The wind is turning for several print on demand companies these days and while the designer world was all talking about a set of new fees Society6 is rolling out (I'll write about it later), one of the other big change that just dropped is coming from Redbubble and its introduction of account tiers and account fees. The change is due to roll out on June 1st but if you are an existing user, you can already view which tier you made it to on your account dashboard. Proud to announce that Home Cyn Home made it to a premium account for now and I'm really stoke about it.
but hang on! what does it mean?
From now on, it seems that all account, new or existing will get allotted to a tier with certain perks and benefits associated with each. Those tiers are : Redbubble Standard, Redbubble Premium and Redbubble Pro and from what they have explained on their website, people would be eligible for a standard account after opening shop with Redbubble and be able to move up in rank if they meet certain activity and sales thresholds. Redbubble Standard accounts are the only one who are going to be subjected to an account fee, which according to Redbubble will be levied on sales, as no artists should be out of pocket. The fee will be calculated based on your monthly earnings if they qualify for payout and the amount will be deducted from said earnings at that time. To know more if you belong to the Standard tier, Redbubble has put together an article page for your to read.
You do not pay any fees if you are at the Premium or Pro tier.
probably an unpopular opinion but...
I more than welcome that move from Redbubble, this platform, more than others have been attracting frauds by the dozen and Quora has no shortage of questions along the line of "How can I make money on Redbubble" and "How can I get more views" or "Why am I not getting any sales". I've answered many of these over the years, reminding people that just because you upload the artwork once doesn't mean you can just sit back and relax and wait for the money to come in. What shocked me too is several wannabe "artists" contacting me on Instagram in hope to get my secret formula for success and the ultimate way to crack their algorithm. It never failed, these people had shops filled with designs that were stock graphics they didn't even create themselves. I've also encountered blatant theft of my designs on the platform (and reported it). Some people will resort to anything in hope of a quick and easy payout.
Redbubble is the one paying to host all those designs, and victim of their success I bet those hosting fees amount to a LOT and it must be annoying them to know many of the designs on their servers are bogus, fraudulent ones, or from accounts that have gone quiet.
The tier system is a way of flushing out the people that are just trying to crack the system and make money and encourage serious artists to upload consistently and build a brand on their platform. Society6 has been hinting at rolling out a subscription model later this year as well, probably for the same reasons.
pay your dues and move up in rank
This new system will have all newbie artist start at the bottom, and the more consistent and active you get on the platform without violating community guidelines, the faster you'll get to move to the free, fee-less Premium tier. Still on their website, here is what they say about moving up in ranks :
To give your account the best chance moving into the Premium or Pro tier we recommend the following:
Creating based on trends or themes your customers are searching for
Increasing the commercial success of your designs
Driving direct high quality traffic to your Redbubble store
Uploading designs that showcase your unique creative skills
Uploading your best work with attention to image resolution and product formatting
Completing your bio and adding links to your social profiles
This is something I have been saying for years on Quora by the way, the only way to make more sales and show up in searches on Redbubble is to look beyond the SEO, relevant tags and keywords is something everyone is doing. Their algorithm rewards people who are ACTIVE on the platform. I'm hopeful that those changes on Redbubble will really improve the visibility of artists who are putting in the work and get all the "I want to get rich quick" people who aren't even designers to give the platform a miss.