from there to create the price that the consumer will pay.
For instance, if a t-shirt’s base price is $18.50, you can add a $10 mark-up and the site will sell it for $28.50. Or, you could decide to accept a lower mark-up to sell at a lower price. RedBubble site says that the average artist earns a 17% commission.
Know, however, that Redbubble offers volume discounts on sales. And, your profit can be impacted by these discounts. You still get the same percentage on the sale. If you set your royalty rate at 20%, for instance, you’ll still get 20%. But, if a t-shirt sells normally for $20, you’d get $4 per sale. If it’s sold at a discounted price for $18. You get $3.60.
Sellers get paid on the 15th of the month for the previous month’s sales. However, RedBubble has a minimum $20 payout. So, if your balance is less than that, the payout will be delayed until you hit or exceed the threshold.
The main complaint we see about this site is that it can — and does — suspend artist accounts without warning. And, unfortunately, artists are rarely given an explanation. When RedBubble answers these complaints, it almost always says the same thing: Here’s our suspension policy. If you don’t think it applies to you, file an appeal in the help center.
But, what would be really helpful is getting some sort of warning when the site thinks you’re violating a policy and have the ability to talk to someone when things go awry.
That said, artists on this site maintain all rights to their work. So you can sell here, as well as with the site’s many competitors.
Some other sites worth considering: Society6, which has a nearly identical structure to RedBubble. Spoonflower, which is particularly well-suited to people with repeating designs. FineArtAmerica, which we see as particularly adept at turning your pictures into puzzles. And, Printful, which charges less but has you do more of the marketing.
What their sellers say (from TrustPilot):
Suspended one of my three artist accounts because I transferred one of the designs over to another account. This is fair enough. I appealed the decision following the instructions, and I also told them the emails to my other accounts. Instead of a reply they blanket banned all accounts! Not only am I an artist, I’m also a customer who recently bought 3 t-shirts from other artists. So now they lost and artist and a customer just because (now this is an assumption) the suspensions department didn’t like my face and couldn’t be bothered to flash me a quick email.
Redbubble suspended my account after two days of having it open. I am using vintage art that is public domain. I came up with my original headlines. only uploaded 8 art pieces and my account was suspended.
“Didn’t get a clear reason to why my account got deleted by them, contacted support and they sent me to their “specialists” that handle that stuff but haven’t heard from them in weeks. They also did’t answer any other mails about why it’s taking so long… Also, the products are under mediocre quality, but at an expensive price.
Nice comparison of competitor Society6 vs. RedBubble
Endorsement from artist/blogger Michael Essek
And another positive review from EmptyEasel
And from Fish of Gold