Redbubble vs Zazzle: 12 Things To Consider

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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!

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Sign up to account
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Sign up to account

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.

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Choices of tote bags on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Choices of tote bags on Zazzle

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
Mouse pads
Desk mats
Pillow & totes
Wall art
Laptop cases
Shower curtains
Pet accessories
Mugs & tumblers
Acrylic coasters
Face masks
Playing cards
Paper utensils
Invitation cards
Party supplies
Wall art
Phone cases
Flash drives
Apple watch bands
Baby apparels
Weddings craft
Business cards
ID badges
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Summary of product catalog

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.

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Redbubble
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Redbubble
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Redbubble
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Redbubble

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. 

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Selling tote bag on Zazzle

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!

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Shipping charges of a single t-shirt
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Shipping charges of a single t-shirt

For a standard t-shirt, below are the differences in shipping cost to the USA between Redbubble and Zazzle. Just a little difference!

Shipping chargesRedbubbleZazzle
1st item$7.40$7.09
2nd item (additional to the package)$1.36$1.00
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Difference in shipping charges for t-shirts

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!

Product pricing

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.

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Profit margin of t-shirt on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Profit margin of t-shirt on Zazzle
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Profit margin of t-shirt on Redbubble
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Profit margin of t-shirt on Redbubble

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. 

Redbubble vs Zazzle: Zazzle's volume bonus scheme
Redbubble vs Zazzle: Zazzle’s volume bonus scheme

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
Ecommerce integration🗴🗴
Selling at platform store
Discounts on samples🗴🗴
Customer customization🗴
Custom label your products🗴🗴
Include business cards and pamphlets in shipments🗴🗴
Live chat🗴
Educational content
Incentives for higher sales🗴
Referral program
Affiliate program

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.

Bottom Line

Deciding between print on demand sites? These are 12 things you should know about Redbubble vs Zazzle:

  1. Signing up for an account
  2. How the platforms work
  3. Choice of print on demand products
  4. Generating mockups to impress
  5. User experience when uploading designs
  6. Ordering a sample product for yourself
  7. Shipping services and cost
  8. Earning potential with each sale
  9. Customization of products by customers
  10. Customer support when you face issues
  11. Payment schedules to cash out earnings
  12. 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.

Photo by Алекке Блажин

Abby B.

Hey there! Abby here - the founder of Passive Marketeer and also the main writer on the site. My love for ecommerce and online marketing was something I found through my 9-5 sales job. It was mind boggling at first that we're able to make an income online passively in today's world! If you're still feeling that way, know that you're not alone.

That's why, I decided to help others by sharing findings through my own research on today's ecommerce world. When I'm not writing, I'm either running my online biz, traveling, cooking or gardening.

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