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Illustrator Prints: Society6, InPrnt, Etsy...?

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Hello Illustrators!

I have been thinking of making my work available to be sold as prints. I know many other artists use websites like Society6, InPrnt, and even selling work through Etsy and I was wondering if anyone had any experience selling their work on any of these sites?

As of now I feel a site that handles the printing process like Society6 sounds appealing. Any list of experiences with these sites or a list of pros/cons would be very helpful. Thanks!
#1 - March 02, 2014, 11:42 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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I have prints available on Etsy and InPrint as well as my own site. To date the only place I have sold any has been direct from my web site.

Etsy charges a per listing fee, which expires every three months and has to be renewed again at a new listing fee. They also charge for every sale. If you process through PayPal, that's an additional fee. If you process through a credit card via Etsy's site, that's a different fee. The fees aren't huge, but they do cut into your bottom line.

To get onto InPrint, your art is juried by artists already on the site. It's supposed to keep quality high. InPrint doesn't charge to list, does the printing and shipping for you and gives the artist 50% (I think) of the retail listed price. I like the fact you can purchase your own prints at a discount. I don't like the fact there is no watermarking process for the images displayed. They also allow artists to make their images available for cell phone and iPad cases. But there is no way to adjust the images for these items, so unless they are the exact dimensions of the cases, the art is cropped automatically and that can make for weird results.

As with all social media listing places, you have to market the beejeesis out of it yourself. If you don't make noise about your listings outside of the listing site, it's rare to sell anything.
#2 - March 02, 2014, 12:12 PM
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Rock of The Westies
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I don't have an Etsy store, but I do have a Zazzle one. T-Shirts, phone cases, pins, postcards, beach bags, etc. They give you royalties based on sales, probably not as good as Etsy. But, I wanted to try it out to see how it would go. I haven't plugged my items at all and some have sold. So I have a tiny/smallish royalty check for some T-Shirts and stationary.
The fun part is seeing what sells where for me. I've noticed a tendancy towards one of my images in the U.K. and a tendancy for another here in the U.S. If I have things printed, I will go with what's sold from my Zazzle store as a basis.
What Wendy said rings true. You really have to put a lot into selling through your online Etsy/Zazzle/InPrnt store, but for some, it may work out well.
#3 - March 03, 2014, 01:19 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People

I have a big printer at home, (13x19) and have attempted to sell prints from my website. However, I only managed to sell two prints from my site to people I knew. Happily, I have managed to move my prints by selling them at a convention or craft fair. So like the others say, as always, social media is key. Also, you have the advantage of not having to pay for the space. However, it's worked for me, so I'm sticking to it!

Also, I have transferred four images unto greeting cards that have been popular. The images I chose are of popular subjects, cats, dogs, mermaids, which helps move them. Greeting cards, as archaic as they seem, are a great way for someone to own a smaller version of your work. Some people display them and don't send them, and some do. I actually have a few greeting cards on the wall of my studio from artists that I like. So that's an option. Also, smaller prints are neat too.

Whatever you decide, best of luck! Personally, I am waiting until I have a bigger online following until I do something like that. I'm getting close, my social media network on Tumblr and Facebook is building from using tags to my advantage.  :guitar:
#4 - March 07, 2014, 06:21 AM

Hi Amanda,

I know this post is old and you probably have already made your decision, but in case you or anyone else who clicks on this link is still wondering... Society6 is an excellent avenue to sell prints.  Of all the online print on demand companies I've used, it has the most professional quality items up to this point.  I say up to this point because print on demand is a rapidly improving industry and I feel like cool new stuff is available to artists every few months.  I've never used InPrnt but it looks to be a similar quality without the depth of products that Society6 has.  I also have several graphic design friends who use Society6 and love it.  It doesn't cost anything up front, they just take it out of your price at the end.  Etsy was great for all artists when it first came out, but as other companies have emerged I feel that it is now a stronger venue for handmade and vintage items, custom graphic pieces, or prints for artists that sign each print.  If your art is both handmade and graphic, sell some of it on Etsy and some of it on Society6.  Most of these websites have a strong "like for like" kind of community.  On Society6 you "promote" other artists by liking their work.  The more times a work has been promoted, the quicker it comes up on a community page.  Etsy does something similar with communities, favorites, etc.  If you are trying to stand out in the crowd you will need to do a little research in how each website works as far as that is concerned.

I do agree that no matter what, it is great to have a personal website that links to your shop accounts. Your fans need a place to find you right off the bat, not look for you in the midst of thousands of other artists.  Good luck!
#5 - May 25, 2014, 10:41 PM
What is your dream, how are you chasing it?
Kat Ford


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