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You might already know that I have a Society6 shop, an online print on demand service that many artists use to promote and sell their designs. All I have to do is create the artwork and upload to Society6 to offer the design for sale on a variety of products.

society6

This type of service (and there are many out there) enables an artist like me to concentrate on creating – while Society6 products and ships the actual product. It sounds like a pretty cool service, but as with any new technology, it comes with some pitfalls.

Recently, I ordered my own Lovely Leaves Drifting Down Tote Bag to test out the product in real-life and the general customer experience. I was so excited to finally get the package, but was so disappointed with the results. The design was really faded looking, none of the vibrant color that I had originally in mind.

This is what the product looks like online:

18236629_8406877-bagtote16_pm

And this is the tote bag I received in the mail:

LTieu-tote1

It seems as if the bag had been used already or faded by the sun, right? I immediately wrote to Society6 and expressed my concern in misleading customers… what we see online doesn’t match the product. They apologized for the issue and reprinted the tote bag. When I received the replacement, I was much more content with the results. You can see that the reprint on the right is way more brilliant and vivid. Yay!

LTieu-tote2

I’m glad to have raised my voice and ask for a replacement, but makes me wonder if customers are getting the first or second version? When you don’t have full control over your final product, it can be worrisome, because ultimately it’s your design and name out there. I do hope that people realize they can comment regarding the results, because ultimately when you buy online, you only have the online image to refer to. So speak up and make sure you get what you expect.

What’s your experience as an artist or customer, working with online print-on-demand shops?

If you want to see my other designs, check out my Society6 shop. I should note that I’m definitely grateful to be able to put my work out there in the world with Society6 and even if there are a few kinks to work out, they are doing a great job at helping to promote artists and their work. So thank you to Society6 as well!

Now I wonder what to do with the more faded looking tote bag? Hmm…

 

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