Welcome to part 1 of my 2 part series about Selling your art on POD Websites: Zazzle vs Society6!
Hopefully this guide can help you decide which of these sites could be best for you!
“Print On Demand” basically means an item is printed or created after it has been ordered. You upload your art or designs onto a website and digitally place them on different product mock-ups. Then, the company prints and ships the product to the customer after they buy it, and pays you a commission in return.
You do not have to pay for anything or maintain an inventory, so this is a fairly risk-free way to get your art and designs out into the online world!
There are several websites out there who offer this service. I chose Zazzle and Society6 after doing some research because they are both popular and widely known, offering good customer service and fair designer programs.
Pros and Cons of Zazzle vs Society6
Now I would like to discuss some of the major differences (mainly pros and cons) between Zazzle vs Society6. This is my experience as a designer (and consumer) living in Canada.
Society6‘s audience is fine art based. There is more of a focus on prints, and different ways of displaying unique art work (ex. framed art prints, tapestries).
Zazzle caters more towards audiences looking for graphic design based products. Think wedding invitations, birthday cards, and business cards.
Also, graphic t-shirts with funny/topical sayings are top sellers on Zazzle.
As an artist I prefer Society6‘s store front, as you can customize your store front to show either just your designs as prints, or the different products you have for sale. You can also sort by new, random or most popular.
On the Zazzle storefront your “Home” tab is the landing page for your storefront.
Under the “Home” tab your “Most Popular” products show up first, followed by your “Categories”, then “Recently Sold” products, and finally “Latest Products”. You can customize which categories are shown and re-arrange these under the Store Settings.
There is also a “Products” tab which seems to show a mix of your more popular items, a “Collections” tab (which can include your own products as well as other people’s), followed by “Comments” and “About” tabs.
While this new storefront is a major improvement from what it was before, I find it a little cluttered and also think it may be confusing or overwhelming for a first time user.
A redeeming factor for Zazzle is that you have the ability to have multiple stores under the same account, which is not possible on Society6 at this time.
Ease of upload
This is because first you upload your original image and choose the appropriate tags, and then your work is automatically placed on all of their different products. You may have to adjust the size or orientation for some products but most of them should work if your image is large enough.
On Zazzle you upload your image only once but then you have to create each item separately (they do have a “Quick Create” tool but I don’t recommend using it), and then add custom tags for each product. This one by one process can be very time consuming.
One thing that does set Zazzle apart though is that you (and your buyer) can customize each individual item with text or other images, all within their website.
Society6 has no options for customization after you’ve created your products, besides changing the colours of some items.
Now the part you really want to know – which of these websites can make you the most $$??
On Zazzle you can set your own commission rate, so it can be as high as you choose — but keep in mind it will be hard to compete with other stores and get sales. The typical commission rate is usually around 10%. I get anywhere from 0.10 cents to $10 depending on the item sold.
On Society6 you get a fixed commission rate on products, but you can choose your own commission for prints. I generally earn about $4-$5 per sale, so the set commission rate seems pretty fair to me.
Also keep sales cycles in mind. Generally I get the most sales around the Holidays and Back to School (August) while the Spring and early Summer is generally quite slow.
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 of Selling your Art on Zazzle vs Society6 including information about: Payment, Quality of Products, Marketing of Products, Shipping, and my own Summary remarks!
What has been your experience selling on Print on Demand websites? Do you have any of your own tips to share? Feel free to leave your comments below!