How To Buy & Sell with PODs

How To Make Art is a huge area of discussion, and it only gets bigger when you add in the How To Sell Art Discussion. Inside, outside, all around the town…there are lots of great answers. Some things I make right here in my studio. Some things I create using photographs and POD (Print On Demand) companies. Some items are digital downloads of written or video tutorials or coloring sets that I designed, drew, put together using a synergy of pencils and pens, codes and software programs.

I have owned and operated my own brick-and-morter stores and galleries in Ohio, California, and Colorado, and I do enjoy the process of gathering, displaying and selling beautiful items, and becoming a part of the community of artists and patrons. But then there are the issues of staffing, security, rent and utilities and maintaining both space and inventory.

Maintaining a virtual storefront eliminates the dusting and staffing issues as well as concerns for slippage…but there is the still the work of setting up the store in the first place, and cost issues like hosting and purchase of a domain name (URL) for a website, plus fees for some platforms like Shopify that start at $29 a month. Having used both I will say that  Shopify does make it easier in some ways, but as a website designer I’m willing to do a bit more work with free ecommerce and content management platforms. Then I have more control over the amount of items I can feature, the ways I can organize them and over the display options. I’m glad to have experience in multiple platforms so I can make informed choices, and so I can help my clients find what works best for THEIR design and manufacturing needs.

I sell through my website right here in my own virtual storefront powered by wordpress and woocommerce, a very popular selling platform. I sell on Facebook Groups. I sell through e-Shops like Etsy, Pixels, Printful and Art To Where. I sell in bead stores and galleries. Although I think my days of setting up shop at outdoor festivals is over, we are always interested in finding and exploring new outlets. If you would like to recommend one or talk about wholesale rates to purchase items for your store or gallery, please do contact me!

POD Companies & Storefronts

Printful
The clothing and decorative tiems that I’ve chosen from Printful easily integrate with shopify, etsy, woocommerce and all the other major ecommerce platforms. Instead of maintaining a storefront on their site, I have chosen to simply push those items into my shop here on this site. They have an excellent page with information about all the eccommerce platforms here

Art Of Where
Art of Where is based in Montreal Canada, and has factories in the USA and Canada where they mill and print the fabric as well as do the sewing that goes into these items. They have artist stores through their main website but also integrate into a website via shopify and woocommerce. I have ongoing issues with their woocommerce interface; I can create products but not get them into my woocommerce store. I hope that their support staff will help with this… Their design studio does individual items and has some fancy features. In addition to clothing and accessories, they also produce fabric, and I will be exploring that option Once the interface options are solved.

Pixels
They integrate well with Facebook and sShopify, you can sell through the pixels site or at Deck the Walls and Great Frame Up Retail outlets. Fine Art AAmerica uses this POD company.They do not integrate with Woocommerce at this time. However, code can be placed on a website page to make items available and checkout is done through the pixels site.

Society6
At this time, Society 6 products do not integrate with woocommerce, shopify, or a standalone website. I found other POD companies that offer all the same kinds of products that I chose EXCEPT clocks, coasters, and trays. Items are purchased through their website.

Spoonflower
Here you can get designs printed on all sorts of fabric as well as onto clothing, wallpaper, gift wrap and decor items. The design software is so much fun to play with that I can spend hours or days just doing that, and had to severely limit myself. Choose from a wide variety of fabrics as a base and create exclusive fabrics or offer them openly for sale; designs are not available for sale until you buy a sample swatch (starts at $5.) No minimums, quantity discounts, and fat quarters are available. I intend to spend a week or two creating fabric designs here soon. This is a must-see for textile lovers, quilters and clothing designers.

Vistaprint
I have my business cards and promotional banners printed through Vistaprint. While I have used them for tshirts and totebags as well, I find that I prefer the selection and prices at other POD companies for many items…that said, the occasional sale pricing makes getting art cards for resale and other items attractive to me.

Online Facebook Groups

Creative Connections
One of the options with shopify is to push the items directly to a Facebook Business Page as well as to an Instagram account. I found that it looked too cluttered (I have a LOT of products and intentions for more!) and I prefer to use the page as a way to post individual products, talk about them, and feed traffic back to my online storefont here.

Handmade Components Bazaar
This group has Open Wall Days where artists can post up to 6 items and Special Events that showcase individual artists and an unlimited number of items in a 24 hour period.

One Sweet Bead Market
This group has Open Wall Days where artists can post up to 6 items and Special Events that showcase individual artists and an unlimited number of items in a 24 hour period.

Artisan Jewelry Components
This group has Open Wall Days only where artists can post up to 15 items for up to 5 days.

The Chamber of Arts
The best way for me to learn is by doing, so in order to learn more about how pages and groups are different and how they each work, I set one up. I decided that I don’t really have the time to grow my group, but have kept it in order to use aspects such as creating events on Facebook.

Galleries & Stores

Indigo Swan Gallery Stockholm, Wisconsin

Red Canyon Art Gallery Lyons, Colorado

Bead Cache Ft. Collins Colorado

Bloomin’ Beads Etc. Powell, Ohio

Gahanna Bead Studio  Gahanna, Ohio

Etsy

Etsy was in early on the market for handmade and art items and one of the benefits of an etsy store is having a built-in audience. I have digital downloads in my Etsy store as well as here in my shop. Etsy no longer supports the etsy mini code that allows a feed onto a website. Nor are they supporting banner links to the etsy stores anymore.

Most of the POD companies do integrate with an etsy store. Etsy charges a small fee for each item listed for a four month period, and a percentage of the price on each sale. It is more economic for me to list those same items here in my own website based shop.

Amazon

I sell my books through Amazon. My first two books were published through Krause and Northlights/FW Publications.

I learned a lot–and the biggest lesson was that it was time for me to go back to college and get a media graphic design degree, to learn how to do layout and publishing myself.

That is what I did, and I started PolyMarket Press where I publish books for myself and other author/artists using POD services from Lightning Source and marketing with Amazon. There are more books and videos in the production stages now.