Red Bubble: selling stuff on-line


By now, there are a hundred ways of displaying and selling your art on-line. We’ve looked at a few solutions in the past (Including the rather impressive one-man-band FotoViva I wrote about a while back), but I recently found a new one, Red Bubble, which seems to really resound positively with me.

Using a user interface that reminds me a little bit of JPG Magazine (i.e extremely Web 2.0: Simple but pretty and functional), Red Bubble doesn’t pitch itself initially as a photo sales site. Instead, it’s an online art gallery where you can upload – and sell – your artwork.  


rb-tea_tart.jpgIt’s a much simpler solution than some others out there, and it looks damn fine, too. I caught up with James Pierce, who works for Red Bubble, to find out how it all hangs together.

For a website that launches only about 4 months ago, they’ve sure grown fast, explains James: “At the end of May it has more than 3500 members and 30,000 works online.

rb-albertstone.jpg“Artists and buyers from around the world are brought together online to interact, transact and enjoy art.”, he says, and claims that the most talented photographers have been able to make a large number of sales, too.

Judging by the list of most popular photos, ‘most talented’ actually means something in this context as well, with a large number of photos that aren’t only fantastic on a technical level, but are carefully selected to be great from an artistic perspective.

Doing a quick browse-around of the site, you find artists like Melody, Paul, Joe and, of course James’ own work, showing off a tremendous breadth of art genres and photography styles.


This photo, titled Angels of Allah was done by Anthony Begovic: an excellent example of the kind of creativity you can expect over on RB. Check out the rest of Anthony’s art, too!

Selling your art on Red Bubble

rb-stolencar2.jpgEager to give me the marketing spiel of how RB works, James explains how it all hangs together: “RedBubble is free to sign up, and takes the risk out of selling your photos on-line – RedBubble only earns money when you succeed and sell your work. The photographer sets the retail price for everything they sell by choosing their percentage mark-up above the base price set by
RedBubble. 10%, 100%, 1000%, it’s up to the photographer.”, James explains.

The thing that drew my attention, however, was how the money works: “Unlike a gallery or stock agency, RedBubble only shares in the value it creates, the base price of each item; They believe the photographer deserves to get all their markup, regardless of how big or small it may be, as that’s the value the photographer creates.”.

rb-bombo-e1.jpgWhat’s this? A honourable art gallery / picture peddler? Surely not? Well, yeah, that’s how it works! With products available spanning everything from simple flat prints (from $15) via mounted prints (from $40) to gorgeous, framed prints (from $80), there’s something for everybody!

In the future, Red Bubble are planning to do canvas prints, post cards and all that lark as well, so it’s worth staying tuned!

(photos used in this article are © their respective artists, used by permission. See (and buy, if you like ‘em) the full versions: Angels of Allah by Anthony Begovic, Tea & Tart by Naomi Mawson, Stolen Car by ARPhotography, Bombo Beach by Alex Lau, and Albert Stone by James Pierce)

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