How Society6 is a Different Kind of Online Marketplace

by G.B. Oliver

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about finding new product uses if you sell art or photography (in case you missed it, New Product Ideas for Art and Photography). One company that seems to see this business opportunity for artists and photographers is Society6.


Society6 is an online community marketplace that will sell your artwork and photographs in traditional form, such as framed prints and canvas, as well as part of various other products such as iPhone cases, T-shirts, pillows, greeting cards, basically anything you can put a print on.

Society6 is not new, they have been in existence since 2009, although their business was a little different back then, focusing on getting grants for struggling artists. Currently, they feature tens of thousands of artists from all over the world and they produce, package and ship everything for the artist.

Vulpes vulpes iPhone Case by Robert Farkas on Society6
Vulpes vulpes iPhone Case by Robert Farkas
on Society6

So if you are a photographer or artist, is Society6 right for you?

  • They take care of the production, packaging and shipping, so you have more time to just create.
  • They will find other revenue streams for your art and photography, that you may not have thought of, or do not have the capability to do yourself.
  • You still set your own prices (and your profits), so you do not have to feel that your work is undervalued or compromised.
  • You don’t lose the rights to your artwork.
  • They have high-profile partners such as Threadless and Urban Outfitters, so you have exposure to an even wider market.
  • You do need to get some ♥’s (around 10 – 12) before your art makes it to the main shop.

FINAL WORD:  The key here is that most artists are not interested in running a business. The time it takes to produce, package, and ship products, not to mention dealing with customers, can significantly eat into your creative time. Plus, for a lot of small art shops, high shipping costs have become a huge obstacle to selling worldwide. With Society6, shipping is no longer your problem. Now you will still have to do some promotion of your items, but if one of your designs really takes off with the community, it will help upsell the other items in your shop. As long as you can digitize your art, you have an opportunity on Society6.

GB Oliver

ABOUT ME: I’m G.B. Oliver, a small business marketing consultant and author of the new ebook series, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!. I also do private consultations for online businesses. Feel free to contact me at
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© 2013 G.B. OLIVER

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

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