If you already sell digital copies of your photos online, why not trying to sell prints as well. And how about a cup with your photo printed on it, or a bag, or a pillow? And all that – without the need to worry about shipping these products to customers. There are several websites that provide this opportunity.
MobilePrints.com makes selling images very easy. Framed prints of different sizes, greeting cards, and a wide range of products with your photos printed on them – home decor items, apparel, etc. With just a few clicks you can upload your images to MobilePrints.com website. Then you can set your prices (or accept default prices suggested by the site), and customize the design of each product. MobilePrints will create the product on-demand when it’s ordered from the website and will ship it to customers worldwide.
The beauty of it is that MobilePrints takes care of everything – printing your photos, creating and shipping products, collecting payments from the buyers, and sending profits to the artists. Artists receive a percentage from each sale.
When you uploaded a photo to MobilePrints.com website, you will get to a page where you can customize the design of each product, to make sure the right part of a photo is displayed on each object. It is almost magical to see your photo transform into a pillow, or a bag, or an iPhone case.
The downside is there is not really much chance that some stranger will buy the product with your design, unless you are doing the promotion yourself. The website provides evidence that products do sell, but according to forum discussions, information from other photographers, and my personal experience, it is unlikely that you get lots of sales, unless you are promoting your products yourself. You can do it though your blog or website, with the help of your Instagram account, or just spreading the word among your friends and colleagues, but for sure you need to do some kind of promotion to make your products sell.
MobilePrints.com is a photo-oriented site. If you are more into painting or drawing, you can also try Pixes.com (or it’s mirror site Fineartamerica.com). Unlike MobilePrints.com which allows you to upload unlimited number of photos for free, Pixes.com will only allow to upload 20 images for free. To upload more you need to sign up for a premium account.
Other similar service is RedBubble.com, but it seems to be less active. A word of warning – I came across an article by a photographer who wrote that as soon as he started earning a decent income from his product sales, RedBubble just closed his account without warning. They kept all images online and continued to earn money, while the photographer could no longer access his account, and or course never received any reply from the website customer support.