I'm switching to INPRNT!
This is a big change, and it's a really good one for both you and me.
I discovered that INPRNT's shipping costs are much lower than my old shop, and they give artists a better deal too. They do have fewer products to pick from, but I think it's a better choice overall. You can visit the shop here.
Now on to the long version!
First, a bit of history...
Back when I first started selling prints of my artwork, I tried to handle everything on my own using Etsy and ordering prints through a (relatively) local printing service. However, Norway's population is small and very dispersed, so we often don't have access to specialty products and services that are readily available elsewhere. When these products and services do exist they tend to be expensive and difficult to access. To handle print sales on my own, I had to order from a remote photo printing service and have them shipped to me, and then send them on to the customer. I tried to keep an inventory of prints to cut down on high shipping costs, but having a selection of images in different sizes became overwhelmingly complicated and expensive. I couldn't possibly set high enough prices to not lose money doing it this way, so I had to find another solution.
So I started looking at online POD (print on demand) services. These sites let you simply upload your images and adjust some settings, and they take care of everything else. The site takes a portion of the sale to cover production etc, but I still earn more than if I try to handle it all myself (as I learned the hard way). I also save a great deal of time and energy that I can use to create more art instead.
POD services only print something when a customer orders it. I don't know enough about manufacturing to know whether this approach is truly more sustainable or just marketing hype, but to me it sounds sensible to only manufacture products that people actually want.
After comparing different print services I decided to join INPRNT in 2018. I was comfortable there for a while, but their product selection was very limited at the time and I eventually switched to Fine Art America / Pixels (FAA) mainly for more variety. I also felt like most of the other artwork on INPRNT back then was highly stylized and I wasn’t sure I really fit in there. I had come across some scientific images on FAA and thought my work might fit in a little better on that site. Looking back, I don't agree with that decision, but it's what made sense to me at the time. My INPRNT shop remained open in the background while I was running the FAA one, but I didn't actively update it during that time.
Why did I switch back to INPRNT now, in 2023?
Product selection and shop appearance
I recently noticed that INPRNT has widened their product range, so I decided to take another look at the site. They now offer stickers, posters, and phone cases. They still don't have the wide variety of products that FAA has, but I get the impression that INPRNT is a smaller company and they only want to do things if they can do them well. Offering so many products gives FAA a kind of generic, mass production atmosphere that I feel takes away from the sense that you're buying actual artwork made by a real person. The huge selection can also make the site feel overwhelming, and it's a lot for me to manage when uploading new artwork. None of those products were very popular compared to wall art, so most of that effort felt like a waste of time.
Both sites work by providing a base price and letting the artist adjust it upward from there. However, with FAA the artist only receives the marked up amount, but INPRNT gives a percentage of the full sale price. Initially I liked FAA's solution because it felt more straightforward for my non-math brain, but when I finally sat down and made a spreadsheet comparing similar products side by side, I seriously wanted to kick myself for staying with FAA for as long as I have. In one extreme example, a print of the same size and type would cost about $150 USD including shipping to the US on both sites. On that sale with FAA I would earn about $16, but with INPRNT I would earn $56. If I wanted to earn the same amount on sales with FAA, the prices would have to be unreasonably high. So yeah, I really should have done the math sooner!
How much do I earn with each sale through INPRNT?
It's heartwarming to know that for many people, a primary concern when purchasing prints is to make sure as much of the money as possible will go to the artist. As far as I can tell, INPRNT is the best in the industry when it comes to this. For giclée art prints we receive 50% of the sale cost, for canvas it's 40%, and we get 30% for metal, acrylic, and posters. If you want to see how earnings are set up for all the different product types, you can find it on their page here.
In round two of wanting to kick myself, I realized the shipping costs on INPRNT are a little lower for US orders and VASTLY lower for International orders. The most ridiculous example was a metal print where shipping to Norway would cost an insane $92.57 with FAA and just $18.75 with INPRNT.
For anyone outside the US, total prices after shipping will now be significantly lower, while at the same time I'll earn more on each sale. For US orders, prices will be about the same as they were before.
I sincerely apologize to everyone outside the US who has looked at my shop and been put off by absurd shipping fees. Things are much more reasonable now!
Initially I was just going to remove products that could be ordered from INPRNT and keep the FAA shop available for everything else. However, when I consider the time it takes to manage listings for all these obscure products that hardly ever sell, and the outrageous international shipping fees, plus the potential for confusion if someone finds the FAA site but can't order wall art there... I think it's best to keep things simple by just having one shop.
All print-related links on my website and social media now to go to my INPRNT page, and I'm working on fully closing the FAA shop.
You can visit my newly updated INPRNT shop here. I'd love to know your thoughts on the whole thing! Feel free to send me a message on Instagram, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thank you so much for all the support and kind words, it truly means the world.