This post is not sponsored.
I promised this blog ages ago but I'm just now getting around to writing it. This blog is geared toward photographers and graphic designers, and those looking to sell their work. Many of you have requested that I write about selling on Society6 so I'm going to explain my experience with S6 thus far and why it's the best choice for me right now. You may or may not have seen the blog I wrote from a buyers perspective, so if you would like to check that out you can find it here.
why I chose S6
After years of being told I should sell my work, I decided to look into selling options about three years ago. I looked at a variety of different platforms, but I felt like Society6 was the best option for many reasons.
- There is no upfront cost to use the service
- I could sell products other than prints
- All of the shipping and handling, returns, production, and manufacturing is handled completely by S6
Later on, I realized another perk: advertising was not completely up to me. It helps a ton, but my work is searchable and so theoretically, if I did nothing there's still a chance I would make sales. S6 actually picked up one of my prints last year and featured it for a while, which greatly contributed to my sales. If I was hosting my own shop, driving sales would rely solely on me. Right now, I don't have the space in my schedule to dedicate that much time, resources, and effort into advertising. I also don't have the following to make something like that realistic either.
The seller's interface has improved so much since I starting using S6, and they are still working on new improvements. There's also an app available for iPhone users.
Enabling/disabling products is really easy. I've been a little behind on enabling new products but these screen caps show you the on/off switch. Depending on the size of the file, sometimes you have to resize and upload the resized file in order to enable certain products (as is the case for the towels in the last screenshot). Click a photo to enlarge
Here's an example of where you would upload a resized file, or move the photo around to better accommodate your art.
pricing + being paid
Society6's pricing structure is as follows: the cost of goods + S6's cut + your cut. For prints, framed art prints, and canvas prints, you are able to set the price and how much you make. For all other products, the pricing is set by S6. You can find a breakdown of all of the products pricing here. For some of the products, it may seem unfair that you are only making a few dollars compared to the price of the product. But remember: S6 is handling almost everything. If you are set on making more and are willing and able to do the work, then S6 is not for you.
When you first create your S6 account, there is a $1 fee to connect your PayPal. After that, you do not have to pay anything else. When you make a sale, it displays as "pending" for 30 days. This is to ensure that if the customer returns the product, S6 doesn't have to take money out of your account. After the 30 day period is over, your product is "cleared" and you will be paid via PayPal at the start of the next month.
Sale - April 20th
Cleared - May 20th
Paid - June 1st
There are two type of sales S6 runs, but they never mean you make any less on your products. The two kinds are 1.) run by Society6 and are site-wide and 2.) sales you have to enable by providing your followers with a special link. Both of these sales happen quite frequently and tend to boost the amount of product sales in your shop. (I actually just got an email about spring sales coming up soon!) These sales and special offer range anywhere from a percentage off certain or all products, to free shipping or a combination of the two.
I have ordered products from S6 and have been happy with them. The first time I ordered a product from them, it was a travel mug and they actually sent me the wrong one. Their customer service was very quick and friendly. Unfortunately, the replacement they sent me came in broke, but once again, customer service was extremely helpful and I finally got the right mug in one piece.
The bottom line is you probably won't be able to make a living off of Society6, or any other platform for that matter (but if you do, I'd like to talk to you). But if you're like me and want a convenient way to share your work with the world for profit, look into Society6. One thing I will note as I haven't given much criticism is this: S6 is much more geared toward graphic designers than it is photographers. However, I felt like it's better to create a community of photographers there than leave because there is none.
If you have any other questions, send them my way!