Society6 is a print-on-demand operation that invites artists to upload images to decorate a wide array of products sold on the site
Expected pay: You earn a 10% royalty on each sale
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: Original artwork/images
Society6 is a print-on-demand site that invites artists and photographers to upload their images and use them to decorate a variety of products, ranging from tote bags to iPhone cases. Artists earn a royalty on each sale.
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How it works
The process is fairly simple. You upload an image — the bigger the better — and then go through their process to determine whether you want to sell it only as a print or if you want to put that image on anything from clocks to quilts.
You decide what you want to make available and tell your clients where they can find it. Society6 does the rest, including getting your art on high-quality products, mailing the products to your customers and sending you the agreed-upon royalty.
If you’re selling prints, the site will tell you its cost for each size print and you add whatever royalty rate you want to come up with a final price. With the other products, Society6 has a “default” mark-up of 10% of the sales price. However, if you want to mark your products up more or less, you can adjust the default price in your pricing dashboard.
Default vs. Dynamic pricing
For instance, with the site’s default pricing, the artist gets $3.80 on a $38 sale. A comforter that retails for $110, would pay the artist $11. If you want to sell your art on t-shirts, you’ll earn about $1.80 with each $18 purchase.
With dynamic pricing, you look at the site’s base price for goods and add the margin you want on the sale. So, if the base price of a pillow is $35 and you want a 15% commission, your pillow will sell for $40. And you’ll get $5.25.
However, Society6 does sometimes run promotions, where they’ll discount various products on the site. While you will earn whatever commission you set, discounts will affect your cash earnings. For instance, if Society6 ran a 20% sale on that pillow, its base price would be discounted to $28. Your 15% mark-up now amounts to $4.20.
Realize that there is a ton of great art on this site and it’s all decorating the same products. So, to stand out enough to make sales, you’ll need to do two things: Use appropriate headings and keywords to show up in search. (Keywords are simply descriptive phrases, like “pink peonies” or “spiral design in blues and teal.”) And market yourself through your own social media channels — Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest — where ever you have a following.
Also, the site has gotten some terrible customer reviews lately on TrustPilot, complaining of mis-shipped items and poor print quality. While customer reviews are different than artist reviews, if they persist, they can impact your sales.
On your end, make sure the image files you upload are large enough to produce sharp images on the items you sell, including large posters and bedspreads. If your image files are not dense enough, it can lead to poor print quality and merchandize returns. If the problem is on Society6’s end, there’s not a lot you can do about it other than selling your art elsewhere.
Artists are paid once a month via PayPal. Payments are made at the beginning of the month, 30 days following the sale.
Society6 does not demand exclusivity with your designs. You can sell them through other print-on-demand sites, as well as here. And, you can use them to decorate products of your own. You can sign up with Society6 here.
There is no downside to selling your art on a wide variety of sites.
Other print-on-demand sites that you may want to check out: Spoonflower, which is particularly good for artists who want to sell repeating designs; FineArtAmerica, which makes extraordinary puzzles; and Printful, which charges less but leaves more of the marketing to you.
If you want to make products yourself and sell them, we also recommend Etsy.
Want to try Society6?
Click here to join or browse products
What artists say:
Marc Johns: Why I sell my work on Society6
From XO Pixel: How I made extra money with Society6