- by Always Art Staff

Selling merchandise is one of the ways you can support yourself financially with your artwork. Building multiple income streams, especially at the beginning of your art career, is important for creating financial stability. It is also a great way to generate revenue in between shows and you’re your bigger pay days. Think prints, sticker packs, t-shirts, pins, mugs, reusable bags, etc.

With the Print on Demand (POD) industry booming, putting your art on products has never been easier, and we recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. Plus, working on creating your merch can expand your creativity, expose you to new opportunities, and help you network.

How to sell on your own website

  • 1. Pick an online platform: You can set up your own online store using one of the many e-commerce platforms available, including: Shopify, Big Cartel, Wix, Squarespace, etc. Shopify is the best platform that offers many business tools. If you are not tech-savvy, don’t be intimidated, you can watch video tutorials to guide you.
  • 2. Printing and fulfillment: Now that you have a website, you need to link it with your print-on-demand service (in other words, the source that is going to do the printing and fulfillment for you). There are many popular services such as Printify, Printful, SPOD, Teelaunnch, Lulu Xpress, CustomCat, etc. You submit your designs to the chosen service, and you list the products on your website. There is a wide range of products you can create, including clothing items, canvas, posters, home & living, and accessories.
  • 3. Drive traffic: The challenge of setting up your own website is that you need to drive the traffic by yourself through social media marketing, running google ads, Instagram, and Facebook ads. You will also have to handle customer service, acting as the middleman between your customer and supplier. There are advantages to this option, however, including the absence of competition, the ability to have full control over how your shop looks, the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell, and the direct interactions you will have with your customers that could lead to longer-term relationships.

How to sell on Print on Demand websites

If you find that the driving traffic to your own website store is more work than you can handle, you can choose to sell merch on these POD websites and benefit from their estimated monthly visits:

  • Merch by Amazon (top 5 most visited website in the US)
  • Teepublic (10.5M)
  • Redbubble (55M)
  • Teespring (6.4M)
  • Society 6 (5.5M)
  • Zazzle (17.2M)
  • Spreadshirt (3.8M)
  • Displate (9.3M)
  • Fine Art America (8.8M).

The process

  • Step 1: You submit your designs on their portal and can set your profit margins.
  • Step 2: They take care of the fulfillment and customer service for you.
  • Step 3: You receive royalties after selling.

Going for this option is more straightforward, and hassle-free, and it can save you a lot of time. It feels more like passive income, you create the design one time, it can sell many times, and you get paid. This business model is easily scalable. It goes without saying that there are people who make a lot of money from it.

You should make sure that your designs fit the products that you want them to be put on. Be careful when choosing the products, as your design might not look great on all products and could negatively represent the quality of your work. You can do your own research on these websites, see what sells, and get creative with your designs.

Be aware that there are peaks in sales during holidays: Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Women’s day, and many more. If you choose to get involved and you make good designs that are suitable for these occasions, you may notice more sales.

Selling merchandise is a great way to make money as an artist. This trend has helped many emerging artists earn more than they could from only selling their artwork. By selling your art on products, you can maximize profits and make sure that you are able to support yourself while pursuing your passion.


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