Is Society6 Legitimate? A Guide for Artists Ready to Sell

is society6 legitimate?

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Is Society6 legitimate for artists who want to make a little money? The short answer is yes – many artists use this marketplace to supplement their regular income and build their brand.

Whether or not the site will be a valid resource for you is up in the air. As a working artist, I spend a lot of time vetting sites for trustworthiness. Since online marketplaces require a lot of time and investment, it’s essential to do some research so you don’t waste your effort.

Below I’ll break down Society6, its pros and cons, and what you’ll expect when signing up.

Topics We Cover

  • A Brief Overview of Society6
  • The Pros of Selling on Society6
  • The Cons of Selling on Society6
  • Should I Use Society6?
  • Frequently Asked Questions

A Brief Overview of Society6

Society6 is an online marketplace where artists can sell their wares on a wide variety of merchandise. Founded in 2009, it stands the test of time in a sea of e-commerce platforms for its reliability – both for artists and customers.

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Similar to sites like Redbubble and Printful, Society6 makes it easy for artists to start selling their work quickly. They take most of the work out of running an online shop by handling everything from manufacturing to shipping. As such, you’ll have more time to focus on crafting unforgettable art and promoting it on your preferred marketing channels.

The artists who enjoy selling on Society6 the most are usually in the following camps:

  • Artists who want passive income to supplement their day job
  • Artists who love selling their work on a wide variety of merchandise
  • Artists who have little experience selling online and need a low learning curve

If you’re considering this online marketplace as a way to sell stuff and grow your income, I’ll break down some of the positives of Society6.

The Pros of Selling on Society6

the pros of selling on society6

If Society6 wasn’t a reliable platform, it wouldn’t have so many artists using it to this day. This is an online marketplace you should consider for the following reasons:

  • A Wide Variety of Merchandise

The sheer volume of merchandise you can sell on this site is impressive. While sites like Teepublic lean toward fashion, Society6 is all about variety so you can create a one-of-a-kind online portfolio.

You’ll Have Plenty of Access to the Classics

If you enjoy classic items and don’t want to get too experimental yet, you’re in good hands. Society6 gives independent artists a full range of go-to items such as:

  • Coffee mugs
  • T shirts and sweatshirts
  • Stickers
  • Cards
  • Wall art

sell on society6

There are Quite a Few Complex Items, Too

Do you wonder what your art would look like on different kinds of furniture? Society6 has a large roster of functional items that could give your portfolio a spark of individuality such as:

  • Coffee tables
  • Benches
  • Cutting boards
  • Bath mats
  • Wall clocks

society6 selling

You Have Very Unique Items Rarely Seen in Online Marketplaces

A fascinating aspect of Society6 is just how specific and unique some of their print-on-demand merchandise is. You can begin selling your work on less common items such as:

  • Wine chillers
  • Makeup bags
  • Credenzas
  • Duffle bags
  • Water bottles

  • You Can Start Selling Your Work Quickly

A high learning curve is one of the biggest obstacles for artists who want to sell online. Society6 shrinks this learning curve down into a straightforward process you can literally start doing today.

Society6 has transparent content uploading guidelines on what they will or won’t accept. The biggest details you need to know are image sizes and image file types – they can’t print anything low-resolution and blurry. They accept JPEGs and PNGs and will only print images using RGB. While CMYK is well-known as a printing file type, their printing process can’t use it.

The stronger your portfolio, the easier time you’ll have selling your wares in an online marketplace. We’ll help you put together a professional one so your uploading process will be even easier.

start selling your work

  • Diverse Pricing Gives You More Control Over Your Income

Society6 has different prices based on the print you choose. This feature is extra helpful if you enjoy diverse print-on-demand options, allowing you to customize your shop down to the last detail.

For starters, most of their products come with a fixed price, such as furniture and apparel. However, their straightforward art prints – such as framed and unframed prints – come with the option to choose your own price. They also offer you the option to add a markup to their base price, further expanding how you can make money from your shop.

An important detail to remember is that smaller items come with a smaller price. You won’t make as much selling, say, a bath towel as you will selling a coffee table.

  • You Keep All The Rights to Your Artwork

Independent artists are rightfully protective of their work and how it could potentially be misused without their permission. Society6 doesn’t take any copyright from the artists featured on the platform and even has strict consequences for users who infringe on the copyright of others.

As such, you can still use your uploaded artwork for other projects or sell on other sites. When learning how to start an art business, the copyright aspect is essential to keep your work protected.

These are just a few things you can enjoy when signing up and uploading your work on some home decor products. However, no site is perfect – there are a few cons to using Society6.

you keep all the rights to your artwork

The Cons of Selling on Society6

Before you start uploading designs and start selling some phone cases, let’s take a look at what Society6 could do a little better.

  • Less Predictable Profit Margin Compared to Other E-commerce Sites

The flipside to flexible pricing on Society6 is your own attention to detail. If you don’t enjoy keeping up with unique pricing models and tracking the differences between expenses, you may end up frustrated.

Society6 will pay you 10% for all products sold with the exception of art prints. However, this number can still change with custom markups – you could make more or not much at all depending on how you price your work.

For example, Teepublic only allows fixed pricing so everyone – artist and customer – are always on the same page price-wise. Whether your design is full-color or black and white, the t-shirt you print on will always be the same price. This simplicity can be appealing for beginning artists but may prove frustrating for experienced professionals.

  • Inconsistent Product Quality Could Be Frustrating

While Society6 handles complex transactions such as international shipments and shipping fees, their product quality is hit or miss. Sometimes the print quality makes people think they got the wrong product and other times the product is poorly packaged.

If you’re an artist who prefers to have a close eye on the products you sell, this could be a dealbreaker.

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One customer review reveals a lack of oversight in the packaging process. While the customer service team handled the problem quickly, your buyers may have to deal with this from time to time.

society 6 reviews
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On the other hand, another user had generally positive reviews with most of their products and only one negative experience. All in all, it’s up to you just how much ambiguity you’re willing to deal with when selling products.

  • Competition is Pretty Stiff For Smaller Artists

While Society6 has a low learning curve and an impressive roster of merchandise, its profit margin is on the lower side. The sheer amount of competition on such a popular site makes it hard to sell your wares.

You’ll have to put a lot of effort into marketing your work as higher quality or particularly unique compared to others on the platform. Unless you already have an established roster of buyers from elsewhere, it’ll take time before you can use Society6 as passive income.

If you want to consider other platforms that aren’t as widely used as Society6, consider alternatives like Saatchi Art. Saatchi Art is an online marketplace structured more like an art gallery and lets you sell both originals and prints.

They currently feature nearly 100,000 artists across over 110 countries, a smaller figure than other online marketplaces which have a few million users on average.

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This site is particularly well-geared toward fine artists who enjoy featuring their work in person or who want to recreate the in-person experience online. You’ll be able to curate your work into collections and choose your prices, which is an appealing prospect for more experienced artists. If you’re just starting out, however, this much freedom could be intimidating.

Saatchi Art boasts a 40% commission on all sales, which is lower than the average 50% of most in-person art galleries. You have the opportunity to incentivize purchases with convenient features such as discount codes and even expand those codes to digital prints.

If you’re an artist who likes to branch out, they also have sections for sculptures, mixed media, and photography.

society6 review
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They currently have a four-and-a-half-star review out of five on TrustPilot. The above review by Jane is a common example of the positive experiences of customers who use the platform, which is great news for artists.

  • Shipping Times Can Be Slow and Unpredictable

A common issue with print-on-demand resources is slow and unpredictable shipping times – Society6 is, unfortunately, no different. Since they also handle international shipments, you’ll have to consider this aspect when promoting your shop.

If you want to create an art shop with a reputation for fast and dependable service, this feature will make things difficult. If you plan on shipping internationally, your customers will have even longer wait times.

You may have already seen a few artists who take a proactive stance and state long wait times up front on their shop’s page. Only a couple of sentences could mean the difference between a happy customer and a confused customer – ask yourself how comfortable you are with marketing before committing.

how to get society6 stuff

Should I Use Society6?

Now that you’ve learned about their art prints and user-friendliness, should you take the plunge? Below are the kinds of creators who benefited the most when they started selling.

You’re Just Starting Out and Need a Low Barrier to Entry

Beginner artists who don’t want a time-consuming process will love Society6’s low barrier to entry. You can open up a free account, upload some art, and start uploading your work onto t-shirts and iPhone cases.

While you will need to get comfortable promoting your work and uploading original art on a regular basis, you don’t have to wait for weeks to get started. In fact, the sooner you get started, the sooner you can work out the kinks in your brand.

You Enjoy Selling Your Work on a Wide Variety of Merchandise

There are so many ways to make your portfolio stand out and Society6’s varied merchandise can really help. From ordered pillows to tote bags, there are nearly endless combinations that will suit your style.

For example, if you’re an illustrator with a casual and cartoony style, you may enjoy printing your original designs on products that fit your approach. Maybe water bottles or durable phone cases will fit the easygoing vibe of your online portfolio.

You’re Eager for a Little Side Income

eager for a little side income

Although you won’t be replacing your day job anytime soon with Society6, it’s not hard to make some side income. According to a recent survey, the average side hustle makes around $688 per month, while about half of all people with side hustles hover beneath $250.

What would you do with a few hundred extra dollars per month? For other artists, the only reason they want to start a Society6 account is to enjoy the freedom that comes with extra income – and that’s more than valid.

If you want to expand your business by selling the occasional art print or shower curtain, now’s a great time to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a few more questions about the site, such as their support team or pricing model? We’ll answer them below so you can get the full picture.

Why is Society6 So Expensive?

Society6 does most of the work for artists such as manufacturing products, packing, shipping, and overseeing the site. As such, they’ll pay artists 10% of a product sold and keep the other 90% to cover their costs.

why society6 is so expensive

You can offset this cost by adding a custom markup to the site’s base prices.

What is the Difference Between Redbubble and Society6?

Redbubble allows you to set custom prices, while Society6 has a fixed price for most products. That said, both online marketplaces are similarly beginner-friendly and sell a wide variety of merchandise.

What Sells More On Society6?

While you can increase your sales with a dedicated marketing campaign and consistent uploading, wall prints and home decor are some of their best-selling categories.

Can You Return Things to Society6?

If your customer receives a damaged or defective product, they may or may not be able to return their purchase. Society6 lists out their return policy here and it should be read carefully so you know what to expect.

can you return things to society6?

While you don’t control printing or packing, it’s important to note your shop’s reputation may still be damaged from repeat product issues. A dedicated support team and consistent communication with your buyers are key to getting repeat purchases.

Society6 is a Legitimate Site for Artists Who Want Side Income

When you want to enjoy more freedom in your art career, joining an online marketplace like Society6 is a lucrative option.

Society6’s user-friendly interface, free account, and flexible price model make it easy for artists to expand their portfolios and supplement their income. On the other hand, the sheer volume of artists on the platform can make standing out a challenge.

Ready to try Society6? Sign up today to start selling your art and reaping the rewards.

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