As a part of doing my income taxes, I go through my sales on Redbubble for the tax year and total up the commissions I was paid (aka the artist’s margin). This year while doing that it struck me that I had never really thought about what products people were buying – instead focusing on what artwork/photography was selling.
Having finished my income taxes, I decided to take a look at just what products people were buying. The bar chart above shows on the horizontal axis from left to right and in alphabetical order what products people were buying. The vertical axis shows what the percentage of total sales were for that product type.
As a rule when adding new artwork to my Redbubble portfolio I try to make the art available on as many products as possible. Therefore the range of product types I’m seeing purchased isn’t going to be skewed – except with respect to the very largest product items like duvet covers and wall tapestries.
The first thing that surprised me was that 17 percent of the products sold were throw pillows. Me – I’ve never bought a pillow in my life. On the other hand, our home is well stocked with pillows courtesy of my wife. Not surprisingly, stickers are the number one selling item at 24 percent. Stickers also happen to be the lowest priced item and are versatile in how they can be used.
Closing out the top three sellers is iPhone cases/skins at 9 percent. Not a big surprise. Obviously I wish that art and photographic prints were a greater percentage of the products sold since as the most expensive items that Redbubble sells (true only if you are selling large sized framed prints), they provide the greatest return in terms of dollars.
One factor this chart does not capture and which could skew the numbers is the product’s margin. I don’t maintain the same percentage markup for all product types. Nor have I done any comparisons to determine how my markup for any particular product compares with the markup other artists are using. What research I have done on the subject was with respect to Redbubble’s mugs and was done for an article I wrote titled Selling Art On Redbubble – A Review