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Tips for Profit margins on Redbubble

“Ching ching bling bling cut the chatter, if you ain’t talking money then your talking don’t matter”

As I’ve said previously, we’re mostly out to make some income as our main goal. Some of us (me included!) want to have a full time income passively, some are just happy with an extra little bit per month.

One of the best things about Redbubble compared to other print-on-demand sites is that you can set your own margins for products. It might have a loathsome upload process, but the fact that you can make so much more than on other services on the same products is something to consider.

Just get better

This is something I try to keep in mind for almost anything I do in life. Things won’t be perfect from the start, and this applies to how you set your pricing in Redbubble. Things probably aren’t perfect right now. Just think, you could be earning much more money with a tiny bit of effort.

What I did (which was wrong)

As I’ve mentioned before (and likely will again); I started Redbubble as a related shop to my main Adsense-monetised niche website. Redbubble was such an afterthought that I didn’t even bother to optimise anything. My designs weren’t on all products at the start and I didn’t tinker with pricing; any sale at all was an unexpected bonus.

I was happy to see sales, and I never thought people would pay so much for a sticker. At the start, my margins were as low as 15% for all products. I cringe looking back, thinking about all that money I missed out on over the past 4 years. While I did make a lot of sales, I did not make a lot of money. Check out my payment history:

That’s only back to 2016. I started my main account in 2015 and Redbubble stats don’t even go back that far. With this chart I just wanted to illustrate how little I was making at the start. Sometimes as little as £2 a month, but back then I really didn’t care. It’s only the past few months I’ve actually been putting any effort in. Each grey horizontal bar is £100. I just tickled my way into £300 in February. March is looking to top that.

While it’s nice to see growth with no effort as I started to see in Q4 2018, it declined a bit to January.

Putting in that tiny bit of effort last November has really shot the growth up and I’m glad I did it.

First margins versus current margins

I didn’t toy with my margins at all. 2015 was a different place. My first sale occurred three months after I made my account. Whether I made my account and uploaded nothing for that time, I honestly can’t remember.

My first sale on Redbubble came to a resounding 13p, about 27 cents USD. I recently sold the same product, and with my margins changed, I got 80p, about 7x as much. While 80p doesn’t sound like much in the grand scheme of things, it’s still seven times what I was getting before. The product still sells well, sometimes multiple times a day. What I’m trying to illustrate is that;

By simply upping your margins, you will earn more on products that already sell.

Which leads me onto my actual tips for this post:

Don’t stick to default pricing

There’s no reason to stay on 20%. Either you want to undersell your competition, or you want to maximise your profit. Move things around, see what helps you sell more. In the ‘get rich slow’ ethos, don’t rush this.

What would you pay for this product? Put that as a starting price and work from there. For stickers however, start by setting those to 100%. You might be surprised!

Dynamic pricing

Change your pricing often. I mentioned back in my ‘basic tips’ post about changing your pricing often.

If a product type sells, increase your margins for it.

This is such a powerful way to slowly optimise your sales. There is absolutely no reason not to change your pricing often. When I notice a certain type selling, I increase by a percent.

If you find it not selling a lot, decrease the pricing. You’ll eventually find a sweet spot. I was doing this for some time. Stickers really can sell well for around 100%. Clothing goes well between 25-35%.

You don’t have to stick to integers, you can also do half percents, which have an incremental, but not really noticeable to increase for the customer.

Competitive pricing

We may forget it, but we are competing with others on Redbubble for a sale. Personally, when I buy something, price is a big concern, and this is especially true for print on demand.

People will buy cheaper versions of the same design.

Bad luck if you’re one of those public-domain scrubs, as someone can just come in tomorrow, look at your prices, charge slightly less and take all your sales away. You need to look for similar work and price accordingly. You’ll probably have no luck at all if you’re charging even a dollar more for a similar design.

Don’t stick to x.99/x.49 prices

I haven’t found any benefit in sticking to prices that end in .99. This may be because not enough people do it; Redbubble prices are all over the place and the buyer may be used to it.

It can also be down to currency conversion. If I want something to sell for £1.99, it’ll show as $2.56 for our American friends. There’s no way to win them all, so I have just dropped attempting .99 pricing.

Experiment equal divisions of 10

Something I have done recently, and to great effect, is to make sure my stickers are around or below £2.50. That way, people may be more inclined to buy four of them to round up to £10. I have actually seen an increase in sticker sales this way!

The idea came to me when I was checking out my own store and my stickers were set around £2.60. I changed them to be under £2.50. It was worth losing the extra 10p for a potential bulk buy.

While I like the idea of making £1-£2 per sticker, the thought of making consistent 4x80p sales is much more appealing. I’d imagine more sales = better rankings also so this seems like a ‘best of both worlds’ approach.

I’m looking to work this into other products as well. Lots of my designs work well together, so I’m lucky in a sense that a customer may be more likely to buy multiple products.

If you’re not willing to cut stickers to £2.50, why not try £3.33. I haven’t seen anybody else saying that this is good advice, but I have had some noticeable bulk buys since changing, so I really have to go on my own experience here.

In Summary

  • As standard, jam your stickers up to 100% if you have left them on default
  • Consider pricing in such a way to incentivise bulk purchases
  • Keep up to date with your competitors; frequently search for your own work and see what else pops up
  • Don’t give up! With effort comes reward

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