The allure of making passive income and not having to slave for a regular 9-5 job for the rest of your life is incredibly appealing. And starting a print on demand business with RedBubble is an income stream that has the potential to help you reach financial independence and keep you from working for the man for the rest of your life. But is it really possible to make money on RedBubble? Is RedBubble worth it?

There are some really great things about RedBubble, like the ability to make passive income, and some not so great things as well. So we’ve put together a list of pros and cons to help you decide if selling on RedBubble is worth it for you.

Is RedBubble Worth it?

Pros and Cons of RedBubble

Pros Cons
Passive Income Small Commissions
Unlimited Potential Saturated
Tons of Products High Competition
Easy Upload Process Takes Time
Self-Paced Hard to Get Found
Fan Art Do Your Own Marketing
Millions of Viewers

 

Passive Income

The opportunity to earn passive income is the most appealing part of putting your designs up on RedBubble, or any print on demand marketplace for that matter. The idea of making money while you’re sleeping, walking the dog, or sipping cocktails on the beach is a dream that could become a reality with passive income.

The possibility to earn passive income definitely makes selling on RedBubble worth it!

Who doesn’t like getting sales emails at random times during the day?

RedBubble emails when you get sales

Unlimited Potential 

It’s crazy to think that you can earn money in perpetuity from a design that took 5-10 minutes to upload. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to happen from one design that you threw up one time, it takes a lot of time and learning to make consistent sales, but once you start seeing those sales coming in you can earn for the rest of your (or RedBubble’s) existence from your designs. And once you get a design up on RedBubble it doesn’t ever get taken down, so whatever you upload has the potential to sell for years to come.

Tons of Products

At the time of writing this RedBubble has at least 75 different types of products that you can put your designs on. From t-shirts, pillows, and phone cases to stickers, puzzles, and tote bags. You can upload your designs to every type of product that it fits on to maximize your chance of getting sales. Once you figure out which type of products your designs suit best or make sales on, you can focus on that product type.  

Easy Upload Process

The uploading process on RedBubble is fairly straightforward, quick, and customizable.

You first upload your design and type in your title, tags, and description. Then scroll through all of the products to enable/disable individual items and customize the image on each product. You can edit the size, add a pattern, or even upload a new image with the specific dimensions for each item. Make sure to take a second look at the advanced product lower down on the page. At the bottom of the page you check off a few boxes and hit save. Easy peasy!

Self-Paced

This is a completely self-paced business model. And you get out what you put in. If you only get one or two designs up a week, it’s going to take much longer to see sales. However, on the flip side, if you upload like a mad person and get up awesome design after awesome design, you will start seeing the money roll in a whole lot quicker.

Example of Fan Art on RedBubble

Example of Star Wars fan art on RedBubble.

Fan Art

One of the things that makes RedBubble stand out from the other print on demand marketplaces is the ability for independent artists to create fan art without running into copyright issues.

This program is called RedBubble Partner Program and you need to apply for this opportunity as it is not a free for all. 

If you are an artist and you already love to create fan art of your favorite characters and stories, this might be a goldmine for you.

Here are the full details for the partner program.

Millions of Viewers

With millions of monthly visitors your odds of finding someone that wants to buy your art is pretty good! According to this chart on WebsiteIQ.com RedBubble had 18.5 million visitors in October of 2020.

See the screenshot below.

A graph showing that RedBubble had 18.5 million viewers in October 2020

Small Commissions

Though the potential to earn money for the rest of your life may be incredibly appealing, the commissions are small and it takes hundreds, if not thousands, of sales to earn a significant amount of money. This can seem quite daunting. But take it one design at a time and if you enjoy the process the sales will start adding up fairly quickly. 

Showing that RedBubble is saturated with 94,294 different magnet designs

Saturated

There are thousands and thousands and, on some products, even hundreds of thousands of competing designs on RedBubble. Which makes RedBubble seem less worth it.

However, most of the designs up there aren’t of a high quality. There’s a ton of people trying to sell a handful of designs and then quickly giving up. Most people do not stick it out long enough to see results from any print on demand marketplace.

Do your keyword research, find good keywords to put in your titles and tags and you will have a higher chance of being discovered. 

The marketplace is saturated, however, there are tons of untapped niches that need artists to fill the customer’s needs. If you can find an untapped niche you can make good money.

High Competition

There are plenty of amazing artists on RedBubble. Some of the art on there is top notch. However, they do not make up the majority and there is always room for more amazing artists and designs. You will need to learn to make SEO friendly titles and add tags to your designs to give them an edge against the competition.

If you go after the more saturated niches, you will meet stiff competition, but if you go after an untapped niche you will have way more luck making sales. (Assuming there’s demand for those types of designs.)

Takes Time

With such small commissions, it takes lots of sales to start seeing any significant kind of income from RedBubble. It takes a lot of designs and quite a bit of time to build up consistent income on RedBubble. It can be a bit unmotivating at the start, but if you muster up the discipline to keep going you are more likely to have success.

Hard to Get Found

With all of the saturation and stiff competition, it is really hard to get discovered on RedBubble. And without a niche to focus in on and dominate, it is next to impossible. Which is why in order to get your designs seen you may need to do your own marketing…

Do Your Own Marketing

Though you can be found on the RedBubble search page and marketplace you will have more sales if you promote your own shop outside of RedBubble. This can done be through Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, another social media platform, a blog, or just good old-fashioned word of mouth.

It takes a lot of effort to build a social media following of any kind, and trying to build a following that will buy your products is twice as hard. You have to decide if the small commissions is worth the time and effort that goes into building and maintaining a social media following.

However, if you already have a following RedBubble may be a great way to start monetizing that following, to add a revenue stream.

After working our way through the list of RedBubble’s pros and cons it seems that, overall, it is worth it to sell designs on RedBubble.

However, it is not worth it for someone that is looking for a get rich quick scheme.

If you are looking to slowly and steadily build passive income over time that can last for years to come, and have the patience and discipline to see it through, all the while being able to express yourself creatively, then RedBubble is definitely worth your time!

Interested in other print on demand marketplaces? Check out this comparison of RedBubble, Zazzle, and Society6 here.

Want to learn more about RedBubble? Click here for Lyfepyle’s library of information on RedBubble.

Interested in more information on print on demand? Click here for Lyfepyle’s library of information on print on demand.

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