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Poll

What's the best POD website?

Zazzle
15 (26.8%)
Cafepress
0 (0%)
Redbubble
10 (17.9%)
Fineartamerica
20 (35.7%)
Crated
1 (1.8%)
Smugsmug
1 (1.8%)
Deviantart
0 (0%)
Society6
3 (5.4%)
Photo4me
2 (3.6%)
Saatchiart
0 (0%)
Etsy (+ 3rd party POD service like The Printful)
1 (1.8%)
Amazon (+ 3rd party POD service like The Printful)
0 (0%)
Ebay (+ 3rd party POD service like The Printful)
0 (0%)
Others (please, specify in the answer)
3 (5.4%)

Total Members Voted: 35

Author Topic: POD strategy: how and where to sell?  (Read 8428 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: November 04, 2016, 09:51 »
+1
Ok, I want to start selling POD products and I'm researching all the possible options.

First of all: Which websites are working best for you?

Second: What do you think it's the best strategy? Selling on just one website? Selling on a small selection of websites? Selling on most of them?

Third: Do you upload the same exact photos as on stock websites? Or you do different post-processing? Or even major photoshopping?


« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 10:28 »
+3
1.  I've tried a few and, for me, they were all a waste of time, except for FAA.  And FAA is very far from ideal.   

2.  If I ever find another site that doesn't seem like a waste, I'll put my stuff on it, as long as I can control pricing so I'm not underselling myself elsewhere.

3.  A few of my POD photos also sell as stock - mainly shots of objects which I tried to do in some creative way.

Disclaimer:  I do no marketing of my own, so my only chance to sell is via keyword search.   And I haven't been trying to sell on 'products' like t-shirts, bags and iPhone cases; maybe that's where the sales are, today.  Some of these sites don't read IPTC, which is a deal-breaker for me.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 10:50 by stockastic »

« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 11:20 »
0
Best $$$ is on FAA.
I make lots of mostly small sales on redbubble which add up, though some months not so much.
Some sales on Crated and Photo4Me.

I market my portfolios on RB, FAA and Crated. I've found I do best when one of my photos is suddenly featured (on RB and Crated this has happened a couple of times), and this year from all combined did better than on the micros.

My print prices are much higher than the average on FAA, etc., so I don't need to make as many sales, and when I do they are worthwhile. I have been in 5 local gallery shows this year, where I sold framed and metal prints, so I like to keep those prices similar. I also sell products on all the sites that have them, though not for all images.

I think you need to market your work to see any appreciable sales, although in my experience those out of the blue keyword searches can lead to sales too.

I have a mix of purely fine art (i.e. non-stock) and artistic stock images on the sites. A couple of my best-selling stock photos also sell frequently as fine art, so there is overlap.

« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 11:23 »
0
Thanks for your opinions ;)

« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 07:16 »
0
It looks like that not a lot of people are selling pod... :P

« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 07:57 »
0
Well, I seriously think its almost irrelevant where you sell cause if you want to earn from that seriously you are mainly gonna have to drag your buyers yourself anyway, which POD sites are openly stating.

Im avoiding the ones that would like to form my price or throw me peanuts. For sure it wont hurt to take some top positions in strong keyword searches but that thing usually involves full time commenting, liking joining group cults and stuff like that or you can do it by generating sales for your stuff.

People that are selling serious amounts of prints on decent prices claim to be producing art and marketing in at least 40% - 60% time ratio in favor of marketing , and i believe that.

« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 09:46 »
+1
What Lizard said.   I've been on the FAA forum for years and the people there who claim big sales either have unique niches or they spend huge amounts of time doing online and email marketing.

I have about 400 on FAA and do absolutely no marketing.  I sell one every now and then - sometimes a few in a month, sometimes none - and I assume that's all by keyword search.  It's like microstock, you have to have a niche because the common subjects are saturated times 10.   And most FAA searches get funneled into their "collections" of best sellers, and there's no way to get into those.   The search results can be pretty bad - there's spamming, and search rank is heavily weighted by past sales - it's pretty hard for anything new to get seen.  Try a few searches and you might see what I mean.

We could have a long discussion about FAA's good and bad points but the bottom line is that it's not going to change; it's pretty much a one man operation and the owner clearly lacks the interest or ability to improve it.   The other sites I've tried - Photo4Me, Redbubble and Crated - haven't produced any sales and I've given up on them for now.  I had high hopes for Crated but they seem to have royally fizzled out - something clearly went wrong there.   

It's not hopeless - I know I could sell a lot more photos if I could get them in front of buyers. But I have no clue what, if anything, actually works in online marketing today. FB and Twitter don't work anymore, they're saturated.  New POD sites haven't gotten any traction.   

Maybe Etsy... if there was a nice automated tie-in with a print supplier, that didn't require hand-editing of HTML every time you upload a photo...





 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 10:50 by stockastic »

« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 12:08 »
+1

Maybe Etsy... if there was a nice automated tie-in with a print supplier, that didn't require hand-editing of HTML every time you upload a photo...


These people do something like what you are looking for.
https://artofwhere.com/drop-shipping/etsy

« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 12:34 »
0

Maybe Etsy... if there was a nice automated tie-in with a print supplier, that didn't require hand-editing of HTML every time you upload a photo...


These people do something like what you are looking for.
https://artofwhere.com/drop-shipping/etsy

Thanks, I hadn't heard about them and I'm looking at it now.  Unfortunately they don't do framing, and they only offer standard print sizes. FAA handles non-standard sizes, including the mat and framing, which is a big plus for them.  At least half my FAA sales are framed prints and some are quite large.  I also have many non-standard sizes, in fact many of my sales have been square format, which ArtOfWhere doesn't do.   

At least it's a start; I should put a few photos on Etsy and see what happens.  I just emailed AOW and asked about their future plans for wall art.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 12:43 by stockastic »

« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 13:18 »
0
Artofnowhere is interesting. It has some interesting products :) Thanks.
Looks better than The Printful, but I need to find some review online

« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2016, 14:32 »
+1
POD has gone stale, no new players are coming in, the old ones are losing focus.  FAA and RedBubble are morphing into Zazzle, they want to sell  t-shirts and hoodies to the kids, not fine art photography.   And they're flooded with low-quality, repetitious and even stolen material.   

Etsy has a  known name and a better looking site.  A partnership between Etsy and a POD should be the new opportunity we're looking for.  But without framing, and square format, I probably wouldn't sell enough to make the effort worthwhile.


« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 09:48 »
0
[...] Etsy has a  known name and a better looking site.  A partnership between Etsy and a POD should be the new opportunity we're looking for.  But without framing, and square format, I probably wouldn't sell enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Have a look here: https://www.theprintful.com/custom/wall-art
Plenty of formats available for poster, canvas and framed posters. Frames are quite basic tho.
It uses Shipstation which let you integrate with Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and other stores

« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2016, 11:26 »
0
[...] Etsy has a  known name and a better looking site.  A partnership between Etsy and a POD should be the new opportunity we're looking for.  But without framing, and square format, I probably wouldn't sell enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Have a look here: https://www.theprintful.com/custom/wall-art
Plenty of formats available for poster, canvas and framed posters. Frames are quite basic tho.
It uses Shipstation which let you integrate with Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and other stores

That's getting closer, but still no mat.   They don't quite sell fine art, just 'framed posters'.   People don't really need a lot of choices for mat color, width, frame material etc - just a basic black metal frame is acceptable to almost anyone.  But without a mat it isn't "art" and if it isn't "art" it's only worth a few dollars.   

I'm sure eventually someone will do what I need.

« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2016, 11:52 »
0
Understood ;)

If you eventually find something, please add it here ;)

« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 11:09 »
0
From the votes it looks like the only one which are worth a try are Zazzle, Fineartamerica, and Redbubble.

I will test these in the next few months. And I will also try to automate everything I can to sell on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy (not sure about this last one as it has a fee to list products) with a 3rd party service to print and dropship the products.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2016, 12:40 »
0
From the votes it looks like the only one which are worth a try are Zazzle, Fineartamerica, and Redbubble.

I will test these in the next few months. And I will also try to automate everything I can to sell on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy (not sure about this last one as it has a fee to list products) with a 3rd party service to print and dropship the products.

How are sales on Amazon? For prints I thought you had to be represented by a gallery or one of their partner sites? How did you get products on there?

« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2016, 12:44 »
0
Haven't started yet, but I think it can be done with this: https://www.theprintful.com/landing/shipstation-print-products-fulfillment

« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2016, 15:03 »
0
I emailed ArtOfWhere about my need for non-standard formats (including square), matting and framing.  I got a brief reply, basically what I expected: they have no immediate plans to get into that, but might in the future.

I suggest others email them too, if you're interested in these things, and maybe we create the impression of demand.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2016, 21:12 »
+3
Just tried adding some products to Zazzle. Maybe I'm missing something but this has to be most poorly designed, least intuitive, time consuming upload interface. No IPTC recognition. Then you need to repeat the creation process for each product per image and repeat the title, description and tags entry. The Quick Create / Template is also convoluted and I'm not sure saves any time.

Society6 is worse in that it doesn't even offer default settings and is brutally time consuming.

It would take months to upload a few hundred images to either of these.

How difficult could it be to design a simple intuitive upload process? Especially when there are already sites that have easier processes to use as a reference.

« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2016, 22:32 »
+1
It's not just you.  I think everyone who's every tried Zazzle has conclude the same thing: it's just a huge waste of time. And Society6 is just as bad.  I get the impression that if you're in any sense a 'pro', with hundreds of good photos, these sites don't want you.   



 

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