Selling Your Art Successfully

An acquaintance on LinkedIn has asked me about making money with their photography upon Redbubble. Whilst very similar to the last article, I gave a different response. They asked me…

You might have to explain to me how to get some sails through redbubble. I have a bunch of images there for a while and have accrued 0 sales.

This was sent to me some time ago, so I took the time a few nights back to compile a response. Here it is:


Let me first say that this: Redbubble is not a great place to make a lot of money, but it is certainly the best place to present and display our finer photography. That’s what I do. I rarely sell any of my work within Redbubble … but I do tell all my friends and family when I’ve added new images.

For example, last Thursday night I uploaded a new photograph of a little pink flower.

I said to myself, Hey, this is very nice, but it’s very ‘feminine! Which one of my friends would like this?

On Friday morning I emailed every female friend with a quick message saying “Hope You Like This Photograph, Tell me What you Think. Show it to your friends, I’m looking for different opinions“. Ten minutes later one of those friends came around to my office and said they LOVED the image. I nonchalantly said with a smile, “So, you going to buy it?” We’re friends, so they know my mannerisms, they know I wouldn’t sell them anything they wouldn’t like. She said yes, and I had my quickest sale. There was no pressure from me, it was a gentle conversation, and I discovered it really does pay to ask everyone you know what they think of your art: One of them might be your next buyer!

Another great method to sell is to give something away.

Example: I gave all my close friends and my family a free card last year, blank, with the hand-written or verbal message ‘This is a gift, do with it as you’d like‘. One got sent to the UK as a birthday card, a few were sent to NSW and I heard a few got framed for someone’s mantle. Seems they like my work too much to give it away! Nice.

Here is the important part: I buy my own work, as cards, from Redbubble. Yes, that’s right, most people I know are still unsure about buying goods online. So I take that hassle away from them.

There’s a big benefit in doing this: I get a higher commission. Weird as it sounds, I undercut the price that Redbubble put on the work (they sell my cards for $6, I sell them for $5) Now I buy them at base price and still sell them at the same cost presented on Redbubble, yet I still make a profit. If you are a member on redbubble, you’ll understand how this works. If you are business-person reading this, you’ll understand straight away.


So how does this help you? Let me put it into three simple statements:

1. Word of Mouth: Tell everyone about it. Online, email, forums, Plurk, Twitter, any social networking group you are in. Saturate without drowning people.

2. Don’t upload anything to Redbubble that you wouldn’t buy yourself.

3. Enjoy what you do, and the money will follow. Cliché, yes, but amazingly true.

Well, that’s what works for me. I wish anyone luck who’s trying to selling their photography online, through whatever site. I’m sticking with Redbubble.