Looking to build a print on demand business but unsure which site to sign up to? Reading bad news about print on demand sites that you can’t figure out which is “the right one” for you? Here are 10 things you should know when comparing Printful vs Redbubble.
Since you’re here, you’re probably wondering if print on demand is a worthwhile side hustle. I was questioning myself! But, if I could make a sale within a month with zero designing skills, you could too. First thing first, get to know the exact steps you need to take to start HERE.
I personally think both Printful and Redbubble are great for beginners – as they are both pretty different in their own good way. Find out why below!
*This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link!
How To Sell On Redbubble?
Anyone is able to sell their designs on Redbubble. A seller account and storefront can be created in under 1 minute. Upload a high quality design to a preferred product, position according to alignment then fill in product title, description and tags. Product is ready for sale once you click submit.
Can Redbubble Connect To Etsy?
Redbubble does not connect to any ecommerce or marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon or eBay. It does not integrate with other sites as all sales are made directly on Redbubble. Products are sold at a artist’s Redbubble store and anyone looking to purchase will have to create a Redbubble customer account.
Key Features Printful Vs Redbubble
1. Signing up for an account
It is free to sign up for an account on both Printful and Redbubble. Signing up to Printful is super convenient as you can connect social accounts for easy sign up, no forms required. You will be redirected to your seller account dashboard where you’ll be able to see everything you need in one view.
On Redbubble, you can create an account as an artist or as a customer. If you’re signing up as an artist (seller), you will have to decide a shop name before registering – it’s permanent so decide wisely. A dedicated URL with your shop name is instantly created once you register.
2. How the platforms work
Printful works just like Printify where sellers are only able to sell their products at ecommerce and marketplaces like Shopify or Etsy. Upload your designs to products then sync them to your ecommerce shop – have these shops created beforehand to make things easier. Once an order comes in, your Printful account will automatically get notified to fulfill the order. Pay for the product cost then Printful will make and ship the order to your customers.
Redbubble is similar to Teespring as it allows artists to sell their designs in the platform’s storefront. Buyers will have to buy directly from Redbubble’s website (using a customer account) and they will ship the product to customers without you needing to lift a finger. You won’t have to pay any cost upfront as they will credit your profits right after they fulfill your order. See how much you can earn with Redbubble.
Winner: Undecided – both have pros and cons
3. Choice of print on demand products
Generally, Redbubble has much fewer products compared to Printful. Printful has over 200 products to choose from which gives sellers more choice to diversify their sales – Printify has a lot more, find the list here.
Overall, product quality is great for both Printful and Redbubble, however, quality differs for every product. You can read reviews of individual products for Printful. Reviews seen on Redbubble’s products are from multiple purchases across sellers and don’t represent just one seller, since it is their products anyway.
A summary of products offered by Printful vs Redbubble:
Hats & headwear
Home & living
Kids & babies
Stationery & office
Winner: Printful – as a beginner, you may want to stick to a handful of products. But as your business grows, you’ll want a bigger catalog.
4. Generating mockups to impress
Printful has great mockups for every product and they are instantly created once you upload the designs. Good news for you, your shop listings on Etsy or Shopify can be edited to include premium mockups created on Placeit. The basic mockups do the job but you’ll want to impress your audience further by going another mile.
Redbubble creates mockups automatically for products and sellers are not able to upload any other pictures to their listings. This is to create a uniform look across all shops on Redbubble – no chance to compete with others.
Winner: Printful – you can tweak your listing to include better product mockups.
5. Ordering a sample product for yourself
Almost all POD sites let you order products for yourself, usually at the base product cost plus shipping to your address. Both Printful and Redbubble lets you do this! Printful goes beyond by giving additional discounts for you to order samples once in a month for a maximum of three items in that order. You get additional sample orders when you reach a higher sales threshold for the month – find out more here.
Redbubble does not offer any extra discounts for ordering your own samples but you can check if your orders are applicable for the bulk discount. Ordering a sample allows you to see the actual product and printing for yourself. If you want to take a step further, do your own mini photoshoot at home or at the park. That’s sure to make even more impressive photos than just mockups!
Winner: Printful – there are some discounts for savings compared to Redbubble. Not everyone wants to spend money to buy their own designs but it can be great to do so when there’s discounts!
6. Shipping services and cost
You will be charged for product cost and shipping charges for every order a customer makes. To not affect your margins, it is recommended that you maintain both to be separate from each other.
It’s safe to say that Printful ships to almost all countries there are since they fulfill from multiple places across the world. There’s a tool to estimate shipping charges and average shipping times to varying countries. Due to packaging differences, some products are shipped separately – see list and charges HERE.
Redbubble prints and ships from more than 10 countries including the USA, Australia and the UK. Similar to Printful, items in a single order could come in separate packages depending on where they were printed at. Some products have an option for Express Shipping but it isn’t for all countries. As a seller, shipping charges are not visible to you as they only appear for customers – hence, you don’t need to worry about shipping charges.
The prices in picture above includes product price of Classic t-shirt and shipping charges to the USA. Customers are able to get a t-shirt within a week with Redbubble’s Express Shipping, instead of the usual 10 days. For a standard t-shirt, below are the differences in shipping cost to the USA between Printful and Redbubble. Quite a difference!
|2nd item (additional to the package)
Winner: Printful – as a seller, I would want to know how much is charged for shipping as it does affect buyer’s decision making. There’s full disclosure on shipping charges, estimated delivery time and how orders are fulfilled if there’s multiple items. Shipping is much cheaper on Printful compared to Redbubble.
7. Earning potential with each sale
Your chances of earning a good buck on Printful vs Redbubble depends on price of products and monthly sales discounts (if any).
Although you’re free to set your own prices, Printful provides recommended prices for each product as a guide for you to follow. In all my POD guides, I’ve mentioned a 40-50% margin is good to start with. This considers fees and advertising expenses you’ll invest in to bring in traffic to your Etsy shop or to your Shopify site. You want to make profit in the end!
Prices are easily changed on Redbubble at your Account Settings Tab. Key in your desired percentage of markup and click on “Save new default markups”. The standard markup set up by Redbubble is between 20-30% – stick to it if you want to remain competitive. Unlike Printful, you don’t have a lot of fees to pay nor advertising expenses when selling on Redbubble.
You can see the margin of profit you’ll make for each type of product. If Redbubble changes a product’s base price, your margins are affected too.
Comparing product cost, Printful’s drawstring bag starts from $17.75 while Redbubble’s is $28.19 ($36.65 – $8.46). Most t-shirts on Printful cost under $19 while Redbubble’s tri-blend t-shirt cost $26.61.
Winner: Printful is generally cheaper compared to Redbubble – price points are important in buyer’s decision making. Price competition isn’t as obvious when selling on other platforms compared to selling on Redbubble.
Monthly product discounts
Printful rewards sellers by giving discounts based on a seller’s monthly sales. Discount starts from 5% up to 9% and only applies to sales made in the next month. Find out how Printful’s monthly discounts are calculated here.
Redbubble does not offer any discounts or greater margins to performing sellers. Discounts are only for customers which can affect a seller’s margin in that sale.
Winner: Printful – discounts regardless how small can accumulate to big savings, especially if you’re serious!
8. Integration with ecommerce websites for sales
Most beginners are interested in creating an Etsy shop or their own Shopify website – check out my 5 easy steps to start POD with Etsy. Since sellers are not able to sell on Printful itself, it’s great that Printful integrates with over 20 ecommerce sites and marketplaces. This does not only give you options but allows you to diversify your sales across multiple platforms.
Printful integrates with the following sites:
- Amazon (marketplace)
- eBay (marketplace)
Redbubble does not integrate with any ecommerce or marketplaces since all purchases are made directly on Redbubble. If you’re a complete beginner to POD and short on time to learn, this might work great for you. It simplifies all your processes, you just have to upload designs and count on Redbubble to bring in traffic for you. No more thinking involved!
Winner: Printful – you have the option to sell your artwork on multiple platforms at once. This diversifies your risk as you are not tied to just one platform.
9. Customer support when you face issues
I’m sure you wondered if Printful is easy to use since it sounds more complicated than Redbubble. It’s good to mention that there are tons of resources on Printful’s blog to get you started. There’s helpful guides teaching users on how to integrate Printful with Etsy, Shopify and other platforms. I find them super easy to understand even when I was a beginner myself.
Seller support features on Printful to help you navigate:
- Live chat feature on seller dashboard
- Email questions to dedicated support email
- Posts to answer questions related to products only
- Frequently Asked Questions for beginners to get started
- Facebook group for Printfulers to learn from each other
- Instagram informational sharing
- A YouTube channel for video tips
Redbubble’s Help Center has answers to common FAQs and knowledge resources for sellers to learn the ins and outs of designing & selling. Sellers can submit a ticket request, direct message Redbubble on Twitter or message them on Facebook Messenger. They promise a response within 24hours. Although their Twitter account looks not updated, they respond to every inquiry and tweet.
Seller support features on Redbubble to help you navigate:
- Knowledge base resource for sellers and customers
- Answer posts for Frequently Asked Questions
- Submit ticket request based on issue facing
- Direct messaging on Twitter
- Chat on Facebook messenger
Winner: Printful – just because there’s live chat for sellers to message away and helpful video tips.
10. Referral program to earn extra
It’s pretty sweet to be able to promote products you’re personally using and earn from it. However, not all POD sites offer a referral or affiliate program for sellers to earn extra.
Good news for you, Printful has a referral program for you to earn $5 credit every time someone makes a purchase with your link (they get a $5 discount too). You can use the credits to make purchases for yourself or save extra when ordering samples like I mentioned above! At the moment of writing, Printful’s Affiliate Program is not open for application.
Redbubble has an affiliate program but interested users will need to apply to be reviewed and approval is not easy. Promote Redbubble’s products to your audience and you’ll earn 10% commission for every sale made within 30-days of them opening your link. Sounds great for influencers with a big following instead of sellers – unless you’re promoting your own product.
Winner: Printful – it’s much easier to promote although payouts are not in cash form. No extra sign up required to start promoting your links.
Printful Vs Redbubble: Summary Of Differences In Features
|Free sign up
|Selling at platform store
|Discounts on samples
|Custom label your products
|Include business cards and pamphlets in shipments
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How much can I earn with print on demand?
Answer: How much can be earned with print on demand varies across sellers. Profit margins depend on selling price, product base cost, fees charged by sales platform and any advertising expenses incurred. Since it is similar to dropshipping and sellers don’t hold stock, it is an easy profitable business.
Question: Is Redbubble good for making money?
Answer: Redbubble is a good platform to make money on the side as an artist. Compared to other POD sites, Redbubble is easy to use for beginners. Profit margins starts at 20% up to 30% but sellers are free to increase or decrease margins anytime.
Question: Does Redbubble own my art?
Answer: Artwork uploaded is not owned by Redbubble. Redbubble has a non-exclusive license for artwork that will be sold on their products. Artists keep the copyright in any content uploaded to the website. However, this does not prevent others from copying your designs.
Comparing Printful vs Redbubble is not so straightforward as both platforms work differently. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you and your business goals. Have more time to invest? I recommend going with Printful, I already explained my reasons above!
If you’re eager to start but unsure which product to start with, check out my product guides and figure out which is best for you.
- Tote bags for print on demand
- Tumblers for print on demand
- Phone cases for print on demand
- Posters for print on demand
- Leggings for print on demand
- Jewelry for print on demand
- Candles for print on demand
- Doormats for print on demand
- Hoodies for print on demand
- Pet products for print on demand
- Socks for print on demand
- Pajamas for print on demand
- Blankets for print on demand
- Baby clothes for print on demand
- Wrapping paper for print on demand
- Puzzles for print on demand
- Stickers for print on demand
- Athletic wear for print on demand
- Hats for print on demand
- Journals for print on demand
- Greeting cards for print on demand
- Mugs for print on demand
Share this guide and let me know your thoughts down below!
Photo by MART PRODUCTION