There are different ways to monetize your art. One is by selling it online. To help you figure out which platform to use for the best results, we compared Fine Art America and Printful.
What is Fine Art America and how does it work?
Fine Art America is a print-on-demand (POD) service that also has its own marketplace, with more than 500,000 artists choosing to sell there.
Fine Art America lets you upload your artwork and then pick what products you want to sell it on. When someone orders your product, Fine Art America fulfills the order and ships it to the customer.
There are two account options you can use—standard or premium. The standard one is free and the premium is 30$ per year. Let’s look at what they include.
Fine Art America (standard account)
A standard Fine Art America account offers you a storefront with a unique URL (fineartamerica.com/profiles/yourstore) that you can personalize by adding your picture, bio, and other information. This type of account lets you upload up to 25 different images and pick what products you’d like to sell them on, however, you can only sell wall art and home decor.
If you are mainly looking to sell prints, Fine Art America offers canvas prints, metal prints, posters, acrylic prints, and wood prints in a wide variety of sizes at competitive prices.
Your products then become available in your storefront and along with other artists’ in the general marketplace. You get some neat additional perks as well, such as being able to create blog posts, promote your products automatically on social media, and network in the community forum.
This is an easy way to sell some merch if you don’t want to worry about upfront costs and are just testing out the waters of the ecommerce world.
Fine Art America (premium account)
This option comes with all the features of the standard account, plus your own personal website, an unlimited number of design uploads, and email marketing tools. The best part is, you can also sell your designs on their full range of products, including apparel and lifestyle products.
Note: Fine Art America has a sister website Pixels. We will not be looking into Pixels in this article.
How does Printful work?
Printful is a POD and drop shipping service that integrates with major ecommerce platforms allowing artists to open their own online stores. Setting up an account with Printful is free and when your store gets an order, Printful fulfills it and sends it to your customer.
You can manage multiple stores, check your orders, and create completely custom products using the mockup generator.
What’s Fine Art America’s and Printful’s pricing model?
Fine Art America and Printful have identical pricing models. Both have a base price for all of their products, which is the amount you pay them for the product and printing. You add your own markup, and that is your profit from the sale. The retail price = base price + your markup.
Let’s take a look at five of the most similar products and compare the difference in base price between Fine Art America and Printful.
|Base price with Fine Art America||Base price with Printful|
|Canvas print 18’’x24’’||$46,43||$45,94|
|Throw pillow 18’’x18’’||$27||$19,01|
As you can see above, print prices are nearly identical, but when it comes to other products, the price difference increases.
How much can you make on Fine Art America vs. Printful?
A quick look at Fine Art America reviews along with their base pricing revealed a grim outlook on the potential for artists to make serious money. Nevertheless, there are ways how to sell art online and make money.
After comparing Printful’s and FFA’s base prices, it becomes clear that Fine Art America charges a pretty penny for everything but prints. This means that you can only mark your merchandise up so much before you price yourself out of the market and customers settle for buying something more affordable.
After browsing countless Fine Art America product pages, I found the median prices for five products and calculated what the average profit margin would be when selling these products using Fine Art America vs. Printful.
|The price you sell at||Profit with Fine Art America||Profit with Printful|
|Canvas print 18’’x24’’||$170||$123,57||$124,06|
|Throw pillow 18’’x18’’||$36||$9||$16,99|
|Average profit margin||33,4%||50,4%|
Profit margins were calculated by dividing base prices with the prices you’d sell at and multiplying by 100.
So what’s the best place to sell art online?
Fine Art America and Printful are both good for selling printed products, but the difference is in what products you sell. If your focus is selling fine-art quality prints online, then Fine Art America offers good profit margins and countless options for framing and formatting. But if you want to sell different merchandise and maximize your profits on it, then Printful might be for you.
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This post was originally published in June 2015; it has since been updated.