Just yesterday I wrote about why you might not see your designs on Threadless. And now I see that Jake Nickell, who is the founder of Threadless, made two videos that explain it better:
They plan to post more useful videos, subscribe here.
You followed all the steps:
And yet, when you go to Threadless main page and search for your designs you can’t find them. You search by title, or by tags, or just browse all the designs, and you don’t see your designs anywhere. Why?
Your Artist Shop is separate from the Threadless main store. Your design can be added to the Threadless Marketplace but they are not added by default.
If you don’t see your designs on Threadless then the first thing to do is to make sure that you allowed your products to be visible in the Threadless Marketplace. Go to your Artist Shop settings and set “Allow my shop’s products to be considered in the Threadless Marketplace”:
However, even if you set that option and allow for your products to be visible in the Threadless Marketplace it’s still possible that your shop won’t be visible in the Threadless Marketplace and that your designs won’t be available in the Threadless site search.
Why? Because Threadless doesn’t show all the designs from all artist’s shop on their main page. They explain it best in their FAQ:
While each Artist Shop is separate from the Threadless catalog, designs may or may not automatically be included in the Threadless marketplace and search. Inclusion into the Threadless marketplace and Threadless search depends on a combination of design quality and commercial viability for the Threadless market, marketplace and Artist Shop sales and activity, product tagging, and search relevancy.–About the Threadless Marketplace
So, if you want people to find your designs on Threadless, you need to create designs that Threadless customers might be interested in. If Threadless decides that your designs might interest people visiting the website then your designs will be visible to them. This is because Threadless is a curated store. If all the designs from all the artist shops were visible there, then it would be a mess.
It might be discouraging not to see your designs in the Threadless Marketplace — you added your designs, and yet the customers who visit the site don’t even see them and can’t buy them. But, if your designs are good, then Threadless will most likely add them to their Marketplace and then customers will see them.
My store is visible in the Threadless Marketplace. I wrote some advice that will help you get your designs noticed by the Threadless team:
I have a lot of designs and all of them are uploaded to my Artist Shop on Threadless, and sometimes I submit them to Threadless competitions. Every once in a while Threadless selects one of the designs to add to their main store and then they send me a $250 gift code.
What do you need to do to get your own gift code? Follow these steps:
That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Don’t overthink it — just draw something and submit. Repeat.
I see a lot of artists worried about low sales these past few weeks. Don’t panic! That’s completely normal this time of year. I’ve been a designer since 2012, and it has always been like that. February and March are just very, very slow months.
Maybe this year is a bit slower than the previous ones. The pandemic impacted people’s finances, no one really has spare cash to spend on art and clothes. That being said, even if this year is worse than the last one, it’s not that much worse. I expect sales will pick up in late March.
Speaking of March, have you heard that Threadless will pay double for every regular t-shirt sold during March? That will certainly be a boost in earnings as t-shirts are the most often bought product.
When I started, I rarely got any sales. Once or twice a month someone bought a t-shirt with my design. The more designs I uploaded, the more sales I got. But there’s one thing that you can do from the start to increase your sales: enable your designs on all available products.
I checked the recent 40 orders in my Fox Shiver Threadless Shop. Do you know what people bought? Here’s a list:
As you can see, if I only had t-shirts in my store, I would miss out on all those other sales. It takes time to add designs on all those products, but you do the work once and then you don’t have to worry about it. You are most likely going to have your store active for years, and now and then someone will want to buy a beach towel or a blanket or another of those less popular products. Give your customers that opportunity.
I’ve just noticed that for the entire month of March Threadless runs an additional promotion for artists. For every regular t-shirt sold in your Artist Shop, you get double earnings. This means that you earn $10 instead of $5 for every regular t-shirt sold!
Check out my store if you want.
Now, Threadless selected another one of my designs:
It’s a cat that has no motivation to get up. So, it’s relatable.
It has already been for sale in my Artist Shop. Threadless adding it to their own store means that more people see the design and more people buy it.
It’s good to have as many designs as you can create in your Artist Shop so that Threadless can browse them and select something for their store.
Also, when your design is selected, you usually get a $250 gift code, which is a nice bonus. I keep spending them on hoodies and t-shirts for my friends 🙂
Get “Existing” here.
One of my designs has been added to the Threadless store. Yay! I received an email a few hours ago.
Now, what exactly does it mean that a design is added to the Threadless store?
First, what you need to know is that there are two ways to sell designs on Threadless:
When your design is selected and added to the Threadless store, it means better visibility and a higher chance that someone is going to see it and buy it.
That’s why it’s so important to add all your designs to your shop. The more designs you have, the better chance that one of them is going to be selected. Same with challenges — submit your designs to challenges and you get a chance that Threadless likes them and wants them in their store.
And remember, you never know what is going to be popular, so submit every design. I very nearly deleted one of my best-selling designs because I thought no one was going to want it.
Oh, and one more thing, usually when your design is selected to be added to the Threadless store, you get a $250 gift code to be used in the Threadless store on anything you want.
I just stumbled on a 6 years old thread on the Threadless forum: Top 20 best selling designs. And if you scroll down the thread, you will see another slightly newer list of designs.
This one caught my eye:
It makes me want to paint something colorful too.
But what surprised me most is that they all are so different. So many various themes: games, animals, retro, movies. That’s a good thing because it means that every designer can find their own niche.
Another thing that I noticed is that only two designs are with cats and I always thought that designs with cats sell best. So I checked the most popular designs right now and among the 48 designs on the first page, just two have cats and one of them is mine! I thought there would be 10 cat designs at least but I was wrong.
This is the first cat one:
And here is the second one. This is a cat about to jump.
I like browsing through designs and get inspired. For example, this dinosaur design has been popular 6 years ago and is still popular now:
That’s pretty amazing — to make a design that people love and buy for years.