As an artist, choosing the best way to monetize your art can be a tough decision. Crowdfunding? Patreon? Merchandise? Art Galleries? Commissions? There are so many options. When it comes to merch, Artist Shops by Threadless is the best option out there. With access to multiple sales channels, high earnings, ownership of your brand & sales data, the best product range, most helpful support team, and the 20 years of experience that comes with working with Threadless, the choice is clear.
Threadless is the easiest way to make money selling your art.
Here are 25 reasons why…
Threadless always puts the artist first
From day 1, Threadless has and always will put artists first. In fact, Threadless wasn’t even really started as a business. It was an art project within an online community of artists making art together. The reason for our existence isn’t any different now – help independent artists get their art out into the world and make an income from it along the way. Meanwhile, many marketplaces are publicly traded companies prioritizing profit for their shareholders over artists.
Your own standalone eCommerce website for your brand
Most marketplaces are only a marketplace, and don’t give you access to other sales channels. They usually give you a profile page and list your products amongst millions of other designs by hundreds of thousands of other artists also using that marketplace. With Artist Shops, you get your own standalone eCommerce website to promote your brand in a place where your customers aren’t distracted by endless other options. When you link to your design from your social profiles or elsewhere, your likelihood of earning on that sale is exponentially higher when it is in your own store.
In addition to your branded store, your art could also be displayed on Threadless.com
While your most important sales channel should be your own official store for your brand, there is value in having access to a marketplace. That’s why with Artist Shops you can also choose to opt-in your products to the Threadless marketplace for people shopping there to buy. There is very little overlap between Threadless customers and Artist Shops customers. 95% of customers who have bought something from Threadless have never purchased an item from an Artist Shop. There is a ton of value in having your work available both in your Artist Shop and on Threadless. From a single art file upload, you get access to dozens of sales channels.
Access to dozens of offline retail partners
Threadless partners with many of the largest offline retail brands in the world. Each retailer has its own customer demographic and Threadless curates product collections for them from art uploaded to Artist Shops. Your artwork could be included in our curated collections giving you access to yet another sales channel. Most online marketplaces do not work with offline retailers at all, let alone at the scale that Threadless does. In terms of retail revenue, Threadless designs actually account for more revenue at offline retail than online which means you could earn a ton more incremental revenue, all from the same art files!
Additional licensing opportunities for a variety of unique products
In addition to selling in your own official branded store, the Threadless marketplace, and offline retail, Threadless also helps you get access to licensed product opportunities like greeting cards, drinkware, stationary, and other apparel, home, and accessory items. These products are then sold in many different sales channels both online and offline with Threadless managing royalty payments. Threadless also acts as an artist’s agent in order to help coordinate and negotiate contracts for new licensing opportunities when artists are approached to license their work.
Your designs can be listed in online virtual catalogs for other eCommerce brands
Through various API integrations, Threadless gives third party access to approved designs uploaded through Artist Shops for distribution in different channels. For example, a traditional offline retailer may license Threadless designs for sale on their eCommerce website. When a customer places an order, the item is produced on demand with the artist earnings coordinated and paid to the artist by Threadless.
Access to a growing range of sales channels like Instagram, Amazon, and Shopify
In addition to all of the already existing sales channels, Threadless is always looking for more ways to help you get your work in front of your fans and customers. In the future, Threadless is looking at integrations with Instagram so artists can sell directly to their followers without leaving the app, feeding product into the Amazon marketplace for Amazon shoppers to find and purchase, and integrations with third party eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Squarespace, and Big Cartel.
Earn way more per item sold in your branded shop than you would earn in a marketplace
You earn the most per unit when you sell a design in your own store. With Artist Shops, we recommend you promote your own official store when posting about your work to make sure you make the most money from your own marketing efforts. When selling in a marketplace, that marketplace typically has a lot of marketing and overhead costs like advertising, staff, and website operations, and that’s why you typically earn less per unit.
A better conversion rate on your designs with the traffic that you bring in to your own store
By promoting your own official store, you ensure that your own fans and customers stay in your universe and don’t get distracted by other options available in a marketplace. When you send people to your store, more of those people are going to buy your stuff if that is all that is available in that store. Threadless makes it easy for you to promote yourself with promo tool features in your dashboard. In a marketplace, they may also buy other stuff which hurts the conversion rate on the web traffic that you were responsible for.
More approachable consumer pricing
Threadless offers very fair pricing both in your Artist Shop and in the Threadless marketplace. On Threadless, there are frequent promotional events selling products at highly discounted rates. This means more volume of sales on those items. In your Artist Shop, if you opt-in to Threadless managing your pricing and promotions, automatic sale events are launched in your shop. These events give your more price conscious customers access to discounted pricing and help drive sales and awareness to your store.
Huge potential total earnings at scale with a variety of sales channels
By leveraging all of the channels that Threadless can help you get your work sold in, like offline retail, licensing, virtual catalogs, and the future channels on our roadmap, you can collect a steady income stream and focus on what you do best, make great art. Typically these channels are a little more difficult to get into. They are only looking to carry the best of the best designs and content from Threadless. However, if your designs resonate with offline retailers or licensors, the potential earnings from such channels is huge due to the number of units ordered and sold through.
Your shop, your brand!
When you upload your art to a marketplace, that marketplace’s brand will always be up top, front and center. With Artist Shops, you get your own white-labeled eCommerce store for your brand, not under another brand’s umbrella. You get full control over your store’s logo, colors, layout, font, etc. Even the order confirmation emails will come from your brand. The Threadless team will always be there to back you up with logistics like customer service, order fulfillment, manufacturing, and more.
When you send your fans and customers to your online store, that traffic is yours to monitor, analyze, and market to. Threadless does not divert your customers to shop other artists, or get added to the Threadless marketing umbrella. Your traffic stays in your brand’s universe. Add your own Google Analytics account ID and keep track of all the data you need about the traffic to your shop.
Typical marketplaces do not tell you who your customers are. Threadless does. You get access to all the names, addresses, and email addresses of the people who purchase from your shop. It’s your shop, so they are your customers. If you release a new project down the line, Threadless believes you should be able to let your customers know about that.
Your marketing voice
Every brand has a voice. Your voice is unique and your store should be promoted in that voice. Rather than being one of hundreds of thousands of cogs in another brand’s voice, with Artist Shops you have 100% control over how your brand looks and speaks to the world. With your about page, you can go into great detail about you and your brand’s story. You’re not “Marketplace Artist”, you are “Artist”.
Ease of Use
Get access to multiple products and multiple sales channels with just one art file
Artist Shops makes it extremely easy to generate thousands of product options from a single design file. By utilizing a single file and a background color, Threadless can generate hi-res print ready files for a wide range of aspect ratios and product formats. These files can then be used across multiple sales channels without having to set up a unique format for each.
Automatic pricing & promotions features
By opting in to managed pricing and promotions, Threadless will automatically run sale events in your shop. These events are easy to promote with downloadable assets and help drive incremental revenue to your store. If you opt in to the Threadless marketplace, you will also have access to the separate promotional events run in that sales channel.
Endless access to creative resources for running your shop
Threadless provides resources and inspiration for shop owners on a weekly basis with our Creative Resources blog – in fact, you’re reading it right now! Through articles posted to Creative Resources, a weekly Artist Shops newsletter, a private Threadless Artists Facebook group, and one-on-one assistance, you are never alone in running your shop.
Free shop support to help you run your store
Our team is standing by to assist you in your pursuit however you need us, free of charge. We pride ourselves on our detailed, helpful service for assisting shop owners on their journey. Whether it’s file setup help when getting products added to your shop, tips on promoting your shop, assisting with customer feedback, or just bouncing some ideas around, we’re here to help.
Best quality control processes
Artist Shops product quality control processes are unmatched. Threadless runs daily sample orders from the supply chain and provides a monthly quality report to suppliers with feedback. Threadless is quick to solve any ripple in the process.
Frequent releases of new products
Threadless regularly releases new products on Artist Shops. Not just the typical customizable products, but also unique product canvases like shoes, cut & sew apparel, skateboards, embroidery, and face masks. Many marketplaces rarely add new products. Threadless scours the earth for the best quality make on-demand products for your shop.
Low sample pricing and bulk discounts
Threadless lets you sample products from your own store at a highly discounted rate. If you need larger quantities of your product to sell at an event, give to your fans, or any other reason, Threadless can provide you with bulk discount pricing. Most marketplaces make you pay the same price as a typical customer even if you are buying your own product.
Best customer service rankings in the industry
Our customer service team is the best in the business. We always work to ensure any problem either you or your customer may face is swiftly resolved, and with grace. Given that every item added to your shop is made to order in a unit of one, problems can and will occur. You will not find a company better at solving those problems than Threadless.
Threadless wants to be sure you and your customers are satisfied with your orders, which are custom made, one-by-one. If any order is wrong, there is an issue with a print, or it isn’t what was expected for any reason, Threadless gladly replaces or exchanges any items free of charge.
Backed by Threadless, a pioneer in online commerce with 20 years experience
Founded in 2000 to help artists sell their work online, Threadless has learned and grown a lot over the years. Threadless is the most reliable, experienced eCommerce partner out there for artists looking to earn from selling their art. When you join the Threadless community, you become a part of this exciting, ongoing journey to cover the world in art.