Wondering how to compare Redbubble vs Zazzle when it comes to selling your favorite merchandise? Here are 12 things you should know before deciding.
The first print on demand site I joined was Redbubble. As a complete beginner, I found it to be incredibly easy to use. It was mind boggling that all I needed to do was make designs, upload them and they’re ready to be sold? In fact, I made my first sales off cushion covers in the first month!
As my passion for print on demand grew, it was only normal to look elsewhere. To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled 12 things I believe are important when choosing between Redbubble vs Zazzle.
*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!
Is Zazzle Good For Artists?
Zazzle is good for artists to make money on the side instead of making it a full-time job. Becoming a Zazzle creator lets individuals monetize their artistic skills by selling designs or offering creative services to other businesses. Royalties are relatively low compared to other POD sites.
What Is Zazzle Known For?
Zazzle is known for its print on demand service where customers can purchase products printed with designs made by individual artists. Royalties are paid to sellers for each sale starting from 5% depending on the product sold. Once an order is placed, Zazzle will print and ship items to customers.
Key Features Redbubble vs Zazzle
1. Signing up for an account
To become an artist on Redbubble, you’ll have to create an artist account (not a customer account). Registration will be via email and cannot be done with a social account. You have to decide on the shop name prior to registering and stick to it as it can’t be unchanged. One artist account can only run one Redbubble shop so to have multiple shops, you’ll need multiple artist accounts.
Signing up for Zazzle is pretty straightforward, all you have to do is validate your email address to start using. I like that you can register using a social account like Facebook, Google or Apple because you won’t need to remember passwords. One Zazzle account can host multiple stores, to get started you’ll have to create your first store. The store name registered cannot be changed so decide properly!
Winner: Zazzle – signing up is super easy whether you’re an artist creator or a buyer. I would like to grow my business later on by creating more shops without having to manage multiple accounts.
2. How the platforms work
Both Redbubble and Zazzle work in similar ways. Uploading of designs, product making and selling to customers happen in one single website. Artists are given a dedicated shop URL under these websites where buyers from all around the world can visit and shop.
How POD websites like Redbubble and Zazzle works:
- Artist creates a free account
- Gets an individual shop created for them
- Uploads designs to products they want to sell
- Set profit margins for each product
- Publish products to their shop
- No promotion required to bring in traffic as the site does it for you (sharing to social media is optional)
- Make sales within the platform itself no advance payment required
- Cash out profit earnings only
You can read how Printful works here against Redbubble, it works slightly differently.
Winner: Undecided – both generally work almost the same way
3. Choice of print on demand products
Redbubble and Zazzle have wide ranging products from apparels and home decor to craft supplies. It is simply too many to list them all down below but I’ve made a good summary of what’s important. Zazzle has a lot more products compared to Redbubble given that each category has a breakdown of options of its own. You can click to view the tote bag section and it has nine types to offer – compared to only two types of tote bag on Redbubble.
Product quality is something you should look into as you progress, as it is something that correlates with price. Both Redbubble and Zazzle are well known in the industry to give the best quality.
A summary of products offered by Redbubble vs Zazzle.
Phone cases & skins
Pillow & totes
Mugs & tumblers
Apple watch bands
Winner: Zazzle – there’s a lot more products to choose from. I like that they have products geared for businesses and weddings as there are two money-making audiences we shouldn’t miss!
4. Generating mockups to impress
Mockups play an important role in encouraging buyer purchase. We can almost never imagine how a design would look when printed unless there’s a picture of how it will look on an item. So don’t take mockups lightly!
Redbubble and Zazzle both generate mockups for you automatically when a design is uploaded. You won’t be able to add external images from mockup generators like Placeit, as they want the site to look cohesive among all sellers.
When adding a design on Redbubble, there’s limited view on how it will look on a person – example below for a tote bag. You’re only able to see the mockup once it is published to your shop and there’s only one mockup image.
On Zazzle, once an image is uploaded, you can immediately see a mockup preview at the bottom right corner. Click on the magnifying glass to see a bigger picture.
Winner: Zazzle – the design on the tote bag is slightly blurred compared to Redbubble, but there’s a few mockup images for a better customer buying experience. It really helps to be able to visualize your designs before publishing it to your shop for public sales.
5. User experience when uploading designs
Process of making products is very straightforward on Redbubble. With a single upload of an image, you can sell all sorts of products and click publish once then have everything in your shop ready for sales. No edits can be made on Redbubble hence your JPEG/PNG designs must be complete before you upload them.
Zazzle lets you edit your existing designs by adding backgrounds, texts, icons and elements within the platform itself. However, you can’t bulk upload to multiple products at once. There’s too many products on Zazzle compared to Redbubble. You may save the design to be used later on other products.
View the tote bag sample I’ve shown above to see the differences between Redbubble vs Zazzle.
Winner: It depends on your skills and what you like to use. If you can make great designs outside these platforms, you don’t need the extra tools. But it’s nice to have the option!
6. Ordering a sample product for yourself
Some POD sites like Printful lets you purchase your own item at a discount – find out here how it works. Both Redbubble and Zazzle do not offer any discounts when buying your own designs. If you buy your own design on Redbubble, you are only charged the base price of a product (no markup). Zazzle will charge you the full price just like any other customers even if you buy your own product.
Winner: Redbubble – as a creator, I would like to buy my own designs and test products at a cheaper price than what my customers pay. I contribute the design anyway!
7. Shipping services and cost
On both Redbubble and Zazzle, shipping charges are added automatically to a cart and vary for every buyer depending on their delivery address. So there’s nothing you can do as an artist or seller. Both Redbubble and Zazzle ship internationally to a lot of countries around the world.
Redbubble prints products using third-party printers in 10 countries including the USA, Spain and the UK. Items in a single order may come in separate packages depending on where they were printed at. There’s an option for Express Shipping but it’s not available for all countries.
Zazzle offers expedited shipping too which allows tracking throughout up to the customer’s doorstep. There’s a subscription plan US-based customers can get called Zazzle Black. For a small fee starting at $9.95, customers can get free shipping to US addresses all year round for some products. Pretty cool!
For a standard t-shirt, below are the differences in shipping cost to the USA between Redbubble and Zazzle. Just a little difference!
|2nd item (additional to the package)
Winner: Zazzle – it would be practical for a frequent customer to get the Zazzle Black plan. This greatly benefits artists too as they have a higher chance of making more sales e.g. if a customer comes back to get everything in a collection. Also cheaper rates!
8. Earning potential with each sale
Your earnings on these two platforms vary depending on a few factors. Primarily they are product price and sale discounts if any. Higher product prices or discounts don’t necessarily result in better earnings for you as a seller. So calculate your margins wisely!
Markups on Redbubble are set to be 20% for everyone while royalties for Zazzle are by default 5%. You can always make changes to these two. By increasing markup, price of your item increases as well, for better or for worse. For the sake of math, we will compare profits using 20% as calculation on both Redbubble and Zazzle.
Retaining royalty default of 5%, the men’s basic t-shirt cost $20.10 on Zazzle and you’ll get a royalty of $1.005 – which is pretty low. Now consider if the price is raised to match your 20% royalty, the basic t-shirt will cost $23.87 – for you to earn $4.77. This is a lot more compared to Redbubble as you can only get $3.81 if you set 20% markup and sell a t-shirt at $22.88.
While you may be able to make a lot more by setting a higher royalty on Zazzle, it may not always be favorable to do so. This is due to the fact that almost everyone else settles at a 5% royalty fee for them to stay competitive. Charging a higher royalty and price may deter customers from buying your item as they have a cheaper option within the same marketplace.
You may compare prices of each product you plan to sell and just decide based on overall margin.
Winner: Redbubble – although there’s lower profit to be made when comparing both at 20% profit, I see a better chance of making a sale on Redbubble’s marketplace even at 20% markup. Customers will love the lower prices of t-shirts on Redbubble.
Monthly product discounts
This may be disappointing but Redbubble does not offer any discounts on reaching sales milestones.
Zazzle has a volume bonus scheme where creators can earn anywhere from 1% to 17% based on their monthly sales achievement. Based on the table below, a creator that has made $1,000 in one month can receive a bonus payout of $50 (based on 5% calculation). This is another way to incentivize creators compared to the usual product discounts POD sites like Printful offers.
Winner: Zazzle – I appreciate any discounts or bonuses I can get!
9. Customization of products by customers
Offering extra fun means extra chances of making a sale. When it comes to being able to customize products, Redbubble might be less fun as it offers none.
Zazzle on the other hand allows artists to provide customizations on designs. This must be set when uploading the design for sale as it cannot be altered later. Customers are able to customize an aspect of it, let’s say a part where it is meant for a name or initials. The artist’s royalties and main design are maintained unaltered – read how Zazzle’s customization works.
I added some text and enabled it to be a template object – customer’s will be able to replace the info with whatever they want e.g. a person’s name, an important date or initials.
Winner: Zazzle – allowing customization by customers can greatly improve your sales. I believe that people are more willing to buy things for others than they are for themselves. Usually as a gift!
10. Customer support when you face issues
Both Redbubble and Zazzle has a great help center for you to navigate should you have any issues. I find Redbubble’s help center to be extra helpful as there’s a lot of questions answered for the average beginner seller to learn from. The only major difference is Zazzle offers live chatting while Redbubble does not.
It’s nothing to worry as there are advantages to Redbubble as well – I love that you can contact them on Twitter direct messaging or Facebook messenger. This seems more friendly for young people like me who’s always on social media. They promise a respond time of 24 hours so if they don’t reply there, well, what are they really doing!
Winner: Redbubble – I really appreciate all the answers I can get just from reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), I don’t always want to ask in messages!
11. Payment schedules to cash out earnings
Redbubble has a payment threshold of $20 – meaning you’ll only be paid if you have at least accumulated earnings of $20.
On the other hand, Zazzle has a payment threshold of $50 for PayPal transfers and $100 for check. Earnings are cleared for payment once 30 days have passed from the sale date.
Winner: Redbubble – a lower payment threshold keep funds flowing into my bank account regularly!
12. Referral program to earn extra
Redbubble has an affiliate program for individuals to join and earn 10% commission on sales referred. You can share your links on your social media, blogs or even in a description of a YouTube video. Best if you have a ready audience! If you get rejected from joining the affiliate program, try applying for the ambassador program instead (something like referral).
Zazzle has two options to choose from. There’s a referral program where you can get a $25 credit when a friend you referred purchases at least $25 for the very first time. Alternatively, if you already have a seller account, enroll to be an associate to earn 15% commission for all sales tracked. This allows you to earn from promoting your own shop.
Winner: Zazzle – you can decide between two options depending on what you want. There’s a higher commission rate compared to Redbubble!
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Summary of Differences
|Free sign up
|Selling at platform store
|Discounts on samples
|Custom label your products
|Include business cards and pamphlets in shipments
|Incentives for higher sales
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Is Zazzle free to use?
Answer: Zazzle is completely free to use for creators. Artists do not have to pay anything to start selling on Zazzle.
Question: Who competes with Zazzle?
Answer: Zazzle competes with print on demand sites like Redbubble, Society6, CafePress, Fine Art America and Spring. These platforms work in similar ways with a few varying features to distinguish. They are some of the best POD marketplaces where selling and buying can be done in one single website.
Question: Is it possible to make a living on Redbubble?
Answer: While it is possible to make a living selling on Redbubble, most artists are able to generate a consistent side income. This depends on the number of designs uploaded, type of products sold and percentage of markup. Sellers diversify income by selling on multiple platforms instead of just Redbubble.
Deciding between print on demand sites? These are 12 things you should know about Redbubble vs Zazzle:
- Signing up for an account
- How the platforms work
- Choice of print on demand products
- Generating mockups to impress
- User experience when uploading designs
- Ordering a sample product for yourself
- Shipping services and cost
- Earning potential with each sale
- Customization of products by customers
- Customer support when you face issues
- Payment schedules to cash out earnings
- Referral program to earn extra
Although the 12 things I’ve explained above matters, there are a lot of other factors to consider when joining a print on demand site. I must say that I find it incredibly easy to start selling on Redbubble compared to Zazzle. There has been huge debates with how Zazzle has turned out in recent years and whether it is still possible to make money on the site for beginners. The only way to know is for you to explore yourself.
I always love the idea of growing on one platform in the very beginning as opposed to confusing yourself with too many. Hence, I recommend you check out my article on how to make stickers to sell on Redbubble. This will get you running!
Interested in selling other products? Find my print on demand product guides down below.
- 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
Photo by Алекке Блажин