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fine-art-america-vs-printful
Beginner's handbook

Comparing Artist Profit on Fine Art America and Printful

By Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.

fine-art-america-print-options

Source: Fine Art America

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 AmericaBase price with Printful
Mug 11oz.$12$7,80
Canvas print 18’’x24’’$46,43$45,94
Towel$30$24,95
Throw pillow 18’’x18’’$27$19,01
T-Shirt M$18$12.62

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 atProfit with Fine Art AmericaProfit with Printful
Mug 11oz.$17$5$9,20
Canvas print 18’’x24’’$170$123,57$124,06
Towel$35$5$10,05
Throw pillow 18’’x18’’$36$9$16,99
T-Shirt M$25$7$12,38
Average profit margin33,4%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.

Was this article helpful? Let us know in the comments!

This post was originally published in June 2015; it has since been updated.

Apart from her love of writing, Gundega enjoys watching documentaries, crime shows and curling up with a good book. Her favorite will always be Harry Potter.

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  1. Edward Fielding

    I sell regularly on FAA and my profit level for a 18×24 is more in the $75 range. The numbers in this article have no basis. BTW – I also use Printful for direct sales from my blog.

    1. Kim Myran

      If you’re not truly fine art, don’t use FAA, you won’t be taken seriously by FAA, other artists, or buyers. It’s not the place to sell your cool digital designs, slogans, etc. You may have really good art. Still, look at the title and thats what buyers expect … Fine Art. Nothing wrong with that or the site. Just know the audience it attracts, not how many people shop there. Know what they are shopping for.

      Kim

  2. Roger

    I’m currently bouncing around different POD sites. FAA seems easiest to use by far in terms of incorporating a store into my site. I’d like to ask the previous commenter Edward Fielding on which prints he’s making $75 on an 18×24. I did look at your site Edward and I loved your work but I didn’t find anything for sale at that price, let alone that price plus a markup. Can you please elaborate on your comment?

  3. Marissa

    The profits look nice, but how much advertising does printful do verses faa? Is there one that is geared more towards someone doing their own advertising? Or do both sites advertise well?

  4. Gladys

    Well my art is realism oil painting and my customers don’t o art posters! they we fine art giclee on rag paper. You don’t have that

  5. Mike Savad

    @roger – that would be his mark up price, you would have to see the total price on the site. i’ve never tried printful, never heard of it until now. i can say you can make money on fine art america, but it really depends on how well you advertise, and what your work looks like.

    many people have heard of FAA, i’ve never heard of this place, and that alone will effect sales. if i join a new pod, it has to be a place a person has heard of before. otherwise i’d be wasting my time uploading. i have over 3000 images now, so that is an important thing.

    the pricing structure on this blog is inaccurate, because on FAA you set your own price. marking your items at $10 profit, will do you no good in the long run. i don’t know how printful does it, if its by percent or a fixed amount, but because you can set your own price, you get that price. and you don’t have to fiddle about with percents.

    if you have a good product, it will sell even if the price is high, people are buying quality.

    —Mike Savad
    http://www.MikeSavad.com

  6. Ramon Jamison

    I’m a new artist on Faa and I can’t upload any pictures. I’ve taken every step possible to configure my images in the create section with no success.Faa allows me to upload from Instagram to see my images on their products but that’s as far as it will go. It gives me two options on selecting photos a browser then Instagram. The browser doesn’t work at all not sure if it’s the device I’m using.

    1. Gemma

      You are most likely using images over the size limit. Right click on image and select properties and that will show you the size. If it is over 25 meg, you can’t upload and the screen doesn’t really tell you that or why.

      #beentheredonethat

  7. Jimmy R. Rivers

    People do not go to FineArtAmerica looking for the same things and products you see on RedBubble/Society6. FAA members are quite snobby and tell you you’re “not an artist”, when in fact you definitely are! You’re just not an FAA-type artist when you have awesome digital designs that take weeks to create and days to render (which also takes a lot of skill), best suited for posters and other products. FAA is for artists that have their work geared towards hanging in museums, offices, nice homes. It is not for T-Shirts, slogans, and products like notebook covers, key chains, etc… They do have a few products available like mugs and duvet covers, however their focus is on wall art. You have to know your audience and what your art is for. My RedBubble sells far more than I ever had under the paid FAA account. Why? I found out after a year of testing that my work is solid, good stuff, but it isn’t something people are going to hang on their walls (mostly, I do have some that will). Profit-wise, it depends on your art and your audience. Yes, FAA lets you set your own prices and never discounts, but are you selling there?

  8. Hartmut Jager

    Hi Jimmy,

    Your comments are not correct. You find ‘snobs’ everywhere to various degrees in any field. FAA members do have snobs like everyone else, but 90% are not (and FAA does sell T-Shirts etc. and advertise their products). And a LOT of FAA Artists do and sell Digital Art on FAA which are not suitable for hanging on walls. I sold a ghastly (as a warning) Hitler portrait that I would not wanted to be hanging on any wall.
    So in short, any Art-Selling POD site has its positive and negative points. I would say chose whatever POD YOU like and serves YOUR requirements best.
    Cheerio, Hartmut 🙂

    1. Edward Zarins

      Hey,

      It’s calculated from the price you sell at. You can set your own price for our products and you decide what your profit margin will be. 🙂

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