Why I Sell My Artwork on Print-on-Demand Sites Like Society6 & Not On My Own Website
I started my “Print-on-demand” career in 2014. Since then many followers as well as fellow artists have asked me why I do not sell designer products on my own website using dropshipping services like Printful and Printify – instead of or in addition to – selling on POD sites like Society6. This post will be useful for artists who have either just started out or are well on their way via POD sites but as the next step are wondering whether or not to devote some of their time to setting up their own store hoping for greater profits. Everything I am writing in this post comes from my personal experience in this industry over the last 5 years.
A while back I read this Printful blog post that compares Society6 profits to Printful profits and the numbers say that Society6 pays artists 10% for all products other than prints while with Printful you can make 28.5% to 37% profits over a range of products. What such articles hide from us artists is that the most signifant aspect of having your own store is the cost of customer aquisition. And this cost can be shocking. Most artists on POD sites are getting their products sold because of the kind of money POD sites spend on marketing our products! Without those marketing dollars spent, you could end up having no sales and therefore no profits – no matter what sites like Printful and Printify promise you. They are not responsible for your products getting sold and make no effort to increase your sales.
I’m not saying don’t ever think of starting your own store. I’m saying, if you’re going to start, first have a plan in place as to how you are going to market your products, find customers, how much are you going to have to spend doing that and then how that compares with your profits. Also, in the beginning expect to put in a LOT of over time to set up your store, troubleshooting and generally keeping your store up and running flawlessly for your customers. It’s what I did when I went live with my own store for a brief period last year. I first set up shop on Shopify but when the monthly fees became too much, decided to move to WordPress which made keeping my monthly store costs to the lowest much easier but there was still SO much work. Setting up Facebook ads, Google ads, updating the site constantly with new sales and offers, graphics! It was like I had no time left to do what I love – making art. This went on for about 4 months – I struggled to manage everything untill finally in August, I decided to take a step back from running my own store having learnt that it is SO much easier to sell your art via POD your partners instead.
Are you an artist? Do you have your own store? What platform do you use? How has your experience been? Do share your comments below.