One of the best ways of monetizing your creativity is by using physical products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, backpacks, and other items on which you can put your own original designs and sell them online.
Print-on-demand platforms allow you to bypass the investment, time, and risks that come with inventory management, so you can create and sell custom items without high overhead costs.
They also allow you to access inventory from other entrepreneurs if you want to test their ideas before investing in them.
If you’re a designer, artist, or entrepreneur looking to set up a print on demand business but you’re not sure which platform to use, follow along as we review two of the most popular print on demand platforms – Redbubble and Teespring.
We’ll compare how they work, their product catalogs, pricing structure, and give a clear winner at the end of the review.
Redbubble is a huge, Australian-based, standalone print-on-demand marketplace that’s grown steadily over the years selling user-submitted design items.
It provides high-quality printing services and a host of custom product items you can select from, with great service for basic and professional print-on-demand sellers.
Also Read: Redbubble Review
Teespring isn’t new to the t-shirt industry. This print-on-demand service lets you design household items, custom clothing, posters, art prints, home decor, and a host of other customized products to sell on the site.
If you have a great design idea, you can bet on Teespring to help you execute it as it handles everything from printing to fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. Your part is just to create unique designs that’ll sell, and pick out the items you’d like from the wide array of products in its catalog.
Therefore, you can start a tshirt business with your Teespring account.
Redbubble is a simple print on demand marketplace, which is standalone so you won’t get any apps or support for other eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, or the rest.
This also means you can’t install it on your online store and sell custom products, but it allows you to upload your creations and designs on its website and sell directly from the platform.
You can manage your whole product collection from the Redbubble website, but you don’t get to apply your own branding on your store or make your brand name and tagline. Instead, you’re added to the thousands of other artists who sell their stuff on the platform.
The process is simple:
- Sign up for an account on Redbubble
- Upload your custom creations (logos and designs)
- Place the custom logo or design on a product(s)
- Promote the products on Redbubble
On Redbubble, you can set each product’s profit margin but Redbubble charges you on the base price and you get to keep any extra proceeds from each sale. For instance, if the base price is $20 and you sell the item for $35, you keep the $15 in profits while Redbubble takes the $20.
Teespring is also simple to use and work with. For newbies, it’s one of the best POD online marketplaces to start with and learn the tricks of the print on demand trade as you go along.
Also Read: Teespring vs Printful
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for free on Teespring website’s sign up page and enter your account information to create an account
- Choose your desired product from the catalog list
- Use the designer tool to design your product by adding text, images, and artwork among others. You can also use available artwork if you prefer or use your own creations. The tool will also show you the cost of printing as you add the variables.
- If you like your design and the created product, set the minimum sales you’d like. Unlike Redbubble and other POD platforms, Teespring lets you set the minimum number of items to sell, otherwise, they won’t print or ship your items and you won’t be charged for it. Pick out a practical number that you think you’ll sell within the time period you choose
- You’ll get suggestions for recommended selling prices for your items, but you can adjust the prices to modify your earnings per sale. Teespring also displays the profit you can make if you meet your minimum sales goal
- Write descriptions for your products with lots of creativity so you can attract your buyers and make them purchase
- Click Launch and your product will go live
- Sell your product by marketing and promoting it any and everywhere you can, including social media
- Get paid when your campaign meets the minimum expected sales goals. Teespring pays via Direct Deposit, PayPal, Payoneer and Mail Check, so you can withdraw your money from any of these payment gateways.
There is no clear winner here. Both platforms allow you to set your price, and ultimately determine your profit margin for each POD product.
Check Out: Redbubble vs Threadless
Redbubble offers a wide array of product items, which are checked for high-quality standards. Its printing quality is also very good, in fact, a lot better than most of its rivals. You can choose from a myriad of items to place your designs or logos from but below are some of the product categories they offer, all of which come with multiple variants:
- Kids & Babies
- Wall Art
- Home Décor
Note: Remember to pick different image sizing for your designs based on the size of the product. This is recommended because what you may place on a sticker may not look good when placed on a bag, and so on.
Check Out: Printify vs Teespring
Teespring also offers a variety of product categories to place your designs on including:
- Basic/Long Sleeve/Kids and Babies/Women’s/Premium Tees
- Tank Tops
- V-neck shirts
- Beach towels
- Wall tapestries
Note: Some items like stickers, tapestries, flags, pillows, beach towels, and others have flat pricing that’s based on size. Apparel pricing is dynamic, which means it’ll change based on the number of minimum orders set in the sales expected section. The base price decreases with more orders.
Teespring prints your products using Direct to Garment and Screen printing with the highest quality, but it depends on the order details. For orders with higher quantity, screen printing is applied, while Direct to Garment is for fewer items.
All designs undergo a rigorous and thorough analysis of the artwork before they go to print.
Teespring comes out on top in this Teespring vs Redbubble feature comparison. Its wide and specialized varieties of products coupled with its base price reduction based on quantity makes it come out on top.
Redbubble’s customer support team is highly responsive and guarantees a response to your queries or troubleshooting issues within 4 hours, once you submit a request through their contact page. Live chat support is also available and is the best option as it has the fastest response, while social media support is offered via Twitter on weekdays.
A knowledgebase is also available if you go to the Help Center, and here buyers and sellers can get answers to the most frequently asked questions.
The platform is simple and straightforward so you can navigate around it easily and find what you’re looking for. It’s friendly to newbies or non-tech savvy users with self-explanatory features and buttons.
Explore: Redbubble vs Printify
Teespring has a friendly customer support team of agents who are dedicated to helping buyers and sellers in their community.
If you’re a seller, you can reach out to the Seller Support Team and ask your questions or request for help with a listing via email. Make sure you include the listing URL in your email message or query and they’ll give you a well-explained response.
Seller support services also include answers to queries related to selling on the platform, adding extra styles or colors to existing product listings, adjusting pricing/artwork/featured products on listings, recording bugs, and anything related directly to your account or your listings.
Design support is provided through in-house experts to help creators in the creative process with top-class resources and support, from development to conceptualizing their branding and merchandise.
The support hours are as follows:
- Email: Within 24 business hours, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 9.30 pm EST, Saturdays and Sundays between 9 am and 5.30 pm EST. On holidays and weekends, responses may take longer than 24 hours though. You’ll get an auto-reply email with your case number within an hour.
- Live chat: This is available on the TeeSpring website from Monday to Friday 8 am to 9.30 pm EST (if you visit the launcher).
Redbubble wins the battle here. It offers more customer support channels and its response time is shorter compared to Teespring.
Also Read: CustomCat vs TeeSpring
Redbubble’s pricing policy is clear. There’s a base price for each product available on the platform for everyone to see, and you can set your markup per item as a percentage, or apply it to all products and categories.
For instance, if your markup is 15 percent, you can have it on each item and select the item you want with that particular markup, like 5 percent for clothing and 15 percent for t-shirts, or set it as a flat markup on all products.
You’ll only be charged by Redbubble for the base price of the products, but you get to keep all the other profit you make from the items you sell.
In terms of cashing out your earnings, Redbubble pays via Direct Deposit (only in bank accounts and select countries) or PayPal, within each payment cycle from the 15th to the 15th of the next month.
Ensure all your banking details are clear and correct so you don’t have payment issues.
Check Out: Zazzle vs Redbubble
TeeSpring, on the other hand, is free to use and charges a flat price for every product. You get to pick out the selling price and keep all your profits once you deduct the base price.
For instance, if you’re selling a phone case at a base price of $5, and the selling price is $20, you get to keep the $20 in profits. However, this base price can vary depending on the products on Teespring for two reasons:
- Design is single- or double-sided like mugs or t-shirts with designs on the front and at the back. The base price, in this case, will be higher.
- Pricing discounts can reduce the base price on items but this is dependent on your sales for the previous month.
Note: Flat pricing also applies for some products.
Redbubble wins this category. Its pricing policy is simple and straightforward. On the other hand, Teespring’s pricing scheme seems a little complicated to comprehend.
Redbubble’s shipping times vary depending on the shipping type you choose, the location you’re shipping from, and the destination location the shipment is going to. The POD service manufactures and prints the products for the buyers once they place their order, and gets shipped to each buyer.
This takes quite some time because each order follows the same process: customer places the order, Redbubble prints, manufactures, and individually ships to the customer.
Ideally, the manufacturing and printing processes take anything between 1 and 3 days on Redbubble depending on the design and the product itself. However, this is completed in 3 days, after which the order is shipped.
Each shipped order is tracked easily via the Where’s My Order page on Redbubble, which offers detailed order tracking so your customers can easily locate their orders from anywhere in the globe.
It doesn’t offer free shipping though, but their shipping service offers high-quality services that provide value for your money. Shipping costs are provided on the checkout page and customers can add the products to their cart so they can view these costs before confirming the order.
Note: Customs and other charges don’t usually appear along with the final costs.
Also Read: Teespring vs Printful
Teespring uses the USPS service to ship locally within the US, which can take about 14 days (two weeks) to deliver the customer’s order/package. International deliveries use DHL, which takes about 21 days or three weeks to deliver the customer’s order.
Different fees apply depending on the location you’re shipping to, plus extra costs for more items. If you’re adding items from different product listings to a shopping cart, the shipping costs for each listing is calculated separately.
Rush shipping rates are extra over and above the standard shipping costs, while for holiday shipping, the costs are subject to change to ensure all your customers’ orders get to them in good time.
From April 2019, Teespring applied new customs regulations, which impacts European deliveries. Therefore, any packages fulfilled within the EU’s 28 countries won’t be deliverable to countries outside the EU.
Customers are also able to track the status of their orders from Teespring’s Track Your Order Status page.
Note: Customers ordering internationally will have to pay custom charges, VAT’s, duties, and other delivery fees.
Redbubble wins yet again. It offers users the option to choose their preferred shipment, and shipment takes less time when compared to Teespring.
- Huge organic traffic reach drawn from search engine
- Redbubble’s brand growth means you have a higher likelihood of making sales
- Decent customer review scores on independent review sites means customers like Redbubble’s product quality
- Flexible artist margins on different products
- Customers on Redbubble are often willing to pay more on average
- Artist branding options available including promotion features like “follow, like, bubble mail,” and more
- Google Shopping ads and retargeting available to promote designs for free
- Unique artwork designs
- High-quality materials printed with high-quality inks that won’t discolor or fade
- Wide variety of products on its catalog so finding the right items and designs is easier
- Safer transactions for customers with 256-bit SSL encryption that protects data when they are purchasing items
Also Read: Redbubble vs Spreadshirt
- Limited payment gateways
- Upload and configuration take a lot of time as you have to tweak artwork per product
- Redbubble isn’t immune to copyright or IP infringements and copycats
- There’s no automatic scanning for artwork that compares it to current designs
- Designs can be different from the actual products
- Orders may take time owing to the slow delivery process
- Potential to earn more by promoting designs on social media platforms
- All you do is design the product while TeeSpring manages orders, shipment, and payments for each purchase
- Low barriers to entry when starting your business on Teespring
- Low-risk business model
- Has EU and US fulfillment bases
- Products are of high-quality
- Applies two printing models
- No ongoing or monthly fees
- Doesn’t require minimum orders
- Packed with helpful resources
- You can focus on your key sales drivers
- Extra profits from the Boosted Network and Marketplace
- Less control over branding and ownership
- No control over product quality and fulfillment
- Product catalog doesn’t offer more than the products you can print
- Limited front and back space on the products for designs so you can’t get super creative with your designs
- You have to market items on your own even if they’re the best designs
- Limited time for designs to sell or they’re removed from the platform (6 days limit)
|Ease of Use||Easy to use for newbies and pros alike||Easy to use for newbies and pro users|
|Fulfillment||Outsources to third-party providers||In-house printing: Direct to garment and screen-printing methods used|
|Lead Time||Between 1 and 3 days to get to the customer||Depends on location and destination, plus holidays and weekends|
|Tech Support||Live chat, email, Twitter, Help Center, Blog, and Artist Blog||Live chat, social media, help center with knowledge base, blog, email (24 business hours)|
|Product Catalog||Wide Variety||Wide variety|
|Print Quality||High quality||High quality|
|Control||User has control over the pricing but Redbubble takes base price
Redbubble promotes items for user
|User controls markups, Teespring takes base price but controls branding
User self-promotes items
|Pricing||Free to use||Free to use|
|Payment||PayPal, Direct Deposit||Direct Deposit, Payoneer, PayPal, or Mail Check|
Not limited in delivery locations
|Boosted Market, Seller Support, Global Markets in the US and EU|
Also Read: Redbubble vs Society6
Redbubble is not the only platform operating in the print-on-demand space. There are other competitors that are keeping the pressure up on Redbubble. Overall, the whole essence of the competition is to make each platform further serve its users with the best offer they can come up with.
Long story short, some of the toughest Redbubble competitors include:
These competitors generally offer print on demand. Their mode of operations and delivery also differ slightly. Likewise, they have their areas of strength and weaknesses. However, Printful and Printify come out on top as the biggest Redbubble competitors.
In no particular order, some of the most notable Teespring competitors are mentioned below:
Most of these competitors also have similar offerings as Teespring. Some even have more enticing features. From free registration, to base price setting. Some even allow independent artists to set mark up prices.
The competition further becomes intense when you consider that some of these competitors offer users the full ability to customize their online space, integrate with other third-party platforms, and even get access to free ads credit. This is even on top of the large monthly visits that some of these competitors claim to have on a monthly basis.
To learn more about these competitors, you should check out our list of the best print on demand companies.
Redbubble has been on the print-on-demand scene since 2006, and is one of the largest sites though it’s a standalone service.
With well over 70,000 artists’ work on the website, it boasts tens of millions of visitors per month, which is a massive user base for anyone looking to sell on the platform. The Australia-based site also gets about a third of its visitors from the U.S.
Its brand comes off as repeatable, funny, and casual, and they treat their customers more like friends instead of having an official kind of demeanor, despite being professional and experienced. This is probably why it’s seen such great success.
However, there are many reasons for using it over Teespring such as the independent artists have a friendly and large community, support for artists based on purchases, good quality products, and easy to navigate site.
It’s also free to use, versatile, and very user-friendly for newbies to use too.
On the other hand, Teespring lets you create and share your custom designs with your friends, but it limits you in terms of branding options for your account, promotion of your items, and shipping options, some of which attract extra costs.
Unlike Redbubble, which offers only two payment options for you to get your earnings from, Teespring offers four, and it also has shipping options for the holidays and weekends. However, Redbubble beats Teespring in terms of shipping locations as the former has no limits.
Redbubble also lets you make money for free provided you upload your designs and configure your products. This way, you learn new skills as a creative, and get to know what sells and what doesn’t. It also helps you learn how to rank for SEO purposes.
Teespring does everything else for you so you can focus on creating your designs, but it makes you do the work in terms of marketing and promoting your designs and products.
Both platforms are free to use and allow you to markup your pricing as they take the base price costs so you can make some good money from either of the two. However, Teespring forces you to spend your cash marketing your items and there’s no guarantee that your items will remain on the platform for more than 6 days.
Redbubble and Teespring shine in their own unique ways, but as with every comparison, there has to be a winner. In this review though, the clear winner is Redbubble. Although Teespring offers more features like the Boosted Network, Seller Support, and other attractive tools, Redbubble is friendly to the seller and customer.
Redbubble also has a user-friendly interface, is simple and easy to understand, plus doesn’t have too many restrictions on shipping, pricing products, designs, marketing, and promotions, all of which are important to the seller.
For this round, Redbubble is the clear winner.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.