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November 28, 2020
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Looking for most popular platforms to sell art/merch, and advice on getting started

:iconkerlasia:
Kerlasia Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2020  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, I've been doing digital art commissions for about 6 years now and am looking to expand my income to other areas. Lately I have been wanting to design and sell dinosaur related merch, but I don't exactly know what is the best way to go about it. I have several questions.
  1. I'm guessing that sites that handle the manufacturing like redbubble and society6 are best for starting out? I have previously sold fanart on redbubble, but I dislike that site (for reasons I won't go into here) so I just started a shop on society6. The problem with these is that the artist only gets a small cut.

  2. Would ordering product from a 3rd party manufacturer then selling it on etsy/storeenvy/similar be better, or should I avoid that until I have more sales?

  3. When is a good time to switch to making the merch yourself? I understand that the equipment necessary is costly, so I would need significant demand of my merch to do this, but I'm not sure.

I'm mostly interested in selling prints, shirts/hoodies, and things like enamel pins. Most print on demand sites offer the former two, but I have no idea how to get started with the pins. If anybody has experience with these things, I could really use some advice.

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:icontangiwai:
Tangiwai Featured By Owner Edited Nov 28, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
It depends on whether the third party manufacturer allows for single item orders versus bulk.  They might only take orders of a minimum number.  If you can't pay for that many at once, you'll be out of luck in getting whatever printed or made up for resale.  It'd require capital immediately.  Although you might be able to haggle a line of credit.  Maybe. 

I'd research that one first before actually getting into it.

Switching out to making your own merch also requires immediate capital.  You've got to figure out where you can buy your materials and if it's clothing.  How you're going to go about printing say a piece of artwork on it etc.  If you've got a printing press or machine.  You'll be fine, if not than it'll be more difficult.

It might be possible to get the third party stuff done cheap locally if you know any businesses that specialise in say printing stuff on clothes.  I'd check it out before doing anything.  Might be more economical than doing that stuff online.  Keep your options open.
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