In this Redbubble review, we’ll be giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Redbubble such an attractive tool for people approaching the print-on-demand market.
As the ecommerce marketplace continues to evolve, would-be business leaders around the globe are looking for their opportunity to earn a share of the landscape. Print on Demand solutions, a subsection of the dropshipping environment, could be the solution for those in search of a creative opportunity, and Redbubble makes POD easy to access.
Print on Demand services like Redbubble allow entrepreneurs to create and sell products featuring their own designs, without having to pay for storage and inventory themselves. Redbubble handles creating, packaging, and sending your products, so all you need to do is upload designs, and manage your sales. The service even comes with a pre-existing marketplace to help you find clients.
But is Redbubble the best print on demand service?
Today, we’re going to be exploring all the features and functionality of this platform, to help you make the right decision for your company.
What is Redbubble? Introducing Redbubble
As mentioned above, Redbubble is a print-on-demand solution, and part of the dropshipping landscape. Like other dropshipping tools, this service ensures you don’t have to handle things like inventory and fulfilment yourself. Print on Demand solutions like Redbubble also give you more freedom to show off your creative skills by uploading designs and customizing products.
Redbubble, launching in 2006, has earned a lot of attention over the years as a fantastic tool for both sellers and buyers. What makes this product so compelling for beginners to the POD space, is how easy it is to start selling your products. Rather than having to build an entire website from scratch and sync in the products you want to sell, you just create a storefront on an existing marketplace.
Redbubble’s marketplace approach has both positives and negatives to consider. On the one hand, you don’t have to go through the work of building and maintaining your own website. On the other hand, Redbubble’s marketplace environment means you’re going to be listing your product alongside thousands of other creators – just like you.
The environment does make it a little harder to stand out from the crowd if you want to build a memorable brand. However, it also means that you’ve already got a potential audience for your products and services. The company has more than 10 million site visits per month, and millions of people have purchased products from the site. This significantly reduces the demand on you to promote and market your products.
How Does Redbubble Work?
Redbubble is a popular print on demand solution, intended for a specific kind of POD seller. Rather than building your own website from scratch and listing products there, you build your presence on an existing marketplace. Redbubble doesn’t integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. You can’t install this solution into your existing storefront, like you might with other dropshipping tools.
That’s not to say that you can’t have two different kinds of stores running at the same time, but you won’t be able to connect the two and sync their inventory. If you’re an artist looking to get your work online and attract more attention from creative customers, then Redbubble will give you a head start.
Redbubble is a very simple solution for creative sellers. All you need to do to begin is create an account – you can do this for free, and there’s no subscription cost for maintaining that account. Remember to confirm your account when you’re sent the confirmation email. Once you’ve created your account, you can set up your “storefront”.
Some of the steps of preparing to sell on Redbubble include:
Adding account details: On your account details page, you will be able to choose your preferred payment method like PayPal, or a bank account. Currently, you can only get bank transfers directly if you’re from Australia, the US, or UK.
Upload your designs: Uploading your creative work is quick and easy. You can create designs for a host of products, Redbubble offers categories like:
- Men’s clothing
- Women’s clothing
- Device cases and accessories
- Kids and babies
- Home Décor
Each category has a range of options within it. If you choose to make wall art, for instance, you can sell everything from photo prints and posters, to wall tapestries and canvasses.
- Manage sales: After you make your designs public, your customers will be able to see and purchase them. You’ll get an alert when you make a sale, and you can view the details in your Sales History page. After 2-3 days of development time, Redbubble’s manufacturing team will send your product to the buyer, and you can keep an eye on the “Order Status” in your account to check what’s going on.
- Get paid: Redbubble’s pay cycle starts at the 15th of every month, and you can earn cash for every sale you make once you reach the minimum payment threshold of $20. If your sales haven’t shipped by the 15th, or you’re not at the threshold, the amount you earn will just rollover to the next pay cycle.
Redbubble: Ease of Use
One of the things that makes Redbubble so attractive to today’s creatives is how simple it is to use. The marketplace environment makes it quick and easy to find customers for your products. There are tons of categories to choose from to help you showcase your art, and each category comes with multiple products.
We do recommend taking the time to check multiple sizes of your art or creative design on different products. Remember, depending on the size and material of the item, a design might look a little different. On the plus side, actually uploading your original pictures, logos, and ideas is quick and simple. You can plaster your art across a range of items, without having to do any of the production work yourself.
To get started with uploading designs, all you need to do is set up your Redbubble account, then go into your profile. The profile page will include an “Add New Work” button, which you can click to add new designs or logos. Once everything is uploaded, Redbubble will allow you to scroll through the various product options to see what you want to create.
You’ll need to upload your artistic content in PNG format for the best effects, and you should also ensure that the design supports the CMYK profile – for easier printing. Redbubble suggests using transparent backgrounds to ensure the color of the fabric shows through the image if you’re designing for a piece of clothing.
It’s easy to get creative with your graphics, using things like color fading and gradients, but Redbubble does have some limitations on what it can do. The more complex your design, the more likely it is that the printing system will have a problem. If you’re not sure, you might need to get a product sample before you start selling.
Redbubble also has a handy page where you can check the recommended dimensions and sizing for each of the available products for sale, so you can get the sizes right every time.
Redbubble: Account Analytics
Redbubble is pretty great for selling t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, and a range of other products online. Not only is it easy to use, but you also get the added benefit of being able to track the performance of your store and business as it continues to grow.
You can start exploring your sales analytics and earnings by looking at the trends in your sales over time with a chart that goes back up to 30 days. You can also add a 7 day or 12 month filter, depending on your needs. The artist analytics dashboard will also show you some information about how people find your store. For instance, you can see if your customers are coming from:
- Social media: Advertising from an URL shared through social media accounts like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many others.
- Organic visitors: People who turn up at your store after searching for something on Google, and finding your website in the search results.
- Direct: Visitors who type the URL of your Redbubble profile into Google to find you. Strong direct traffic usually means you have a good brand.
- Redbubble: Remember, Redbubble can help out with bringing you traffic through affiliates, paid advertising, marketing emails, and RB search.
- Other: people who visit your store from other sites, links, and various other forms of discovery.
Another analytics feature included with Redbubble is the ability to see which of your artwork options are selling best. You can track the art pieces that perform particularly well over the months, and consider creating similar artwork in the future.
There’s a complete guide of your most popular products, and how many items you’ve sold within a specific time. In general, the data analytics dashboard will refresh around once every day at 2am UTC, this means that if something doesn’t seem accurate, you just need to check again the next day.
Notably, you can also connect your Redbubble account to Google analytics for deeper insights if you want. This can tell you more about where your customers are coming from.
Redbubble Review: Pricing Policy and Getting Paid
Redbubble’s policy around pricing is pretty straightforward. Everything you buy on the website has a specific base price. From there, you can set a markup for each item you sell. Redbubble will give you multiple options for setting the profit margin. For instance, you can set your price with a percentage markup, which applies that percentage to every product you sell.
You could also set a percentage markup on specific categories of products in your portfolio. This might be a good idea if you sell a variety of different items.
There’s a price-based markup option too. This means that you can have a $10 or $5 markup on all your products or options. The ability to set your own prices makes it easier to take full control of your store and your earning potential. You can also change your mind and set a different price if you decide the cost is too high.
Getting paid is reasonably easy too – although you will need to meet a specific threshold before you can start collecting your money. You need to earn at least $20 before collecting your cash. If you haven’t reached that threshold, and you’ve earned at least $2, you’ll be paid once a year in December.
You can find information about your earnings in your Artist dashboard, and once you’re ready to get paid, you can simply access your money through PayPal. Notably, once you set up your payment method and implement your detail, you won’t be able to change your currency. This means that if you do need to change your currency, you have to start a new account from scratch.
Redbubble does have some assistance available for beginners in the marketplace who need help understanding things like margin and base prices, as well as sales, discounts, VAT, and taxes. If you’re new to selling, make sure you checkout the knowledgebase.
Redbubble Review: Shipping
One of the toughest parts of working with any POD or dropshipping solution, is making sure that items get to your customers on time. Most clients won’t want to wait around for months before they see the product they want. Redbubble, fortunately, makes it easy to offer your customers a great experience with great delivery dates.
The Redbubble ecosystem is connected to a global selection of shipping services, so you can send products to people all over the world. Because the products are made to order, however, you won’t be able to send them on the same day, or next day.
Like many online marketplace solutions for independent artists and print on demand, there are some complaints out there from customers not happy with the speed of the shipping, but it is a lot faster than you might expect from some other companies.
Your customers can also find estimated shipping times by adding a product to their cart and selecting a destination country. Redbubble will automatically determine how long it should take for the product to arrive with both express shipping and standard shipping.
Redbubble Review: Customer Support
Aside from shipping, another issue that many companies face when trying to sell their original designs online, is with customer support. It’s worth noting that Redbubble does have a decent customer support team, but you may find that your customers still come to you first if they have any problems with their items being delivered, or the quality not being up to scratch.
The company guarantees that you will have a response to any queries you send to the support team within four hours, through the “Contact Us” section of the website. There’s also a live support chat feature, so you can hopefully get any issues addressed as quickly as possible if you have an urgent matter at hand.
After customers receive an item, they will also have up to 90 days to return it, so make sure you are aware of that before you start selling.
Redbubble Review: promoting Products
Companies in any environment need to know how to promote their products if they want to improve their chances of sales. The good thing about Redbubble is that it can give you some help getting initial attention to your works. You can start building your brand presence with off-site marketing, which basically means that you use various forms of advertising to attract customers to your Redbubble site. You can do this by setting up email campaigns, creating content on an external website and more.
Redbubble also has a “featured artist” section on the website where you can attempt to list your products if you want to find as many customers as possible. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for getting represented on this part of the website, however.
A lot like social media promotion, you’ll need to work carefully on designing a Redbubble selling page that attracts the Redbubble algorithm. This means formatting your design perfectly, using tags correctly, uploading more new products on a regular basis, and designing a complete profile. You should also keep an eye on trends for a boosted chance of attention.
Redbubble does offer some extra tips on how to promote your products yourself online too. Initially, simply uploading your content to Redbubble will give you access to a new audience. However, with hundreds of thousands of other artists on Redbubble, this doesn’t mean you’re immediately going to attract any sales. The company recommends getting active on social media and other sites to promote your merchandise.
With Redbubble, you can also give visitors on your profile the option to share your work through their Pinterest board, which is a great form of word-of-mouth marketing. Redbubble also recommends using tags to promote your work. By including tags in your description, you can increase the chances of your potential customers finding what you want to sell.
To boost your chances of more sales, you can also sell your artwork on other platforms outside of Redbubble. For instance, you could list your pieces on other marketplaces, or even create your own website if you like.
Further reading 📚
Who Should Use Redbubble?
For creative professionals looking for new avenues for sales (alongside options like Amazon and Etsy), Redbubble has a lot to offer. You won’t get a full website where you can sell high quality clothes and canvas prints, but you do get an environment which allows you to reach new customers.
Most of the products available to customize on Redbubble are good quality, though it’s up to you to test your print before you commit 100% to your new product line. It’s also worth noting that Redbubble has a variety of artist partnership options and affiliate selling choices to help you grow online. You can even earn customer reviews to improve your reputation.
Redbubble is quite a competitive environment for selling things like leggings, art, and clothing, but this Melbourne based ecosystem is also a handy way to increase your passive income. You can simply list your items on Redbubble, and wait for people to purchase quality products, or you can actively work on building positive reviews, and attracting sales. The Redbubble website even has a host of articles and blogs to help you in ensuring print quality and earning sales.
Redbubble Policies and Guidelines
Redbubble does have some essential policies and guidelines you’ll need to follow. For instance, Redbubble asks customers to avoid “tag spamming”. This is a similar strategy to keyword spamming on Google, when you add endless tags to a page to try and gain more attention. Other issues you’ll need to learn about include:
- Reporting: People on Redbubble can report other sellers for using inappropriate tags on products. This could be something your customers do if they notice you’re using the wrong tags to try and gain sales.
- Community guidelines: The users of Redbubble are asked to be civil and friendly to other people on the platform. You will have etiquette guidelines to follow when interacting with other users. Redbubble has options to reach out for help of you have conflict with another user.
- Content guidelines: There will be limitations to what you can reasonably sell on Redbubble. Make sure you know what the guidelines are before you start uploading art that might be deemed inappropriate. You’ll also need to make sure you’re only using art that belongs to use, plagiarism won’t be tolerated.
Redbubble will also require you to remain active on the website if you want to maintain your account. If you haven’t been active for months, your account may be suspended.
Redbubble Reviews: What Sellers Say
The responses sellers have to Redbubble as a money-making opportunity can vary.
Some customers say they’ve uploaded plenty of products to Redbubble, but they’re not getting a lot of views, or any sales.
Other customers say they don’t get a lot of sales, but they can make some significant passive income without having to do much marketing or promotion.
There have also been a handful of sellers saying that with Redbubble products, they’re almost making enough to quite their job. However, these people often spend a lot of time and effort on promotion. This indicates that if you’re going to be using Redbubble.com as a source of income, you’ll need to invest in the right sales strategies to see results.
Commonly, reviews about Redbubble say the print quality is good, and the community is excellent. A lot of the blog articles and guidance are excellent, no matter whether you’re selling in San Francisco or elsewhere in the world. Plus, you can build a decent relationship with customers, offering voucher codes to loyal clients, and minimizing shipping costs through excellent partnerships.
The biggest headache of using Redbubble will often be dealing with returns. If someone needs to send an item back because it’s the wrong size, or they’re not fully happy with the quality, you will need to manage the majority of the returns headache yourself. This can make it difficult to maintain a consistent income through Redbubble.
However, since the service is free to use, it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t be worth it to invest in Redbubble and increase your income to some degree. Even if you don’t make a lot of money, you can add a little cash to your regular wages to top things up.
Finishing Thoughts on Redbubble
Redbubble hasn’t always had the best reputation. A lot of people have complained about the competitive nature of the website, and how hard it can be to ensure the right quality of merchandise. However, for the most part, the company has shed its negative reputation today. Currently Redbubble is a valuable tool for a lot of creative artists.
There are nearly half a million artists active on Redbubble today, highlighting just how easy it is to use the service, and how popular the site can be. As many professionals argue, while Redbubble has its downside, it fills an important gap in the market. With this product, you can easily bring your art into the marketplace without having to spend a fortune on inventory and production.
You may not make a fortune on Redbubble, but the platform is worth experimenting with if you simply want a new avenue for sales. The service is easy to use, offers a huge selection of products, and it’s great for empowering retailers to sell merchandise online.