I was trolling through the Bubble and came across a JE from someone that ruffled a few feathers with me. I hate that I sometimes just sit and write what I feel about stuff, but I guess that is what I really loved about the Bubble when I first joined. Those of you who know me from the beginning will understand exactly what I mean, I just say how I feel and people seem to appreciate that from me.
Well, right now I am a little angry and I know I shouldn’t be, I pride myself on the fact that I try very hard not to judge … but I read what I read and got angry.
The JE was about being disappointed with Red Bubble because of not making any sales. I won’t get right into it, but here is what I wrote in response to that JE. I don’t know about you … but I know Red Bubble has done WONDERS for me emotionally, regardless of sales. I would still be here doing what I do even if I hadn’t made a sale yet. Anyone else agree with how I feel, or are the Majority of people here only to sell and that’s that??
If the majority of the Artists on Red Bubble are like me …. they are flat broke. I am absolutely broke, so much so that I owe money on my Mastercard. (I won’t get into the how’s and why’s of why I am broke, you can choose to figure that out by reading my JE’s) So buying works on here isn’t as easy as thinking if you like my stuff so much why don’t you buy it. I can really WANT to buy stuff I like, so comment and say how much I like it (but I don’t add I am flat broke and wished I could buy it). I have and do buy others works when I can on Red Bubble, even though I am broke. I really do think that if you EXPECT to make sales and that expectation is not met … then of course you will be disappointed. Post your works to share first and foremost. Interact with the community and don’t have expectations. You sure aren’t going to lose anything. And look at it this way, Red Bubble gives you the opportunity to have a chance to sell anything you have for sale … and aren’t asking you for anything in return!!! Where else can you upload your works, get comments on it, share with others … AND have the ability to be able to sell that work … at no cost to you???
I was on Red Bubble for at least a month before I made a sale … and I have to tell you, even though I Joined Red Bubble to Sell … it wasn’t until after I decided selling wasn’t as important to me as the new community I had found that I did sell. For me there was a link there.
Flickr also has the POINT system, but the difference is, Flickr’s system isn’t accurate in so much as Red Bubbles System does go on Views, Comments, favs, and sales to truly show popular and wonderful artists works. The Point system on Red Bubble should be used as a guide for buying, more than anything and not as an indication of who’s doing what. It’s a wonderful tool for those wishing to buy Art in making their choices. Did you not see it as such?
Life isn’t easy …. and as such, you get what you sow. If you expect to just come to Red Bubble and sell, then no wonder you are disappointed. It just isn’t that easy. Like in life, you need to do a lot of work behind the scenes. Do you promote yourself? Have you sent emails to all your contacts letting them know they can buy your work if they want? If you are involved in other web Sites, do you actively promote your RB site there through use of Banners etc? You have to let people know about the fact that anything you have on RB is for sale … remember …. most of the Artists who are MEMBERS of Red Bubble are like you and me … and have our works for sale. Most of the sales will come from OFFSITE, not within Red Bubble itself. It’s just not as easy as putting your work in Red Bubble and expecting it should sell. Is that what you expected?? I hope not. If so, no wonder you are disappointed.
We have the freedom to mark our works up by whatever % we want to, using cards as an example is pretty poor really. If you mark your cards up at 50% then you will get 50% of AU$2.50 per sale. If you mark them up 100% you get AU$2.50 per sale and so on. So it isn’t pittance .. it depends on how much you want to mark them up. As such, let’s go to the next level up. If you mark up 50% and someone buys a small Laminated Print, you get AU$7.50 for it. Large, AU$24.00. But what you fail to remember here is Red Bubble is free to join and free to sell your works. If you sell you make money (no matter how little) and haven’t had to spend a cent to make it. Again, what have you lost by not selling?? Nothing, yet you have the chance to sell, only you seem frustrated that you aren’t selling. That doesn’t add up in my mind. Do the Math, print your own works, try putting them somewhere (like a shop that will sell them for you). You will have to fork out all the costs involved in making the product, give the shop owner some sort of commission, and then STILL will need to sell the stuff. Honestly, don’t be disappointed. Just do stuff to promote yourself more, all the hard work and labor has been done for you already.
Personally, as an Artist I DO want the compliments and the advice and the criticism!! As an Artist I DO want to be able to comment on other Artists work and socialize with those people. Again, I am not here simply and purely to Sell!! If I was, I would have gone a long time ago and so would everyone else. If you are here JUST to sell and nothing else … and you aren’t selling, LEAVE. If you leave, you will never sell anyway so you have lost nothing at all have you. If you stay and look at red Bubble differently, at least you still have that chance of selling, even if it is just a card and you only get whatever your markup is.