Today, I want to talk a little about Etsy vs. society6. As many of you know, I’ve been on Etsy (here & here) for over 6 years now. Over the past few months, I’ve been adding items to and putting the finishing touches on my society6 storefront. When people hear this, they always have questions about how society6 works, the differences between it and Etsy, and why I do both.
Most people know the basics of Etsy. It’s basically an online marketplace, to buy and sell (mainly) handmade goods. Because of Etsy’s large reach, it’s one of the most popular places for artists to sell their creations. Artists keep the majority of the purchase price, with Etsy getting a small percentage. It’s up to the Etsy shop owner to create, list and ship their goods.
society6 works a bit differently. Artists upload their design, which can be displayed on a variety of products (from art prints to tote bags to cell phone covers). society6 takes it from there, dealing with all aspects of the sale, from producing the item to packing the item to shipping the item. Because of this, society6 retains most of the profit from the sale, though the artist does have some control over the final pricing.
I continue to have an Etsy presence for several reasons…most importantly, I enjoy the process of creating art. It’s why most creatives create. Also, I have a high amount of control over my shop items, shipping procedures, pricing, and overall aesthetic of my shop. Because Etsy shop owners keep most of their profits, it’s become a way for me to help support my family, and has turned my art into a business.
So why society6? society6 allows an artist to sell their design on a variety of products, without the artist himself needing to learn how to, for example, put their design on a coffee mug. It allows the artist the ability to focus on creating their art, without getting bogged down in the production/packing/shipping aspect of a creative business (and from my experience on Etsy, this is a HUGE part of what we do). The profit for the artist may be small, but it’s a great way to get your product visible to a wider audience, as well an easy way to diversify your brand (as well as your revenue stream).
I’d love to know your thoughts! Do you have an Etsy shop? Sell on society6? Love one over the other? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.