Yesterday I told you about 2 Print-On-Demand sites that I'm trying out; Redbubble and Zazzle. As a reminder, a Print-On-Demand site (POD) is a site where you can upload your own design, designate a product or products to have that design printed on, and add it to your portfolio or store. Orders are fulfilled through the site's partners and shipped direct to the customer. You make money through a royalty you receive every time one of your designs is purchased. Signing up on either site is absolutely free.
The first POD site I tried was Redbubble. You create an account, add some information about yourself, upload an image for your avatar, add links to social media sites if you want to and boom, you're ready to start designing. Your design must be complete when uploaded since Redbubble does not provide any options for modifying it in any way other than zooming in/out and moving it around to position it on products. There are FAQ/Help pages that will give you more information about optimal sizing for your designs as well as templates that you can use when creating your design.
To create new products, click on your avatar image in the upper right corner of the page to open the menu then click on the 'Add New Work' option to open the window where you will upload your design. When the new page opens, click on the box with "Upload to all products" which will open a window, Windows Explorer if you're on a Windows pc, where you can select the file you want to upload Once the upload of your file is complete, your design will be applied to all the products available on Redbubble and, based on their own algorithms, the optimal zoom percentage will be set for the image for each product. Only products for which the file size dimensions are appropriate will be 'Enabled'. For example, if the image you uploaded can only optimally be printed on a greeting card, the Scarf product will not be enabled. You can go through each of the products, edit the magnification and/or move the image around to best fit the product, disable a product that's been enabled and enable one that hasn't. You can also change the royalty percentage that you want to receive on each product's sales. Each product's base price plus the royalty amount you designate will determine the sale price of the product.
When you've made all the product changes that you want to make, fill in the information at the bottom (title & description) and give your design some tags to help people find hour work. Respond to the questions at the bottom then check the fine print to acknowledge that you own or have rights to the design the image you uploaded then save your work.
Your image is now applied to the products you selected and is ready for sale! I've oversimplified the process a little but this generally describes the process.
What I like: 1) Upload the image once and it's applied to all available products at the same time, 2) Ability to make size and position adjustments on each product, 3) Ability to pick and choose which products you want to include your design on. 4) Ability to adjust royalty percentage for each product individually, 5) Ability to individually replace an image for any product (for example, uploading an image with different dimensions to better fit the larger products without having to redo all products), 6) Title/Description/Tags in multiple languages (English, Deutsch, Francais and Espanol) - enter in one and it's automatically translated to the other 3. 7) Ability to create 'collections' for grouping your works. 8) Ability to share to some social media pages like Twitter & Facebook.
What I don't like: 1) Upload the image once and it's applied to all available products at the same time. Yes, I know I listed that as a 'like' as well. It does simplify things in a way, but it also creates limitations as well. Some items are grouped together but the image can't be adjusted for each item individually - move it to work for one and it may make it not work for another. 2) Number of products - I've counted 48, which is a lot, but when I cover the Zazzle site you'll see that 48 isn't that many at all. 3) Presentation - If I had stopped at Redbubble I wouldn't have had anything to compare to and wouldn't have known any different. But, I have and I do. I'm not sure I can put into words exactly what I don't like about it other than I don't find it very sales friendly. 4) The inability to zoom in on a product, or see the different views for it when in Edit mode. You have to save your work first. The main reason to dislike this is the amount of time it takes to save then reopen everything if you select to Edit again (about 15 seconds for each). 5) Inability to share to Instagram.
So there you have my first impressions of Redbubble. I currently have 17 designs (mostly photos) uploaded but I can't find anything that shows a total product count. My guess would be somewhere around 100+. I've had no sales as of yet and I know there is a minimum royalty amount that needs to be achieved before payment will be made so it may be a while before I see any money coming in, if any. I also haven't started to promote my Redbubble 'store' since I wanted to build an 'inventory' first.
Next up: My experience getting set up on Zazzle.
Here's an example of one of my products on Redbubble. This is a framed print of a bald eagle perched in a tree. Click the image to go to my store.