When you have something to sell, you need to store it somewhere before you sell it. You need to keep it safe and secure and in a place that is easy to get to while still being out of the way enough for no damage to occur. When you are only one person with limited space and limited funds, it helps to have someone else store it for you. It helps to have someone else ship things out and take care of customer service.
What’s difficult about this is that when someone wants to buy something directly from you, you have to turn to someone else entirely to do all the work. Customers are concerned, “where is my money really going? Why can’t I just give my money directly to you? Who is really benefitting here? I like your work, why do I have to pay someone else?”
It is a bit tricky, but the fact that I don’t have to purchase copies allows for me to make more artwork and experiment more. If I had already put in thousands of dollars into one product, I would be out of money and in a worse situation if no one wanted to buy that item. Most places that an artist can sell their work or writing or what have you, are print on demand places and will only create your product as it sells. This is good for the environment and saves on storage, not only for me, as an artist, but for the supplier as well. It is easy enough to order 20 -30 copies of things if I know they will sell while also making sure that if only one or two items are going to sell, the buyer can actually get the item.
It makes my life a whole lot easier to have someone else take care of shipping, production and storage and all that goes with that. I have more time to work on more things and I am able to have somewhere to send people to get items that would never exist unless some print on demand place were able to create something with my work on it.
What I don’t like about this is the fact that I have no real control over how it is sold or to what venue. I can’t say “don’t use that font. Don’t put my item next to that other item. Don’t try to sell it here or there.” Things like that. It is a bit of a chance to try to sell things and allow someone else control over my babies’ quality and production. I can try to advertise somewhere, or promote something, but the sheer amount of things I am able to sell on a print on demand site makes quality control pretty much out of my hands in a lot of ways.
This is a bit disconcerting because I like to make sure that everything I make is top quality and worth it for my customers. I can get a few copies of my own to practice with (like my oracle cards) or to see how the item will be like for customers, but on a small budget, that becomes a bit impossible to do on a large scale. I like having lots of options for people and lots of items to choose from, but I can’t feasibly make the majority of items possible on my own without sites like Zazzle where I have my own little shop.
I hope you all understand where I am coming from. I want to be able to get all the great things I make in your hands so you can all enjoy them and talk about them and spend time with and all the good things that come with owning a card deck, comic book, or any item in my shops. I, however, don’t have the means to store, produce, and ship while still being able to make more art or take care of daily chores or go to appointments or things like that. I love to do what I do and I love to create art, but trying to be a salesman on top of it all is a bit too much for me most of the time.
I would love to spend more time promoting and producing items and getting out to places to sell things and all of that, but I am a limited human being and have to work on things that bring me joy, and not so much trying to make 1000 copies of items that may or may not sell and take up lots of space and all of that mayhem. I like to let someone else deal with it and save me some of the hassle that most artists are not very good at.
As far as I can tell, the places that I sell my work are very reputable and have great customer satisfaction. I do try things out and post reviews or photos of the items I am making content for. I like to make sure that the items are something I should be spending my time on.
Every sale helps to keep me afloat and keep me creating even if my royalty is only a small portion of the actual price of an item. The inspiration I get from one or two sales is often enough to keep me motivated to keep working. I love what I do and I hope to make others happy with my work.
Thank you, and please think of purchasing some of my items for sale. (The money really does go to me – minus the cost of materials and production)