Print on demand (POD) is a business and technology process where you upload designs to a POD platform (e.g. Redbubble) or suppliers site and publish them to an eCommerce site or marketplace (i.e. Etsy) to sell your item.
Whether you are using a platform like Redbubble or a POD supplier together with Etsy, in both cases, your product only gets printed and shipped once you make a sale, so there is no need to hold any inventory making it a very attractive business model to get started in.
In this article, we compare Redbubble Vs Etsy to see which is best for POD in 2022.
What is Redbubble?
Redbubble is a print-on-demand company that connects artists and designers with potential customers. Artists upload their designs onto the site, and then Redbubble takes care of the printing and shipping process. Customers can buy a wide variety of products with these designs, including t-shirts, stickers, mugs, and phone cases. Redbubble is a great way for artists to sell their work without having to worry about inventory management or fulfillment.
How Redbubble Works
Redbubble is free to join and use as a seller. Artists simply create a seller account and upload their designs. They can then set their own prices for each product by setting the margin they want to make. Once you achieve a sale, you keep that margin. i.e. the proceeds from each sale.
Redbubble handles all of the printing, packaging, and shipping, so artists don’t have to worry about any of the fulfillment logistics.
This means that artists can focus on designing new products and marketing their work, rather than worrying about production and fulfillment.
In addition, Redbubble offers a variety of marketing tools to help artists promote their work. For example, artists can share links to their products on social media, or embed product widgets on their personal websites or blogs.
Redbubble also has an affiliate program, which allows artists to earn commission on sales generated by people who they refer to the site.
Redbubble also handles all the customer management such as responding to messages and dealing with returns. If you are looking for a fire-and-forget marketplace to sell your art, then Redbubble is ideal.
Customers can browse Redbubble’s marketplace to find products they like. They can also search for specific designers or shops if they know what they’re looking for. Once they’ve found a design they like, they can choose the product and color they want it printed on. Redbubble offers a wide variety of products, including t-shirts, stickers, mugs, phone cases, and more.
After choosing a product, customers provide their shipping information and select their payment method. Payment methods include credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Shopify Payments. Once the order is placed, Redbubble will print and ship the order within 3-5 business days.
Redbubble is a great platform for artists who want to sell their work without having to worry about production or fulfillment logistics.
Customers can find a wide variety of unique products on the site, and orders are usually shipped within 3-5 business days. If you’re an artist or customer interested in supporting independent creators, definitely check out Redbubble!
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace that allows people to sell handmade, vintage, or craft items. Think of it as the online equivalent of a farmer’s market or flea market, where small businesses and individual sellers can come together to sell their wares.
Because Etsy offers such a wide range of items, it’s become one of the go-to sites for people looking for unique gifts or one-of-a-kind items.
A few years ago Etsy changed its policies to allow people to sell print-on-demand products in their Etsy shop. Now through integrations with print-on-demand companies like Printful and Printify you can add hundreds of different products to your Etsy shop.
Why Is Etsy So Popular?
Etsy is popular for a number of reasons. First, it’s easy to use both as a seller and a buyer. Second, it’s a great way for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to get started selling online without having to invest in their own eCommerce website (which can be expensive).
Third, because it offers such a wide variety of items, there’s something for everyone on Etsy. And last but not least, Etsy is known for being an ethical and environmentally-friendly marketplace – something that is important to an increasingly large number of consumers around the world.
How Can You Sell Print on Demand (POD) Products on Etsy?
The first step is to create an account and set up your Etsy shop – this is where you’ll choose your shop name (which can be different from your username), payment methods, language, currency, and location.
After your shop is all set up and ready to go, you can start listing products! You will need at least one clear photo per item listed, as well as a product description and price. Once you’ve listed your first item, congrats – you’re officially an Etsy seller!
Etsy is an online marketplace that allows people to sell handmade goods, vintage items, craft supplies and POD products. It’s easy to use both as a seller and buyer, making it a great option for small businesses or individual entrepreneurs who are interested in getting started selling online without investing in their own eCommerce website.
With over 4 million active sellers and 80 million active buyers worldwide, chances are there’s already an audience for whatever it is you’re selling on Etsy! So what are you waiting for? Start setting up your shop today!
Redbubble vs Etsy Pros and Cons
- Over 80 million buyers worldwide
- Etsy has been around since 2005, so it’s a well-established platform with a loyal user base.
- Easy-to-use tools and interface
- Etsy offers a wide range of features and tools for sellers, including marketing resources, shipping labels, and automatic tax calculations.
- Sellers on Etsy can offer discounts and coupons to buyers, which can be a great way to drive sales.
- High competition due to the sheer number of sellers on the platform
- More expensive than some other options, thanks to listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees
- Strict rules and guidelines that can be difficult to navigate for new users
- You need to integrate with a POD supplier like Printful or Printify in order to sell POD products
- Etsy has stricter rules than Redbubble when it comes to what can be sold on the site. For example, mass-produced items are not allowed, and all items must be made and or designed by the seller, craft suppliers or vintage.
- Unlike Redbubble, which prints and ships products on behalf of sellers, Etsy sellers have to handle customer management themselves. This can add an extra layer of complexity (and expense) to running an Etsy shop.
- No listing fees or transaction fees
- A wide range of products available for customization, including apparel, home decor, accessories, and more
- A built-in audience of creative individuals who are actively looking for unique products
- Robust marketing and promotional tools to help you get your products in front of new customers
- An easy-to-use interface with no design experience necessary
- Redbubble is a great platform for selling POD products because they handle printing and shipping on behalf of the seller. This takes a lot of the hassle out of fulfillment.
- Redbubble has very few restrictions on what can be sold on the site. This makes it a great platform for selling things like t-shirts and coffee mugs with designs that can be easily reproduced.
- Redbubble offers a wide range of promotional tools that sellers can use to market their products, including social media integrations and Google Shopping ads.
- Lower average order value than some other platforms
- Can be difficult to stand out from the crowd due to the high volume of products available
- There are many power sellers on Redbubble who have a high number of listings which can be hard to compete with.
- More reliant on social media promotion than some other platforms
- The quality of products is not regulated by Redbubble, so there is a greater chance of receiving complaints about defective items.
There are over 60 quality products on Redbubble that ship to almost anywhere on earth. These include the standard t-shirts, hoodies, and mugs as well as wall art, shower curtains, and clocks.
On Etsy the product range is only limited to 1) Selling items within Etsy’s policies and 2) the products that POD suppliers sell. With more and more POD providers integrating with Etsy, the number of different products you can sell is increasing day by day. But a word of caution. Using lots of different POD suppliers makes running your Etsy shop more complicated as you have to keep track of which product is from which POD supplier.
Etsy vs Redbubble: Pricing
Once you have uploaded your designs you get to set the retail price of your products by choosing the margin percentage you want to achieve. In the image below you can see a snippet of the product pricing page.
Top Tip: If you enter 0% you can see the Redbubble base price i.e. the cost of the product.
You can then choose how high or low you want to set your margin. I recommend you get a feel for what other people are selling their items for so you understand the platform. Then enter the % you want to achieve.
There are no other costs for selling on Redbubble. You will receive the margin you set once your product sells.
When doing print on demand on Etsy there are two sets of costs you need to consider in order to compare with Redbubble. 1) The fees that Etsy charges and 2) the costs of the product, printing and shipping charged by your print on demand supplier.
Etsy charges you the following
- A listing fee of $0.20 to post your product on Etsy (for four months)
- A Transaction fee of 6.5% of your total sale price including shipping
- A processing fee of between 3-5% depending on where you sell from
There are a number of other fees that can apply and for a full breakdown of Etsy costs, check out our article How Much Does It Cost To Sell On Etsy
In short, Etsy fees equate to 12 to 15% of your total selling price.
You can set your prices at whatever level you want to, but you need to make sure you have considered all your costs and may need to get your calculator, or a spreadsheet set up in order to fully understand your total cost and selling price.
On Etsy you pay to list an item and for every sale made in your Etsy store. You also have to pay a print on demand provider to print and ship your sold product. Again, these are mostly free to use and you only pay once you make a sale.
On Redbubble you only pay once you make a sale so it is far simpler.
Whilst Etsy charges are higher and there is additional complexity in selling on Etsy compared to Redbubble, your fees are paying for the marketing and organic traffic that Etsy has.
Those stats indicate that Etsy is a far bigger platform, with far more buyers for you to get your products in front of.
If you are keen on selling print-on-demand products online then Etsy and Redbubble are great options. However they are very different. Etsy is a marketplace that now enables you to sell POD products via integrations with companies like Printful and Printify.
Whereas, Redbubble is a print on demand platform that allows you to upload designs on to many products and enables you to sell the products. Redbubble handles all order fulfilment and customer engagement.
They are very different but easily used together. Each design you create, post on both Etsy and Redbubble and double your chances of making a sale.
Whether you sell on Etsy or Redbubble, or both, print on demand is a great business idea and one that can be the perfect side hustle to bring in some additional money.
Can I Sell On Redbubble And Etsy?
Yes, you can sell on both Etsy and Redbubble. They are both popular platforms for artists and makers to sell their products. However, there are some differences between the two as we have detailed in this article. Historically Etsy was focused on handmade goods, while Redbubble has always been a print on demand platform.
If you are creating designs for your Redbubble online store, then why not also upload designs to a print on demand supplier and sell on Etsy also.