“Account looks kinda sus”, I did not say to myself as I tried to login to my Redbubble account a few days ago. My stomach dropped when I saw the message. I initially thought it was just an error and I’d be back on my feet in a few days, but it’s now five days since my suspension and I’m losing hope.
How was my Redbubble account suspended?
This is completely bizarre. I never had an issue with this account before, perhaps maybe one or two pieces were removed years ago, although nothing recently. I’d left the account alone recently, it was making a tidy £20-30 a day at least and to be honest I was happy with that in the background ticking way while I worked on other things.
I logged in simply to change some pricing. As soon as I clicked ‘Submit’, I was logged out, and then upon logging in again, the suspended message was shown to me.
“Looks like this account has been suspended”. “Visit the Help Center for more information”. The help center is good, but I already knew I’d have to get in contact with customer support.
The shock set in. I’ve been working with this account for five years, I’ve made around 7000 sales and it was picking up steam fast over the past couple of months. Redbubble has been an enormous part of my life and I was sorry to see it go, I still am. It’s now five days later and I’m still missing it. It’s almost like being made redundant all over again.
Why was my Redbubble account suspended?
I am honestly not sure 100%. I have had a previous account ban in the past, but that was a long time ago, however it does share the same payment details and address to my main account, so maybe this was the case.
I created this side-account on Redbubble as an experiment, albeit a completely stupid one looking back, I just shouldn’t have bothered. Redbubble has a lot of NSFW content, and I wanted to see how viable it was as a business idea. (The article was going to be called “Is it NSFWorth it?”).
Well, it was not worth it. Just to be clear here NSFW content is so not worth doing on Redbubble; you’ll likely receive too many complaints to make it viable. It took longer than usual for my first sale, but they did pick up steam. After around 100 sales in this side account, I received the dreaded email;
Today we have taken the decision to close your Redbubble account for deliberate misuse of Redbubble. Deliberate misuse of Redbubble is defined as follows: When a person or entity opens an account with the primary purpose of infringing the Redbubble Community Guidelines or is found to be otherwise using the account for purposes Redbubble was not designed for. We expect members to conduct themselves within the community guidelines and to report any more serious issues to us so we can follow them up directly.
Examples of deliberate misuse include but are not limited to the following:
- Using Redbubble to sell cheap mass produced art reproductions
- Using Redbubble to host links to or advertise products that are either illegal or otherwise unsuitable for Redbubble eg: Viagra
- Operating an account which is used primarily to harass or intimidate other artists, disrupt discussions or to cause conflict and bad feeling within the community
- Operating an account whose sole purpose is to engage in unacceptable behavior as defined by our Community Guidelines
- Re-uploading content that has been previously moderated
- Repeatedly infringing or repeatedly charged with infringing the copyrights, trademark rights, other intellectual property rights or publicity rights of others
Furthermore, under the Redbubble User Agreement, “Redbubble reserves the right to review and if in its sole discretion deemed necessary, remove any content from the website and/or cancel your account, because that content breaches your agreement with us and/or any applicable laws, or otherwise.”
The consequence of deliberate misuse is immediate account closure. Your final account payment will be processed within 30 working days to the account information you provided to Redbubble. We ask that you do not open any new accounts on Redbubble in the future. Any other accounts found to be owned or operated by you will be closed immediately.
Redbubble Objections Team
It was pretty stupid of me not to close the account after the first few sales and the first warning. I’d made my point and had enough to write about for an article but I just didn’t, I left the account there and didn’t think to check that particular email address for a few weeks.
After a few warnings they closed the account.
The annoying part about this side account closure is that there was and still is plenty of work on Redbubble in the exact same niche that is just as bad. I honestly did not think this little side account would jeopardise my main account, so I didn’t think too much of it.
This was about three months ago, and five days ago my main account was banned. I can only think that the Redbubble spam filter is both good and slow.
I did not expect to lose my main account. Five years and 7000 sales gone in an instant (Well not really, I did get paid for those sales), but all of that potential and upward momentum is now lost, and I need to start somewhere else from the bottom.
Can I get a suspended Redbubble account back?
The short answer here seems to be ‘no’, but I’ll update this post in case this ever changes. I have tried both avenues available to me; social media and direct email, and I haven’t got a single response. Even a ‘sorry it’s banned forever’ message would be better than nothing.
You can reach Redbubble at the following places:
I heard that Redbubble artist support is bad, but I didn’t expect to be waiting for five days with no reply. The replies for both email and twitter DMs are robotic, which leads me to believe nobody is checking them. Lots of people are complaining about both. Like I said I heard it was bad, but I didn’t think it was this bad.
Oddly, as I searched, I noticed a lot of people have been banned recently. Do Redbubble ban people in waves? Maybe they changed their spam filter and it affected more than expected? Who knows.
What can you do after your Redbubble account is suspended?
This is where I’m at right now. I’m a little clueless. I have other print on demand platforms to work on; MBA and TeePublic are the others I have the most work on right now, but I do miss the Redbubble experience.
Redbubble for me went from a side thought for the first four years I had it at the start to my main focus about a year ago when I started earning big bucks from it. It’s so easy to create an account, upload work, and get noticed and get paid. No other POD platform is just that easy.
TeePublic does have a better upload system, but the audience is so much smaller I find, Merch by Amazon has a much bigger audience, but the upload process is a lot tougher).
Next steps after a suspended Redbubble account
I’m going to try for a little longer to get my main Redbubble account back. I don’t want to feel like I’ve given up on it, it was easily making me a solid £600 a month with absolutely no effort so I’d be a fool to drop it like that.
My finances generally are not yet in a state to panic about but I’m not going to go so far as to say I’m fine with losing this income, I’m not at all fine with it. I’ve been sad, stressed and worried about it. I was a bit of a fool to rely on one platform and should have diversified sooner. I knew this income wouldn’t last forever but to be honest I was expecting a good few more years out of it.
In the past few days I have been doing the following;
- Uploading more to MBA
- Created a new TeePublic account to reupload all my RB work
- Uploaded more work to existing TP accounts
- Applied for jobs (sigh)
Honestly, I think I will create a new Redbubble account in a year or so, it’ll be tough to resist joining up again.
JeezPOD is all about print on demand, so I might try a few less well known services in future and write about those, but for now it seems like my Redbubble journey is coming to an end.
I don’t want to leave this post on a bad note, so I’ll be sure to update this post in case I get my account back, and I’ll hopefully be back soon with some good news! I’m not going to be destitute, but this was a big blow.
Key takeaways from this post
- Diversify your income now; have backups you work on actively
- Don’t toy with potentially dodgy content!
- Expect nothing from Redbubble support, at least nothing in a timely fashion