Should I move from Redbubble to my own storefront?
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There are pros and cons to both options and I will explain my reasoning to make the switch.
- Simple user interface that makes uploading your own designs very easy
- Set it and forget it. Once your design is uploaded Redbubble does the rest
- Redbubble does it’s own marketing and ranks high on google searches
- Large number of products to choose from
- You only have to upload your design once and it is available to customers on all available products
- Ability to set your own price or markup for each item
- Have access to thousands of shoppers
- Limited self branding opportunities on things like product labels and packaging
- Payout dates are once per month and Redbubble has a payment threshold of $20
- While you do have access to thousands of shoppers, those shoppers also have access to hundreds of thousands of artists and designs
- Certain designs may be removed at the discretion of the Redbubble team
- No options to choose the specific supplier of products, no choice in quality of products
Overall, I would say that Redbubble is a great option if you don’t have a lot of time to tend to your own shop. It’s also a good option if you don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of your own online store.
My Own Store
- Full control over products, pricing and shipping options
- When the customer pays, you get paid. No waiting for payout dates or thresholds
- Your customers are there for you, not for a provider. They are your customers
- You appear as a more reliable “company” rather than just a random artist
- More chances to experiment with other products and services like dropshipping
- The initial set up takes longer than the simple sign up form from Redbubble
- There are startup fees for starting your own store. Things like a domain name and hosting site for a website (I use SiteGround for my hosting and I highly recommend it for yours if you are looking for affordable, user friendly hosting with great customer service), or a standalone online store with Shopify
- Depending on what and how you are selling, it takes more time than a Redbubble account. You have to make sure that the store/website is working properly and answer customer questions and other sorts of customer service issues.
I initially started with Redbubble in February when I was first looking into t-shirt design as a form of passive income. I was intrigued by the number of products Redbubble had and the ease of starting an account with them.
I quickly realized that the odds of my products being seen in a specific search were very small considering the number of artists and designs that are on that site. At least with my own store, I am in charge of marketing my own products. So if nobody sees it, it’s on me. I can’t blame a website for not featuring my art above someone elses.
I am a bit of a control freak which comes naturally with my OCD. So the idea of having everything on my own lap was more appealing to me. That and the fact that the overall profit margins are better with my own store than on Redbubble.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love Redbubble. I will still buy items from their site since they have such a huge variety of designs to choose from. And if you don’t find anything you like in my store then I would recommend checking it out. In fact, my daughter has her own Redbubble account where she sell some of her favourite designs. But ultimately I would love it if you found something in my store that you just couldn’t live without.
What would you do?
So that is my short journey from Redbubble to opening my own online store. I did get one sale in the month and a half that I was with them and made a profit of approximately $1.15 (woo hoo). And so far I have no sales and probably no traffic in my own store which I have only had operating for less than a week. I am still importing items to the store pages and trying to choose the best layout design for what I need.
I hope that this helped answer your questions about whether you should go with your own online store or make your sales on a site like Redbubble. There are benefits and downfalls to both so it really is just a personal choice.