Redbubble, Society6, TeePublic, and Threadless

I’ve had a shop on Etsy since 2007, but I’m new to the print-on-demand thing. I’ve opened shops for my illustrations at each of the following services, and I wanted to do a brief review of my experiences so far.

None of these services require payment or fees upfront, which makes them low-risk endeavors; the only thing lost is time putting everything out there.

So here goes; a comparison of all four services in list format:


  • Average product selection; stickers are a big seller because they weren’t offered elsewhere until recently.
  • You set the price per product.
  • You set product defaults.
  • Easy tools for centering your art and repeating patterns. Fast editing experience overall.
  • Supports full-bleed, repeating patterns.
  • Upload different images for each product.
  • You can add some branding to your shop (avatar, banner image), but still includes Redbubble branding.
  • Supports Google Analytics and basic view counts, favorites, and comments.


  • Wide product selection (Floor pillows! Curtains!)
  • You set the price per product (for prints only).
  • Can’t set product defaults; your shop displays products in your shop at random.
  • No tools for centering art on each product; you edit placement manually. Product editing is slow; each one has to be individually enabled and customized. The interface is slow and buggy in Chrome for Mac.
  • Supports full-bleed, repeating patterns (but you have to create them manually in a graphics program).
  • Upload different images for each product.
  • You can add some branding to your shop (avatar, banner image), but still includes Society6 branding.
  • Supports favorites and comments.


  • Narrower product selection, with a focus on t-shirts.
  • They set the price per product.
  • You set product defaults.
  • Easy tools for centering your art.
  • Full-bleed, repeating patterns for some products.
  • Upload one image for all products.
  • You can add some branding to your shop (avatar, banner image), but still includes TeePublic branding.
  • Supports Google Analytics and Disqus comments.


  • Wide product selection, with a focus on clothing.
  • You set the price per product.
  • You set product defaults.
  • No editing art placement per product, but their algorithm is smart about it.
  • No full-bleed/repeating patterns.
  • Upload different images for each product.
  • Shop design is customizable (colors, fonts, layout) and branded for you.
  • Supports Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel.

So far, it seems Teepublic and Redbubble get the most traffic (and the most sales). They also do more to feature individual designs and artists on their front pages, whereas Society6 is a bit of a black hole unless you’re driving traffic to your shop. Threadless has design challenges alongside their artist shops, which makes for more community interaction (their shops feature is relatively new), but they also emphasize the need for self-promotion, and I haven’t made a huge effort there.

In terms of what sells, most of my sales on Redbubble are stickers (“Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down” is popular), and most of my sales on Teepublic are tees.

How much have I made? Let’s just say I’m not quitting my day job by far, but these services are helping save a little for a family vacation. I’ve also donated about 25% of my earnings to Planned Parenthood, and I’ve been inspired to make art, which in some ways is payment enough.

I hope this has been helpful to anyone looking to start up a print-on-demand shop of their own!


  1. This is awesome. Trang and I will be releasing our first sticker pack on iOS within the next week or two but I have been really looking into branching out and introducing her into new marketplaces. I want to introduce her to Etsy and the marketplaces that you just wrote about so that she has an outlet for creativity. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. 🤗 Looks like we have work to do!

  2. Yay! I love creative little side projects, I have far too many of them. 😀 Etsy has been good to me, although it’s a more manual process than the print-on-demand stuff, and there are listing fees upfront.

    Good luck with the new sticker pack! That sounds like fun to work on, esp. as a designer/illustrator. Oh goodie, more ideas. Just what I needed… 😉 *hugs*

  3. Hi! Thanks so much for sharing this information. I’ve recently started sharing my artworks and wanted to start something up on Society6. I have heard a lot of similar feedback on how Society6 is a “blackhole”.

    I was wondering if you’re seeing big differences in profit margin from these POD sites? Threadless advertises that you would be paid much more on there compared to Society6 or Redbubble, but they only use T-Shirts as an example. Would love to hear about your personal experience, thank you!

  4. Hi! I’m glad this was helpful. 🙂 For most of these types of sites (except for TeePublic) you set the profit margins, so you can earn as much or as little as you want per product. I haven’t sat down and done a detailed comparison of the retail prices across each site (it’s been on my to-do list forever) so that might influence sales for thriftier shoppers — how much you have to charge to earn the same amount per site is probably different.

    FWIW, I’ve had more sales on Society6 since I wrote this; it’s less consistent than Redbubble, but better than Threadless, where I’ve only sold 4 things (all within the last month, and at a pretty steep discount). As such I tend to prioritize TeePublic and Redbubble, then put stuff on the latter two when I get around to it. But your mileage may vary!

  5. You mention that you can set your own price at society 6? I thought you couldn’t do this for all the products except prints?

  6. Aha, you are right! I missed that when I first wrote this. I’ll edit it for clarity. Thank you!

  7. Are you allowed to use the same designs across all markets, like upload your original designs to Redbubble and threadless?

  8. Yep! But if you’re submitting a design to a *competition* (not to one of your stores) they may want something exclusive.

  9. So ANYBODY can sell their merch on RedBubble? I had heard that you had to be some big-time, ballin’ YouTuber to get sold on their site. Is that true?

  10. Anyone can sign up. Whether you make sales or not is a different matter. I’m not going to be making a living off RedBubble commissions any time soon, but I’m doing better than I thought I would when I started, given the size of the site.

  11. Thank you! This is very helpful. I’m an artist looking for the best options to make extra cash off my creations, but I don’t want to 1) start with the worst platform or 2) spread myself thin trying them all out. It’s so hard to choose and I feel like I wasted hours this weekend getting products up without knowing how good the quality will be on a buggy website (society6). Redbubble was the quickest so far. You have helped a lot! Thank you! I hope your sales have been good!

  12. Hi Cherice! I’m so glad this was helpful. 🙂 I’ve definitely had better sales on Redbubble and Teepublic over the last year than on Society6 or Threadless; I’ve found only uploading a few select products to the latter two nets me a sale occasionally without feeling like I’ve put too much lost time and effort in.

    I also recently started selling t-shirts and printed items (t-shirts, pillows, etc.) in my Etsy store using I need to write a new post about that because sales have really picked up there!

    Cheers, and good luck with your new shop(s)!

  13. Such a great idea to choose select artwork on one vs. another. I’m a newbie and just spent a week uploading artwork on S6 to the tune of 3 followers. :/ Might try just select art on TeePublic. Great article!

  14. Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for this comprehensive comparison. One thing I’d love to know since you’ve tried all these platforms is this:
    Which platform had the best merchant services? By that I mean, was there anyone at the helm of these companies devoted to being accessible an answering your questions or trouble shooting if you had any problems?
    Redbubble seems bad at this, are any of these other platforms there for an artist if they get a take down notice or have a question? Or is it all manned by robots? 🙂

  15. Redbubble seems bad at this, are any of these other platforms there for an artist if they get a take down notice or have a question? Or is it all manned by robots?

    Great question! I haven’t required much in the way of seller services since I started with them, so it’s hard to say.

    I once ordered a phone case with my design from Redbubble, and I had to have it reprinted because the file I uploaded didn’t include an embedded color profile; they were quick to respond and replaced the case at no cost, even though the mistake was technically mine.

    Threadless seems communicative — they have live chat service right in the seller dashboard — but I haven’t actually interacted with them.

    Teepublic occasionally reaches out to prod me to upload new work and invite questions via email, so they also give off the impression of being on top of seller relations.

    Society6 seems pretty quiet on that front. Nothing remarkable about my experiences with them so far (and I still find their upload/design system the hardest/slowest to use).

    I hope this helps!

  16. I know you wrote this three years ago, but would you upload one design to all four sites? Did you just put it up on one and then do the rest later?

  17. Yep! For the most part, I’d upload the same design to all four sites; if it’s a pattern, I’d also add it to Spoonflower.

  18. i understand why you wouldnt want to disclose numeric earning amounts, however might you be willing to share what percentage (super rough estimate is more than sufficient) each platform contributed to your total earnings from said services? for the past fee months ive had trouble identifying which platform yo gocus on next. each new branded pod platform is a fairly significant time investment, of which i could be creating more white label products for my independent shops and setting a much higher margin. but the allure of these platforms remain in their void of customer service responsibilities.

    theoretically, if i were to somehow create timeless designs that remained relevant and popular for decades, i could not log back on for months or even years, and still be turning an income from sales. muuuuuch different story on etsy, ebay, and especially my own sites.

    but ive invested large chunks of time creating artists stores on some platforms not mentioned in this article, and seen pennies at best – while redbubble has shown a far more significant return, and teepublic (though newly established) has also shown more promise than most
    just wondering where to go next… once i finally dig myself out of the damage control customer service nightmare from face mask sales, of course.

  19. Hey hey! Sure, happy to share based on last year’s sales. Etsy makes up about 31%, followed by Redbubble at 25%. TeePublic and Spoonflower are tied around 18% each, and the rest is Threadless and Society6. I expect next year’s will look quite different, as I’ve seen a significant uptick in sales on Spoonflower (more people sewing masks or staying home and redecorating == more fabric and wallpaper sales) and TeePublic is not as hot.

  20. Awesome! So glad I found this (just through Google). Thank you for your comments and comparisons. It is super helpful as I look into what will work best for me. Really appreciate you sharing your experience to help the rest of us.

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